ARTICLE V (5) All scripture references are from the King James Version.
*Note from Pastor Burks – Please forgive the imperfections you may find. Also please notify us of any substantive errors you may find as well as typos etc.,…
STATEMENT OF FAITH
SECTION A RESOLVE
The doctrinal beliefs of this church shall conform to that of the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation; the Articles of faith given below shall be accepted as true exposition of these important points of Bible teaching.
A. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used in the pulpit, or by any teachers/ instructors of the church. (Note: the only acceptable manuscripts being the Hebrew Masoretic and the Greek Textus Receptus).
2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Acts 1:16; Acts 28:25, Psalms 119:160, Psalms 119:105, Psalms 119:130, Luke 24:25-27; John 17:17, Luke 24:44-45, Psalms 119:89, Proverbs 30:5-6, Romans 3:4, 1 Peter 1:23; Revelation 22:19, John 12:48, Isaiah 8:.20; Ephesians 6.17, Romans 15:4; Luke 16.31; Psalms 19:7-11; John 5:45-57, John 5:39; Isaiah 40:8.
B. OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one and only one, living true God and infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons; the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Exodus 20:2-3, Genesis 17:1; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; John 4:24, Psalms 147:5; Psalms 83:18; Psalms 90:2; Jeremiah 10:10; Exodus 15:11; Revelation 4:11; 1 Timothy 1:17; Romans 11:33; Mark 12:30; Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7; John 10:30; John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Philippians 2:5-6; Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 13:14.
C. OF THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men and that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our salvation is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. That the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest He fulfills the ministry of representative, intercessor, and advocate for the believer.
Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2,14,2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8; Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5, Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 9:24; Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2; Colossians 1:20.
D. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
That the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil One until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment, and of righteousness; that he bears witness to the Truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, comforts and helps the believer.
John 14:16,17, Matthew 28:19, Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Genesis 1:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; John 16.8-11; John 15.26-27; Acts 5:30-32, John 3:5-6, Ephesians 1:13,14, Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; John 16:13; Romans 8:14; Romans 8.16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2: Romans 8:26-27.
E. OF THE DEVIL OR SATAN
We believe that Satan was created perfectly by God, enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Isaiah 14.12-15, Ezekiel 28.14-17, Revelation 12:9; Jude 6, 2 Peter 2:4; Ephesians 2:2; John 14:30; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; Matthew 4:1-3; 1 Peter 5-8, 1 John 3:8, Matthew 13:39; Luke 22;3-4; Revelation 12:10; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Mark 13:21; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 7; I John 2:22, Revelation 13:13-14, 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11; Revelation 19:11,16,20; Revelation 12:7-9; Revelation 20.1-3, Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41.
F. OF CREATION
We believe in the Genesis account of creation to be of six (approximately twenty-four hour) days, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind”.
Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Acts 4:24; Colossians 1:16,17; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3; Revelation 10:6, Romans 1:20; Acts 17:23-26; Jeremiah 10:12; Nehemiah 9:6; Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 1:11; Genesis 1:24.
G. OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved; worthy of and under the curse of death, and of himself utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.
Genesis 3:1-6,24; Romans 5:12, Romans 5:19, Romans 3:10-19, Ephesians 2:1,3; Romans 1:18, Ezekiel 18.19-20, Romans 1.32; Romans 1:20; Romans 1.28; Galatians
3:22 Genesis 2:17, 3:14,15, Romans 6:23
H. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Ghost, in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman; and that He is both the Son of God, and God the Son. Distinguishing Him from Adams fallen race, thereby enabling Him to redeem men with His sinless blood.
Genesis 3.15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1.35; Mark 1:1; John 1:14; Psalms 2:7; Galatians 4:4, 1 John 5:20; 1 Corinthians 15:47 Romans 5:18, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14
I. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for all of mankind’s sins; that His atonement was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53.4-7; Romans 3:25; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 10:18; Philippians 2:8; Galatians 1:4, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 3:18; Isaiah 53:11; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 9:12-15; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:2; Colossians 1:16-20.
J. OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth, the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creature is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruit of repentance and faith and newness of life.
John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Luke 5:27; 1 John 5:1; John 3:6,7; Acts 2:41; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:13; John 1:12,13; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9.
K. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe salvation is made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
I Thessalonians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:2; Titus 1:1; Romans 8:29,30; Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Romans 10:13; John 6.37; Isaiah 55:6; Acts 2:38; Isaiah 55:7; John 3.15-16; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4,5; John 5:40; John 3:18; John 3:36; Colossians 1:20.
L. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe justification is the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him ; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that is bestowed not in consideration of any works or righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; His righteousness is imputed unto us.
Acts 13:39; Isaiah 53:11; Zechariah 13:1; Romans 5:9; Romans 5:1; Titus 3:5-7; Romans 1:17, Habakkuk 2:4, Galatians 3:11; Romans 4:1-8; Hebrews 10:38
M. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.
Acts 20:21; Mark 1:15, Acts 2:37,38; Luke 18:13; Romans 10:13; Psalms 51:4-4; Isaiah 55:6,7; Luke 12:8, Romans 10:9-11 Hebrews 11:6, 1John 1:9
N. OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe that a New Testament Church is a local, visible assembly of God’s people who are saved and Scripturally baptized associating together by of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being understood to be the citadel and propagator of the Divine and Eternal Grace; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its offices are pastors/elders/bishops and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures-, we believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, to baptize the believer into the universal church; third, to teach and instruct the believer’s as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; and that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
Acts 2:41-42, 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12:4; 8:11; Acts 14:23; Acts 6:5-6; Acts 15:23; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Matthew 28:19-20; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23-24; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 15:22, Jude 3-4; 2 Corinthians 8:23-24; 1 Corinthians 16:1; Malachi 3:10; Leviticus 27:32; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 1 Corinthians 6:1-3; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.
O. OF BAPTISM
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to show forth a solemn and beautiful emblem of our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is a pre-requisite to the privileges of church membership.
Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 3:6; John 3:23; Romans 6:4-5; Matthew 3:16; Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-5, Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:41,42;
P. OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe the Lord’s Supper (Communion) to be only for born again believers, the sacred use of the bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the broken body and shed blood of Jesus the Christ is to be preceded always by self examination.
1Corinthians 11:23-28 Matt. 28:19,20
Q. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is an essential difference between the wicked and the righteous; that the righteous are jutified through faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all that continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse, and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the righteous and everlasting conscious suffering of the wicked.
Malachi 3:18, Genesis 18:23, Romans 5:1-2, 6:17-18; Proverbs 11:31; 1 Peter 1:18, Romans 1:17, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Acts 10:34-35; 1 John 2:29; Romans 6:16,1 John 5:19;Galatians 3:10; Romans 7:6; Romans 6:23; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matthew 25:34,41; John 8:21; Luke 9:26; John 12:25; Matthew 7:13-14.
R. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the Holy Scriptures; who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Romans 13:7; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14; 1 Peter 2:17, Acts 4:19-20; Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 23:10; Philippians 2:10-11; Psalms 72:11.
S. OF THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily “the third day according to the Scriptures;” that He alone is our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God;” “that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven”- bodily, personally and visibly; that likewise the “dead in Christ shall rise first;” that the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet;” “that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David;” and that “Christ shall reign on the earth a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.”
Matthew 28:6,7; Luke 24:39, John 20:27; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-7; Acts 1:9,11; Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Revelation 3:21; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 12:2; Hebrews 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1; Hebrews 2:17, Hebrews 5:9,10; John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Matthew 24:27; Matthew 24:42; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-53; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Isaiah 11:4,5; Psalms 72:8, Revelation 20:1-4; Revelation 20:6.
T. OF MISSIONS
The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable, and this Commission was given to the churches; that the local church has sole authority to send missionaries; and that the local church is responsible to financially aid missionaries who are devoted to this service as it sees fit.
Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Romans 10:13-15; Acts 13:2,3 2Cor 8:1-15
U. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the faith; that the local church is the central point of collec tion of tithes and offerings for distribution as it led to do so; that tithes and offerings are the Lord’s and the local church is the agency God has appointed as stewards over them.
2Corinthians 8:7; I Corinthians 16:2; Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10; Acts 4:34, 35, 37
V. OF HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage; that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in holy matrimony before God; Any member or employee of the church engaging in other than the aforementioned shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal from membership and or termination from employment. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader in the home and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for license and ordination by the church.
Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5, 13; Genesis 26:8,9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans1:26-2.9; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22,23; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15, 3:4,5,12; Matthew 5:28
W. OF ABORTION
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being; that abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life; that God only is privileged to take the life of unborn children under any circumstance.
Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5,139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 39:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 20:15-18; Luke 1:44.
X. OF LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
We believe that members are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other believers or the church to resolve disputes; that the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal between members.
1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31,32; Matthew 5:25; Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15-22.
Y. OF ETERNAL SECURITY
We believe that salvation is eternal, beginning at the moment of the new birth; that once a person is redeemed the blood of Jesus, adopted by the Father, and Sealed by the Spirit, that work cannot be undone by any human agency; and that the security of the believer depends solely upon the mercies and faithfulness of the Godhead.
Php. 1:6, Eph 1:11, 13, 4:30, Rom 8:29,30, 2Cor 1:22
Z. OF MARRIAGE.>
We believe that marriage is defined in Scripture to be between one man and one woman. All other ‘marital unions’ are unlawful and are not recognized by God. Therefore, Bethesda Christian Fellowship will only perform or sanction marriage ceremonies by its ministers or members on any of its properties or in its name as defined by our understand on the Holy Scriptures and this Constitution and Bylaws.>
Ephesians 5:30-32; Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1; Genesis 2:23-24>
Section 2: AUTHORITY OF ARTICLES OF FAITH
The Articles of faith do not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe however, that the foregoing statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the articles of faith.
Ratified December 4, 2004 by Board Members:
Ron G. Burks Floyd G. Baker