OUR BELIEFS AND VALUES
The heartbeat of all we do at Dalkeith Anglican is the wonderful news of what God has done for us through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus.
Anglicans believe God is really big. If only we could believe it! The cause of all our problems, worries and anxieties stem from our blindness to God’s infinite power, wisdom and goodness. When we say God is ‘big’ or infinite in power, we mean that he is ‘sovereign’. He created the entire universe from nothing and sustains it everyday. Everything that happens is governed and controlled and guided by him – even falling sparrows (Matthew 10:29).
Everyone needs forgiveness from God because of what we have done to offend God. I am what I am. We are what we are. A person who tells a lie is a liar. A person who breaks the law is a lawbreaker. A person who sins, even just once, is a sinner. This is who we are from within and we can’t change that. In saying that we are sinners, we are not saying people are incapable of doing good and decent things. Most people are not ‘absolutely evil’ in every way. When we say we are ‘sinners’ we simply mean that every person is a sinner to the core of their being.
Apart from Jesus Christ, sin rules our outlook, motivations, desires and purpose.Could that be true? Does Jesus agree with this shocking truth? Yes he does.
Jesus said, that “… from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean’. (Mark 7:21-3). No one is perfect and this means that all people fit the category of sinner.
If we take Jesus seriously and ponder our lives in the light of God’s perfection, we realise there are some things about us that are unpleasant. We say, feel and think in ways that are contrary to God. If we have a high view of the Bible, like Jesus did, we can be honest with ourselves and say, “My act of sinning makes me a sinner”.
Jesus makes this clear in Mark chapter 7. He says, “For it is within, from out of a person’s heart is what defiles them.” He means that our nature, while a mixture of good and evil, is corrupt because it gives rise to a host of sinful acts. Sin goes to the core of my being and I can’t do anything about my inner nature. I need help because I am deserving of God’s judgement. I need a Saviour and there is very good news.
We believe that God is so big and so loving that we would never come to put our trust in him unless he made it possible for us to come to him first. That’s why God sent Jesus into the world. He is God’s Son and Christ died as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Through his death on the cross we are reconciled to God. All who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus receive full forgiveness and become children of God both now and forevermore. The good, the bad and everyone in between is invited to repent and believe in Jesus and make him their Lord. This goes to the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
In the Bible Jesus tells us one thing matters more than anything else: listening to what he teaches. The voice of Jesus is heard in the Bible and we aim to make listening to him the focus of all we do.
What is the church? The church of Jesus Christ is not a building (1 Corinthians 3:1-7). It’s made up of people. The apostle Paul says of Christians, ‘You are … God’s building’ (v.9) of which Jesus Christ is the foundation (v.11) and that building, made up of people, is a temple (vv 16-17). God’s people are ‘God’s temple’, the church of Jesus Christ.
The church is also described as a body (1 Cor 12:12-26). Just as with the human body, there is both unity and diversity among the people of God. Every part needs all the other parts, no matter how important or insignificant each seems to be.
Followers of Jesus have a God-given responsibility to care for one another as Christ cared for us. The church should be a place of genuine nurture, care, and sympathy for one another. Our care of one another should not be based on how we ‘feel’ about each other.
St Lawrence’s is a member church of the Anglican Church of Australia. We are a confessional church, which simply means we have a set of core beliefs that explain the Anglican faith. Everyone agrees to uphold the organisation’s ideals so the group activities are promoted for the good of all.
In the Anglican Church the standard beliefs are based on the Bible and expressed in summary form known as the Thirty-Nine Articles. You can read them here.
We are proud of our Anglican heritage. It goes all the way back to the English Reformation in the sixteenth century. ‘Faith alone’, ‘grace alone’, ‘Christ alone’ and ‘Bible alone’ describe the essence of our faith and beliefs.
Follow the link for a brief summary of the main message of the Bible