WHAT WE BELIEVE
We are a local church within mainstream Christianity, with beliefs that have been held by Christians for the last 2000 years.
Some of the most important things we believe are described below.
God is all-powerful, all-knowing, absolutely pure and just, and perfect in love towards man whom He created. There is one God, who is a Trinity of three co-equal but distinct persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God has made Himself known to man in three main ways:
through the world around us that was created by Him
through the Bible
through His Son Jesus Christ
God has revealed himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. Every word was inspired by God through human authors, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine.
The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
Man was created in the image of God, and did not evolve from more primitive life forms. Man has both a physical body and an immortal soul. Originally the first created man, Adam lived in a perfect relationship with God, and harmony with the rest of creation, but Adam was disobedient to God and became a sinner.
Because of this, mankind became separated from God and subject to pain, disease and death. We all inherit Adam’s sinful nature, and we all reap the consequences of Adam’s sin.
Because God is absolutely pure, He cannot allow sin into His presence. Furthermore, because God is absolutely just He is bound to punish sin. God has declared that the penalty for sin is physical death, and eternal separation from Him in a place the Bible calls Hell.
Because all of us are sinners by nature, the inevitable consequence is that our sin will incur the judgement of God.
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He has been with God the Father from all eternity, but came into this world, taking on human flesh. He lived as a man among men, yet was different in that He was completely without sin.
His mission was to come into the world to save sinners. He died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, taking the punishment of God in their place. Three days later He rose from the dead, proving that He had conquered sin and death, and then ascended into heaven from where He will one day return to earth.
Salvation can never be earned or deserved, but God offers it freely as a gift to all those who believe. Getting right with God is not about trying to do good deeds or being religious, but about entering a new relationship with God. To be saved a person must admit their sin and turn away from it, and personally trust Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
Those who do this are forgiven from their sins and have everlasting life.
OUR DOCTRINAL STATEMENT OF FAITH
We express our substantial agreement with the London Baptist Confession of faith 1689, but draw particular attention to the following truths:
1. The Bible – The Word of God
The inerrancy and infallibility of the Holy Scriptures as originally given; their verbal inspiration by God; their authority and all sufficiency, as not only containing, but being in themselves, the Word of God; the reliability of the New Testament in its testimony to the character and authorship of the Old Testament, and the need of the teaching of the Holy Spirit for a true and spiritual understanding of the whole. The Holy Scriptures constitute our only standard of faith and rule of conduct and are the sixty six books of the Old and New Testaments as contained in the index of the 1611 Authorised Version. They constitute the revelation of God written down in its fullness.
2. The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit – one God
The Trinity of the Godhead as revealed in the Scriptures – the Father being God, the Lord Jesus Christ the Son being God, the Holy Spirit being God, these being equal in power and glory, one Lord God Almighty – sovereign in creation, providence, redemption and judgment.
3. Jesus Christ – True God – True Man
The essential, absolute and eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ; His conception by the Holy Spirit; His birth of the virgin Mary; His real, but sinless, humanity; the authority of His teaching and the infallibility of all His utterances; His voluntary humiliation in life as a Man of Sorrows culminating in His substitutionary and atoning death, whereby He shed His precious blood as the sacrifice for sin, thus redeeming all those whom the Father had given Him before the foundation of the world; His bodily resurrection on the third day; His ascension into heaven as the only and eternal mediator between God and man; His present High Priestly intercession for His people at the right hand of the Father and His personal return in power and glory.
4. The Holy Spirit – Author and Giver of Life
The personality and the Deity of the Holy Spirit who inspired holy men to write the Scriptures, authenticating their writing and ministry by means of supernatural gifts which He has since withdrawn; through Him alone the soul is born again to saving repentance and faith, and by Him the saints are sanctified through the truth and assured of their adoption; the necessity for His work, and thus our dependence on Him, in ministry and worship, and in every aspect of the Christian’s life.
5. Mankind – Fallen Sinners
The direct creation of mankind in the image of God; the sanctity of human life from conception; The universal and total depravity of every individual in the sight of God as a consequence of The Fall; their exposure to everlasting punishment; their inability to will any spiritual good leading to salvation, and therefore the necessity for regeneration.
6. Salvation – by grace through faith
The justification of the sinner forever by grace alone through faith, through the atoning merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose righteousness imputed to them is the only ground of acceptance before God.
7. Holiness and witness – evidence of conversion
A holy walk and life on the part of professing believers as the evidence of their conversion to God. It is the duty of every Christian and every church of Christ to seek to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. This is to be done by personal effort and by all other methods sanctioned by the Word of God.
8. Our Lord’s ordinances – Baptism and The Lord’s Table
The ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Table as instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is the total immersion in water, in the Triune Name of God, of those who have professed repentance toward God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Table is in no sense a sacrifice for sin and involves no change in the substance of the bread and wine.
9. The future – heaven or hell
The resurrection of the body; the judgement of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, with the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting punishment of the wicked.
10. The one church – called to be pure
The spiritual unity of all who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and their duty to maintain in themselves and in the church a standard of life and doctrine that is in conformity with the teaching of God’s Holy Word.