This page outlines the essentials of what we believe as christians. We will start with God, the creator, then look at man and his lostness and need, see how Jesus made a path for us home, and finally, end with the church. NB whenever we use the word ‘man’ this means humankind, both female & male equally.

God

God is: He is eternal, without beginning or end.  Self existing, all powerful, all loving - abounding in creativity and joy and mercy - glorious in wisdom and kindness and holiness. Infinite and yet deeply personal, needing nothing and yet giving everything.

God is one: there is no-one else like Him.  Everything and everyone else is derived from Him and is dependant upon Him.  Beside Him, the whole universe is the merest hint of a fragment of a whisper.

God is community: Father, Son & Holy Spirit co-exist in a timeless community of love and trust and shadowless communication.

God has created: everything - the whole universe - all space, all time, out of nothing.  He is not bounded or limited by space or time, but He chooses to sustain them.

God has spoken to us: we could not know these things by our own reason.  Instead God has revealed them to us in the bible.  He has spoken to us truly, but not exhaustively.  The bible is not a text book on history, say or botany, but what it says about these things is true. It’s purpose is to help us to know something about God and His character, to see that there is right and wrong, to see our need & God’s mercy toward us.

Man

Man is: created in the image of God.  This means we have value and dignity and creativity.  That love is real because it is grounded in God. That we can truly say some things are morally right and some are morally wrong. That thought and reason have a true basis.

Man is fallen: we know from our own bitter experience that we are not what we should be.  Within us all are pride, meanness, envy, greed, spite, anger, malevolence and hatred.  In some these show themselves obviously in acts towards others, in others they are more hidden.  In all, in our most honest moments, we know that even our best acts have those background motives and colourings.

Man has become an enemy of God: God is all holiness and goodness, and our wrong cannot exist in His presence. In the same way that when the light comes on in a darkroom - the darkness no longer exists.

Man is without hope: all men are doomed to die. Even the greatest achievements will fade away.  Worse yet - man is lost from God and cannot go home.

Jesus

Jesus is: fully God.  Existing with the Father from eternity in deepest love.  Through Jesus all things were created and are sustained.

Jesus came: He was born into history about 2000 years ago, son of Mary, with no human father.  This is the great miracle, beyond all hope or understanding, that God, eternal and unlimited, became a simple Jewish carpenter.

Jesus lived: roughly thirty years in a small provincial village,and then three years going round with his followers in the troubled provinces of Judea, Samaria & Galilee. During that time He lived rough, healed the sick, attended parties, went hungry, spoke good news to the people and did amazing things. He lived entirely without wrong, without malice or self importance or any other corruption.

Jesus died: crucified by the men of power who felt threatened by his words and actions. And yet - somehow - God uses this one death to open the way back.  God came into this world to die in place of us, out of love for us and pity for our misery - right for our wrong, strength for our weakness.

Jesus rose again: Jesus died and was really dead - not fainted.  Those Roman soldiers knew their business.  God brought Jesus back to life, to show His total approval of what Jesus had done and been, to show that the way back had been opened.

Jesus ascended: He returned to the Father. In one way, Jesus was always with the Father, being God.  In another way, as man, he had been separate from God, and by his return, was joining his humanity with God. We cannot understand this, in the same way that we cannot understand what it means when Jesus slept.

Jesus will come again: at some point He will return, and that will be it - the end of time and history. His own people will come to Him, and be accepted, not because of their good deeds, but because of His mercy and His grace.  Then finally, they will be freed from all flaws and there will be no more crying or tears.

His enemies, those who say ‘I will do what I want to do’, will finally have their own way too, and have no more of God or of the good that He is, no more of kindness and generosity and joy and creativity.

The Church

The church is: simply all people who have trusted in Jesus, and at the very root, have said ‘Your will be done’ to God.

The church is fallible: it is composed of the same flawed people as are found everywhere. So it is no surprise that sometimes we do low or mean or horrible things.  We long to be different, and just sometimes we do see that is happening.

The church is called: to become more like Jesus.  He is our master and example and He calls us to follow Him, to leave aside ours plans to pump up ourselves, and instead to be a real good to others and to tell them about God and His love for us & them.

Key Dates for SBC

October 2017
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