SHARON GOSPEL CHAPEL OF EDMONTON
7540 - 106 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 4W2
Phone: (780) 439-5671
Statement of Faith of Sharon Gospel Chapel
We are in the process of elaborating on, and modifying, our statement of faith. Please feel free to examine our current rough draft, bearing in mind that the thoughts are initial and for discussion purposes only. Feel free to email any comments, suggestions and questions which you might have.
1. We believe in the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired by God, and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life.
2. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, Who was begotten of the Holy Ghost, and is true God and true man.
4. We believe that man was created in the image of God; that he sinned, and thereby incurred, not only physical death, but also Spiritual death which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and in the case of those who reach moral responsibility become sinners in thought, word and deed.
5. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all that believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed Blood.
6. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into Heaven, and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Advocate.
7. We believe in “that blessed hope,” the personal, premillennial and imminent return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
8. We believe that all who by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.
9. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost.
Importance of having your own detailed Statement of Faith
We all need our own in-depth scripturally-based statements of faith. The statement of faith of Sharon Gospel Chapel will help you develop and assess your own faith and determine if you would like to worship with us.
Statements of faith are usually very generic and may not differentiate Christian from non-Christian beliefs. Knowledge about what and why we believe is essential since they that worship God must "worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). There can be no faith unless there is a scriptural basis for the faith "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom 10:17).
A personal statement of faith must be detailed enough to be meaningful. For example, to say you believe in God could mean that you believe in a wooden idol or some other figment of your imagination. We must know the true God who is found in Scripture, for it is the lack of understanding of God which results in humans going astray and false religions being formed.
As an example, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) and Jehovah Witnesses put forward two completely different concepts of God. Both of these ‘religions’ possess elements of truth which are presented in such a way so as to infer that they have traditional beliefs. The following information, from their official sites, should encourage you to develop your own detailed personal statement of faith. A superficial knowledge of what we believe, or a superficial statement of faith, is no safeguard against error and no guarantee that we are worshiping the true God.
According to Mormonism1 "God is your Father in Heaven (Matthew 6:9). We call God Heavenly Father because He is the Father of our spirits and we are created in His image (Genesis 1:27)."..... "Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Under the direction of your Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created the earth (John 1:10; Hebrews 1:1–2). Through His Resurrection, Jesus Christ overcame death for you."..... "He saves you from your sins as you sincerely repent and follow Him. (1 Peter 2:21)".... "The special mission of the Holy Ghost is to testify of the Father and the Son, to reveal the truth, to comfort you, and to sanctify you. He is a divine guide and teacher—a testifier—bearing witness of all truth. Jesus Christ said that the Holy Ghost “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).”
A closer look at the Mormon concept of God demonstrates the differences between Mormonism and traditional Christianity and indicates some of the information which needs to be included in a statement of faith. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica2 “Mormon doctrine diverges from the orthodoxy of established Christianity, particularly in its polytheism, in affirming that God has evolved from man and that men might evolve into gods, that the Persons of the Trinity are distinct beings, and that human souls have preexisted”.... “Justification is by faith and obedience to the ordinances of the church”. Berean Christian Ministries3 lists some of the attributes of God as taught by the Mormon Church: The Father - started as a mortal man, one of many gods, has a body of flesh and bones, is married; Jesus Christ - God’s first spirit child (didn’t always exist), is the Spirit brother of Lucifer, has a literal father the same as we do, is a son of God - one of many; Man - can become God, spending eternity with God is earned, and spirit is procreated.
According to the Jehovah Witnesses website4 JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES believe in Almighty God, Jehovah, Creator of the heavens and the earth. .......All mankind inherited imperfection from Adam and Eve and, hence, are sinners. (Romans 5:12) The Bible tells us: "The wages sin pays is death. ..... Then how can they live again to share in the earthly blessings? Only through the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus, for he said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life.
On the basis of the above it is difficult to differentiate between the beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses and true Christian beliefs. However if we truly understand who Christ is we will not be attracted to Jehovah’s Witness doctrine which, as ascertained from the BBC website5, portrays God as a single being, Jesus Christ as a lesser created being, Jesus Christ as having a beginning and thus who cannot be eternal, Christ as someone who never thought of himself as God or equal to God, Jesus Christ as having a spiritual rather than bodily resurrection, and the Holy Spirit as Gods active force and thus not part of the Trinity.
1. www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/ (Sections of God is your loving heavenly father, Jesus Christ, and Gift of the Holy Ghost) linked to the official site of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints www.lds.org. Accessed July 2008.
2. Encyclopedia Britannica. 1985. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. London. 8:328.
3. http://www.frontiernet.net/~bcmmin/index.shtml Berean Christian Ministries. Accessed June 2010.
4. www.watchtower.org/ (Section Beliefs > Jehovahs Witnesses What do they believe?). Accessed July 2008.
5. www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/witnesses/beliefs/beliefs.shtml Accessed July 2008.