WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?
WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY?
WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY?
OUR CHURCH VISION
Jesus' parting mission for the church was this:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" - Matthew chapter 28, verses 18-20
From this we think there are two main aspects for our church vision:
BRINGING PEOPLE INTO CHRIST
"make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"
We want to be a church about helping people to hear about Jesus and believe in him. That's why we try to make every aspect of what we do together, whether in small groups or all together, accessible to people who don't know Jesus and aren't familiar with church culture.
And we're clear that we want people to be brought into Christ, not into a brand of Christianity, or a set of rules and culture. Jesus is the centre of all we are.
BUILDING PEOPLE UP IN CHRIST
"...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
Making disciples is more than starting people in Christ, it is a continued work helping people who have begun in Christ to keep growing in him.
Again, we're not trying to help people grow in a brand of Christianity or in spirituality or in self-fulfillment or in personal health or wealth. We want to grow deeper and stronger in Christ, being full of him by his Spirit.
Our beliefs are summed up in the Co-Mission statement of faith as follows:
There is only one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is unchangeable in his holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator; Saviour and Judge, sovereign in the election, salvation and preservation of his people in Christ and who sustains and governs all things, all history and all existence according to his sovereign will for his own glory.
2. The Bible
God has revealed himself and his promises 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.
3. The Human Race
All men and women, being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth, which is not annulled by gender role distinction or headship in marriage. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. As a result of the fall of our first parents, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and all men and women are without spiritual life, guilty sinners and hostile to God. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs to be justified, forgiven, reconciled to God in Christ in order to know and please him.
4. The Lord Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. 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. On the cross he died in the place of sinners, bearing God’s punishment for their sin, redeeming them by his blood. He rose from the dead and in his resurrection body ascended into heaven where he is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father. Salvation is in and through the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ’s once and for all penal substitutionary death, resurrection and ascension and is offered to all in the gospel. God in his love forgives sinners whom he calls, granting them repentance and faith. Believers in Christ are justified by grace alone in Christ alone whose righteousness is imputed to us by God’s mercy so that we are righteous in his sight, pardoned of all sin, adopted into the family of God, are progressively sanctified by the Holy Spirit for holiness and are preserved for the coming Kingdom and New Creation.
6. The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. He has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation to God’s people. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures, for he inspired all Scripture and speaks in Scripture to us today. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and, while believers still battle personal and corporate sin, the Spirit progressively produces in believers increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
7. The Church
The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the head and to which all who are saved belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; for pastoral care and discipline, for mutual love and encouragement, for calling all people to repentance and faith in the gospel of Christ, and to equip believers for their works of mercy and justice in the world that demonstrate God’s care over all creation. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel.
8. The Future
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory. He will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God in the promised New Creation. God will make all things new and will be glorified in all things forever.