Our Statement of Faith
We believe in the fundamental truths of Christianity, as revealed in Holy Scripture, including:
There is one God in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
God is sovereign in creation, revelation, redemption and final judgement.
The Bible, as originally given, is the inspired and infallible Word of God. It is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behaviour.
Since the fall, the whole of humankind is sinful and guilty, so that everyone is subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Son, is fully God; he was born of a virgin; his humanity is real and sinless; he died on the cross, was raised bodily from death and is now reigning over heaven and earth.
Sinful human beings are redeemed from the guilt, penalty and power of sin only through the sacrificial death once and for all time of their representative and substitute, Jesus Christ, the only mediator between them and God.
Those who believe in Christ are pardoned all their sins and accepted in God’s sight only because of the righteousness of Christ credited to them; this justification is God’s act of undeserved mercy, received solely by trust in him and not by their own efforts.
The Holy Spirit alone makes the work of Christ effective to individual sinners, enabling them to turn to God from their sin and to trust in Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit lives in all those he has regenerated. He makes them increasingly Christlike in character and behaviour and gives them power for their witness in the world.
The one holy universal church is the Body of Christ, to which all true believers belong.
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in person, to judge everyone, to execute God’s just condemnation on those who have not repented and to receive the redeemed to eternal glory.
The Church and its Members
1. Assurance –A person becomes a Christian by trusting in Jesus Christ as their only Lord and Saviour. A Christian has full assurance of the forgiveness of their sins, receives the gift of the Holy Spirit and knows from the Bible that they will be with Christ when they die.
2. Priesthood of all believers –All Christians who can affirm the Statement of Faith are priests equally with each other, under the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only High Priest and Mediator between man and God.
3. Communion –Each Christian may share in Communion without the mediation of a “priest”. Communion has been instituted by Jesus as a time when we remember who Christ is and what he has done for us. It gives us the opportunity to praise and worship him, and to share together the bread and wine in remembrance of his body broken and his blood shed for us, as commanded by Jesus.
4. Equality before God –The members welcome any person into membership regardless of race, colour, gender, background or age who can affirm the Statement of Faith and the Core Values of this church, and has been baptised.
5. Baptism –The Baptism of Believers is a command of Jesus. Any person who confesses Jesus as Lord and believes that God raised Him from the dead, and can affirm the Statement of Faith, may be baptised. The church practices baptism by full immersion. This gives the opportunity to follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, to obey His command to be baptised, to bear public testimony to one’s faith, and to declare an intention, with God’s help, to live a life dedicated to God.
6. Ministry –Each Christian should participate in serving the Church in accordance with the Spiritual Gifts they have.
7. Elders –South Park Chapel is led by Elders, who have a special responsibility to lead and teach the church, under Christ.
8. Members’ Responsibilities –It is the responsibility of each member of South Park Chapel to provide loyalty and support to fellow-members, both in spiritual encouragement and in practical help. This includes support to the church in both attendance and practical assistance.
9. Children – Children are welcome to attend and participate in all of the services. The church welcomes children into fellowship when a parent brings the child to be Dedicated to God. The members take responsibility for teaching children about the Lord Jesus and the basics of the Christian faith, under the guidance of the Elders.
10. Repentance –The members acknowledge that all of us fail in various ways, but affirm that each person should, with the help of God, repent of their sins and strive to live in a way that is honouring to God. Such repentance should be recognised by the members, who should show compassion and forgiveness.
11. Bible Study –Individual and corporate study of the Bible and instruction in it is of prime importance to the discipleship and growth of a Christian. Existing members take responsibility for teaching and guiding new believers in Christian life and doctrine, under the guidance of the Elders. Members should encourage and help each other in Christian growth and with practical assistance.
12. Prayer –Prayer is central to the life of each Christian and to the corporate life of the church, to interpret the mind and will of God and to intercede for the needs of others. The church should facilitate this.
13. Evangelism -It is the responsibility of every Christian to be able to give a reason for the faith he or she has. Every Christian should seek to set out to others, as they have the opportunity, the claims of Jesus Christ. The church as a whole should organise events and activities to facilitate the proclamation and explanation of the Gospel. To this end, the church seeks both to serve the local community in whatever way it can, and to assist members in building relationships with non-Christians.
14. Personal Lifestyle –Each Christian should seek to emulate, serve and bear witness to Jesus Christ in all areas of life, in our interaction with other people, at work and when socialising. The church should support, train and encourage Christians in this, recognising that some people are called to full time paid Christian employment.
15. Money –Money and all possessions are a gift from God to be used responsibly and in his service. Members make free will offerings to support the work of South Park Chapel, and such other Christian work as the Elders may designate.
16. The pattern of sexual union stated in the Bible by Jesus, is that one man and one woman should be joined in marriage for life.
17. Christian spouses have a special responsibility to help and encourage each other in their Christian life. A married couple should pray and read the Bible together and should instruct any children they may have in the Christian faith.
18. Christian parents have a special responsibility to bring up their children to know and love Jesus.
The Church Building
19. South Park Chapel seeks to be financially self sufficient. Funding from outside sources is only permissible where it is consistent with the Chapel’s Statement of Faith and these Core Values.
20. The Chapel building exists as a place of worship and Christian Service, for the purposes set out in the Mission Statement of South Park Chapel.