Statement of faith

As an Apostolic Church, our faith is grounded exclusively in the Word of God. We do not subscribe to any other creeds or traditions outside of the Holy Scriptures.

 

Click on each heading to find out more.

THE BIBLE – WE BELIEVE THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD

The Bible is the inspired Word of God: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Tim 3:16). The Holy Scriptures provide direction for living, illuminating the pathway of those who believe and obey its instruction (Ps 119:105). It is the final and highest authority on all matters: “For ever O LORD, they word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119:89).

GOD – WE BELIEVE THERE IS BUT ONE GOD

The scriptures declare that there is but one God: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” (Dt. 6:4). “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me” (Isa. 45:5).

God is the Father and Creator of Heaven and Earth, and everything within it (Mal. 2:10). The scriptures further reveal that: “God is a Spirit (Jn 4:24)”; “God is Love” (1 Jn 4:8); “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 Jn 1:5). God is Holy, He is morally pure, just, upright and faultless (1 Pet 1:16). God is known by many titles, such as: Father, Holy One, Spirit of God, Holy Spirit, yet He is the same one God. The Psalmist exclaimed, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Ps 34:8).

MAN – WE BELIEVE ALL MEN HAVE SINNED AND ARE IN NEED OF A SAVIOUR

Humankind was created in the image and likeness of God, meaning we possessed his moral characteristics and attributes (Gen 1:26). However, after Adam sinned, the nature of man became corrupted (Eph 2:2-3). This made it impossible for us to do the things that please God on our own self-effort (Rom 8:8). “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). As such, all humankind is deserving of God’s penalty for sin, which is death: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

SIN – WE BELIEVE THAT SIN RESULTS IN THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD

“All unrighteousness is sin” (1 Jn 5:17). Sin then is not just murder, fornication, or theft. To hate is sin, to gossip is sin, to lie is sin, greed is sin, unbelief is sin. We all sin in different ways, but we have all sinned (Rom 3:23). Sin attracts the wrath of God (Rom 1:18); unless we repent of our sin and turn to Jesus Christ, we will suffer judgment for our sins and the punishment in an everlasting Lake of Fire (Rev 21:8).

JESUS CHRIST – WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH

God is not willing that any man should perish, but He wants us to have everlasting life (Jn 3:16). Therefore, God became a man in order to save all men: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…” (1 Tim 3:16). To redeem humankind God manifested Himself in flesh: “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them…” (2 Cor 5:19). “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14).

Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man (Jn 20:28). According to the Bible, Jesus Christ the Son of God is also the “Everlasting Father” and “The Mighty God” (Isa 9:6) because within Him dwells “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2:9-10).

Through the shedding of His blood at Calvary and His death, burial and resurrection, all who believe in Him can obtain Everlasting Life: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins….” (Eph 1:7).

HOLY SPIRIT – WE BELIEVE THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE HOLY ONE

Simply put, the Holy Spirit is God at work. In Genesis, when God began His work of Creation, it was said “the Spirit of God moved across the face of the deep” (Gen 1:2). When God was ready to come on earth as the Son of God, the angel told Mary: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee…” (Lk 1:35). When God was ready to work in the earth through His Church, the believers were “…all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

However, the Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit is not just synonymous with God, but He is also synonymous with Christ (Jn 14:18; Rom 8:9). The scripture uses the term “Spirit of God” and “The Spirit of Christ” interchangeably. When we receive the Holy Spirit, it is Christ within us (Rom 8:9-10). This is because the One True God manifested Himself as Father in Creation, was in His Son for the purpose of Redemption, and now also dwells in His Church as Holy Spirit.

SALVATION – WE BELIEVE MAN IS SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH

Salvation is not earned. It is the result of God’s grace towards humankind. He did not have to send His Son to die for us, but God so loved the world (Jn 3:16).  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8)

To receive God’s free gift of salvation we must believe in the name of Jesus Christ, which means to accept His teachings and believe that His death, burial and resurrection was for our salvation: “But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (Jn 1:12).

THE NEW BIRTH (REGENERATION) – WE BELIEVE THE NEW BIRTH IS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION

To receive the free gift of salvation, Jesus taught that we must be born again (Jn 3:3).

The New Birth involves being born of water, which is to be immersed fully in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to be born of the Spirit, which is to be immersed into the Body of Christ and filled with the Spirit of God (Jn 3:5, Acts 2:38, 1 Cor 12:13). The immersion of water and Spirit are in fact ‘One Baptism’ (Eph 4:5), that occurs in two parts. After we have been regenerated, we rise to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4).

BORN OF WATER – WE BELIEVE IN BAPTISM BY FULL IMMERSION IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS

Water baptism is an integral part of the New Birth. The Bible teaches that water baptism by full immersion in the name of Jesus is a type of burial of our old sinful lifestyle, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Rom 6:3). The Apostles always performed in the name of Jesus Christ, as He is the One who rose victoriously from the dead (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5).

Jesus commanded His disciples to baptise disciples in “the name” (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Note, Father is not a name, Son is not a name, and Holy Ghost is not a name. However, Jesus is the “Everlasting Father” (Isa 9:6); Jesus is the Son (Mt. 1:21); and Jesus Christ indwells believers as the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9-10).

BORN OF SPIRIT – WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY BELIEVER MUST RECEIVE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ORDER TO BE TRULY BORN OF GOD

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit represents resurrection and newness of life (Rom 6:4; 8:9-11). It is through the baptism of the Spirit that we are immersed into the Body of Christ: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…” (1 Cor 12:13).

It is through the baptism of the Spirit that are adopted into family of God, and placed as sons, becoming joint-heirs of eternal life with Christ (Rom 8:14-17; 1 Jn 3:2). Therefore, if any one does not have the Spirit of Christ, they are none of His (Rom 8:9). However, all who have received the Spirit become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4), which includes a new way of thinking and living, as we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16).

THE INITIAL SIGN OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – WE BELIEVE THE INITIAL SIGN OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS SPEAKING WITH NEW TONGUES, BUT THE ENDURING EVIDENCE IS A CHRISTLIKE CHARACTER

The accompanying sign that one had been baptised in the Spirit in the New Testament was speaking with new languages as the Holy Spirit lead the speaker. This occurred when the Jews were filled with Spirit (Acts 2:4), with the Samaritans (Acts 8:15-17) and also with other Gentiles (Acts 10:46; 19:5-6). However, the Bible also teaches that the enduring evidence of a Spirit filled “Born Again” life is producing the fruit of love (Gal 5:22-23). Jesus said by their fruit (character) ye shall know them.

HOLINESS – WE BELIEVE IN HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN CAN SEE GOD.

The New Birth calls for a new life (Rom 6:4). Therefore, we believe in living a holy life, set apart from sin and worldliness and dedicated and devoted unto God. This involves cultivating a lifestyle of prayer, fasting, bible study, worship and fellowship with the saints of God.  We are commanded to “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). It is our belief from the scriptures that holiness is holistic and encompasses our entire being (i.e. thoughts, words, actions, associations and appearance).

SPIRITUAL GIFTS – WE BELIEVE THE GIFTS THE LORD GAVE TO HIS CHURCH HAVE NOT BEEN TAKEN AWAY, BUT THEY REMAIN OPERATIONAL SO LONG AS THERE IS A CHURCH ON EARTH

The Bible teaches that the LORD has given spiritual gifts to equip and edify His Church. So long as the Church is functioning on Earth, the gifts of the Spirit remain functional (1 Cor 12:7-11).

THE LORD’S SUPPER – WE BELIEVE IN REMEMBERING THE LORD THROUGH BY EATING OF UNLEAVENED BREAD AND THE FRUIT OF THE VINE

The sacrament of Lord’s Supper was observed by the Apostles. Therefore, we also observe the Lord’s Supper using unleavened bread (symbolic of Christ’s sinless body) and the fruit of the vine (symbolic of his shed blood). In doing so we are remembering the Lord’s atoning work until He comes again (1 Cor 11:25).

We also believe in the ordinance of feet washing as a demonstration of humility and service. Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (Jn 13:14).

THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD – WE BELIEVE THERE WILL BE A RESURRECTION OF EVERLASTING LIFE FOR THE GODLY, AND A RESURRECTION UNTO DAMNATION FOR THE UNRIGHTEOUS

Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead after three nights and three days in the grave. This is the cornerstone of our faith. He was not simply resuscitated, but He arose in a glorified body changed forever (1 Cor 15:20). The hope of the resurrection is given to those who died in faith before Christ’s resurrection, as well as those in His Church, and those who will die for their faith in the Great Tribulation (1 Cor 15:23).

THE RAPTURE – WE BELIEVE JESUS WILL TAKE HIS CHURCH OUT OF THE EARTH BEFORE A TIME OF GREAT TRIBULATION

We believe that the Bible teaches the Lord will ‘catch away’ His Church prior to the Great Tribulation: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Ths 4:17).

THE JUDGEMENT – WE BELIEVE THAT THERE WILL BE A GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT

At the end of time, God will judge all men according to their deeds (Rev. 20:11-15). All who have not accepted Christ will face the Second Death, which is eternity in the Lake of Fire – originally meant for Satan and his hosts (Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20)

MARRIAGE – WE BELIEVE MARRIAGE IS THE UNION OF ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN IN THE SIGHT OF GOD

In keeping with the Holy Scriptures, we believe that marriage is an institution established by God in which one man and one woman unite to become “one flesh” (Gen 2:24). Holy Matrimony is the exclusive framework for healthy sexual relationships: “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb 13:4). The union of husband and wife forms the bedrock of the family and society. It was given to ensure the continuity of humankind through procreation and the raising of children in a loving and balanced home.

GENEROSITY – WE BELIEVE IN GIVING OUR BEST TO GOD AND SHARING WITH OTHERS

We believe in generosity and worshipping the LORD with our substance. This includes practicing the principle of ‘first-fruits’ (i.e. the tithe) by which the first tenth of any financial increase is set aside for the LORD. This reminds us that all good gifts come from the Father above. Our worship also includes free-will offerings to the LORD, which further the work of God and support the advancing of the gospel. We believe that being generous and charitable to others as was our Lord.

CONTACT US

National Headquarters Address:  Bethel Convention Centre, Kelvin Way, Birmingham, B70 7JW

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Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) UK is a registered charity (no. 1047717)