Bethany Basis of Faith
At Bethany we believe in the one true God who has always existed and will always exist in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe that God created the world and now holds everything together. He rules the world and will set right what has been spoiled. As judge of the world he will have the final say about right and wrong. In all he does, God is motivated by love, choosing to overlook what we deserve and freely giving to us what we can never earn. There is no higher power from whom God must ask permission or to whom he must explain his actions. He is supreme.
We believe that God himself inspired the books of the Old and New Testament that make up the Bible, God’s written word. We believe the Bible contains the non-negotiable basis of Truth. We rely on what is written there to tell us how to live a life that pleases God.
We believe that every human being is uniquely special and deserves respect. Each man and woman has been created by God and reflects God’s likeness. We believe we are created to give and receive love, to be dedicated to God and to care for creation. However, our sin has disrupted this and angered God. We deserve to be held to account.
We believe that God the Son became a man and lived on the Earth. Jesus was born to a woman called Mary, who conceived him although she was a virgin. He was 100% God and at the same time 100% human. He did not sin. We believe that Jesus was crucified and died to remove the barrier of sin between God and man. We were sentenced to death but Jesus stepped forward and died instead, in our place. God accepted Jesus’ perfect life to restore our broken relationship. Jesus’ death broke the power of evil and brought us into a close relationship with God again. We believe that Jesus was raised from death in a physical body, a taste of what is to come for all Christians. We believe Jesus left the earth and returned to be with God, where he is now in charge of everything. He is the only way to God.
We believe that it is only possible for people to get right with God because God is merciful, not treating us as we deserve but freely giving us what we can never earn. We are reconciled to God when we trust in Jesus’ death in our place to satisfy God’s requirement for justice.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit actively at work in our lives. He shows us where we are wrong, gives us the power to do what pleases God and ‘helps us to show others God’s love for them and to tell them about Jesus’. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are born again. It is through him that we live and move and have our being in Jesus.
We believe in the Church as the place where God is now present on earth. The Church is the name given to local communities of Christians meeting together in a specific geographical location and also the name that refers collectively to all the Christians throughout the earth. We believe every Christian can have direct access to God. The Holy Spirit breathes life into the Church and gives gifts to the Church. The Church exists to proclaim the gospel, the good news that God is seeking a relationship with each individual person, and to strive for justice and love in the world.
We believe that Jesus will return to the earth, in person, for a thriving Church and will be seen by everyone. We believe that Jesus will raise every person to life and call him or her to account. He will give never-ending life to those who are born again and never-ending punishment to those who are not. He will establish a new heaven and a new earth.