BELIEFS & VISION
In early 2005, Jon and Angela Colyer felt the leading of the Lord to leave their home in Canada and move to the West Midlands and plant a church. They moved to England at the end of that year and in January 2006, the dream became a reality and Gateway Christian Centre was born with the simple motto that ‘Passion Gathers Here’.
Gateway began meeting at the Oldbury Academy (formerly Langley High School) in Moat Road, Oldbury with just a handful of people and a vision: To open a gateway for the presence and power of God to touch people’s lives, and change the spiritual climate of the region.
We have a strong emphasis on worship, the Word and ministry to our children and young people. Today more than 500 people call Gateway home and we give God all the glory for the things He has done.
TENETS OF FAITH
These are the immutable doctrines of our faith – and as such, need to be taught, embraced, and affirmed. Other wide ranging points of doctrine are theologically open to intellectual dialogue and even differing views. But regarding these key foundational truths of the Christian faith, there is simply no room for negotiation.
“In the essentials, unity; in the nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” Rupertus Meldenius
1. THE SCRIPTURES
The Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, is alone the only infallible, inspired Word of God, and its authority is ultimate, final, and eternal. It cannot be added to subtracted from, or superseded in any regard. It has God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. The Bible is the source of all doctrine, instruction, correction, and reproof. It contains all that is needed for guidance in godliness and practical Christian conduct. Scripture is inerrant and the authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (See 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21.)
There is One and only One living and true God. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three distinct Persons – with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (See Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:18-20; John 1:1; John 14:26; John 17:3; Romans 3:30; James 2:19.)
3. GOD THE FATHER
God the Father reigns with care over His created universe and over all His creatures, including man, who is created in His image. God orchestrates human history according to the purposes of His grace. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. (See Ephesians 1:3-10; 1 John 3:1.)
4. GOD THE SON
Christ is the eternal Son of God. Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He honoured the divine law by His personal obedience and in His substitutionary death on the Cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was physically raised from the dead on the third day and ascended into Heaven, where He is seated at the Father’s right hand as the Head of the Church. (See John 1:1; Hebrews 1:2; Matthew 1:18; Hebrews 5:8; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 10:12; Ephesians 1:20,21.)
5. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and is fully divine. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement. He calls men to Christ and effects regeneration. He supernaturally produces Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows spiritual gifts by which believers serve God through His Church. The Holy Spirit seals believers unto the day of final redemption, and He empowers believers in worship, evangelism, and service. (See 2 Corinthians 3:17,18; John 16:8-14; Titus 3:5; Galatians 5:22,23; John 14:16-21; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 2 Corinthians 1:21,22; Ephesians 1:13,14; Acts 1:8.)
6. MAN, HIS FALL, AND HIS REDEMPTION
Man is a created being, made in the likeness and image of God. But through Adam’s transgression and fall, sin came into the world. Man thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death and all of its ramifications. Man’s wilful transgression brought about separation from God and put the entire human race in need of redemption. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was manifested to undo the works of the devil. He gave His life and shed His blood to redeem and restore man back to God. Because man is created in God’s image, every person of every race possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love (See Genesis 1:26-28; Romans 5:12-15; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22; James 3:9; Romans 3:10,23; Romans 5:14; 1 John 3:8.)
Man’s only hope of salvation is through the blood of Jesus Christ. Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the Law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God. Salvation is received through repentance by acknowledging Jesus as Lord and placing one’s faith in Christ’s redemptive work alone. There is salvation in no other name. Salvation is necessary to all men, and when it is experienced, produces eternal life. (See John 3:3-5; Ephesians 2:8-10; Acts 4:12; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 John 5:12.)
We believe salvation is a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation at Christ’s return. Although sanctification occurs instantly when a person is saved, it is also an ongoing process that occurs as a believer reckons himself dead to sin and alive to God, relies daily upon the power of the Holy Spirit, and submits himself to the control of the Holy Spirit. (See John 17:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:12-14; 1 Corinthians 1:30.)
9. THE CHURCH
The Church is the habitation of God through the Spirit on the earth. It is visibly experienced in a local congregation of believers who are related by faith and fellowship of the Gospel, whose lives and conduct are governed by the Word of God, who exercise the spiritual gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by grace, and who seek to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The local church is commissioned by Christ to evangelise the lost in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is where believers worship and where saints are perfected and matured. (See 1 Corinthians 1:2; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; James 5:14.)
10. WATER BAPTISM
Scripture commands all who repent and who receive Jesus Christ as Lord to be water-baptised. In this act, Christians declare to the world that they have died with Christ and have been raised with Him to walk in the newness of life. Water baptism is not a requirement for salvation, but it is a required part of embarking on a life of obedience for every Christian. (See Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; Acts 8:36-39.)
11. THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Scriptures established The Lord’s Supper as an ordinance to be celebrated until Jesus comes. The Lord’s Supper consists of the elements – bread and the fruit of the vine – which represent the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and serve as symbols that remind us of our everlasting covenant with Him. In addition, healing and restoration are released as believers receive the Communion elements and by faith appropriate the redemptive work of Christ those elements represent. (See Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19,20; John 6:48-51; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.)
12.THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a promise offered to all believers that is distinct from the new birth. With it comes power for life, power for service, and the bestowment of gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is evidenced by the physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance. (See Matthew 3:11; John 14:16; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:38,29; Acts 19:1-6.)
13. THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are supernatural endowments that equip believers, contribute to the edifying and building up of the Church, and demonstrate Christ’s power and character to the world. These gifts are operation in the Church today and will continue to operate until the end of the Church Age. (See Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 1:5-9; 1 Corinthians 12-14.)
Healing is the process of becoming sound or healthy again. Whether healing results from faith-filled prayer, medical intervention, natural restorative processes, or a combination of these; God is the source of all healing. God also determines the timing of healing. God heals in three different ways: instantly, gradually, and ultimately in the resurrection.
Healing is provided in the redemptive work of Christ and is available to every one who believes. The miracle working power of God is still operative today. Jesus’ scourging at the whipping post shortly before his crucifixion was the physical fulfilment of the prophecy that ‘by His stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5), thus including physical healing in the atonement and forever settling the issue of God’s will in the matter. (See Mark 16:18; James 5:14,15; 1 Peter 2:24; Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4,5.).
God is the Source of all blessings. All that we have, we ultimately owe to Him. God commands His people to be good stewards. Christians have a spiritual obligation to the entire world, a holy trusteeship in the Gospel, and a binding obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, finances and material possession as He so directs. (See Psalm 24:1; James 1:17; Matthew 25:21; 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Corinthians 9:6,7.)
16. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
The Bible teaches that God ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The family unit is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption (or connected through guardianship). Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a lifetime marital covenant. A Christian marriage is to operate with Christ at its centre, and for His glory. Both husband and wife are created in the image of God, and are thus equal to one another.
A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to his servant leadership and respect him in the same way the Church is willing to submit to the leadership of Christ.
Children are a blessing and a heritage from the Lord to be treasured. Parents are to nurture and raise their children according to the principles of Scripture. Parents are to both communicate and demonstrate to their children Gods patterns for life, marriage, stewardship, and faith. (See Matthew 19:5-6; Ephesians 5:21-32; Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Peter 3:1-9; Psalm 127:3,4; Deuteronomy 4:9,10; Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Joshua 1:8.)
17. THE GREAT COMMISSION
It is the duty and privilege of every believer and church to actively endeavour to make disciples of all nations. We are charged by Christ to constantly seek to win the lost through our verbal witness, undergirded by a Christian lifestyle and other methods that are in harmony with the Gospel of Christ. In accordance with the Great Commission, every church should prayerfully and financially be committed to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 1:8.)
18. LAST THINGS
In His own time and in His own way, God will bring this age to its appropriate conclusion. At the end of this age, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly. The dead will be raised, and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to hell, and the righteous will receive their reward and will dwell forever with the Lord. (See Matthew 16:27; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 22:12.)
Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the Cross. We believe in the return of the resurrected Christ for His saints, both those alive on the earth and those preceding them in death. Both the saved and the lost will ultimately be resurrected – those who are saved to the resurrection of life and those who are lost to eternal damnation and death. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; Revelation 20:6.)
20. HELL AND ETERNAL RETRIBUTION
The one who physically dies in his sin without accepting Christ is eternally lost in the lake of fire and therefore has no further opportunity of hearing the Gospel or of repenting. The lake of fire is literal. The terms ‘eternal’ and ‘everlasting’, used in describing the duration of the punishment of the damned in the lake of fire, carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in denoting the duration of joy and ecstasy of saints in the presence of God. (See Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 19:20)
21. THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
The Bible teaches that there will be a final judgement in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels and the beast and false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (See Revelation 20:6-15.)
Front Building, Kelvin Way, West Bromwich, B70 7JW
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