Everything that we do as a church is shaped by our theology - our core convictions about who God is, what he is doing in his world and what the mission is that he has given to the church.
We take as a basic definition of the Christian faith the FIEC Basis of Faith. As church members we express our common understanding by agreeing to this definition.
Two further documents that we are in full agreement with are the FIEC statements on Women's Ministry and Gospel Unity. These help to set out how we operate as a church with respect to two key issues of church life.
In addition to those documents, these are our own convictions that distinctively flavour how we approach church life:
I. God is a God who has made himself known. He makes himself known through His words:
It is by hearing what God is saying, through what he has said, that we come to a clearer knowledge of God. Knowledge of God is not just an ability to recite facts about God but a living and loving relationship with him, as a child to his or her parent. God's words are God's means to bring us to know, love and serve Him.
''Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him" (1 Samuel 3:7)
Jesus is God's final and ultimate self-disclosure. He is God's word:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son..." (Hebrews 1:1,2)
"For God who said "Let light shine out of darkness" made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor 4:6)
This conviction means that:
- we will make it a priority to listen to God's voice in our meetings: singing, praying, preaching reading his Word, the Bible.
- we will aim for clear, faithful, Jesus-exalting Bible teaching
- we will encourage regular and disciplined personal Bible reading
- we will attempt to bring people to a genuine knowledge of God by showing them God's words
II. God's words are powerful and dynamic. Not only do they bring us to a knowledge of God but they transform us into the people that God wants us to be.
"The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Heb 4:12)
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim 3:16)
That means that we need to let the word of God not only speak in our services and in our homes but shape who we are and what we do, both when we meet together and when we are apart.
Seeking to let God's Word speak and shapeEmmanuel Church Bath
Come find us on Sunday!
We meet together every Sunday morning, in person at St Greg's College.
We'd love to have you with us!