No grouping of words can fully express everything that might be said as to our convictions and doctrinal position. As a general and comprehensive combination of the principal factors ITEC stands for, the following expresses our statement of faith:
We believe in one God, existing in a trinity of persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit (John 15:26), who are eternal and of equal dignity and power (Matthew 3:16, 17).
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, verbally inspired and without error as originally written, and that it is the only infallible rule of faith and practice for the Christian (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21).
The Plan of Salvation
We believe in Jesus Christ, conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20), born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:35), whose death on the cross for the redemption of sinners provided a sufficient and complete propitiation for their sin and guilt (I John 4:10; Ephesians 1:7), and who rose again for our justification (Romans 4:25), ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for all those who come unto God by Him (Hebrews 7:25). All who believe in and receive the Lord Jesus Christ have eternal life; those who do not will be eternally lost (John 1:12; John 3:36; Romans 10:9, 10; I John 5:11, 12). We wait for the “blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), and we believe that all things shall finally be subjected to God through Him (I Corinthians 15:25-28).
We believe that the true church, which is an organism formed of true believers exercising their God given gifts together in order to carry our Christ’s purposes, is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:23), and is formed by the work of the Holy Spirit in all those who trust Christ as their Savior (Ephesians 2:22 and I Corinthians 12:13).
The Christian’s Ministry
In view of Christ’s last command (Matthew 28:19, 20) and recognizing the lost condition of all those who fail to accept the gospel message (John 3:18, 36), we believe in the urgency of every Christian’s responding to the great commission of Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
It is to the work of helping to carry out the plan of God in this age that ITEC is dedicated. We believe that Christ’s great commission includes all Christians, including the Indigenous Church. We are resolved to empower those changed by the Gospel to use the tools and training we supply to reach their own people for Christ.
Statement of Faith Clarifier
ITEC is an inter-denominational evangelical Christian ministry that seeks to “open doors for the Gospel” by training indigenous Christ followers for meaningful participation in the Great Commission. We do not have an official denominational stance nor denominational financial backing. ITEC works with various partners worldwide from a variety of denominational backgrounds.
We do not take hard stances on the more peripheral theological issues: baptism, communion, eschatology, spiritual gifts, etc. Romans 14 sets the standard for how we address these more peripheral beliefs. We ascribe to the ancient adage “In essentials, unity; In non-essentials, liberty.” Our statement of faith is quite simple and resembles the basic doctrines laid out in the Apostles’ Creed. While our statement of faith declares what we do believe, it is at times necessary to clarify what we do not believe.
We acknowledge various traditions when it comes to the mode of baptism and the age of those being baptized. We deny the belief of baptismal regeneration. We do not believe that baptism has the power to save. Baptism symbolizes Christ’s cleansing from sin and Christ alone has the power to save (Romans 6:4, 1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is an act of obedience for the believer and is commanded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). In the book of Acts, baptism often immediately followed conversion.
We acknowledge that God has the power to supernaturally heal. But we also acknowledge the gift of modern medicine as an act of God’s common grace. The believer is to pray in faith for healing (James 5:14). While we acknowledge God’s power to heal, we also submit to His sovereign will for us (Daniel 3:16-18). We reject the notion that God wills for everyone to be physically healed in this life. When God chooses not to heal, His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). God uses this and other forms of suffering to develop and refine us (Romans 5:3-5 and James 1:2-4).
We acknowledge the presence of various forms of suffering in our world due to both the short-term and long-term consequences of sin (Genesis 3). For the Christian, suffering is not to be avoided but to be expected (1 Thessalonians 3:3, 2 Timothy 3:12). On the other hand, suffering for the sake of suffering is not to be pursued either (1 Cor 7:21). As mentioned above, we believe that God has the power to deliver from peril or sickness (Daniel 3:16-18). But we also acknowledge that it may not be His will to deliver us. We deny the theology of the so-called “Prosperity Gospel” or “Word of Faith” movement. ITEC was born out of the ashes of the 1956 “End of the Spear” story. Five men were killed by the Waodani whom they were trying to reach with the Gospel. Their obedience and faithfulness to God led them not to worldly success nor physical prosperity but rather their death. It is often that God uses our suffering to display His glory and accomplish His purposes (Genesis 50:20, John 12:23-28, Romans 8:28).
We acknowledge the diversity in evangelicalism regarding spiritual gifts. Some in our midst hold to Cessationist doctrine which would teach that the “sign gifts” ended during the first century. Others believe that all the gifts mentioned in the New Testament are just as applicable today as they were back then. Regardless of the stance taken, we reject the notion that every believer has the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30). We also reject the belief that only those who speak in tongues have the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer at the point of conversion (Romans 8:9, Galatians 3:2-5, Ephesians 1:13-14). The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the life of the believer (Galatians 5:22-23).
We affirm the doctrine of the Trinity as has been historically understood by the Church. We acknowledge that while the term “Trinity” is not mentioned in the Bible, the concept of the Trinity is mentioned in the Bible as early as Genesis 1:26. The doctrine of the Trinity is a historic Christian belief that has been held by believers down through the centuries. In recent years, there has been a rise in “Oneness” doctrine which denies belief in the Trinity. We acknowledge this to be a resurgence of the ancient heresy called Modalism. We believe that God is one in nature or essence (Deuteronomy 6:4) yet three in person. We acknowledge the eternality and divinity of Christ (John 1:1-3). We also acknowledge Jesus being co-equal to the Father (John 10:30). We affirm the divinity of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force but rather a person who can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30).