Our Core Beliefs1. We believe the Bible. That is to say, we believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that that is where God speaks authoritatively. The Bible is the place to find answers to the great questions of life. So the Bible takes central place in our worship, our gatherings and in our lives. 2. We believe the Gospel. We believe the Good News that Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose again to bring us into an eternal relationship with God through the forgiveness of sins. 3. We believe in Jesus. We believe that the man Jesus was born of a virgin and is the Son of God, that He lived a fully obedient life and gave His life as a substitute on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could be forgiven, declared righteous in Him and live forever with Him in a new heaven and a new earth. We believe He rose from the dead and reigns now and will come again in victory. 4. We are Confessional. We also hold to a statement of beliefs called the Westminster Confession of Faith. It is secondary to the Bible but helpfully sets out in ordered form what we believe the Bible teaches on important doctrines. Elders and pastors vow commitment to that confession at their ordination. 5. We are Presbyterian. This relates particularly to our form of government. Local church is led by elders who conform to biblical standards for leadership and are elected by the congregation who desire their spiritual care and oversight. Elders from a number of local churches also serve in regional bodies called Presbytery, which also provides wider wisdom and help to the local congregations. The Church leadership also meet once a year in a national assembly to consult on matters of importance to the whole church. 6. We are Reformed. Our doctrinal standards reflect something of the theology of the Reformation in Europe and Great Britain which revived a number of key biblical commitments: they were summarised by Latin phrases –
a. sola scriptura (Scripture alone). The Bible is the rule of faith and life, not church tradition or interpretation.
b. sole fide (by faith alone). Salvation is by faith alone in the finished work of Christ, not by any effort, works or merits of our own.
c. sola gratia (salvation by grace alone). Salvation is the free gift of God and again, excludes any effort, works or merits of our own.
d. solus Christus (through Christ alone). Jesus the Son of God in His person and work brings to us all the glorious aspects of salvation and we need no other than Him.
e. soli Deo gloria (Glory to God alone). All of the above is for the honour of God and no other is to be worshipped or honoured in His place. The Reformed faith has a strong sense of the sovereignty of God over the world, its people and its history, and calls for us to submit to His sovereignty in our own lives. This we gladly do since we believe the biblical view is the only one that makes sense of reality.7. We are Missional. That is to say we don’t believe we exist as Christians for our own sake. Rather Christ has commanded and modelled for us a way of life marked by neighbour love. We are to do good in the world and to care for our culture and our communities. We are to serve Him where we worship, where we work, where we study, where we live, even where we play. We also believe that the Good News of sins forgiven and everlasting life through the death and resurrection of Jesus is the message that everyone needs to hear. 8. We are Complimentarian. We take seriously what the Bible teaches about the creation of men and women, that they equally bear the image and likeness of God and are equal in dignity and worth. We also believe the Bible teaches unique roles for men and women which are not about status but about finding fulfilment in serving God in the ways He has designed. 9. We are Covenantal. We believe that God in Christ makes a commitment to His people which the Bible calls a covenant. It expresses His abiding faithfulness to His promises and calls us also to our responsibility in the covenant arrangement to be obedient and faithful. In particular the Bible teaches that God makes a commitment to Christian families which give great spiritual privileges to the children and remind them that they have great responsibility to walk in the faith of their parents which is their spiritual inheritance, and that to rebel brings greater judgement. We believe that children should receive the blessing of baptism because of the position they have before God. 10. We Worship. We are committed to meeting to worship God for His glory and grace and that our gathered worship is the high point of our lives. We also believe that worship extends to every part of our lives and our daily pursuits and that we serve and honour Him in all that we do. We are committed to corporate worship that embraces and respects those who may not yet believe. For that reason we try to practice a worship that is orderly and understandable; and that does not demand any more involvement than a visitor is willing or able to give. 11. We Love and Serve. One of the great joys of being a Christian is in knowing how much Jesus, who is God, has loved and served us. So in response we seek to love and serve others, both within the Christian community and into the community in which we live. We hope that the warmth of our Sunday meetings expresses something of that Jesus kind of love.