The purpose of Bethel Bible Chapel is to be a caring, Christ-centred community that worships God, proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ and through Biblical instruction, prayer and fellowship equips the believers to serve God and share their faith as a way of life.
Statement of Faith
1. We believe the Bible is the declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us (Luke 1:1). The Bible is inspired by God (2 Peter 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 5:18), is His revealed word and will to man (1 Thessalonians 2:13), and is without error in the original documents. It is our supreme and final authority and guide in all matters of faith and practice (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:105, Mt. 4:4, 2 Timothy 3:15). God has preserved His word for us (Psalm 119:89) and we therefore should obey it.
2. There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), eternally existing (Deuteronomy 33:27) in three persons (Matthew 28:19): Father (Ephesians 4:6), Son (John 1:1, John 1:14) and Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14, Acts 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 13:14).
3. God the Son entered human history as a man - Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:16). He was born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:35), having been supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). While here upon the earth, Jesus was, in one personality, both truly God and truly man (John 10:33). While on earth, He lived a perfect and sinless life and then died on the cross, having offered Himself without spot to God as the sacrifice for our sins (1 Peter 2:24). He rose bodily from the dead (Luke 24:39) and ascended to His Father's right hand in heaven (Ephesians 1:20), there to appear as our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16, 9:24).
4. We believe that man was created innocent by God (Gen. 1:26-27) and that he deliberately sinned and incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. All human beings are born with a sinful nature (Romans 3:23, 5:12). Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of man (Titus 3:5, Romans 8:9). Redemption is solely by the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:12-14, 1 Peter 1:18-19). Salvation is by grace, through faith, in our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 4:10-12, Acts 16:31). Every true child of God possesses eternal life and is safe for all eternity (John 3:16, 5:24, 10:27-29). Each believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit who seals them unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30).
5. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust (John 5:28-29, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, Rev. 20:12-13), the everlasting blessedness of the saved (Phil. 1:23, Rev. 22: 4-5), and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost (Revelation 20:10, Matthew 25:46). We believe that there is life after death and that preparation for eternity must be made before death (Hebrews 9:27-28).
6. We believe in the personal, pre-tribulation, imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to receive His church (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, Titus 2:13, Acts 1:11, Hebrews 9:28), and that believers are saved from the wrath to come (Romans 5:9, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9, Revelation 3:10).
7. The church, referred to as the Body and Bride of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23, 5: 22-33), is composed of all persons who truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Every believer is baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Galatians 3:27, Colossians 1:24). Jesus Christ is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 5:23-24) and the church is subject unto Christ. The local church is the expression, in any locality, of the church universal. It is composed of believers who gather as a corporate testimony to the Lordship of Christ and the oneness of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:16, Colossians 1:18, John 17:21, Ephesians 4:4).
8. We observe the two ordinances left by the Lord Jesus Christ for His people: Baptism by immersion (Matthew 28:19, Romans 6:4-5) and The Lord's Supper (Luke 22:19-20). Baptism is for believers upon confession of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 8:35-39, Romans 6:3-5). The Lord's Supper was commemorated by the early churches on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), and we believe it is the privilege and duty of all true believers to heed the Lord's request, "This do in remembrance of me" (1 Corinthians 11:24).
Visiting or Relocating to Another Assembly
Letters of recommendation can be obtained from the Elders for those in fellowship, and who wish to visit or move to another assembly (Romans 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:1).
The only time at which an offering is normally received is at the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, Philippians 4:16-18). No solicitation of funds is made from those who are not members of the Body of Christ. Envelopes are available for those who wish receipts for tax purposes.
Funds are dispersed for expenses of the church and for support of those in the Lord's service at home or abroad. This is decided by the Elders and Business Committee (Acts 11:28-30).
Water baptism, as taught in the Word of God, is by immersion (Acts 8:38). We recognize it as a voluntary act by a believer as a public confession of his/her identification in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and his/her desire and intention to walk in newness of life in Christ (Romans 6:4).
Water baptism is not a requirement for salvation, as some teach, but is an act of obedience for those who have already trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. It is an outward testimony to the world of the individual's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and of their desire to be identified in the world as a follower of Him.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. We desire to honour Him in our coming together and to give Him the pre-eminence (Colossians 1:18).
In 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, headship is addressed. The Lord instructs the man to have his head uncovered (a symbol) and the woman to wear a suitable head covering (a symbol). The purpose of these symbols is to display the order of authority that God has placed in the church, ie. "...the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."
The man is not to cover his head when praying or proclaiming the word of God (v.4). By covering his head, man would be symbolically covering the glory of God, which should not be covered. The woman is to cover her head when praying or proclaiming the word of God (v.5). The head covering on the woman's head covers the glory of man (v.7). The glory of man must be covered over and the only glory to be seen is the Head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a sign to those looking on, even the angelic hosts (1 Corinthians 11:10).
We encourage all men and women to follow these instructions in all the meetings of the assembly. However, we realize that there are different convictions, by godly people, regarding head coverings. It is therefore, the position of the elders at Bethel Bible Chapel, that head coverings will not be an issue among us. Let each be convinced in his/her own mind before the Lord. We ask that each person respect the individual conviction of the other in love.
We take literally the instruction of the New Testament with regard to the responsibilities of men and women in the church. Each is a valuable asset to the functioning of the assembly.
Regarding the church meetings, we believe that it is the responsibility of men to do the speaking and teaching in these gatherings (1 Corinthians 14:34-37; 1 Timothy 2).
The Lord's Supper Meeting
On the eve of His death, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted what is commonly known as the Lord's Supper (Luke 22:15-20) as a remembrance of Himself. The scriptural injunction is that "as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes". Its observance is fulfilling Christ's request to His people, and has no meritorious significance as regards the salvation of the participant (1 Corinthians 11:23 -26). All believers have the responsibility to examine themselves prior to participating (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
Christians at Bethel Bible Chapel gather for the Lord's Supper each Sunday (Acts 20:7). This gathering takes the form of spontaneous, Spirit-led expressions of worship in prayers, hymns, reading of the scriptures and sharing.
The loaf typifies the Body of Christ, "Take, eat, this is My body given for you" (Mark 14:22). It also expresses the unity of the Church "For we being many are one bread and one body" (1 Corinthians 10:17).
The cup typifies Christ's shed blood, "For this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28).
After giving thanks, the loaf is broken and passed from one to another among the Believers. In like manner, the cup or individual cups are passed.
1. The assembly shall not be subject to any outside ecclesiastical authority, but to Christ alone as the Head of His Church (Colossians 1:18, Eph. 1:22-23).
2. In keeping with our belief in the oneness of the Body of Christ, the Lord's people, as such, should accept the names only, which are given them in Scripture, such as Christians (Acts 11:26), saints (1 Corinthians 1:2), believers (Acts 5:14), and brethren (Hebrews 2:11).
3. The guidance of Bethel Bible Chapel and teaching of doctrine will be the responsibility of the elders of the assembly (Hebrews 13:17). Matters that can be delegated will be subject to the spiritual discernment of the elders.
4. The elders of the assembly are men who are spiritually mature and who exhibit in their lives the qualities listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. The Holy Spirit gives these characteristics so that the assembly, fellow elders and the individual can recognize their appointment. All groups and individuals in the assembly are accountable to the elders, who are accountable to the Lord (1 Peter 5:1-5, Acts 20:28-35, Hebrews 13:17).
5. The public ministry is the responsibility of the elders. Pulpit ministry is not confined to one man. Instead, a number of spiritually gifted men provide a ministry rich in scope and depth (Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12:29-30).
6. All physical and financial business of the assembly is the responsibility of the Business Committee as delegated by the elders. The spiritual qualifications for deacons are very high and remarkably similar to those required of elders (1 Timothy 3:8-13). The elders appoint members to the Business Committee.
Being a part of the fellowship at Bethel Bible Chapel carries privileges and responsibilities. The assembly has a responsibility to maintain purity. A believer may be asked to withdraw from the fellowship as a matter of discipline for moral sin or doctrinal error (1 Corinthians 5:7-13, 6:9-11, Romans 16:17-18, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, Titus 3:9-10). The goal of all discipline is restoration (Galatians 6:1). Restoration comes about by an acknowledgment and confession of sin (1 John 1:9) and seeking forgiveness (Psalm 51), which results in restoration (2 Corinthians 2:7-8). All matters of discipline will be handled as discretely as possible.
Fellowship in Bethel
Anyone desiring to be received into the fellowship of Bethel Bible Chapel will be interviewed by one or two elders. To be received into the fellowship requires the following:
1. A turning away from sin (Luke 13:3, Acts 3:19, 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and a personal belief in, and acceptance of, Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-10).
2. To obey the word of God and be willing to submit to the authority of the elders (John 14:23, 15:14, Hebrews 13:17, Acts 16:4-5).
3. A godly walk (Eph. 4:1-3, 5:1-2, Colossians 3:1-2).
4. Not promoting personal convictions that will divide the assembly (Romans 16:17, Psalm 133, Acts 2:42, Ephesians 4:3).
5. A faithful, consistent involvement in and support of the activities, ministries, outreach, & programs of the assembly (Acts 2:42).
Believing the Bible teaches that all Christians are one in Christ and part of the family of God, we love and welcome all believers and take no position that will exclude any (Romans 15:7).
Bethel Bible Chapel welcomes all members of the body of Christ who desire to make this their church home, who are willing to participate in the privileges and responsibilities that fellowship in a local church involves, whose habits and conduct are such as become a Christian, and who are committed to support, defend and uphold what is presented and taught.
Fellowship involves a sharing together of all the assembly stands for and taking an active part in serving the Lord in the assembly. (1 Thessalonians 1:3, Philippians 1:3-5, 27)
Visitors are always welcome at Bethel Bible Chapel. If visitors are members of the Body of Christ, then they may participate in the activities of the Church provided such participation is in keeping with our Statement of Faith and Practice. We extend a hearty welcome to any believer or group of believers of like precious faith, loving all the children of God "that in every place call upon the name of Jesus our Lord, both theirs and ours." (1 Corinthians 1:2).
We ensure the preaching of the gospel of God's grace (Matt. 28:19-20) and we teach the Bible (2 Timothy 4:2), making use of gifted men and encouraging the development of gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit as they become evident. Regular general meetings are held for prayer and Bible study (Acts 12:12, 1 Timothy 2:1).
We promote sending forth missionaries, home and abroad (Acts 13:2-3), praying for them and supporting them financially (Colossians 4:3, 2 Corinthians 9).