(1) The Holy Scriptures We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible 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 toMan. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Version (1611) of the Bible shall be the official translation used by the Independent Baptist Alliance,even though there are many antiquated words in the King James, we feel that it is still the best version of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet.1:20-21).
(2) Dispensationalism We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man's responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispen-sations-the law, the church, and the kingdom-are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture ( Gen. 1 :28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col.1 :24-25,27; Rev. 20:2-6)
(3) The Godhead We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each coeternal in being, co identical in nature, coequal in power and glory , and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10,26).
( 4) The Person and Work of Christ. (a) 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 (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1 :35; John 1 :1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).
(b) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
(c) We believe 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 (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
5) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (a) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).
(b) We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1 :17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20,27).
(c) We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11,28; Eph. 4:7-12).
(d) We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (I Cor. 1 :22; 13:8; 14:21- 22).
(6) The Total Depravity 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, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition ( Gen. I :26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19).
(7) Salvation We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). (8) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers (a) We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1,38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; I Pet. 1:4- 5). (b) We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15). (9) The Church (a) We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27). (b) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17,28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1 :5-11). (c) We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts recognize water baptism and the Lord's Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). (10) Separation We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14- 7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11). (11) The Second Advent of Christ We believe in that "blessed hope," the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6). (12) The Eternal State (a) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28,29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13). (b) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6). (c) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Matt. 25 :41- 46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1 :7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15). (13) The Personality of Satan We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10). (14) Creation We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11). (15) Civil Government We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: a) the home; b) the church; and c) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14) (16) Human Sexuality We believe that god has commanded us to abstain from all intimate sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that all forms of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are wrong and sinful perversions of God's gift of sex to a man and a woman. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5,13; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29.1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb.13:4). (17) Divorce and Remarriage We believe that God intended for a marriage to last for a lifetime between a man and a woman. It was and still is God's plan for one man and one woman to be together for one lifetime. We also know that things happen that are not God's perfect will. Therefore, we believe that when a couple is having trouble in their marriage, everything that can be done, should be done to keep that couple together including prayer and godly counseling. If all fails, we believe that even where a divorce has been granted, the couple can go on and live a Christian life. If there is proper repentance and remorse, God still loves those that have gone through a divorce. We do not believe that divorce disqualifies a man from serving the Lord in any capacity as a deacon or pastor. If a man has proven himself and an appropriate period of time has passed, and the people want him for a pastor or any other office, we see no reason for him not to hold that position. (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1 :6 refer to polygamy not divorce ). EXTENT OF STATEMENT OF FAITH this statement of faith does not include all of our beliefs. The bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. However, we do believe that this statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the bible, and will be a standard for the Independent Baptist Alliance and their members.