Doctrinal Basis

THE DOCTRINAL BASIS OF THE AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
(ASSEMBLIES OF GOD IN AUSTRALIA)

(as in the United Constitution, accepted by the National Conference)

Preamble
The Holy Scriptures, known as the Bible, is the inspired Word of God and our all sufficient rule for faith and practice. These articles of faith of the Assemblies of God in Australia, grounded in these scriptures, are given as a basis for belief, fellowship and ministry “that we all preach the same thing” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Let it be remembered, however, that this is not given as a summary of the complete revelation of biblical truth, only that it covers our present needs as to these fundamental doctrines.

4.1 The Eternal Godhead
We believe in the unity of the true and living God who is the eternal, self-existent one, who has revealed himself as one being in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and who is the Creator and preserver of things visible and invisible (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 86:9-10; Isaiah 43:10-11; Matthew 28.19, Mark 12:29; John 1:1-3).

4.2 The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the second person of the triune Godhead, who was and is the eternal Son of God; that he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary.
We believe in his sinless life, miraculous ministry, substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, glorious ascension, and abiding intercession (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 24:39; Acts 1:9; 2:22; 10:38; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 4:8-10; Hebrews 7:25-26; 9:12; 1 Peter 2:22).

4.3 The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the triune Godhead, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is ever present and active in the work of convicting and regenerating the sinner, and sanctifying and guiding the believer into all truth (John 14:26; 16:8-11; Romans 8:14; 1 Peter 1:2).

4.4 The Holy Scriptures
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, namely the Old and New Testaments in their original writings. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is infallible, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us all in all things necessary to our salvation, and is absolutely supreme and sufficient in authority in all matters of faith and conduct. The Bible does not simply contain the Word of God, but is, in reality, the complete revelation and very Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith (Matthew 5:17-18; 24:35; John 4:39; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).

4.5 The Devil
We believe in the personality of the devil, who, by his influence, brought about the downfall of man, and now seeks to destroy the faith of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 3:1-15; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; John 13:2; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8).

4.6 The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created by God by specific immediate act and in his image and likeness, morally upright and perfect, but fell by voluntary transgression.
Consequently, all men are separated from original righteousness, being depraved and without spiritual life (Genesis 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21).

4.7 The Atonement
We believe that God’s answer to man’s sinful state is in the death of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross, whose sufferings and shed blood have made full atonement for the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and that there is no other ground for salvation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:25-26; 1 Peter 1:19-20).

4.8 Salvation of Man
We believe that salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This experience is also known as the new birth and is an instantaneous and complete operation of the Holy Spirit whereby the believing sinner is regenerated, justified, and adopted into the family of God and becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus and heir of eternal life (Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 5:1).

4.9 The Church
We believe that the church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of its great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the general assembly and church of the first-born whose names are written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:22; Hebrews 12:23).

4.10 Water Baptism
We believe that baptism, by single immersion, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is enjoined on all who have repented and have believed in Christ as Saviour and Lord, and that it is symbolic of our identification with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47-48; 2:38-39; Romans 6:4-5; Colossians 2:12).

4.11 The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements of bread and the fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4); a memorial of his sufferings and death (1 Corinthians 11:26); and a prophecy of his second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “until He comes” (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:1520; Acts 20:7).

4.12 Sanctification
We believe that sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God. We believe it is the glorious provision for every believer in Christ to be made pure in heart and wholly sanctified, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, by the blood of Jesus and the Word of God (John 17:15-19; Acts 15:8-9; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23-24; Hebrews 2:11; 10:16-19).

4.13 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
We believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the bestowing of the believer with power to be an effective witness for Christ. This experience is distinct from, and subsequent to, the new birth; is received by faith, and is accompanied by the manifestation of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, as the initial evidence (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4; 8:15-19; 11:14-17; 19:1-7).

4.14 Gifts
We believe in the present day operation of the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. We also believe in the ministry gifts of Christ, as recorded in Ephesians 4:11-13.

4.15 Divine Healing
In accordance with the teachings of the scriptures, we trust our heavenly Father to protect and heal our bodies from sickness and disease. We believe that divine healing for the body, as with all redemptive blessings of God, has been provided for us by the atoning death and victorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; it is the privilege of all believers and it is appropriated by faith in our heavenly Father’s unfailing promises (Exodus 15:26; Psalms 103:3; Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; 1 Peter 2:24; James 5:14-15).

4.16 The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the premillennial, imminent and personal return of our Lord Jesus Christ to gather his people to himself. Having this glorious hope and earnest expectation, we purify ourselves, even as he is pure, so that we may be ready to meet him when he comes. (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Titus 2:13; James 5:7-8; 1 John 2:28; 3:2-3).

4.17 The Millennium
We believe in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to set up his millennial reign on this earth (Psalm 11; 96:10-13; Daniel 7.22; Zechariah 14:5; Revelation 5:9-10; 20:1-10).

4.18 The Punishment of the Wicked
We believe in the everlasting punishment of the wicked (in the sense of eternal torment) who wilfully reject and despise the love of God manifested in the great sacrifice of his only Son on the cross for their salvation (Matthew 25:46; 13:49-50; Luke 12:47-48; Romans 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Revelation 20:11-15).
We believe that the devil and his angels and whoever is not found written in the book of life shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15).

4.19 The New Heavens and the New Earth
“We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation chapters 21-22).

4.20 Creation
We believe that the heavens and earth and all original life forms, including humanity, were made by the specific immediate creative acts of God as described in the account of origins presented in Genesis, and that all biological changes which have occurred since creation are limited to variation within each species.