What do we believe?

The Watering Hole is a Christian church which is part of the global Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are a faith community rooted in the beliefs described by the Bible.

Seventh-day Adventists describe these beliefs in the following ways:

1. God’s greatest desire is for us to see a clear picture of His character. When we see Him clearly, He hopes we will find His love irresistible.

For many, “seeing God clearly” requires that they see God’s face. However, how He looks is not the issue. Seeing and understanding His character is what’s most important. The more clearly we understand Him, the more we will find His love irresistible. As we begin to experience His love, our own lives will begin to make more sense.

God most clearly reveals His character in three great events. The first is His creation of man and woman–and His giving them the freedom of choice. He created humans with the ability to choose to love Him, be indifferent towards Him or to hate Him.

The death of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, on the cross is the second great event. In that act, He paid the penalty we deserve for our hateful choices toward God and His ways. Jesus’ death guarantees forgiveness for those choices and allows us to spend eternity with Him. The third event confirms the first two and gives us hope: Christ’s tomb is empty! He is alive, living to fill us with His love!

God loves us even when we choose to reject His love. He allows us to follow our own choices. Yet He is still there, always ready to save us from the results of our decisions.

Our knowledge of God helps us understand His love, character, and grace. The way Jesus lived alongside people is the real revelation of God’s love. Jesus’ life speaks eloquently of God. God is not the kind of person His enemies have made Him out to be – arbitrary, unforgiving and severe. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

God is just as loving and trustworthy as His Son, just as willing to forgive and heal. God values nothing higher than the freedom, dignity, and individuality of His intelligent creatures — that their love, their faith, their willingness to listen and obey may be freely given. He prefers to regard us not as servants but as friends.

2. Jesus is the one who never changes in a universe that always does. Jesus is Creator, Sustainer, Saviour, Friend, God’s Son, and God Himself.

Everything in this world is always changing, even our interests, skills, desires and body shapes, but Jesus is consistent. His character is unchanging; however, He keeps surprising us and touching our lives in thousands of new and different ways. He’s God’s Son, the Creator, our Saviour, and Friend. As we come to know Jesus, we experience the understanding and loving nature of God. Jesus has promised to be all of that, and more, for each of us. We can trust His promises because He is God. In the Bible, it says “in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17, NIV): that includes everything in our lives. He keeps us whole when the evil one, the Devil, is trying to make our lives fall apart.

Jesus made a difference in His community. His life on this earth was spent establishing friendships, even with those marginalized by society. He was an amazing role model for the human race; demonstrating forgiveness, compassion, kindness and consideration of others. His radical teaching about how humans should behave towards each other ruffled feathers but earned Him the love and respect of the ordinary person. Today, Jesus is just as passionate about establishing relationships.

Seventh-day Adventists believe that Jesus is one of the three persons, called the Trinity, who make up our one God. The Bible describes Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit as each being committed to our growth as Christians and to our salvation. They made this salvation possible when Jesus came to Bethlehem as a human baby. He lived a life perfectly in accordance with God’s will and then died innocently for all of our sins. He was placed in a borrowed tomb, but He came back to life three days later. Now he is in heaven preparing to re-establish a face-to-face relationship that lasts forever where we will not suffer the results of sin.

3. The Bible is God’s voice, speaking His love personally to us today and offering guidance in every area of our lives. It also tells us more about God and His relationship with human beings.

Sometimes His voice speaks through stories, such as those of David and Goliath, Ruth and Boaz, Naaman’s little servant girl, Christ on the cross, and fisherman Peter learning how to be a leader. Some of these stories teach us how to handle the troubles we face each day. Others fill us with hope and peace. Each of them is like a personal letter from God to us.

Portions of the Bible are direct instructions and laws from God such as the Ten Commandments, recorded in Exodus 20. These tell us more about God and His expectations for us. When people asked Jesus to summarise these commands, He focused on the way God’s love affects the way we live. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul,” He said. “And love your neighbour as you love yourself.”

On other pages, the Bible gives God’s practical advice and encouragement through parables, lists, promises, and warnings. Amazingly, though many different writers throughout thousands of years wrote the Bible, each writer describes God in ways we can understand and apply in our lives today.

The Bible is God’s voice talking personally to anyone who is willing to read and hear. The Bible is also the main way for each of us to discover more about God.

4. God loves us and wants to spend time with us personally, one to one, as two close friends.

In God’s eyes, we are all equal regardless of culture, background, race and sexual orientation. We don’t have to be “good” for Him to accept us as friends: He loves us as we are. We can relate to God as we would a friend. Time spent together develops and strengthens that relationship. God wants us to be honest and open with Him, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. We can always trust Him to treat us well because He loves us.

The seventh day (Saturday) is an extra-special part of this relationship. The Bible, from Genesis through to Revelation, describes the seventh day as the one day God has set aside for quality time with His people. God has named that day “Sabbath” and invites us to spend it with Him. The Sabbath is a whole day to deepen our friendship with the Creator of the universe!

God wants the best for us: He wants to take away the things that cause hurt and replace them with His goodness and values which benefit our relationships and communities. His love has the power to transform our lives.

5. God’s vision is to give us the highest quality of life imaginable.

To bring about this high quality of life, God offers help in making decisions regarding relationships, health, finances and lifestyle. As our designer and creator, God has a plan to bring purpose and meaning into every area of our lives.

God has given us the freedom to choose how much involvement He has in our lives. We can choose to accept God’s unconditional love as demonstrated by Jesus’ death on the cross and put Him in total control of our life. Baptism by full immersion is a symbol of this choice and a commitment to getting to know God better. We remember God’s commitment to us by taking part in Communion.

Church, as God designed it, is a community of people committed to developing a relationship with Him. His plan was that it would be a support network for people on their spiritual journeys as well as positively impacting the wider community. To do this, God has given each one of us unique gifts and talents.

Love is the key aspect of God’s character. Experiencing that love begins a lifelong adventure in growth and serving. This knowledge and experience powers our mission to tell the world about His love and His offer of salvation.

6. God’s vision for the future.

In His love and concern for us, God explains what happens when we die. Death is not the end of life but a peaceful pause while we wait for Jesus to come to this earth for the second time.

Jesus has promised that He will come back to take His followers, those who have accepted the offer of His life-changing love, from this earth to His home where there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain – a place where our friendship can go on growing, forever.

If you would like to know more about these beliefs or you have questions then email us or call 07503 190775