WHAT WE BELIEVE

The Bible


We believe the Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, was written by men through the inspiration of God The Holy Spirit. Consequentially, Scripture is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction, is inerrant (without error), has the glory of God and the salvation of man as it's ultimate message and reveals the truths by which God will judge mankind.  The Bible is, therefore, the focal point of Christian unity, the standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried and is the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and life.  We believe that the Old (comprising of 39 books) and New (comprising of 27 books) testaments are preserved by God and are best preserved in the English language by the Authorised Version (King James) version of the Bible.


Psalm 12:6-7; Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 8:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Timothy 3:15-16.


The True God


We believe that there is one living and true God - the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Spirit whose name is Jehovah.  He is the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth.  He is inexpressibly glorious and perfect in holiness, being worthy of all possible honour, praise, confidence and love.  In the unity of The Godhead there are three persons (the Trinity); the Father, The Son (The Lord Jesus Christ) and The Holy Spirit - each being equal in their divinity but distinct in the execution of their responsibilities, particular with reference to the great work of redemption.  


Exodus 15:1; Psalm 83:18; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 1:1-3; John 4:24; John 10:30; Ephesians 2:18; 1 John 5:7


The Lord Jesus Christ


We believe in the Deity of The Lord Jesus Christ, who is both fully God and fully man. We believe He is both The Son of God and God The Son (the second person of The Trinity), being conceived by The Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe that Jesus was sinless, that his death was vicarious (He died for us) and that His bodily resurrection and ascension to the right hand of The Father was real, historical fact.  We believe that His high priesthood was exercised for us and that He is the one and only mediator between God and man.     


Matthew 1:18-21; John 8:58; John 10:30; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8


The Holy Spirit


We believe in the Deity of The Holy Spirit, The third person of the Trinity.  His present day activities include the glorification of the work and person of The Lord Jesus Christ, to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement, the personal comforting and teaching of believers and the edification of the Body of Christ (the church). All believers are baptised by The Holy Spirit when they are converted, are sealed by The Holy Spirit thereby eternally securing their salvation and are gifted by The Holy Spirit with spiritual gifts for the edification of the church.  Milton Baptist Church believes the sign gifts of The Spirit (including tongues, prophecy, gifts of healing and word of knowledge) were temporary and are no longer available to believers subsequent to the completion of The Scriptures (in summary, we are a cessationist fellowship). 


John 16:7-14; Acts 5:1-4; 1 Corinthians 13; Hebrews 1


Creation


We believe that God is the creator of all things, both visible and invisible, and that all three members of The Trinity were instrumental in the creation of the universe. We believe in the literal interpretation of the creation account of Genesis and treat the account as historical fact.  We believe that God directly created man (including the body, spirit and soul) from the dust of the earth, rather than from previously existing life forms.  All men and women are descending from the Adam and Eve, who were the first parents of the human race.  We believe that the literal interpretation of Genesis underpins the foundational truths of The Bible, including the glorious truth of our salvation.  We therefore reject theistic evolution as an explanation for the creation account as a form of unbelief in the Genesis account.  


Genesis 1-2; Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:1-3  


Man


We believe that man was created in the image of God.  We believe that without exception all of mankind has sinned, by both birth and by choice. The consequences of sin in mankind is death, which is both spiritual and physical, as well as separation from our creator God.  Mankind therefore has a need of a Saviour, to cleanse us from the just penalty our sinfulness deserves.  We believe the Saviour is none other than The Lord Jesus Christ, the second person in The Trinity.


Genesis 1:26; Genesis 2:7; Romans 5:12-18; 1 Corinthians 15:22


Salvation


The universal sinfulness of mankind means we deserve to die and to be eternally separated from God, who is the Holy and just Judge of the universe.  We believe our only hope is The Lord Jesus Christ, who voluntarily submitted to the will of The Father by dying on the cross to pay the penalty that our sin deserves, as our substitute and in our place (known as the substitutionary and vicarious atonement of Christ).  It is the universal sinfulness of mankind which made the cross necessary and it is the cross which satisfied God's wrath against sinful man (propitiation).  Furthermore, we believe that The Lord Jesus Christ, on the third day, was physically resurrected from the dead, demonstrating The Father's acceptance of the sacrifice made for the sin of mankind.  Following the resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ He ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God The Father to make intercession for all those who trust in Him.  This is the Gospel message (the good news of salvation).  


We believe that the Bible teaches the only way mankind can be forgiven from sin is through the sufficient sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.  It is in the cross of Christ that we find the amazing grace of the Gospel message.  The condition of salvation is simple: Any man or woman can be saved if they accept their sinful state before God and trust wholly in the sufficiency of the price paid on the cross by The Lord Jesus Christ for their sin. Salvation is wholly God's work and for God's glory, and all attempts to earn God's forgiveness through good works is contrary to The Gospel and therefore is rejected by God.  


The joyous consequence of believing The Gospel message is our salvation.  The Bible uses three different phrases relating to salvation.  We are initially justified - the declaration that our sin has been pardoned, that we are forgiven from the just penalty our sin deserves and that we have peace with God. At the point of belief in The Gospel we are born again (regeneration), baptised and sealed in The Holy Spirit, gifted the righteousness of Christ and declared righteous before God and eternally adopted into God's family, with a new identity as a child of God.  Following our justification we begin to walk as a child of God, by His grace, being set apart or sanctified for His purposes and for His glory.  Obedience to The Word of God, constancy in prayer, fellowship with fellow Christians in the local church, including the use of spiritual gifts for mutual edification, and a circumspect walk with The Lord are all methods The Holy Spirit uses to progressively set us apart as His disciples, and increasingly lead to separation from the power of sin in the believers life.  Finally, when the believer dies, he has the blessed hope of being glorified, where they are delivered from the very presence of the sin into the awesome presence of The Lord Jesus Christ in heaven, as summarised by the statement "to be absent in the body is to be present with The Lord".    


Isaiah 53; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:15-21; Romans 8:33-39; 2 Corinthians 1:22-23; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:25; John 3:19; John 1:16; Acts 13:39; Romans 4:4-5; Romans 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 John 2:29


The Local Church


We believe that the true church, the body of The Lord Jesus Christ, of which He is the Head, is composed of people who have been born again / saved only. We believe the visible church is a congregation of baptised believers, associated by agreement in the faith and fellowship in The Gospel.  We observe the ordinances Christ set out for His church, including baptism by immersion and The Lord's Supper.  We obey as a church the Biblical laws which govern the church, seeking to live out the gifts, rights and privileges for believers set out in God's Word.  The Word of God teaches in the epistles to Timothy and Titus the qualifications for church leadership, with the offices of an Pastor or Elder and Deacon being the only Scriptural offices described in the New Testament.  The office of Pastor / Elder is restricted to men according to The Scripture.  The church is an independent local autonomy, governed internally and responsible only to The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate and only head of the church.  Ministries of the church include the glorification of The Lord Jesus Christ, the edification of believers through the preaching of The Word of God and the evangelisation of the world for The Lord Jesus Christ.


Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:47; Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Romans 16:5; Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 5:23; 1 Timothy 3


Baptism and The Lord's Supper


We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in The Lord Jesus Christ, in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, to demonstrate to the world our belief and acceptance of the death, burial and resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ for us.  We believe that Baptism is a public display that the life of a believer is now dead to sin and resurrected to a new life in service of The Saviour.  We reject paedobaptism (the baptism of babies and children), believing that baptism is only for those individuals who have accepted the gift of salvation in The Lord Jesus Christ.


We believe that The Lord's Supper, as instituted by The Lord Jesus Christ, is the joining together of the church in the sharing of unleavened bread and unfermented wine in commemoration of the dying love found in The Saviour's death on the cross.  We believe that The Lord's Supper is only for believers in The Lord Jesus Christ and should always be preceded by a period of self examination and confession to The Lord Jesus Christ for unconfessed sin in the believers life.


Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41-42; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:4-5; 1 Corinthians 11:26-28; 1 John 1:9


Personal and Ecclesiastical Separation


We believe that believers should be separated from the world whilst being present in the world and ministering to the world.  Believers in The Lord Jesus Christ should abstain from the appearance of evil as a testimony to the saving grace of The Lord Jesus Christ.  We believe that the local church should separate itself from all forms of apostasy, liberalism, ecumenicalism and new-evangelicalism; all positions which support departure from the revelation of the written Word of God.  We believe The Word of God prohibits believers from working together with unbelievers in The Lord's work, for instance in ecumenical organisations or ecumenical missionary efforts.  The church shall be free from any government influence outside itself, excepting the legal requirements necessary for lawful operation as long as these laws are not contrary to the nature of an independent Baptist Church as outlined in the Word of God.  


1 Corinthians 10:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 2 Timothy 2:15-18; 2 Timothy 4:1-3; Titus 1:9-11; Titus 2:10-15


Missions


We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim The Gospel to all nations so that people from every tribe, tongue and nation may accept The Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and King.  We believe that missionaries representative of the church's interest in worldwide evangelism should be supported by the church, providing the church agree to regularly support missionaries in a church members meeting, and that any cessation of support should be again brought before church members, as missionaries are deemed to be ministers of the church.


Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48 John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20


Giving


We believe that every Christian, as a steward of the gifts God has given to them, should sacrificially and cheerfully support the local church financially motivated by the love for The Lord Jesus Christ as for His work through His church.  Although God established the principle of tithing in the Old Testament, we believe that in the New Testament that the degree of giving is voluntary and should be driven by a desire to magnify The Lord Jesus Christ.  We believe that a believers giving supports the local church as it seeks to spread The Gospel and relieve those who are in need.


Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Corinthians 9:13-14; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 2 Corinthians 8:11; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17


Israel


We believe in the gracious and sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people.  Israel is presently dispersed in disobedience because of her rejection of The Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah.  Scripture clearly teaches the regathering of national Israel within the Holy land, a turning to The Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah following the rapture of the church and the salvation of the nation at the second coming of Christ.  We consequentially reject replacement theology, which teaches the church has replaced Israel in the promises of Scripture, as unscriptural.


Genesis 13:14-17; Romans 11; Ezekiel 37


The Return of The Lord Jesus Christ


We believe in the imminent, personal, pre-millennial and pre-tribulational return of The Lord Jesus Christ for His Church.  When He returns for His church, the dead in Christ will be raised in glorified (resurrection) bodies, joined shortly after by the living in Christ who will be given glorified bodies without ever tasting death.  We will meet The Lord in the air, be taken to heaven and the seventieth week of Daniel will commence, known as the Great tribulation.  The great tribulation will culminate in the revelation of The Lord Jesus Christ in power and great glory, where He will establish His earthly millennial reign and sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem.  


1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Philippians 3:20-21; Revelation 3:10; Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 20:1-6


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage


We believe that the gift of marriage, given as a general grace to mankind, is only legitimately expressed as the joining together of one man and one woman, and in the context of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, should only be undertaken with a fellow believer in Him.  We reject cohabitation as being married in God's sight.  We believe the Scripture disapproves of divorce and intends marriage to last until one's spouse dies (unless, of course, the rapture of the church occurs prior to death).  Nevertheless, we recognise the reality of marriage breakdown and believe believers who have unfortunately suffered from marriage breakdown can still be used greatly in the service of The Lord.


Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:12; Titus 1:6


Civil Government


We believe that civil government is divinely appointed for the interests and good of others in human society, and that magistrates are to be prayed for, consciously honoured and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of The Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed in God's Word, who is the only Lord of the kings of the earth.


Matthew 22:21; Matthew 23:9-10; Acts 5:28-29; Romans 13:1-7