1) The Bible
The basis of our belief is the Bible. We believe that all of Scripture originated with God, and he gave it to chosen men to write down. The Bible reflects the individual backgrounds, styles, culture and vocabularies of human authors but also speaks with God's authority.
We believe that the original manuscripts are reliable and trustworthy. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:21.
We believe that there is one God, existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each Person equally possesses all the characteristics of the Being and the Personality of the One God. Matt 28:19. (One God in Three Persons is called the Trinity).
In the beginning God created the Earth and the Universe out of nothing and He continues to maintain its existence by His power. He takes a personal interest in His creation and is actively involved in working out His purposes. John 1:1-4.
3) Jesus Christ
Jesus, the Son, is the second Person of the Trinity. He has always existed. He is God but He is also totally human. By the miracle of a virgin birth God came into this world.
We have all chosen to go our own way and live without God's authority over our lives (Romans 3:10,23). God is a God of justice, so because of all the things we have done wrong, we deserve to be punished by Him and sent to Hell for eternity. Because of our human nature, we can't do anything to please God and change this situation.
When Jesus died on the cross He was punished in our place (1 Pet 1:18-19; 3:18; Isaiah 53:4-6). This satisfied God's justice. Jesus did not stay buried. He physically rose from the dead (1 Cor 15:3-6) and then returned to Heaven where He speaks to His Father on our behalf.
When God has finished working out His purposes, Jesus will personally and visibly return to the earth (Acts 1:9-11) and the dead will be raised. He will then create a new Universe and a new Earth.
When we die, we have to stand before God as our Judge. Those who have accepted God will live with Him forever. Those who reject Him will be condemned and sent to Hell forever. Acts 4:12; Matthew 25:41,46; Hebrews 9:27.
4) The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. He speaks to people about their need for God's forgiveness. He helps us to say sorry to God and to believe in Jesus. Once we become a Christian, He transforms us so that we can be like Jesus and live pure and obedient lives. He also gives us the power to do the things that Jesus did.
John 3:3-18; 16:7-11; John 14:16-17, 26; 1 Cor 3:16; Gal 5:22-25; Acts 19:1-6; 1 Cor 12:7-11.
5) The Church
When we have said sorry to God and accept His authority over our lives we are joined with other believers to form the Church. This is not a building built of bricks on a street corner. Jesus is the Head of the Church (Col 1:18) who controls and directs its affairs. As His body, it is the means by which Jesus continues to live out His life and mission in the world.
There is only one Church and it is made up of all Christians, past, present and future. The first meeting when all the members are present, is still in the future when Jesus returns.
We express our membership of this One Church through our membership of the local church. The Christian Fellowship, Norwich is a church in this local sense and each believer is also a part of The Church in its wider sense. It is part of our conviction that the members of each local church are free to seek and respond to the will of God as they understand it.
As a local church, we are called together to learn, pray, worship and support one another. We are responsible to use our gifts and reach out to the world and share with others what God has done for us.
No one in the church is more special or more important than anyone else. No one stands between us and God. We are all priests, and we are all called to participate in worship and service. We are to work together in love and unity with the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Jesus.
We believe God calls some, women and men, to leadership in the church. God gives these people in order that the whole church is built-up in its faith and work. 1 Cor 1:2; Eph 1:22-23; Eph 4:11-16.
Baptism is by total immersion and only for those who have personally said sorry to God and accepted His authority over their lives. Baptism, together with faith and repentance is how we respond to the Gospel and become disciples of Jesus Christ. (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Jesus commanded baptism (Matt 28:18-20) and was Himself baptised fully in water (Matt 3:13-17).
The Lord's Supper or Communion is at the heart of Christian worship as we celebrate His death and resurrection. The "Lord's Supper" reminds us of the meal in the upper room before the arrest, trial and execution of Jesus. The word "Communion" points to the one-ness, deep sharing and belonging which opens up between believers and with Christ Himself.
The Lord's Supper is a remembrance of Christ's death on our behalf. It is open to all those who have confessed Christ. We can only eat the bread and drink the wine if we are right with other believers. This means we that we must examine our relationships with others before taking communion. Matt 26:26-29; 1 Cor 10:16-21; 11:17-29.
8) Liberty Of Conscience
We do not force anyone to believe. We believe in religious freedom for all, to believe or not to believe. We think like this because we believe that each of us is responsible before God and that no other person should try to take that freedom away. Acts 4:19; 5:29.
9) Faith And Practice
Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.
We believe the Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines not included in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension. 1 Tim 6:3-5; 2 Tim 2:23-26.
“We believe that it s the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.” Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.
We at New Hope Christian Centre have committed ourselves to the teaching of the word of God, fellowship, sharing the Lord’s supper and prayer. We are filled with awe at the many wonders and signs done through the Spirit of God. As believers, there is a unity of purpose among us and we are generous to anyone who has a need. Our numbers are continuing to grow as God adds to us those who are being saved.