Statement of Faith

 

Statement of Faith
 
Grace Baptist Church
Harrisonburg, VA
 
 
The following comprise the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members. 
 
(A)      The Holy Scriptures. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Authorized King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by this church. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)
 
(B)      The Godhead. We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons­ - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, coequal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26)
 
(C)      The Person and Work of Christ.
 
            1.         We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8)
 
            2.         We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death and shed blood on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
 
            3.         We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2)
 
(D)      The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
 
             1.        We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14)
 
             2.        We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)
 
             3.        We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12)
 
             4.        We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were temporary. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit, and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22)
 
(E)      The Total Depravity of Man. We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God; but that in Adam's sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19)
 
(F)      Salvation. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. We believe that all sins, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, are forgivable. (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Matt. 12:31-32; 1 John 1:9)
 
We believe that salvation in inclusive of the following doctrines expressed in the Bible.
 
            1.         Regeneration. We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is an instantaneous act and not a process; and is the miraculous result of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. In the new birth, the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Ghost in connection with divine truth; so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. (John 3:3; II Cor 5:17; I John 5:1; I john 3:6-7; Acts 16:30-33; II peter 1:4; Rom 6:23; II Cor 5:19; Col 2:13; John 3:8.)
 
            2.         Repentance and Faith. We believe that Scriptures teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties and inseparable graces, wrought in our soul by the regenerating Spirit of God, whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with confession of our sins and supplication for mercy; and at the same time we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ and rely on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior. (Mark 1:15; Isa 55:7; Acts 11:18; 20:21; 2:37-38; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:8; Acts 3:19; Acts 5:31.)
 
            3.         Justification. We believe the Scriptures teach that one of the Gospel blessings which Christ secures to believers in Him is justification. Justification is a sovereign act of God which includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life. It is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood. By virtue of this faith, His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God. Justification brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures us every other blessing needful for time and eternity. (John1:16; Acts 13:39; Rom 8:1; 5:9; Matt 9:6; Acts 10:43; Rom 4:25; 5:1-2, 11; I Cor 1:30-31; I Tim 4:8.)
 
            4.         Adoption. We believe the Scriptures teach that adoption is a gracious act, by which the Father, for the sake of Christ, allows believers to become members of the family of God, entitled to all the rights and privileges and promises of children; thus they become heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, to the heritage of the saints on earth, and an inheritance reserved in heaven for them. (Rom8:14-16; Gal 3:26; 4:6-7; Eph 1:5; I John 3:1; Heb 12:7.)
 
            5.         Sanctification. We believe the Scriptures teach that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His Holiness. It is a progressive work that is begun in regeneration and is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. In sanctification, the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God, self examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer to develop the practice of godly exercises and duties. (I Thess4:3; 5:23; II Cor 7:1; Eph 1:4; Prov 4:18; II Pet 3:18; II Cor 3:18; Heb 6:1; Phil 2:12-13; I pet 2:2; II Cor 13:5.)
 
 
(G)      The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.
 
             1.        We believe that all believers, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1; 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5)
 
             2.        We believe that believers have the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty to live a worldly, sinful lifestyle (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)
 
 
(H)      The Church. We believe that the Scriptures teach that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers, united by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only Scriptural officers are bishops (pastors) and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Epistles of Timothy and Titus. We believe that the true mission of the church is the faithful preaching of Christ to all men as we have the opportunity and the building up and edifying of the saints. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of indivuals or organizations; and that the one and only head is Christ. ( Acts2:41-42; 8:1; I Cor 4:17; Acts 2:47; I Cor 11:2; matt 28:20; John14:15; 15:10; Acts 14:23; 15:22; II Thess 3:7; Rom 16:17-20; I Cor 11:23; Matt 18:15-20; I Tim 3- Titus1.)
 
              
 (I)      Separation.
            1.         From Apostasy and False Gospels. We believe that modernism, liberalism, social gospel, and any gospel other than the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, are not of God, but are of Antichrist. As believers, we should not fellowship, join, or support any unfruitful works of darkness. We are called upon to separate from all alliances, churches, groups, organizations, and individuals that sanction such doctrines. (II Cor 6:14-18; II pet 2:1-2; I john 2:22; Jude 4; II Thess 3:6; II John 7-11; Eph 5:11; I Tim 6:3-6; Rev 18:4-5; Acts 19:8-10; Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:8-10; Phil 3:17-19; Matt 7:15-20.)
            2.         From Worldliness. We believe that all believers should walk in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior and that separation from worldly pleasures and practices is commanded of God. (Rom 12:1-2; Rom 14:13; II Cor 6:14-7:1; I John 2:15-17.)
 (J)      The Second Advent of Christ.
 
            1.         The Return of Christ. We believe in the bodily, personal, premillennial return of Jesus Christ to catch away (rapture) His church and to judge the living nations and to set up his Kingdom on earth. (I Thess 4:13-18; Matt 25:31-46; Rev 19:11-21.)
 
            2.         The Resurrection of the Saints. We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead; that believers who sleep in Jesus will be raised at the pre-tribulational coming of Christ for His church and caught up with the transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air; and that the wicked dead will be raised at the close of the Millennial Kingdom and stand in their bodies at the Great White Judgment to receive their final doom. (John 5:21-30; I Thess 4:16; Rev 7:9-17; 20:11-15.)
 
(K)      The EternalState.
 
             1.        We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13)
 
             2.        We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6)
 
             3.        We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)
 
         (L)      The Personality of Satan. We believe that Satan is a fallen angel, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10)
 
         (M)      Creation. We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11)
 
       (N)      Civil Government. We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)
 
      (O)      Human Sexuality.
 
               1.        We believe that God created mankind as two sexes: male (man) and female (woman). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one's gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
 
               2.        We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)
 
      (P)                 Family Relationships
 
             1.       We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. 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. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
 
             2.       We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord, and they are to be subject to their parents and obedient at all times. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; I Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; I Pet. 3:1-7; Eph 6:1)
 
     (Q)      Divorce and Remarriage. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons 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. (Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
 
     (R)      Abortion. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. 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 physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
      (S)      Love. We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers and those who oppose us. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. 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. (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)
 
    (T)        Lawsuits between Believers. 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. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for losses from another Christian's insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32)
 
 
(U)      Missions. We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. 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. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20)
 
(V)       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, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)
 
 
(W)      Witnessing. We believe that the command to give the gospel to the world is clear       and unmistakable; and that this commission is the responsibility of all believers. (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Rom 10:13-15.)
 
 
Authority Of Statement of Faith
 
Our Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members.