The final authority in our church, is the Lord of the Church – Christ Himself, and His Word, nevertheless we accept the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (otherwise known as the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith), as our subordinate standard. We also appreciate and draw from many of the historic confessions and documents of the Reformation and Post-Reformation period, especially the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Our Church Covenant
God has graciously entered into a covenant relationship with His believing people (Jer. 31:31-34; 32:40; Heb. 8:7-13; 10:16-17; 13:20-21). Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 8:6). His blood is the blood of the New Covenant, which infallibly secures all the benefits of the covenant for all of God’s people (Matt. 26:26-28; Heb. 13:20-21).
God has in this New Covenant made us members one of another (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 4:25). Therefore, we have covenant responsibilities to each other, as well as to God.
God has promised in this covenant to write His laws in our hearts and to cause us to walk in His ways (that is, to enable us to keep our covenant responsibilities). The motivation and ability to obey God’s laws spring from the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who, by His death, satisfied the holy wrath of God that was against us due to our sins. It is by the enablement of the Holy Spirit that we obey, in loving gratitude for Christ’s righteousness, which has been imputed to us, and not to establish our own righteousness before God.
We obey with the confidence that the end of Christ’s death will be realised in us (that is, “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us” Rom. 8:1-4 and that we should be a people “zealous for good works” Titus 2:14). The following paragraphs are a summary of what we believe are our covenant responsibilities toward God and toward one another. This summary forms the basis for our giving and receiving instruction for ourselves and for our families.
Summary of our Covenant Responsibilities
1.We agree to worship only the one true and living God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who has revealed Himself to us in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We will have no other gods before Him.
2. We agree to worship God in His appointed way and to exclude from our worship anything that He has not appointed.
3. We agree not to use the name of our God in vain or to take it upon ourselves carelessly, but to walk in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
4. We agree to cease from our own works on the Lord’s Day, unless they are works of mercy, piety, or necessity, and to positively sanctify the day by special exercises of public and private worship.
5. We agree to honour and obey, within the bounds of Scripture, all those who have positions of authority over us, whether in family, church, state, or business; and, if we are in a position of authority, to deal reasonably and lovingly with our subordinates and thus to teach them by word and example to fear God and keep His commandments.
6. We agree to avoid anything which tends to destroy us or our neighbours and to engage vigorously in all lawful endeavours to preserve our own lives and the lives of others, and to live peaceably with all men especially by ready reconciliation and faithful exhortation in the church.
7. We agree to possess our bodies in holiness as vessels joined to Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit and to avoid all uncleanness of thought, speech, or action.
8. We agree to be diligent in our vocations, avoiding theft of time, money, or goods, that we may provide for our own households, and to be considerate of those in need.
9. We agree to earnestly promote truth among men and to avoid anything that would prejudice the truth or injure our neighbours’ good name.
10. We agree to be fully content with our own condition in life, to rejoice in the advancement of our neighbour, and to avoid envying him or coveting anything that is his.