OUR PURPOSE STATEMENT AND STATEMENT OF FAITH

 

OUR PURPOSE STATEMENT

     We purpose to meet together to prayerfully equip and encourage believers of Jesus Christ, through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, to go and share Christ faithfully, while being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.

 

OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH

Our faith statement is divided into two levels:

“Thus Saith the Lord”

“Truths that Shape and Define Us”

 

THUS SAITH THE LORD

     These are the absolutes or the fundamentals of the faith that are essential beliefs for church membership.  As far as we see it, there is no doubt what the Lord was teaching in Scripture concerning these things.  In other words, these are the things that we are willing to be martyred for and the things that we live for.

 

  Bible

      We believe that the Bible is the very words of God and therefore were inspired through Spirit-controlled men and without error in their original writings.  Both Old and New Testaments are inerrant, infallible, and the all-sufficient Word of God for all spiritual, physical and emotional needs.  (II Timothy 3:16II Peter 1:19-20)

 

  God

     There is only one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4I Timothy 2:5) who has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).  These three are co-equal and co-eternal (Genesis 1:1; 26,27; 3:22; Psalms 90:2I Peter 1:2II Corinthians 13:14) yet each member has distinct and separate roles.

     Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is co-equal with God the Father, is called God (John 1Romans 9:5Titus 2:13II Peter 1:1), and possesses all the attributes of God (Matthew 8:26,27, 18:20; John 8:58Mark 2:5-8Philippians 2:9-11).  Jesus was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).  He lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross.  He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death.  He ascended to heaven’s glory where He is presently interceding for the believers.  He will return someday for the believers and to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  (Matthew 1:22,23Isaiah 9:6John 1:1-5Colossians 1:15-18Hebrews 7:15,10:12; I Thessalonians 4:15-17)

     The Holy Spirit is Co-equal with God the Father and the Son of God (Matthew 28:19Acts 5:1-4I Corinthians 2:10,11).  He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ (John 16:5-15). He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation, provides Christians with power for living, understanding spiritual truths, and guidance to do what is right (Romans 8:14-27I Corinthians 2:12).  He gives everyone a spiritual gift when they are saved (I Corinthians 12).   He seals the believer so that eternal salvation is secure (Ephesians 1:13,14).

 

  Creation

      We believe that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1-2), including all living things (Colossians 1:16-17John 1:3), “each after its own kind” (Genesis 1:24), by direct act (Psalms 33:6), and not by the process of evolution or any other man made theory; and He created man after His own image (Genesis 1:27).

 

  Angels and Satan and Hell

     Angels are created (Colossians 1:16Psalm 148:5), spirit-beings of various rank and order. This company of everlasting beings are super-human in intelligence and strength. They were created holy and good (Genesis 1:31), but due to sin many fell from their holy state and are now confirmed in wickedness (Isaiah 14Ezekiel 28). Those who preserved their integrity are God’s messengers (Hebrews 1:14), whereas the fallen angels execute Satan’s desires in hindering God’s work and afflicting God’s people.

     We believe in the distinct personality of Satan (Matthew 4:1-3), that he is the unholy god of this age (II Corinthians 4:4), author of all powers of darkness and sin, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

 

  People

     We believe that men and women in the person of the first Adam were originally created in a sinless state but voluntarily fell into sin (Genesis 3). This sinful act is what caused the entire human race to be condemned (Romans 5:12) causing them to be totally depraved. In, and of themselves, men and women are utterly unable to remedy their lost condition (Ephesians 2:1).  Consequently all men and women are born sinners and are directed by their sin natures to do willful acts of sin. Thus having knowledge of their sin and the manifestation of the power of God through God’s creation, are without excuse before God (Romans 1:18 – 2:1). Apart from God’s work of grace, all men and women would be on their way to eternal punishment (Revelation 20:15). By God’s Grace and Mercy, He enables some men and women to have faith in the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, which are then passed from death to eternal life forever secure in Heaven (John 10:28-29Romans 8:29-39).

 

  Salvation 

     We believe that man can be saved from the condemnation of sin. This salvation is made possible through the death of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9-11). The Son of God voluntarily became fully man (Heb 2:17), yet without sin (Heb 4:15), and was obedient to death on a cross (Phil 2:6-8). By His death, He became the atoning sacrifice for all sin (1John 2:2).

     We believe that in order to be saved, a man must be born again.  That this new birth is an act of God in which He imparts new spiritual life in us (John 3:3-8).  This new birth is instantaneous, upon a personal response on the part of the individual who will repent of his or her sins and trust personally in Christ (John 3:16).  Upon this profession of faith we receive eternal life, the free gift of God (Romans 3:22-24), and are eternally secure in Christ. This new birth is a mystery to us, brought about solely by the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:8II Corinthians 5:17).

     We believe that every believer, at the time of their conversion, is given one or more spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:7-11). These gifts are to be used for the edification of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:7).  Each individual’s gift is unique to them and the lists of gifts found in Scripture are not exhaustive but are indicative of the types of gifts that God gives.

 

  Church 

     We believe that the church is an institution established in the New Testament, by Jesus, (Matthew 16:18) the sole Head (Ephesians 1:22-23) and revealed through the Apostles and empowered and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).

o We believe that there are two church ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (communion).  We believe in “Believer’s Baptism” (Acts 8:36-39).  Believer’s Baptism would be defined as a choice to declare publicly our faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 6: 3-5).  Baptism is a prerequisite to church membership (Acts 2:41).  The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of our Lord’s death until He comes.  It must be preceded by salvation for one to partake and always after careful self-examination of one’s heart (I Corinthians 11:23-32).

     We believe that members of the church are commanded to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:23,24); to keep the unity (Philippians 2:1-11); and to guard the truth (II Timothy 1:14).

 

  Last Things 

     We believe in the bodily (Acts 1:4), personal (John 14:3), return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:11-20).

     We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead (I Corinthians 15:12-58), that believers who die in Jesus will be raised at the coming of Christ for His church and caught up with transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:13-18), and that the wicked dead will be raised at the close of the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:4-5), and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne of judgment to receive their final doom (Revelation 20:11-15).

 

  Government

     We believe that the civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society (Romans 13:1) and the guarantee of liberty of conscience. This guarantee consists of absolute constraint of the government to the civil realm, not interfering or influencing in the spiritual realm of the Church.  We believe the believer needs to see that government officials are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed (Matthew 22:21), except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 5:29; 4:19-20).

 

  Marriage and Human Sexuality

     We believe, based on the teaching of the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments, that marriage is an institution ordained by God from the foundation of the world, and intended as a lifelong union of one man and one woman.  This idea is supported by the account of creation in Genesis chapters 1 and 2.  Genesis 1:26-28 provides that God created man in His own image, both male and female.  The passage implies that a unity of one man and one woman is in some way necessary to fully represent the image of God in mankind. 

 

     Genesis chapter 2 provides a more detailed account in which God created the first man, Adam, and decided that it was not good for him to be alone.  (Genesis 2:18).  God indicated that He would make “a suitable helper for him.”  God brought all of the animals to Adam, but none of them was a suitable helper for him, so God then created Eve, the first woman, from part of Adam himself.  God did not create a second man to be Adam’s helpmate, or an assortment of multiple women, but rather one woman.  Together they were man and wife and had “no shame” or sin in their union with each other.  (Genesis 2:15-25). 

 

     Jesus Christ reaffirmed the teaching of the Old Testament when He said, as recorded in Matthew 19:4-6, “Haven’t you read, he replied, that at the beginning the creator made them male and female and said for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 

 

     The Apostle Paul states in Ephesians 5:22-32 that marriage is not merely a human institution, but is a special divine metaphor that is supposed to illustrate the union of Christ and the church.  For this reason also, only a union between a man and a woman can be a proper marriage because a union between two men, two women, or one man and multiple women or any collection of people could not properly illustrate the relationship between Christ and His church. 

 

     I Corinthians 6:9-11condemns a variety of lifestyles including those associated with adultery, prostitution, and homosexuality.  The Bible condemns all forms of sexual immorality and encourages Christians to flee from it because of its destructive effects, and because the body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  (I Corinthians 3:16 & 6:12-20).

 

     Romans 1:18-32 makes it clear that it is not only sinful to engage in homosexual unions, but also to approve of such sins in others or encourage their practice.  As a result, in order to maintain our consistent Christian witness, we cannot sanction, approve, or promote in any way adultery, fornication (a sexual relationship between an unmarried man and woman; i.e. “living together”), pornography, pedophilia, polyamory, polygamy, bestiality, or homosexual unions.  This is made clear also by countless other verses throughout the Old Testament as well as by these and other passages in the New Testament. 

 

     Our church follows what the Bible reveals as the "sure foundation" of the teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles (Matthew 7:24-29 and I Corinthians 14:37).  The church is called to teach and practice these teachings and is not at liberty to depart from them for a different authority if it is to authentically bear the name "Christian."  Though we strive to live peaceably with all people and to obey legitimate government authority, in instances involving matters as foundational as marriage we must ultimately obey God rather than man if the two come into conflict (Acts 4:18-22).

 

     Sexual activities outside of marriage, including but not limited to fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality, pedophilia, polyamory and bestiality are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and the church. Lewd conduct, transgender behavior, and the creation or distribution or viewing of pornography are incompatible with God’s intention.

TRUTHS THAT SHAPE AND DEFINE US

 

     Based on Biblical principles and inductive methods of interpretation, we have developed certain “truths” that shape and define us as a church.  Although we understand that these “truths” are open to different interpretations by godly men and women, we felt it good to share our heart concerning some of these areas.  It gives a little better picture as to who we are and what we stand for.   We believe, though, that it is possible to fellowship and worship together with godly men and women who disagree with us in some of these areas.  As we mature in our faith we may modify and change these “truths”.  We encourage each believer to do the same.

 

  Gifts of Spirit

     Within the church of God today there are differing positions over the question, “Are all the gifts mentioned in the New Testament valid for use in the church today?”  We believe that some of the gifts (prophecy, tongues plus interpretation, healing) were sign gifts given to the Apostles to authenticate their ministry.  These sign gifts are no longer needed today, and thus have ceased (I Corinthians 13:8-12).

 

  Jesus’ Return

     The timing of Jesus’ return has been debated by Christians practically ever since Jesus ascended into heaven.  We believe that “no man knows the time or date” (Matthew 24:36) and that the full answer to the question will be left until Christ returns.  As we read and interpret Scripture it is our belief that God does allow us to know that the next great event in history will be the return of Jesus Christ to the clouds to “catch up” all believers.  This “imminent” return of Christ is designed to sober and encourage us (I Thessalonians 4:13-5:11).  Often this position is referred to as being “Pre-Tribulational”.  We also consider ourselves to be Pre-millenialists.

 

  The Church

     Besides our other statements concerning the church, we believe that the church began with Pentecost, after the ascension of Jesus into heaven and will continue until the coming of Jesus at the rapture (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).  We believe in a dispensational approach to

 

Bible study.

  Immersion

     We recognize that many believers differ on the mode of baptism.  It is our belief that baptism is a symbol and declaration of what Christ has accomplished in our lives.  Immersion in water seems to be the best picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and is the mode that we use.

  Church Government

     God has directed the church of God to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and build up believers.  How we choose to do that, especially concerning the government of our local churches, is left up to us to decide.  We have decided that in the multitude of counselors there is wisdom (Proverbs 15:22; 24:6) and have set up a congregational form of government.  Within that framework we recognize that God has given us pastors to direct and guide us so that we remain faithful to the Word of God (Ephesians 4:11-16).  It is our desire to work together to accomplish the responsibilities that God has given us.

T: 609-758-8007                                                                                                                                                 Email:  jacobstownbaptist@gmail.com

F: 609-286-9036                                                                                                                                                 Prayer Chain: jbcprays@yahoo.com

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