What We Believe
Put simply, we believe the Bible is the word of God. It is through the Bible that God speaks to His world in His own words. He tells us about Himself, all He created and the Son He sent to save sinners.
Our beliefs reflect a traditional and historic understanding of the Bible and Christianity, and a short summary is given below, as agreed at a church members meeting on 15th January 1975.
The Living God.
God is Almighty, Eternal, and Unchanging. He is Just and Holy, Gracious and Merciful. He is the Maker and Ruler of all things and deserving of all praise and glory forever. (Ps.147:5,17 Ps.90:2 James 1:17 Rev.4:8 Rev.4:11 Deu.32:4 Ex.34:6,7 Dan.4:35)
The Written Word.
God’s greatness and holiness are such that, without His aid, man can neither understand God nor find the way to a right relationship with Him. In His mercy, however, God has made Himself known. He has done this partially through creation, but explicitly through the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We therefore accept all that was written in the Bible as not merely containing, but being, the inspired and infallible Word of God and the final and sufficient authority in all matters.
(Job 11:7 1Cor.2:9-11,14 2Tim.3:16,17)
God is One, existing through all eternity in three co-equal persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
(Deu.6:4 1Tim.2:5 1John5:7)
The Sovereign God.
God exercises sovereign power in creation, providence and redemption.
(Gen.1: 1 Heb.1: 3 Ps.111:9)
Man, the Sinner.
As a consequence of the fall, human nature is in a state of utter depravity; man separated from, and dead to, God through sin, and only regeneration by God Himself can bring restoration.
(Rom.5:12,18,19 Rom.3:10,23 Ps.51:5 Is.59:2 Eph.2:1,5,8)
Jesus, the Saviour.
The true and proper Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ; His virgin birth; His real and perfect manhood; the authority of His teaching, and the infallibility of all His utterances; His work of atonement for sinners of mankind by His vicarious sufferings and death; His bodily resurrection and His ascension into Heaven; and His present priestly intercession for His people. (Lk.1:31,32,35 Heb.7:26 Mk.1:22 Heb.9:28 1Cor.15:4 Heb.7:25 1Tim.1:15 Phil.2:8 Mk.16:19)
The Grace of God.
God, in His grace, forgives and reconciles to Himself all who turn to Him in true repentance and who trust in Christ’s atoning death, the justification of the sinner being solely by faith. God imputes to them the righteousness of Christ Himself, and adopts them as His own children. (Eph.2:8 2Cor.5:18,19,21 Eph.1:7 Gal.2:16 1John3:1)
The Holy Spirit.
God, the Holy Spirit, must work in a man before he can enter into salvation. He leads the sinner into an awareness of his sinfulness and brings him to repentance and trust in Christ. He is implicit in bringing about regeneration, conversion and sanctification in the new life. (ICor.2:10,14 Rom.9:16 John 1:13 John3:3,7 John 16:8,13,14 2Thess.2:13)
The Lord’s Return.
Within the eternal plan of God, the Lord Jesus Christ will return personally, in glory at the end of the age. (Acts 1:11 John 14:3 Matt.24:30,31)
Jesus the Judge.
God has appointed, Jesus as Judge and there will be a final judgement, when the living and dead through time everlasting will be raised bodily and stand before Him; when the righteous will enter into the fullness of eternal blessedness and when the wicked will be banished from God into eternal punishment. (Acts 10:42 2Tim.4:8 1Thess.4:13-17 Rev.20:11-15 Matt.13:41-43,49,50)
The One Church.
All who have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, and upon whom God has bestowed His righteousness as a free gift, belong to Christ. They alone may rightly be called Christians. They alone are members of the one universal and eternal Church of Christ. (Eph.2:19-22 Eph.5:25-27 1Cor.3:16,17)
The Gathered Church.
Each local Church is a fellowship of believers gathered by Christ, and has no need of, nor should acknowledge, any other authority than His. Through Him it has direct access to God and enjoys fellowship with other assemblies of His people in a unity, which transcends all barriers. (Eph.1:22,23 Heb.10:25 1Pet.2:5,9 Acts 2:42,46,47)
We acknowledge two sacraments as having been instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ and commanded in Scripture, those of believers’ baptism by total immersion and the Lord’s Supper, but not in baptism as conveying regenerating grace, nor in the Lord’s Supper as being a sacrifice for sin or involving any change in the substance of the bread and wine. (Markl6:16 1Cor.11:23-29)