What We Believe
Meare Community Church is an independent Evangelical Church.
The Bible describes itself as “The Word of God.” As a church we try to be obedient to what it tells us to do.
What is a Christian?
The Bible tells us that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and need to be forgiven by God. The Bible tells us that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for all the wrong things that we have done. It tells us that, through faith in Him, all can know God’s forgiveness and make a fresh start with Him as followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible sums it up like this.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The Bible John 3:16.
Jesus said: “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved” Mark 16:16.
The Bible teaches that baptism comes after a person has started to believe in Jesus for themselves. It is the first step on the path of discipleship. Every description of Christian baptism in the Bible shows this order of events. For example:
“The Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptised.” Acts 18:18. “Simon himself believed and was baptised.” Acts 8:13.
The Bible also says that Baptism is by full immersion. It describes the symbolism of being “buried” under the water and rising up again.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4.
Although little children are too young to decide for themselves about faith in Jesus, and therefore should not yet be baptised, that does not mean that God does not care for babies and little children. The Bible says that Jesus wanted parents to bring their little children to Him to be blessed.
“Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16.
As a church we gladly pray for God’s blessing for little Children, asking God to help their parents and the whole church family, as they commit to bring them up to know and understand what it means to live as a Christian. This would normally take place in a dedication service for the child.
Our approach is to defer baptism until young people are old enough to have established in their own mind their beliefs and what a faith in Jesus really means.
Our Statement of Faith explains what we believe:
We believe in…
- The one true God who lives eternally in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- The love, grace, and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, redeeming and judging the world.
- The Bible, which is the written Word of God, is fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
- All people are made in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation. Corrupted by sin, we are subject to God’s judgement.
- The Lord Jesus Christ, the only son of God, who came to live on earth and born of the virgin Mary, is both divine and truly human, yet without sin.
- It is the acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that makes sinful believers “at one” with a holy God. He died in our place, paying the price of sin, and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
- The resurrection of Christ, His ascension to the Father, and his reign as the only saviour of the world.
- It is only through the grace of God by faith in Christ that sinful people can be made right with God.
- It is the ministry of God through the Holy Spirit, that leads us to repentance. This unites us with Christ through our being born again, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
- The people form the Church, not the building. They are given life by the Holy Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the Good News of Jesus.
- The return of Jesus Christ will fulfil God’s purposes. After that God will raise all people to judgement, bringing eternal life to those who are forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ, and eternal condemnation to non-believers.
Church members should:
- Agree with this simplified language version of the Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith
- Have undergone believers’ baptism.
- Be living a life as a church member consistent with biblical principles.