HTD is an anglican church and therefore is governed by Scripture, the 39 Articles, and the book of Common Prayer. However, because the language of the 39 articles is often difficult to understand in the contemporary world, the following summary of biblical doctrines is one we often point people to as a good description of what we believe.
There is only one God, who exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Spirit, in perfect unity. He is the almighty and loving Creator, Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will for his own glory.
The Bible, as originally given, is the God-breathed and infallible word of God. This precious, life-giving word is sufficient for our knowledge of God and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
All people, men and women, are created in God’s image and are called to love God with all their beings. However, since the fall, all people are guilty of rebellion against God and human nature is thoroughly corrupted by sin. This makes everyone subject to God’s righteous anger and condemnation.
God demonstrated his love toward us by sending his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is both fully God and fully human. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He died on the cross, rose from the dead, and in his resurrected body ascended into heaven where he is exalted as ruler over all.
Salvation is entirely the gracious gift of God and cannot be earned or deserved. It is accomplished through the atoning death, once and for all time, of our representative and substitute, Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and sinners. By Christ’s death God’s anger is turned aside, we are redeemed from sin and death, and we are declared to be righteous in God’s sight. This salvation is offered in the gospel and received by turning to God from sin and trusting in Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven by the Father and the Son. He enables people to turn to God, the Father, and to trust in Jesus Christ, the Lord. He makes the death of Christ effective to individual sinners, imparting spiritual life. God’s Spirit dwells in all those he has regenerated, producing in them likeness to Christ in attitudes, actions and speech.
The people of God
The Lord Jesus Christ builds the church, his people, through the proclamation and teaching of his word. All who have been saved through the work of Christ are members of his church and united with one another. God has equipped his people with his Spirit and with gifts to be used for mutual edification in the church and for the proclamation of the gospel to the world.
The Lord Jesus Christ will return from heaven. He will welcome his people into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God, and he will execute God’s condemnation on all who have not received him. On that day all sin, suffering, pain and death will be completely destroyed and God will be glorified forever.
Jesus Christ is at the heart of God’s plan for his world. The universe was created by him, through him, and for him and God’s intention is that in everything Christ might be preeminent. Through Jesus alone we are reconciled to God.
Our pre-eminent value is therefore being Christ-centred. We seek to give Jesus his proper place in our proclamation, our lives and our worship. Individually and corporately we will strive to exalt him as Lord and Saviour, to place him at the centre of our life and witness, and to do everything for his glory, honour and praise. In this way we will line up with God’s Spirit and glorify his Father and ours.
(Ephesians 1:9–10; Colossians 1:15–20)
If Jesus is at the heart of God’s plan for his world, the gospel is the means by which that plan is put into the public domain. In the gospel, God has made known the mystery of his will and plan, revealing that it had been promised beforehand in the Old Testament, but fleshed out in Jesus who was physically descended from David but by the Holy Spirit was declared God’s powerful Son.
We know that this gospel changes everything. We therefore seek to submit our individual lives to the gospel in faith and obedience. We make sure that we work to submit our church life to the gospel. Knowing that the gospel is God’s power to save people who don’t know Jesus and to transform believers, we make sure that what we say is faithful to the true gospel and saturated with it. We want to be a group of people working together to bring people to the gospel, transform them by the gospel, and send them out to proclaim the gospel.
(Mark 1:14–15; Romans 1:1–6, 16–17; 16:25–27; Ephesians 1:3–14; 2:11–22; 4:1–16; Colossians 1:24–2:3)
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are God-breathed Scripture. They tell the story of God’s great plan for his world. They therefore bear witness to Jesus and are ‘full of the gospel’. They were inspired by the Holy Spirit and are the infallible means by which people might come to know Jesus and grow in faith, obedience, and godliness.
We are therefore committed to the public reading of Scripture, preaching systematically through it, teaching people how to read it for themselves, and to encouraging prayerful and regular personal study of it. We dedicate ourselves to showing how the Bible fits together (biblical theology), how it witnesses to Jesus, how it is able to make people wise for salvation through Christ Jesus (gospel-centred), and how it teaches, rebukes, corrects, trains in righteousness, and equips us for Christian life and ministry.
(Deuteronomy 8:3; Psalm 19; 119; John 5:39–40; 2 Timothy 3:14–17)
God’s actions in Christ make clear what the rest of the Bible implies, that is, that God loves his world. In fact, his love is so profound that he is willing to give his Son so that people might be reconciled to God. Such love compels us to join with God’s Spirit and go into all the world to invite people to come and take the riches of relationship with God available through Jesus.
We are convinced that while we must do as Jesus did and act with justice and compassion towards those in need. However, we also acknowledge that the world’s most desperate need is for people to be reconciled to God and therefore to hear the gospel. This ministry is paramount, which is why we support evangelistic efforts both in Australia and overseas, and encourage people to seriously consider Christian ministry and missionary service. Moreover, while we want to be good stewards of money, land, and buildings, our mission-mindedness causes us to always give priority to ministry and mission.
(Matthew 28:18–20; Luke 24:44–49; John 1:1–18; 3:16; 1 Corinthians 9:16; 2 Corinthians 5:11–6:2; Revelation 22:17)
Maturing in Christ
God calls us as individuals and together to be people growing into maturity in Christ. Such growth happens as God’s Spirit works as leaders, teachers, and pastors train God’s people in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until all God’s people become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
As a church, we therefore urge all Christians to take prayerful and deliberate interest in our fellow Christians and their spiritual health. We want to encourage each other to keep believing in Jesus and to grow in Christlikeness. We also want to encourage each other to serve others. We know the importance of meeting together to do these things and so we encourage each other to take regular opportunities to do this in a variety of forms.
(Ephesians 4:10–16; Philippians 1:9–11; 3:7–21; Colossians 1:28–29; Hebrews 5:11–6:3; 10:19–39)
Growing in Grace
The message of the whole Bible is that God is generous, gracious, and kind. He is a loving king who loves to give good gifts to his people. Because of the cross, we know that God the Father gives sacrificially and that Jesus does the same.
Knowing this goodness and grace of God, we want to be like him. We want to give ourselves to his service, to the service of each other, and to the service of making Christ known. We know that this will affect the way that we live, the choices we make about time, careers, money, lifestyle, gifts, and ministry. However, we are determined to do this and to encourage this in our church, because we love God and want to love as he has loved us.
(Exodus 34:6–8; Deuteronomy 6:5; 7:7; Psalm 145; John 13:31–35; 2 Corinthians 8:1–9:15; Romans 13:8; 1 John 3:19–4:21)
Prayerful in Everything
Those who have been brought back into relationship with God through the sacrificial and atoning death of Jesus, know the joy of no longer being distant with God. We also know that we are helpless and dependent children who have a Father who is rich in generosity and kindness. Our lives are now oriented around him and so we constantly seek his advice in his word and bring our requests to him.
We therefore seek to reflect this in all our meetings at every level of our church life. We bring all manner of requests both great and small before our God and seek his help, mercy, sustenance, healing, and blessing. We pray for gospel proclamation and mission. We praise and thank God for his answer to prayer. We confess before him our sins and failures. We encourage people to have a vital personal prayer life and to pray regularly with other Christians. We do what we can to facilitate prayer.
(Psalms; Daniel 9; Ephesians 6:18–20; Colossians 1:3–14; 4:2–4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, 25; James 5:13–18; Jude 17–23)