What we believe?
We believe that the heart of the Christian faith consists of the good news about Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible. Although all human beings have turned away from God and face his judgement, we can receive forgiveness, be brought back into relationship with God and enjoy the free gift of eternal life because of the sin-bearing death of the Lord Jesus Christ in our place upon the cross. Part of our being here in the midst of the Whitehouse Community is to reach out with this good news to the people of this Community and the world.
We are an evangelical church which believes that the Bible is the most exciting and powerful book in the world. We believe that the Bible is God’s clear and reliable Word to us today; it is the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. We believe that it is through the teaching of the Bible that the Holy Spirit brings men and women into relationship with God, grows them in faith and holiness, and equips them for service. The Bible therefore lies at the centre of our church life.
Who are Baptists?
Baptist churches are found in almost every country in the world. As part of the world-wide Christian church, Baptists form one of the largest families of faith, alongside other Trinitarian Christian traditions such as Anglicans, Methodists, Reformed, etc.
For Baptists the concept of a family is important. The church is not so much a particular place or building, but rather a family of believers, committed to Christ, to one another and to the service of God in the world.
In this Baptist family everybody is equal, for everybody has a part to play in the service of God. There is no hierarchy of bishops or priests exercising authority over their members. Equality of status, however, does not mean that all have the same role.
Each local Baptist church appoints its own leaders – or ministers – to have particular responsibility for preaching, teaching and pastoral care. Working alongside these ministers are also deacons, who together with the minister(s) form the leadership team of the local Baptist church.
Baptists are grass-roots people, with a particular emphasis on the local church. These local churches are self-governing and self-supporting, ranging in size from twenty or so members to many hundreds. Although each Baptist church is an independent entity, Baptists nonetheless have always believed in associating with one another – and so the churches come together in regional, national and international spheres to promote and support the fellowship of Baptists everywhere.
The Baptist way of being the church is living together in community; in a family, if you like.
Why are we called “Baptists”?
We are called “Baptists” because we practise believer’s baptism. What does this mean?
Believer’s Baptism is normally the sign, or symbol, of entry into the Church. It is one of two “sacraments” of the Church which Jesus Christ commanded, as we read in the New Testament (Matthew 28:19). The other sacrament is Holy Communion, which forms part of our Sunday worship.
Just as Jesus Himself was baptised, so we too practise Believer’s Baptism for who want to follow Jesus, and who ask to be baptised. And like Jesus, we do this by total immersion in water. This is how the Baptist church got its name from the 16th century onwards – almost as a nickname!
As in the early church described in the Bible, baptism in water expresses very well the believer’s response of faith to the grace of God, being a sign (but only a sign!) of our repentance – being sorry for our sins, and of cleansing and God’s forgiveness.
We do this in the presence of the local Christian community, i.e. Whitehouse Baptist Church as an act of witness, and of fellowship with other believers as we commit ourselves to the people of Christ, to be part of the family of God in our Lord Jesus Christ.
In baptism, then, we commit ourselves to God to begin a new life, in response to His love for us; and God in turn commits Himself to us through His Spirit who works in us. A baptismal service is a very moving and happy ceremony for everyone present.
Becoming a Church Member
“Church Members” are people who regularly attend our church and have decided to commit their lives to following Christ and in addition to commit financially and with their time and prayers to the life of this church. They are normally people who have been baptised.
The decisions about how our church is run are made by the Members at bi-monthly “Members Meetings”. It is here that decisions are made about starting new activities, appointing ministers and appointing organisation leaders.
The Leadership Team (Ministers, and Deacons), appointed by the Church Members, are then responsible for the spiritual and practical leadership of the church. They are also the appointed trustees of the church and responsible for ensuring that it complies with the requirements of the Charity Commission.
If you would like to be considered for Membership of this church, then please speak to one of the Ministers.
Jesus is the Bridge to God
God Loves you
As Christians we believe that through Jesus Christ we can have a relationship with God. Jesus is our Bridge to God. Here are four principles to help you discover how you can begin a relationship with God and experience His purpose in your life.
Principle One: God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
God created you. Not only that, He loves you so much that he wants you to spend eternity with Him. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus came so that each of us could know and understand God in a personal way. Jesus alone can bring meaning and purpose to life. There may be hardships along the way but we can trust God to be with us.
What keeps us from Knowing God?
Principle Two: All of us are sinful and separated from God. Therefore we cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
The fact is, we need Jesus. The Bible says, “…all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23b). Though God intended for us to have a relationship with Him, we naturally want to do things our own way. We’re stubborn, selfish, and frequently unable to follow through on our promises. Try as we might, we just keep stumbling.
Deep down, our attitude may be one of active rebellion or passive indifference, but it’s all evidence of what the Bible calls sin — an old archery term which literally means “missing the mark.”
The Bible says the result of sin in our lives is death–spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23). Although we may try to reach God through our own effort, we inevitably fail. We just can’t ever be good enough.
There is a great gap that exists between us and God. We are always trying to reach God and find a meaningful life through our own efforts. We may try to do good things or adopt a new guiding philosophy–but we inevitably fail.
How can we bridge this gulf?
Principle Three: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
Jesus Christ is God’s solution to the problem of human imperfection and evil. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we don’t have to be separated from God any longer. Jesus paid the price for our sin and in so doing, bridged the gap between us and God.
Instead of trying harder to reach God, we simply need to accept Jesus and his sacrifice as the one way to God. “I am the way, the truth and the life,” Jesus said. “No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He also said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish” (John 11:25-26).
But not only did Jesus die for our sin, He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). When he did, he proved beyond doubt that he can rightfully promise eternal life–that he is the son of God and the only means by which we can know God.
Yet just having knowledge about God’s plans and purposes isn’t enough. We need to consciously accept Jesus Christ as the payment for our sin and welcome Him into our life.
It is not enough just to know these three truths…
Principle Four: We must individually accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
The Bible says, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
We accept Jesus by faith. The Bible says, “God saved you by his special favour when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Accepting Jesus means first believing that Jesus is who he claimed to be, then inviting him to take the control of our lives and make us into new people (John 3:1-8).
Jesus said, “I’m standing at the door and I’m knocking. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” (Revelation 3:20).
How will you respond to God’s invitation? What will you do with the claims of Jesus Christ?
Consider these two scenarios
– Self-Directed Life
– Self is on the throne
– Jesus is outside the life
– Interests are directed by self, often resulting in frustration
– Jesus is in the life and on the throne
– Self is yielding to Jesus
– Interests are directed by Jesus, resulting in harmony with God
Which scenario best represents your life?
Which scenario would you like to have represent your life?
Begin a relationship with Jesus today
Choosing to submit your life to God is the most significant decision you can ever make. This choice involves more than simple intellectual agreement that Jesus is God and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. Becoming a Christian also requires that you commit the rest of your life to God, to do what He asks of you and to live in accordance with His principles. This decision is not something to be taken lightly. It requires sacrifice and a total reorientation of your life around God rather than yourself. As Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
If you feel you are ready to make this commitment, you can do so right now by telling God you are sorry for your past mistakes, putting your trust in Him and asking Him to make you into the person He created you to be. This step involves faith. You probably still have a number of unanswered questions at this point. But you must be willing to make the decision based on what you know right now and trust God to fill in the details later.
The precise words you use to commit yourself to God are not important. He knows the intentions of your heart. Your prayer can be as simple as “Help!” or it can focus on an issue that is specific to your situation. If you are unsure of what to pray, use the following sample prayer to get started:
“Jesus, I want to know you. I want you to come into my life. I’m sorry for the things I’ve done that have broken my relationship with God. Thank you for dying on the cross so that this relationship could be made right. I believe You are the only One who can do this. Only You can give me the power to change and become the person You created me to be. Thank you for forgiving my past mistakes and for giving me eternal life with God. I give my life to You. Please do with it as You wish. Amen.”
By praying the above prayer-or one similar to it – you have just taken a giant step toward making God the centre of your life. But these are just the words. What follows is a lifelong journey of change and growth as you get to know God better through Bible reading, prayer and interaction with other Christians.
If you prayed the prayer above and invited Jesus into your life, you’ve become a Christian–which means simply, “Christ in one.”
Please contact the Minister (07984 951530) to let us know if you have become a Christian or if you need further help.