Statement of Faith
This Statement of Faith express the doctrines which the members of City Church consider unite all truly Christian believers. Anyone who wishes to become a member of the church must wholeheartedly subscribe to these beliefs.
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God who governs all things according to his sovereign will for his own glory. He is an infinite, eternal, intelligent being. In the unity of the Godhead there are three distinct persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are equal in being but execute distinct roles in the great work of God in salvation. God is unchangeable in his holiness, wisdom, justice and love.
We believe that God has revealed himself in the Bible, comprising the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. Every word was inspired by God through human authors and as such it comprises the entirety of the Word of God. As originally given, it is true in its entirety and therefore without error, and it is the supreme authority by which all human conduct, creeds, opinions and beliefs should be tested. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was fully God from eternity. Through the incarnation he became fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a perfect, righteous and sinless life in obedience to the Father, as recorded in the Gospels of the New Testament. He was put to death physically by crucifixion and his body was physically buried. On the third day he was physically raised from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is now seated in glory at the right hand of his Father where he intercedes for his people.
We believe that the entire universe was created by God, through the agency of Jesus Christ and that it and everything in it is sustained by him. He is completely sovereign over his creation, so that nothing may take place which is not in accordance with his permissive will.
The human race
We believe that God created all human beings, male and female, in his likeness. Human beings were created in original righteousness to worship God and to enjoy a relationship of fellowship with him. Through voluntary disobedience they fell from that state and became subject to the just judgement of God. In consequence all men and women are by nature corrupted and subject to sin, positively inclined to do evil, and incapable of regaining or attaining righteousness by their own efforts. They live under the just condemnation of God, in enmity towards him and alienated from him. After death they face certain judgement and stand rightly and fairly condemned to eternal punishment.
The provision of salvation
We believe that God has intervened in history to save men and women from sin and judgement, so that they might be restored to true righteousness and reconciled to enjoy eternal fellowship with him. Men and women are saved wholly by God through grace. Such
salvation is made possible only through the mediatorial work of the Son of God. By means of his death upon the cross, Jesus Christ made a full atonement for our sins. He willingly stood in our place as a substitute and representative, becoming sin for us, thereby taking upon himself the just judgement of God which we deserve. He obediently offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins to propitiate the wrath of God against us. By virtue of his death, men and women may receive the forgiveness of their sins, freedom from condemnation, and a new spiritual life which will continue for eternity.
The receipt of salvation
We believe that the salvation made possible through the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ is effective to save only those men and women who repent of their sins and exercise true faith in Jesus Christ by submitting to him as their Lord and Master. The Christian faith is the only true religion and adherence to any other belief cannot lead to salvation. Salvation is bestowed freely upon those who exercise such genuine repentance and true faith, and is not earned by the performance of works of righteousness.
We believe that in order to receive salvation a man or a woman must be regenerated, or born again, by the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Without such regeneration, men and women remain sinners in a state of spiritual death and are incapable of exercising genuine repentance and true faith. The Holy Spirit is alone able to convict and convince men and women of their sinful state, of the fact that they face the certain prospect of the eternal judgement of God, and consequently of their need of salvation. He alone enables them to comprehend, and appropriate for themselves, the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is likewise alone able to bring men and women to rebirth and new spiritual life, enabling them to place voluntary faith in Jesus Christ. Such faith is itself a gift of God.
We believe that a person who exercises genuine repentance and true faith in Jesus Christ is thereby justified before God in accordance with his promise. Justification involves the receipt from God of a sure and certain pardon of all sin, whether past, present or future, and the imputation of the perfect righteousness of Christ. A justified person is as acceptable to God as Jesus Christ himself, and is adopted into the family of God as a son and heir.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation, produces increasing likeness to Christ, gives confidence of adoption into the family of God and guarantees that he or she will receive eternal life in the age to come. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
We believe that those who are regenerated, justified and indwelt by the presence of the Holy Spirit are subject to the transforming work of God. Whilst such persons will never be entirely free from sin before being raised to new resurrection life in the age to come, in this present life they will experience a progressive growth in righteousness and godliness. By the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, appropriated by mortification of sinful desires, their lives will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit and they will be brought into ever increasing conformity with the character of Christ. Whilst salvation is not earned by the performance of works of righteousness, it is always evidenced by godly conduct and the performance of good works pleasing to God.
The universal church
We believe that the universal church is the spiritual body of Christ, which consists of all people who have exercised genuine repentance and true faith in Jesus Christ and have been adopted into the family of God. The universal church is a worldwide body, and its members are united in fellowship with one another irrespective of race or nationality. The extent of the universal church is known to God alone and remains invisible to man. Jesus Christ is the head of the universal church, and it is the body through which he accomplishes the worldwide proclamation of the gospel message. The Holy Spirit bestows gifts upon members of the universal church which enable it to grow to maturity in Christ.
The local church
We believe that members of the universal church are commanded to join together as local congregations. A local church is a visible assembly of regenerate individuals, organised in unity under a suitably qualified leadership, who meet together to join in corporate worship, fellowship, prayer, teaching, instruction and to encourage one another to persevere in faith, evangelism and good works. A local church must duly administer the twin signs of grace instituted by Jesus Christ, namely baptism and the Lord’s supper, and provide pastoral care and exercise such discipline as may become necessary against believers who fall into apostasy or commit open and notorious sin of which they are unrepentant.The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are both faithful to the gospel.
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’s sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
The return of Christ
We believe that, at a time unknown to any but God himself, Jesus Christ will return from heaven to bring this world, and this current age, to an end. He will return in person and in great power and glory to gather all his people to himself. The dead shall be raised and all men and women shall be judged byhim. A solemn separation will then take place. Those who are not regenerate and justified shall be condemned to eternal punishment in hell. Those who are regenerate and justified shall dwell in eternal joy in the presence of God, reigning with Christ in his kingdom. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.