WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?
A dictionary definition of a Christian would be something similar to “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus.” While this is a good starting point, like many dictionary definitions, it falls somewhat short of really communicating the biblical truth of what it means to be a Christian. The word “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because their behaviour, activity, and speech were like Christ. The word “Christian” literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or a “follower of Christ.”
Unfortunately over time, the word “Christian” has lost a great deal of its significance and is often used of someone who is religious or has high moral values but who may or may not be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Many people who do not believe and trust in Jesus Christ consider themselves Christians simply because they go to church or they live in a “Christian” nation. But going to church, serving those less fortunate than you, or being a good person does not make you a Christian. Going to church does not make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. Being a member of a church, attending services regularly, and giving to the work of the church does not make you a Christian.
The Bible teaches that the good works we do cannot make us acceptable to God. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” So, a Christian is someone who has been born again by God (John 3:3; John 3:7; 1 Peter 1:23) and has put faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that it is “…by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
A true Christian is a person who has put faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ, including His death on the cross as payment for sins and His resurrection on the third day. John 1:12 tells us, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” The mark of a true Christian is love for others and obedience to God’s Word (1 John 2:4, 10). A true Christian is indeed a child of God, a part of God’s true family, and one who has been given new life in Jesus Christ.
WHAT IS A BAPTIST?
Because baptism was only given to believers in the Bible, Baptists believe that only believers can be baptised. Babies and infants are considered too young to make any kind of faith commitment and so we offer baby dedication instead. Baby dedication is a ceremony in which parents who are Christians promise to bring up their child according to God's ways - please get in touch if you would like your baby or child to be dedicated.
Baptists believe that baptism must be done by full immersion which is why we have a baptismal pool incorporated into our building (it's hidden under the staging)
A Baptist church is run by its members. Members have the power to appoint (or kick out!) a minister, and they elect deacons to lead and manage the spiritual and practical matters of the church. Because the members have the last word on all decisions, it's properly democratic, and much less likely that a minister can run off to Las Vegas with all the money.
Baptist ministers aren't paid by a central Baptist organisation. Instead, they draw their salary from the offering given by the members. So please give generously!
Having said that. most of our members come form a variety of church backgrounds - or none. Everyone is welcome at CBC.
DID YOU KNOW?
Until King Henry VIII established the Church of England in 1534, all churches in Britain were Roman Catholic. After this, lots of other denominations sprung up and the first Baptist church was built in London's Spitalfields in 1612. Our church was built in 1907 but the original building was sold to property developers in 1995. The current church building dates from 1930.