Our life in Christ begins with a decision in the heart to accept Him as our Lord and Saviour. This decision is the starting point for a glorious journey of discovery and relationship as we migrate towards our ultimate destiny and purpose. A key characteristic of life in Christ is this passion for discovery, (Prov. 25:2) and a refusal to settle until we have accomplished all, that God has called us to do (Phil. 3:12-15).
In keeping with this the following section details a number of core elements of the faith and the journey upon which you have just embarked. It is presented in the form of questions and answers and while these can be read simply for information we encourage you not to stop there. Let this be the beginning of your quest. As you read the questions and answers let them speak to you about the nature and character of Christ. Ponder the majesty of His Word, His mercy through salvation and His amazing omnipotence in creation.
This section is by no means comprehensive and can in no way replace systematic study of the Word of God. It simply seeks to provide you with a starting point and a helping hand as you begin your journey. Enjoy every moment of it!
Understanding the Faith – Responses to some frequently asked questions:
Q1: What is Salvation?
Salvation is God’s plan for the redemption of mankind. Genesis, the first book of the Bible, gives an account of creation, the first man (Adam) and his early existence in a perfect environment in close relationship with God. This relationship was broken when Adam and his wife Eve disobeyed the commandment of God. Through this act sin entered the world and Satan, the devil, gained dominion over the earth (Read Genesis Chaps 1-3).
God had previously warned Adam that the consequence of disobedience would be death, (Gen. 1:15-17) and so man became subject to death. Because we are all descendants of Adam and Eve we are all born into the world under the curse of sin and death (Rom. 5:12-14). This is the reason why the world is in such a state of decay. Mankind has strayed from God’s perfect standard established and described in the early chapters of Genesis.
God, however, did not leave man without hope. He developed a plan for mankind’s redemption. While this plan would provide a way of escape from the curse, it must be consistent with God’s character as a God of justice and righteousness. This meant that if mankind’s sin was to be forgiven someone else had to pay the penalty for its disobedience. Enter JESUS CHRIST! God (the Father) sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to die for man’s sin (John 3:16,17). Through Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection, the curse of sin (and Death) is lifted from man and he inherits the righteousness (or righteous standing before God) that comes from Jesus. If this seems like an unfair exchange, it is! Man has done nothing to deserve this treatment. It is a gift of God. The Bible calls it GRACE, which in its simplest definition is God’s unmerited favour (Rom. 5:15-21). This in essence is salvation. Jesus died so that all mankind could be free from the curse of sin, which resulted from the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
On an individual basis salvation must be appropriated or accepted. Like any other gift, we cannot enjoy its benefits unless we personally agree to accept it. We must accept Jesus as our personal saviour, believing that he died for us specifically, that he was resurrected and returned to Heaven, to His Father, where he is alive at this very moment interceding on our behalf (Acts 16:30,31;Heb7:25;10:12). We must commit to serving Him as our Lord and being obedient to His commandments, (John 14:21). This is not an option!
Salvation is a journey that begins with the New Birth. It is not a final destination. When we accept Christ as our saviour (the New Birth), our spiritual relationship with God is restored. We are positionally transferred from the oppression of the kingdom of darkness (Satan’s domain) into the divine order of the Kingdom of God (Col. 1:13-NIV). From that instant we start a journey, which will end with us becoming like Christ.
For each believer, the Soul (comprising mind, will and emotions) is being reformed in accordance with God’s standards. The believer is on a journey towards perfection (1 John 3:2). At the end of the age, when Jesus Christ returns to physically establish His Kingship on earth, our bodies will be redeemed. At that time we will receive resurrected immortal bodies (1 Thess 4:15-17;1 Cor 15:35-58). This whole process constitutes the package that we call salvation. It is a journey, not a final destination. Our responsibility therefore is to keep moving on to the next level in God as we journey towards immortality (Prov.4:18).
Q2: Does membership of a Church guarantees me salvation?
Based upon the Biblical definition of salvation as outlined above, membership in a church community or even a religious denomination does not determine one’s status before God. The Bible makes it clear that the acceptance of Jesus’ as our personal Lord and saviour is the only pathway to salvation (Acts 16:30, 31; 4:12; John 14:6)
Q3: How do we know that the Bible is the Word of God?
The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible God has revealed Himself and His will for mankind. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2Tim 3:16).
Some facts about the Bible:
It is God’s direct speaking to man
It was written over a period of some 1800 years.
There are over 40 different authors used by God to write the various books.
They wrote along a consistent theme: Creation, The Fall of Man, the Redemption story, and God – His nature and His character.
It has been translated into over 1000 languages and is the most widely read book in human history.
It is a book of history, philosophy, poetry and prophecy.
No other book can satisfy the longing heart of man like the Bible does. It is a life-giving book. It has changed lives and made a great impact on the entire world.
It condemns evil without any compromise, because God hates evil and injustice.
It reveals God’s promises and His will for us. All of the promises of the Bible do come to pass in the lives of those who meet the conditions.
Many of the Bible’s prophecies, written thousands of years ago, have been fulfilled.
The God revealed in the Bible is a miracle-working God. Millions of people have been healed of diseases and saved from sin by trusting the God of the Bible. Unfortunately, many have been condemned by refusing to obey Him.
Jesus believed in the Scriptures. He quoted the Old Testament seventy-eight times. His disciples quoted the Old Testament more than two hundred times. Many Old Testament predictions were also fulfilled in the New Testament.
No scientist, historian or geologist has ever conclusively proved the Bible to be wrong about anything.
Secular history supports the accuracy of the Bible. For example early historians like Josephus and Seutonius-Jerome confirm many of the events recorded in the New Testament.
We do not need the original manuscripts of the Bible to prove to us that it is true, because God has proved that His Word is true in our lives many times. He has answered our prayers so consistently that we cannot reasonably doubt His truth. He has healed, supplied our needs and saved our souls in accordance with His Word. The God of the Bible is FAITHFUL and TRUE. He can be fully trusted. Read Psalm 119.
Q4: What is faith? How do I exercise faith? How do I build up my faith?
Faith is the single most important quality required by the believer. The Bible gives us a definition of faith: “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.)” Heb 11:1(Amplified).
Faith is an absolute necessity for Christians. It is the basis of our salvation. We must believe in our hearts that God is real, that Jesus really died for us, that He was resurrected and that salvation is real (John 1:12;Rom 1:16-17;Rom10:9-10).
The Word of God states:
We are justified by faith – Rom 5:1
We are God’s children by faith – Gal 3:26
We are kept by the power of faith – 1 Peter 1:5;1; 1Cor. 15:1-4
We exercise faith by believing God’s Word and acting upon it even when the natural evidence is contrary.
Our faith increases when we:
Consistently study and apply the Word of God, Rom 10:17 – the Bible is the foundation for our faith. To increase in faith we must meditate on the Word and believe in it.
Obey the Word, Luke 11:28 – it is obedience that releases the power and the blessings in the Word of God.
Obey the Holy Spirit, John 16:12-14 – the Holy Spirit is our teacher, our instructor and our guide. He will teach us new things and take us into the deeper things of the faith.
Seek out accurate, solid teaching of the Word. Use discernment – we must accept teaching that builds faith rather than destroys it. Testimonies of victories and overcoming in the face of trials and obstacles or difficult circumstances strengthen our faith.
Put our faith in God through Jesus Christ, Ps 20:7 – we must learn to trust God more than we trust people. People will fail us but God will never let us down.
Finally, blind faith is dangerous. We must keep our spiritual eyes open and our spiritual ears tuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Read Psalms 18 and 27.
Q5: What do we mean when we say ‘Jesus is Lord’?
When we say ‘Jesus is Lord’ we mean that we have given Jesus Christ absolute control over every aspect of our lives. It is recognition that through His death and resurrection Jesus has purchased the life of each person who has accepted the gift of salvation. He has redeemed us from the curse of sin and death and that gives Him the right to exercise Lordship over us. It means we must obey His commands and live our lives in a way that would please Him and glorify Him, (1 Cor.6:19,20; John 14:21).
Q6: Do I need to be baptized?
The original Greek word translated as “baptize” means to immerse, to dip, to submerge or to bury in another substance. Therefore baptism involves complete submersion in the water not simply sprinkling with it.
Water baptism is an act of obedience to the Word of God, which symbolizes the death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is an outward sign of an inward, spiritual transformation that, by faith, has occurred in the heart of the believer, (Matt 3:15;1 Pet 2:24;3:21;Gal 3:27;Col 2:12-13).
All believers who have given their lives to the Lord Jesus are expected to follow this commandment after their conversion. It is a sign of surrendering, dying, and being resurrected with Christ. It is not for non-Christians, but only for those who believe and are willing to serve and walk with the Lord – those who have faith and have repented of their previous life, (Matt 28:19;Acts 10:47;Rom 6:3-5;Acts 8:12; 8:38;9:18;22:16;16:33).
Baptism does not remit sin. One is not saved by being baptized but by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. However it is a very meaningful and life-changing experience. It can produce a supernatural experience and a deeper walk with the Lord. Baptism must not be a ritual but a spiritual experience – a new phase in our Christian life signalling a new level of commitment (Mark 16:15-16).
There is not a single scripture in the whole Bible that supports infant baptism – the baptism of babies and young children. Faith and repentance are two requirements for baptism which infants are not old enough to understand.
How important is Baptism?
It was important enough that Jesus himself was baptized (Mark 1:9-11;Matt 3:13-17).
It was important enough that it was practiced in His ministry (John 4:1).
It was important enough that Jesus commanded that, it be carried out by all who believed in Him (Matt 28:16-20;Mark 16:16).
It was important enough that the earlier disciples of Jesus baptized their new converts as soon as they gave their lives to Christ. It did not matter whether it was in the desert, in prison or at night. (Acts 8:12,38; 9:18; 10:47).
It was important enough that when the jailer got saved at midnight, Paul and Silas, though in pain and behind bars, had to baptize him and his household. It could not wait.
Q7: What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Every believer in Christ has the Holy Spirit deposited on the inside of him. It is the Spirit of God who brings people to Jesus Christ. It is through the power of the Spirit that we accept and work for Christ (John 3:3-8;Rom 8:9-10;Gal 4:6) but baptism with the Holy Spirit is a different experience from salvation (Read John 14:16,17;Luke 24:49;Acts 2:1-39).
It was on the day of Pentecost when the disciples assembled in a room in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was first received. Baptism with the Holy Spirit is available for all believers (Acts 2:38,39.) However it is possible to be spiritually birthed in Christ and not be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
In the salvation experience there is an impartation of new spiritual life, but in the baptism of the Holy Spirit there is an impartation of new spiritual power.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit means to be baptized into power to serve (Acts 1:5,8;Luke 24:49):
It equips the believer to do the work of God.
It helps to make God’s Word real.
It helps to bring about a radical transformation in the believer’s life.
It provides for an impartation of supernatural power.
It opens doors to the Gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
It brings about a special kind of boldness. This helps us in our prayer life, as well as in witnessing to others, Acts 4:29,31,33.
Q8: What is the Body of Christ?
This is a descriptive term used in relation to the Church of Jesus Christ in the earth. When Jesus was on earth He declared that He would build His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew16:18).
The Greek word for Church is “ekklesia” which literally translates as ‘called out ones’. The implication is that the Church is comprised of persons who have responded positively to the call of the Lord. Note that it is Jesus Himself who is doing the building and we have already said that it is being done through the ministry of the Holy Sprit and in His power.
Jesus Christ is described as the Head and the Church is collectively referred to as the Body (Ephesians 1:22,23; 1 Corinthians 12:27). The symbolism is very appropriate. Just as the various parts of the human body take directions from the head, so too the Church as the body of Christ must be directed by Jesus (its Head), executing His commands and representing Him in the earth.
To successfully carry out the mandate given to it by the Lord, the individual members of the Body of Christ must fulfil the missions assigned to them. Apostle Paul stresses the importance of each member playing the role assigned to him by the Lord so that His ultimate purpose may be fulfilled (Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31). In this context the building of relationships among believers both within the assembly and across the Church is of vital importance (1 John 3:10-23).
Q9: What is ‘Lifestyle Christianity’?
‘Lifestyle Christianity’ refers to the practical application of the doctrines and teachings of the bible to our daily lives.
It is based on our understanding that we have given our total lives to the Lord. There is really no separation between the secular or “worldly” and the spiritual or “religious” sides of our lives. No such distinction can be validated in the Word of God. Every aspect of our activity and existence on earth must come under the government and the jurisdiction of the principles of the Kingdom of God. This was so in the case of Jesus, our primary role model.
If a man’s heart is aligned to God’s Word and he is fully committed to the Lord, every aspect of his life would fall in line. The Lord’s priorities would become his priorities. Any other approach would place him in danger of becoming like the Pharisees who focused on ritual, form and a false sense of righteousness but had rotten hearts. They drew Jesus’ most hostile criticisms (Matthew 3:7; Matthew 23:27-36).
Q10: Why is the Reformation of the Church necessary?
Reformation is necessary simply because if the global Church is permitted to remain in its current state of extreme materialism, lethargy, selfish demands for personal blessing, warped principles and political and cultural corruption, it will never fulfil its mandate from the Lord.
The Church at the end of the age is called to execute judgment on the powers of darkness (Ps 149:5-9). It has been mandated to come to a place of maturity and spiritual development so that it can fulfill the prophetic purpose of God as indicated in the Word.
It is only then that the Lord will return to physically establish His Kingdom on earth (Hebrews 10:12,13).
The Church in scripture that accomplishes this mission is a strong, unified, fearsome, military unit (Joel 2:1-11; Psalms 48:1-8,12-14). It is well armed (Ephesians 6:10-18). It is attractive to the nations as a source of light in a very dark world; as the recipient of a great wealth transfer; as an object of beauty; as the only possible hope in a world that has lost its way (Isaiah 60:1-12).
Sadly the general condition of the Church in the earth today is very deficient compared with the Biblical template. There is disunity, deception and much doctrinal error. It is for this reason that Jesus Christ Himself as Head and builder of His Church has initiated a reformation process directing His Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors and Evangelists (Ephesians 4-16). The end result of this process will be a Church that is victorious and all conquering.
We must be thankful that we have been called by the Lord to play a very active role in the reformation process.
Q11: What is the role of an Apostolic Community?
Two characteristics of apostolic ministry outlined by the Apostle Paul are:
(a) Apostles, together with Prophets, are foundation laying ministries in the building process (1 Corinthians 3:10; Ephesians 2:20), and
(b) Wisdom is a key weapon in the apostle’s arsenal. The apostle is described as a ‘wise master builder’ (1 Corinthians 3: 10) – the Greek word (Architekton) where we get the English word Architect – implies both design and construction capability. This points to capacity not only to discern the accuracy of the form of the purpose of God, but also the capacity and ability to actually cause it to come to pass.
In this time of reformation the apostolic community has a focused role in leading the process.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 provides a good type or pattern for apostolic ministry in a time of reformation. Moses is called by the Lord to function, effectively, as an Apostle to the children of Israel. He is transmitting to them the Lord’s requirements of them if they are to live successful lives pleasing to the Him and to pass these Godly values to the next generation.
Teach God’s laws to their children (v7).
This speaks of a rich community life and a commitment to continuity of the values and the Godly principles guiding their lives.
Bind God’s laws on their hands (v8)
This implies a commitment to act in a way consistent with the values. There is no room for passivity or for hypocrisy.
Be as frontlets between their eyes (v8).
This speaks of the mentality that must be developed among the people. There must be a certain focused attention given to the things of the Lord.
Write the laws on the doorposts and gates. (v9)
The Gates symbolize the outer dimensions of people’s lives and the points of access to their inner lives. It is important that these strategic points be ‘policed’ by Kingdom values and laws.
The Lord will not leave His people without the guidance of His Word. Being a good leader, He provides us with instructions to follow.
These are guidelines given to us so that we can build lives that are pleasing to Him. (Ex 19:6; 1 Pet 2:5). Our built up lives must demonstrate:
A break in the division between the spiritual and the secular.
A sense of empowerment reflecting the power of presentation and the power of representation given to us by the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
A sense of personal rulership operating in divine order, and
Recognition that spiritual law dictates the operations of natural life.
Apostolic ministry in this time of reformation is crafting a people for the Lord that live in this reality of abundant life. This is the process described in Ephesians 4:12 & 13 – activating the people into their purpose so that they can withstand attacks of deception and become fully mature in Christ
Q12: What is LRC?
Life Reformation Centre is an Apostolic Kingdom Community that is committed to the application of the gospel of the Kingdom of God in our lives. We are part of a global network of Local churches designated as Kingdom Community Network (KCN) which is one of the sectors of the Congress WBN.
We have embraced the most modern system of networking of churches under a primary apostolic grace, which allows the flow of life and government based on relationship. This system is far superior and open to greater levels of development than the traditionally closed and limiting denominational system of churches. The denomination system has been limiting to both the ministers and believers and is oppositional to the development of a united body of Christ in the earth. We are currently networking with many churches in East Africa and other nations in all 5 continents of the earth
Q13: What is Congress WBN?
“Congress WBN Initiatives” compose of 8 global sectors. Each sector is a Global network, but all of them function in harmony to create a synergy in the noble course of the advancing the Kingdom of God. www.congresswbn.org.