BELIEVE

We believe the traditional teachings of Christianity, as revealed in the Bible.

 

In Brief

1. We believe that there is only one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. We believe The Bible is God’s inspired Word to us

3. We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God, but is also a fully human and that he is the only means by which we can know God.

4. We believe that, without exception, all are born sinners and are by nature separated from God.

5. We believe that the punishment for sin is death and eternal physical separation from God in hell.

6. We believe God’s plan to save us and that we can be forgiven and freed from the guilt by faith in Jesus Christ.

7. We believe that we do not deserve God’s forgiveness, but God through His infinite grace offers us what we do not deserve.

8. We believe that God the Holy Spirit is acting in people’s lives, turning them away from wrong and towards God, and giving them faith in Jesus Christ.

9. We believe that the Church is not a building or an organisation, but is made up of all true Christians throughout the world.

10. We believe that Jesus will one day return.

In depth

1.  We believe that there is only one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit as revealed in the Bible. We also believe that God has all power and authority, and is in control of all things by his mighty power. He created the world by special and specific creation, has revealed Himself to us; revealed His great plan of salvation through the scripture; and will one day return to judge the living and the dead.

We do not believe that God is a distant being who is detached from his creation with no power or activity within it.

2.  We believe The Bible is God’s inspired Word to us (in accordance with The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy 1978, (with additional note, that where ‘Bible’ or ‘Holy Scriptures’ is stated, it is to be understand as the 66 books of the Protestant canon as laid out in the original draft of the statement) and that there are no contradictions or errors in it. It is the final Word in all matters of behaviour and belief.

We do not believe that the Bible merely contains the Word of God or that accuracy of transmission is in question.

3.  We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God both eternal and divine, but he is also a fully human; he was born of a virgin and without sin.  He died on the cross and by doing so took the full punishment for our sin, suffered in our place, bore and satisfied the full wrath of God, which we justly deserved.  He physically came back to life having been raised from the dead, and now reigns in heaven and earth.  We further believe that mankind can only ever know God by means of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is the one and only way by which we can be saved.

We do not believe that God can be known by any other means than faith in Jesus Christ, there is no other way to be saved.

4.  We believe that all are born sinners and that, without exception, all inherit a sinful nature from our first parents Adam and Eve. God is angry at sin and sinners, yet through his great love, he sent his Son Jesus to bear our sin, be our propitiation and make a way to God in and through his atoning sacrifice.

We do not believe that we are born without sin and later become sinful, but that our sin is a result of our inherited, sinful nature.

5.  We believe that there is a punishment for unrepentant sin which is eternal death and physical separation from God in hell (as taught throughout Scripture). However, because God himself placed the punishment that is justly ours upon Jesus at the cross there is hope for all. God now freely offers forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ and he is not willing that any should perish but that all come to him in repentance and faith. However all who reject God’s free offer to save them through Jesus, must therefore bear the punishment for their own sin.

We do not believe that everyone will finally end up in eternal life with God after various periods of time in hell.  Neither do we believe in the existence of purgatory, the idea that guilty sinners are annihilated or that God does not punish guilty sinners.

6.  We believe God’s plan to save us and that we can be forgiven and freed from the guilt, punishment and power of the wrong things we do, but only because of Jesus’ death.  Jesus was being punished instead of us, so our sin has been completely dealt with.

We do not believe that we can save ourselves through our own merit or that there is any other way to be saved except through faith in Jesus Christ. We also do not believe that God can be found or known through any alternative way, but only through Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures.

7.  We believe that we are entitled to God’s forgiveness, but God through His infinite grace offers us what we do not deserve. Not only does God forgive us our sin, but he looks on us as being righteous, just as Jesus is righteous. All this is obtained only by faith.

We do not believe that we can stand on our own merit and save ourselves, but that we are wholly dependent on Jesus Christ for salvation.

8.  We believe that God the Holy Spirit is acting in people’s lives, turning them away from wrong and towards God, and giving them faith in Jesus Christ. We further believe that he is the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Jesus, bringing life and illumination to those dead in sin, ultimately leading them to repentance.  The Holy Spirit dwells in Christians, changing them so that they live more like Jesus, enabling them to live for Jesus in this world. He imparts various gifts for the benefit of His body, the church and also gives signs to testify to the preaching of the Gospel.  We expect God to be active in his church through the person of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis as part of the Christian walk of faith.

We do not believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were solely for the early church and have now ceased or are restricted in some way.

9.  We believe that the Church is a living body and is made up of all true Christians throughout the world. The church is the body of Jesus Christ, himself being the head and Jesus is present in the world today through the Church.  The primary task of the Church is the mission of God and its primary concern should be preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and making disciples of every tribe, tongue and nation.  God has no other means of rescuing this world apart from the church.  God appoints all members as ministers of the Gospel and witnesses of his risen son,  Jesus Christ.  We further believe the priesthood of all believers, though we recognise that God apportions certain gifts of leadership and eldership according to his good will, namely apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists.  There is no status in leadership, only role and all members of the body of Christ are to be disciples and fellow co-workers in the gospel, exercising such gifts as God has given them, in accordance with their faith.

We do not believe that the church is led via apostolic succession or that it is a hierarchical structure and governed as such.  We also do not believe that the leaders and elders occupy a vicarious position or that members of the body of Christ are not called to serve or minister in any way.

10. We believe that Jesus will one day return. He will judge everyone, justly punishing those who have rejected God’s offer of forgiveness, and welcoming Christians into everlasting glory.  Every eye will see him and every tongue will confess that he is lord to glory of God.

We do not believe that there will be a rapture or secret returns and further opportunities for salvation after His return.  We also do not believe that he has already returned secretly as some suppose. We further do not believe that any can know the time or the place of his return, excepting God the Father who alone knows these things.

 

We also affirm the seven shared values of the Sovereign Grace family of churches found here
Share This