Statements of Nature, Faith, and Purpose
- The Indian Reformed Fellowship Australia (IRFA) is a non-profit and non-political, charitable, Christian organization, serving among Indian Subcontinent peoples on behalf of Reformed churches and believers worldwide. It is open to all those who are committed to proclaiming the historic Christian faith as expressed in the early ecumenical creeds and the confessions of the Reformation of the 16th and 17th century which restored the Church to teaching the sufficiency and finality of the Holy Bible and the doctrine of God’s saving grace through faith in Christ alone.
The following is a summary of the basic tenets of the Reformed faith.
- The Holy Bible (consisting of the 66 Scripture books of the Old and New and Testaments) is the fully inspired, canonical Word of God. These Scriptures are complete and without error, constituting the Church’s only authoritative instruction in all matters of faith and life.
- The Holy Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God, the True and Living and God, who alone is the Sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe and the Saviour and Judge of mankind, and who “works all things according to the counsel of His will.” This one God has revealed Himself as three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; they are the same in substance, and equal in power and glory. This Triune God alone is worthy of man’s worship; He demands that service to Him be done only according to His will as revealed in the Holy Bible.
- The Holy Bible clearly teaches that from before the beginning of creation, man was the focus and central objective of all of God’s creative activity.
- All things were created before Man but for him, as God’s special creature, the only image of the Creator Himself in His creation.
- The Almighty Triune God created all things by the mere Word of His power, within the six morning-and-evening days, according to His holy will and the perfection of His counsel. He neither used nor needed any long process, regardless of what the analyses of finite and fallen man may conclude.
- God created Man, male and female, in His own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. The first man and the first woman, were created as fully mature humans, and were given divine authority to rule over all things and creatures which God had created on earth.
- The Lord created the man first as the federal head of the human race. Having shaped Adam’s body from the dust of the ground, God breathed into it an immortal soul. Adam was put in the Garden of Eden and authorized to eat from all of its trees but not of the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil.”
- From Adam’s very substance, God created Eve to be his helpmate.
- The Holy Bible unambiguously asserts that God’s will for human marriage is the monogamous unity of a man and a woman, a male and a female. This is the only biblical foundation for establishing human families.
- Adam, by choosing to disobey God, brought the curse of death upon the whole human race. In this fall into death, man lost fellowship with God and became corrupt in every aspect of his nature and being. Therefore, Adam and all his offspring are, consequently, under divine wrath and condemnation as law and covenant breakers, and are liable to death and hell forever. Having become totally antagonistic to God and devoid of all spiritual good, man has no ability whatsoever to participate in atoning for his sin.
- The Holy Bible teaches that Almighty God, from before the creation of the world, designed a redemptive plan, absolutely consistent with His own holy wrath against and declaration of penalty for man’s sin. This plan for the redemption of mankind required God’s own intervention to propitiate that wrath and satisfy that penalty. The Scriptures of the Old Testament gradually reveal this divine plan. It involved the calling of Abraham, through whom an earthly nation was established as a depository of God’s revealed intention to set up a universal kingdom and a blessed new humanity from among all families of the earth. The Scriptures of the Old Testament proceeded to reveal that the King of this universal kingdom would be a descendant of David. The Scriptures of the New Testament affirm, with infallible proofs, that Christ fulfilled that plan.
- Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, is the eternal Son of God, who for us and for our salvation became fully man, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, from the promised line of Abraham and David, with a human soul not impacted by Adam’s sin. Christ, by His perfect obedience and atoning death, provided full atonement to God for the sins of His elect people. He was raised bodily from the dead and ascended to heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God, and from where He reigns over His universal Church and Kingdom. At the last day, a day known only to God, Christ will return in glory to judge the living, who will be changed, and the dead, who will be resurrected bodily. The righteous will enter into the eternal enjoyment of His eternal glory and mercy, and the wicked will consciously suffer eternal destruction from the presence of God.
- The Holy Bible asserts that Christ’s perfect life and saving work form the complete and exclusive ground of the believer’s justification, which is received solely through faith in Christ. In His enthronement, Christ, being fully divine and fully human, qualifies as the one and only Mediator between God and man.
- The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity, breathed Scriptures through the prophets and apostles. God the Holy Spirit further authenticated their writings and ministry by means of supernatural gifts, which have long since ceased. He takes the things of Christ and sovereignly applies them to His people: calling, regenerating, sanctifying, and glorifying them for Christ’s eternal Kingdom. The sanctifying work of God’s Spirit is a progressive process of destroying sin and developing holiness in the believer; it reaches completion only at glorification.
- The Church is the instrument ordained by God to bring the message of the Gospel to our lost and condemned human race. The mission of the Church is, therefore, the faithful preaching of the Gospel and the discipling of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all
- That Christ has commanded in all of the Holy Bible. These commandments are summarized as to love God with all the heart, all the mind, all the soul, and all the strength; to love believers as Christ has loved us; and, to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
- While the Gospel has redemptive implications for all areas of life, its main purpose is to reconcile sinful man to the Sovereign, Holy God; it is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.” This Gospel is not relativized by human culture, but rather transcends and redeems it.
- Christians are enabled, by faith in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, to obey the whole moral Law of God and consequently are responsible to work for the hallowing of God’s name, the establishment of God’s Kingdom, and the doing of God’s will in all areas of life.
The purpose of IRFA is to serve as follows:
- Promoting fellowship in IRFA’s field countries for mutual encouragement and edification among Christian leaders to promote the historic Reformed faith, thus stimulating a true vision of service and a fervent zeal for evangelism.
- Fostering cooperation between Reformed churches in their outreach to Arab and Muslim peoples.
- Encouraging fellowship between Reformed churches in IRFA’s field countries and Reformed churches in other parts of the world.
- Rendering service in the spirit of the unity of faith that binds faithful believers together, along with their gifts and resources. The following represents IRFA’s four-fold areas of service:
- Evangelism. Moving forward with an indigenous God-centered outreach. This is to be carried out especially through the cost-effective support of qualified national workers and the use of the media.
- Church-extension. Building healthy and sound congregations where there are needs. This is to be done always in consultation with and under the supervision of faithful ecclesiastical bodies.
- Biblical Training. Providing solid biblical and theological instruction for leaders and potential leaders by means of specific programs and publications.
- Diaconal Aid. “Doing good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). This is always to be administered in the contest of Gospel ministry, by means of volunteers, and under the guidance of local churches.
Acknowledgement: the Indian Reformed Fellowship – Australia (IRFA) wishes to thank the Middle East Reformed Fellowship (MERF) for this Statement of Faith, which IRFA has maintained from its inception. This Statement of Faith is a revised edition from the original but IRFA publicly acknowledges its adherents to this clearly Reformed Statement of Faith as the confession of all those that hold office within the ranks of IRFA.