Framlingham Community Baptist Church is a member of the Baptist Union and supports its Declaration of Principle.
We believe that God revealed his character and his plan for this world by inspiring the writers of the 66 books of the Bible. We appreciate that we need to understand the linguistic, historic and cultural context in which they wrote to correctly interpret what they meant to convey, and we try not to be so arrogant as to think we understand it all, but we ask for God’s help in reaching a correct interpretation of the Scriptures, and where we disagree on their interpretation, to listen to each other with love and respect.
And so we understand the Bible to be relating how:
- God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit live in harmonious community, so harmonious that they are One. They created the universe and everything in it, finally placing humankind on the Earth to be God’s representatives here and care for this planet. Originally this creation was “very good” and all life lived in harmony with the planet, with one another, and with their Creator.
- Tragically, humankind chose to live in independence from God and, having decided to make our own inadequate moral choices, we proceeded to grieve God, hurt each another and damage our planet.
- God, in his generosity, still sustains the earth and much of the original goodness of his creation is evident for all to see. However, it is corrupted and damaged by our selfish attitudes and actions (sin) which result in disharmony in our societies and ecosystems.
- So we stand guilty before God, alienated from him and unable to rectify the situation. Attempts to gain God’s favour by religious activity, even that which seems to reflect His goodness and wisdom, are doomed to failure.
- God remains true to his character – which is loving and generous. He did not abandon humankind to the natural consequences of our failures but acted in history to choose the family and descendants of Abraham to display to the whole world how living in dependency on God restores our well-being and fulfils our purpose on this planet.
- Yet even Abraham’s descendants repeatedly failed to depend on God and obey his laws (and the rest of us do no better- even failing to keep our own standards). Finally, in order to bring both them and us back to himself, God opted to become human himself – in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus not only showed us what a life lived in dependency on God looks like (which he termed “the kingdom of God”), he lived the only ever perfect human life before willingly submitting to execution by crucifixion, taking upon himself, in our place, the consequences of our rebellion against God, the most significant being death itself. God showed his acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for us by raising Jesus from the dead three days later.
- It is only by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ that we can approach God, receive forgiveness and enjoy a restored relationship with Him. Repentance involves a humble admission of our guilt and our need to be forgiven and a resolve to turn to God and accept his way. Faith means trusting that the death and resurrection of Jesus have achieved for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves – our reconciliation to God.
- God now calls each of us who have repented and believed, together with the family of fellow believers (The Church), to exhibit by our attitudes and actions, God’s character here on earth. We do this imperfectly, and not by our own efforts, but progress is made as we allow God’s Holy Spirit to transform us as we pursue Him through Bible study and prayer.
- As part of God’s family here on earth we meet to enjoy God, thank him for his generosity, learn from and support one another, and spread the Good News of God’s generous provision through Jesus.
- Jesus promised to return to the Earth one day and bring “The Kingdom of God” to complete fulfilment – a state completely free from any opposition to his benevolent rule. Every human being who has ever lived will be judged: all who have chosen to put their faith in Jesus will enjoy eternity with him in a creation restored to harmony and free from suffering and injustice. Those who have chosen to remain in unbelief and independence from God will experience the logical consequences: an eternal existence without God and therefore devoid of love and goodness.
Find out more:
- To download and read the Bible in a wide variety of languages free of charge, go to www.bible.com
- To gain a deeper appreciation of the message of each of the books of the Bible go to www.thebibleproject.com.
- To find out more about what Christians believe, you might like to explore the www.christianity.org.uk web site.
- To watch a video summary of the historical accounts contained in the Bible, visit www.thehopeproject.com
But best of all – why not get to know us and participate in a real-life interactive exploration of the Christian Faith with us! Get in touch – we would love to start a conversation.