- That there is only one true God, who exists in three persons, father, son and holy spirit.
- That God created the world and that mankind was made to have a relationship with him.
- That the relationship between God and man was broken by the deliberate and sinful rebellion of the first people.
- That Jesus Christ, the son of God, came into the world, lived a perfect life and died to take the punishment that each of us deserve.
- That by trusting in Jesus Christ as Saviour our broken relationship with God can be restored.
- That every human being will one day meet God as judge; and that those who do not trust in Jesus as Saviour will face eternal punishment.
- That those who trust in Jesus as Saviour will be taken into heaven which is a place of perfect peace and joy.
A Bit More Detail on What We Believe
We believe in one, eternal God who exists in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is absolutely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of everything and it is therefore only right that we should give him all of our worship, praise and adoration. We believe that God is Immortal (he will never die) and eternal (he has no beginning and will have no end), that he perfectly and completely knows the end from the beginning, and that he sustains and rules over everything as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We believe that he consciously, intelligently and faithfully brings about his eternal good purposes to save a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, so that people everywhere will want to praise his glorious love and mercy.
God has graciously shown us that he exists and that his power is shown in the created order. We believe that he has supremely revealed himself to sinful and rebellious human beings (that's all of us!) in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has lovingly revealed Himself, using human words: we believe that God has inspired the words of the Bible, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both a record and a means of his saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is totally authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for our salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every area of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that the fact that we are sinful human beings with all that this fact entails means that it is impossible for us to know God's truth exhaustively, but we believe that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know God's revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as faithful in all that it promises. As God's people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the good news of Jesus.
Creation of Humanity
We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the creation that God himself declared to be very good, and were given the task of caring for, managing, and governing the creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In God's wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising leadership in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.
The Origin of Sin
We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original relationship with God, both for himself and all his descendent. This was the result of his falling into sin through Satan's temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, spiritually) and condemned finally and irrevocably to death. The only hope for human beings is God's own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand. The only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself.
The Plan of God
We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace and love to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation. To this end, he foreknew them (loving them before they loved him) and chose them. We believe that God justifies (pronounces legally innocent) and sanctifies (sets apart and makes clean) those who by grace have faith in Jesus. We believe that he will one day glorify them- all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent (turn back to him and away from sin) and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.
We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ; God's very wisdom. This message is utter folly to those who do not believe, even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved. This good news is Christ Centred, based on his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. The gospel (the message and hope of all Christians) is not proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed. The authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central (the message is Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was raised"). This good news is biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), theological (a matter of what we believe about God) and for out salvation (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God). It is historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by his 12 chosen followers; the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events), and intensely personal (it must be received, believed, and held firmly, by an individual person if they are to be saved).
Our Redemption by Christ
We believe that, motivated by love and in obedience to his Father, the eternal Son (Jesus Christ) became human: the Word (a biblical name for Jesus) became flesh, being simultaneously fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, who was the promised Messiah (saviour) of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary; having no human father. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the King who mediates between God and humans, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father. There he exercises; both in heaven and on earth all of God's sovereignty. He is our High Priest (representative before God) and righteous Advocate. We believe that by his incarnation (becoming human), life, death, resurrection, and ascension (returning to heaven), Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. On the cross he cancelled sin, propitiated God (satisfied His justice), and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people. By his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for "there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved". Because "God chose the lowly things of this world, the despised things, the things that are not, to nullify the things that are", therefore no human being can ever boast before him. Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God; He is, our righteousness (freedom from sin), holiness (separation to God), and redemption (bought back from Satan; the cost being his death on the cross).
The Justification of Sinners
We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who trust in him. By his sacrifice, he took our punishment; due us for our sins, fully satisfying God's justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience, He achieved what we never could by satisfying the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance by God. Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own. This is freely given to us by God and is not for anything in us; this justification is solely a gift of free grace (an undeserved gift from God), in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification.
The Power of the Holy Spirit
We believe that this salvation, confirmed and clearly proclaimed in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as the other divine helper, is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates (brings to life) spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptising them into union with the Lord Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spirit's agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God's family; they participate in the divine nature and receive his sovereignly distributed gifts. The Holy Spirit is himself the down payment of the promised inheritance, and while we are in this world, he indwells (lives in us), guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
The Kingdom of God
We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant (promise). They receive forgiveness of sins and are inwardly transformed so that that they desire to glorify, trust, and obey God. They trust in his promise of a gloriously perfect life, which, though it is as yet unseen will certainly last for all eternity. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it. Rather, we are to do good to the city, for all the glory and honour of the nations is to be offered up to the living God. Recognising whose created order this is, and because we are citizens of God's kingdom, we are to love our neighbours as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who are Christians. The kingdom of God, which is already present but not fully realised, demonstrates God's sovereignty in the world and will end in then eventual restoration of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that overcomes Satan's dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates those individuals who through repentance and faith are rescued from that kingdom. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.
God's New People
We believe that the church is made up of God's new covenant people who have already inherited the blessings of salvation and eternal life. This universal church is manifest in local churches of which Christ is the only Head; thus each local church is, in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The church is the body of Christ, the apple of his eye, graven on his hands, and he has pledged himself to her forever. The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members' love for one another and for the world. Crucially, this gospel we cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may properly be overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace: He has not only brought about peace with God, but also peace between alienated peoples. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. The church serves as a sign of God's future new world when its members live to serve of one another and their neighbours, rather than for self-focus. The church is the corporate dwelling place of God's Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the world.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. Baptism is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the Lords Supper with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God's pledge (promise) to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things.
The Restoration of All Things
We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be fully and visibly established. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust; the unjust to judgement and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of God who sits on the throne and of Jesus, the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin will be purged and its terrible effects will be forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his indescribable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.