Berean Baptist Church Statement of Faith
THE BIBLE: We believe that the Bible is the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. It was written by men inspired by the Holy Ghost; perfectly preserved in the churches through the Textus Receptus in the New Testament and the Masoretic Text in the Old Testament and brought to the English language in the Authorized Version (KJV) first translated in 1611. The 66 books of the Bible are infallible, inerrant, sufficient and authoritative in all areas of life and is the standard to which all beliefs, creeds, and conduct must be measured.
GOD: We believe that there is one triune God, eternally existing in three persons; the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. Although God is manifested in three persons with three functions, the three persons are of one essence, co-eternal in being, and co-equal in power and glory.
JESUS CHRIST: We believe that Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God, two natures complete in one person. He became the physical manifestation of the Godhead to mankind with His virgin birth. As God, His sinless life, miracles, vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood on the cross and His bodily resurrection is the hope of all mankind.
THE HOLY GHOST: We believe the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, is the Agent of conviction, regeneration, indwelling, baptism, sanctification, and illumination of all who are born into the family of God. Upon accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer forever and is a permanent Comforter, Teacher and Guide and empowers the believer for service for Jesus Christ.
MAN: We believe that man was created in the image of God, for the purpose of fellowship with God, without sin nature and innocent in front of a Holy God. But, by voluntary transgression, he fell from that holy and happy state, in consequence of which all men are now sinners, not by constraint, but by choice, being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil with a sin nature; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin without defense or excuse.
SALVATION: We believe that salvation comes by faith and not of works, lest any could boast. Only through the shed blood and mediatorial offices of the Son of God. Who, according to the will of the Father, assumed our nature, yet without sin, honored the Divine Law by His personal obedience. By His shed blood our Savior made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior. That salvation is available to “whosoever will” call on the name of the Lord in faith.
JUSTIFICATION: We believe that upon acceptance of the gift of forgiveness of sins by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the believer is pardoned of all sins, moved from him as far as east is from the west. Upon this justification, the promise of eternal life on the principles of righteousness is bestowed; not in consideration of any works we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood. This brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
SANCTIFICATION: We believe that once justified, the believer is set aside according to the will of God to be partakers of His holiness. This 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, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means. These especially include the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
THE CHURCH: We believe that Christ ordained the church to carry on His work on earth. The visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated 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. We believe that the only scriptural offices are bishops or pastors (pastor, bishop and elder are three terms for the same office) and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the New Testament. The true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing 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 individuals or organizations or governments and that the one and only Head is Christ through the Holy Spirit.
BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER: We believe that the two ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is accomplished after a person accepts the free gift of salvation and is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, showing that the old man has been crucified with Christ. As such, baptism must be done by full immersion or it is an imperfect picture of a perfect act of grace. The Lord’s Supper, in which the saved, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; proceeded always by solemn self-examination.
HEAVEN AND HELL: We believe in Heaven as a real place and is the eternal home of all who, by faith, accept the free gift of salvation of Jesus Christ. We believe that Hell is also a real place, the deserved home of all who die and will be the eternal home of all who are not saved by accepting the free gift of redemption through Jesus Christ.
SATAN: We believe Satan is a real being, the enemy of God and the “father of lies.” He is the great deceiver of mankind, the instigator of all false systems of religion, and the accuser of the brethren. Although loosed for a season, both he and his followers will ultimately be cast into the lake of fire.
STEWARDSHIP: We believe that God ordained tithes and offerings from our incomes to be brought into the local church to support the ministry of said body. We believe that all Christians have a responsibility to God to be faithful on the first day of every week to give to His work.
CREATION: We believe that the universe was created by God in six literal, 24 hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age theory and Theistic evolution to try to bring long ages into creation as unscriptural inventions.
PERSONAL SEPARATION: We believe that we are a peculiar people, called out of the world to live a holy life in front of our Lord and Savior. We should exhibit both attitude and actions so as to be of good report. We believe that practices that are questionable or which may cause another person to stumble or may mar the testimony of Christ should be avoided. We believe that we have been called into a life of personal separation from all worldly and sinful practices.
ECCLESIASTICAL SEPARATION: We believe that we as local, New Testament churches should be guided and governed by the Bible, and consequently, we believe it is imperative that we identify false doctrine and those who perpetrate it and stand separate and apart from them. We welcome all to our doors, but give no quarter or honor to those who hold false doctrine. We oppose the widespread popular practice of ecumenicalism in that we are not a luke-warm church of the Laodiceans, but a church that is hot for the truth of Christ.
THE SECOND COMING: We believe in “that blessed hope,” the personal, literal and visible pretribulational and premillenial return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We believe that the second coming will be a two-phased event: first the rapture of the church and then the revelation. After the rapture, there will be a seven-year period of great tribulation on the earth followed by the return of Christ and His saints to rule and reign on the earth for 1000 grand and glorious years, after which the saved will be with God for eternity in the New Heaven and the New Earth.