CHRIST SANCTUARY PALMERSTON NORTH CHURCH
To live as freed people, called to love God and neighbour.
To know Jesus Christ and make Him known.
Values and Distinctives
Gospel-Centrality: We seek to base our worship and ministry around the good news of what God has done for sinners through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
(Romans 1:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Biblical preaching: We believe the preaching of Scripture is a primary means of grace used by God to convict, convince and build us up in faith in Jesus Christ, that we might be both hearers and doers of His Word.
(2 Tim 4:1-3, Rom 10:17, James 1:22)
Spirit-Empowered: We recognise and rest upon the necessity of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit for all of life and ministry, as modelled to us by Jesus.
(Matt 3:13-17, Gal 5:16-18, Eph 1:13-14)
Prayer-Reliant: We believe in the power of prayer, and aim todemonstrate it. We seek His will and rely on His grace rather than our own strength.
(Phil 4:5-7, Matt 6:5-15, Eph 6:18-20)
Theologically Conservative and Culturally Liberal: We are theologically conservative in that we hold with a closed hand a reasoned biblical and Christian orthodoxy. We are culturally liberal in that we hold with an open hand our engagement with contemporary culture, feeling free to use its tastes to our advantage.
(2 Tim 3:15-16, Jude 3, 1 Cor 9:19-23)
Men as servant-leaders: We hold to the equal value of men and women as image bearers of God, while acknowledging male headship in the home and qualified male-eldership in the church.
(Gen 1:26-27, Eph 5:22-33, 1 Tim 3:1-7)
Importance of Gathered Worship: We place primary value on the gathering of the church for worship in spirit and truth. Here we are reminded of the grace received in Jesus Christ, and our call to go into the world seeking to love God and
(Heb 10:19-25, 2 Cor 3:18, Matt 22:36-40)
Statement of Faith
We have our heritage in the historic and orthodox Christian faith, holding as consistent with Scripture the three Ecumenical Creeds: the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian.
We have our identity in the Protestant Reformation tradition, seeking to base our teaching and expression of Scripture in general accordance to the standards of the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Standards, 1689 London Baptist Confession, and the 39 Articles of Religion.
We hold the following Articles as a Summary of Belief for Membership at Christ Sanctuary:
God has revealed Himself and His truth in the created order, in the Scriptures, and supremely in Jesus Christ. The sole authority for the Church is the Bible- verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally sufficient and trustworthy. This authority and sufficiency extends to the entire Bible. Therefore it is our final authority for all doctrine and practice; and so, is fully trustworthy and of supreme and final authority in all it says.
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love; and thus truly omniscient, omnipotent, timeless and self-existent. In the unity of the godhead there are three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal, co-eternal; one in substance and equal in every divine perfection.
God the Father is the only one living and true God, infinite in all His perfections, He possesses perfect knowledge of all things past, present and future, including all human thoughts, acts and decisions. He is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His Word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world from nothing. Through the same Word, He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all and is the only Sovereign. He made human people for fellowship with Himself, and intends that all creation should live to the praise of His glory.
Jesus Christ is both true God and perfect man, a unique, supernatural manifestation of God in the flesh; born of the virgin Mary, after having been miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit. He died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, a sacrifice for sin, and a propitiation of God’s wrath toward sinners. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate. He is Lord over His church, and He will reign over the entire cosmos in fulfillment of the Father’s gracious purpose.
The Holy Spirit is a Divine person, equal with the Father and Son and of the same substance and nature. He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment, bears witness to the truth, is the agent of the new birth, and dwells in every true child of God. He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and empowers the believer for godly living and service.
The human person was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is, therefore, lost. Only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can the human person obtain salvation and spiritual life. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God. We hold to the centrality of God’s grace as His gift of unmerited favour to sinners in Christ.
Jesus Christ is the gospel. This good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel, His resurrection is the power of the gospel, and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved.
The one, holy, universal Church is the body of Christ, and is composed of the communities of Christ's people. The task of Christ's people in this world is to be God's redeemed community, embodying His love by worshipping God with confession, prayer, and praise; by proclaiming the gospel of God's redemptive love through our Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth by word and deed; by caring for all of God's creation and actively seeking the good of everyone, especially the poor and needy.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper have been given to the Church as visible signs of the gospel. The Lord's Supper is a commemoration of Christ's sacrifice offered once for all and is to be celebrated only by believers who are living lives worthy of the gospel of Christ; it involves no change in the bread and wine and all its blessings are received by faith. Members are to choose between two positions on baptism. We acknowledge the importance of baptism for the church, and that while both baptism positions are found in Christ’s Church this side of glory, both cannot be correct.
a) Baptism by water is to be administered only to those who profess repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ. It is a symbol of union with Christ, cleansing from sin and entry into his Church.
b) Baptism by water is to be administered to those who profess repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ. It is a symbol of union with Christ, cleansing from sin and entry into his Church. Not only those that do actually profess faith in the obedience to Christ, but also the infants of at least one believing parent, are to be baptised, as little children were circumcised in Israel.
Jesus Christ will soon return to this earth, personally, visibly, and unexpectedly, in power and great glory, to gather His elect, to raise the dead, to judge the nations, and to bring His Kingdom to fulfillment.
There will be a bodily resurrection of the just and unjust; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. Our only sure and confident hope is in God’s promises to bring all things to completion in a way that will bring greatest glory to His own name, greatest preeminence to His Son, and greatest joy for His redeemed people.
Structure and Alliances
Christ Sanctuary is an elder-led church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the only true head of the church (Colossians 1:18). This means our primary leaders are a plurality of qualified men (1 Timothy 3:1-7). These are a combination of vocational elders (pastors) and non-vocational elders. All elders have an equal place in the eldership in decision making. From time to time we have elder candidates who are then observed for their suitability to join the eldership.
Deacons serve the church in specific areas to free up the elders to do their roles, and are chosen from within the church community (Acts 6:1-7). While we believe the Bible restricts the role of elder to men (1 Timothy 3:1-7), we believe that both men (1 Timothy 3:8-10) and women (vv. 11-13) can serve as deacons. On behalf of the church, elders commission deacons to this ministry role for as long as they are required and willing to serve. Elders and deacons are both chosen from within the membership.
Members play a crucial role in decision making. Multiple times a year the elders will call for members meetings and this may require a members vote on church matters. While these votes are non-binding, the elders use the results of these votes to gauge positive assent in order to make a final decision.
Christ Sanctuary is, at this time, an autonomous local church and therefore is self-governing. However, we are a member-church of the Acts 29 church planting network. This puts us in constructive partnership with over 800 churches worldwide.
and make Him known