PLEASE NOTE: Owing to the Coronavirus emergency, Emmanuel will not meet physically until further notice. Our Sunday morning meeting will be live streamed via YouTube at 10:30. For more info see https://www.emmanuelbath.org/live.
Everything that we do as a church is shaped by our theology - our core convictions about who God is, what he is doing in his world and what the mission is that he has given to the church.
We take as a basic definition of the Christian faith the FIEC Basis of Faith. As church members we express our common understanding by agreeing to this definition.
Two further documents that we are in full agreement with are the FIEC statements on Women's Ministry, and Gospel Unity. These help to set out how we operate as a church with respect to two key issues of church life.
In addition to those documents, these are our own convictions that distinctively flavour how we approach church life:
"Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him"(1 Samuel 3:7)
It is by hearing what God is saying, through what he has said, that we come to a clearer knowledge of God. Knowledge of God is not just an ability to recite facts about God but a living and loving relationship with him, as a child to his or her parent. God's words are God's means to bring us to know, love and serve Him.
Jesus is God's final and ultimate self-disclosure. He is God's word:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son..." (Hebrews 1:1,2)
"For God who said "Let light shine out of darkness" made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor 4:6)
This conviction means that:
"The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Heb 4:12)
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim 3:16)
That means that we need to let the word of God not only speak in our services and in our homes but shape who we are and what we do, both when we meet together and when we are apart.