There is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is unchangeable in his holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator, Saviour and Judge who 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. God reveals himself in many ways, but the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and practice.
3. HUMAN NATURE
All men and women, being created in the image of God, have equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to know, love, worship and serve God. As a result of the fall of our first parents, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and is biased against God. All people are sinful by nature and practice. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus did not inherit mankind’s sinful nature and lived a perfect and sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all his words are true.
5. THE CROSS AND THE RESURRECTION
On the cross, Jesus died in the place of sinners, bearing God’s punishment for their sin to redeem them from the guilt, penalty and power of sin. He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is now reigning in heaven and earth. Jesus intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father.
Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. Sinners are pardoned from all their sins, and accepted as righteous in God’s sight, only because of the righteousness of Christ, credited to them; this justification is God’s act of undeserved mercy, to be received solely by trust in him.
7. THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply the work of Christ to individual sinners. He convicts them, enables them to turn to God from their sin and to trust in Christ, imparts spiritual life and leads God’s people into a deeper understanding of God’s word, character and ways. The Holy Spirit indwells all believers, bringing assurance of salvation and producing in them the ‘fruit of the Spirit’.
8. NEW LIFE
The Holy Spirit produces in believers increasing likeness to Christ in character and behaviour, and gives them power for their worship, service and mission in the world. Becoming a Christian is the start of a new life — a lifelong process of being transformed in mind, attitudes, actions and relationships. Christians will want to please God, they will be hungry for God’s word and they will strive to avoid sin. They will be keen to associate with God’s people and they will find delight in prayer, worship and praise. This process God promises to bring to completion in all true believers.
9. THE CHURCH
The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the head and to which all true believers belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are the congregations of believers who are committed to each other for the worship of God, teaching the Bible, 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 and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel. In their conversion all Christians become part of the universal church and are called on to commit themselves to a local church and take part in its life. The church is God’s chosen instrument for bringing Christians to maturity and evangelising the world. The church is to be a community of worship, which demonstrates the reality of Christianity by putting it into practice. Every Christian is given specific spiritual gifts for the good of the whole body.
10. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’s SUPPER
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the churches by Christ as visible signs of the Gospel. Baptism itself does not impart spiritual life but is a symbol of union with Christ in his death and resurrection. United with him in his resurrection we receive new spiritual life, and are made members of his body, the church. The Lords supper is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice offered once and for all and involves no change in the bread or the wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
11. RETURN OF JESUS, RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD & JUDGEMENT
Jesus will return publicly to this world in power and glory. Everyone who has ever lived will be resurrected and will be judged by God. He will separate the redeemed from those who have rejected him, Those who have rejected God will be banished from his presence forever.
12. NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH
God is Lord of all he has made, and will remove all the effects of sin in the world, bringing it to its intended perfection and glory. With bodies like Christ’s real resurrection body, God’s people will inhabit the new heaven and the new earth, and enjoy everlasting fellowship in the presence of God.