We are known as a “Baptist” church. The term “Baptist” is really a shorthand expression to describe people who believe the following things:
– That the Bible is God’s Word, and is to be treated as the final authority for all matters to do with the Christian faith and how to live.
– That the only way to be saved from our wrongdoing and its consequences is through faith in what Jesus did on the Cross, and not through doing good works.
– That those who come to faith in Christ should be baptised by immersion as a sign of their faith, and that children should not be baptised until they can make their own confession of faith in Christ.
– That each local church is directly under the authority of Christ, and no-one outside the local church has the power to tell it what it should do.
If you are a Bible-believing Christian we are sure you will feel at home with us, even if you would not call yourself a “Baptist”. If you are not yet a Christian, you will receive a warm welcome at meetings.
The elders and deacons of Poplar Baptist Church are required by our constitution to agree wholeheartedly with the following statement of faith. The teaching of the church therefore reflects the doctrinal position of this statement.
Members of the church are not required to agree with every point of the statement of faith. They must, however, have made a credible profession of faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour, and have been baptised as believers by immersion.
The statement of faith was drawn up by the International Fellowship of Reformed Baptists, and is used by the church with the permission of that organisation.
The statement reads as follows:
1. We believe in the one true and living God, in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who is invisible, personal, omnipresent, eternal, dependent on none, unchanging, truthful, trustworthy, almighty, sovereign, omniscient, righteous, holy, good, loving, merciful, long-suffering and gracious.
2. We believe that Almighty God has revealed all that is necessary to life and salvation in the sixty-six books of Holy Scripture which are the Word of God. All Scripture was given by inspiration of God, is infallible and inerrant, and is the final arbiter in all disputes. Its authority is derived from its Author and not from the opinions of men.
3. We believe that God made our first father Adam perfect, holy and upright. He was appointed representative and head of the human race thereby exposing all his offspring to the effects of his obedience or disobedience to God’s commands
4. We believe that Adam fell from his original righteousness into sin and brought upon himself and all his offspring death, condemnation and sinnership.
5. We believe that it is utterly beyond the power of fallen man to love God, keep his laws, to understand the gospel, to repent of sin or trust in Christ.
6. We believe that God, before the foundation of the world, for his own glory did elect an innumerable host of men and women to eternal life as an act of free and sovereign grace. This election was in no way dependent upon his foresight of human faith, decision, works or merit.
7. We believe that God sent his Son into the world, conceived of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, unchangeably sinless, both God and man, born under the Law, to live a perfect life of righteousness, on behalf of his elect people.
8. We believe that God’s Son died at Calvary, to effect propitiation, reconciliation, redemption, and atonement for his elect people. God bore testimony to his acceptance of his Son’s work by raising him from the dead.
9. We believe that God’s Son ascended to the right hand of his Father and is enthroned in glory, where he intercedes on behalf of his people and rules over all things for their sake.
10. We believe that God the Son has poured out the Holy Spirit to work alongside the preached Word. The Spirit of God regenerates the elect sinner and draws him irresistibly to faith in Christ the Saviour.
11. We believe the elect, who are called by grace, are justified in the sight of God on account of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ which is received by faith alone.
12. We believe that such as are regenerated, called and justified shall persevere in holiness and never finally fall away.
13. We believe that baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper are gospel ordinances belonging only to regenerated believers.
14. We believe that the local church is under the authority of Christ alone. The communion of saints, however, requires recognition of and fellowship with other churches.
15. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall come again to raise the dead, both righteous and unrighteous, and that the righteous shall enjoy everlasting life and the wicked endure everlasting punishment.