Who Are We & What Are We About?
First and foremost we are disciples of Jesus of Nazareth - people who are convinced by Jesus’ good news (gospel) message. This is the news that the Kingdom of Heaven is here; that through Jesus’ death and resurrection God's reign of grace has been re-established on earth, that there is forgiveness of sin and new eternal life to receive by following Jesus' message of love.
We believe that through Jesus the love of God the Father has opened the way for a wonderful new life and identity for everyone; that through discipleship by the power of the Holy Spirit we progressively grow in this new life until Jesus returns.
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:18-20).
What exactly is a disciple? It’s the practice of being a student of a person and his or her teaching. However, the goal of discipleship is much, much more than merely learning what the teacher knows. Discipleship means putting into practice what is taught and so becoming like the teacher. In this case, like Jesus who demonstrated what life in the Kingdom is like!
And so we regard this as the central purpose for LRBC; to understand and put into practice Jesus’ teaching found in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments.
However, Jesus taught so many wonderful things that there simply isn't enough room here to do them justice. Nevertheless, there is one simple thing that is the foundation to all his teachings - love. Jesus said:
‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’ (John 13:34-35)
We see God’s love as foundational to the Christian faith and so central to the gospel message:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
We believe that when we receive and practice this love, all the other things that Jesus teaches about the Kingdom fall into place!
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Galatians 5:14. See also Romans 13:8-10)
Therefore, the primary purpose of all our meetings and activities at LRBC is to explain, understand, encourage and support one another in this love of God - and so grow in the new Kingdom identity and life.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…(Hebrews 10:24-25)
To this end we also seek to offer the opportunity for others to enter the Kingdom of God; to discover this transforming love of God in the Christian faith and to enter into discipleship of Jesus themselves. We also desire to express and demonstrate the presence of the Kingdom of Heaven practically to the wider community - locally, nationally and internationally, through Kingdom ‘good deeds’ wherever we are able.
N.B. As members of the Baptist Union of Great Britain we also subscribe to the 'Declaration of Principle' - [link]