DETAILED STATEMENT OF FAITH*
1. The True God
We worship one God who exists in three persons from eternity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. While fully having the same unique divine nature, the three persons remain distinct and have separate roles appropriate to them. The Father conceives divine projects and performs his works for creation by the mediation of the Son. The Father and the Son are present in the world and act there by the Spirit.
We believe that God is absolute, immutable, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, all- wise, holy, just and good. He is spirit. He is truth. He is love. He is the Creator of all things, and all things hold by him and in him; He is sovereign over all creation. To him are owed to the highest degree, trust, obedience, gratitude, love and praise.
2. The Bible
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and it has as such a full and complete authority. It is the only infallible rule of faith and life. The revelation it gives us cannot be modified or supplemented by any other.
We believe the Holy Spirit sovereignly presided over the origin and formation of the sixty- six books of the Bible. We believe that he himself assured its perfect teaching and entire truth in every detail. Through the plenary inspiration they received, the human authors of the Bible have given us the Word of God. Without ceasing to use human words in a historical context, the Sacred Scripture was written without error in the original manuscripts, expressing with perfect fidelity what God wanted to say.
We believe that the Bible is fully sufficient to reveal what we need to know in order to attain salvation, to live according to God and find our joy in him.
We believe that the purpose of the interpretation of Scripture is to determine the meaning and the message intended by its authors. The Bible was written in human language and must be interpreted according to the normal conventions of language and respect for the thematic diversity and literature it contains. Each text should be interpreted in accordance with the rest of Scripture.
3. Creation & Man
We believe that God, in his perfect goodness freely created the universe and everything in it, things visible and invisible. We believe that creation was originally entirely good, and that God still has for it a project of justice and love.
We believe that God created man and woman in his image, as material and spiritual beings. He calls all people to live according to his will. They will have to answer personally for their actions on the day fixed for the judgement.
4. The break with God and its consequences
We believe that, created morally right and good, our first parents consciously disobeyed their Creator. They lost their initial condition, and the whole of creation suffers the consequences of their sin.
We believe that, since then, all men, except Jesus Christ, are in their natural condition, separated from God, inclined to evil, enslaved to sin and under the dominion of Satan. They transgress the laws of God and remain for that reason under the threat of eternal perdition.
We believe, however, that God in his goodness gives men access to his grace. Every human being is called to respond to this offer during his lifetime, according to the light available to him, which determines his eternal destiny.
5. Jesus Christ and his work
We believe that Jesus Christ is the only and eternal Son of God and that he became man for our salvation. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Mary, he is both truly man and truly God. He is the Messiah promised by the prophets. Though he voluntarily humbled himself, the Son of God manifested complete perfection as regards truth and goodness.
Tempted like us in all things, he remained perfectly holy. Having received the Holy Spirit for his ministry, he travelled through Israel to teach and to perform many miracles that attest the divine origin of his mission. In his life as in his death, he fully fulfilled the will of God, expressed his mind and demonstrated the immensity of his love.
We believe that Jesus Christ willingly suffered and died on the cross. To satisfy God’s justice, he offered his life as an atoning sacrifice for sinners and suffered for them the punishment they deserved.
We believe that Jesus Christ was bodily resurrected and was raised to heaven. He sits at the Father’s right hand and shares his glory. He intercedes with him for his own; He will come to take them with him to establish the kingdom of God in all his glory. He is the only mediator between God and men. He shall judge the living and the dead. He is Saviour and Lord.
6. Salvation through Jesus Christ
We believe that it is by grace that men may be saved, through faith. Salvation is fully granted to any person who, in the light of the Gospel and by the action of the Holy Spirit, puts his trust in God, repents of his sins and calls upon him for the atoning work accomplished at the cross. United with Christ and thereby receiving the benefits of his death and resurrection, the sinner is granted forgiveness for his sins, obtains the same rights as if he had obeyed the law of God and enjoys God’s favour. He is baptized in the Spirit, who gives him new birth and eternal life, and joins him to the people of God. Without attaining perfection on earth, he engages in a life of piety, obedience to God, witness to the Gospel and service to the glory of God, demonstrating by his actions the reality of his faith and repentance.
We believe that, by his death, Jesus Christ bore our sufferings and diseases and acquired the redemption of our body. Therefore, we will experience upon his return full and complete healing. At the present time, God may grant if it pleases him special healing in anticipation of the final stage of redemption. Otherwise, it behoves the Christian to glorify him in sickness, suffering or death.
7. The Holy Spirit and his action in the Christian life
We believe that the person of the Holy Spirit is fully divine and one with the Father and the Son. He is given to every believer and comes to dwell in him when by faith he is united to Christ. His mission is to apply to the believer the benefits of Christ’s work of salvation. He generally works through the Scriptures, with which He cannot be in conflict. He works in the believer’s heart for him to understand the Scriptures, to receive them with faith and submit to them. He produces fruit in the believer; He enables him to progress in the Christian life and persevere to the end. Relying on his work in him, the Christian tries to live his life according to God’s will. Under his action, and equipped by him with his gifts, every Christian is called to give themselves in service to others in the Church and in the world according to God’s particular purpose for him. The Spirit alone can insure the believer’s communion with his God and with his brethren.
8. The Church
We believe that God wanted to create for himself a new humanity, called to worship him, and including all who have been regenerated and reconciled to him through Christ. To this end, He founded the Church on the day of Pentecost, in fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham. The Church is the community of all those who, out of all nations, put their faith in Jesus Christ, adhering to the apostles’ teaching. The Holy Spirit unites these believers to Christ and to each other to form as it were one body.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and sole head of the Church. He feeds the Church by his Word, he leads it by his Spirit and calls forth various ministries to carry out its mission. He will make the church appear in its fullness and its final perfection at the renewal of all things. He currently gives the Church the mandate to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and make disciples among them.
We believe the local church is called to manifest, in its own way, the reality of the Body of Christ. It is a community of believers born of the Spirit, who, recognizing their weaknesses, want to live to the glory of God. It is the duty of every local church and of every Christian to preserve the unity that the Spirit produces among true believers, for the honour of their Lord.
9. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that Jesus Christ commanded his church to practice baptism and holy communion. Local churches ensure that their meaning is properly understood and that they are practised in a dignified way…
We believe that baptism is an act by which the believer publicly demonstrates his personal faith in Jesus Christ. ** By this symbol of purification for sins, the believer recognizes his need for God’s forgiveness, and expresses his union with Christ who gives him the benefit of his divine grace. By this act the believer expresses his commitment to his Saviour and to his brethren.
We believe that the Lord’s Supper commemorates and proclaims the atoning death of Jesus Christ. We believe that the bread and wine are respectively the symbols of the body and blood offered by our Saviour on the cross. By participating in holy communion, the redeemed testify that they are one with Jesus Christ and in fellowship with each other, in the joyful expectation of his glorious return.
10. Living according to the will of God
We believe that the Christian is called to lead his life and perform every act in love for God and neighbour, in obedience to Scripture and for the glory of God. He does so as he relies on the work of the Spirit within him. Living according to God’s divine will and seeking what is good in all things are the expression of the believer’s appreciation for the salvation that God has granted him by grace, by virtue of the work of Christ. Obedience to God comes from confidence in him. Always less than perfect, the believer remains dependent upon the forgiveness of God throughout his life.
We believe that God commands us to respect the human person from conception until death, and to preserve the dignity of every human being.
We believe that God requires the preservation of the integrity of the family unit. Marriage, the union of a man and a woman, is, from the beginning of mankind, a divine institution. It includes a joint commitment, endorsed by society, to live a life together in mutual love and fidelity for as long as they both remain alive. God calls us to watch over the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those family members for whom we have a responsibility.
We believe that God commands us to respect other people’s property and to be trustworthy in our speech. He calls us to promote social justice and care for his creation. Each person is called to serve him in their work according to their abilities and their resources, while setting aside time for personal piety and church life.
Political authority is a divine institution. The Christian must submit to those who exercise it, must pray for them, while reserving absolute allegiance for God alone.
11. The resurrection, the final judgement and eternity
We believe that all the dead will rise, the righteous and the unrighteous. We believe in the final judgement by which God will manifest his perfect justice by rewarding each according to his works. Those who have persevered in disbelief will suffer, in a state of conscious existence, the eternal punishment they have deserved. In accordance with the grace they have received by faith, the redeemed will enjoy eternal glory in the presence of their Saviour.
* This is the statement of faith of the French Evangelical Network “Réseau FEF” adopted January 29, 2011. Durance International Church is a member of this Network.
** Christians may become members of our Church while coming from protestant traditions that practice child baptism if they accept that our Church clearly teaches Believers’ baptism and that we will not baptise their young children. All new members will give a short testimony of conversion.