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What Do We Believe?

There is a God.
And God is good.
And God loves you.
 
God came to earth in the human form of Jesus of Nazareth and lived and taught amongst us.

Jesus fulfilled God’s promises that he would send a rescuer who would liberate us from sin, freeing us for a life characterised by peace and joy.
 
Jesus’ words and actions demonstrated a radically new way of relating to God and living in the world. His actions matched his teaching. In all things he demonstrated his love for his Father and love for others.

Jesus died on a Roman cross and then he rose from death three days later, dealing with the implications of our sin, demonstrating God's power over death and enabling us to become part of Gods family and members of his kingdom.
 
We believe that following the example and teaching of Jesus is the way to know God and please Him. It also enables us to live our best lives. Followers of Jesus are invited to share in his work by applying his values of justice, truth and grace in all situations.
 
That’s why God invites us to a different life, a life of freedom, kindness, hope, courage, honesty and forgiveness. We can live this life by copying Jesus, who shows us what God is like and by asking God’s Spirit to work with us, because we can’t do it on our own.
 
We believe that the Bible is a unique record of God’s love for the world and guides us in understanding God and in the teaching of Jesus. We call those who follow Jesus the church and we believe it exists wherever followers of Jesus gather. It’s God’s community where we find love, support and encouragement in all the complexities of life. And it is God’s tool for sharing the good news of his love for our world.
 
Because God is good, and because God loves you:
     You don’t have to be afraid;
     You don’t have to suffer alone;
     You don’t have to worry about riches, or status, or pretending to be someone you’re not;
     You don’t have to feel insignificant, unnoticed or unloved;
     You don’t have to be trapped in guilt or shame;
     You don’t have to be scared of death because death is not the end.
     You don’t have to walk through this world alone.

Baptism

One of the things which mark out Baptist churches is our practice of ‘believer’s baptism’. When someone decides to follow the example and teaching of Jesus we hold a special service to celebrate this which includes being lowered under and raised up from a pool of water – it’s called baptism, literally being plunged or 'dunked' under water.

It is a public declaration of the decision to follow Jesus for the rest of our lives and is full of symbolism. The being lowered under the water is a picture of being buried and then raised to new life as a follower of Jesus. Water washes, so going into the water is a symbol of having the failures of our old lives washed away.

Although we value this greatly and the majority of the Church community at ABC have been baptised, your place in our church family is not conditional on this, and we recognise a Christian commitment which has previously been expressed in a different part of God's Church.
 

Tim Jump, 08/06/2020