Who We Are

Introduction

Anyone visiting the Blaxland Gospel Chapel would realise immediately that we do things differently to other "churches". Let's have a quick look at some of those things which make us different and the reasons why.

What Are We Called?

We are generally called "Christian Brethren" for legal reasons and convenience. However, we consider all born-again believers , including people who choose to worship at other "churches", to be our brothers (and sisters) in God's family (Matt. 23:8; Acts 11:26).

Membership

Every person who receives Jesus Christ as his or her own personal Saviour (John 1:12; Rev. 3:20) is a member of "The Church, which is His body" (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22 -23; Col. 1:18). The Bible also speaks of local churches (Acts (:13; Rom. 16:16; Philem. 2) which locally represent the characteristics of the whole church. "Membership" is open to all Christians, but only Christians (Rom. 15:7). This raises the problem that although "The Lord knows those who are His" (2 Tim. 2:19), local church leaders can't be so sure. So, membership is indicated by people living Godly lives (1 John 1:6-7), demonstrating a loving attitude to others (1 John 2:9-10), and accepting only sound, essential doctrine (1 Jon 2:23 -24), no matter what claims they might make! Having said this, all people are welcome to attend our meetings (Matt. 11:18).

Leadership

We are led by elders who combine ministry gifts with gifts of administration (Heb. 13:7, 17, 24). Through their interest, involvement and use of gift, the elders show their desire to serve (1 Tim. 3:1). Their qualifications are expressed in the Bible (1 Tim. 3:27; Titus 1:6-9). New elders work in fellowship with other elders and their appointment is verified by the spiritual fruit that follows (Matt. 7:20).

Our Place of Meeting

Every local church likes to have a tasteful, functional building (1 Tim. 6:17) to use for Christian worship and service. But it is important to understand the "church" is actually not the building but the Christians who assemble there (1 Tim. 3:15). The building is not a special place where you come to seek the presence of the Lord. No, the Bible says He is found wherever His people are (Matt. 18:20).

Our Form of Meeting

We don't require clergymen to meet our pastoral or teaching needs. Ministry in our Chapel depends upon spiritual gifts (Eph. 4:7-8; 11-13). By following the New Testament model in which Christians are free to speak at meetings, we trust the Holy Spirit speaks through them as He chooses. Spiritual giftedness is available to all Christians and is of mutual benefit to all Christians (1 Cor. 14:29 -30; 2 Cor. 3:17).

Baptism & The Breaking of Bread

At the heart of what we do are two simple practices handed down by the early apostles. These are:

  • Baptism of believers by immersion in water (Matt. 3:13-17; 28:18-20; Acts 2:37-38; Rom. 6:3-6),  
  • Remembering the Lord Jesus Christ by breaking bread together (Luke 22:19 -20; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23 -30).

Our Major Beliefs

Our major doctrinal beliefs are the same as other evangelical Christians:

  • The Bible is the Word of God and is fully inspired (2 Tim. 3:16 -17; 2 Pet. 1:21) 
  • There is only one God who is eternal and exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:18; 2 Cor. 13:14). The Father is God (Gal. 1:1); The Son is God (Heb. 1:8-9) and, the Holy Spirit is God (2 Cor. 3:17 -18) 
  • The Son, Jesus Christ, is also Man (Acts 2:22; 1 Tim. 2:5)  
  • All people, are sinful (Rom. 3:23), but the Son is sinless and perfect (John 13:31-32) and reflects the full glory of God (John 13:31 -32)  
  • Our sins would separate us eternally from God (Isa. 59:2), but the Son, Jesus Christ, died to take the punishment for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3, 1 Pet. 2:24) and offers a full and free salvation to everyone who trusts Him (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:17)  
  • Salvation leads to discipleship (Luke 9:23 -26). Victorious Christian living (Rom. 6:11) occurs as we daily experience the presence of the living Christ (Eph. 3:17; Col. 1:27; 2:6, 9-10).

Outreach

The "Gospel" is the good news that everyone can be saved by trusting Jesus Christ. We are a Gospel-loving people who will take all steps possible to secure the salvation of men and women (Acts 1:8; 20:20-21; Rom. 1:15; 10:10; 1 Cor. 1:18). We are missionary-minded (Mark 16:15; Rom. 15:19-20) and, in Jesus' name, ready to engage in social work (Matt. 25:35-40).

Conclusion

We have briefly described the beliefs and simple practices of the Gospel Chapel as we seek to function the way the Lord intended. We consider these remain relevant, even in our modern westernised culture. Minimal formal control makes it essential that Chapel members strive to be Christ-like in all aspects of their lives, relying on the Holy Spirit, fellowship with each other, the Bible and prayer for their guidance, growth and encouragement (Luke 22:27; 1 Cor. 13:2; Gal. 6:1-2; Phil. 2:3; 1 John 3:18)