What we believe at SWBC about Jesus, the Bible, and the Church
We believe the Bible to be the complete Word of God; that its sixty-six books, as originally written, were verbally inspired by the Spirit of God and were entirely free from error; that it presents us particularly with the Lord Jesus Christ; and, that it is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; John 20:31; Psalm 119:105)
That God created man in His own image; that man sinned and thereby incurred the penalty of death, physical and spiritual; that all human beings inherit a sinful nature which issues (in the case of those who reach moral responsibility) in actual transgression involving personal guilt. (Genesis 1:26 and 5:1; Romans 3:23 and 5:12 – 21).
We believe in the absolute and essential deity and personality of the Holy Spirit, His illuminating, convicting, regenerating, sanctifying, empowering and comforting work and His abiding presence in the believer. (2 Cor. 3:17; John 3:5; 16:8,13,14; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9)
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus, His ascension into heaven, and His present life as our High Priest and Advocate.
We believe that the one true Church is the whole company of those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit; that the local church, being a manifestation of the universal Church on earth, should take its character from this concept of the Church spiritual, and that the new birth and personal confession of Christ are essentials to church membership of the true Church; that the church is a community of believers in a particular place where the Word of God is preached and the ordinances of Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are observed. (II Corinthians 5:17-18; Romans 12:1, 2; James 4:4; I John 5:18-20; Romans 10:9-10)
We believe that God has sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman, therefore we believe in heterosexual relationships between a natural man and a natural woman within the confines of lawful matrimony. Adherence to this stated principle of sexual behaviour is an inherent requirement for membership with the SWBC (Genesis 2:20: Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 7:2).
We believe in the resurrection both of the just and the unjust, the eternal blessedness of the redeemed and the eternal banishment of those who have rejected the offer of salvation. (Acts 24:15, 16; John 5:28, 29; I Corinthians 15: 35 – 44; Matthew 25:46; Hebrews 2:3, 4).
We believe that all Christians are called to a life of holiness and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and for service for Him, for which we are exhorted to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:25 – 27; I Thessalonians 4:3, 7, 8; 5:23, 24; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:18).
We believe in one God existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – co-existent, eternal and co-equal in all Their attributes. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2)
We believe in the absolute and essential deity of Jesus Christ, in His eternal existence with the Father in pre-incarnate glory, in His virgin birth, true humanity and a sinless life., That the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, a substitutionary sacrifice, according to the Scriptures, and that all who trust in Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood (John 1:12,14; Romans 3:21-26; 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:1-19; Acts 1:9-11)
We believe that salvation is a free gift of God given by His grace, only to those who exercise repentance from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, being born again by the Holy Spirit, thereby receiving eternal life and becoming children of God who are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. (Eph. 2:8,9; John 1:12; 3:5,6,16; Romans 8:29)
We believe that that the Lord Jesus Christ appointed two ordinances – Baptism and The Lord’s Supper – to be observed as acts of obedience and as perpetual witnesses to the cardinal facts of the Christian faith; that Believer’s baptism is an act of obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ and a sign of personal repentance, faith and regeneration; it consists of the immersion in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and is a public testimony to the faith of the candidate and a confession of identification with Christ in burial and resurrection; that the Lord’s Supper is the partaking of bread and wine as symbolical of the Saviour’s broken body and shed blood, in remembrance of His sacrificial death until He returns. (I Corinthians 10:16-22; 11:23-24).
We believe in the priesthood of all believers, by which we understand that each believer has direct access to God through Christ our High Priest, and shares with Him in His work of reconciliation,. This involves intercession, worship, faithful service and bearing witness to Jesus Christ, even to the ends of the earth. (John 10:14-15, 27; I Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:5, 6; 5:10; 20:6).
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:30, 31; 24:42; Acts 1:9 – 11; I Thessalonians 4:14 – 18; Revelation 22:12).
We believe in the principle of congregational church government, namely, that a constituted church meeting is, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the highest court of authority for the local church; and that each individual member has the inalienable right and responsibility to participate fully in the life and government of the church, including the appointment of its leaders. We believe in the principle of religious liberty, namely, that no individual should be coerced either by the State or any secular, ecclesiastical or religious group in matters of faith. The right of private conscience is to be respected. For each believer this means the right to interpret the Scriptures responsibly and to act in the light of his conscience. We believe in the principle of separation of Church and State in that, in the providence of God, the two differ in their respective natures and functions; that the Church is not to be identified with the State nor is it, in its faith and practice, to be directed or controlled by the State; that the State is responsible for administering justice, ensuring, an orderly community and promoting the welfare of its citizens. The Church is responsible for preaching the Gospel nurturing believers and for demonstrating and making known God’s will and care for all mankind.
We believe that “missions” is the process of God’s planting and perfecting propagating churches amongst the peoples of the world and that it is our crucial responsibility to promote and participate in evangelism, disciplining and the establishing of new churches, both locally and internationally. (Matt. 16:18; 28:16-20: Acts 1:8)
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