We Value The Authority Of God As Exercised Through The Scriptures As Central To The Whole Of Life
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 2 Tim 3:16.
The shorter catechism says:
Q 1. What is the chief end of man ?
A. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever
Q 2. What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify
God and enjoy him ?
A. The word of God, contained in the scriptures of the Old and
the New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.
It is clear from this that without learning and applying Scripture, we are unable to glorify and enjoy God.
We uphold that the Bible is God’s true revelation of Himself to mankind, and is in itself the highest authority for our understanding of Him. It is the primary vehicle God uses to communicate his intention for us, and must be submitted to with obedience in faith. Our actions and attitudes must be informed and assessed against careful, thoughtful, regular reading of the Bible.
God’s word is timeless and remains relevant – so when we approach any part of the Bible we must affirm that: it is saying something, it is important, it must be obeyed – and we need the Spirit to help both understand and respond to it.
Scripture as God’s Word
2 Tim 3:16-17, Deut 18:19, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Matt 19:5 cf.
Gen 2:24, Matt 1:22, Acts 1:16, 2 Peter 3:16, 1 Tim 5:18 cf Luke 10:7.
God’s Word important for the whole of life
Matt 4:4 (Deut 8:3), Rom 2:14-15 cf Deut 29:29 & 1 John 5:3,
1 Cor 2
We Value Holy Spirit Led Prayer As Giving Divine Guidance And Enablement To All Our Human Life And Ministry
Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving”.
Genesis shows us that God’s creation act culminates in humanity. This and the extravagant work of Jesus on the cross show God’s desire to be in relationship with us. Prayer is conversation with God, an exercise and engagement in that relationship. We are told in Romans 8:26-27 that God is so dedicated to prayer, to communing with us, that He gives the Holy Spirit to Christians so that even when we cannot find words to express ourselves, we can keep praying to Him.
Even though Jesus is part of the Trinity, He spent a great deal of time in prayer during His time on earth. In the midst of ministry He withdrew to pray. He offered thanksgiving, sought guidance, interceded, and communed with the Father. The disciples saw the value of this when they asked Jesus to teach them to pray what we now call the Lord’s Prayer.
The opportunity to pray is a gift that God has given us so we can worship Him, praise Him, confess our sins and receive forgiveness, and present our requests to God. God wants to answer our prayers. As individuals and as a congregation we need to allow the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us in prayer, thought, word and action. Close relationship with God is the only thing that ensures our actions are aligned with God’s plan and will, and give them significance. Neglect of prayer and a close relationship with God hinders us from contributing to the Kingdom.
Jesus’ Prayer life
Matt 4:1, Luke 5:16, John 11:41, Luke 6:12-13, John 17, Luke 9:28 ff, Matthew 6:9-13, Mark 1:35
Our Prayer life
Phil 4:6, 1 Thess 5:17, 1 Tim 2:1-4, James 5:16, Matt 6:5-8, 2 Chronicles 7:14, 1 John 5:14-15, Psalm 55:17, Jude 1:20-21
We Value An Active Discipleship Process That Encourages Christ-Like Transformation Throughout All Of Earthly Life
Disciple means "follower". In Jesus’ ministry, this was literally the case, he calls his disciples to follow him, learning from him and becoming like him in character and action. Even now, we are called to "follow", a term implying movement and action, to the same end. As a church, we have a responsibility to create and promote a culture that reflects this.
My discipleship: We should be dedicated to our personal growth and transformation – our "following" of Christ. Primarily because this is honouring to God, it’s the natural and unavoidable effect of responding to the Holy Spirit, and it’s fulfilling our purpose in his Kingdom. This means regular, sober self-assessment in light of Scripture to pinpoint areas of potential growth and development in our lives, and then actively seeking the support or guidance of those around us to help in that growth.
Other’s discipleship: We should be dedicated to encouraging others around us to continue growing. We should be deliberate in sharing our acquired wisdom and experience in living out Godliness.
Paul’s invites his readers to “imitate me, as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). We should be willing to model Christ-likeness enough to be "followed" ourselves.
As people join this church, or come to faith for the first time as a result of our ministries, we have a responsibility to pass on our collective knowledge, attitudes and experience and encourage them to grow ever more Christ-like throughout their lives.
Rom 12:2, Matt 28:19-20, 1Tim 4:12-16, Titus 2:1-5, Proverbs 27:17
We Value Authentic Small Group Relationships Where We Encourage Each Other In Life’s Challenges In The Light Of The Scriptures
It is clear that God’s intention and design is that his people grow to maturity not alone, but together.
“We value AUTHENTIC small group relationships…” ‘Authentic’ meaning real, genuine, true. Not superficial. It’s not easy to be authentic with people we don’t know well but in a small group it becomes possible to know each other at a deeper level and to develop relationships based on trust and on a mutual commitment to look to the needs of others.
“…where we encourage each other in life’s challenges…” Here we have a great reason for developing authentic relationships. Life is hard. No man or woman is an island. God has given us to one another for mutual encouragement.
“…in the light of the Scriptures.” There are many kinds of small groups – you could be supported and encouraged in a sporting team, a sewing group, a service organisation – these are all good things. But small groups within the church are markedly different in that they have God’s Word as their foundation. So small groups are about more than mutual support, they are also places where the authority of Scripture is recognised, where Biblical learning is translated into action, and where people can be equipped for life as Christians.
Heb 10:24-25, Ephesians 4:15-16, 1 Thess 5:11
We Value The Active Use Of Spiritual Gifts By Members To Enhance Our Church Community
Spiritual Gifts are God-given graces expressed by individuals to benefit and build up the body of Christ. A healthy church body is made up of many parts, with different roles, working together for mutual benefit and toward common goals. Ephesians 4 makes it clear that use of gifts is what grows the believer to maturity, blessing the individual and the church. Therefore it is plain that on an individual and congregational level the exercise of gifts is essential for spiritual health and growth.
There are three general categories of gifts, and no scriptural list of gifts is intended to be exhaustive
(These reveal the plan of God)
Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher
(These reveal the power of God)
Prophecy, Tongues and Interpretation, Healing, Miracles, Words of wisdom, Word of knowledge
(These reveal the personality of God)
Service, Exhortation, Giving, Leadership, Mercy, Helping, Encouragement, Administration
1 Cor 12, Ephes 411-16, 1 Peter 4:10-11, Matt 25:14-30
We Value The Wider Community In Which We Live, And God’s Command To Enrich It With His Presence And Gospel Message
As members of the community we are each called to “love our neighbour as our self”. God commands us to extend our love and concern to all persons as our neighbours and to follow Jesus’ example to give of ourselves sacrificially, regardless of discomfort, expense or inconvenience. We are to do this without discrimination or preference, because all are made in the image of God. We are to manifest and reflect God’s character in any way we can – his generosity to the poor, his speaking up for the powerless, his concern for the suffering.
Jesus told his disciples that simply loving each other in a counter-cultural way would be a great witness about Him. The Great Commission to all believers is to go and make disciples of all nations. This is not just an instruction to an intrepid few who will journey to far flung parts. This is expected of every one of us; our mission field is where we live, our workplace, the streets we walk, where we shop, play sport, spend leisure time. We are ambassadors for Christ, intended to bring salt and light to our part of the world. Sharing the way to eternal life is the ultimate expression of love, and withholding it is the ultimate expression of neglect. Some say that actions speak louder than words, but even the best actions, if unaccompanied by God’s truth, are a road sign without writing on it.
James 2:15-16, James 1:27, Deut 10:17-19, John 13:34-35, Isaiah 1:17, Prov 29:7, Luke 6:35-36
John 13:34-35, Matt 28:19-20, Rom 10:13-14, Luke 8-11, Matt 13:23, Matt 5:14-16, 1 Peter 3:15-16