Statement of Faith

    01.10.18 | Resources by Heritage Baptist Church

    What we believe about Scripture

    We believe that all the words of the sixty-six books of the Bible, as originally written, are the inspired word of God entirely without error (Psalms 12:6; Matthew 5:18; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:19–21). The Bible is the final authority for judging what we believe and how we should live (Matthew 4:4; John 10:34-36; Acts 1:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; James 1:19-25). We believe the Bible supports using a grammatical, historical method of interpretation in light of the progress of revelation (Deuteronomy 29:29; Daniel 9:2; Ephesians 3:1-5; 2 Peter 3:15-16).

    What we believe about God

    We believe in the one true Triune God—one spirit being existing as three co-eternal and co-equal persons (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4–6). The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God (Matthew 6:26, 30; John 1:1; Acts 5:3–4). God is the creator of all things and is sovereign over all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1–3; Colossians 1:16; Isaiah 46:8–11; Ephesians 1:11). God is holy; all powerful; all knowing, including all that will happen in the future; everywhere present; loving; and perfectly just in all He does (Isaiah 6:3; Psalms 115:3; Acts 2:23; 4:27–28; Psalms 139:7–12; 1 John 4:9–12; Deuteronomy 32:4).

    What we believe about Jesus Christ

    We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:1–3.) He was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit, without earthly father, and born of Mary, a virgin (Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:20–25; Luke 1:34–35). Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human (John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:5–11; Hebrews 2:14). God the Father sent God the Son to earth to live a sinless life and die on the cross as the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the world (Isaiah 53:1–12; John 3:16; Romans 3:24–25; 5:8–10; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 4:14; Revelation 1:5).

    We believe in the bodily resurrection and ascension of Jesus into heaven, where He is presently seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us as our faithful High Priest (Luke 24:36–43; Acts 1:9–11; Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 1:3; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). We believe in the bodily return of Jesus to establish His earthly kingdom (Revelation 1:7; 19:11–16; 20:4–6). Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation and the sole mediator between God and human beings (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5).

    What we believe about the Holy Spirit

    We believe in the personhood and deity of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13; Acts 5:3-4). Through His present ministry every genuine believer is regenerated, baptized into Christ and His body the church, indwelled, sealed, gifted at conversion, and empowered for ministry for the building up of the body of Christ (John 3:3, 8; Titus 3:5–6; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; John 14:16–17; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:13–14; 4:30; Romans 12:3–8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–7, 11–14; Ephesians 4:7–16). The Holy Spirit assists the believer in right living insofar as the believer submits to the sanctifying ministry of the Spirit in agreement with the Word of God (Ephesians 5:18–21; Colossians 3:15–17).

    We believe that the sign gifts of the Spirit (gifts of miracles, healing, tongues, prophecy) were given only during the apostolic era to provide divine revelation and to authenticate the ministry of the New Testament apostles and prophets (Acts 14:3; Romans 15:18–19; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; Hebrews 2:3–4).

    What we believe about angels, satan, and demons

    We believe in the existence and activity of angels­–personal spirit beings who were created by God (Job 1:6; Psalms 148:1–6; Daniel 10:7–14; Luke 1:19). God’s holy angels worship and serve Him continually. Angels are also ministering spirits on behalf of God’s people (Isaiah 6:1–4; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 4:6-8; 5:11–12; Hebrews 1:14). Satan and the other evil angels (demons) rebelled against God and oppose Him and His purposes in the world (Matthew 4:1–3; John 8:44; 1 Timothy 4:1). While Satan and his evil angels can bring great harm to people and oppose the spiritual growth of believers, their activity is under the sovereign hand of God, and they are destined for God’s eternal judgment in the lake of fire (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:10–12, 16; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8; Job 1:12; 2:6; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).

    What we believe about creation, humanity, and sin

    We believe that God created the universe and everything in it by His powerful word in six literal, consecutive, 24-hour days apart from the process of evolution (Genesis 1–2; Exodus 20:9–11; Psalms 33:6–9; Matthew 19:4; Hebrews 11:3). God created both the man and the woman in His image. People retain this image even after Adam and Eve fell into sin. Therefore, we affirm the dignity and intrinsic value of each human life from the moment of conception (Genesis 1:26–27; 9:6; Psalms 139:13-15; James 3:9; Matthew 16:26). We believe that God created biblical marriage to be only between one man and one woman united in a covenant relationship before God. Scripture reserves sexual activity to the marriage relationship (Genesis 2:24–25; Hebrews 13:4; Leviticus 18:22; Malachi 2:14; Matthew 19:3–12; Romans 1:24–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–20; 7:1–5; 1 Timothy 1:9–10).

    We believe that God created Adam and Eve in a sinless state in fellowship with God. Their sin against God brought a curse upon creation and death into the world (Genesis 1–3; Romans 5:12–17; 8:19–22). As a result, all people are born into the world corrupted by sin in the totality of their being. Every person is a sinner by nature and by personal act, and is therefore under the just condemnation of God (Romans 3:9–18; Titus 1:15–16; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:1–3). All people are dead in their sins and are unable to respond to the gospel apart from a gracious work of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, who enables sinners to place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 6:37, 44, 65; Ephesians 2:8–9; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

    What we believe about salvation

    We believe that God in His mercy and grace saves sinners who place their personal faith in Jesus Christ alone, who paid the price for their sins through His death on the cross and secured their salvation through His resurrection from the dead (John 1:12; 3:16; Acts 16:31; Romans 4:25; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3–8). At salvation believers are instantaneously born again and enjoy eternal life in fellowship with God (John 3:3–8; 5:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We believe that at salvation God justifies sinners (declares them to be righteous) through faith alone. God forgives all of their sins—past, present, and future (Colossians 1:13-14; 2:13–14). Justification is based on Christ’s righteousness, resulting in an immediate and permanent right standing before God based solely on Christ’s imputed righteousness (Romans 3:24–28; 4:1–16, 22–25; 5:1, 6–9; 8:1–2, 31–34). We believe that all who are born again are kept eternally secure in their salvation by God (John 5:24; 10:27–30; Romans 8:28–39; Ephesians 1:3–14; 1 Peter 1:3–5; Jude 1).

    We believe that Christians should live holy lives (Romans 12:1–2; 1 Peter 1:13–16; 2 Peter 1:4–11; Galatians 5:16–26). By God’s grace and the Spirit’s power, believers should strive for godly living by putting off the deeds of the flesh and putting on the deeds of the Spirit (Romans 8:9–17; Ephesians 4:17–32; Colossians 3:1–17). Their Christian conduct will be evaluated and their good service rewarded at the future judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:10–15; 2 Corinthians 5:10–11). We believe in the priesthood of all believers and their right to have direct dealings with God (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19–22; 1 Peter 2:9–10; Revelation 1:6). Believers are not to judge each other on matters of opinion, but are to respect their individual soul liberty. Nevertheless, believers must be careful not to use their freedom in Christ as a license to sin (Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16).

    What we believe about the Church

    We believe that the universal church is the body of Christ made up of all genuine believers from Pentecost until the rapture. Jesus Christ is the sole head of His church (Matthew 16:18; Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4; Romans 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 2:19). We believe that the local church is an organized assembly of immersed believers in one locality where the word of God is preached and practiced, and the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are observed (Acts 2:41–47; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). The local church is led by pastors (or elders or overseers) and served by deacons (Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13; 1 Timothy 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9; Hebrews 13:17). The local church is autonomous and governed by its members (Matthew 18:15–20; Acts 15:3, 4, 22; 1 Corinthians 5; 16:3; 2 Corinthians 8:19; 1 Timothy 5:17–25).

    What we believe about baptism and the Lord’s supper

    We believe that the ordinance of water baptism is by immersion for believers only as a testimony of their personal faith in Christ. Water baptism is an outward picture signifying the inward reality of the believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection for salvation (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:12; 10:47; 16:14–15, 31–34; Romans 6:3–7; Colossians 2:12). Water baptism is a prerequisite for local church membership (Acts 2:41).

    We believe that the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper is solely a commemorative memorial of Christ’s death until He comes, and that the body and blood of Christ are not present in the bread and cup (Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Believers are to observe the Lord’s Supper after a solemn self-examination of their relationship to the Lord and to one another (1 Corinthians11:27-32).

    What we believe about civil government

    We believe that civil government is created by God to maintain human order by punishing evil doers and rewarding those who do good (Romans 13:1-7). While we are commanded to obey and pray for all government leaders, we are not to obey the government when it demands we act contrary to the Word of God. God requires our first allegiance and obedience (1 Timothy 2:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Daniel 3:17-18; 6:6-10; Acts 4:19-20; 5:27-29). We acknowledge the separation of church and state with believers having responsibilities to both (Matthew 22:21).

    What we believe about future events

    We believe that Christians are not destined for God’s future earthly wrath known as the tribulation or 70th week of Daniel (Daniel 9:26–27; 12:1–2; Matthew 24:15–28; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:1–11; 2 Thessalonians 2:3–17; Revelation 3:10). We affirm the pre-tribulational rapture of the church at Christ’s imminent appearing, (John 14:1–3; 1 Corinthians 15:51–52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; Titus 2:13), followed by the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10), Christ’s premillennial return and reign on the earth in fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, (2 Samuel 7:4–17; Psalms 89:19–37; Isaiah 9:6–7; 11:1–11; 32:1; 55:3; Matthew 24:29–31; 25:31–46; Luke 1:32–33; Revelation 1:7; 12:5; 19:11–20:6), and the eternal state in the new heavens and earth (Isaiah 66:22-24; 2 Peter 3:11-13; Revelation 21-22).

    We believe that at death believers immediately enter into the presence of the Lord, while unbelievers immediately are banished away from the presence of the Lord into a place of conscious torment (Luke 23:42–43; Acts 7:55–59; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:19–24; Luke 16:19–32). Both await a future bodily resurrection at which time the righteous will receive glorified bodies and dwell with God forever, and the unrighteous will be consigned to irrevocable, conscious punishment in an eternal lake of fire (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:31–46; John 5:25, 28–29; 1 Corinthians 15:51–57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; 2 Thessalonians 1:5–10; Revelation 20:1–6, 11–15).