We believe in …
God the Creator
At St Clement’s we believe that the world in which we live is a small part of a vast and complex universe which finds its unity not so much in a unifying scientific theory but in the God who created it. God, as creator, is the logic, the intelligence, the wisdom, who gives the universe its meaning and purpose. He is the author of all the good things that we enjoy — even life itself. The logic of this is that we should thank him and live our lives in reverence toward him and mutual respect toward one another. The reality is we don’t! We gladly accept God’s blessings but keep our distance from God himself. And despite a semblance of morality and tolerance in our society, we are all too aware that we are riddled with selfishness, hatred and greed. As a result, humankind stands under the judgement of its Creator, in desperate need of his mercy.
God the Rescuer
But, God longs that we should know him and enjoy life with him forever, for he is not just some impersonal creating force — he is personal. What is more, he has demonstrated this by his coming amongst us in history, as one of us. Jesus Christ is the living evidence of this, for everything about Jesus points to the fact that he is much more than just a good man, a great teacher or a miracle worker. Rather, as one of the ancient Christian Creeds puts it, Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who was born of a virgin, was put to death on a cross and was raised from the dead.
It is precisely in Jesus’ death and resurrection that we discover God the Rescuer. By this extraordinary move, God absorbed within himself the pain, the injury and the anger which our indifference and open rebellion has aroused within him. For when Jesus died there was a passionate collision of pain and fury on the one hand, and love and mercy on the other. Those who genuinely turn to Jesus Christ and seek his forgiveness for not treating him as we should, are restored in their relationship with God. In short, they are rescued. God the Sustainer. God does not leave it there. He sends his Spirit amongst us, first to open our hearts and minds to embrace the salvation he offers, but then to sustain us in the life he intends for us. By his Spirit, God enables us to understand his ways and then to act upon that knowledge. Central to this sustaining work of God is the Bible, God’s word to humankind. In church we hear the Bible read and taught; in various mid-week meetings many of us get together to read and apply the teachings of the Bible to everyday issues. By this and many other ways, God nourishes and sustains us.
God and the future
God has created us, he has rescued us and he sustains us. But God has also pledged one day to make a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells and where Jesus Christ himself will be established as Lord for all to see. God’s people will be raised to life with him forever. Thus, although we at St Clement’s enjoy a fullness of life here in the present, we also look forward to God’s wonderful future.
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