Articles of Faith: What We Believe and Teach
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The following comprise the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members:
1. The Bible: God’s Word. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writings (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21), and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life (1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Timothy 3:17). Berean Baptist Church uses only the KJV, NKJV, ESV, and NASB in its preaching, teaching, and discipleship ministries because of the degree to which the translators of these Bibles faithfully sought to provide an essentially literal, word-for-word translation from the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic into English. Additionally, these Bibles emphasize the deity and supremacy of Jesus Christ, preserve the importance of unique theological words like “justification” and “propitiation,” and maintain God-ordained gender distinctions. We believe these are some of the standards by which the believer must measure all Bibles. Members of BBC should be cautious about using Bibles (i.e. NIV, TNIV, NRSV) which are not committed to preserving the words of the original manuscripts; paraphrases (i.e. NLT, The Message) cannot be understood to be the Word of God. We reject any suggestion that any English Bible is supreme to manuscripts in the original languages. We further deny that the Bible specifies the manner in which God would preserve His Word, however we absolutely affirm God’s promise to do so (Matthew 5:18; John 10:35) and His providential control over historical events so that His Word has been fully preserved by careful processes in all available manuscripts and translations of the Scripture (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 46:8-11). Furthermore, we reject any theory of double or secondary inspiration.
2. God the Creator. We accept the Genesis account of creation (Gen. 1:1; Ex. 20:2-3) and believe that man came by direct creation of God and not by evolution (Col. 1:16, 17; John 1:3; Rev. 4:11). We believe in one God who is Creator of heaven and earth; who is Spirit, light, love, truth, eternal, almighty, infallible, unchangeable, infinitely wise, just, holy; and that God eternally exists in Three Persons: Father, Son (John 10:30; 1 Cor. 8:6) and Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2; 2 Cor. 13:14).
3. Jesus Christ: God’s Son. We believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the Eternal Word manifested in flesh. We believe that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:30-35), and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son (John 1:1-2,14,18; 3:16; Phil. 2:5-8). We believe that our Lord arose from the dead, according to the Scriptures, and in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:20; Acts 2:32), and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which, at the return of Christ, will be given to all resurrected believers (1 Cor. 15:23, 42-45: Phil. 3:20-21). We believe that our Lord ascended to heaven (Heb. 1:3), is seated at His Father’s right hand (Heb. 1:13) assuring us of the perfection of His work of redemption, and that He now as Head over all things to the Church (Eph. 1:22-23) is engaged on behalf of the saved as Intercessor (Heb. 7:25) and Advocate (1 John 2:1).
4. The Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit, being the third Person of the Godhead, convicts men of sin (John 16:7-11), regenerates (John 3:6), indwells (John 14:17; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19), baptizes (1 Cor. 12:13), comforts (John 14:26), seals (Eph. 1:13; 4:30), and fills (Eph. 5:18)—setting believers apart to a holy life; and that He keeps and empowers believers day by day (Rom. 8:2,4,12,14). We believe that He is the Teacher of the Word of God and our Guide for daily life (1 John 2:20-27; 1 Peter 1:1). We believe that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the giving of spiritual gifts to every believer for the equipping of the saints (Rom. 12:3-8, 1 Pet.4:10-11). God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:7-12). We believe that speaking in tongues and working sign miracles (1 Cor. 1:22; 14:22,28) in the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and sign miracles were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of all believers. (1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Heb. 2:1-4). We believe the “tongues” described in Acts 2:4-11, 10:46, and 19:6 was the supernatural ability to speak in a known language that did not need an interpreter. Moreover, we believe that the way “tongues” is practiced in some churches is akin to the confusion Paul criticizes in 1 Corinthians 14:23, 26, 33 and is not of God. We believe that God can heal any time He chooses to, but the “apostolic gift of healing” (not to be confused with miracles God performs today) (1 Cor. 12:9-10; 1 Cor. 12:29-30) was for the apostolic age (Mark 16:17-20); it accompanied the apostles (2 Corinthians 12:12); it was a sign primarily to unbelieving Jews (1 Cor. 1:22) and is, therefore, no longer widespread, normal, or necessary during the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24; Rom. 11:25). We furthermore acknowledge that, though Paul was perhaps the greatest healer of the New Testament (Acts 20:9; Acts 28:8), he could neither heal himself (2 Cor. 12:7-10) nor his closest friends and associates (1 Tim 5:23; 2 Tim 4:20). We do find solace in knowing that God does heal within His will and sometimes answers the prayers of His people for healing (James 5:13-18) and that He is, by nature, a God Who takes pleasure in the wellness of His people (Exod. 15:26), but this should in no way interfere with Christians seeking medical attention when necessary.
5. Satan: the Fallen One. We believe there is a personal devil, a being of great cunning and power (Job 1:6-7; Ezek. 28:11-19; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matt. 4:1-11) who is “The prince of the air” (Eph. 2:2), “The prince of this world” (John 12:31), and “The god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4). We believe that he can exert vast power but only so far as God suffers him to do so and that he shall ultimately be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever (Rev. 20:10).
6. Man and His Sin. We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God (Gen. 1:26) that he fell through sin (Gen. 2:17); that he, as a consequence of His sin, lost his spiritual life (John 6:53), becoming dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 5:6), and that he became subject to the power of the devil (1 John 3:8). We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature (Gen. 6:5, John 3:6; 5:40), has been transmitted to the entire human race of man (Ps. 14:1-3; 51:5; Jer. 17:9) the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and, hence, that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially corrupt in body, mind, and soul (Rom. 3:10-19; 8:6,7).
7. God’s Salvation of Mankind. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins (1 Peter 2:24; 3:18) according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice (John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:14; Heb. 10:5-19), and that all who believe in Him (Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9,10) are justified on the ground of His shed blood (Romans 3:25-26; 1 John 1:7). We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior are instantaneously born again of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8) and thereby become the children of God (John 1:12, 13; 3:16; 5:24; 14:16; Romans 8:16). We believe in the eternal security (John 10:28, 29; 8:31; 13:1; 17:11) and everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the eternal conscious punishment of the lost (Matt. 25:41; Mark 9:42-48; Rev. 20:11-15). The preservation of all believers rests upon the finished work of Christ, the promises of God (Phil 1:6; Heb. 7:25; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 5:4, 18; Jude 24), the gracious election, and the sovereign predestination of God (Romans 8:28-39).
8. The Church:
a. Composition: We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:16-18; Titus 3:7) is composed solely of those who have been redeemed (Titus 2:14) and washed in His blood (Rev. 1:5) and regenerated (Titus 3:5) and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). We believe that they are saved to worship and to serve; and that they should seek to live a holy life by separating themselves from and forsaking all that might dishonor God, cast discredit on His cause, or weaken their testimony (Titus 3:12).
b. Mission: We believe that it is the responsibility and privilege of all who are saved to seek to win others to Christ, to the “Uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8); that God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations (Matt. 28:19-20) so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21). As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (2 Cor. 5:20).
c. Ordinances: We believe that Christ instituted the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19, 20) to be observed until He comes (1 Cor. 11:23-26). We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 10:47; 19:5) in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It pictures our death to sin and resurrection to a new life and that it is a prerequisite to church membership (Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; Matt. 3:16; Col. 2:12). We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the showing forth of His death until He comes again and should always be preceded always by self-examination (1 Cor. 11:23-38).
d. Civil Law: We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32). We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.
e. Gender Roles: We believe that God intends marriage to last until one spouse dies (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3). Remarried or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the Church and be greatly used of God for Christian service; they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon (1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6). We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God (Gal. 3:28) but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home (Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 3:4-5, 12) and church (1 Tim. 2:8-15). The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church.
f. Giving: We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10) but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church (Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1Tim. 5:17-18), the relief of those in need (1 John 3:17), and the spread of the Gospel.
g. Intimacy: We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 26:8-9; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Heb. 13:4). We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 19:5,13; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8). We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Mk. 10:6-12; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10). We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society (Deut. 6:4-9). The husband is to love the wife as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:21-33). The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ (Eph. 5:22-23; Phil 2:10, 11).
h. Sanctity of Life: We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being (Gen. 1:26-28; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44; Acts 17:28). Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth, or population control, or the mental well being of the mother are acceptable. We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention (Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Job 3:16; Matt. 5:21). Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus, we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God (Ex. 20:12). Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal or over-zealous treatment.
i. Parenting Responsibility: Children are an heritage from the Lord (Ps. 127:3-5). Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example (Col. 3:18-21; 1 Pet. 3:1-7) and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction (Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Eph. 6:1-4).
j. Alcohol: We believe that Christians may cause a weaker brother or sister to stumble or be offended by the consumption of wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages, (Rom. 14:21, 1 Cor. 8:9) and that being intoxicated is forbidden (Eph. 5:18, 1 Cor. 6: 9b.-10, 11:21) and is a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:21, 1 Pet. 4:2-3). Drunkenness brings reproach to the cause of Christ and has negative effects on the human body, the family, and the body of Christ. We base this position on the words of our Lord Jesus who tells us that being intoxicated may keep us from being ready for His imminent return (Luke 21:34) and numerous Biblical passages that prohibit drunkenness because of the negative effects of alcohol such as the following: physical and emotional suffering, strife, and sorrow (Prov. 23:29-30); poverty (Prov. 21:17, 23:21); sexual immorality (Gen. 9:21, Rom. 13:13); a disregard for the work of the Lord (Is. 5:12); error in judgment (Prov. 20:1, Is. 28:7); loss of friendships and relationships (1 Cor. 5:11); and punishment from God (Matt 24:49-51). Based on an objective analysis of all that the Word of God presents concerning alcohol, the church encourages its members, by the grace of God, to adopt a personal total abstinence standard. Furthermore, BBC believes the medicinal and purifying aspects of wine are no longer necessary for life in the twenty-first century. Pastors (1 Tim 3.3), deacons, teachers, supervisors, directors, and employees of the church are prohibited from consuming any alcoholic beverage based on the spirit and intent of Lev. 10:9 and Prov. 31:4-5.
k. Civil Authority: We believe that civil government is of Divine appointment for the interests and good of human society and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored (Matt. 10:10; 22:21; Rom. 13:17; 1 Peter 2:17), and obeyed (Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14) except in things opposed to the Word of God - the Bible (Ex. 18:21, 22; 2 Sam. 23:3; Psalms 72:11; Acts 4:19, 20; 5:20; 23:5; Rev. 10:16).
l. Church Unity: We believe that we should demonstrate love for others (John 13:35), not only toward fellow believers, but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly (Gal 6:1). God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions (Ps 133:1).
9. End Times: The End of the Beginning. We believe in our Lord’s personal, imminent and pre-millennial return for his redeemed ones (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Phil. 3:20: 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14) followed by His coming in glory to judge the rebellious and to establish His millennial reign on earth. (Zech. 14:4-11; Matt. 24:29-31; 2 Thess. 2:7-10)
These Articles of Faith do not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe.
The contemporary issues webpage provides additional information that is not binding upon the members but reflects a major opinion among the pastors.