What We Believe

The Bible: We believe the 66 Canonical books of the Bible are the
inerrant Word of God; God-breathed truth to mankind; infallible and fully inspired by God the Holy Spirit; the supreme and final authority in all matters pertaining to Christian faith and practice. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) (Isaiah 8:20)

Mankind’s Natural State: We believe that mankind is born in a state of total depravity, with God’s curse for ‘original sin’ upon us. Therefore, because of our total depravity, we cannot save ourselves. Only an act of God’s free grace can save us, by God’s gift of faith to repent and believe in the perfect Atonement Sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the Cross for our sins. (Psalm 51:5) (Ephesians 2:8-9) (Acts 4:12)

God’s Absolute Sovereignty: We believe that God is absolutely
Sovereign in all things pertaining not only to Creation but in the Eternal Salvation of sinners. (Psalm 115:3) (Ephesians 1:11) (John 6:37;40;44)

The Blood of Christ: We believe in the full efficacy and power of the shed Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ - to cleanse and redeem mankind from our sin; the only means by which to fully satisfy the just demands of a Holy Lord God of wrath against sin; and to present repentant sinners as Holy in the sight of the Lord. (Exodus 12:13) (Hebrews 9:12-24) (1 Peter 1:18-25)

The Godhead: We believe in the Trinity and Unity of the Godhead. God exists in three distinct, equal, and Eternal Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. These three Persons are One Eternal Lord God Almighty, there is none other God.
(Genesis 1:1) (Exodus 20:1-11)(1John 5:1-13)

The Deity of Christ Jesus: We believe in the pre-existent, Eternal
Sonship, of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal and Living Word who became flesh in the incarnation, yet at all times remained ‘God of very God’. (John 5:18) (Philippians 2:5-11)

The Person of Christ Jesus: We believe in Christ’s miraculous
conception and Virgin birth; His impeccable Sinless Life; and Atoning Death at the Cross as our Sin-bearer, Substitute, and Saviour - ‘...the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (Isaiah 53:1-12) (John 1:29) (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Christ’s Bodily Resurrection: We believe in Christ’s Bodily
Resurrection from the dead, on the third day after His Crucifixion, by which we are justified in the sight of a thrice Holy Lord God, according to the Holy Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-23) (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14) (John 11:25-26)

Christ’s Present Intercession: We believe in the present and continual intercession of Christ Jesus, seated at the right hand of God the Father; as our Saviour, Lord, and High Priest. He is thus our ‘...one Mediator...’ between God and man, according the Scriptures. (Psalm 110:1) (1 Timothy 2:5) (Hebrews 7:22-28)

Christ’s Second Coming: We believe in the literal, physical and
personal Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ - to resurrect His ‘born again’, and thus righteous dead; to translate (or rapture, catch away) His Bride, the universal Church and to establish His everlasting Kingdom. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) (John 14:1-3)

A Christ-Rejector’s Hell: We believe in a Christ-rejector’s Hell; a literal place of Eternal punishment created by God to contain the Devil and his angels ‘...which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation...’ (an estate of obedience to God in Heaven).

All those who reject the Salvation offered by God through and in Christ Jesus ALONE, shall go to this terrible place called Hell; until the Judgment Day at God’s Great White Throne, when the Devil, his evil angels, and all Christ-rejectors shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, there to be tormented forever. (Jude 4-6) (Mark 9:42-48) (Psalm 9:16-17) (Revelation 20:)

The Church: We believe that the church - all those who are Spiritually regenerated (‘born again’) by the Spirit of God, though Christ’s ‘...once for all time..’ Atonement Sacrifice at Calvary’s Cross - is a universal church made up of every nation, and colour, within all international territories. Christ makes us ‘members’ of His Church, according to His grace and the Divine Election of God the Father, and He ALONE is the Supreme Head of this Church Body. Our primary allegiance is to Him Alone. Praise His Name! (John 3:3-8)(1 Corinthians 12:12-31) (John 17:)

Church Ordinances: We believe in the ordinances of the Church: The Lord’s Day observance; Believer’s Baptism (i.e total immersion); the Lord’s Table; and in Anointing with oil believers who are ill, according to the practice/teaching clearly set forth in James Chapter 5:13-16.

Anyone seeking to know anything further reference the sincere Christian beliefs of the Ulster/American Christian Fellowship, or if we can encourage or pray for you in any manner, please contact us in Ulster or in America. It will be our delight to try to help you in your faith, love and service to our Saviour and Lord, the risen Christ Jesus. Bless you.

6. Reasonable Christian Hatred? Psalm 31:6

Text:  “I have hated them that regard lying vanities; but I trust in the Lord.”                                                                                                                                                                             Psalm 31:6.

Good morning, vanity-hating Christian!  It is commonly known worldwide that the Christian faith is a belief-system firmly established in love; truth, liberty, and freedom of personal conscience; and this is indeed so.  However, let me stimulate your thoughts today, beloved Christian, let me pose the question: ‘Is it reasonable, or legitimate for Christians to harbour or practice hatred?’ 

Bear with me, and I will seek to elucidate the thrust of my Scriptural reasoning.  It is a godly trait to reason things out in fellowship together; please help us, Lord God, to do so with mutual respect and Christian love.

“Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool.  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.  But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”   (Isaiah 1:18-20)

No matter how much one leans on established religious convention, or church traditions - one cannot ignore sections of Holy Scripture; God-breathed revelations, which have God the Holy Spirit as their Divine Author - that fly in the face of such established conventions, traditions, and practice!

Dictionary Definition: convention - (noun) …usual fashion, established usage…  (Chambers Dictionary, page 357)

Definition of convention in Oxford English Dictionary:  (noun) A way in which something is usually done: (Example) to attract the best patrons the movie houses had to ape the conventions and the standards of theatres.

Established Christian convention, therefore, is that we must be firmly established in love for others, even our enemies. YET, there are some Scriptural exceptions that clearly show that there will be situations and circumstances; social traits, and personality characteristics wherein, as genuine loving Christians, we must exercise a God-ordained hatred.  Fact.

Verse 6:  “I have hated them that regard lying vanities.  Those who will not lean upon the true arm of strength are sure to make to themselves vain confidences.  Many must have a god, and if he will not adore the only living and true God, he makes a fool of himself, and pays superstitious regard to a lie, and waits with anxious hope upon a base delusion.  Men who make gods of their riches, their persons, their wits, or anything else, are to be shunned by those whose faith rests upon God in Christ Jesus; and so far from being envied, they are to be pitied as depending upon utter vanities.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 149)

It is most clear from Mr Spurgeon’s comment above that it would be a disobedience to the Lord God if we - as genuine regenerate Christians - should seek to LOVE the practices and conventions of those who put their full trust in what Holy Scriptures call ‘…lying vanities…’.  We cannot do or practice what the Lord in His Word denies us permission to do.  We must exercise the required revulsion of all things, and practices, and desires (including our own!) that God’s Word clearly and openly reviles as sin.   Amen?  Lord, help us to do so.

However, we CAN love such people enough to confront their erroneous beliefs, false confidences; ungodly practices; doomed and futile superstitions; worship of idols; and foolish hopes - by proclaiming boldly and consistently the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and seeking to faithfully practice what we say we truly believe!  Praise His Name!

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…If the Son (Jesus Christ) therefore shall make you free ye shall be free indeed.”  (John 8:32;36)

“The Romanists feign miracles of the saints to make them, as they suppose the more glorious.  They say that the house wherein the virgin Mary was when the angel Gabriel came unto her was, many hundreds of years after, translated, first out of Galilee into Dalmatia above two thousand miles, and thence over the sea into Italy, where also it removed from one place to another, till at length it found a place where to abide, and many most miraculous cures, they say, were wrought by it, and that the very trees when it came, bowed unto it.”  (Christopher Cartwright 1602-1658)

How can we seek to join in ‘Christian fellowship’ with people who insist on, not only believing in such error, but seek diligently to teach others to believe such fables?  True Christian ‘water’ and superstitious ‘oil’ just will not successfully mix! (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Hear what God the Holy Spirit inspires the Psalmist to write: "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee?  And am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee?  I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies."  (Psalm 139:21-22)

“Infinite stories they have of this nature, especially in the Legend of Saints, which they call ‘The Golden Legend’, a book so full of gross stuff that Ludovicus Vives, a Papist, but learned and ingenious, with great indignation cried out, ‘What can be more abominable that that book?’ and he wondered why they should call it ‘golden’, when as he that wrote it was a man ‘of an iron mouth and of a leaden heart’.”  (Christopher Caratwright 1602-1658)

Thought:  We cannot say that we love Christ’s truth without hating the Devil’s lies!  We must love those in error enough to ‘offend’ them with God’s truth.

5. The Security of the Redeemed Psalm 31:5

Text:  “Into Thine hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”
                                                                                                                     Psalm 31:5.

Good morning, securely redeemed Christian!  You and I - and all those whom have likewise been quickened by God the Spirit, granted faith to believe; called by God with His ‘effectual call’ to Salvation in Christ Jesus - are Eternally redeemed by His Blood.  Hallelujah!  The Lord God has, in His Sovereign grace, given us life Eternal - not some transient claim to temporal life - and thus, we can rest in full assurance that we are securely saved.  Wow!  What a Saviour we have in Christ Jesus!  We can commit our spirits into His safe keeping, and rest forever in His full redemption.  Thank you, Lord God.  All glory to Thy Holy and gracious Name!  Amen.

“For ye KNOW that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (entire lifestyle) received by tradition from your fathers (religion); but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot…being born, again not of corruptible seed (biological sperm), but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” (1 Peter 1:18-23) 

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17)

One can clearly see the theme of ‘reverent reasoning’ continuing throughout the verses of this wonderful Psalm 31 - in our verse text today we find David reverently reasoning with his Lord God Jehovah. 

Perhaps, if one reverses the order of the lines of verse 5, one might more clearly understand this reverent reasoning process?

Verse 5b.  “…Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.  In this latter section of verse 5, we find David stating the certain fact of his faith and trust in God.  He boldly declares his heart’s belief that the Lord God of all truth, Almighty Jehovah, has redeemed, ‘bought back’; ‘ransomed’; ‘paid the full ransom price’, to buy back his soul/spirit from sin’s grip and sin’s eventual destination, Hell.  Therefore, he reverently reasons that, IF the Lord God has so redeemed him, by faith in the shed Blood of His coming Christ, then he can confidently commit his spirit/soul into God’s hand.

Verse 5a.  “Into Thine hand I commit my spirit.  David’s theology is sound and clear.  He believed God’s record contained in the Book of Genesis, and thus reasoned from his knowledge of that record, trusting in the Author of it with all his heart.

“ And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breathe of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)

How could David trust his very spirit/soul into God’s hand?  Because he fully believed that the Lord God of truth had indeed ’…redeemed…’ him and made him worthy to go to Heaven to be with him when God saw fit to take him Home. 

God had given mankind a ‘living soul…’ in the first place, so David reasoned correctly that his soul was not his own possession, but was a possession of God given to mankind, through mankind’s representative head, Adam.

He also believed that his God-given soul and his Spirit-quickened spirit were constituents of sinful man that were so closely entwined that only the ‘Two-edged Sword of the Spirit’ could separate them.  Thus, when David ‘committed’ his ‘spirit’ into God’s faithful hand, he was committing his soul into God’s hand also.  Hallelujah!

“For the Word of God is quick (alive) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged Sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow and intents of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12)

David was reverently reasoning that he could commit his very spirit into God’s Omnipotent hand with confidence, knowing that this same One true and faithful Lord God had redeemed him and thus made it possible for his spirit/soul to return unto Him securely.  His confidence was firmly based on his knowledge of God’s great truth.

“Sanctify them (the elect) through Thy truth: Thy Word IS truth.”  (John 17:17)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God…all things were made by Him (Christ Jesus); and without Him was not any thing made that was made…and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:1-14)

Verse 5.  “Into Thine hand I commit my spirit.  These living words of David were our Lord’s dying words and have been frequently used by holy men in their hour of departure.  Be assured that they are good, choice, wise, and solemn words; we may use them now and in the last tremendous hour.”  (C.H. Spurgeon 1834-1892)

Thought:  “These words were the last words of Polycarp, of Bernard, of Huss, of Jerome of Prague, of Luther, Melanchton, and many others…‘Into Thine hands I commit my spirit’”  (J.J. Stewart Perowne 1868)  They were all faith-filled ‘reverent reasoners‘ with God - and examples to you and to me.