“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:1-5
- The unity and trinity of God, eternally existing in three co-equal persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- God the creator and preserver of all things, who created man, male and female, in his own image, and gave them dominion over the earthly creation.
- The deity and humanity of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being very God, also became man, being begotten of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, dead and buried, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, whose two natures continue eternally and inseparably joined together in one person.
- The deity and personality of God the Holy Spirit, and the necessity of his work to make the death of Christ effective to the individual sinner, leading him to repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and in his ministry, dwelling permanently within and working through the believer for godly life and service.
- The divine, verbal inspiration, infallibility and inerrancy of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as originally given, and their absolute and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
- The human sinfulness and guilt of human nature since the fall, rendering man subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
- The sacrificial death of our representative and substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, by the shedding of whose blood atonement was made for the sins of the whole world and whereby alone men are redeemed from the guilt, penalty and power of sin.
- The necessity of the new birth as the work of God the Holy Spirit, to be obtained only by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour; that men are saved by grace through faith, not by works.
- The security of the believer, based entirely on the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby, as a born again child of God, he has assurance of salvation and has the right to all the privileges of the sons of God.
- The responsibility of the believer to maintain good works, and to obey the revealed will of God in life and service, through which eternal rewards shall be received.
- The true Church, whose head is the Lord Jesus Christ, and whose members are all regenerate persons united to Christ and to one another by the Holy Spirit.
- The observance of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The supreme mission of the Church as being to glorify God and to preach the gospel to every creature.
- The personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The resurrection of the body.
- The eternal blessedness of the saved and the eternal punishment of the lost.
In God’s grace, the message of the kingdom that missionaries helped take to Africa has become yeast that has transformed the lives of millions. It continues to grow. Like a mustard seed, tiny in places but determined, it can be smothered, crushed, set back, but it keeps growing. It grows despite, or because of, its weakness. In large swathes of Africa, it has become ‘the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that birds can perch in its shade’ (Mark 4:32).
The glorious gospel, that we as followers of Jesus share, starts with our sovereign creator God making mankind in his image. Each person created with equal dignity. The Bible is clear that all people should be treated with equal value. Racism – prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group even if done unconsciously – is contrary to the gospel. It is sinful.
As you read the history of the growth of the church in Africa, there is no shortage of evidence of mission agencies and individual missionaries displaying attitudes and behaviours that do not reflect our calling as followers of Jesus, to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). There have been times in AIM’s 125 year history when racism has occurred; we are not immune to racist attitudes and behaviours today. We reject them and repent of them.
In obedience to Christ, and spurred on by the fact that there are millions of Africans still living and dying without an opportunity to hear of Christ, we cannot keep the gospel to ourselves. We proclaim Jesus to the lost in multi-cultural teams, working together as equals, bound together through our unity in Christ. We partner with Africans and African churches as they pioneer work among unreached populations. We go, as Jesus commanded, as an overflow of God’s love to us, a love that cannot be contained.