What It Means To Be A Christian
When we put our trust, or faith, in Jesus Christ he becomes our friend, our confidant. It is the start of a new, spiritual, intimate relationship. We become part of his family. He loves and cares for us, and is always there to help and encourage. He is never intrusive but always on hand. No matter what, he promises to be faithful to us forever. We are given a fresh start in a new spiritual life.
Jesus lived his life on the margins of established society, disapproved of and eventually killed by the religious leaders of his day. He was known for loving and accepting those who were rejected by that society. In connecting with the love of Jesus we are nourished deep within our selves and this enhances every aspect of our lives including our relationships with our partners and close friends and families. Through experiencing the love of Jesus in our own lives our limited ability to truly love ourselves and others gradually increases. We are valued and welcomed by Him whatever our sexual orientation or gender status is. We do not have to change, stifle or deny this important part of ourselves in order to have a fulfilling relationship with Jesus.
Experiences vary greatly. For some there is a point in their lives where they immediately know they have become Christians. For others it is more gradual. What matters is not the initial experience but the ongoing connection with God who we see as both male and female and far more.
Jesus promises to give his followers eternal life. Eternal life is a quality of life that comes from living in relationship with Jesus and it starts now, in this life, and continues beyond death into eternity.
The wonderful news is that all this does not depend on us and what we can attain. We simply cannot achieve or deserve this. It all depends on what Jesus has done and on what he achieved. By His death on the cross Jesus paid the price to purify us from all sin, no matter what we may have done, and to make us worthy to be a member of his family.
There is no way we can earn these things they are freely given. All we have to do is trust that he has done enough to earn them for us.
So the key is this trust or faith. A missionary working with primitive tribes in The New Hebrides found they had no word in their language for ‘trust’. He searched for a word to use to mean faith and one day as he sat in his chair he lifted both feet off the ground and asked for the word to express what he was doing. The word he was given meant ‘to lean your whole weight upon’. This was the word he used for faith in that culture. Faith is leaning our whole weight on Jesus and trusting in Him. Faith is not relying on our efforts to please anyone but knowing that Jesus has done enough to pay the price of our entry to this new life. When we realise these things we don’t have to struggle endlessly to be good because Jesus has already made us good enough for Him.
Jesus once said: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” Matthew 11:29-30, the Message Bible.
Some of us may have known a relationship with Jesus earlier in our lives and turned away from him because churches told us some of aspect of us disqualified us. In many churches it is taught that any sex outside marriage, homosexuality and transitioning in gender disqualifies us from being a Christian. We don’t believe that this is true and there are thousands of LGBT Christians who will testify that Jesus accepts them as they are.
We believe that the message of Jesus is overwhelming welcome and acceptance for all. We know from the experiences of many people that even when we turn away from Jesus, he never leaves us and never stops loving us. As soon as we turn back to Him, even after many years, that relationship with Him can be totally restored. Over and over again we have seen the joy and the peace of mind this restoration of relationship can bring to people
At Liberty Church we welcome people at all stages of their spiritual journey:
Some may be at the stage of questioning whether there is a God and whether Jesus is a reality
– we can help them in their search for their own personal faith.
Some have had Christian experience but have turned away for some reason and now want to reassess this part of their lives
– we can help them to explore this again and if they wish, to re establish their relationship with Jesus.
Some may be confident in their relationship with Jesus and be struggling with various stresses in their lives so need a place to be built up spiritually
– we can give them a safe space to be nourished spiritually without the pressure of putting further demands on them.
Some may be at a point where they are ready to contribute to the development of the church and to those within it
– we can provide a place where their gifts will be appreciated and developed.
All will be welcomed. Every person, at different parts of their spiritual journey adds to the richness and variety within the church. Every person is valuable member.
Statement Of Belief
We believe that through faith in Jesus Christ we can be brought into a relationship with God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that we are in right standing and relationship with God by the gift of His Grace which cannot be earned but is made available to us through faith in Jesus Christ.
We believe the role of the church is to make known the grace and faith found in Jesus Christ for salvation and the churches role in the believer’s life is to foster growth in love, trust, and reliance on the Lord Jesus in all aspects of life as inspired by the Holy Spirit.
We believe we are called to recognise the dignity of each human being and to treat each other in a way that reflects our awareness of God’s love for each one of us and be open to the Holy Spirit’s ability to enlarge our hearts to truly love ourselves and others.
We believe that the Scriptures are divinely inspired to;
to make known the nature of God and the promised Messiah through the law and the prophets
to reveal the person of Jesus Christ, fully God and fully human
to show the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing people to know God through Jesus Christ.
Because of bias, prejudices and ignorance many passages of the Bible are open to different interpretations. We acknowledge that many parts of the Bible when dealing with matters of living everyday life are designed for particular cultures and reflect the biases and prejudices of the day.
We rely on the individual believer to respond to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit within and, when needed, to seek the help of other believers in clarifying difficult issues. Individual believers may reach different conclusions on various issues. At times we will get things wrong. Ultimately each one has personal and social responsibility and we undertake to respect each other and the decisions we make.
We declare as regards same sex relationships, the love of God for all people of all sexual orientations. We believe that the expression of our sexuality is an important part of being human. We welcome and affirm people of all sexual orientations as we believe God welcomes and affirms all people He has created.