The Bible tells us that Christianity is "good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (Mark's Gospel, chapter 1 verse 1). Christianity is not primarily about rules or religious rituals. Rather, it is about a person, Jesus Christ, and our relationship with him. At the heart of Christianity is not good advice about what we need to do, but rather an announcement of the good news about what God has already done for us in Jesus.
The following is a simple summary of the heart of the Christian faith:
•The Bible tells us that God is the creator of the whole universe, including us. As such he is our rightful King.
• However, all of us have turned our backs on God and rebelled against his loving rule - what the Bible calls sin.
• As a result we fully deserve God's just punishment.
• But, in his great love for us, God came into the world as a man, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life and take on himself the punishment we deserve by dying on the cross in our place, so that we can be completely forgiven.
• God raised Jesus from the dead on the first Easter Sunday, meaning Jesus is alive now, reigning as God's King.
• Every person is faced with two choices - reject Jesus and face his just punishment, or trust in Jesus and receive his free gift of eternal life.
The Bible is the ultimate authority for all our beliefs and practice. If you would like to know what we believe in a bit more detail, we understand the following basis of faith to be a faithful summary of the Bible's teaching:
• The divine inspiration and infallibility of Holy Scripture, as originally given, and its sole authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
• The one True and Living God Who is infinite, eternal, and unchanging in all His glorious attributes, and who exists in three Persons as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
• The Sovereignty of God, in Creation, Providence and Redemption.
• The universal sinfulness and guilt of human nature since the Fall, rendering man subject to God's wrath and condemnation, and without hope of salvation by his own effort.
• The Lord Jesus Christ as the only mediator between God and man; His Deity; His conception by the Holy Spirit and His birth by the Virgin Mary; His sinless humanity; His atoning death as our representative and substitute, by which He secured eternal redemption from the guilt, penalty, and power of sin for all who believe.
• The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; His Ascension to the right hand of God and His present reign.
• Justification by faith alone, by which we are freely pardoned of all our sins, and declared righteous in Gods sight, solely on the ground of the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.
• The necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit to regenerate the sinner and make the death of Christ effective to him, granting him "repentance towards God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ". (Acts 20:21)
• The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every believer, working in him holiness, a child-like disposition to God as Father, equipping him for service and enabling him to be faithful unto death.
• The one holy universal church which is the body of Christ, and to which all true believers belong. This universal church finds its visible expression in the local church, which is a community of believers gathered together for worship and witness under the preaching of God's Word, and to which belong all the privileges and prerogatives of the universal church.
• The two ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper which Jesus Christ has given to the Church. Baptism is a sign of the washing away of our sins and of the union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and is a command of Christ to all who believe, and to them only. The Lord's Supper is both a memorial and a communion of Christ's death; no change takes place in the bread and wine, and the Supper is not itself a sacrifice, but a remembrance of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, once for all our sins.
• The personal, visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory at the end of the age, when He will raise all the dead and judge the world in righteousness.
• The eternal blessedness in Heaven of all who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and the everlasting damnation of all unbelievers.
We stand on the same biblical truths that Christians have believed through the centuries. As such our leadership team believe that the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith is also a faithful summary of the Bible's teaching, and you can expect our teaching to be in accord with this.