What We Believe

This is a copy of the Basis of Faith contained in the constitution of the church.

The purpose of this Basis of Faith is to guide the church in matters of belief, in keeping with the whole Word of God (i.e. the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament)

1. GOD
There is one God, the living and true God, who is unchangeable in his holiness, wisdom, justice and love. He exists eternally in three distinct and equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in perfect unity. He is the almighty Creator, Saviour, and Judge. He sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will, for his own glory.

2. THE BIBLE
God has revealed himself 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. HUMANITY
Each person, being created in the image of God, has inherent and equal dignity and worth, and chief purpose to glorify, obey and enjoy God. As a result of our first parents’ disobedience, however, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted. Each person is without spiritual life, a guilty sinner and hostile to God. Therefore, every person is under just condemnation of God and in order to know and please God must be born again, forgiven and reconciled to 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. This is the gospel, which is to be believed for salvation.

5. SALVATION
Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished it (as point 4., above). God in his love forgives sinners whom he calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ, in union with him, are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.

6. THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He is the only one able to do this. He convicts people of sin, imparts spiritual life to them and gives them a true understanding of the Bible. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces 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. The local church is an expression of the universal church, and consists of believers committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, for pastoral care and discipline, and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within the church by mutual love, care and encouragement.

8. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are visible signs of the Gospel given to the local church by Christ. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ, and of entry into his Church, but does not impart spiritual life. It is administered to believers only. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and the wine. All its blessings are received by faith.

9. 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, conscious punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.

The text below is from the deeds of the church (1848) and is included because it is the legal constitution of the church and we believe is not contradicted by anything above.

The Basis of Faith of the Trust Deeds
‘The . . . chapel [is] to be used, occupied and enjoyed as a place of public religious worship by the Society of Protestant dissenters called PARTICULAR OR CALVINISTIC BAPTISTS, maintaining the doctrines of

THE ONE LIVING AND TRUE GOD; THREE EQUAL PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD; ETERNAL AND PERSONAL ELECTION; ORIGINAL SIN; PARTICULAR REDEMPTION; FREE JUSTIFICATION BY THE IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST; REGENERATION, CONVERSION AND SANCTIFICATION BY THE SPIRIT AND GRACE OF GOD; THE MORAL LAW – A RULE FOR THE CONDUCT OF ALL BELIEVERS; THE FINAL PERSEVERENCE OF THE SAINTS; THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY TO ETERNAL LIFE; THE FUTURE JUDGEMENT; THE ETERNAL HAPPINESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND EVERLASTING MISERY OF SUCH AS DIE IMPENITENT; AND PRACTISING BAPTISM BY IMMERSION TO SUCH ONLY AS ARE OF YEARS OF UNDERSTANDING UPON THEIR OWN CONFESSION OF REPENTANCE TOWARDS GOD AND FAITH IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST . . .’

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