BELIEFS

This is a statement of beliefs held by the Christians who meet as an assembly in Cyprus Road Gospel Hall, Faversham, Kent. It is not intended to be a formal creed, since believers should hold to all the Word of God. It is, rather, an attempt to set out prominent truths found in the Scriptures in a form allowing easy reference.

WE BELIEVEā€¦

1.

That there is one only living and true God, (1 Thessalonians 1:9, John 17:3), the creator and preserver of all things, (Genesis 1:1, Romans 11:36, 1 Timothy 4:10, 1 Peter 4:19).

2.

That God is eternal, (Psalm 90:2), infinite, (1 Kings 8:27), omnipotent, (Luke 1:37), immanent, (Psalm 139:7-12), all-wise, (1 Timothy 1:17), and sovereign, (Isaiah 43:13, Daniel 4:35).

3.

That this one God is revealed in three persons, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, Ephesians 2:18).

4.

That the Son of God is equal with the Father in nature and attributes, (John 1:1-3, John 5:17-23, Colossians 1:13-19, Hebrews 1:3), and as such is worthy of equal honour, (John 5:23, 20:28, Revelation 5:11-14). At the present time, however, it is normal to address the Father through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and not address the Son alone, (John 16:23,24, Ephesians 2:18, 3:14, Philippians 3:3, Jude 20).

5.

That the Son of God became truly man, (John 1:14, 1 Timothy 2:5), having been supernaturally begotten of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, a virgin, (Luke 1:34,35), and was nourished and born of Mary after the normal manner, (Luke 2:4-7, Hebrews 2:14).

6.

That the coming of the Son of God into manhood was an act of obedience and submission to His Father, (Philippians 2:7,8, 1 Corinthians 11:3, John 14:28), and does not involve loss of Deity, (John 5:17,18, 10:30).

7.

That the Son of God is totally free from all sin, whether of nature, (1 John 2.2, 1 John 3:3,5), or practice, (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22).

8.

That in His sufferings and death upon the cross the Son of God became a sacrifice to God for sins and for sinners, (1 Corinthians 15:3, 1 Timothy 1:15, Hebrews 9:26-28), and a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, (1 John 2:2, 4:10). This involved being forsaken of His God, (Matthew 27:46), which was never His experience during His life, (John 16:32).

9.

That having been buried in a new tomb, He was raised again bodily, (1 Corinthians 15:4, Luke 24:39-43).

10.

That He ascended to heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, (Acts 2:33-36, Hebrews 1:3,13).

11.

That He will return to the air before the commencement of the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy, (Daniel 9:24-27, Matthew 24:15-21), to escort all believers of this present church age to heaven, (John 14:3, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, Philippians 3:20,21, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:9,10).

12.

That all believers of this age will be taken at the coming of the Lord into the air, regardless of whether they are still living or have died, (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18), and also, (because salvation in all its aspects is by grace), whether they are spiritual or carnal, (1 Thessalonians 5:9,10).

13.

That He will subsequently come to the earth after the Great Tribulation to judge the nations, (Matthew 25:31,32), save His people Israel, (Romans 11:26-29), and rule the earth for a literal 1000 years, (Luke 1:30-33, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, Revelation 20:4,6).

14.

That the Holy Spirit is truly God, (Acts 5:3,4, John 14:23), and as such shares all the attributes of the Godhead, (Psalm 139:7, Job 26:13, 33:4, Isaiah 40:13,14, 48:16, Matthew 12:31, Acts 13:2,4, 2 Corinthians 3:17, Revelation 2:8,11). Nevertheless, since His ministry is to glorify Christ, (John 16:14), He is not to be worshipped separately, but only as one with the Godhead.

15.

That the Bible is the inspired and infallible word of God, (John 10:35, 2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Peter 1:11, 2 Peter 1:21, and the sole authority in matters of doctrine and practice, (Isaiah 8:20, Matthew 22:29, 1 Timothy 6:3). No custom or tradition of men should override the authority of God’s word, (Matthew 15:9, Mark 7:9, 1 Corinthians 11:16).

16. That the infallibility and inerrancy of the Word of God relates to the original manuscripts. Subsequent transmission may have introduced minor changes, which, however, do not affect the body of original doctrine, since the large number of manuscripts extant allows cross-checking to be carried out. At the present time, the truth of God is best represented by the Authorised Version, which surpasses all others for accuracy, beauty of style and fluency when publicly read. These things being so, this version should be used in the public reading and exposition of the Scriptures in the assembly.

17.

That all men descend from the historic persons named Adam and Eve, (Genesis 1:28, Acts 17:26, Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:49). That Adam was created by God in a state of innocency, yet fell when tempted by Satan, (Genesis 1:31, 3:6). As a result, sin entered into the world of men, and death by sin, (Romans 5:12,19).

18.

That man is totally unable to save himself from sin, being dead in trespasses and sins, (Ephesians 2:1,9). All his supposed good works are tainted by what he is, (Job 14:1-4, Isaiah 64:6). The destiny of those who die unrepentant is to perish eternally in the Lake of Fire, (John 3:16, 8:24, Luke 13:3, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 21:8).

19.

That salvation is of the Lord, who sovereignly draws men to Himself, yet without absolving them from the responsibility of seeking Him, (Jonah 2:9, Isaiah 55:6,7, John 6:37). This salvation is found in Christ alone, the “faiths” of the world being forms of unbelief, (John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, 1 Timothy 2:5).

20.

That God reckons righteousness to the one who truly believes, (Romans 4:3,20-25). This justification is by grace, not works, (Romans 4:4,5, Galatians 3:11), on the ground of the blood of Christ, (Romans 5:9), and should be followed by works, (James 2:21-26).

21.

That every true believer is part of God’s elect people, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, and predestinated to the position of sonship, (Ephesians 1:4,5). This election is confirmed by response to the gospel, (John 6:37), works of faith, (1 Thessalonians 1:3,4), and by growth in Christian virtues, (2 Peter 1:5-10).

22.

That every believer, as distinct from those who merely profess faith, (John 2:23-25), is eternally secure, being one of Christ’s sheep who shall never perish, (John 10:27-29). This security, far from excusing complacency, should be an incentive to godly living, (Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 3:12).

23.

That every believer should be baptised in water by total immersion, (except in very extreme extenuating circumstances), after initial faith has been exercised. This baptism adds nothing to salvation, but is an act of submission to Christ, and of association with Him in His burial and resurrection, (Mark 15:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:3-5, Colossians 2:12).

24.

That every true believer is positionally sanctified in God’s sight, (1 Corinthians 1:2, 6:11), and should earnestly endeavour to progress in sanctification, (Romans 6:19,22, 2 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, Hebrews 12:10,14).

25.

That every true believer is indwelt permanently by the Holy Spirit of God, (John 14:16,17, Romans 8:9). This indwelling takes place immediately a person believes the gospel, (Galatians 3:2, Ephesians 1:13), and is known by the testimony of Scripture, and by growth in Christian virtues, (Romans 8:10, Galatians 5:16-26).

26. That each believer should be concerned to reach the unsaved with the gospel, whether by prayer, (Ephesians 6:18,19), personal testimony, (John 4:29, 7:38), bringing others to hear the preaching of the Word of God, (Matthew 9:2, John 1:41-46), or supporting financially those who are engaged in pioneer evangelism, (1 Corinthians 9:14, 3 John 6-8).

27. That every true believer of this present age is a member of the church which is Christ’s body, (Matthew 16:16-18, Ephesians 2:19-22, 3:6, 5:23-30). The word church, or assembly, is also used for a local company of believers, gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus alone, (Matthew 18:20, 1 Corinthians 1:2). No person or doctrine should be the centre to which Christians gather, (1 Corinthians 1:12, Acts 15:5, Colossians 3:17). The idea of a further aspect called “the church on earth”, finds no support in Scripture.

28. That every true believer should be gathered together in a Scripturally-constituted local assembly, (Acts 2:42, 1 Corinthians 11:18,20, Hebrews 10:25), unless disqualified because of moral or doctrinal evil, (1 Corinthians 5:7-13, Galatians 5:8-12). Those who are received into the fellowship of a local assembly are reckoned to be aware that those in a position of responsibility there are charged with the duty of maintaining discipline in that company, if it should become necessary, (John 20:23, Titus 1:9-13, Hebrews 13:17).

29. That a believer should only be received into a local assembly in accordance with the guidance of Scripture, in view of Satan’s readiness to infiltrate the assembly with those who are spurious, (1 Corinthians 14:40, Acts 20:29, Jude 4). Those unknown to the local believers should come with a valid letter of commendation, (Acts 18:27, Romans 16:1,2, 2 Corinthians 3:1, Philemon 2,12), or be personally commended by one whose judgement in such matters is trusted, (Acts 9:26,27). Others may be received after those with responsibility have satisfied themselves as to their genuineness, their freedom from unscriptural associations, and the whole local assembly has been informed and given opportunity to express a view on the matter, (Acts 20:28-31).

30. That every local assembly is responsible directly to Christ the Lord alone, and not to any other assembly or group of assemblies; nor any organisation, federation, committee or district conference of man’s devising, (Matthew 18:17- note that there is no further court of appeal beyond the local assembly).

31. That a local assembly is the pillar and ground of the truth, being charged with the responsibility of holding fast, propagating, and defending all of the doctrines of Scripture, (Colossians 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Timothy 1:3, 3:9, 15,16, 2 Timothy 3:13-17, Revelation 3:8).

32. That every believer, male or female, has a gift or gifts, which should be exercised subject to the Lordship of Christ, to the profit of all in the assembly, and to the glory of God, (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:5,7, 10:31, Colossians 3:17). It is not the mind of God that any one brother should have the monopoly of gifts and their exercise, (1 Corinthians 12:17). Nor is it His mind that gifts should remain unexercised, (1 Corinthians 14:26, 2 Timothy 1:6).

33. That the Holy Spirit raises up in a local assembly a plurality of elders, (Acts 20:28), otherwise termed bishops or overseers, (Acts 20:17 with :28, 1 Timothy 3:1) to take care of the assembly in a pastoral and teaching capacity, (1 Timothy 3:2-5, Titus 1:9, 1 Peter 5:2). Genuine elders should be imitated, obeyed, and respected for their work’s sake, (Hebrews 13:7,17).

34. That every believer is a priest before God, and as such is able to draw near to God to worship Him, and to intercede for men, (1 Peter 2:1-5, 9, Revelation 1:5,6, Hebrews 10:19-22, 13:15,16, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, 8,9). Christ is the sole High Priest over the House of God, and there is no other mediator between God and men (John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5).

35. That in accordance with the command of the Lord Jesus, the Lord’s Supper should be observed by the local assembly every first day of the week, (Luke 22:19,20, Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). This is an act of remembrance, and a shewing or proclaiming of the Lord’s death, (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). It is also an expression of the unity of believers, an act of submission to the Lordship of Christ, and a fresh denial of the world, (1 Corinthians 10:15-17, 21,22). The bread and the wine of the Lord’s Supper are never anything other than ordinary bread and wine, but they are spiritually discerned to be that which they represent, namely, His body and His blood, (1 Corinthians 11:29). The partaking of the loaf and the cup does not convey any particular blessing, (other than the blessing which comes when we obey any of the commands of the Lord), but is simply a physical exercise with spiritual meaning. The one who dispenses the bread and wine does not do so in any special capacity, nor does he have to be specially ordained or appointed to do so. Since the Lord’s Supper is a collective exercise, it is not appropriate for the bread and wine to be taken to persons at home.

36. That the gathering for the remembrance of the Lord is eminently suitable as an occasion when money-offerings may be presented to God, (1 Corinthians 16:1,2). This is a part of the worship of God, (Hebrews 13:16), and as such should have a high priority in the believer’s thinking. It is inappropriate in this age of grace to legislate as to how much believers should give, but we should note 2 Corinthians 8:9; 9:15, and respond appropriately to God’s rich grace. We should not think of the collection at the Lord’s Supper as absolving us from all responsibility in this regard, since Scripture gives instances of private acts of charity as well, (2 Kings 4:10, Luke 8:3, 3 John 6-8).

37. That every believer is equal in relation to their standing and security before God, whether male or female, (Galatians 3:27,28). As to order in the local assembly, however, God has ordained that it is only the brothers who should take audible part in leading the company in worship and prayer, and the teaching of the Scriptures, (1 Timothy 2:8, 1 Corinthians 14:35). The sisters perform positive and vital duties when they remain in quietness, dress becomingly, and are noted for good works, (1 Timothy 2:9-14). By so doing, they illustrate the subjection of the assembly to Christ, (Ephesians 5:24).

38. That the brothers should have short hair, and uncover their heads in the assembly gatherings, whilst the sisters should have long hair and covered heads, (1 Corinthians 11:1-16). That this is not a cultural matter is seen in that the apostle appeals to creation, (1 Corinthians 11:7-12), and also to conscience, (1 Corinthians 14,15).

39. That as far as the English language is concerned, there is available to us the means of preserving the sacredness of the Name of our God by the use of “Thee, Thou, Thine” when addressing Him, (Psalm 111:9, Matthew 6:9, 1 Peter 3:15). The use of “You”, etc., blurs the important distinction between singular and plural, (see, for instance, Luke 22:31,32), and lacks reverence, and should therefore be avoided. A distinction should be made between accidental slips, especially on the part of those unused to this mode of addressing God, and the deliberate use of “You” as a sign of rebellion against the wishes of the assembly.

40. That each believer should be concerned to reach the unsaved with the gospel, whether by prayer, (Ephesians 6:18,19), personal testimony, (John 4:29, 7:38), bringing others to hear the preaching of the Word of God, (Matthew 9:2, John 1:41-46), or supporting financially those who are engaged in pioneer evangelism, (1 Corinthians 9:14, 3 John 6-8).