What We Believe
We, the people of Central Baptist Church, recognize that there are certain basic principles which determine our identity as a church, and which guide the ways we work together in God's service. These principles need to be affirmed as we establish the foundation of our lives together.
- Primary Allegiance: We affirm the Church as the bride of Christ, that she belongs not to us and our sense of purpose but to Him, to command as He wills. We affirm that He is the centre of all our endeavours, the focus of worship and authority, and the ultimate source of strength and guidance for all our mission and ministry. This principle reflects the authority and centrality of Christ in all we do.
- Priesthood of All Believers: "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female" (Galatians 3:28). The work of the church is to be performed on the basis of our individual gifts and calling, not human position, power, race, age or gender. This principle reflects the spiritual equality of the individual believer and his/her soul liberty before God.
- Congregational Government: Within the church, all authority rests with the body of believers gathered together to discern the will of God. Within the church, authority is given by the body. The individuals, leaders and committees of the church are responsible to the body. This principle reflects our understanding of the leadership style of Christ and historic Baptist polity.
- Covenant Community: We understand the congregation of Central Baptist Church to be a Covenant Community wherein we each share privileges, responsibilities and accountability. We are bound to one another with ties of love, compassion and service and pledge to encourage, support and uplift each other for growth, faith and service.
- Safe Community: We are committed to nurture and protect all the children in our care, and to maintain an environment that is safe and supportive for people of all ages.
Confession of Faith
Historically, Baptists have not been a creedal people. We accept the Bible as our authority in matters of faith and practice. We believe that Christians should enjoy the freedom to read and interpret Scripture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, we wish to affirm the things we hold in common, not as a creed imposed upon our members, but as a confession of those beliefs which form the basis for our unity.
- We believe in the one, true God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Our Creator, Our Redeemer and Our Sustainer/Comforter)
- We believe in Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord. As God's only Son, born of Mary, Jesus lived and taught the word of God, died on a cross for the sins of humanity and was resurrected from the dead. As the only perfect image of God, the Word made flesh, He revealed the nature of God and the kind of life God intended for humanity.
- We believe in the need of every human being for salvation through Jesus Christ and for the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in the life of every Christian believer.
- We believe that God continues to work in history and that history will culminate in the return of Christ.
- We believe that the Holy Scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible, were written by human authors under the inspiration of God. Supremely, in Jesus Christ, they reveal the nature and work of God. They serve as a guide for daily life and the final authority in matters of faith.
- We believe that the church is the body of Christ, the visible expression of His life in the world. The church is a community of believers in Christ who gather for worship, encouragement, fellowship, accountability and mission.
- We believe that Christ left two ordinances to be observed by the church: The Baptism of Believers and the Lord's Supper.
As a gathering of believers, united by our faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and called together by the Holy Spirit we enter into this covenant with one another.
- We commit to walk together in Christian love, to encourage and support one another, to participate together in worship and to support with our time, resources and talents, the mission and ministry of our church.
- We will strive to grow in our Christian lives through corporate worship, individual and collective Bible study, prayer and devotion. We will endeavour to develop our spiritual gifts and to recognize and affirm those gifts in others.
- We will try to cultivate the attributes of patience, understanding and compassion, to ask for and offer forgiveness, to model in our relationships the principles which Christ taught us in Scripture.
- We will try to live our lives with integrity and justice, to treat each other with honour and respect. We will strive to follow Christ's example, to be his witnesses in our homes and in the world. As opportunities arise we will communicate the good news of God's grace to those around us.
- We understand that Christ's witness extends beyond the boundaries of this congregation and we pledge to carry out the principles of this covenant wherever God may call us. Therefore, we agree that when we leave this place we will search for another church where we can live out the spirit of this covenant.