Our beliefs are consistent with the ancient creeds that have guided the church for the best part of 2,000 years, and their richer expression in various reformed confessions of faith. In more modern language, we have articulated what we believe in the following Statement of Faith, according to the clear proclamation of Scripture.
We believe there is one true God. He is perfectly holy and infinitely loving, and is personal and triune in essential being, eternally existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2. Our Knowledge of God.
We believe this one true God has made Himself known to us in three ways:
- First, by the incomprehensible magnificence of His creation, by which the invisible truths of His awesome power, sovereign authority, generous purpose and tender care are clear to all.
- Second, by the testimony of the 66 books of the Bible, with which He spoke through human writers by His Holy Spirit, to reveal Himself personally and truly to us.
- Third, by the Word of God become flesh, in the incarnate Son, Jesus of Nazareth, who by divine miracles, teaching with authority, and fulfilment of the prophecies of Scripture, has made God known to us.
3. The Authority of God’s Word.
We believe that the Bible was given to us by God for our eternal well-being, and we submit to it as the authoritative word of God that must govern our life and doctrine. God’s word is unchangeable, essential, and perfectly sufficient for our knowledge of God and His will for us, and to guide our response to His loving pursuit of us.
4. Creation and Humanity.
We believe that by His own sovereign will God created the universe out of nothing, by the power of His word. God created humans in His own image, male and female, and tasked them with caring for the earth as His representatives, under His sovereign rule and His governance of all things.
We believe that the first humans, Adam and Eve, were tempted and deceived by the devil, and chose to reject God’s integrity and authority. Committing this sin, their fellowship with God was broken. The result of this for the rest of humanity is that we all sin, and in our natural sinful state we are out of fellowship with God, and unable in and of ourselves to restore ourselves into fellowship with Him.
6. Salvation in Jesus Christ.
We believe that God so loved the world that the Father surrendered His only Son, to receive the righteous penalty for our sin. In this the love of God for us was demonstrated – that the judgement we deserve for our sin was poured out on the sinless Son of God, in the incarnate Jesus of Nazareth. Being fully God and fully man, and yet without sin, Jesus offered himself on the cross as a perfect and holy sacrifice for our sin, securing a salvation of redemption once for all time for all who trust in Him. Thus, we believe that salvation from sin cannot be earned by human merit, but rather that it must be received entirely as a gracious gift from God, through faith in Jesus Christ.
7. The Work of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Holy Spirit applies this salvation to each believer, personally granting them a living faith in the work of Jesus. Thus, those who trust in Jesus Christ are marked by the Holy Spirit as holy – belonging to God. We believe that the fruit of that salvation is a life then transformed by the Holy Spirit, who personally dwells in the heart of every believer, uniting them with God, and transforming them to become more and more like Christ in their thoughts, words and deeds.
8. The Church.
We believe that by this work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls and saves people into His church: A collective family, the new temple of God, and the unified body to which He alone is the head. We believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, that body of Christ has been entrusted with and empowered to carry out Jesus’ mission on earth: To present His gospel of salvation to everyone, and to bring all believers to spiritual maturity in Him.
9. The Future Glory.
We believe Jesus rose bodily from the tomb on the third day after his death and burial, and that He is now seated and reigning at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He will come again visibly and victoriously in the fullness of time to complete His conquest of sin, evil and death. At that time, those who have rejected Him will be excluded from His blessings, to live apart from God eternally, in hell; Those who have trusted in Jesus will receive eternal life in God’s presence, in His glorious Kingdom of Heaven. We believe that just as Jesus rose bodily, so too we will be raised bodily, and that as His people we will dwell in a whole new creation where there will be no more sin, evil, sickness, suffering, sadness or death – in His living presence – the best possible world.
Because these beliefs represent the fundamental theology of our church, it is necessary that they are taught and upheld in all that we do together, for the unity of our congregation. In other words, these beliefs are more than just intellectual to us – we organise our whole church life around them.
Creeds & Confessions
Of course, these standard Christian beliefs also correspond with expressions of that same faith that were captured long ago in three ecumenical creeds: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed. We therefore like to teach and declare these three creeds in our church, because it maintains our connection to Christians from all times and places through church history. Those who want to align things in more detail may like to know that our beliefs are also consistent with the broad consensus between the various reformed confessions of faith. Specifically, we consider the Belgic Confession to be the clearest of these at expressing our theology, and the Westminster Confession of Faith to be the most robust.