Being a Christian organisation is an integral part of the identity of Compelled By Love (CbL) – our Christian faith is the very reason the organisation exists and from where we derive our name. Though Christians around the world are united as part of the Body of Christ, there is much diversity in the understanding and expression of the Christian faith, and therefore CbL has developed a Statement of Faith to clarify and make clear what we believe and what it means to us to call ourselves ‘Christians’.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world.
We believe that Jesus is fully God, that He came to earth fully human, and was born of the virgin Mary and actually lived and died as real person, recorded in history.
We believe Jesus came to earth to proclaim the Gospel – the good news – that the Kingdom of God is near. We believe He came to suffer the punishment and death that our sins deserve, and that He did this in his crucifixion. We believe that through His perfect, righteous life, Jesus procured for believers the blessing of the covenant. In these two things, Jesus lived the life that we should have lived, and died the death we should have died. We believe that Jesus paying the price for our sin is our only source of personal salvation. There is nothing apart from believing in Jesus that can make us right with God. Obedience to the law, or our own good works cannot contribute to our salvation – only God’s gift of Christ’s sacrificial death.
We believe that after dying and being laid in a tomb, three days later Jesus was resurrected from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God.
We believe in the Holy Trinity – God in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe that God desires and offers a personal relationship with Him through the repentance of sin, confession of faith, and the surrender of our lives in obedience to Him and His ways.
We believe the Bible is the Word of God, divinely inspired though written by human hands. Nothing is to be removed from or added to the Bible as the authority of God’s Word.
We believe in eternal life, that after our earthly life ends, we will be raised to life to live forever in God’s Presence.
As the Bible outlines, we believe our Christian faith is evidenced by love for one another, and by the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
We believe we are no longer living under the law, but under grace, and that we are called to live lives that are set apart, different, in this world, but not of this world.
Though under grace, we believe God calls us to a high standard of living, as Jesus outlines in His ‘Sermon on the Mount’, not through our own strength and wisdom, but empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We believe God calls us to love our neighbours, seek reconciliation for all with God and each other, and spread Christ’s justice in an unjust world.
In addition to our statement of faith, CbL has a Christian approach in the way we engage with our partners and communities, and anyone we interact with. This is first captured in our organisational values of love, people, excellence, collaboration, integrity and prayer.
We recognise that we are part of the Body of Christ, and therefore are not in competition with other people or organisations – rather, we seek to see others flourish and to build capacity for the overall goal of advancing the Kingdom of God on earth. We believe that the spiritual realm is just as real as our experience of the physical, and that we are engaged in a spiritual battle on a daily basis, though we acknowledge that God already has the ultimate victory. This takes the focus off ourselves as individuals, and as an organisation we actively seek to collaborate and partner with others, as we believe that is what God desires of us, in order that we may effectively play the role God has for us in the midst of His much bigger plan for the world and for the lives of individual people. The Bible speaks about the Body of Christ having different members, who have different functions and gifts, and that each part is needed, as well as being interdependent on the other parts in order to fully function at its best. God gives people gifts for the edification and building up of the Body of Christ – and that is how CbL sees itself – with the gifts, skills, experience and resources that we have being used to build others so that God may be glorified.
We are not interested in power, position, title, or earthly fame and acclaim – we want to see the name of Jesus lifted up and glorified, and to win His approval through the continuous shaping of our hearts and character to be more like Him.
This approach removes competition and opens the way for a Christian approach, which we believe involves the following:
For us, the Christian faith is not a religion – it is a relationship with Jesus Christ, a way to live, and a choice to surrender control of our own lives to the will and ways of Jesus. In some countries and cultures, Christianity is seen as being a religion or a tradition – in this type of thinking, a person might consider themselves to be born as a ‘Christian’, because their family attends church or identifies themselves as Christian. Or a person might label themselves as a ‘Christian’ because they go to church or are part of a community that regularly attends church or labels themselves as ‘Christian’. This type of identification lacks an intentional choice to follow Jesus, and is more something that a person ‘fell into’, or does by default. When we as CbL say that we are a Christian organisation, this is not the type of Christianity we are referring to.
The Christianity we identify with involves first recognising that we are sinners and that our sin separates us from God and has us on a path to death and eternal judgement and punishment. Jesus’ death and resurrection offers a way for our sins to be forgiven, for our judgement and punishment to be removed onto Jesus, and for us to be made right with God, no longer separated. Taking hold of that forgiveness involves acknowledgement of sin, repentance – a turning away from sin – and a conscious choice to surrender the direction and control of our lives over to Jesus. From the moment of making that choice, we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, in which the Holy Spirit dwells within us, leading and guiding us and changing us step by step as we obey His ways rather than our own human thoughts, ways and desires. Our Christianity therefore is not defined by engaging in certain activities or by following a set of rules – but it is defined by following Jesus and having a living, active relationship with Him that means we live differently to those who do not follow Him.