Statement of Faith
Trusting in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and abiding in Him for the purpose of being a productive servant, the following articles are submitted as a statement of faith for Bibel Baptisten Gemeinde.
I. The Scriptures
The Bible is a divinely inspired book, made up of the sixty-six canonical books from Genesis to Revelation. God’s Word is pure, eternal, and sufficient to show man’s need of a Savior, the way of salvation, and to provide instruction for living a life of faith pleasing to God. The Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text for the Old Testament and the Traditional Received Greek Text of the New Testament are believed to be God’s preserved Word. All accurate translations based on these texts and translated in the formal equivalence method are acceptable versions to be used at Bibel Baptisten Gemeinde. The Revised 1998 Luther Translation is the text normally used in all church services at Bibel Baptisten Gemeinde. (II Timothy 3:15,16; Psalm 12:6, 7; 100:5; 119:89, 152, 160; Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; Romans 10:17; I Peter 1:23, 25; II Peter 1:3)
II. The Godhead
God is revealed in Scripture as three persons, but one God. The three that make up the Godhead are God the Father, God the Son, who is Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. God’s omnipotence was demonstrated when He spoke the world into existence. As the infinite Creator of the universe, He is Lord over it. He alone holds the right to judge all of creation. Among many attributes, He holds primarily the attributes of holiness, love, and mercy. (Genesis 1:1, 26; II Kings 19:15; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 57:15;
Luke 3:22; John 1:32-34; 10:30; Acts 17:24; Romans 1:20; Ephesians 2:4; Philippians 2:10,11; Colossians 1:16; 2:9; I Peter 1:15, 16; Revelation 1:8;)
The Scriptures teach that the personality of Satan is: the unholy god of this age, the author of this age, and the author of all the powers of darkness. Satan is destined to the just judgment of an eternal Lake of Fire.
(Genesis 3:1-7; Matthew 4:1-3; Luke 4:6; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10)
Mankind is God’s crowning creation and is made in His own image. Originally man was without sin and living in perfect harmony with his Creator. Having been created with a free-will, man fell out of fellowship with God through voluntary disobedience to God’s command. The resulting consequence is a corruption to the nature of man whereby he/she has an inclination toward sin. A person in a natural state cannot be in submission to God’s law. The curse of sin brought a sentence of death, both physical and spiritual upon the human race. Man’s eternal destiny without God’s merciful intervention is the Lake of Fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Man may be saved from this fate through God’s plan of salvation for mankind. (Genesis 1:26-27; Isaiah 59:2; 53:6;
Matthew 25:41; Romans 5:12; 6:23; 8:7; 10:13; Hebrews 2:6,7; Revelation 20:14,15)
Salvation is an act of God whereby He saves an individual from the eternal penalty of sin in the Lake of Fire. God has made provision for man through the atonement made by His only begotten Son dying sacrificially on Calvary’s cross. Salvation is a free gift obtained by an individual solely through the grace of God on the basis of that individual’s repentance and belief of the Gospel. The Gospel is defined as the good news of Christ acting as man’s substitute, dying on the cross for payment of sin, being buried for three days and three nights, and rising from the dead victorious over sin and the grave. (Genesis 3:15; John 1:12; 3:16; Acts 4:12;
I Corinthians 15:1-4; II Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 2:1-9; Hebrews 9:11, 12, 22)
This is defined as the price Jesus Christ paid by offering His body as a sacrifice, dying on the cross, and shedding His blood to make the payment for the sin of the world.
This is defined as God’s unmerited favor towards us. The grace of God is available to the penitent sinner by means of faith in the person of Jesus Christ.
This is defined as a change of heart resulting in a change of action. Man’s natural direction is to walk away from God; repentance brings about a desire to be in communion with God.
VI. Security of the Believer
All who have accepted God’s gift of salvation are born by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God into His family. As children of God, saved individuals cannot be unborn, but are sealed by the Holy Spirit and kept by the power of God unto the day of redemption.
(I Peter 1:23; John 3:15-16; 10:27-29; Romans 5:8-10; 8:31-38; Ephesians 1:13; 2:5, 6; 4:30; II Timothy 1:12; I John 5:10-13)
VII. The Sanctification and Conduct of the Believer
Sanctification for the believer is two-fold. Positional sanctification is union with Christ at salvation. Practical sanctification is progressive according to the believer’s yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit in his life. Nonconformity to the world is commanded. (Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 2:6; John 15:4, 5; Romans 13:14; II Corinthians 5:17, 6:17; Titus 2:12; Galatians 5:16)
VIII. The Family and Sexuality
God has ordained marriage and the family. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman lawfully joined together for life. Divorce is not the plan of God and all efforts should be made to resolve conflict in a marriage so as to preserve unity. God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of marriage; any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s intentions for sex. Sexuality and procreation are gifts of God and the Biblical family is the preservation and bedrock of society. Realizing that individuals do violate God’s standard, the church is to reach out and help them find deliverance and freedom from sin through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. (Genesis 2:24; 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Matthew 19:3-9; Hebrews 13:4; I Corinthians 5:1, 6:9-11, 7:1; Romans 1:26-29;
I Thessalonians 4:1-8, Galatians 6:1-2; 5:19-21, John 8:2-11)
Jesus Christ, after spending three days and nights in the earth following His death on the cross, was literally raised from the dead. He lives eternally and is fulfilling the office of priest and advocate. The Bible teaches a literal bodily resurrection of all people, saved and unsaved. The saved will be resurrected to life everlasting with the Lord, while the unsaved will be resurrected to everlasting punishment. (Job 19:26; Psalm 16:10; Matthew 17:23; 28:6; Acts 2:24; Romans 14:10; Hebrews 7:25; 9:27; I John 2:1)
X. Second Coming
The hope for the believer is the personal, pre-tribulational and pre-millennial, imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, at which time those in Christ will be gathered together unto Him to be forever with the Lord. (Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:17;
II Thessalonians 1:7; 2:1-10; Revelation 20:6)
XI. The Church
The church is a local assembly of scripturally baptized believers united together to fulfill the Great Commission. The church, of which Jesus Christ is the head, was established by Him as an institution for the purpose of carrying out the Great Commission. All available means, except those which violate Scriptural principles, should be used in the promotion of the Gospel. Biblical churches are to reproduce themselves perpetually. This command has been followed by God’s grace and according to Jesus’ promise. (Matthew 16:18; 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 5:23)
Each local New Testament church is an autonomous body. This means that the local church governs itself under the leadership of Christ, who is the head of each church. The members of the church are to participate in making decisions according to the Word of God, under the leadership of the pastor. The Biblical example of a New Testament church is one that is not ruled by any board, hierarchical system, or another church. The pastor is not to “lord” it over the flock but to lead by example and take oversight over the church. A church has only two Scriptural offices, these being the office of a pastor and that of a deacon. (Acts 6:3-4; 20:28; Ephesians 5:23; Hebrews 13:17; I Timothy 3; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-4)
Baptism is to be administered to a saved person who gives testimony of salvation and voluntarily submits to it. Baptism is authorized by a local New Testament church and is to be practiced by immersion of the baptismal candidate in water.
(Matthew 3:6, 16; 28:18-20; Acts 2:41; 8:36-38; John 3:23)
XIV. The Lord’s Supper
As one of the ordinances commanded to be observed, the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of the death of Christ until He returns for His own. This communion service is to be preceded by a time of self examination. Unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine are to be partaken of, symbolizing correctly the sinless, broken body of the Lord and His sinless, shed blood. The Lord’s Supper is a local church ordinance. (Matthew 26:29; Acts 2:42; I Corinthians 11:23-28; I Peter 1:19)
XV. Ecclesiastical Separation
God makes distinction in Scripture between clean and unclean, holy and unholy. The local church is also to practice separation. This is refusing to participate with or fellowship with any apostate organizations. Apostate churches are defined as those who do not proclaim a pure Gospel message consistently or who do not conform to the truths of God’s Word, but place some other form of authority above that of the Bible. (Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:8; Ephesians 5:11; I Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 3:10; II John 1:9-10)
XVI. Standard of Church Music
The church music must teach sound doctrine and be holy and separate from the world’s music. “Worldly music” is music that sounds like and has messages like the music that is generally accepted and endorsed by non-Christian people through common media. The church music must not be designed to produce a mystical experience emphasizing emotion; rather the focus should be the message in the song. The Bible teaches sober-mindedness and that one is not to allow anything to capture the heart other than God and His Word. One is not supposed to open up unquestioningly to any experience, but to continually test everything by the standard of God’s absolute Truth. (I Thessalonians 5:21; Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; Romans 12:2; I John 2:15-16;
I Corinthians 10:21; Ephesians 5:11; II Timothy 3:5; Revelation 18:41; I Peter 5:8)
XVII. Future Judgment
All people will face judgment according to the things committed while on earth. This will determine degrees of reward for the redeemed and punishment for the lost. Ultimately there are two destinations for man after death; one is Heaven and the other is the Lake of Fire. Those reconciled to God will enjoy His presence in Heaven, while those who have rejected His gift of redemption through faith in Christ will be separated from Him in the Lake of Fire. (John 14:3; Romans 14:10; I Corinthians 3:8-15;
II Corinthians 5:8-10; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15)