What We Believe

 

1. The Holy Scriptures – God’s Word is pure and preserved (Psalms 12:6,7). God himself inspired the Bible and gave it to Holy men of God who were used as scribes. (I Peter 1:20,21) His Word is perfect and unchanging, yet is alive and changes the heart of man. (Hebrews 4:12) The Word is infallible, whether it be the original text or a translation from the textus receptus. I don’t believe in dual inspiration, but that the very fact that His words never ceased to be inspired, regardless what language they are in. The King James Bible is God’s Word in the English language. The Bible is my standard for both faith and practice.

 

2. God – God has always existed (Psalm 90:2) and spoke the world into existence (Hebrews 1:10). He is eternal and is in absolute control from beginning to end. The God-Head is triune, named as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In Genesis 1:26, God refers to Himself in the plural using the words “us” and “we”. In Revelation 1:8, Jesus is named as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. There is only one God and he is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-existent.

 

3. Christ – Jesus Christ, such a precious name: Jesus meaning the Saviour of the world, speaks of His humanity (Matthew 1:21). Christ, meaning the Messiah, reveals His Deity - having come from the Father (I John 4:14). Christ came to accomplish His Father’s will in offering His life as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. From childhood, he was intent on being about His Father’s business; and on the cross, he proclaimed, “It is finished.” I believe according to prophecy and the proclamation of Scriptures, that Christ literally died for our sins, was buried, and rose again (I Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus ascended to Heaven and promised his followers of an imminent return, for which we must watch and wait. There will be a day when He returns to rule and reign with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15).

 

4. Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit, another Person in the God-Head, is eternal and works throughout the Old Testament as well as today. While He would simply come upon men before Christ, He came permanently and indwells the believer since Christ ascended to Heaven. (I Corinthians 3:16) His works are many: He convicts of sin, indwells and seals the believer, and teaches and comforts the redeemed. He leads in ministry, gifts each member, and emboldens the witness (I Corinthians 12-14). This is the Member referred to when the Bible mentions in John 4:24, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

 

5. Man and Sin – Man is the only created being in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Man has a living soul and an eternal spirit (Mark 8:36). Man, however, chose to disobey God in the Garden and knows both good and evil. Sin is the transgression of the law. The consequence for sin is death (Romans 6:23). All mankind is born in sin, and therefore, will die (Romans 5:12). God, in his love, became a man in the person of Jesus Christ (John 3:16). He was born without sin, because the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, enabling a virgin birth. He lived perfectly and died as my substitute. Through faith in Christ, I may be forgiven, and not remain at enmity with God because of my sin (Romans 5:1). I may enjoy fellowship in God’s presence on a daily basis in prayer and Bible devotions. Man’s duty is to fear God and keep his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13). God made man to please him by bringing glory to him.

 

6. Salvation and the Security of the Believer – It is God who saves man. Man is helpless to rescue himself and even more inadequate to preserve himself. God provided salvation through the offering of His only begotten Son on the cross. Eternal life is a gift paid for by the blood of Christ (I Peter 1:18,19).God grants the gift of repentance to the penitent sinner. As man realizes his lost state, and in humility pleads for mercy, God gives His grace to save that man (James 4:6). This grace is accessed by faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). When we are born of the Spirit of God, we are new creatures. (I Corinthians 5:17) We now are made joint-heirs with Christ and are sealed by His Spirit. Having received Christ, we are the children of God. We can never become unborn. He chastens his children who stray, but in no case forsakes those who truly are His, but rather are protected in the loving watch care of the Father’s hands (John 10:28,29).

 

7. The Church – It is the called out assembly of God, established by Christ (Matthew 16:18). It is a group of baptized believers joined together to observe the two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19,20). It is to be separated from the world unto God in holiness. Its leadership is overseen by the pastor who is supported by deacons who meet the criteria as mentioned in I Timothy 3.

 

Characteristics of a Baptist – As we study Bible believers throughout the ages back to Christ and his disciples, we discover the true followers who never aligned with the state Church. Though called by various names through the centuries, they became known as Ana-Baptists (re-baptizers), and more modernly as Baptists. They never persecuted others, but many martyrs suffered for upholding the distinct doctrine of baptism by immersion (Acts 8:38). Baptists believe in the Bible as the sole authority for both faith and practice. We believe in individual sole liberty and recognize accountability before God one day as the just Judge.

 

8. Angels – All living beings are God’s creation, including angels (Psalm 148:2,5). They are the ministers of God and specific angels continually worship Him around His throne. There was a time however, when Lucifer was lifted up with pride and was cast out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12). One third of the angels followed. They are now the demons that rebel against God’s work and can possess unbelievers and oppress God’s people. Satan’s power is not to be contested by any man or angel (not even Michael the archangel). Only God’s power exceeds that of the Devil. Angels have ministered to God’s people, including Jesus (Matthew 4:11), slain the enemies of Israel, and announced news of good tidings. For instance, the parents of Samson, John the Baptist, and Jesus were foretold their coming by angels. There will be a day when an angel will blow the trump of God and the saints will be caught up to be with Christ in the air (I Thessalonians 4:16).

 

9. Last Things – The future time-line looks as thus: the imminent return of Christ is first. It is prefaced by famine, peril, wars, and disease, which are seen around us today. Christ will rapture His church (I Thessalonians 4:17) and we will enjoy the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, as the Bride will be finally united with the Bridegroom. We will be judged at the Bema seat for all works done in His name. The works of the flesh will be burnt as wood, hay, and stubble (I Corinthians 3:12). The works of the Spirit will be rewarded with gold, silver, and precious stones. Meanwhile, the anti-Christ will arise on earth during the seven-year Tribulation period. Christ will then gather the redeemed and ride on horses to earth. This is His Second Coming. He will slay the forces of evil at the Battle of Armageddon. He will then proceed to Jerusalem and set up His throne to rule and reign for a thousand years. It is during this time that Satan is bound and tormented (Revelation 20:2,3). At the conclusion of the Millennium, Satan will be loosed before being judged with the lost at the Great White Throne Judgment. The earth will then be destroyed with fire. God will make a new heaven and earth. The saved will enjoy eternity with God in Heaven and the new earth. The lost will burn in the lake of fire in everlasting punishment.

 

10. The Great Commission – The mission Christ gave to his Disciples before he ascended to heaven was to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). This is evangelism. Then they were to baptize them and teach them whatsoever Christ commanded them (Matthew 28:19,20). This is discipleship. This is Christ’s way of his church living, growing, and reproducing. This command was given to the church and can only be obeyed through the local church. The early church was told to go both into Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). This operation was to be performed simultaneously, not progressively. Each church’s responsibility today is to be locally and globally minded. We do this by personal soul-winning, as well as supporting missionaries who plant churches of like faith in other areas.

 

11. Personal and Ecclesiastical Separation – The way an individual acts, dresses, and lives is a reflection of his master. This personal lifestyle is important because it also impacts the church which he represents. God expects holiness in His people, as he is holy (I Peter 1:16). As we are dead to self as a living sacrifice, we may do the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God: this is simply our reasonable service (Romans 12:1,2). Any person or organization which compromises Bible doctrine is not worthy of the fellowship of those who walk in light. God strictly forbids one to welcome anyone into his home who denies the truth of Christ’s Deity. We are to separate from worldliness, lest we too become corrupt. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3) Even in circles of religious groups, we must beware of who is truly a brother to fellowship with. The World Council of Churches is Satan’s way of infiltrating the power of religious hierarchies and orchestrating the construction of the one-world religious system. A Bible believing church has no place in having alliances with groups who surrender God’s truth for Satan’s seat of worship. As Satan’s practice has always been, he works slowly and subtly to creep in unawares. We must be vigilant and earnestly contend for the faith (Jude v.3). Satan is chiseling away at the foundation of the Church in the areas of modern versions of the Bible, contemporary music, and improper dress. I believe a Christian should be above reproach, and must abstain from all appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:17). Satan certainly is not ashamed of his agenda and reveals it through the rock music and immoral dress styles and culture. The carnal Christian, always wanting to fit in with the world, adapts the worldly music and dress styles to his own destruction. I believe it is important to be distinctively different from the world, not only with remaining faithful to the Old Book (KJV Bible), but also with wholesome dress standards, hair styles, and sacred music. As one person has said, "You can measure the closeness of a Christian to God, by the distance he has with worldliness."

 

12. Fundamentals of the Faith – I am an unashamed fundamentalist who remains firm on the following tenets:

 

The verbal inspiration of the Scriptures (II Timothy 3:16)

The virgin Birth of Christ (Luke 1:31-35)

The vicarious death of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:6)

The victorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:13-20)

The visible, literal return of Christ (I Thessalonians 4:16-18)

 

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© Luke Knickerbocker