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British Conference of Seventh Day Baptist Churches
Statement of Belief
Seventh Day Baptists consider liberty of thought under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be essential to Christian belief and practice. Therefore we encourage the unhindered study and open discussion of Scripture. We uphold the individual’s freedom of conscience in seeking to determine and obey the will of God. The following statement is not intended to be exhaustive, but is an expression of our common belief, which is derived from our understanding of Scripture. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 2 Timothy 2:15; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:3-6, 15; Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We believe in one God, infinite and perfect, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe who exists eternally in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and desires to share His love in a personal relationship with everyone. (1 Timothy 1:17; Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Kings 8:27; 1 John 1:5; Genesis 1:1-2; Acts 17:24-25, 28; Psalm 90:1-2; Matthew 28:19; John 3:16; Isaiah 57:15; 2 Peter 3:9).
We believe in God the Father, who is sovereign over all, and is loving and just as He forgives the repentant and condemns the unrepentant. 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8; John 5:24; John 3:16-18.
We believe in God the Son, who became incarnate in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He gave Himself on the cross as the complete and final sacrifice for sin. As our Risen Lord, He is the mediator between God the Father and mankind. We believe that Jesus Christ, in keeping with His promise, will return suddenly, personally and visibly, at a time known only by God (John 1:34; Hebrews 1:3; John 1:14-18; Romans 1:3-4; 1 John 3:16; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 10:10-14; 1 Corinthians 15:20-21; 1 Timothy 2:5; John 14:6; 1 John 2:1-2; Mark 13:32-33; Revelation 22:7, 12, 20).
The Holy Spirit
We believe in God the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who gives spiritual birth to believers lives within them, and empowers them for witnessing and service. We believe the Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures, convicts of sin and instructs in righteousness (John 14:16; 3:5-8; 14:17; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 16:7-11).
(2) The Bible
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is our final authority in matters of faith and practice. We believe that Jesus Christ, in His life and teachings as recorded in the Bible, is the supreme interpreter of God’s will for mankind. (Peter 1:20-21; Romans 3:2; 2 Peter 3:1-2, 15-16; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Matthew 5:17-19; Psalm 119:105; John 20:30-31; Hebrews 1:1-2).
We believe that mankind was created in the image of God and is therefore the noblest work of creation. We believe that human beings have moral responsibility and are created to enjoy both divine and human fellowship as children of God. (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 8:3-9; Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:44-48; 1 John 1:3; John 1:12).
(4) Sin and Salvation
We believe that sin is disobedience to God and failure to live according to His will. Because of sin all people have separated themselves from God. We believe that because we are sinners, we are in need of a Saviour. We believe that salvation from sin and death is the gift of God by redeeming love accomplished by Christ’s death and resurrection, and is received only by repentance and faith in Him. We believe that all who repent of their sin and receive Christ as Saviour will not be punished at the final judgment but enjoy eternal life. 1 John 3:4-5; Romans 3:23-25; Isaiah 59:2; 1 John 1:8-10; Romans 5:6-8; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 10:10-14; 1 Peter 1:3; John 3:16-18, 36; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; Matthew 25:41-46; Romans 5:10.
(5) Eternal Life
We believe that Jesus rose from the dead and lives eternally with the Father, and that He will come again with power and great glory. We believe that eternal life begins in knowing God through a commitment to Jesus Christ. We believe that because He died and lives again, resurrection with spiritual and imperishable bodies is the gift of God to believers. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 20-23; John 14:1-3; Matthew 24:30; Titus 2:13; John 17:3; 1 John 5:11-13; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44; John 10:27-28; John 6:40.
(6) The Church
We believe that the church of God is all believers gathered by the Holy Spirit and joined into one body, of which Christ is the Head. We believe that the local church is a community of believers organized in covenant relationship for worship, fellowship and service, practicing and proclaiming common convictions, while growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We believe in the priesthood of all believers and practice the autonomy of the local congregation, as we seek to work in association with others for more effective witness. (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 14, 27; Romans 12:4-5; Colossians 1:18; Acts 2:42; Ephesians 2:19-22; Romans 15:5-7; Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Matthew 18:20; Hebrews 10:24-25).
We believe that baptism of believers in obedience to Christ’s command is a witness to the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. We believe in baptism by immersion as a symbol of death to sin, a pledge to a new life in Him. (Romans 6:3-4; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:11; Galatians 3:26-27).
(8) The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper commemorates the suffering and death of our Redeemer until He comes, and is a symbol of union in Christ and a pledge of renewed allegiance to our risen Lord. (Mark 14:22-25; Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 11:23-30).
We believe that the Sabbath of the Bible, the seventh day of the week, is sacred time, a gift of God to all people, instituted at creation, affirmed in the Ten Commandments and reaffirmed in the teaching and example of Jesus and the apostles. We believe that the gift of Sabbath rest is an experience of God’s eternal presence with His people. We believe that in obedience to God and in loving response to His grace in Christ, the Sabbath should be faithfully observed as a day of rest, worship, and celebration. (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23-30; Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 5:17-19; Mark 2:27-28; Luke 4:16; Acts 13:14, 42-44; 16:11-13; 17:2-3; 18:4-11; Ezekiel 20:19-20; Hebrews 4:9-10; John 14:15; Isaiah 58:13-14; Luke 23:56).
We believe that Jesus Christ commissions us to proclaim the Gospel, to make disciples, to baptize and to teach observance of all that He has commanded. We are called to be witnesses for Christ throughout the world and in all human relationships. (Matthew 24:14; Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 5-6; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Ephesians 6:14-20).
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