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Our Basis of belief

Setting the Scene:

We believe that the universe was created out of nothing by God the Creator. He is the “first cause” who has always been, and who brought into being everything that now exists by a creative process. Christians understand the Bible creation story in different ways, but all agree that God is the Creator, and that He gave humankind a particular role and a special place in the created order. The Bible describes this as being made in the image of God.

We believe that God has been active in the affairs of the universe throughout history and continues to be active; providing, sustaining, guiding, creating and re-creating according to His overall purpose and plan.

 1. The full inspiration of the Bible

The Bible was written over a period of around 2000 years, by 40 different authors and contains many different types of writing, but nevertheless has a remarkable continuity. We believe that every part of it is inspired by God Himself, and we thus consider it to be authoritative. The Bible contains nothing incorrect or misleading, however we acknowledge that we may not always interpret it correctly. We therefore approach the Bible in a humble manner, relying on the Holy Spirit to reveal its message to us.

 2. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We believe that Jesus of Nazareth as well as being fully human is fully God along with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct but cannot be separated, therefore we believe in and worship one God.

 3. His miraculous virgin birth, spotless life, vicarious death, bodily resurrection and ascension, and personal return

The details of Jesus' life are found in the Bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They describe how Mary, a virgin, became pregnant due to God's direct influence by the Holy Spirit and not by natural human conception.

Because he was born as a baby, Jesus was fully human, but because he was also fully God, he was able to live a perfect life - although he was tempted in every way as we are, he never thought, said or did anything wrong.

This meant that Jesus was able to stand in our place and bear the punishment that our wrongs deserve according to God's perfect standard. The Bible makes clear that none of us are capable of living the perfect life and so each person will one day have to appear before God, as a guilty person appears before a judge. However, God loves people so much that He gave His Son to take our place; when he died on the cross, Jesus took the death sentence that we deserve.

Three days after Jesus died, God raised him from death and he was seen by many people over a period of 40 days. Jesus was seen to be fully alive (he spoke, ate, had a physical body), but he was changed and now was without the restrictions of human existence. After 40 days his followers saw him taken up to heaven, with the promise that he would be with them always through the Holy Spirit, and would one day return physically also.

 4. That Man, by nature, is a fallen being, and there is no salvation apart from propitiatory sacrifice of Christ on the Cross

In the Bible book of Genesis, we find the description of how humankind, although created by God to be perfectly good, exercised the free-will that God had given them to rebel against God and His ways. Since then humankind has had a flaw which is seen in every person - although we may do good things for others, we are now essentially self-centred by nature. This is seen in world events, and in what we know of our own hearts.

Because God is perfect in love and goodness, He cannot overlook the wrong thoughts, words, actions and motives that we have, or that would make Him unloving - indifferent to the wrongs that hurt others and cause damage to the world. However, in His love, God has given one way for men and women to be made right with Him and be spared the due punishment for their wrongs. He, Himself, through the death of Jesus on the cross, paid in full for the wrongs of all who accept this way of forgiveness by giving their lives to Jesus.

God loves every person He has made, and wants them all to be saved through Jesus, His Son.

5. That those who truly believe in our Lord Jesus experience a new birth, being quickened into new and eternal life by the operation of the Holy Spirit through the Divine Word, while those who finally reject Him will be lost eternally.

God's purpose is to restore us to how we were originally meant to be and when a person gives their life to Jesus, they are immediately given a new life through the Holy Spirit coming to live in them. The Bible refers to this as 'new birth' into eternal life.

Anyone can enter this new life through accepting Jesus as their Saviour and giving their life to him, and Christians experience the Holy Spirit changing them progressively and enabling them to live better lives. The Holy Spirit is also the giver of peace, joy and confidence to believers, as he assures them of their position and security in God's love.

Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and all who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved and received by Him in Heaven. However He will not force His forgiveness on those who choose to reject it. He will respect their choice which means that they will not be able to enter heaven, and will suffer final separation from God's love.