Churches and denominations understand the Bible differently on a number of issues. Therefore, to introduce people to Community Bible Church (CBC), it seems necessary for us to publish and teach our understanding of Scripture. Doctrinal statements are helpful as summaries of what a church understands the Bible to teach on certain topics. The inherent weakness of this approach is that this is not the way the Bible was written or organized. Bible books are letters, sermons, histories, or accounts written with a particular audience and purpose in mind. But in doctrinal statements, context, purpose, life circumstances, and application tend to be down-played or even absent. Our preference is to study the Bible a book at a time, understanding in context how a particular belief about God, ourselves, or others affects the way we should think and live as Christians. Our hope is that you will find this statement helpful in getting acquainted with us.
Section I: The Scriptures
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God (1 Tim. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Pet. 1:20,21; 3:14-16), inerrant in the original writings (Num. 23:19; Ps. 12:6; 119:89; Mark 13:31), com- plete as the revelation of God’s will for salvation, Christian belief and Christian conduct (Acts 20:32; 2 Tim. 3:15- 17). We believe that the Scriptures are the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak (Num. 23:19; John 17:17).
Section II: The Godhead
We believe in one God (Deut. 6:4; Is. 45:5, 6) eternally existing in three equal persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who have the same nature and attributes, but who are distinct in office and activity (Matt. 3:16, 17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6).
Section III: God the Father
We believe in God the Father (Eph. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:1, 2), an infinite (Rev. 1:4), personal Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love (Luke10:21, 22; John 3:16; Rom. 1:7). We believe that He works all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11), that He hears and answers prayer (Matt. 6:6), and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (John 3:16; 14:6; 1 Pet. 1:3).
Section IV: The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man (John 1:1, 14), without ceasing to be God (John 20:28), having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26- 38), in order that He might reveal God (John 1:18) and redeem sinful man (Rom. 3:21-24). We believe that He ac- complished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice (2 Cor. 5:21). We believe that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Rom. 4:25). We believe that He ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11), is seated at the right hand of the Father (Eph. 1:20-23), continually intercedes for His people (Rom. 8:34), and will return to earth in great power and glory (2 Thess. 1:7-10).
Section V: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that God the Holy Spirit restrains evil in the world and convicts men of sin (John 16:7-11). He also, with God the Father, regenerates (gives spiritual life to) us who were formerly spiritually dead but are now made alive in Christ (John 1:13; 3:8; Acts 16:14; Eph. 2:1-5). He is the means by which all believers are baptized by Christ into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). We believe that the Spirit indwells believers permanently (John 14:16, 17; 1 Cor. 6:19) seals them unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30), bestows spiritual gifts on each one (1 Cor. 12:4- 11), and fills those yielded to Him (Eph. 5:18). While there is no explicit biblical teaching that some spiritual gifts ceased (1 Cor. 13:8-10), there are some biblical indications that certain gifts and miraculous activities associated with the apostles and prophets, were meant to be foundational for the church and thus not continue as a regular expression of church life (Eph. 2:20; 3:1-7; Heb. 2:3, 4).
Section VI: Angels: Fallen and Unfallen
We believe that angels are spiritual beings (Heb. 1:13, 14) who were created as sinless personalities and that they occupied different orders and ranks (Dan. 10:13; Jude 9). They presently exist in both fallen and unfallen states, the former including Satan and his angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Rev. 7:12). We believe that Satan, by his own choice the enemy of God and of the people of God is the originator of sin (Ezek. 28:11-19). We believe that he led our first parents into sin (Gen. 3:1-19) and now rules as the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). We believe that he was judged at the cross (John 12:31; Heb. 2:14) and that ultimately he will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10).
Section VII: Creation
We believe all things in heaven and earth were created by God and exist by His power (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16, 17). We believe that man was created innocent and in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27), but that he sinned bringing both physical and spiritual death to himself and his descendants (Gen. 2:17; 3:19). We believe that man has inherited a sinful nature, is alienated from God, and is in need of salvation (Eph. 2:1-3). We believe that both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:18). Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order both in the home and in the church (Gen. 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor. 11:7-9; 1 Tim. 2:12-14).
Section VIII: Salvation
We believe that salvation is a gift of God and is received by man through personal faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for sin. We believe that man is justified by grace through faith apart from works (Acts 13:38, 39; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-10). We believe that those who are born again show signs of spiritual life, such as obedience to God’s commands and loving other Christians (Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 3:10). We believe that all true believers, once saved, are kept secure in Christ forever (Rom. 8:1, 38, 39; John 10:27-30).
Section IX: Sanctification
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart unto God, is positional, progressive, and ultimate. In terms of position, sanctification is already complete since the believer is in Christ and is set apart unto God as Christ is set apart unto God (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2; Heb. 10:10-14). Since the believer retains his sinful nature, however, there is need for progressive sanctification whereby the Christian grows in grace by the power of the Spirit (John 17:17; Rom. 6:12, 13; 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:13, 14; 1 Thess. 5:23). Ultimately (at death or at the return of Christ), the child of God will be completely set free from indwelling sin and made perfect forever (Eph. 5:25-27; Phil. 3:21; Heb. 12:22, 23).
Section X: The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. (Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; 1 Cor. 10:32). We believe that the local church is an assembly of professed believers in Jesus Christ who are voluntari- ly joined together in one locality (1 Cor. 1:1,2; 1 Thess. 1:1) for the purpose of worship (Eph. 5:18-20), study of the Word of God, observance of the ordinances, Christian fellowship (Acts 2:42-47), and to be equipped for ministry (Eph. 4:11-13).
Section XI: The Ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water into the name of the triune God (Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 6:3-5). We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ to remember and reflect on the significance of His death until He comes (1 Cor. 11:23-26).
Section XII: Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom (Matt. 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:15; 2 Tim. 4:1; Titus 2:13). We believe in the resurrection of the body (1 Cor. 15:12-19), the final judgment, the eternal perfect joy of the saints and the endless suffering of the wicked (1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 20:4-6, 11-15).