We are a group of Christians who are conservative and reformed in our approach to The Bible yet culturally relevant in the way we apply it to our lives today. This means we believe that the whole Bible is true and as relevant for today as it was when it was written. When culture stands at odds with The Bible we believe that The Bible should always be our Authority as it was written by men inspired by God and in its original form is inerrant (without error). Reading through our Basis of Faith should assist in explaining more fully what we believe.
Basis of Our Faith
The Bible is God’s word, written down by Human Authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. As such in its original form it is without error and completely true. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice. There are no other books like it - it is reliable and it is relevant. It should be read carefully and regularly by Christians and ideally by everyone!
Each book (the Bible is a collection of 66 short books) should be understood in its original context and taught carefully to all. Why? Because it is a guide on showing us how we should think about God and how we should think about the human race. It tells us how God has saved us from our sin and how we should live as a Christians. It reveals God's purposes for us. It is complete - it should not be added to or taken from.
There is one God. God has always existed and always will. He is all powerful and all knowing. He is immeasurable, uncontainable. He is perfect: blameless, true and loving.
God consists of three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal, and co-eternal. One God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - This is known as the Trinity. God the Father created everything, he spoke and it appeared; he sustains the universe and everything in it. This is amazing, God is supernatural. His standards and all his attributes are beyond our ability or complete comprehension. He is just, but he is also forgiving. He is interested in all of us and he is big enough to care about the smallest detail of our lives.
Jesus is God's son and is fully God and fully man - God didn’t create him, he has always been the son of God. Jesus was with God from eternity past. At creation, Jesus was there and worked with God in making everything. When above it says God ‘sustains the world and everything in it’, he does this through Jesus Christ. Jesus, like the Father is everlasting. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all his words are true. He came into the world at 00AD to die as a sacrifice for our sins (wrongdoings). In the three years before his death he taught widely about how we should live. He performed miracles and forgave people. When he died (on the cross), he was punished by God the Father for all the sins of mankind past and present and future. He rose again three days later, performed more miracles and taught his disciples for 40 days before ascending into heaven. Now he lives with God, representing us to Him.
The Holy Spirit as His title suggests is Spirit- He is not confined to follow a physical form; again this is supernatural and amazing. He is with the church now and His purpose is to bring people to realise their wrongdoings and to turn them to God. Once that takes place He lives in Christians and helps them understand the Bible correctly. He transforms them by his power over the course of a life time to live as God originally intended.
God made man - male and female - in His own image, to have a relationship with Him. All mankind have equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God and the relationship between God and man and between man and man was broken. Having broken the relationship, there was nothing man could do to repair it (only God’s forgiveness could do it!). Away from God, man is driven by selfish desire and is encouraged by Satan to remain that way. This condition is opposed to God's way. Without God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus, there is no hope.
The Gospel (Salvation):
The term Gospel means good news and Jesus Christ is the gospel. He was born, he lived, he died, and he rose again and ascended to God. Our rebellion against God and rejection of Him could not go unpunished. So, Jesus died in our place, being punished for our sins past, present and future. Jesus death displays His love and grace. Now he represents us to God. No-one else could do that for the whole of mankind. We call this work Salvation. Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all.
When man receives the gospel message he must confess his sins and accept it as truth; this must be a genuine response. A life touched by the gospel is a changed life. It is a life of faith clearly seen by its service to God, His church and the His world. Through the gospel, man is declared innocent and is saved from God's punishment (salvation). Man is given eternal life in God’s presence. God accepts man and women who have turned to Jesus as His children. Man is no longer ruled by his tendency to sin, but is free to live as God originally designed. The Holy Spirit causes man to realize the Gospel and after the initial response, the change-process begins; we change to be more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Bible and through the church. Sin is still with us, but loosens its grip as we learn to live more like Jesus through his teaching and the power of the Holy Spirit within us. As we do, people will notice God's glory within us and will praise Him for it.
Everyone who responds to the Gospel is urged to persevere in transformation. This is achieved through Bible study, prayer and ‘whole life worship’. When man responds to the Gospel, the Holy Spirit comes to live within and empowers man to tell others and to serve. After salvation, Christians are encouraged to pursue being further filled with the Spirit in order to witness to the Gospel.
The Church are the people who genuinely follow Jesus Christ. So as a collective term, the Church is every Christian in the World. So strictly speaking, there is one Church worldwide. In practice the various traditions, cultural and regional differences between people mean that the Church has become divided into different denominations and congregations. These differences may be just packaging differences such as dress code / music style etc but some may be more crucial differences such as differing on whether Jesus is God. We believe that the whole Bible is true and as such it cannot be approached as ‘pick n mix’: believing some things but not others. God creates the Church, calling people to follow Him, there He guides and preserves them.
The Church exists to worship and glorify God, to work with Him on earth performing good deeds and telling people about His son Jesus. The church shares the gospel to see people come into relationship with Him; through relationship with Him; society (and the World) will be changed for the better. When someone hears and responds to the Gospel, they should join other Christians in this mission; this is vital.
A good church will be committed to each other in promoting the worship of God and the preaching of the Bible. The church should also engage in Baptism, Communion, pastoral care, discipline and evangelism.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion):
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion) have been given to the church by Jesus as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into his Church but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Jesus’ sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
The time will come when Jesus will physically return to earth. At this time the dead will rise and all will be judged in righteousness. Satan, his hosts and those who’ve rejected Jesus will be separated from His presence forever; this is eternal punishment a place called Hell. All who have accepted Jesus will live with Him forever, serving, worshiping and enjoying His amazing presence in a new Heaven and on a New Earth. God promises in his word that he will make all things new and Christians live in the light of this day.