This is our church's Basis of Faith - a concise statement of what we believe. For ease of reading, we have summarised the 1966 Baptist Affirmation of Faith under 8 key headings:
What we believe about God:
- There is one true and living God, everlasting, sovereign in creation, providence and redemption. In the unity of this Godhead there are three persons of the same substance, co-equal and co-eternal - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
What we believe about the Bible:
- The Holy Scriptures are God's word to man, his full and final revelation of himself and his will. They are to be received as fully and verbally inspired and infallible, and as the sole, supreme and sufficient authority in all matters of faith and practice.
What we believe about humankind:
- God by a direct and definitive creative act made the first man Adam in his own likeness: upright, innocent and holy, able to commune with, serve and glorify him. Because Adam's disobedience is counted against the whole human race, all are born in a state of guilt, corruption, separation from God and condemnation to eternal death.
What we believe about Jesus:
- Because of his love for the world, God appointed the Lord Jesus Christ, his eternal Son, to be mediator of God's elect people. Taking a real human nature in the womb of the virgin Mary, he lived a perfect and sinless life. In accordance with the Father's will he freely offered himself as a full and sufficient sacrifice, propitiation and satisfaction for the sins of all whom the Father had given him. Having finished the work of redemption, and made reconciliation for the sins of his people, he rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven in order to reign over all, to send the Holy Spirit to his church, to receive all who come to the Father by him and become Head of the Church.
What we believe about salvation:
- Sinners are accounted righteous before God by his grace alone and on the grounds of the merits and substitutionary blood-shedding of the Lord Jesus Christ, not by their own works but by repentance and faith.
What we believe about the Holy Spirit:
- The works of regeneration, repentance and faith are not acts of man's free will and power but performed by the effectual operation of the Holy Spirit, who, by the same power keeps those whom he calls until the final day of salvation, so that they never perish but have eternal life.
What we believe about the church:
- The church of God comprises only and all those who are regenerate, and exists to worship God, promote sanctification and good works among its members, to administer Christ's ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper, and to witness to the world.
What we believe about the future:
- At a day and hour which no one knows, Christ will return in person and in glory to raise the dead, both the righteous and the unrighteous, and to judge all men. He will consign the wicked to eternal punishment, prepared for the devil and his angels, and receive the righteous into the new heaven and earth, the final, everlasting and righteous kingdom of God.
But why do we need one anyway?
Why is it important for a church to have a basis of faith? Some people believe that these are unnecessary in church life, but it is important to set out what we believe the Bible teaches about God and ourselves. These are the truths you will hear taught at the church. Jesus said that many people will call him Lord, but not all will belong to him. This sobering message means it is critical to set out where we stand as a church.