Cowley Hill Free Church (Baptist) is an Independent Reformed Baptist Church.
We take the Word of God as our sole authority in all matters of faith and church order, and reject all additions to the Holy Scriptures. These include tradition, other supposed inspired writings, and the revelational gifts claimed by the modern-day Charismatic movement.
We follow the 1689 Baptist Confession Of Faith, believing that this is a reliable summary of the major teachings of the Bible.
At the front of our meeting room, you will find a Pulpit - not an altar. There are two reasons for this:
Firstly, altars are for sacrifice; and Christ offered the one final all-sufficient sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. The scripture states:
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever sat down at the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10.12-14)
Secondly, Christ's Great Commission to the Disciples was to "Teach all nations (Matthew 28.19)";
to "Preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16.15)".
Preaching and teaching is also the means by which God's people are to be instructed.
If you come to one of our meetings you will find that the service consists of hymn singing, prayer, Bible reading, and an explanation of the reading with its relevance to our lives.
The hymn books which we use are: "Christian Hymns" (original version) and "Psalms And Hymns of Reformed Worship".
|The following terms might help to clarify some of the key areas of our faith and practice. Some of these terms may seem a little obscure if you have never considered them before, but we offer them as a helpful indication of our position on key issues.|
|Evangelical||We believe that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But God, in His infinite mercy, sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to make a full and complete atonement for the sins of His people. All who repent and trust in that death alone for their salvation are justified entirely before God. They receive a New Life in Christ, and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Henceforth they serve Christ as both Lord and Saviour.|
|Reformed||We believe in "The Doctrines Of Grace", historically identified with the Five Points of Calvinism: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Particular Redemption, Irresistible Grace, and The Perseverance Of The Saints.|
|The Free Offer||We believe that the Gospel is to be freely offered to all people. All are to be urged to believe the Gospel without delay. "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? ". (Ezekiel 33.10)|
|Baptism||We believe that to be valid, baptism must be by immersion, and must follow faith in Christ. You do not have to be baptised to be a Christian, but you do to be an obedient one.|
|Church Membership||A (local or gathered) Church should be comprised of born-again, baptised believers only.|
|Independent||We are independent and not affiliated with any other organisation. The New Testament Churches were autonomous bodies, each answerable only to Christ as their great Lord and Head. Like them, we enjoy fellowship with other like-minded Churches. This is a spiritual brotherhood, however, and not an organisational unity. In particular, we utterly deplore the so-called Ecumenical movement.|
|Reverent Worship||We believe that it is a central duty and privilege of the Churches of Christ to engage in the reverent worship of Almighty God. We deplore the fleshly worship that has swept through many Churches in recent years, believing that this is the very antithesis of the spiritual and word-based approach commanded in the Bible, for example in John 4.24: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth".|