ARTICLES OF FAITH
1. THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired and product of Spirit-controlled men, as well is Divinely preserved in the same fashion, and therefore, has truth without any mixture of error for its matter. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions, shall be tried. 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 17:17; Matthew 4:4; 24:35; Psalms 12:6,7.
2. THE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressible glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unit of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinctly harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Exodus 20:2,3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11; 1 John 5:7.
3. JESUS CHRIST, GOD THE SON
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who added a fully human nature to his divine nature thus becoming the God–man, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross as the substitute for sinners, paying the penalty of God’s wrath against sin, rose from the dead, and will come again to establish his kingdom. John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 11:15.
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and judgment; 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 and helps the believer. We do not believe that the baptism of the Spirit is an event that takes place subsequent to salvation accompanied by sign gifts, and so we are in opposition to, and thus separate from the Charismatic movement. John 14:16,17; Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 2:2,3; 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Genesis 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5,6; Ephesians 1:13,14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16,26,27.
5. THE DEVIL, OR SATAN
We believe in the personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, and the author of all the powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgement of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. Matthew 4:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10.
We accept the Genesis account of creation in six literal days and believe that man came by direct creation of God and not by evolution. Genesis 1:2; Colossians 1:16,17; John 1:3.
7. THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of His Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Romans 5:10-19; 1:18; 1:32.
8. THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was born or can ever be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God, the Son. Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:4.
9. THE MEANS OF SALVATION FROM SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by the 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 full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust; Christ, the Lord, bearing our sin in His body on the tree; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior. Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24,25; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
10. 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 a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gifts of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, 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 fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. John 3:3,6-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17,19; 1 John 5: 1; Acts 16:30-33; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13.
We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who believe in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 13:39; Romans 3:24-25; 5:1). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26).
12. HUMAN APPROPRIATION OF SALVATION
We believe that someone appropriates (or receives) salvation through faith alone in Christ, which includes repentance of his sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and his confession of Jesus Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11).
13. THE CHURCH
We believe that the church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are Pastors, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties, are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the 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: 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 each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its co-operation: on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. Acts 2:41,42; 15:13-18; 20:17-28; 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11; 5:23,24; 1 Timothy 3:17; Colossians 1:18.
14. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem 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 pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, should be preceded always by solemn self-examination, and is limited to those walking in obedience to God and His Word. Acts 8:26-39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; I Corinthians 11:23-28.
15. THE SECURITY OF THE SAINTS
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6; John 10:28,29; Romans 8:35,39; Jude v.1.
16. THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked: that such only as through faith and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem: while all such as 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 saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17,18; 1 John 5:19; Romans 7:6; 6:23; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 6:25; Matthew 25:34-41; John 8:21.
17. 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 in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the Kings of the earth. Romans 13:1-7; 2 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21; Acts 23:5; 5:20; Matthew 22:21.
18. THE RESURRECTION, PERSONAL, VISIBLE, PRE-MILLENNIAL RETURN OF CHRIST, AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in:
A. The Bodily Resurrection. Matthew 28:6,7; Luke 24:39; 2-6; Mark 16:6; John 20:27; 1 Corinthians 15:4.
B. The Ascension. Acts 1:9-11; Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Revelation 3:21; Hebrews 12:2.
C. The High Priesthood. Hebrews 8:6; 5:9,10; 2:17; 1 John 2:1; 1 Timothy 2:5.
D. The Second Coming. John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; James 5:8; Hebrews 9:28.
E. The Resurrection of the Righteous Dead. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 53.
F. The Change of the Living in Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Philippians 3:20,21.
G. The Throne of David. Luke 1:32; Isaiah 9:6,7; Acts 2:29,30.
H. The Millennial Reign. 1 Corinthians 15:25; Isaiah 32:1; 11:4,5; Psalm 72:8; Revelation 20:6,14.
19. MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. Genesis 1:26-27.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:5. As a result of this belief, as a practice, our church, Bethel Baptist Church, no officer of our church or no member of church will officiate or participate in a same-sex marriage.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Bethel Baptist Church as the body of Christ, it is imperative that all persons employed by Bethel Baptist Church in any capacity (including at Bethel Christian Academy), or who serve as volunteers (even non-members), agree to and abide by this statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
18. THE FAMILY
We believe that the husband, the man, is the head of the home. It is the responsibility of the husband to love his wife and to train and discipline his children in a Godly manner. It is the responsibility of the wife to submit to her husband and to support her husband in the Godly training and discipline of her children. We believe that children are to obey their parents in the Lord. We believe that in the context of a local church, both men and women can and should be involved in ministry. We believe that women should not teach, or usurp authority over men, but to learn from the Godly teachers in silence. If women have a question or a challenge about a teaching or decision in the local church, they should ask it of their husbands or of a Godly man outside of a public meeting of the local church. We believe that our personal God-ordained roles in the family do not determine our personal worth in the family, the church, or society. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25; 3:1-13, 16-24; 1 Corinthians 11:3-16; 14:29-35; Galatians 3:28; 1 Timothy 2:8-15.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; we do now in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to give it a sacred pre-eminence over all institutions of human origin; to be faithful to its public services; to promote its prosperity and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrine, to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also will seek to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances, to walk circumspectly in the world, to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to abstain from harmfully worldly forms of music and entertainment; to avoid a worldly, immodest, or clearly gender-reversed appearance in public; to abstain from participation in or with an abortion; to abstain from fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality, and other sexual perversion; to abstain from rebellion towards church leaders; to abstain from entering into intimate relations with the unsaved; and to abstain from spreading any doctrine differing with our articles of faith.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember one another in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling, and courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that, when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible, unite with some other Church of like faith and practice, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
1. This shall be an independent Baptist Church associated for fellowship with other churches of like faith and practice, those in agreement with our articles of faith, church covenant, and stand on separation.
2. This church will not associate with liberal, new evangelical, or pseudo fundamental churches and organizations. We will not fellowship with the World or National Council of Churches, ecumenical evangelism, Charismatic, the Southern or American Baptist Conventions, Conservative Baptists, and cult, and church or denomination that differs from our articles of faith, churches that will not separate from worldliness or compromise, churches that fellowship with churches with which we will not fellowship, and churches that fail to practice discipline on those members that leave our church not in good standing.