What is a Church?

To understand the church it might be helpful to start at the beginning, not the beginning of this particular church but the beginning of humanity as a whole. God created the universe, and within the universe he created men and women to uniquely relate to him. God loved us and gave us all we could need. We were made to love him and enjoy his goodness. Unfortunately humans chose a different course.

The first man and woman rejected God's command, and in doing so they were rejecting God himself. They didn't want God to be in charge. They wanted to rule their own lives. They didn't want God to tell them what was good or evil. They would make up their own minds. The Bible calls this sin. And all of us have followed in this way of living. It might sound like freedom. That is, in part, how it was first sold to humanity. But turning from God's ways and chasing our own desires inevitably leaves us empty and disappointed. We were created to find satisfaction in God and nothing else will fill that need. More than that, our rebellion against God makes us guilty before him and liable to his punishment. God's justice will come and it will be unbearable for those who remain in their sin.

That's the reason Jesus came. Jesus is God the Son. He is God whom we had rejected and sinned against. He is God who in justice will punish every sin. And yet, incredibly, he came first to be our saviour. Our sin required a righteous punishment. There was no escaping that. But Jesus stepped into our place and bore our punishment for us on the cross. Now he is risen to life again and he has opened the way for men and women to turn from their rebellion and receive forgiveness before it's too late.

The church then is those who have received the salvation Jesus offers by receiving Jesus himself as our Saviour and Lord. The church is made up of men and women who still fail in many ways but who are being changed each day by God's grace in the working of His Spirit as we wait for Jesus to return.

This describes the whole church across the globe and throughout the ages. A local church then, like Newtown Baptist Church, is one particular expression of this broader church. We are people who regularly gather together because of the life we have in Jesus. Our faith in Jesus now brings us together as brothers and sisters. As a local church we are committed to praising God together and growing in Jesus together and serving one another and spurring each other on in the life of faith. And as a church we invite others to come and see the goodness and grace of our God.

For a more detailed outline of our beliefs, you could visit the Our Beliefs page.