Seventh Day Baptist Beliefs
While the truth of God is eternal and without variation, human understanding of this truth is partial and must remain open to revision. Seventh Day Baptists recognise that individuals are responsible before God for their response to the great truths that God has revealed. Each Seventh Day Baptist congregation is self-governing and capable of adopting their own confessions of faith. What follows are the Melbourne Seventh Day Baptist Community's core convictions, requirements for membership, community covenant & statement of faith.
FREEDOM & LIBERTY IN CHRIST
We extend to every member and attendee of our congregation the liberty of conscience that Christ has purchased for them. We don’t ask people to subscribe to beliefs that they do not yet understand, nor are ready to accept (Luke 4:18).
INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTABILITY TO CHRIST
Every believer receives the Word of God and is responsible to God for their faithful obedience to the truth they have received (Hebrews 4:12, 13; Romans 1:5; 16:26).
In keeping with our convictions regarding the believer’s liberty of conscience, the Melbourne Seventh Day Baptist Community has only four requirements for membership.
- Accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour,
- Have been baptised by immersion,
- Accept the seventh day of the week as Sabbath, and
- Willingly enter into the Church Covenant.
For the glory of God and Christ Jesus, in the service of our fellow men, for the blessing of all men, our brethren, solemnly and joyfully,
We, the members of the Melbourne Seventh Day Baptist Church, do solemnly covenant together to:
- Acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
- Be instrumental in bringing mankind to accept Salvation as a gift through Jesus Christ alone.
- Cherish liberty of thought as an essential condition for the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit in understanding the Scriptures.
- Lovingly observe all the Commandments of God and take the Bible as our guide both in matters of belief and practice.
- Watch over one another prayerfully, to assist and admonish each other kindly that we may grow in grace.
- Cheerfully attend the appointments, bear the burdens and expenses of the Church, according as God gives us the ability.
- Therefore, having no binding creed; we do still resolve that we shall search the Scriptures and pray without ceasing, that we may continue to strengthen our Christian faith and grow in grace and love.
Statement of Faith
The following articles of faith are not imposed on members nor attendees. Rather, they summarise the core convictions underpinning the Melbourne Seventh Day Baptist Community's teaching and preaching. The Bible remains our only standard of faith and practise. Each believer is responsible to interpret and obey scripture before God as guided by their conscience and led by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Bible
The Bible is God’s inspired revelation given to mankind. It is the basis of the Church doctrines (Mathew 4:4 2 Tim. 3:16). We believe the Bible is infallible according to the original manuscripts. It is the authorized foundation of true knowledge (John 17:17).
Who is God?
The Father and the Son are “The Deity”. God is one (1 Cor. 8:4, Deut. 6:4). (Gen 1:26, Eph. 2:19, 3:15, Heb. 2:10-11). God is Spirit. He is everlasting.
The Father is the Supreme Being in the Deity. Jesus Christ said He was sent to reveal the Father (Mt. 11:27, Jn. 1:18, 17:24-26). He acknowledged His Father was greater than Him (Jn. 10:29, 14:28).
The Son Jesus Christ is the “Word “(from the Greek term “Logos”).The Father created all things through Him (Jn. 1:1-3). “He is the only begotten from the Father” (Jn. 1:14, 18, 3:16, 18). Jesus is the Saviour of humanity (1Jn. 4:14). He died for our sins and was risen so we can be saved from eternal death (Acts 4:10-12).
Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is our High Priest and the Head of the Church. (Eph. 1:22-23, Heb. 4:14-16).
The Holy Spirit
God is Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s essence, mind, life and power. He is not a being (Psalms 139:7, Jer. 23:24). By means of His Spirit God created all things, (Gen.1:1-2, Rev. 4:11). It is the power by which Christ sustains the whole Universe (Heb.1:2-3). It is given to everyone who repents from his/her sins and is baptized (Acts 2:38-39). It is the power by which every believer can “overcome” (Rev. 2:26-27, Acts 1:8, 2 Tim.1:6-7) and guides to eternal life.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the “Good News” of the forgiveness of our sins by means of Jesus’ sacrifice and the future kingdom of God and His Government. The Gospel reveals the way by which God will allow us to be ruling members in His Kingdom (Acts 2:38-39, Mark 1:14-15, Mt. 24:14, Acts 8:12, 17:7, 28:30-31, Rev. 2:26-27).
Salvation is God’s gift by grace through faith in Jesus (Titus 3:5, 2 Con. 2:15, Rom. 5:10). God justifies us from our past sins by means of repentance and baptism. Then, we begin the process of salvation as we grow in grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Our salvation will culminate in resurrection (1 Cor. 15:50-54).
Steps to salvation:
- Faith in Christ, the first and fundamental step is to place our faith in the Eternal Father and Jesus’ sacrifice (Heb. 6:1, 11:6). Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts. 2:36-38).
- Repentance, the basic step towards salvation is repentance from sin, repentance for trespassing God’s law (1 Jn. 3:4). As the early church began, Peter said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized” (Acts 2:38). Because every human being has sinned (Rom. 3:23), and the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), every sinner should be willing to obey God’s law and to allow Christ to live in Him (Gal. 2:20).
- Baptism by immersion, after we have accepted Christ as our personal Saviour the next step is to be baptized. As the Bible scriptures reads in Acts 2:38, 8:35-39, 9:1-18. It is a sign of our complete submission to God and to our desire to bury the old man (Rom. 6:3-6).
- Receiving God’s Grace, salvation is the combined result of “Law” and “Grace” (from the Greek “Charis”) Of God. We have been saved through faith and not ourselves as it is a “gift from God” (Eph. 2:8-9). We have been” justified by His blood” and “reconciled to God through the death of His Son [but] we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:9-10).
With baptism, Christians will enter in the “new pact” with God (Mt. 26:28). The new pact does not do away with God’s law but it is inscribed in our hearts and mind (Heb. 8:8-10).
When we are baptized we make a pact and oath with God and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we keep His commandments and live a holy life from that day onwards. Through inspiration the Apostle Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer l who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which l now live in the flesh l live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” Gal. 2:20.
- Receiving God’s Holy Spirit, when we repent, we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and we are baptized, God forgives our sins (Acts 2:38, Ps. 103:3, 10-13). To overcome sin, we need to receive from God “power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Through the Spirit of God we can keep His commandments. According to the teachings of the New Testament, we receive the Holy Spirit through the laying of the hands by apostles and elders of Christ (Acts 8:17, 9:17, 19:6, 2 Tim. 1:6).
- Exercise the “Living Faith”, according to the Word of God, faith is essential for our salvation, and it is one of the basic doctrines of the Bible (Heb. 6:1). “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6). But living faith implies doing the Will of God by being “obedient”. “Faith without works is useless” (James 2:20).
- To “grow” in Grace and Knowledge of God, after repentance and having accepted Jesus the person is then baptized. The Holy Spirit is bestowed through the laying of hands (Acts 8:17-18). The believer should continue growing “in the grace and knowledge of our God” (2 Peter 3:18).
The Law of God
God’s law is condensed in “The Ten Commandments”, it is the Moral law (Ex. 20:1-17, Deut. 4:13, 5:1-21, 10:4). Jesus magnified the Law as we read in the “Sermon on the mount” and other places. Jesus Christ magnified the Law of God also in Matthew chapter 5, 6 and 7 and Isaiah 42:21. He taught to His followers they should obey the letter as well as the Spirit of the Law.
“So then the Law is Holy and the Commandment is Holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12). As written in Gal. 2:20, “Christ lives in me” and to become “true saints” in Rev. 14:12. Our knowledge of sin comes from the Law (1 John 3:4, 22-24, 2:3-4).
The Sabbath of God
The word of God reveals that “The Seventh Day is Sabbath” (Rest) for the Eternal God (Ex. 20:10, Deut. 5:14). Sabbath should be observed from Friday sunset until Sabbath sunset.
The Sabbath is a sign between God and His faithful people. It represents “God’s rest” and it reminds us that He is the Creator. It is also the represents the millennial, the millennial year of “rest” when Jesus comes as the king of Kings (Heb. 4:1-4, Rev. 20:4-6).
Our Lord, the Apostles and the early Church have always observed the Sabbath (Luke 4:16, Acts 17:2). All mankind will observe the Sabbath during Christ’s millennial Kingdom on earth (Is. 66:22-23, 58:13-14).
Sin and its Consequences
Sin is the deliberate act of disobedience in the breaking of God’s Holy Law.
”Everyone who practices sin also practice lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” 1 John 3:4. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. “For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23.
The First Death
Death is the natural end of life (Gen. 2:17, Ezek. 18:4). “For as in Adam all die” (1 Cor. 15:22). “In as much as it is appointed for men to die once” (Heb. 9:27). After suffering the “first death” every human being will return to life through resurrection. The Bible reveals every human being will be resurrected in due time (John 5:28, 1 Cor. 15:22).
The Second Death
The “second death” is the eternal death, total destruction. (Mal. 4:1, Matt. 10:28, 25:46). (Rev. 20:14-15) “For in the case of those who have been enlightened and have tasted of the Heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the Good Word of God and the powers of the age to come and have then fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance” (Heb. 6:4-8, 10:26-31).
Signification of “Being born again”
In Christ Jesus and through the forgiveness of our sins, we are born again and we are made new creatures (Rom. 6 and John 3).
God’s ruling in the Church
God the Father as the supreme authority rule with justice and love, Christ is the Head of the Church (Eph. 5:23, Matt. 20:25-28).
God is the creator of all things (Rev. 4:11). As the Lord of the Universe, ruler and Lord of all creation (Acts 17:24-29). Jesus Christ commanded us to give our tithes (Matt. 23:23). The Bible teaches us that tithes belong to the Eternal God (Lev. 27:30).
Tithing is an act of worship to God as we acknowledge His dominion over us. Before the establishment of the old pact, Abraham the father of faith gave his tithes to God (Gen. 14:20). Through tithes Christians serve God by preaching His gospel, assisting in the Holy Feasts and looking after the church and those in need.
Healing is a “spiritual gift” (1 Cor. 12:1, 9). One of God’s Hebrew names is Yehovah Rapha, meaning Eternal Healer Ex. 15:26. PS. 103:3, 1Peter 2:24, James 5:14-16.
The Great Tribulation
A great catastrophe will occur on earth called “great tribulation” and “Jacob’s distress” Mt. 24:21-22, Dan. 11:40-45, 12:1, Luke 21:19-36, Jer. 30:3-7.
The Day of the Lord
The Day of the Lord can be found in more than 30 verses in the Bible. God will punish the earth inhabitants because of their sins Joel 1:14-20, 2:1-32, 3:9-17, Rev. 1:10, Mt. 24:29-31.
The Second Coming of Christ
His coming will occur in the sound of the seventh trumpets John 14:3, Mt. 24:29-30, Rev. 11:15, 1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, Rev. 20:5-6, Rev. 5:9-10.
The Final Judgement
It is called the Judgement of the White Throne, Rev. 20:11-14, Mt. 10:15, 11:21-24, 12:41-42, Ez. 37:1-14.
We believe Jesus is God’s greatest revelation. We do not have prophets or prophetess nor a founder of the church Jer. 23:30-32.