The following is a Statement of Faith and Practices subscribed to by members of Bethesda (Katong) Church
WHO BELIEVE THAT
- The original writings of the Old and New Testaments are infallible, and unique in their divine inspiration, authority and sufficiency.
- There is only one God, yet with three distinct persons, namely, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are co-equal and to whom equal honour is due.
- a) Jesus Christ is the only begotten and eternal Son of God.
b) He truly became man, being begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
c) His death was a sacrifice to God and a propitiation for the remission of sins.
d) He was raised from the dead in His physical body.
e) He ascended to the right-hand of God, and is now the all-sufficient High Priest of His people.
f) He will come again to receive His people unto Himself, and to set up His Kingdom.
- In consequence of the Fall, sin came in, and man became “lost” and at “enmity against God” and “without strength” to do the will of God.
- The Holy Spirit’s work is essential in regeneration and sanctification.
- a) The justification of the sinner before God is by faith alone.
b) Every justified one is also born of God.
c) Such new birth results in and is made evident by holiness of life and good works.
d) At death the spirit of man does not cease to exist or become unconscious.
e) The dead will be raised in their physical bodies either to life or to condemnation, and the blessedness of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be alike eternal.
f) The devil, also called satan, who deceives the whole world, is a person.
AND WHO PRACTISE
- a) The customary observance of the ordinance of the Believers’ Baptism by immersion on personal confession of faith.
b) The customary commemoration of the Lord’s death in the Breaking of Bread on the first day of the week.
- The reception at the Lord’s Table of all believers unless they are proved to be unsound in faith or to come within the disqualifying grounds given in the Scriptures.
- The conducting of meetings for :
a) Worship under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with opportunity for the exercise of all true gifts for edification, subject to the Lordship of Christ.
b) The preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- The recognition and the appointment of Elders who are male members of the Church fitted by God for spiritual leadership and for Episcopal and pastoral duties.
- The election and the appointment of Deacons who are members of the Church, and who possess qualifications for the office of Deacons in accordance with the Scriptures and who are responsible for all matters relating to finance, property, transport, personnel and the general material welfare of the Church.
STATEMENT OF CORE VALUES
- Love for God and People
We value love for God and people, expressed sincerely not only in word but also in deed. (John 3:13-18)
John 3:13-18 (NIV)
13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
- Biblical Worship and Teaching
We value corporate worship and biblical teaching as fundamental for the well-being of each believer and the body as a whole. (John 4:23-25 and 41)
John 4:23-25 (NIV)
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25John 4:41 (NIV)
41 And because of his words many more became believers.
- Integrity and Care
We value sincere personal relationships as an essential context in which fellowship and spiritual development take place (Acts 2:42-47)
Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
- Compassion for the Lost and Maximum Participation
We value evangelism and making disciples as a command given to the church in which each believer is to play a part (Matthew 28:18-20), and also transformation, not just information, as the basis of a successful ministry. (2 Corinthians 3:3 and 17-18)
2 Corinthians 3:3 (NIV)
3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
We value servanthood as essential for quality ministry. (Mark 10:43-45)
Mark 10:43-45 (NIV)
43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Accountability and Unity
We value accountability and unity in grace as the context in which God’s standards are to be taught. (Titus 2:11-15)
Titus 2:11-15 (NIV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
We value excellence in ministry service because it honors God and transforms believers to be more Christlike. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (NIV)
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.