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That’s it! (Kind of)

Christianity is not about church attendance, or being a good person. It’s about God and His plan for humanity. God created the world and it was good, until humanity fell to sin. Sin is more than the bad that we do, it’s a poison that was a result humanity’s rebellion against God. Because God is perfectly holy, our sin separated us from God. That’s why God sent Jesus, to live a perfect life and die on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin. He then defeated death, rose to life and offers the same eternal life to all. Only by the freely given gift of grace, not our good works, can we be saved and have eternal life in Heaven.

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

Who is God?

According to Scripture, God is the “I Am”. He’s hard to define as we would characterise a person, as He exists outside of time, space, and matter while we exist inside it. However, we can get a glimpse of who He is in Scripture; Creator, Beginning & End, Holy, Our Father. He is three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), but one nature (God). We cannot define Him however we want, rather we allow Him to self-define by submitting to what He has written in Scripture.

One important thing to know is that God didn’t just create the universe and walk away. He is intimately involved in His creation. He cares about you. He wants you to have a personal relationship with Him.

God is:
God is Creator

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

God is the source of all life and creation. Every other theory eventually falls short and begins to rely on chance or assumption. The only reasonable argument for existence and the only stance that provides answers to all is God. He created the universe and all in it, including us.

He made us ‘in His image’. He has given us the capacity to be immensely creative and to love unconditionally; we too have a sense of justice, morality and a spirituality which sets us apart from other living creatures.

God did not just create the universe and walk away. He remains intimately involved in it. He cares about people. Genesis tells us that even when humanity’s relationship with God went sour in the garden of Eden, he had a rescue plan – hinting at the coming of Jesus Christ to restore that relationship.

If God is Creator then we live as though He knows best. A creation is designed to operate as it’s creator intended, this is true of us. We don’t self-define, we don’t manufacture truth. We believe that God holds all truth because He defines creation. We believe God created us to be as He intended, which can be discovered through His Word.

God is Holy

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” – Revelation 4:8

Holiness means “apart” or “separate”. God is Holy, He created humanity but is unlike humanity; He is outside of time, space, matter. When we try to comprehend God’s ways, we can become frustrated. His ways are higher than our ways, and His actions often do not make sense to our earth-bound minds. This is why faith is important. Faith is submitting to God in relationship.

God’s love is not like our love, it’s a holy love. God’s judgement, anger, compassion, or moral “good” is not the same as our because He is Holy. If we approach God according to our own definitions of these things we begin to create a God in our minds after our own image rather than allowing Him to be God. We must not project our own standards on God.

God’s Holiness is one reason why our sin is so devastating. Holiness and perfection goes hand in hand and cannot allow sin or imperfection. Our sin separates us from God and dooms us to Hell, apart from a Holy God. God hates sin, He hates death. But He loves humanity, and made a way for us through Jesus Christ to be made righteous and clean of sin. That’s the good news.

The Trinity

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – Matthew 28:19

God is three persons; God the Father, God the Son, & the Holy Spirit. Yet, He is one God. The concept of the Triune God is a complex one that we may never truly understand but that we submit to as God’s ways are higher than ours. C.S. Lewis puts it best:

“A one dimensional world would be a straight line. In a two-dimensional world, you still get straight lines, but many lines make one figure. In a three-dimensional world, you still get figures but many figures make one solid body. In other words, as you advance to more real and more complicated levels, you do not leave behind you the things you found on the simpler levels: you still have them, but combined in new ways—in ways you could not imagine if you knew only the simpler levels.

Now the Christian account of God involves just the same principle. The human level is a simple and rather empty level. On the human level one person is one being, and any two persons are two separate beings—just as, in two dimensions (say on a flat sheet of paper) one square is one figure, and any two squares are two separate figures. On the Divine level you still find personalities; but up there you find them combined in new ways which we, who do not live on that level, cannot imagine.

In God’s dimension, so to speak, you find a being who is three Persons while remaining one Being, just as a cube is six squares while remaining one cube. Of course we cannot fully conceive a Being like that: just as, if we were so made that we perceived only two dimensions in space we could never properly imagine a cube. But we can get a sort of faint notion of it.”


The Father is the creator of the universe. He is the source of all love, mercy, and forgiveness. He is the one who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. The Father is our creator and sustainer. He loves us unconditionally and provides for all of our needs.


The Son is Jesus Christ. He is fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect life and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He rose from the dead three days later, and he offers us the gift of eternal life if we believe in him.


The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is the one who convicts us of our sin, guides us into all truth, comforts us and empowers us to live a Christian life. He is the one who helps us to understand the Bible and to apply its truths to our lives.


Life’s most important question.

Truth: The Word

Jesus is the way, the Truth, & the life. He is the pre-existent source of all truth and we must not separate Him from the words He has given us through Scripture. 1 Timothy states that “all scripture is God breathed” meaning that God wrote through authors in history to communicate His truth. Scripture is God’s self-revelation, it is the only way that we can truly know God and His creation. This is why a Christian lives under the authority of every word of Scripture. We not only seek to understand Scripture, but we also live out the commands as Scripture as we believe they are the very words of the God we follow.

Scripture is:
Objective Truth

“The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” – Genesis 1:1

The phrase “this is my truth” is all too common. Society treats truth as a subjective thing. Yet, if you drove your car at a tree because you believed that trees don’t exist, you’ll find that truth exists external to you. Truth is objective, it is measurable and observable. We don’t define truth, truth is defined for us. God pre-exists the universe, is outside of the confines of time, space, and matter, so He can be the only one who defines truth.

He chose to communicate that truth in His Word, the Scriptures. While Scripture does not answer every one of life’s questions it provides a framework and worldview for reality. Christians live under the authority of what Scripture says because God’s Words are transcendent (above) to reality. We believe that the answer to how God created us to live this life is found in His Word.

Historically Reliable

A common target of those trying to disprove or reject Christianity is the historical reliability of the Bible. “How can a book that is thousands of years old be accurate or reliable?” This shouldn’t really be an argument as Scripture is by far the most reliable ancient document in the world. Why?


When looking at ancient documents, the amount of original manuscripts of a text play a part in proving the accuracy of the text. There are roughly 6,000 surviving manuscripts for the New Testament alone. This makes it the best attested document of all ancient writings. The next closest contender is Homer’s The Iliad, which has only 600 existing copies. The only historical text that states Julius Caesar conquered Britain has 1 manuscript, written by Julius Caesar himself. Yet, Julius Caesar and The Iliad are respectable historical texts.

Having an abundance of manuscripts shows us that the copying of Scripture was accurate. Comparing the incredible amount of manuscript evidence has shown that the New Testament is 99.5% accurate, and the vast majority of differences are in spelling or minor copyist errors. Not a single variation in these thousands of manuscripts has been shown to affect a theological issue in any way.

In addition to this, the manuscripts we have can be dated very closely to the events. For example, the four gospels were written 40-60 years after Jesus’ resurrection with many New Testament books predating the gospels. Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, for example, were likely written 15-20 years after the time of Christ.


Archaeology has repeatedly confirmed the accuracy of Biblical places, events, and people. It is important to remember that no archaeological finds have ever disproved a single Biblical event, civilization, or individual. On the contrary, there are thousands of incidents where archaeology has upheld the facts recorded in Scripture and disproved skeptics. BeThinking.org has a few important examples of such evidence from archaeology.


The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the 1940’s allowed scholars to compare Old Testament manuscripts that were separated by hundreds of years. The newly discovered copy of Isaiah predated the earliest known copy of the book by 1,000 years. Comparing the two ancient documents revealed that they were nearly identical, except for some minor spelling or stylistic differences. Even though one of the manuscripts had been copied countless times more than that which was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, there was no substantial difference between the two texts (Learn more about the Dead Sea Scrolls at GotQuestions.org). This is one important example of how faithful scribes were when copying the Scriptures. These copies were accurately created by those dedicated to preserving the Word of God.

Inerrant Scripture

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” – 2 Timothy 3:16

Scripture is without error. While human speech and reasoning is not perfect, God’s word is. His words are perfect, and true. The Bible always tells the truth, and it always tells the truth concerning everything it talks about. This does not mean that the Bible tells us every fact there is to know about any one subject, but what it does say about any subject is true.

While there are minor errors in grammar and other copyist errors in translation, this has not changed the theological content of Scripture. The original manuscripts are truly without error, but as most translations are 99.5% accurate we can trust that a good translation can communicate the same message that God originally intended.

We must differentiate a good translation and a bad translation however. ESV, NASB, NIV, & NET are great word-for-word translations of Scripture that accurately represent the content of the original manuscripts. NLT or CEB are easy to read thought-for-thought translations that communicate the theological principles in easy to understand language. The MSG is a commentary good for reading alongside a translation but does not accurately translate the original manuscripts. The Passion Translation is not a translation, but rather an interpretation by one man (rather than a team of scholars) and we recommend avoiding as it does not communicate what God originally intended.

Statement of Faith >

The core statements of the Christian faith


The Bad News: sin condemns us to Hell

Humanity has and continues to rebel against God and His moral law. That is sin. It’s not just making a mistake. We not only do sinful acts and have sinful attitudes, but we are also sinners by nature. Sin has tainted all humanity and the world (no wonder there’s evil in the world). Not only does sin result in pain and destruction, it’s also deeply wrong because it is the direct opposite of all that is good in the character of God. Our Sin causes us to be separate to God, and therefore condemns us to Hell, an eternal place of punishment for Sin. But there’s good news…

Origin of Sin

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world.” – Ephesians 2:1-2

Sin did not originate from God but rather it was humans and angels who sinned first. Ultimately, all sin is irrational. Satan (the Devil) first sinned against God, but why? He then convinced Eve to rebel against the commands of God, but why? We don’t truly have the answer. Sin entered the world through free-will choices that led to Adam & Eve rejecting God to be “like God”. This first decision caused sin to infect the whole of creation. In addition, humanity continues to self-create in an attempt to be the authority of their own life and in doing so, rejects God’s authority as Creator.

A common question is “if God is good, why is there evil in the world?” The reality of sin and free will answers this. Sin has tainted the world and humanity’s free-will keeps choosing sin rather than God and His goodness. God sent His Son to defeat sin and provide a way for humanity to follow Him but we keep choosing to reject Him.

The logical next question is “why does God allow free-will?” The answer is, we don’t truly know. But C.S. Lewis suggests that taking away free-will takes away someone’s ability to love because love is a choice. A robot programmed with no free-will cannot love. God loves humanity so much that He won’t subject us to His will. Rather, He allows us the choice to love and follow Him, or not.

Our Sins

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 8:23

We don’t only commit sin, but we are sinners by nature. The sin that entered the world when Adam & Eve first rebelled against God has tainted the human race. Is it fair? No. Is it true? Yes. In a sense, Adam represented the human race in the Garden of Eden and His sin reflects on all.

In addition to this, the law of God, which is perfect and morally good, is broken but us all regularly. This breaking of God’s law is our ongoing, active sin. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes. But our mistakes are more than “oopsies” but they break the perfect law of God. Jesus states that even being angry at someone is sin. Every day we break God’s law, it’s in our nature as sinners.

This is why Jesus had to come to Earth. Jesus lived a perfect life without sin and was the “second Adam” who represented humanity again. Just as were made sinners by Adam, we can be made right with God again through Jesus Christ.


“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – 2 Matthew 25:46

Hell is not an eternal party. Hell is the place of eternal conscious punishment for those who have rejected God. This is why God has not ended the world or sent Jesus back yet. Because He loves His creation enough to give them enough time to choose Him by their own free-will. He won’t overrule our free-will because He loves us however our sin and rebellion towards Him condemns us to be eternally separate from Him.

God is the source of all good and a place without Him is a place without good. Jesus referred to Hell as an “unquenchable fire” and a “place of torment”. Long story short, Hell is not the eternal location anyone desires but many are headed to if they don’t turn from their sin and accept Christ.


The Good News: Christ redeems us for Heaven

God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to take the sins of the world on His shoulders and pay the penalty that our rebellion and sin demands. All sin is forgiven and if we choose to turn away from our sinful ways and follow Christ, we will be in right-standing with God, saved from Hell, and destined for Heaven. Our good works or self-will cannot do away with sin, only through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our sin forgiven and eternal life is received. This is by grace, the free gift of God to save humanity.


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

The term “salvation” implies that we are saved from something and for something. By Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection we may be saved from our sin, which condemns us to Hell, and for right-standing with God, which guarantees eternity in Heaven. The only pre-requisite for Salvation is to understand that:

  1. All people have sinned (Rom. 3:23).
  2. The penalty for our sin is death (Rom. 6:23).
  3. Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins (Rom. 5:8), and he rose from the dead and is alive today (1 Cor. 15:3–4).

We cannot be saved by our own good works because we can’t be perfect enough for God. We can only be saved by turning away from our sins (repentance) and trusting (faith) that Jesus is God who died for our sins and rose from the grave to offer eternal life.

You don’t have to respond in a Church service.
You don’t have to say a specific prayer.
You can believe in God, ask for His forgiveness in prayer, choose to follow Him, and you WILL be saved.

Not By Works

“were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” – John 1:13

We cannot save ourselves. Sin taints humanity, and we can never satisfy the perfect will of God. In other words, no person is perfect enough for God or Heaven. If our imperfect humanity could save ourselves and make it to Heaven, then Heaven wouldn’t be perfect. Rather, the only way we could be saved is if our sin was done away with and we were made perfect (or righteous) before God. This was achieved by Jesus Christ.

Jesus lived the perfect life we can’t, took our sin on His shoulders and paid the price that we should have paid. He then defeated death and rose from the grave. When we choose to turn from our sin and accept and follow God we, in a divine way, share in Christ’s death and resurrection. Our sin is paid for and our eternal life is gained by the work of Jesus Christ, the only one who could achieve this.


“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

Heaven is the eternal destination for those who have been made right with God (by turning from sin) through choosing to place their faith in Jesus Christ. Heaven is not a state of mind or a abstract place. Heaven is a physical place that is forever joyful in the full presence of God. It is the place where Christians will live with God.

God is not doing away with His Creation but rather He will renew and restore His creation into a “new heavens, and new earth” where we will live with new, restored bodies that are no longer tainted by sin. All evil, pain, sorrow is removed as those things cannot exist in the presence of God, which is only goodness, joy, love, peace. All our needs and desires will be satisfied in the presence of God in Heaven.

Even More Questions…


Select to learn more about The Rock Church

We are a passionate, vibrant, power-filled, one generation church.

Our Purpose is to see Saved People Saving People Through Jesus Christ.

Our Services

What We Believe

We are a part of the International Network of Churches, an off shoot of the Pentecostal denomination. In a nutshell, we adhere to the orthodox beliefs of the historical church and creeds. We believe in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and His every day influence in our lives. We live with Scripture as the ultimate authority of our life.

Statement of Faith

Click for a list of our core beliefs

Bill & Edwina Dodds
Senior Pastors
Brenda Yeo
Assistant Pastor
Joshua Carter
Assistant Pastor

Our Pastors

William (Bill) & Edwina Dodds are our Senior Pastors with Brenda Yeo and Joshua Carter as Assistant Pastors.

Bill & Edwina grew up in Port Stephens and have loved serving our community as pastors of the Rock Church since 2012. Their passion is to build a church that is founded on the Word of God and on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Some of the most welcoming people ever, they would be among the first people you meet when attending a service.

Connect Groups

We find that life happens in circles. This is why our Connect Groups play such a vital role in our faith. We aren’t meant to live isolated but in community, growing together in love. Our Connect Groups operate throughout the week and are varied to cater for a wide range of people, whatever your experience, interests, or personality.

We seek genuine relationships and love & honour all people to nurture belonging.

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180 Salamander Way, Salamander Bay, NSW 2317