Reach South Asia, adheres to the ancient statements of faith (the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Creed of Chalcedon) and affirms the historic Christian faith as expressed in the five solas of the Reformation and the consensus of the historic Reformed confessions (Westminster Standards, Three Forms of Unity, and 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith).
The Bible The Bible, in its entirety, is the infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God; it is divine revelation that carries the full weight of God's authority and to which we are obliged to submit.
The Trinity Within the Godhead there is a unity of three distinct yet fully divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
God God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. God is fully omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, not given to learning or "openness."
Jesus Christ Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man, having two natures inseparably united in one divine person without confusion, mixture, separation, or division. Each nature retains its own attributes. In the incarnation, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a perfect life among us, was crucified, dead, and buried, rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment. He is the only Mediator between God and man.
The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is of one substance with the Father and the Son. He eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, and He dwells in the hearts of believers, effecting their regeneration monergistically and operating in their sanctification synergistically.
Creation God, by the word of His power, created from nothing the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. He further preserves and governs all His creatures and all their actions according to His most holy, wise, and powerful providence.
Man After God made the other creatures, He created man, both male and female, in His own image, but because Adam sinned and woefully fell in his responsibility, he and his posterity entered into a state of moral corruption and moral inability and became estranged from their Creator, thus deserving death as the punishment for sin.
Atonement Because all have sinned, atonement must be made in order for man to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ made a complete atonement for His people through His substitutionary atoning death on the cross. He imputes His righteousness to all believers securing us full redemption for all who repent of their sin and trust in Him alone for salvation.
The Law The moral law perfectly reflects the unchangeable character of God and forever binds all people, believers as well as unbelievers.
The Church Christ has established a visible church, which is called to live in the power of the Holy Spirit under the regulation of the authority of Holy Scripture, preaching the gospel of Christ, administering the sacraments, and exercising discipline.
Christianity and Culture "Reach South Asia" supports the work of Christian organizations and institutions that confess the final authority of Scripture and lordship of Jesus Christ, and are committed to the implementation of the social and cultural implications of God's commandments for the well-being of man and his environment. RSA especially supports those organizations that condemn the murder of defenseless human beings at the earliest stages of their development and that reject unbiblical definitions of gender, sexuality, and marriage.
“First, the holy Christian people are recognized by their possession of the holy word of God.” Martin Luther always returned to the foundational importance of the Scriptures and the gospel in his approach to any doctrinal question. The church must have and cherish the revelation of God. “And even if there were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove that a Christian, holy people must exist there, for God’s word cannot be without God’s people, and conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s word.”
Baptism “Second, God’s people or the Christian holy people are recognized by the holy sacrament of baptism, wherever it is taught, believed, and administered correctly according to Christ’s ordinance.” The church possessed and administered the sacrament of baptism as taught in the Bible, a visible expression of the gospel.
The Lord’s Supper “Third, God’s people, or Christian holy people, are recognized by the holy sacrament of the altar, wherever it is rightly administered, believed, and received, according to Christ’s institution. This too is a public sign and a precious, holy possession left behind by Christ by which his people are sanctified so that they also exercise themselves in faith and openly confess that they are Christian, just as they do with the word and baptism.” Again, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper must be treasured by the church as Christ has taught it in the Bible.
Discipline “Fourth, God’s people or holy Christians are recognized by the office of the keys exercised publicly. That is, as Christ decrees in Matthew 18[:15– 20], if a Christian sins, he should be reproved; and if he does not mend his ways, he should be bound in his sin and cast out. If he does mend his ways, he should be absolved. That is the office of the keys.” For Luther, the real church exercised discipline over its members. This element of Luther’s understanding has often been missed, but he was crystal clear about it.
Biblical Offices “Fifth, the church is recognized externally by the fact that it consecrates or calls ministers, or has offices that it is to administer.” Luther recognized that the Bible established office in the church—not the sacral caste of priests—but the minister who faithfully preached the Word and administered the sacraments. Luther’s focus on the simplicity and importance of the congregation came to quite radical expression, for his day, in his belief that in principle the congregation has the right to call its own minister. As early as 1523, he had written a treatise titled That a Christian Assembly or Congregation Has the Right and Power to Judge All Teaching and to Call, Appoint, and Dismiss Teachers, Established and Proven by Scripture. Ministers were not a mysterious order created and imposed by a hierarchy, but were to emerge from the congregation.
Worship “Sixth, the holy Christian people are externally recognized by prayer, public praise, and thanksgiving to God. Where you see and hear the Lord’s Prayer prayed and taught; or psalms or other spiritual songs sung, in accordance with the word of God and the true faith; also the creed, the Ten Commandments, and the catechism used in public, you may rest assured that a holy Christian people of God are present.” The church was visible in its simple, Word-centered worship.
Suffering “Seventh, the holy Christian people are externally recognized by the possession of the sacred cross. They must endure every misfortune and persecution, all kinds of trials and evil from the devil, the world, and the flesh.” Since the servant was not greater than the master, as Jesus had taught, the church would suffer in this world as it served Christ faithfully.
Luther derived these seven points from the first table of the Ten Commandments and recognized that, though these elements were never perfect in the church, they were truly present: “These are the true seven principal parts of the great holy possession whereby the Holy Spirit effects in us a daily sanctification and vivification in Christ, according to the first table of Moses. By this we obey it, albeit never as perfectly as Christ. But we constantly strive to attain the goal, under his redemption or remission of sin, until we too shall one day become perfectly holy and no longer stand in needof forgiveness.” These seven characteristics were only the beginning of what could be said about the church. He said: In addition to these seven principal parts there are other outward signs that identify the Christian church, namely, those signs whereby the Holy Spirit sanctifies us according to the second table of Moses... . We need the Decalogue not only to apprise us of our lawful obligations, but we also need it to discern how far the Holy Spirit has advanced us in his work of sanctification and by how much we still fall short of the goal, lest we become secure and imagine that we have now done all that is required. Thus we must constantly grow in sanctification and always become new creatures in Christ!
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