Christ Church Manchester is a Bible based church. As we start new churches in Manchester, we want to build those churches on the foundations of the words of Scripture, with Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
Here is a summary of what we believe about the Bible:
1. God has made himself known. God is infinite, and his existence is so much higher than ours that the only way we could know God is if he chose to reveal himself to humanity. God has in fact chosen to make himself known, and has done so in various ways throughout history, with the fullest revelation of the Father found in the person of Jesus Christ.
2. God inspired a book. When Jesus engaged with the Scriptures of his day (what we call the Old Testament), he treated them as the very words of God. In a similar way, the church throughout history, including the first apostles, have considered the New Testament scriptures as God’s word as well. Each of the books that make up our Bibles have a human author, and yet the words they contain are fully God-breathed and God-ordained. Just as Jesus is fully God and fully man, so the Bible is 100% God’s word, and also 100% the word of the human authors.
3. God is never wrong and He can never lie. He is omnipotent and trustworthy. Everything that God says is totally true. If He is truly God, then how could it be otherwise?
4. Every chapter and every verse is inspired. Since the Bible is breathed out by God and carries his authority as the one who inspired it, we cannot approach it with a pick-and-choose attitude. Every chapter and verse in both the Old Testament and the New Testament are authoratative as God’s word. Within the Bible there are lots of different literary genres, and these should be understood accordingly, but every part of the Bible is authoritative on its own terms.
5. The Bible is one story. Within the Bible there are 66 books, written by around 40 authors (from fishermen to poets to tax collectors to kings), in 3 languages, on 3 continents, over a period of around 1500 years. And yet, this all comes together to tell one story – the story of what God is doing in history, as the threads of the story are intricately woven through those 66 books.
6. The hero of the story is Jesus. The Old Testament is building up to the arrival of Jesus. The New Testament tells of his life, death, resurrection, ascension, and what he has been doing since through his church, as well as anticipating his return. It is all about him.
The Bible at Christ Church Manchester
Our high regard for Scripture makes a difference in lots of areas of church life. A few of them are:
Biblical preaching and teaching. When you visit one of the CCM churches in Manchester on a Sunday, the teaching that you here will not be based on the personal opinions of the person preaching, but the passage of Scripture that they are preaching from. Most of the time we preach through books of the Bible over the course of a few weeks, or will also sometimes look at what the whole of the Bible has to say about a particular theme that is relevant to the congregation. In our community groups we also make a point of opening our Bibles together together and discussing how it applies to our own lives.
Basis of actions and belief. As we decide what we are going to do as a church, the first question we ask is what the Bible says. We are a church that is under God’s authority, and in practice this means that we submit ourselves to the authority of his word, and let that shape the way we do things.
Personal Bible Reading. We encourage people to make a point of reading the Bible for themselves. If you are not sure where to start, then one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) would make a good entry point. If you don’t have a Bible, then you can read online at www.bible.com or if you were to speak your site leader they may be able to sort one out for you.
Humility. It is not a good thing to have a lot of knowledge of the content of the Bible and yet have missed the gracious heart of the God who inspired it. Our love of the Bible leads us to treat people with kindness, love and gentleness and to approach contentious questions and those who have other views with humility and respect.