We believe that the Bible, as originally written, is verbally inspired in its entirety by the Holy Spirit and is the product of the Spirit controlled men, and therefore is truth without admixture of error for its matter. We believe that it is the true center of Christian union and the only infallible rule for all human conduct, creeds, and opinions. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
We believe that there is one living and true God eternally existing in three persons; that they are equal in every divine perfection and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption. (2 Cor. 13:14; Deut. 6:4; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:8-10; Acts 5:3-4; John 10:36)
A. GOD THE FATHER
We believe that there is only one living and true God, infinite in every excellence; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three personal distinctions: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – yet one in substance and equal in every divine perfection. (Ex. 20:2-3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 John 5:7)
B. GOD THE SON
We believe in the absolute deity of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; that He was divine, as no other man can be, existing from all eternity, co-equal with the Father and the Spirit; that He never ceased to be God for one instant and that His humiliation did not consist in laying aside His deity; that as man He was miraculously begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. (John 1:1, 2:1, 5:20; Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-38)
C. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with the Father and Son and of the same substance and nature; that He convicts sin, righteousness and judgment, bears witness to the truth, is the Agent of the New Birth and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer, indwelling every true Child of God. (2 Cor. 13:14; John 13:16-17; Romans 8:14-27)
We believe in the distinct personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, author of all powers of darkness and sin, and is destined to the judgement of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire. (Matt. 4:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10)
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth, including all life "each after its own kind," by direct act, and not by the process of evolution. (Gen. 1:2; Col. 1:16-17; Jn. 1:1-3)
We believe that angels are created spirit-beings of various ranks and orders. They were created holy and good, but due to sin many fell from their holy estate and are now confirmed in wickedness. Those who reserved their integrity are God’s messengers, executing the Lord’s purpose, whereas the fallen angels execute Satan’s desires in hindering God’s work and afflicting God’s people. (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Matt. 4:6; Neh. 9:6; Col. 1:16; Psalm 104:4; Acts 5:19; Psalm 148:2-5; Isa 14; Eze. 28; Heb. 1:14)
6. THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man, in the person of the first Adam, was created in innocence but through voluntary transgression fell into sin, thus plunging the whole race into condemnation and death. Therefore, all mankind is born in sin, shaped in iniquity, and are become willful sinners with the first expression of personal choice, and are without excuse before God. (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:10-19)
Because of the fall, we believe that man became totally corrupted (his nature, his will, and his works) in body, soul, and spirit so that no good thing is found in him that affords him salvation by God. This is the definition of Total Depravity. Thus, every persona born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin as a result of their fallen nature and, apart from the grace of God, is utterly unable to choose to follow God, refrain from evil, or accept the gift of salvation as it is offered. This is also known as total inability. The does not mean that unsaved man is incapable of doing good, for man being evil knows how to give good gifts to his children (Luke 11:13), but that he is incapable of doing good that pleases God or makes him acceptable for heaven. (Psalm 14, 53; Jer. 17:9; Ecc. 7:20)
Total inability places and leaves man in a lost condition. His eternal destination is hell. Man is not condemned to hell, because he rejects Christ as his Savior, (as many go straight to hell having never heard of the Christ) but rather he is condemned because of his sin in Adam. (Rom. 5:12-14) Because of his lost, sinful, and fallen nature; man therefore rejects the only Savior that can redeem him.
7. 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 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 a full and vicarious atonement for the sins of the elect. His atonement consisted of His death in our place, the Just dying for the unjust; Christ, the Lord bearing the sins of the elect in His own body on the cross. Having risen from the dead, Christ is now enthroned in Heaven and is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior. (Eph. 2:8; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24; John 3:16; Matt. 18:11; Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:14; Isa 53:4-7; Rom 3:25; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21)
8. SALVATION BY GRACE
We believe that faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation from sin and this salvation is wholly by grace; that no works, however good, make that salvation more secure. (Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; Rom. 10:9-13) We believe that all who take Christ as their Savior are born from above and are eternally secure in Christ. (John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Phil. 1:6)
A. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION
Because of man’s sinful fall in the Garden, and the resultant total depravity and absence of a free will, we believe that God in His eternal counsel determined to extend His free grace to certain men, saving them from His eternal wrath. This salvation was done unconditionally not based on men’s merit or works. (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5) By God’s sovereign election, the elect was chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) for His glory (Eph. 1:12). Man did not choose God (John 15:16), because He could not (John 5:40). God by His mercy and grace according to His will chose those whom would obtain salvation through the atoning work of His Son on the Cross. (Mark 13:22; Rom. 8:33, 11:5; 2 Tim. 2:1; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:2, 5:13; 2 Peter 1:10)
It is the act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous in Christ. The declaration is based upon the atoning work of Christ in meeting all of the requirements of God’s righteousness. (Rom. 3:26, 28; Rom. 5:1)
Additionally, Scripture teaches that God has already declared the elect to be righteous through the sacrificial atoning work of Christ on the Cross. (Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25) This is done not by man’s works or by works of the Law. It is by grace alone, for Christ’s sake, that He justifies, that is, counts as righteous all those who believe, accept, and rely on the fact that for Christ’s sake their sins are forgiven. Thus, the Holy Spirit testifies through Paul: “There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Rom. 3:23-24) And again: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law,” (Rom. 3:28)
We believe that in position, believers are eternally set apart unto God by redemption “through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:9-10). Positionally, therefore, believers are complete in Christ from the moment of believing through Justification. (Col. 2:10; Rom. 5:1) In experience, the believer is being sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures. In consummation, the believer’s complete sanctification awaits the appearing of the Lord. (1 Cor. 6:11; 1 Thes. 5:23-24; 1 Tim. 4:5; 1 Thes. 4:3; 2 Peter 3:18; Heb. 10:9-10; Phil. 1:1; Heb. 3:1; Eph. 5:27)
11. THE CHURCH
A. We believe that the Church is a New Testament institution; unknown to the Old Testament prophets; established by Jesus Christ, who is its sole Head; revealed through the Apostles; empowered and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit; His “body” for service and His “bride” for glory. It began with the New Testament saints and will be consummated at the coming of Christ in the Rapture. (Matt. 16:18; Acts 1:3, 2:1-13,41-47; Acts 15:14; Rom. 16:26; 1 Cor. 12:12-28; Eph. 1:22-23, 3:21, 5:23-33; 1 Thes. 4:13-16)
B. We believe that the Church universal is manifested through the local church which 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; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in it by His work; that its officers are elder (or pastors) and deacons; that it has the absolute right of self-government only to Christ, and that in all matters of church membership, policy, government, member discipline and benevolence the will of the local church is final.
12. THE ORDINANCES
We believe that there are two church ordinances: Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Those professing saving faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior shall, by the pastor or some person authorized by the church, be immersed in water one time in accordance with scriptural teaching. Immersion shall be a prerequisite to church membership. (Acts 8:35-39; Rom. 6:5; Acts 2:1, 42; Matt. 3:16-17, 28:19; Mark 16:16; John 3:23; Col. 2:12)
B. LORD'S SUPPER
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes again, and should be preceded always by sincere self-examination, that it is a service of identification in which the use of unleavened bread represents the body of Christ and the fruit of the vine represents His precious blood which was given for mankind for the remission of sins. The Lord’s Supper (Communion) shall normally be served by the pastor (or some person designated by the church) and the deacons. The pastor shall explain the meaning and the importance of the ordinance and the scriptural order which places salvation as the prerequisite to communion and shall explain the importance of coming to the Lord’s Table in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The pastor and/or deacons will determine the frequency for observing communion. (1 Cor. 11:23-32; Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20)
13. PROPHETIC EVENTS
A. THE RAPTURE
Berean Baptist believes in the pre-millennial, pre-tribulation view concerning our Lord’s return. We believe that His return is imminent. (1 Thes. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; Rev. 3:10)
B. THE REVELATION
We believe that when Christ comes in the Rapture it will be invisible. When He returns the second time, He will be visible to the whole world. He will come as Lord and King of the Earth. (Rev. 19:11-16; Psalm 2)
C. THE JUDGMENTS
a. The Judgment of the Believer – This will take place at the Judgment seat of Christ. The Believer’s works will be judged and rewards will be given for faithful and sincere service. (2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 3:13-16)
b. The Judgment of Israel – This seven-year period is called the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.” God will pour judgment on Israel for their unbelief. (Rev. 6-13 …describes the events of this time)
c. The Great White Throne Judgment – This is the judgment where all unbelievers will stand before God and will receive the penalty of eternal punishment in Hell for their rejection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. (Rev. 20:11-15)
D. MILLENIAL REIGN OF CHRIST
We believe that Christ will fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant and will reign for 1000 years as the Ruler and King of the Universe. The evidence of this reign will be peace and righteousness. (Isa. 9:7; Gen. 12:1-3; Psalm 2)
We believe heaven is a literal place. It is the place of God’s abode. It is the believer’s eternal home. It is prepared by our Savior and will be maintained under His superintendence for all eternity. (Rev. 21; John 14:1-3)
We believe that Hell is a literal place. It is a place where those who reject Christ will be separated from god for all eternity. It is a place of pain, torment and agony and darkness forever. (Rev. 20:12-16; Matt. 13:41-42)
16. ALCHOHOLIC BEVERAGES
Scripture does not advocate or teach total abstinence from alcohol, but alcohol remains controversial, potentially dangerous, addictive, and a stumbling block issue. Therefore, Berean Baptist Church takes the following position:
Berean Baptist church will not allow alcohol at any of its events, fellowships or use it in the Communion Service. In addition, drinking will not be encouraged from the pulpit or teaching ministries of Berean. We further exhort our members to be considerate of Paul’s admonition in Romans 14. Other references that indicate caution include: Proverbs 21:1, 23:29-35; Isa. 5:11-12, 28:7-8; Hosea 4:10-11; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:18.
17. ECCLESIASTICAL ASSOCIATIONS
A. Berean Baptist maintains the right to fellowship with all brethren and assemblies that are of like Faith and Doctrine.
B. Berean Baptist Church will not fellowship nor encourage fellowship with the National Council of Churches or the World Council of Churches.
18. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE GROUPS
Because most of these groups are revolutionary in purpose and because of increasing attacks on churches and church services, Berean Baptist will take the following steps to deal with those who would seek to disrupt or interfere with the Worship Services of this assembly:
A. The Pastor will inform the group that a Worship Service is in session and that is the sole purpose and that interruption of worship will not be tolerated.
B. If interruption continues, the Pastor will inform the group that the pastor and Board of Deacons would be willing to meet with the group and discuss any problems or grievances but that the meeting would be held at a different time outside our regular scheduled services.
C. If neither of the first two steps are accepted, then the Pastor will inform the group or person that the proper authorities will be contacted to deal lawfully with the group.
19. Spiritual Gifts
The Holy Spirit has given spiritual gifts to the saints that are to be used in the service of the local church. These gifts are listed in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. The sign gifts include, tongues, interpretation of tongues, healing, the working of miracles and prophecy. Berean Baptist Church holds that sign gifts were temporary and are no longer in existence today and, thus, we classify ourselves as cessationists. The sign gifts were given to the Apostles for the purpose of showing the Jews that Gentiles are now included into the Church, to which they were confounded, and stumbled as neither the Church nor the Gentile inclusion into the Church was ever revealed in the OT Scriptures. The sign gifts were mainly a mercy to them (the Jews), for they were slow of heart and were known to demand a sign. (1 Cor. 1:22-23)
Prophecy, being God’s express and exact word, was given because the word of God was not yet completed in written form, and, like the sign gifts, would soon be done away with once the Word of God was given in its entirety. Those who commit to membership at Berean Baptist Church must agree with this statement. (1 Cor. 13:8-13)
20. CHURCH MUSIC
Psalm 98:1; 1 Peter 1:14-15; 1 Chron. 16:29; 2 Chron. 5:13-15, 23:13; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12
A. Music in the church is primarily for the worship and praise of god and the biblical edification of the church not for entertainment or evangelism. The goal of music is to unify the church’s praising and glorifying of God so that the worship offered Him is acceptable and He will bless by further revealing Himself and enabling each member for expanded service.
B. Music has great moral value, both in sound and lyrics, either tearing down or building up our appreciation for the things of God and hence our godliness. It is not neutral (amoral) but can be for good or evil.
C. Church music must be godly in nature: a “new song” reflecting the person, character, and work of God and the new man created by God in the likeness of Christ appealing first to the mind and spirit on the basis of biblical themes in spirit, intent, and content. It must not reflect our old master Satan or our former way of life under him. It will not be sensual or man-centered but will be the opposite of, distinct and separated from that which expresses the spirit and desire of the world and our flesh, which are at enmity with God.
D. Performance practices of church music must conform to the biblical standards for godliness, Christ-likeness. Godly music is the communication of the Word of God in the form of music and will not draw attention in any way to the performers but rather to the presentation of the Word.
Whereas God has condemned all sexual relationships outside of marriage, (1 Cor. 5:9-13, 9:15-18) and in addition there are numerous Scriptures which forbid and condemn homosexuality, both amongst men and women, and that no marriage apart from that of man and woman, male and female has ever been acceptable in the history of civilization, and that even in the natural animal world there is no such evidence of such relationships. We at Berean Baptist Church stand on the biblical truth that a marriage is between one man and one woman. (Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Mark 10:6-9; Rom. 1:26-28, 32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11, 7:2; 1 Tim. 1:10-11; Jude v.7)