What We Believe

We believe that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we don't go to church but we are the church and when we gather together with each other or with other believers we have church!
Now, don't misquote me.  I am not talking about "forsaking the gathering of yourselves together, as is the habit of some . . ." (Hebrews 10:25).  I am talking about being church vs. doing church.  Being a believer must be something we be.  Not good English but great theology.
We must live out our beliefs in everyday day life --- not just on Sunday!

Impact Ministries International, Inc.
&
Cowboy Church

Statement of Faith

Approved August 2001

This doctrinal statement reflects the broad, mainstream, conservative evangelical tradition which is consistent with the teachings of the Bible and which has stood the test of history and experience. We specifically affirm the following doctrinal truths:

1. The Scriptures We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men of God "were moved by the Holy Spirit" to write the very words of Scripture. The Bible is therefore without error (inerrant) in its original manuscripts. God has supernaturally preserved the Bible and it is the sole and final authority for faith and life providing encouragement, guidance, comfort and instruction for training in righteousness (2 Ti. 3:16-17; 2 Pe. 1:20-21).

2. The Godhead (Trinity) We believe in one true God eternally existing in three distinct persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) each of Whom is fully and equally God; possesses all of the divine nature and attributes, and is totally worthy of our worship and service (Dt. 6:4; Mt. 28:19; Jn 1:14; 10:30; 2 Co. 13:14).

3. God the Father We believe that God the Father is the first person of the Trinity and is the eternal, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, completely just and perfectly holy, sovereign Ruler and Sustainer of the universe. He is the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Father of all true believers (Ge.l:l; Eph.4:6; Jn. 1:12-13; 5:19-21; 17:1-5; Isa.40:21-28; 43:10-13;46:8- 11; Ro.8:14-16).

4. God the Son We believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity and is the only begotten eternal Son of God Who became flesh to reveal God to man, to fulfill prophecy, and to become the Savior of the lost world. In becoming man Jesus did not cease in any way to be God so that He is fully God and fully man inseparably united in one person forever. Jesus was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit; born of the Virgin Mary; lived a sinless life; died on the cross as the substitutionary, all-sufficient atoning sacrifice for all of the sins of all men of all time; was buried; bodily rose from the dead; physically ascended into heaven in His glorified, resurrected body; is seated at the right hand of the Father performing His ministry of intercession; will return in the air to claim His bride the church; and will come again to earth in bodily form, personally and visibly, to conclude human history and consummate God’s eternal plan by executing judgment and ushering in His Millennial Kingdom reign to be followed by the eternal state Jn. 1:1, 14, 18; 3:16; Lk. 1:30-35; Php. 2:5-8; Col. 2:3, 9; Mk. 10:45; Ac. 2:22-24; Jn. 1:29; Ro. 3:25- 26; Heb. 10:5-14; 1 Pe. 2:24; 3:18; Jn. 20:20; Php. 3:20-21; Heb. 1:3; Ro. 8:34; 1 Jn. 2:1; Ac. 1:11; Heb. 9:28; 1 Th. 4:13-18; 2 Th. 2:7; Mt. 24:44; Rev. 19:11-21; Rev. 21-22).

5. God the Holy Spirit We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity Who specially came into the world on the day of Pentecost to glorify Christ and to enable men to appropriate the salvation wrought by Christ. He is the primary agent for the conviction of sin and for regeneration. Simulta- neously with salvation, the Holy Spirit imparts new life, baptizes the believer into the body of Christ (His church), permanently indwells the believer, and securely seals the believer unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit fills (directs and controls) those believers who are yielded to Him, enables believers to bear fruit, and empowers believers to live a life free from sin's dominion. We also believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers for the purpose of edifying the church in accordance with the teachings of scripture. (1 Co. 13:8; 14:22; Jn. 16:7-15; 1 Co. 6:19; 12:13;

6. Man We believe that man was created in the image of God by direct act of God and did not come into being as the result of evolution. Man was created to glorify God, worship and serve Him, and have fellowship with Him. Man fell through sin by disobeying God, thus incurring both physical and spiritual death, which alienated him from God. Man’s nature was thus corrupted and he is utterly lost, “dead in trespasses and sins,” and totally incapable of saving himself and coming back into right relationship with God by his own merit or effort (Ge. 1:26; 2:6,17; 3:17-24; Isa. 59:1-2; Ro. 3:9- 19, 23; 5:6-8; Lk. 18:26-27; Eph.2.1-3).

7. Satan We believe that Satan is the instigator of evil and a real spirit being, not simply the personifica- tion of evil. He is a fallen angel who, under the sovereign permission of God, has been given temporary rulership of the earth. He was utterly defeated at the cross, but the execution of his judgment has been postponed by God until after the Millennial Kingdom when he will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. In the meantime, he deceives the world and seeks to establish his counterfeit kingdom on earth to discredit and blaspheme God and to tempt, accuse, attack and destroy believers. He can be resisted by the believer through faith and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit (Ge. 3: 1-5; Isa. 14:12-17; Eze. 28:11-19; Job 1-2; 1 Jn. 5:19; 2 Co. 11:14; 1 Ti. 3:6; 1 Pe. 5:8-9; Jas. 4:7; Rev. 12:9; 20:1-3, 7-10).

8. Salvation We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for forgiveness of sins and salvation, which is the free gift of God's grace. Salvation is effected by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and cannot be secured by man’s works or personal merit. Salvation is only appropriated by a person placing his faith in the finished work of Christ. Repentance is a turning toward God and away from sin and is a part of but not separate from believing faith. "The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” and those who receive Jesus Christ by faith are born again, have their sins forgiven, become children of God, are a new creation in Christ, and "are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption", being kept by the power of God (Eph. 1:7, 13-14; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:1-7, 14-16; 2 Co. 5:17; Ro. 1:16; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-10; Ro. 8:14-17, 31-39; Jn. 10:27-29; 14:6; Ac. 26:20; 1 Pe. 1:3-5).

9. The Christian Life We believe that every Christian should live for Christ and not for himself and should, by the power of the indwelling Spirit, allow Christ to manifest His life through him to God's glory. By ever increasing obedience to the Word of God, each believer should mature and progressively become more like Jesus. In the power of the Spirit, each believer should live a holy life; not fulfill the lusts of the flesh; exercise his spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ; witness for Christ; be personally involved in making disciples to fulfill the great commission; perform good works and bear fruit to the glory of God (Gal. 2:20; 1 Pe. 1:15-16; 2:11; 2 Co. 5:14-15; Ro. 6:11-13; Eph. 2:10; 4:11-12; 4:22-24; 1 Pe. 4:10-11; Ac. 1:8; Mt. 28:18-20; Col. 1:10; Jn. 15:8, 16).

10. The Church We believe that the church is the body of Christ of which Jesus is the Head and whose members are those who have truly received Christ by faith. The local church is a tangible expression of the body of Christ in a particular location. Since all members of the body of Christ are united in Christ by the same Spirit, they should live in love, harmony and unity, being intent on the same purpose and accepting those sectarian or denominational practices which are based on a sincere interpretation of the Bible, which do not relate to substantive doctrinal matters, and which do not in practice cause disunity or hinder the ministry. The purpose of the church is to make Christ known to lost men, to make disciples, and glorify God on earth (Ac. 1:8; 1 Co. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:1-6, 4:12-16; Mt. 28:18-20; Jn. 17; Col. 1:24-29).

11. The Ordinances We believe that the only two ordinances of the church recognized by Scripture are water baptism and the Lord's Supper. Water baptism by immersion is an act of obedience following salvation which symbolically pictures the believer's death to sin, burial of the old life, and resurrection to new life. The Lord's Supper celebrates fellowship and communion with Christ, symbolically commemorates His death, and anticipates His second coming (Mt. 28: 19; Ac. 10:47-48; Lk. 22:19-20; 1 Co. 11:23-28; Ro.6:3-4).

12. Eternal Destiny of Men We believe that at death every believer consciously and immediately enters into the presence and fellowship of the Lord to wait for the physical resurrection and glorification of his body at Christ's return. The believer will thus enjoy life eternal with God - fellowshipping, serving and worshipping Him forever (2 Co. 5:6; 1 Co. 15: 12-58; Lk. 23:39-43; 1 Th. 4:13-18; Jn. 3: 16; Rev. 21-22). We believe that at death every unbeliever consciously and immediately enters into separation from the Lord to wait for the physical resurrection of his body to everlasting condemnation, judgment and punishment (Lk. 16:19-31; Jn. 3:18, 36; Rev. 20:5, 11-15; 2 Th. 1:5-10).

13. Future Things We believe the next prophetic event will be the rapture of the Church when the Lord Jesus Christ will return in the air to receive unto Himself all Church Age believers (Jn. 14:1-3; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Co. 15:51-52; 1 Th. 4:13-18; Php. 3:20-21). The rapture of the Church will be followed by the seven-year Great Tribulation period in fulfillment of Dan. 9:24-27 and as described in Rev. 6: 1- 19:21 during which Israel will be purified, the whole world tested, and the wrath of God poured out against sin (Jer. 30:7; Mt. 24; Rev. 3:10; 1 Th. 5:9-11). We believe that at the end of the Great Tribulation the Lord Jesus Christ in His second coming will personally and physically return to the earth just as He ascended with great power and glory to execute judgment and usher in the Millennial Kingdom, during which He will reign on earth for 1000 years with righteousness, justice and peace to fulfill God's covenant promise to Israel (Ac. 1:8-11; Rev. 19: 11-21; Eze. 37:21-28; Isa. 11:9; Rev. 20:1-6). We believe that the 1000-year reign of Christ on earth will be followed by the final judgment of Satan when he is cast into the lake of fire forever; the Great White Throne Judgment and bodily resurrection for unbelievers; the creation of a new heaven and new earth; and the eternal state (Rev. 20-22; 2 Pe. 3:1-14).

Acceptance policy We accept students from independent churches and from a wide range of denominations. How- ever, student applicants are required to affirm in writing their substantial agreement with this statement of faith. Where differences are indicated, the student may be conditionally accepted for training upon his agreement not to teach, promote or exercise such doctrinal differences or practices while he is an active student.

 Marriage.  We believe marriage to be a Holy union between one man and one woman...  We believe that marriage is reserved for members of the opposite sex and was designed by God to be so.  The Bible explains that not only is marriage a covenant commitment between a man and a woman, but marriage itself is ordained by God to reflect the relationship between Christ and His church,  Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:18-25; Ephesians 5:32; Matthew 19:4-5;Isaiah 33:22

The Lausanne Covenant

INTRODUCTION
We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, from more than 150 nations, participants in the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, praise God for his great salvation and rejoice in the fellowship he has given us with himself and with each other. We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the Gospel is God’s good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation. We desire, therefore, to affirm our faith and our resolve, and to make public our covenant.
1. THE PURPOSE OF GOD
We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that even when borne by earthen vessels the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew.
(Isa. 40:28; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6, 18; Eph 4:12; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 4:7)
2. THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE BIBLE
We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.
(II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)
3. THE UNIQUENESS AND UNIVERSALITY OF CHRIST
We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognise that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as “the Saviour of the world” is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God’s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.
(Gal. 1:6-9;Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; II Pet. 3:9; II Thess. 1:7-9;John 4:42; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:9-11)
4. THE NATURE OF EVANGELISM
To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.
(I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 2: 32-39; John 20:21; I Cor. 1:23; II Cor. 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)
5. CHRISTIAN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all people. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.
(Acts 17:26,31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Psa. 45:7; Gen. 1:26,27; Jas. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; Jas. 2:14-26; Joh. 3:3,5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; II Cor. 3:18; Jas. 2:20)
6. THE CHURCH AND EVANGELISM
We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church’s mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God’s cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God’s people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.
(John 17:18; 20:21; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Gal. 6:14,17; II Cor. 6:3,4; II Tim. 2:19-21; Phil. 1:27)
7. COOPERATION IN EVANGELISM
We affirm that the Church’s visible unity in truth is God’s purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organisational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily forward evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church’s mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience.
(John 17:21,23; Eph. 4:3,4; John 13:35; Phil. 1:27; John 17:11-23)
8. CHURCHES IN EVANGELISTIC PARTNERSHIP
We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelise belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A reevaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ’s Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church’s mission.
(Rom. 1:8; Phil. 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3, I Thess. 1:6-8)
9. THE URGENCY OF THE EVANGELISTIC TASK
More than 2,700 million people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelised. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church. There is now, however, in many parts of the world an unprecedented receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are convinced that this is the time for churches and para-church agencies to pray earnestly for the salvation of the unreached and to launch new efforts to achieve world evangelization. A reduction of foreign missionaries and money in an evangelised country may sometimes be necessary to facilitate the national church’s growth in self-reliance and to release resources for unevangelised areas. Missionaries should flow ever more freely from and to all six continents in a spirit of humble service. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, understand, and to receive the good news. We cannot hope to attain this goal without sacrifice. All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism.
(John 9:4; Matt. 9:35-38; Rom. 9:1-3; I Cor. 9:19-23; Mark 16:15; Isa. 58:6,7; Jas. 1:27; 2:1-9; Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34,35)
10. EVANGELISM AND CULTURE
The development of strategies for world evangelization calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God, the result will be the rise of churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture. Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Because men and women are God’s creatures, some of their culture is rich in beauty and goodness. Because they are fallen, all of it is tainted with sin and some of it is demonic. The gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness, and insists on moral absolutes in every culture. Missions have all too frequently exported with the gospel an alien culture and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture. Christ’s evangelists must humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others, and churches must seek to transform and enrich culture, all for the glory of God.
(Mark 7:8,9,13; Gen. 4:21,22; I Cor. 9:19-23; Phil. 2:5-7; II Cor. 4:5)
11. EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP
We confess that we have sometimes pursued church growth at the expense of church depth, and divorced evangelism from Christian nurture. We also acknowledge that some of our missions have been too slow to equip and encourage national leaders to assume their rightful responsibilities. Yet we are committed to indigenous principles, and long that every church will have national leaders who manifest a Christian style of leadership in terms not of domination but of service. We recognise that there is a great need to improve theological education, especially for church leaders. In every nation and culture there should be an effective training programme for pastors and laity in doctrine, discipleship, evangelism, nurture and service. Such training programmes should not rely on any stereotyped methodology but should be developed by creative local initiatives according to biblical standards.
(Col. I:27,28; Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5,9; Mark 10:42-45; Eph. 4:11,12)
12. SPIRITUAL CONFLICT
We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God’s armour and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thoughts and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church.
(Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 4:3,4; Eph. 6:11,13-18; II Cor. 10:3-5; I John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)
13. FREEDOM AND PERSECUTION
It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference. We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practise and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God and as set forth in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom. At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable.
(I Tim. 1:1-4, Acts 4:19; 5:29; Col. 3:24; Heb. 13:1-3; Luke 4:18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12; Matt. 5:10-12; John 15:18-21)
14. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole church become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice.
(I Cor. 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; I Cor. 12:3; John 3:6-8; II Cor. 3:18; John 7:37-39; I Thess. 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psa. 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Gal. 5:22,23; I Cor. 12:4-31; Rom. 12:3-8)
15. THE RETURN OF CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we rededicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives.
(Mark 14:62; Heb. 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matt. 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Rev. 21:1-5; II Pet. 3:13; Matt. 28:18)
CONCLUSION
Therefore, in the light of this our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace and for his glory to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!