TAVISTOCK MISSIONARY CHURCH, Statement of Faith.
THE TRIUNE GOD
The one and only true God is : self-existent, infinite, personal,
unchangeable, and eternal in His being; perfect in holiness, love,
justice, goodness, wisdom, and truth; omnipotent, omniscient, and
omnipresent; Creator and Sustainer of all things, visible and invisible;
both immanent and transcendent to creation; eternally existent in three
persons, one in substance and co-equal in power and glory - Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit.
John 4:24; Deut. 6:4, 1 Cor. 8: 4-6; Gen.1:26, Matt. 28:19, 2Cor. 13:14
The Father is begotten of none. He is the eternal Father of the Lord Jesus
Christ, the Author of salvation, the Father of all who are begotten into
newness of life through faith in Christ.
Gen. 1:1, Ps. 90:2; John 13:3, Eph.1:3-4; Eph.1:2-3, 1Pet.1:2-4.
The Lord Jesus Christ is God; is the only Son of the Father; is incarnate
since He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary,
thus uniting the divine and human natures in their completeness into the
one unique person Jesus Christ; is sinless in His life and miraculous
works; made atonement, through His vicarious death, for the sins of the
world; is bodily resurrected and ascended to the right hand of the Father,
has sovereign power and lordship; acts, in His present mediatorial
ministry, as the believerís Advocate; awaits His imminent coming in power
John 1:1,14; Luke 1:35, John 1:14,18; Acts 1:11, Heb.1:1-3; Titus 2:13-14
The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and being sent by the Son, is
one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son, very and
eternally God. His office and work is to reprove or convict the world of
sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; to regenerate those who repent of
their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; to sanctify, endue with
power, teach, guide and comfort the believer.
The Holy Spirit works in the church to unite believers into the body of
Christ; to possess it as the temple of God; to equip it with gifts and
graces for service; to give it the body of inspired truth; and to preside
over and guide the church into the will of God.
John 14:26; Luke 24:49; 2Cor.13:14; John 16:7-14; Titus 3:5-6; Acts 9:13;
2. THE BIBLE
The Bible consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments,
is the Word of God given by divine inspiration and is inerrant in the
original manuscripts. The Bible remains the unchanging authority in
matters of Christian faith and practice. It is true and reliable in all
the matters it addresses.
1Thes.2:13; 2Pet.1:20-21; Ps. 119:9, 1Pet.1:25; 2Tim.3:16, Heb.4:12;
Mankind was created by an immediate act of God and not by a process of
evolution. We were created in the image and likeness of God1, possessing
personality and holiness; enjoying sweet fellowship with God in our
original state, we were created to glorify God2 and enjoy Him forever.
Having been created in the likeness of God we are self conscious
personalities capable of free and rational choice. Human life has inherent
worth from conception.
Gen.1:26-27, 5:1-3, 9,6, James 3:9; 1Cor.11:7, Eph.1:4-6
Through the transgression of Adam, mankind is fallen from original
righteousness, suffers under sinís curse, and, apart from the grace of
God, is not only entirely destitute of holiness, but is inclined
continually to evil, and, unless born again, cannot see the kingdom of
God. We in our own strength, without divine grace, cannot do good works
pleasing and acceptable to God.
As persons we are free moral agents and are responsible for our eternal
destiny. Under the influence and empowering of the Holy Spirit and due to
the preeminent grace of God we are enabled to exercise our wills to accept
Godís will and gift.
Gen.5:6; Rom.3::10,18,23, Eph.2:1-3; John 3:3-7; Rom.2:4
God has provided redemption for all persons through the mediatorial work
of Christ who voluntarily offered Himself on Calvary as a perfect
sacrifice for sin, the just suffering for the unjust, bearing sinís curse
and tasting death for every person.
Acts 4:12, 1Tim.2:5-6; John 10:17-18; Titus 2:11-14, Heb.2:9
We are all sinners, guilty before God, and dead in trespasses and sins.
Therefore, we are unable to save ourselves, but God has, out of His
infinite love, given His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to become our Saviour.
John 14:6, John 3:14-17, Rom.3:20-26, Eph.2:4-5,8-9
Genuine repentance is a necessary attitude and act of man which a holy and
just God requires before He forgives our sins. As an attitude it involves
a knowledge of, a change of mind toward, and a godly sorrow for sin; a
proper reverence for Godís holiness; and a surrender to God. As an act it
means confessing and forsaking sin. Repentance is our appropriate response
to the grace of God in conviction. As a fruit of repentance, in so far as
possible where sin has been committed, restitution should be made.
Ps.51:3-4; Cor.7:8-11; Prov. 28:13, Isa.6:1-5; John 16:8-11
Faith, which must accompany repentance, is Godís gift where, by an act of
the will, we embrace the promises of God and appropriate personally the
provisions of Godís grace. The believer, by faith, rests in the
completeness and adequacy of the atoning merit of Christís sacrifice as
the sole ground and hope of salvation. Scripture also teaches that good
works characterize a regenerated life. They spring from a true and living
faith and are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ.
Rom.5:1-2, Eph.2:8-9; Eph.2:10; Heb.11:6, James 2:17
Justification and Regeneration
God justifies and regenerates sinners when they personally believe and
repent. Justification is a judicial act which absolves us of the guilt and
punishment for sin and restores us to divine favour. Justification has to
do with the changing of the sinnerís standing before God. Regeneration has
to do with the changing of the sinnerís nature through the impartation of
divine life. Regeneration is a spiritual quickening, a new birth. This
experience is witnessed to by the indwelling Holy Spirit, who produces in
the heart a desire to do the will of God.
Rom.8:33; Eph.2:1-3; Rom.5:9-12; John 3:5-6, Rom.8:16
Sanctification and Filling with the Holy Spirit.
Sanctification is defined as the work of God in making believers holy and
renewing them in the image of God. It is the will of God that each
believer should be cleansed from sin and filled with the Holy Spirit and
sanctified. Sanctification involves separation from sin and full
dedication to the will of God. God in turn bestows power for holy living
and effective service. Sanctification is both a crisis, as the regenerated
believer initially surrenders to the will of God and appropriates the
fullness of the Holy Spirit, and a progressive pilgrimage of continual
consecration5 and growth in character and Christ likeness.
The filling of a believer with the Holy Spirit is evidenced by love out of
a pure heart and by the fruit of the Spirit. It is this believerís
privilege to live, by faith, a Spirit-filled, Spirit-gifted, and
Spirit-led life of victory over sin.
Acts 15:8-9, Rom.6:19,22; Rom.8:5-11; Rom.12:1-2; om.8:1-4,9-11; John
17:17-19, Heb.12:14; Rom.5:5; 2Cor.7:1, Gal.5:22-23
Security of the Believer
Through the declaration of Scripture and the testimony of the Holy Spirit
the obedient believer can be certain of forgiveness, salvation, a
continuing walk with Christ, and the promise of resurrection life. The
Scriptures do, however, warn against failing to abide in Christ, being
hardened by sin, or being overcome by the world. To allow the Devil such a
foothold is to open oneself to the temptation to consciously reject
Christ, abandon oneís faith, and ultimately be lost.
John 15:1-6, 1Cor.10:12-13; Rom.10:9-10, 1Cor.10:1-13
Resurrection and Glorification
Christ was bodily resurrected and, because He lives, we too shall live. At
the return of the Lord, the bodies of the righteous dead will be raised
and, together with the living believers, shall be caught up to meet the
Lord in the air. We will all be changed so as to have literal, spiritual
and immortal bodies like unto Christís own glorious body. Our
glorification is Godís final act in our salvation and will be realized
when we see Him as He is.
1Cor.15:19-23; 1Thes.4:14-17; 1John 3:2-3
5. THE CHURCH
The church is an organism composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus
Christ who have been called out from the world, separated from sin, and
vitally united by faith to Christ, its living Head and sovereign Lord.
Acts 15:12-18, 1Cor.12:12-27; Eph.5:25-26; Eph.2:11-12
The local church is an organized body of believers in Christ who are
voluntarily joined for public worship and evangelism, teaching the Word,
fellowship with the saints, observance of the ordinances, exercise in
prayer, and who are commissioned with the responsibility to administer
1Cor.16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Matt.18:15-17
The characteristic marks of the members of the true church are faith in
Jesus as the Son of God, love for God and for those of like faith,
obedience to Godís commandments, and victory over the world.
1John 3:21-24; 1John 5:1-5
The primary duties of the church consist of glorifying God and exalting
the Lord Jesus Christ, of building itself up in the most holy faith, and
of preaching and practicing the Gospel in all the world as a witness to
Eph.1:5-6, 3:20-21; Matt.28:18-20, Acts 1:8
6. THE LAST THINGS
The Return of Christ
The second advent of Christ is the hope of the church and will be
personal, bodily, visible, sudden, premillennial, and redemptive. It is a
source of encouragement and consolation, a motive for purification and
holiness, and an inspiration for activity and service.
Matt.24:3-25; Rev.19:7-8; 1Thes.4:16-18, Rev.20:4-6; 1Tim.6:12-14, 1John
The Millenium or thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth will be
ushered in by His return with the saints. During this period Satan will be
bound, the curse will be lifted, evils such as war, poverty, and injustice
shall vanish from the earth, and Christ will reign in righteousness.
Ps.46:8-9, Isa.2:1-4, 11:6-9, Rev.20:1-6
The Judgment and Future State
There is a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. All
persons stand under the righteous judgment of God, both now and in that
day. Scripture further teaches an eternal state of rewards in which the
righteous dwell in endless life in heaven and the wicked in endless
punishment in the eternal lake of fire.
John 5:28-29; Acts 17:31; John 14:1-6, Rev. 21:1-9; Matt.25:31-46,
(Taken from Constitution 93 of the Evangelical Missionary
Church of Canada.)