The inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility of God’s word, the Bible, as originally given. The Holy Scripture is both vital and clear, and all Christians must submit to its supreme authority and sufficiency, both individually and corporately, in every matter of belief and conduct.
The existence of one eternal and immutable God, the Holy Trinity, Creator and Lord of the universe who, in the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – three Persons who are the same in substance, and equal in power and glory – governs all things according to His will, and is accomplishing His purposes in the world and in the church.
The Lord Jesus Christ
The essential, absolute and eternal deity of the Lord Jesus Christ; His eternal pre-existence and glory as the Son of God; His conception by Mary of the Holy Spirit; His virgin birth; His real but sinless humanity; His voluntary humiliation and obedience, culminating in His death as a sacrifice for sin; His bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day; His ascension into heaven; His continuing ministry as Prophet, Priest and King; and His coming again in power and glory.
The Human Race
The inherent value of all human beings, made by God in His own image, and their sinfulness and guilt since the fall of Adam. This has rendered them subject to God’s wrath and condemnation, and has resulted in their alienation from Him, from one another and from His creation.
Salvation from the guilt, penalty and all consequences of sin solely through the work of Jesus Christ – His perfect obedience, penal substitutionary death, bodily resurrection and exaltation as Lord. He alone is truly God and truly man, and therefore the only mediator between God and humanity, uniquely able to save completely those who come to God through Him. There is salvation through no other person, creed, process or power.
The justification of sinners entirely through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to them and of the guilt and penalty of their sin to Him. It is appropriated by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
The Holy Spirit
The necessity and sufficiency of the work of the Holy Spirit for the individual’s new birth to repentance and faith, union with Christ and growth to maturity, and for the church’s continuous renewal in truth, unity, wisdom, faith, holiness, love, power and mission.
The universal church, the body of which Christ is the Head, to which all who are saved belong. Its existence reveals God’s ultimate purpose to bring everything together under Christ. It is made visible both in local congregations and in the wider communion of those who profess the true faith. It comprises a people called to declare the praise of the God who saved them, to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and to proclaim the gracious offer of salvation to those who are lost.
Baptism and The Lord’s Supper
Central to the life of the local church is the kind provision of the Lord Jesus Christ in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the churches by Christ as visible signs of the Gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into His Church but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ and His sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All of its blessings are received by faith.
The unity of the body of Christ, as expressed within and between local churches by mutual love, care, encouragement and corporate action in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the apostolic gospel.
The personal and visible return in glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to raise the dead and bring salvation and judgement to final completion. He will grant eternal life to those who have believed the gospel, and consign those who have not to everlasting punishment in hell. God will then fully establish His kingdom in new heavens and a new earth, from which evil and evildoers, suffering and death will be excluded, and in which He will be glorified forever.
This Basis of Faith is a summary of what we believe. It is in substantial agreement with the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.
In accepting this statement as a summary of our faith, Hope Church is not setting up a standard above, or on a par with Scripture. We endorse fully the statement of The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith that “the Holy Scripture is the all-sufficient, certain and infallible rule or standard of the knowledge, faith and obedience that constitute salvation. All religious controversies are to be settled by Scripture, and by Scripture alone. All decrees of Councils, opinions of ancient writers, and doctrines of men collectively and individually, are similarly to be accepted or rejected according to the verdict of the Scripture given to us by the Holy Spirit. In that verdict, faith finds its final rest”. (Confession Sections 1.1 and 1.10).
The Basis of Faith above is the subordinate standard of our Church, and is binding only in so far as it is Biblical. It has no inherent authority, nor is it above revision or improvement. The Church binds itself to modify the Basis of Faith if it can be shown to be unbiblical in any way.