Statement of Faith

  We believe in One God.

'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the LORD is One,' Deuteronomy 6:4.

Revealed to us in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,' Matthew 28:19 and also 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 and 2 Corinthians 13:14.

 

We believe God the Son became incarnate as a human being; He was born to the Virgin Mary. He lived a fully human life; was tempted yet committed no sin. He is the Lord Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man.

 

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said ‘Greetings you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you… you will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David,' Luke 1:26-28, 31-32, also Matthew 1:18-23, and John 1:1-3, 14, 18.

 

We believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and the only way by which mankind can be restored to God.

Jesus answered: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father, except through Me,' John 14:6.

Through repentance of our sin and our transgressions, and by knowing and believing that Jesus died in our place, and that He rose again from the dead to give us eternal life, we become a new creation and enter into a new spiritual life with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Mankind can do nothing to earn his salvation; it is by the grace of God alone and through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. When we accept this truth and place our faith in Jesus Christ then we are born again and receive eternal life, and as such become part of God’s kingdom.  Understanding that upon repentance, Jesus is our Lord, and it is by Him that we have our being, seeking His Lordship.

Peter replied ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,’ Acts 2:38.

'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17.

 

'Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children,' Romans 8:14, 16. 

 

'That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, you will be saved,' Romans 10:9.

 'For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,' Ephesians 2:8-10. 

'So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him,' Colossians 2:6. 

Jesus said: ‘You call Me 'Teacher' and 'Lord', and rightly so, for that is what I am,' John 13:13, see also Matthew 3:2, 8, Luke 15:11-24, Romans 8:15, John 3:3-8, 16, Colossians 1:13 and Ephesians 2:8-10.

We believe that when we take this step of faith, having received new life in him, we are no longer under the wrath of God, or His judgement of the whole world still in sin, and have passed from death to life.

‘I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and will not come be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life,' John 5:24, see also Romans 8:1-2 and Revelation 20:11-15

 

We believe the Bible is the undeniable word of God and is indeed God-breathed and God- inspired and containing all that is necessary for us to understand salvation and to grow in our Christian living, 2 Timothy 3v16-17. It is by our relationship in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us that we can live in the flesh by His Lordship.

'You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who lives in you,' Romans 8:9-11, see also John 6:51-58, John 15:1-8, Romans 8:9-11 and Ephesians 5:18-20

 

We believe that the church is every person called by God and who believes that Jesus Christ is their Saviour. We as a local church consist as a part of that body of believers who meet together to encourage each other in our faith and to truly know Jesus and the power of His resurrection in us.

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from Law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead,' Philippians 3:8-11.

We believe that we are called to serve God and share His love with others, using and honouring the abilities, skills and gifts that God has given us by His Holy Spirit. We are to serve each other and those outside the church knowing that God will equip us with whatever gifting we need.

'Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve other, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen,' 1 Peter 4:8-11, see also Exodus 31:1-11, Romans 12:6-8,  1 Corinthians 12:1-12, 28, 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, Ephesians 4:11 and  1 Peter 4:8-11.

 

We believe and hold to a firm biblical position (based on the Evangelical Alliance statement listed below*) with regard to the ethics for relationships and sexuality in general, which includes the affirmation of heterosexual marriage alone. 

‘But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate,' Mark 10:6-9, and also 1 Corinthians 7:36-38.

*We encourage congregations to welcome and accept sexually active lesbians and gay men. However, we do so in the expectation that they, like all of us who are living outside God’s purposes, will come in due course to see the need to be transformed and live in accordance with biblical revelation and orthodox church teaching. We urge gentleness, patience and ongoing pastoral care during this process and after a person renounces same-sex sexual relation.

We are conscious that different evangelicals might apply certain of these points in different ways, but we believe that, taken together, they reflect an authentic, mainstream evangelical response to homosexuality in general and sexually active same-sex partnerships in particular:

1.     We recognise that all of us are sinners, and that the only true hope for sinful people – whatever our sexuality – is in Jesus Christ. Our earnest prayer is that his love, truth and grace would characterise evangelical responses to debates on homosexuality, both now and in future.

2.     We affirm God’s love and concern for all human beings, whatever their sexuality, and so repudiate all attitudes and actions which victimise or diminish people whose affections are directed towards people of the same sex. We are encouraged many Christians now recognise and deeply regret the hurt caused by past and present failures in their responses to those who experience same-sex attraction.

3.     We affirm that marriage is an institution created by God in which one man and one woman enter into an exclusive relationship for life. Marriage is the only form of partnership approved by God for sexual relations and homoerotic sexual practice is incompatible with His will as revealed in Scripture. We do not accept that holding these theological and ethical views on biblical grounds is in itself homophobic.

4.     We encourage evangelical congregations to be communities of grace in which those who experience same-sex attraction and seek to live faithfully in accordance with biblical teaching are welcomed and affirmed. Such Christians need churches which are safe spaces where they are able to share and explore their stories with fellow believers for mutual encouragement and support as we help each other grow together into maturity in Christ.

5.     We oppose moves within certain churches to accept and/​or endorse sexually active same-sex partnerships as a legitimate form of Christian relationship and to permit the ordination to ministry of those in such sexual relationships. We stand prayerfully with those in such churches who are seeking to resist these moves on biblical grounds.

6.     We oppose church services of blessing for civil partnerships and other forms of gay and lesbian relationships as unbiblical and reject any redefinition of marriage to encompass same-sex relationships.

7.     We commend and encourage all those who experience same-sex attraction and have committed themselves to chastity by refraining from homoerotic sexual practice. We believe they should be eligible for ordination and leadership within the church, recognising that they can bring invaluable insights and experience to the sphere of Christian pastoral ministry.

8.     We welcome and support the work of those individuals and organisations who responsibly seek to help Christians who experience same-sex attraction as in conflict with their commitment to live in accordance with biblical teaching. This help will involve counsel and pastoral support to live a chaste life and, as part of this process, some may seek and experience changes in the strength or direction of their same-sex attractions.

9.     We believe both habitual homoerotic sexual activity without repentance and public promotion of such activity are inconsistent with faithful church membership. While processes of membership and discipline differ from one church context to another, we believe that either of these behaviours warrants consideration for church discipline.

Church Life

A person wishing to become a member of our local church will be someone who knows the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour.

Our vision as a church is ‘Jesus at the Centre’ because He is our Capstone, our Living Stone. It is our relationship in Him which builds us into the spiritual house, as living stones in Him.

With Jesus at the centre, as individuals and as a body together, we will be a worshipping, welcoming, sacrificial, missionary-minded and prophetic community, in Jesus and for Jesus.

 'As you come to Him, the living Stone - rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious to Him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ,' 1 Peter 2:4-5.

As a local church of believers, we are called to be witnesses for Our Lord Jesus Christ, living our lives in His Lordship, and reaching out to others, introducing those outside the church to the truth that is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.

 

 

Revised November 2019