Statement of Faith (What We Believe)
We believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant written word penned by human authors but inspired by God in its original languages. The Bible is our final authority for all matters of faith and practice.
We believe that there is one eternal God who reveals himself in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are equal to one another and each reflects the same nature, attributes, and perfections.
God the Father
We believe that God the Father is establishing an eternal kingdom, he is perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom and causes all things to work together for his purposes. The Father sent His Son to die for our sins so that we may obtain eternal life with God in heaven. He also sent the Holy Spirit to convince people of their need of Christ and to give them new life.
God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God equal to the Father, is fully God and fully man. Jesus was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary. He was sinless and yet died as a criminal on a Roman cross, was buried and rose from the grave with a new and perfect body. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf.
God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to baptize, indwell, seal and to set apart believers for holy purposes. Each of these are activated when we believe. The Holy Spirit equips believers with the gifts necessary to enable them to accomplish their service for God. He guides them individually and corporately; to comfort, teach, transform and empower for life.
Sin and Salvation
We believe that every person was created in the image of God. But sin entered the world through the temptation of Satan and the rebellion of Adam and Eve. Since then all have been born in sin and are separated from God. Salvation is the free gift from God for rebelling humanity. It is not earned by human effort. To receive this gift a person must turn from their sinful ways and to God by placing their faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice which was for the forgiveness of our sins. Those who believe and make Jesus their Lord become children of God. They are a new creation, eternally secure in their relationship with God. Their changed lives are the evidence of their salvation.
We believe that Satan is a created spirit being, the originator of sin who is in his very nature evil, opposing the people and purposes of God. He was defeated by Jesus Christ at the cross and his ultimate defeat will be evident at the return of Christ.
We believe that the whole church is made up of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The local church is an organized gathering of believers who meet for prayer, worship, fellowship, and teaching to love and reach out to their communities with the good news.
The Return of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus will return visibly and bodily to the earth. Those who have rejected Him and his sacrifice on their behalf will face the ultimate judgements of God. Those who have believed and are children of God will receive a resurrected body and live in the full enjoyment of God’s presence forever.
The Seven Markers (How We Live)
These seven markers characterize a follower of Jesus whether they are just starting out or have been on that journey for a lifetime. None of them stand alone; each are interdependent on the others as the strands of a rope combine to form one strong cord.
I have begun following Jesus, and am depending on the Spirit of Jesus in my journey.
I am being sent by Jesus to bless others and invite them to follow Him.
I am becoming like Jesus in my attitudes, behaviours, and character.
I am learning to love God and love others.
I am learning the teachings of Jesus.
I am helping someone and someone is helping me to be a follower of Jesus.
I am participating in a community of followers of Jesus on mission to the world.
Generations Community Church believes that baptism is the outward expression of a person’s faith and commitment to Jesus Christ.
The book of Acts contains the stories of how the first Christian believers responded to the preaching of the apostles and to their invitation to believe and be baptized. See Acts 2, 8, 10, 16, 18, 19. The letters of instruction that the apostles wrote to the early churches similarly assume that those who come to faith in Christ are baptized. Romans 6, I Corinthians 1, Galatians 3, Ephesians 4, Colossians 2 and I Peter 3.
We believe therefore that all that believe the Gospel and are changed by its power should respond with glad obedience to baptism.
The manner of baptism is practiced diversely by different Christian churches. Some baptize by sprinkling or pouring water on the candidate’s head and others practice what is called baptism by immersion – a practice that involves immersing the person under water and raising them out of it again.
We practice baptism by immersion for three reasons. Firstly the word baptize itself means to dip or to place into. Secondly, those who were baptized in Scripture were spoken of as going down into the water and coming up out of it. Thirdly, immersion parallels the Romans 6 picture of being buried with Christ in His death and being raised with Him in His resurrection. However, if people have been baptized as children or adults by sprinkling or pouring, we encourage but do not insist on rebaptism.
A common question of parents when it comes to baptism is, “How old does my child need to be to get baptized?” The Bible doesn’t answer this question but there are some general principles to consider. The conversion and baptism of children should parallel the Biblical teaching and practice regarding adults as nearly as possible. So, baptism should follow a clearly understood and expressed faith in the Gospel. In the event that there is a lapse of time between believing and baptism, the behaviour of the child should express some degree of agreement with their faith.
Our preference is to leave the answer to that question up to the child’s parents. Every family and every child is unique and it is not our desire to hinder a genuine desire for baptism. However, our general guideline would be that children should wait for baptism until about their teen years.
Why? Firstly, the Christian Gospel calls people into a counter cultural way of life. Due to the sheltered nature of life for young children they usually do not experience the “against the popular current” element of life till they reach those years.
Secondly, the desire to please is strong in young children. This natural and delightful aspect of childhood makes mixed motives for baptism a strong possibility. Is it a pledge of allegiance to Jesus or a way of pleasing parents, teachers and friends?
Thirdly, the experience of many that have been baptized at an earlier age is that they have difficulty remembering their own baptism and minimize its significance. Or they sometimes begin to doubt the validity of their childhood faith as they enter their more independent teen years and request baptism again after reaffirming their faith. Thus baptism may be trivialized.
Baptism is one of the most important steps in our journey of faith. It is our desire at Generations to honour baptism and make it available to all who would follow Jesus.
Communion, which is also known as the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist (thanksgiving) is a special meal where we remember the broken body and shed blood of Jesus. The earliest description of communion is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:
23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26 New Living Translation)
Christ’s suffering and death for us on the cross is the centrepiece of our faith. Therefore at Generations we celebrate communion regularly, on the first Sunday of every month. And we invite all who follow Jesus to celebrate Communion with us.
We use grape juice rather than wine to protect those who may struggle with alcohol.
We leave it to the discretion of parents whether or not their children participate with the rest of the congregation during Communion.