And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. - 1 John 5:20
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We hold to the Protestant Reformation teaching that God’s rescue comes by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Person and work of Christ alone as revealed in the Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone. We also believe the teachings outlined in the historic church creeds (known commonly as The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed and The Athanasian Creed) and reformed confessions (Westminster, London Baptist confessions and the Savoy Declaration) are faithful expressions of the teaching of the Christian Scriptures.
We hold to the following summary of the Christian message as our Statement of Faith.
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the Godhead, there are three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is the foundation of Christian faith and life. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same word, He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all and, together with the Son and the Spirit, is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him and, in His unfathomable grace, gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for mankind’s redemption. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with Himself.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through Him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him all things hold together by the word of His power. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation, and in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
He is the only Saviour for the sins of the world, having shed His blood and died a vicarious death on Calvary’s cross. By His death in our place, He revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, on the third day, He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and, for a period of 40 days, appeared to over 500 witnesses, performing many convincing proofs of His resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all, awaiting His return. He is the Head of His body the Church and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, convicts the world of: sin; righteousness; and judgement. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men and women to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit, a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son Who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshipped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity.
God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and supreme authority in all matters of faith, conduct and experience to which it speaks. The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local Church and beyond. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are created to complement each other in mutually enriching ways through distinctive roles in the life of the family and the Church.
Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness – for himself and all his progeny – by falling into sin through Satan’s temptation. Being estranged from his Maker yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone.
From all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.
The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. It is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel; His resurrection is the power of the gospel and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished.
The proper response to the gospel is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a faith that is naturally accompanied by repentance from sin. This response to the gospel is rooted and grounded in the free election of God for His own pleasure and glory. Anyone turning from sin in repentance, whom Christ has effectually drawn to Himself, and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death, receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer. The believer is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin, an individual is reconciled to God. We believe that those who are truly redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son, and indwells all true believers. His role is to bring glory to Jesus Christ, thus making Jesus Christ central in all things. The Holy Spirit works to illuminate believers’ minds to grasp the truth of the Bible, producing in them his fruit, granting them his gifts and empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling them to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually fill each believer with power to witness and imparts His supernatural gifts for the edification of the body and the work of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church of the first century are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in an orderly manner. The gifts are essential to the mission of the Church in the world today.
God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful people into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will on earth. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local Church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer. In the Church both men and women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilise their gifting’s in ministry and service to the body of Christ and the world. The Scriptures make clear that within the Church, as in marriage, the roles of men and women are not interchangeable but are distinct within relationships of mutual dependence.
We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus Himself and reserved for believers. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God’s pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipation of His return and of the consummation of all things.
The consummation of all things includes the physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgement of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, is finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God, Who makes all things new.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. - Colossians 3:17
WHAT WE VALUE
We exist to see lives redeemed and a city renewed by the gospel for the glory of God. Redeemer has 5 core values that are our guiding principles for living out the unique way in which God has called us to be part of His redemptive story in Tauranga. The specific methods by which these values are expressed could change over the years, but the values themselves serve as an anchor for our ministry and the decisions we make.
We believe that all things exist ultimately for the renown of God and that all of creation displays His glory. We are constantly worshiping because God made us worshipers by nature. We desire to live lives of worship that transcends place, style, time, that is transformed by the gospel and informed by God’s truth. This life of worship means that every thought, motivation, action and deed should glorify Jesus. This is who we are striving to be as we are being made into the image of the glory of Christ.
We believe that God has revealed himself through creation and common grace, through his prophets and the sacred writings and most clearly through his Son, Jesus. We pursue truth because Truth has pursued us, truth came in the flesh, died in our place, conquered our enemies, secured our hope and enables our joy.
We believe that people thrive in relationship with God and in community and with each other. Biblical community is a radical call amid a culture of mere attendance and superficial involvement. This community is not merely a place to attend but a people to whom we belong. We do not boast in being perfect, in fact we are messy and broken, but because of the cross of Christ we extend patience, love, trust and hope to each other for our joy and for God’s glory.
We believe that just as Jesus was sent on mission to reconcile all things back to himself, we are also sent as missionaries to be agents of reconciliation. The God-man engaged the religious, the rebellious, the defiant, the broken, the rulers, and the powerless with truth and grace. So we go, sent by Jesus with the truth of his gospel, in the power of his Spirit, to see people come to know his grace in Tauranga.
We believe that the gospel has a deep, vital, and healthy impact on the arts, business, government, media, education and culture of any society. Therefore Redeemer Church seeks to engage with the culture of our city, create beauty and meaning in expression and vocation and contribute to the welfare of the city so Tauranga looks more like the city to come.