Perhaps the most obvious feature of Livingston Free Church – and the Free Church in general – is the centrality of the Bible in all that we do.
We wholeheartedly believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Consequently, everything from our patterns of worship to our church structures seeks to reflect clear Biblical teaching.
That’s why, for example, in our worship we sing only the words of the Bible, hear them read, explained, and applied to our lives in a sermon, and pray for God’s promises in the Bible to be fulfilled in our various circumstances.
The central focus of the whole Bible is to be found in a person – Jesus Christ.
At the heart of the identity of our church is a passion for sharing the good news about Jesus Christ (the Gospel) and a desire to live in the light of this.
So, each Sunday you will hear the same wonderful message explained from the Bible and applied to everyday life. That wonderful message is this: that Jesus Christ (both fully God and fully human) came into the world to seek out and rescue lost, sinful men and women, by bearing their guilt and condemnation on his Cross and rising again to life in victory over sin and death and hell. Because of what Jesus did, Christians live transformed lives.
It is this message, far more than any historic or cultural distinctive, that defines us. This is what we are about.
We believe that the gospel message is for everyone. Jesus commanded his church to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19).
The Free Church of Scotland takes that command seriously. In partnership with other churches, we therefore seek to bring the gospel to every person in Scotland, and to the whole world, through:
Another result of being a Bible Church and a Gospel Church is that we are a Contemporary Church. The gospel brings new life and fresh challenges to both the church and our society in every age.
That means that while the Free Church continues to appreciate its heritage and traditions, it also feels compelled to work creatively to bring the good news about Jesus to each generation. We do this because we are convinced that the message of the gospel is utterly timeless, speaking to our lives with up-to-the-minute relevance and power.
As a church we believe that every congregation is responsible for the spread of the good news in its own location. At the same time, we also believe that every local congregation is connected to every other, comprising one church, belonging together.
The Free Church expresses that connection in a Presbyterian system. That means that each local congregation is led by a group of elders (the New Testament Greek word for elder – presbuteros – gives us the English word presbyter, hence Presbyterian), at least one has been trained and given specific responsibilities for teaching and preaching.
Together, the local elders are known as the Kirk Session. Each local Kirk Session is represented at a regional level at a meeting called the Presbytery. Each Presbytery is represented at a national level at the annual General Assembly.
In this way, the Free Church seeks to ensure that we share a common vision, to ensure that we are able to offer support, and remain accountable to one another as members together of the Body of Christ, the church.