Statement of Belief
Eastern is an evangelical college, thoroughly committed to the infallibility of the Bible as the foundation for training and the empowering of the Spirit for service. We believe and affirm this Statement of Belief.
People were created by God in His image, intended to enjoy fellowship with Him. Human nature, however, became corrupted by sin. Every human being is a sinner, separated from God. The universal sinfulness and guilt of human nature, as a consequence of the fall, bring everyone under God’s wrath and judgment. No human being can be justified before God by works. There is only one means of salvation through Jesus Christ, by grace through faith, whereby human fellowship with God can be restored.
The First Person of the Godhead is God the Father. He is Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all who trust and receive Him by faith are born again by the Spirit, becoming members of His family. He is Spirit, to be worshipped in Spirit and in truth. He is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, sovereign and unchanging. He is love, good, merciful, just and faithful. His love is shown supremely in that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, for the redemption of humankind.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. Existing before all things, through Him all things were created. For the salvation of human beings, He became one: Word made flesh, image of the invisible God, fully God and fully man.
He lived a sinless life, revealing God and His kingdom to humankind, was crucified and died, giving His life as an atoning sacrifice for all people. This offering provides full, perfect and sufficient redemption, propitiation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. No other sacrifice for sin is necessary or effectual.
He rose again bodily from the dead and was thus declared with power to be the Son of God. He ascended into heaven exalted to the highest place. Lord of all, with a name above all names and supreme over all creation, He will one day return, visibly in power and great glory, to gather those who have received Him by faith for eternal life. He will judge those who are not redeemed by faith in Him.
By his victory over death, He defeated the devil, overcoming death itself, and freeing all held in bondage through fear of death. He is victorious over and delivers from all the powers of darkness.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son, the Spirit of truth, sent by the Father and the Son to be with believers forever. He reveals the truth about Jesus, convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment, giving new birth to those who repent of their sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit effects on-going spiritual changes in human lives, produces spiritual fruit in those who obey Him, and gives spiritual gifts for effective life and ministry. He is also the Spirit of mission, who leads and empowers believers to witness to Jesus Christ among people of all nations. His supreme task is to bring glory to Jesus.
The Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, as originally written, are Scripture, the infallible, inspired Word of God. They explain all that is necessary for salvation and are solely and absolutely authoritative in all matters of Christian faith, life and practice. They are to be accepted by faith. They are complete and must not be added to, subtracted from or changed because of tradition or supposed new revelation. Anything that is not in Scripture must not be believed as an article of faith or necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be interpreted with regard to their content and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Holy Spirit as He reveals their true meaning.
Jesus Christ is the only Saviour. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is a totally unmerited gift of God. No one can earn it. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for the salvation of those who believe. This salvation is received by genuine repentance of sin and by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It sets a person free from the power, penalty and, ultimately, the presence of sin. It involves being born again by the Holy Spirit, being adopted into the family of God, becoming a new creation, being counted righteous before God by faith, being rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of the Son, being redeemed, regenerated and sanctified, and being blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. It sets a person free to obey God and live a holy and upright life for His purposes.
The devil is a real and powerful created spiritual being who usurped God’s authority, sought to destroy Jesus and who seeks now to destroy all Christians, and defame Christ. He is the god of this world. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has stripped the devil of his power, but he continues his evil work, tempting, accusing and hindering the people of God, influencing individuals and world systems to reject the Gospel. At the final judgment, the devil and all evil spirits will be consigned to eternal torment. Christians are entitled to exercise the authority of Jesus Christ over the power of the devil.
The Church is made up of all true Christians in all denominations throughout the world. It is the Body of which Christ is the Head. The Church exists to worship and serve God, and make disciples of Jesus Christ in every nation by proclamation of the gospel in word and deed. The Church functions through local congregations of believers who gather for worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship, celebrating the Lord’s supper and mutual service. The members of the Church are to relate to one another in the love of the Lord, counting others before themselves. The Lord has given ministry gifts to his Church to prepare its members to serve Him and to build them up in unity to maturity.
God’s redemptive purpose will be consummated by the return of Christ, at which time He will raise the dead, judge all people according to deeds done in the body, and establish his glorious kingdom. Those who have not received Salvation offered by Christ will be separated permanently from God’s presence, but true followers of Christ will be raised to live with Him forever.
Jesus Christ ordained two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion).
Baptism symbolises the identification of the believer with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. It represents the burial of the old nature and the old way of life and the rising to new life in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. It indicates separation from the old life and entry into the new life. It symbolises the washing away of sins. While baptism is an integral part of Christian initiation, it is not essential to salvation.
b. The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is a sharing by believers of bread and wine in remembrance of Christ’s death, presence, victory and promised return in power. It bears witness to the new covenant between God and humanity, established by the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ, which brings forgiveness of sins and restores relationship with God.
Unity amongst believers is the will of God as testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ and evidence of the love of God. Followers of Christ are to have a Kingdom orientation, working together to proclaim the Kingdom of God and building one another up in love.
The Holy Spirit changes human lives, producing the fruit listed in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in the life of the believer. These develop increasingly, as the believer obeys the Lord, cooperates with the working of the Holy Spirit within and progresses towards Christian maturity.
The grace gifts of the Spirit include, but are not restricted to, the supernatural gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12: the word of wisdom and knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, different kinds of tongues and the interpretation of tongues: distributed by the Spirit as He wills. They are not earned or deserved and not essential for salvation. They are to be exercised in the church today in the context of Christian love for mutual spiritual growth and for the common good.