© Honiton Evangelical Congregational Church.
The Basis of Faith
The Living God
God is Almighty, Eternal and Unchanging. He is just and holy, gracious and merciful. He is the Maker and Ruler of all things and deserving of all praise for ever.
The Written Word
God's greatness and holiness are such that, without His aid, man can neither understand nor find the way to a right relationship with Him. In His mercy, however, God has made himself known. He has done this, partially through the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We therefore accept all that was written in the Bible as not merely containing, but being, the inspired and infallible Word of God and the final and sufficient authority in all matters of Christian faith and life.
God is one, existing through all eternity in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Sovereign God
God exercises sovereign power in Creation, Providence and Redemption.
Man The Sinner
God created man perfect, but, after being tempted by the devil, man, by his own free choice, disobeyed God and became a sinner. Man's whole nature is now perverted by sin, and his fellowship with God is broken.
Jesus The Saviour
God alone can deal with man's sin and bring about a reconciliation to Himself. To achieve this, God became man in Jesus Christ. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless, human life and taught entirely without error. He suffered and died in the place of sinners, bearing their sin, and its guilt and punishment. He thus sets all believers free from the domination of the devil and the corruption of their own sinful nature, and removes from them, for ever, sin's lasting consequences.
The Grace Of God
God, in His grace forgives and reconciles to Himself all who turn to Him in true repentance and who trust in Christ's atoning death. God imputes to them the righteousness of Christ Himself, and adopts them as His own children.
The Risen Lord
The Lord Jesus Christ was shown to be the Son of God by His miracles and by His bodily resurrection from the dead. He has ascended in power and glory to the presence of God, where He now pleads on behalf of those who call upon Him in truth.
The Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit must work in a man before he can enter into salvation. He leads the sinner into an awareness of his sinfulness, and brings him to repentance and trust in Christ. He brings to birth in him a new and eternal life, and, by His continuing work, develops in this new life the fruits of love and holiness.
The Second Coming
God is bringing all human history to a climax which will be marked by the visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus The Judge
God has appointed Jesus as Judge and there will be a final judgement. Those who are saved will be raised in a glorified body and enjoy eternally and to the full the presence of their Lord. Those who have rejected Christ will be banished from God for ever.
The One Church
All who have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, and upon who God has bestowed His righteousness as a free gift, belong to Christ. They alone may be rightly called Christians. They alone are members of the one universal and eternal Church of Christ.
Baptism And The Lord's Supper
Baptism and the Lord's Supper have been given to the church by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into his church but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord's Supper is a commemoration of Christ's sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
The Gathered Church
Each local Church is a fellowship of believers gathered by Christ, and has no need of, nor should acknowledge, any other authority than His. Through Him, it has direct access to God and enjoys fellowship with other assemblies of His people in a unity which transcends all barriers.
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