Declaration of faith and practice

The following was written when the church was constituted, and apart from the names of the original church officers, still applies to the church today.

Read and assented to by Members at their admission into the Church of Christ at Bedworth – (under the pastoral care of John Sargent).

We, having been enabled through Divine Grace, to give up ourselves to the Lord, and, likewise to one another by the will of God, account it a duty incumbent upon us to make a declaration of our Faith and Practice to the Honour of Christ and the Glory of His Name, knowing that as with the heart man believeth unto righteousness so with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, which declaration is a follows:

  1. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in the letter and the spirit are the Word of God, and only rule of Faith and Practice.
  2. We believe that there is but One only living and True God; that there are three persons in the Godhead, The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost who are equal in nature, power and glory, and that the Son and the Holy Ghost are as truly and properly God as the Father.
  3. We believe that before the world began, God did elect a certain number of men unto everlasting salvation whom He did predestinate to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ of His own free grace and according to the good pleasure of His will, and that in pursuance of His gracious design He did contrive and make a covenant of grace and peace with His Son, Jesus Christ, on the behalf of those persons wherein a Saviour was appointed and spiritual blessings with all their grace and glory were put into the hands of Christ and made His care and charge.
  4. We believe that God created the first man Adam after His image, and in His likeness, an upright, holy and innocent creature, capable of serving and glorifying Him, but he sinning, and all his posterity sinned in him, and came short of the glory of God, the guilt of whose sin is imputed, and a corrupt nature derived to all his offspring descending from him by ordinary and natural generation, that they are by their first birth carnal and unclean, averse to all that is good, incapable of doing any good, and prone to every sin and are also by nature children of wrath, and under a sentence of condemnation, and are subject not only to a corporeal death and involved in a moral one commonly called spiritual, but are also deserving an eternal death from which there is no deliverance but by Christ, the second Adam.
  5. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ being set up from everlasting as the Mediator of the Covenant, and having engaged to be the surety of His people, did in the fullness of time really assume human nature, in which nature He really suffered and died as their substitute in their room and stead, whereby He made all that satisfaction for their sins, which the law and justice of God could require, as well as made way for all those blessings which are needful for them both for time and eternity.
  6. We believe that eternal redemption which Christ has obtained by the shedding of His blood is special and particular; that is to say, that it was only intentionally designed for the elect of God and sheep of Christ, who only share the special and peculiar blessings of it.
  7. We believe that the justification of God’s elect, is only by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them without the consideration of any works of righteousness done by them, and at the full and free pardon of all their sins and transgressions, past, present and to come, only through the blood of Christ according to the riches of His grace.
  8. We believe that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith is not an act of man’s freewill and power, but of the mighty efficacious and irresistible grace of God.
  9. We believe that all those, who are chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sanctified by the blessed Spirit, shall certainly and finally persevere so that not one of them shall ever perish but shall have everlasting life.
  10. We believe that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, and that Christ will come a second time to judge both quick and dead, when He will take vengeance on the wicked and introduce His own people into His kingdom and glory where they shall be forever with Him.
  11. We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of Christ, to be continued until His second coming and that the former is absolutely requisite to the latter, that is to say, that those only are to be
    admitted into the communion of the church and to participate of all ordinance in it who upon profession of their faith, have been baptised by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
  12. We believe that singing of Psalms, Hymns and spiritual songs vocally is an ordinance of the Gospel to be performed by believers and that everyone ought to be left to their liberty in using of it.

Now all and each of these doctrines and ordinances we look upon ourselves under the greatest obligation to embrace, maintain and defend, believing it to be our duty to stand fast in one spirit with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel.

  1. We believe that our conversation, both in the world and in the church, ought to be as becomes the Gospel of Christ, we judge it our incumbent duty to walk in wisdom to them that are without, to exercise a conscience void of offence towards God and men by living soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. And as to our regards to each other in our church communion, we esteem it our duty to walk with each other in all humility and brotherly love, to watch over each other’s conversation, to stir up one another to love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as we have opportunity, to worship God according to His revealed will, and when the case requires, to warn, rebuke and admonish one another according to the rules of the Gospel. Moreover, we think ourselves obliged to sympathise with each other in all conditions both inward and outward which God in His providence may bring us into, as also to bear with one another’s weaknesses, failings and infirmities and particularly to pray for one another and that the Gospel and the ordinances thereof, might be blessed to the edification and comfort of each other’s souls and for the gathering in of others to Christ, besides those who are already gathered.

And if any of us should be left to disgrace our holy profession and dishonour Christ by our conduct we engage to use those means directed to in the Word to reprove, convince and restore such person or persons and if after due admonition such persons do stubbornly persist in their ungodly conduct we will exclude them from our communion. We also engage accordingly to our ability to maintain the Gospel of Christ amongst us by freely contributing to the support of a Gospel minister of Jesus Christ and attend on his ministrations.

All which duties we desire to be found in the performance of, through the gracious assistance of the Holy Spirit, whilst we both admire and adore the grace which has given us a place, and a name in God’s house better than that of sons and daughters.

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names this 29 Day February 1800.

JOHN SARGENT (Pastor)
JOHN FRANCH
PETER HACKETT
WILLIAM TRUSSEL
THOMAS NIXON
THOMAS CHAPLAIN