What We Believe
Homelands Free Church is a Baptist Church - part of the Eastern Baptist Association (EBA) within the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB). 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 elders and deacons, who together with the minister(s) form the leadership team of a 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.
As part of the BUGB, Homelands Free Church is committed to the Declaration of Principle of our Union:
Declaration of Principle
The Basis of the Baptist Union is:
1. That our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that each Church has liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His laws.
2. That Christian Baptism is the immersion in water into the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, of those who have professed repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who 'died for our sins according to the Scriptures; was buried, and rose again the third day'.
3. That it is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.
Homelands Free Church is also a member of the Evangelical Alliance, and as such we subscribe to the Evangelical Alliance's Statement of Faith as below:
We believe in...
- The one true God who lives eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
- The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God—fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
- The dignity of all people, made male and female in God's image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
- The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
- The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
- The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
- The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
- The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
- The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers—given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit's gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
- The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.