Clearspring Church Gloucester
What We Believe
At Clearspring Church Gloucester we believe that accurate theology matters, and so that's why we have compiled this statement of faith to show you exactly what we teach.
We believe that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God; that inspiration of the original autographs was plenary and verbal and, hence, the sixty-six books of the Bible are inerrant; that it is the sole authority for faith and practice in all matters to which it speaks.
The God Head
We believe there is one God eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that all three possess equally all the same attributes, nature, perfections, and characteristics of personality.
Section One - The Deity of Christ
We believe in the full deity of the Lord Jesus Christ who always was and will be God and did not cease to be God at the incarnation.
Section Two - The First Advent
We believe that the Man Christ Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit; that He was born of the virgin Mary; that He possesses both a divine and human nature both distinct and unmixed; that He was without sin; that He died a penal substitution for the sin of all men; that He was buried; that He arose on the third day in the same but glorified body in which He lived and died; that He ascended to the right hand of God the Father; that by His death He provided atonement for all men, but it is applied only to those who believe.
Section Three - The Present Session
We believe that the God-Man Jesus Christ now sits at the right hand of God the Father; that He functions as the High Priest for all believers ever making intercession for them.
Section Four - The Second Advent
We believe in the personal and physical and bodily return of Christ for the Church and for Israel.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit; that He is the infallible author and interpreter of the infallible Word; that He convicts, regenerates, indwells, empowers, instructs, and guides the believer in living, service, and worship through His gifts; that in this age He baptises and permanently indwells and seals all believers into one body; that His chief purpose is to witness and glorify Christ; that His fullness and power and control are appropriated in the believer's life by faith.
We believe that the dispensations are stewardships by which God administers His purpose on earth through man by varying responsibilities; that they are chronologically successive; that they are not ways of salvation nor different methods of the administration of the Covenant of Grace but are a test of man's submission to God based on progressive revelation; that they are a necessary view of Scripture based on literal interpretation, a consistent distinction of Israel and the Church, and that the ultimate purpose of God is His own glorification; that they are not different ways of salvation but in every dispensation the basis of salvation was always the blood of Christ, the means of salvation was always by grace through faith, the object of faith was always God, but the content of faith changed in different dispensations dependent upon progressive revelation.
Angels: Fallen & Holy
Section One - Creation
We believe that God created an innumerable number of sinless beings known as angels, seraphs, and cherubs.
Section Two - Satan
We believe that one of these created beings, “Day-Star, Son of the Morning,” the highest in rank, sinned through pride, thus becoming Satan the adversary; that he is an actual person with all the characteristics of personality; that he is the originator of sin; that he operates today as the prince and god of this world; that he is the arch-enemy of God and the people of God and deceiver of humanity; that he led the first parents into transgression causing their fall; that he was judged at the cross, a judgment yet to be executed in the Lake of Fire.
Section Three - Demons
We believe that a great company of angels followed Satan in his fall, some of whom became demons who are active as Satan's agents in the carrying out of unholy purposes, while others who fell are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
Section Four - Holy Angels
We believe that a great company of angels kept their holy estate and are ministering spirits of God for the carrying out of His purpose, especially to those who inherit salvation.
Man: Created & Fallen
We believe that man was created in the image of God; that he fell through sin and lost his spiritual life; that he is dead in his trespasses and sins and, hence, is totally depraved; that this fallen nature is transmitted to every descendent of Adam, the man Christ Jesus excepted; that man has no spark of divine life and is unchangeable apart from divine grace.
Section One - The Means of Salvation
We believe that salvation is wholly a work of God's free grace and not the work of man in whole or in part, nor due to man's goodness or religious ceremony; that it is a gift to man received by personal faith at which time the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the sinner, thereby justifying him in God's sight; that those who are saved have been unconditionally elected to salvation in eternity past and have been effectively and irresistibly called by the Holy Spirit.
Section Two - The Extent of Salvation
We believe that at the point of salvation, the sinner becomes totally accepted by God, united totally with Christ and, hence, loved and accepted by the Father as Christ is loved and accepted; that he is now the recipient of all the riches of divine grace and in possession of every spiritual blessing and, hence, is not to seek a “second blessing” or a “second work of grace.”
Section Three - Eternal Security
We believe that all true believers once saved are eternally secure forever because of the nature and work of Christ and the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life; that it is the privilege of all who are saved to be assured of their salvation from the very moment that they accept Him as Saviour; that this assurance is not based on their own merit, but by the testimony of the Scriptures and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
Section Four - Sanctification
We believe that sanctification is a setting apart unto God and that it is threefold: positional sanctification, in which the believer is viewed by God as already completed “in Christ,” being united with Him; progressive sanctification, in which the believer retains his sin nature throughout this life, needs to grow in grace, continually becoming more and more conformed to the image of the Son of God; and ultimate sanctification, in which the believer is fully sanctified in his state as he already is in his position, which will only occur when the believer sees the Lord and will be like Him.
We believe that God called a people to Himself who are the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; that Israel is the Wife of Jehovah, unfaithful in the past, divorced in the present, and to be reunited in the future; that God has made four unconditional covenants with this elect nation that have remained unfulfilled; that God intends to fulfill all His promises to Israel in a literal way just as His warnings and judgments were fulfilled in a literal way; that in Israel's history of unbelief there has always been a believing remnant according to the election of grace; that there will be a national regeneration of Israel at which time all of the provisions of the unconditional covenants will be fulfilled, including the seed, land, and blessing aspects.
Section One - The Organism
We believe that the Church is the body and Bride of Christ; that it is composed of all Jewish and Gentile believers from Pentecost to the Rapture; that entrance into this body is by Spirit-Baptism; that it is distinct from Israel; that while sharing spiritual blessings with Israel of the Jewish covenants, it neither fulfils them nor has taken possession of them from Israel.
Section Two - The Ordinances
We believe that an ordinance is a practice that is commanded by Christ, practiced in the Book of Acts, and expounded in the epistles; that only two ordinances exist: baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper, both of which are limited to believers only.
Section Three - The Believer's Responsibility
We believe that all believers are obligated to assemble together for the purpose of participation in the ordinances, to be taught the Scriptures by gifted men, to edify each other, and to worship God; that this assembling is to be organized as a local church under authoritative leadership; that the believer is called to holy living in the power of the indwelling Spirit; to fight the spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil; to use his spiritual gifts for the purpose of building up of the local body of Christ.
Section Four - The Great Commission
We believe that it is the responsibility of both the church and the individual believer to evangelise and disciple all nations both actively (doing the work of evangelism) and passively (supporting those doing the work of evangelism): that the specific procedure for discipling the nations is “to the Jew first and then to the Gentile” and this is also true in both active and passive evangelism.
We believe that Christ will return into the air for the purpose of gathering the Church to Himself both dead and alive; that this event is both imminent and pre-Tribulational; that this is the blessed hope of the Church.
We believe that some time after the Rapture, the Tribulation of Israel's Seventieth Week will occur for a period of seven years; that it is a time of judgment of all humanity; that it will bring to an end the times of the Gentiles and result in the national regeneration of Israel.
The Second Coming
We believe in the personal, visible, and bodily return of Christ to the earth with his saints after the Tribulation and before the Millennium in the clouds of heaven with glory and great power at the request of and to save Israel from her enemies; to judge all living Gentiles for the purpose of determining who will be excluded from the Kingdom and who will be included in the Kingdom.
The Messianic Kingdom
We believe in a literal one-thousand-year reign of Christ on earth over Israel and the Gentiles during which time the Church will co-reign with Christ, the unconditional covenants with Israel will be fulfilled, Israel will be restored along with the resurrection of the Old Testament saints, Satan will be bound in the abyss, the curse will be lifted, and the knowledge of God will permeate the world, and peace will be maintained by the iron-rod rule of Christ.
The Final State
Section One - The Present Time
We believe that at physical death, the believer immediately goes into the presence of God in full conscious fellowship with the Lord, awaiting the resurrection of the body; that the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal conscious separation from God in Hell, awaiting the resurrection of the body.
Section Two - The Eternal Order
We believe in the eventual resurrection of all saints before the Kingdom to fellowship with Christ in the Kingdom on this earth and then in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth in eternity after the Kingdom; in the resurrection of all unbelievers after the Kingdom to appear before the Great White Throne Judgment and then to abide for eternity in the Lake of Fire.