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What does it mean to belong to St. Martin’s?

1. What our church believes:

The Anglican world-wide church holds to a particular summary of biblical doctrine - namely the 39 Articles and other ‘canons’.  We don’t put this confession of faith in place of the Bible, but we say the ‘articles’ are a true and accurate summary of what the Bible teaches. What follows is a summary of our most distinctive beliefs at St. Martin’s as an Anglican church:

1. The Bible is true

We have a ‘high’ view of the Bible.  Jesus’ scripture was the Old Testament.  For him, whatever scripture says, God says (Mathew 15:4).  He lived under their authority (Matthew 4:4).   So, we believe if we are faithful to Christ, our church must hold a very ‘high’ view of the Bible.  Jesus calls us to believe and obey what it says – even when it is not to our liking.  We can’t pick and choose what we will accept or reject from the Bible – otherwise we place ourselves above God’s word rather than under it.

 

2. All of us are sinners

We have a low view of ourselves as sinners apart from God’s grace.  We believe every person is a sinner at the core of his being and that apart from Jesus, sin rules his perspectives, motives, desires, purposes.  This is how Jesus thinks of us – Mark 7:21-23.  If we take Jesus seriously, the muck that we feel, think and do will never surprise us.  We do not think that an act of sinning makes us a sinner – rather our corrupt nature gives rise to the whole array of sinful acts.  We are perverse at the core and that gives rise to all sorts of evil.

3. God has revealed himself

We believe that God has revealed himself as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – and that he is ‘sovereign’ (all things are under his sway – even falling sparrows).  More than that, we believe God is so big that we would never come to Jesus in faith unless he brought us and made us able to come.

4. The cross is absolutely central

Here we are at the heart of the gospel.  We are held as captives of sin, and Jesus’ death was the ransom price that bought our release from that bondage (Mark 10:45).  We have a picture of what Jesus’ death should mean to every Christian in the story of Barrabas in Matthew 27:15-26.  Barrabas is released and Jesus is crucified.

5. Grace is utterly incredible

Ask a Christian why God would send Jesus to die for him, why God would draw him to believe in Jesus, why God would care about someone who is evil at the core of his being – and he will have to say it doesn’t make sense at all!  But God is not conventional.  Why would anyone care about a prostitute having forgiveness of sins?  What father in his right mind would wrap his arms round a sticking prodigal?  Who would assure a condemned criminal that he would be in paradise?  There is no explanation except: That is the way God is – that is the way that Jesus delights to be.

6. Disciples are promised the presence of the Holy Spirit

We believe that once God brings a sinner to Jesus, God places his life and presence into our souls by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:39).  Jesus wants his people to know his daily presence and power.

 

7.  All of life is holy – so we are to be whole-life disciples

We believe Jesus rules and cares about all of life; nothing is outside his rule – whether business and politics, economics and education, science and sex, history and harvests, art and affliction, music and marriage, plumbing and preaching.  All of life is holy and must be submitted to his reign. So, whether you play with your two-year old, wash dishes, make a business deal, preach a sermon, you are doing holy work.

 

2. What our Church is

Jesus promised, ‘I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it’.  We need to know what is the church according to the Bible so we have a measuring stick by which to judge St. Martin’s Church.  When you know what something is, then you might know what to do with it!  So, with the church.

1. Three pictures of the church from the Bible

 

2. The local Church – like St. Martin’s - and how it functions

There are three marks of a local Church:

 

How does St. Martin’s function?

 

3. How Christians live

What are the ways God uses to cause Christians to grow and mature in Christ?  Growth comes from God, but he has ‘means of grace’ through which he usually brings growth and gives strength.

 


If you can't see the menu on the left, select here for the website of St Martin's Church, Brampton, Cumbria.