Doctrinal Basis of Faith
There is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is the unchangeable, holy, faithful, loving and almighty Creator, Saviour and Judge. He sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will for his own glory.
The Bible, comprising the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the complete and final written record of God’s revelation to the human race and is in its entirety the word of God. It was written by human authors who were supernaturally moved by the Holy Spirit so that every word they wrote was divinely inspired. The Bible is therefore without error and is fully reliable in fact and doctrine. It is the final authority and is always sufficient in all matters of belief and conduct. A true and spiritual understanding of the Bible comes through the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
The Human Race
All men and women are made in the image of God and have equal worth. Their greatest purpose is to worship, love and obey God. As a result of the disobedience and fall into sin of our first parents, every aspect of the fallen human nature, with which we are born, is corrupt and without spiritual life. All men and women sin and live in rebellion against God. All are therefore under God’s condemnation and need to be born again, forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please him. God therefore commands all people everywhere to repent, turn from their sin and believe in Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, uniting in the one person of the eternal Son of God his divine nature and his human nature. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of Mary while she was a virgin, and lived a sinless life.
On the cross he died as a substitute for his people, shedding his precious blood, bearing God’s wrath and being punished for their sins. He rose from the dead and in his resurrection body ascended into heaven. Now he is exalted as Lord of all and intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father. The only way that anyone can come to God the Father is through Jesus Christ his Son.
The Gospel is God’s plan of salvation. Salvation, being saved from the punishment our sins deserve, is entirely a work of God’s grace. It cannot be earned or deserved. It was accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ for his people who, because of God’s unconditional love, were chosen in Him before the world was made. God in his love forgives sinners and, through the Holy Spirit, grants them the gifts of repentance and faith.
God’s salvation in Christ is freely offered to everyone who wants to be saved. Sinners who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified by faith alone, are considered by God to be righteous, are adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life. The salvation of every believer is therefore eternally secure in the Lord Jesus Christ through his saving and keeping power.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ. He indwells all believers giving spiritual life, applying and bringing assurance of salvation, producing the fruit of the Spirit and making them more like Jesus, the Son of God. He empowers and gives gifts to the members of the Church for worship, service and mission.
Christ is the head of the Church, to which all who are saved from every generation and all nations belong. This universal Church is seen in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are united in their love for the Lord Jesus Christ and are committed to each other for the worship of God, for pastoral care, discipline and evangelism. The Bible and the faithful preaching of God’s word are central to true worship. Unity is expressed within and between local churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the Gospel.
Believers’ Baptism & The Lord’s Supper
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper were introduced and commanded for believers by our Lord Jesus Christ. They are administered in the context of the local church.
Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is a beautiful symbol of the washing away of sins, union with Christ, entry into his Church and living for God. Being baptised in water does not make anyone a Christian.
The Lord’s Supper is a simple, symbolic meal to remind believers of Christ’s sacrifice for them, offered once for all. As we partake we are reminded to feed on Christ in our hearts by faith. It involves no change in the bread and wine.
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory and judge the world in righteousness. The bodies of the dead will be raised. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. God will make all things new in new heavens and a new earth and will be glorified forever. The time of Christ’s return is unknown to all except the Father but we say, “Come soon, Lord Jesus.”