THE MISSION OF ESPOON KOTIKIRKKO CHURCH
To spread and proclaim a growing, honest and passionate relationship between Christ and people, based on the witness of Scripture, declared for the glory of God, for our own growing joy, and the benefit of every nation. (Fil. 1:20-21).
”Evangelical, reformed, and baptistic”
Evangelic. We believe that only regenerate, and repentant Christians have the forgiveness of their sins because of the work of Christ. They will thus receive the gift of eternal life. Therefore, we believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His atoning death and resurrection, ought to be proclaimed to all people among every nation.
Reformed. Our view of salvation is that of traditional protestant and reformed understanding: through grace alone,
by faith alone, by Scripture alone, and in Christ alone.
Baptistic. We practise believers’ baptism, the independence of the church and state, and the unity and autonomy of the local congregation.
THE CONFESSION OF FAITH
Apostolic Confession of Faith
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Purpose of God and Man
God’s ultimate purposes is to glorify or to bring forth His own name. He is satisfied in himself enjoying himself eternally. (Is. 43:6-7; 48:11; 49:3; Ps. 19; 139:13-16; 106:7-8: Eze. 36:22-23; Joh. 14:13; 17:1; 13:31-32; 16:13-14; 1 Pet. 4:11; Matt. 16:27; 24:30; Rev. 21:23). Therefore, man’s purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (Is. 43:6-7; Ps. 37:4; 1 Cor. 10:31; Phi. 1:20-21).
We believe that the Old (39 books) and New Testament (27 books) of the Bible are the inspired Word of God which is the highest authority in life and faith. They are completely without error in their original writings.
The Triune God
We believe in one triune God who has forever existed in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – sharing the same being, power, glory, and perfection (Deut. 6:4; 2 Cor. 13:14).
God the Father
We believe in God the Father who is infinite, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that in His sovereignty, he rules all the universe as he pleases. He knows all the things that will happen, He hears prayers and answers them, and He saves all people that come to Him through Jesus Christ.
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a man and yet remained God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ suffered a substitutionary death on the cross, which means that he died in place of sinners. After his bodily resurrection, He appeared to the disciples, after which He was taken up into heaven where He is now God worshipped and who rules at the right hand of God the Father. He is a perfect high priest who intercedes for us and helps us. We believe in the bodily second return of Jesus, when He will judge the living and the dead (Joh. 1:1-2, 14; Luk. 1:35; Rom. 3:24; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 2:24; 4:5; Eph. 1:7; Acts 1:9; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; Rom. 8:34; 14:9; 1 Joh. 2:1-2; 2 Tim. 4:1).
The Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, who proceeds from God and Christ. He witnesses of the sin of the world. He is a divine person who baptises all believers, causing them to be born again. (Joh. 16:8-11; 2 Cor. 3:6; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 5:18). The Holy Spirit indwells the believer. He distributes spiritual gifts to believers, encouraging them and so glorifying Christ.
We believe that man was created in the good image of God but through Adam the whole mankind fell into sin and so became totally depraved and separated from God. The result of sin is a bodily, spiritual, and eternal death. All men are born as sinners by nature and they sin out of their own desire. Those who confess their sinfulness before holy God, repent, and trust in Jesus Christ as their saviour are born of the Holy Spirit and so become new creations. They are released from everlasting punishment and receive eternal life. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23, 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3, 12).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God. Man is saved by the merit of Christ’s atoning work and by grace alone which is received through faith. In this way, man is justified, which means that he is proclaimed not guilty before God. In justification, the believer receives Christ’s perfect righteousness for himself. This perfection of Christ is the only source of our acceptance before God. Justification is a once for all and final event in which God proclaims a sinful man to be just on the basis of Christ’s atoning work (Rom. 2:21-26; Eph. 1:7, 2:8-10; John 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). Justification does not happen inside the person but outside of him. Christ’s merit is transferred to the believer.
Sanctification is the work of God inside the believer, making him more like Christ. Only those justified on the basis of Christ produce the fruit of the Spirit. (Matt. 13:23; Luke 8:8, 15; John 15:2, 16; Rom. 6:22, 7:4; Gal. 5:22; Col. 1:6).
Glorification is the highlight of salvation in which the saved person enters into the final blessed state, the presence of Christ (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 6:1-8; 8:1; 38-39; 13:13; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:5; Gal. 5:13; Tit. 2:11-15).
We believe that the church is the body of Christ and the dwelling of the Holy Spirit which consists of those who have been given a Christian profession and have been baptized. We belong to the universal church of Christ, which is manifested in different local churches. We are not the only one nor the best local church (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Acts 14:27; 18:22; 20:17; 1 Tim. 3:1-3; Tit. 1:5-11). We believe in the independent government of the local church without any external control. We still want to work, cooperate and be accountable with other Christian local churches and groups (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1,4; 1 Cor. 3:9; 5:4-7,13; 16:1; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). We practice believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the ordinances of the church in accordance with the Bible (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:8; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
We teach that God has created male and female in his own image and as equal. As the triune God is in his being the same but different in roles, we also believe that man and woman have different callings and tasks in the family and the church. We teach that it is the responsibility of the man to lead the family and the church faithfully, serving with the Word of God (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-33).
The tasks of church leadership and of pastors/elders/teachers belong to the man. In the gatherings of the church where everyone is present, the role of a teacher and a preacher belong to the man (1 Tim. 2:12). In other roles, women can serve and are encouraged to serve the church and the world with their gifts, including teaching to women and children.
Church and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God, as He is sovereign, distributes the gifts of the Spirit according to His own will as He wills. It is the duty of every believer to grow and develop the gifts given by God so they can edify and serve other people. We believe that certain gifts are not more essential and do not show the special presence of the Holy Spirit or spiritual maturity (1 Cor. 12:7, 11, 13; Eph. 4:7-8). We believe that God hears our prayers and responds to the prayer of faith on behalf of the sick and weak according to His own will (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15). All believers have the privilege and the responsibility to serve others with those gifts and graces God has given (Rom. 12:1-8; 1 Cor. 13; 1 Pet. 4:10-11).
The Last Days
We believe that God will bring the world to its end in His own time. Those who are not justified will be condemned to hell, which is the place of everlasting bodily torment. The justified will receive reward and will live eternally in the new earth in the presence of the Lord as the heaven comes down to earth (Is. 2:4; 11:9; Matt. 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; Eph. 1:10; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 5:10; 21:1-3).