What we aim to become
Together, we aim to become the kind of Church described in the New Testament.
A Church with relevant teaching, vibrant meaningful worship, openness to the Holy Spirit, honest committed friendships, faith filled prayer, and compassionate care of others.
A place where everyone plays their part, feel needed, cared for and are caring for others.
In short, we seek to look
- Upwards to meet with God and grow in faith.
- Inwards to support, disciple and encourage each other.
- Outwards to reach out, serve and make a difference in our local community and beyond.
We are a church where everyone knows who they are and the part they play in the body of Christ. So if you are someone who’s just starting to ask questions about purpose in life and God, or you are a committed Christian who wants to sink the roots of your faith even deeper and grow, we trust that you can find a place of belonging here.
We are very familiar with the accounts of the first Christmas, as we read them in the Gospels. The ordinary people of the time were longing for the promised Messiah, the one who would rescue them from their occupation by the Roman Empire. Old Testament prophecies predicted their freedom. In the same way today many in this world are longing for release from captivity to physical illness, difficult circumstances, destructive lifestyles, persecution or abuse. What hope does the Christmas story offer us?
The opening verses of John’s Gospel are full of mystery and hope, and we shall be looking at them in church on Christmas Day.
Chapter 1 verses 1-3 show how Jesus was a man unlike any other. He existed before time began, the only Son of the Father. He created all things, making him nobody less than God himself. The Bible shows how God is one, but in 3 persons. The Saviour of the world had to be God and man in order to be able to represent us and make effective salvation available for us.
Verses 4 and 5 show some of Jesus’ qualities. He was the light of the world, and he brought life which he gave to his true followers. The light and life in him could not be extinguished by anything the world or the devil threw at him. In every situation he overcame. And the resurrection was the greatest triumph of all as he took on the ultimate enemy (death) and rose again.
Verses 6-8 say something about how he was introduced to the world through John the Baptist.
Verses 9-11 are remarkable. The creator of all things was not recognized by his creation, and the people who were expecting his arrival completely missed the point. We like to think of Jesus as one who brought peace and harmony, but if you read John’s Gospel you see that everywhere he went Jesus brought division: some saw him and believed in him, others saw the amazing things he did but did not get it.
Verses 12 and 13 show the result of believing in Jesus. Something supernatural takes place. We become children of God. John 3:3-6 is all about new birth, being born again. Paul says (If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). John 8 shows that the deepest problem and need in our condition is our separation from God, our sin. It is not something external we can clean off ourselves, it is inside us, a way of life that is independent of God. We were made to be in relationship with God, but that trust was broken when we chose to go our own way. Jesus came to make it possible to be in close relationship with God once more, by taking the punishment for our wrongdoing on the Cross, taking the world’s broken-ness on himself, then rising from the dead as the proof that the problem was sorted.
On the day of Pentecost Peter was asked “What must we do to be saved?” Peter told them they needed to:
•repent, that is change their minds about how to live. Say sorry to God about living life their own way, and trust Jesus for forgiveness
•be baptized, to make an open show of wanting to follow Jesus
•receive the Holy Spirit, to get power to live a new life.
This is still the way into God’s family, so if you want to be close to God the offer is there for you too. And if you mean business with God, look for a group of God’s people so you can grow as a believer.
From everyone at Bitterne Park Baptist Church in Southampton, UK, we wish you a very Happy Christmas, and God’s blessing in 2016!
Mr Alan Gillett BEd
Sunday Morning 10.30am
Childrens Sunday club 10.30am
Sunday Evening 6.30pm
Group meeting Tuesday 7.30pm
Group meeting Wednesday 7.30pm
Hub (young peoples club) Friday 7.00pm to 9.00pm
Lunch club 1st and 3rd Tuesday each month
Craft Club 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month [Term time only]
Coffee morning 2nd Wednesday each month
Men's breakfast one Saturday each month