Distinctives that have developed in the life of this Church.

Distinctives that have developed in the life of these Churches.

 

The following list is not exclusive but it is a summary of the disciplines and distinctives which have emerged in our life and which have also been important in the developing life of the Branches.

 

  1. Christ: The Scriptures attest that Christ is the First and Last, the Alpha and Omega, The Amen. We receive the Biblical testimony to the Deity of Christ. The Apostles and Nicene Creed attest the Biblical teaching of the person of Christ. Christ defines everything for us and gives to us all that we need to know. He is the inexhaustible object of our study and affections. We love Him.

  2. Creedal Foundations: We hold to unity in primaries and liberty in secondaries. The creeds disregard such things as baptisms, church government, and style of church meetings, from primary doctrine. We will seek to make applications into our daiy lives and culture from the primary doctrines of Scripture and respect the varying traditions expressed in our church, which show differences in understanding and interpretation of secondary matters.

  3. The Grace of God: This means that the organization of a church is different from all other clubs, societies and associations, in that the response to its laws and its Head, is a response of the heart evoked by the love of God. The actions of the people in the church are a voluntary response to this grace. This means that we must wait for God to work in His people and refuse to be quarrelsome, complaining, or impatient.

  4. Seeking First the Kingdom: Jesus told us to orient our lives to His Kingdom and his righteousness. He promised He would ensure adequate food, clothing and to care for all our earthly needs; those things which generate such anxiety in people’s hearts: health, guaranteed income, security, “getting on” and such like. We will leave such to Him and instead learn about and be preoccupied with the better things of His great Kingdom.

  5. The Communion of Saints: We, His church are a part of the Communion of Saints which is called in every generation. It existed through the generations both in heaven and earth. This means that we deliberately reject distinctions based on worldly status, encouraging in our young people a resistance to being awed by those positions, presenting false values of our humanhood. The Communion of Saints, based in the call of Christ, describes our worth.

  6. Prayer and Daily Dependence on God: Jesus frequently sought solace to commune with His Father. At times, He cried out loudly. We too, will “go to water” (Psalm 62:8) to our God with matters too big for us both within us and without us. In this we desire to pray without ceasing, to be always aware of the company of Christ.

 

  1. The Priesthood of all Believers: Each person has a role and ministry to be used for the up-building of the church in truth and love. There are some things that God seems to choose only to do for a person through the service and grace of another believer.

  2. Speech: The Bible speaks very clearly and strongly about speech as an instrument that can bless, or curse. We seek to practice a discipline that excludes gossip, or any comment which would bring down the dignity of another in the eyes of those with whom we are talking. We accept the discipline of not using the name of God to strengthen or endorse what we say, leaving such judgments to be made by our hearers instead.

  3. Sound judgment: We will seek to practice the discipline of not ‘jumping to conclusions’ and thus we reject prejudice. We will be critical of our own intuitions and hunches, and will accept the labour of assessing evidence before we allow our minds to form definite conclusions about people, events and happenings in the church. We will seek to think of others with mercy.

  4. Law: This we believe is to be exampled and to be patiently and purposefully worked into the lives of our people, through earnest prayer. Unexampled and prayerless declarations of law quickly produce a legalistic style. We value inter-dependability and seek to grow deeper in such blessings with each other.

  5. Evangelising boldness: By praying for each other and honouring Christ in our daily lives and personal contacts.

  6. Relationship to the world. As our world environment becomes more idolatrous, we must see ourselves more distinctly as aliens and pilgrims engaging only lightly with the things that pass away, not to be obsessed or mastered by such things. Not being anxious for them or for our security in the world. We are not consumers, we are worshippers, not numbers, we are names. We belong not to the earth, but to the one who is from Heaven. We trust the Lord who promised to take care of all those things over which we will be tempted to be anxious and instead we would seek first His kingdom and righteousness.