Statement of Faith & Constitution

Statement of Faith

1. GOD
There is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
God is unchangeable in his holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator; Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will for his own glory.

2. THE BIBLE
God has revealed himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. Every word was inspired by God through human authors, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.

3. THE HUMAN RACE
All men and women, being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. As a result of the fall of our first parents, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and all men and women are without spiritual life, guilty sinners and hostile to God. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs to be born again, forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please him.

4. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all his words are true. On the cross he died in the place of sinners, bearing God's punishment for their sin, redeeming them by his blood. He rose from the dead and in his resurrection body ascended into heaven where he is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father.

5. SALVATION
Salvation is entirely a work of God's grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all in the gospel. God in his love forgives sinners whom he calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.

6. THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.

7. THE CHURCH
The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the head and to which all who are saved belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of Baptism and the Lord's Supper; for pastoral care and discipline, and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel.

8. BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
Baptism and the Lord's Supper have been given to the churches by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and his Church. The Lord's Supper is a commemoration of Christ's sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.

9. THE FUTURE
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory. He will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God.
God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.

Constitution

1. Name of Church

• The church shall be called Blairgowrie Evangelical Church (affiliated to the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC)).

2. Objectives

• To glorify God as we aim to fulfil all the following areas:
• To worship God
• To preach faithfully the Gospel of Jesus Christ
• To be a witness in the community and local area
• To encourage prayer and instruction in the Faith to ensure spiritual growth and discipleship at all ages

3. Declaration of Faith

God – there is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is unchangeable in His holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator; Saviour
and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to His sovereign will for His own glory.

The Bible – God has revealed Himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone.
Every word was inspired by God through human authors, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. The Bible alone speaks with final
authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.

The Human Race – all men and women being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. As a result of the fall of our first
parents, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and all men and women are without spiritual life, guilty sinners and hostile to God. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs
to be born again, forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please Him.

The Lord Jesus Christ – the Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. At His incarnation He was conceived by the Holy Spirit born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all His words are true. On the cross He died in the place of sinners, bearing God’s punishment for their sin, redeeming them by His blood. He rose from the dead and in His resurrection body ascended into heaven
where He is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for His people in the presence of the Father.

Salvation – salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all in the gospel. God in His love forgives sinners
whom He calls granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.

The Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply His work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives true understanding of the scriptures. He
indwells all believers, bringing assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.

The Church – the universal Church is the body of which Christ is the Head, and to which all who are saved belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are committed to each
other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; for pastoral care and discipline, and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed
within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only when they are faithful to the gospel.

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the church by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Christian Baptism (Household or Believer’s) is a symbol of union with Christ and
His church. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.

The Future – the Lord Jesus will return in glory. He will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness.
The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.

Leadership – the overall responsibility of the church is in the hands of a group of elders. The church believes in the office of a full-time Pastor, who alongside the elders is charged with the spiritual growth and pastoral
care of church members. It is also the responsibility of the elders to co-ordinate church activities through mission, planning and resources. The membership shall appoint leaders to direct the church in the fulfilment
of its objectives. The leadership shall act at all times as a single entity. Additional members to the leadership shall be appointed following an indicative vote by the church members upon proposal made by the current
elders.

Pastor – function and responsibility: to provide teaching for the whole church family both formally through sermons and meetings and informally; to focus and motivate the whole church towards the fulfilment of the
church’s objectives.

Elders – function and responsibilities: we understand the role of the elders is given in the Bible as follows:
Father (1 Timothy 3.4-5); Shepherd (1 Peter 5.2); Leader (Hebrews 13.7-17); to oversee the Lord’s Supper; to
convey all relevant information to the church.

Deacons -Deacon cover various practical roles within the life of the church.

Appointments – Nominations for a new pastor or new elder(s) are to be brought to the church members by the existing elders. Following a period where members have the opportunity to provide informal feedback
on the individual(s) concerned an indicative (i.e. straw poll) vote of the church membership will be held. A two thirds majority vote by the membership is considered to be approval for a new pastor or new elder(s).
The elders will reflect on the result of the vote and make the final decision on appointing the person.

Ordinances – the church recognises the Lord’s Supper (Communion) as an ordinance instituted by Christ Himself. The Lord’s Supper will be observed weekly. Marriage ceremonies can be conducted within the
church by the pastor or one of the elders who has approval. As a church we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman only. No approval is given to civil partnerships or to same sex marriages. It will be on
the approval of the elders whether a minister from outside the church will be given permission to conduct a marriage service in the church building. Those able to be married can only be those who are members or
regular attendees of the church, or those with a close connection to a member of the church family.

Members – a membership roll will be kept of all who are admitted into membership. Members must profess a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord and subscribe to the Statement of Faith and
Constitution. Members should worship God regularly on Sunday and at mid-week meetings, support the church prayerfully and practically, and actively encourage others to become reconciled to God through the
Lord Jesus. An applicant for membership shall meet with two elders who will report back to the eldership.
Following an indication of approval by the elders the applicant will be received into membership, being welcomed formally at the next Family Service.

Elders Meetings – the elders will meet at least every two months to undertake their eldership responsibilities in caring and praying for the church fellowship.

General – the church holds a deed of trust, which intimates the names of the current Trustees and the process by which more may be added. The church is a registered Scottish Charity. Under the requirements of
OSCR (Office of Scottish Charities Register) annual audited accounts will be maintained and submitted. As 
affiliated to the FIEC, we endorse and uphold their stance on: Gospel Unity; Women in Ministry; Same Sex Marriage.

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