In this space, it is typical for a church to put their Doctrinal Statement or Statement of Faith. However, since the words “doctrine” and “faith” are so misunderstood today, we consider this document our Statement of Convictions. This is to communicate that what we say below is much more than flexible, negotiable, personal opinions.
We recognize that Christians disagree on many areas in this statement. Therefore, as you read below you will find topics where Christians disagree that the elders decided to take a firm stand on. These are non-negotiable because we think they will significantly shape the kind of church we will be. However, you will also find topics below where Christians disagree that we decided not to take a firm stand on. This is not because we think these subjects are unimportant. This is because we want to partner in membership and ministry with people who hold differing views, as long as they do so in a way that values love and unity over being right.
At Redeemer Bible Church, we are deeply convinced about and wholeheartedly committed to the following statements, which form the basis of everything we do and hold to be true.
We teach the Bible is verbally inspired by God, making Him its ultimate source in totality and in every word. Because of this one fact, these 66 books are inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts, the supreme authority in as well as the sufficient guide for all matters of faith and conduct, even though human authors wrote each book. We teach the Bible is propositional revelation (the mind of God expressed in words and sentences, not impressions or experiences), practice the grammatical-historical method and trust that with the illumination of the Holy Spirit we can arrive at the correct interpretation of any passage. We also accept the historical record of the Bible as accurate. The Bible is not a collection of beliefs; it is God’s revelation of reality without which we can not know the Truth. In everything the Bible says it is true, accurate, sufficient, and in no way misleading. There is no truth that is inconsistent with the Bible. This means we reject all postmodern, mystical, subjective interpretations that do not rely on the above controls and we reject the idea that truth or morality are merely relative or subjective. [Pss 12:6, 19:7-9, 119:160; Jer 26:2; Matt 4:4, 5:18, 24:35; John 10:35, 16:12-15, 17:17; Rom 15:4; 1 Cor 2:7-13; 1 Thes 2:13; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:16-21].
We teach there is only one true and living God, who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each divine person equally deserves worship and obedience, and are equal in every divine perfection, though at the same time each Person is distinct and executes different, but harmonious functions in the work of creation, providence, and redemption [There is Only One God: Deut 4:35, 6:4; Isa 43:10, 44:6, 45:5-6; Mark 12:29; 1 Cor 8:6; Gal 4:8; Eph 4:6; 1 Tim 2:5; James 2:19; The Trinity: Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; Eph 1:3-14, 2:18, 3:14-18; 1 Pet 1:2; The Father is God: John 6:27, 17:1-3; 1 Cor 8:6, 15:24; Gal 1:1; Eph 5:20; Phil 2:11; James 1:27; 1 Pet 1:3; The Son is God: John 1:1-3, 5:18, 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Phil 2:5-6; Col 2:9;Titus 2:13; Heb 1:8-9; 2 Pet 1:1; The Spirit is God: Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 3:17-18; The Three Persons Are Not the Same Person, but Three Distinct Persons: John 1:1-2, 14:26, 15:26,17:1-3, 24; Rom 8:11; 1 John 2:1].
GOD THE FATHER
We teach that God the Father is an eternal, infinite, unchanging, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, knowledge, wisdom, faithfulness, power, justice, patience, love and sole authority over the entire universe. He created all things out of nothing, physical and non-physical, not because of any deficiency in Himself or incompleteness in His self-sufficiency, but for His own purpose and glory. We teach He holds His entire creation together, foreknows, ordains and controls all things, concerns Himself with and mercifully enters into the affairs of humankind, planned salvation, hears and answers prayer and adopts into His family all who come to Him through Jesus Christ, rescuing them from eternal, conscious torment [Gen 1:1-31; Exod 3:14, 6:3, 15:11, 34:6-7; 1 Sam 2:6-8, 1 Chr 29:11; Neh 9:6; Job 42:2; Pss 89:11, 90:2, 100:5, 115:2-3, 135:5-6; Isa 6:3, 42:8-9, 46:9-10; Ezek 18:4; Dan 4:24-35; Jonah 4:2; Nah 1:7; Hab 1:13; Mal 3:6; John 1:12, 4:24;Acts 17:24-25; Rom 2:4, 9:15, 11:33-36; 1 Cor 8:6, 10:13; Eph 1:3-6, 1:11; 1 Tim 1:17, 2:5; 2 Tim 1:9; Titus 2:11; Heb 1:2, 12:5-9, 13:5; Jam 1:13, 1:17, 4:13-16; 1 Pet 1:15-16; 1 John 4:8,4:16; Rev 4:8].
GOD THE SON, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We teach the eternal Son of God, through Whom God the Father created the world and is currently upholding it, was prophetically predicted in the Old Testament, became fully human, being conceived by the Holy Spirit in a woman named Mary and was born Jesus of Nazareth. We teach that at no time during His stay on earth was Jesus anything other than fully divine. We consider His virgin conception and birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings all to be true and historical, along with His substitutionary, atoning, once-for-all-time death, burial, physical resurrection, ascension into heaven and perpetual intercession for His people. We teach His personal, visible return to earth in the future to judge the world and establish His rule over the earth. In light of all of this, we teach that belief in Him is the only way any person can or will ever be saved [Gen 3:15, 49:10; Num 24:17; Deut 18:15-18; 1 Chr 17:12-14; Pss 2:6-12, 16:10,22:1-18, 110:1-7, 118:22; Isa 7:14, 52:13-53:12; Dan 2:44-45, 9:24-25; Mic 5:2; Zech 9:9, 12:10; Matt 1:23-25, 28:18-20; Mark 1:1, 10:45; Luke 1:26-35, 2:10-11; John 1:1-3, 1:29, 5:18-23,8:58, 10:17-18, 10:30, 14:6-10; 17:3-5, 20:28; Acts 1:9-11, 2:22-24, 4:11-12, 13:33-35, 17:30-31, 20:28; Rom 5:6; 1 Cor 8:6, 15:3; 2 Cor 5:21; Eph 1:20-22; Phil 2:5-11, 3:20-21; Col 1:15-17,2:9; 1 Thes 4:13-17; 1 Tim 2:5, 3:16; Titus 2:11-14; Heb 1:2-12, 2:14-18, 4:14-15, 7:23-28, 9:25-28, 10:14; 1 Pet 1:18-19, 2:22, 3:18; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 John 2:1-2, 5:11-13; Rev 1:5].
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We teach that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person with an intellect, will, and emotions. He created and preserves the world, was heavily involved in Jesus’ earthly life (His conception, empowering His ministry, at His crucifixion and resurrection), was sent by the Father and the Son in fulfillment of the New Covenant as Jesus’ comforting replacement, the divine author and interpreter of Scripture, convicts of sin, restrains evil, brings glory to Jesus, grants new life to those who are spiritually dead, places all believers into the one true church, convinces them to repent and believe, indwells them permanently, gives them access to God, leads them away from and empowers them for victory over sin, transforms them into the image of Jesus, produces godly character, prays for them, gives them a ministry for the good of the church and protects them until the day of redemption. We have chosen not to take a stand in this statement on the continuation of miraculous spiritual gifts though each elder has convictions on this issue. However, we do not teach the gift of tongues (or any other individual spiritual gift) is required as evidence of salvation, or that any ‘word from the Lord,’ feeling, impression or message from the Holy Spirit will ever contradict or supersede what He has already said in the Bible. We also teach the repudiation of the prosperity movement, which is often connected with miraculous spiritual gifts [Gen 1:2; Job 33:4; Pss 33:6, 139:7-10; Isa 44:3, 61:1; Ezek 36:27; Joel 2:28-29;Matt 3:16, 12:28-32, 28:19; Luke 1:35; John 3:3-8, 6:63, 14:16-17, 14:26, 15:26-27, 16:7-15; Acts 1:16, 5:3-4, 15:28, 28:25; Rom 1:4, 8:2-27; 1 Cor 2:10-11, 3:16, 6:11, 6:19, 12:7-13; 2 Cor 3:17, 13:14; Gal 5:16-18, 5:22-23; Eph 1:13-14, 2:18, 2:22, 4:30, 5:18; 2 Thes 2:6-8; Titus 3:5; Heb 9:14, 10:15-16; 1 Pet 1:10-11, 1:23-25; 2 Pet 1:21; 1 John 4:13].
While each elder has a conviction on how long ago the creation event in Genesis 1:1-2:4 took place we have chosen not to take a hard stand on this issue in our doctrinal statement. However, we do teach a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3, creation out of nothing (ex nihilo), the special creation of a historical Adam & Eve, a historical Noah and a worldwide flood. We do not think there is evidence that persuades us to affirm species to species evolution.
We teach Adam and Eve, the parents of the entire human race, were real people who were created in innocence, without sin and with the capacity, desire, and mandate to glorify God in all things. We teach that all human beings, whether in the womb or out, regardless of age or level of health, are images of God and are, therefore, inherently valuable and worthy of respect (thus, while loving those involved in these practices we strongly oppose abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia). We teach that in Adam’s sin the whole human race fell, inherited the guilt of his sin and a sinful nature, becoming spiritually dead, enslaved to sin and alienated from God so that all are now sinners both by nature and by choice. We teach that all humanity is guilty before God, totally infected by sin and incapable of saving himself from his depraved condition, leaving every single human that has ever lived hopelessly lost and awaiting the unending wrath of God. This understanding of human beings leads us to reject any concept of universal salvation [Gen 1:26-31, 2:15-3:20, 6:5, 8:21, 9:6; 1 Kgs 8:46; Pss 8:3-8, 14:1-3, 143:2;Prov 6:16-19; Eccl 7:20, 8:11; Isa 13:11, 43:7; Jer 17:9; Ezek 18:4; Matt 7:11, 10:31, 12:12; John 3:19, 6:44, 6:65; Rom 1:18-32, 3:9-23, 5:10-21, 6:17, 6:20, 6:23, 7:18, 8:7-8; 1 Cor 2:14, 11:7,15:48-49; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Gal 3:22, Eph 2:1-3, 2:11-12, 4:17-18; Col 1:21, 2:13; 2 Thes 2:12; 2 Tim 2:26; Titus 3:3; James 2:10-11, 3:9; 1 John 1:8, 1:10; Rev 4:11].
MEN AND WOMEN
We teach that God created both men and women in His image, making both genders completely equal in value and dignity and equally worthy of respect (contrary to all forms of misogyny and misanthropy). However, they are not identical but instead are complementary in both role and function. In other words, in the church and in the home, men have been given the responsibility of leading (e.g., only men should be church elders/pastors) and women have been given the responsibility of following that leadership. We teach what the Bible has always taught and has clear historical precedent, that marriage is between one man and one woman and marriage roles have always been part of God’s good creation, being ordained by Him before sin entered the world [Gen 1:26-27, 2:18-24, 5:1-2, 9:6; Mark 10:1-12; 1 Cor 11:3, 11:34-37; 1 Tim 2:11-14, 3:1-2; Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; James 3:9; 1 Pet 3:1-7].
We teach that salvation is completely a gift of God’s grace given to all whom He elected to salvation before the creation of the world. Salvation includes all that God does in saving humans from the penalty, power, and presence of sin and in restoring them to a right relationship with Him. As such, we teach salvation is solely the work of God from initiation to completion. We teach salvation can never be gained by human good works but is a free gift only for those who repent of their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord, His finished work on the cross and His resurrection. We teach all who do so are united to Christ, and therefore, are forgiven and saved from their sins, declared righteous before God and are adopted into His family so as to bring Him glory forever [Mark 1:15; John 3:16, 3:36, 6:44, 17:3, 20:31; Acts 3:19, 5:31, 10:43, 11:18-21, 13:48, 20:21, 26:20; Rom 1:16-17, 3:21-5:21, 9:15-16, 10:9-17; 1 Cor 1:27-30;2 Cor 5:19-21, 7:10; Gal 2:6, 2:16, 4:4-5; Eph 1:3-14, 2:4-10; Phil 1:6, 3:8-9; Col 1:21-22; 1 Thes 2:13; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Tim 2:4; 2 Tim 1:8-10; Titus 1:1, 2:11-14, 3:3-7; James 1:18; 1 Pet 1:2-5;1 John 1:9, 4:9-10, 5:11-13].
We teach sanctification (i.e., growth, change, maturity, etc.) from sin has both positional and practical aspects. Positional sanctification as a work of the Holy Spirit is complete and absolute (a synonym for salvation); however, practical sanctification is a result of the continuing work of the Spirit using the Word of God as the primary means for growth into Christlikeness. We teach that while the process of practical sanctification is assured by the Word and the Spirit, it is imperfect in this life. There is some element of corruption in every believer after they are regenerated, which is the source for the Christian’s war between the flesh and the Spirit. In general, spiritual growth occurs as believers grow in love for Jesus through the Gospel, feed on His Word and are in fellowship with other believers for encouragement and service.
PRESERVATION AND PERSEVERANCE
We teach all who have ever been regenerated (“born again”) are kept by God’s power and thus, their salvation is secure in Christ forever; they can never be lost. We teach that this assurance, however, is never to be understood as an excuse for sinful living. God in His holiness will not tolerate persistent sin in His children. We teach that one’s salvation will be expressed by a fruitful, God-pleasing life that stays faithful to that commitment until death [Pss 31:23, 66:8-9; John 6:37-40, 8:31-35, 10:28-29, 17:2, 17:11-12, 17:24; Rom 8:31-39; Eph 4:30; Phil 1:6;Col 1:21-23; 1 Thes 5:24; 2 Tim 1:12, 4:7, 4:18; Titus 2:14, 3:8; Heb 3:6, 3:14, 7:25; James 2:14-26; 1 Pet 1:5, 1:23-24; 1 John 2:3-6, 2:15-19, 2:29-3:1, 3:4-10, 5:1-2, 5:11, 5:18; 2 John 2;Jude 1, 24].
We teach the true Church, the Church Universal, is made up of every person who has ever repented of his or her sins and trusted Jesus Christ to save them from God’s wrath. Each local church, as established in Scripture, is made up of redeemed individuals who have joined together for worship, instruction, fellowship, service and to reach the lost [Matt 16:18, 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21, 30-31; Acts 1:8, 8:3, 9:31, 20:28; 1 Cor 3:9, 3:16-17, 10:31-32, 12:12-28; Eph 1:22-23, 2:19-22, 3:10, 3:15, 4:12-16, 5:23-27; Col 1:18, 1:24, 1:28-29, 2:19; 1 Thes 5:11;1 Tim 3:15; Heb 9:12; 1 Pet 2:9-10, 5:2-3; Rev 19:7-8, 21:9].
We teach the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the local church: Baptism and Communion / The Lord’s Supper. We teach baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God and is to be done after a person experiences salvation, never before and never to earn salvation, but as an expression of one’s union with Christ in His death and resurrection. We teach Communion commemorates and proclaims Jesus’ death. We believe these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ [Baptism: Matt 28:19; Mark 1:10; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39, 10:44-47; Rom 6:3-4; 1 Cor 1:14-17; Col 2:12; Communion: Matt 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor 10:16-17, 11:20-32].
We teach every human being can have a direct relationship with God and is ultimately responsible to God alone in all matters of faith. We teach that every church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that, therefore, Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
ANGELS AND DEMONS
We teach that angels are created, personal beings, and therefore should not be worshiped, who worship God in His presence, carry out His purposes in the world, help God’s people and will join Jesus when He returns to earth. We teach that Satan is a fallen angel, the enemy of both God and man, who took numerous angels with him when he fell and helped introduce sin to the human race. Satan and his demonic army, though they know the truth, are encouraging sin and false religion in the world and will all be eternally punished in the lake of fire [Gen 3:1-24; 1 Kgs 19:5; Pss 34:7, 91:11-12, 103:20-21; Isa 6:2-3; Dan 8:16-17, 9:20-23, 10:11, 12:6-7; Matt 4:3-10, 13:39-42, 13:49-52, 18:10, 24:31, 25:41, 28:2; Mark 8:38; Luke 1:19, 2:13-14, 15:7,16:22, 20:36; John 8:44; Acts 7:53, 8:26, 12:5-11; 1 Cor 4:9; 2 Cor 4:4, 11:3, 11:14; Eph 2:2, 3:9-10, 6:11-12; Col 1:16, 2:18; 1 Thes 2:18; 2 Thes 1:7; 1 Tim 3:6, 3:16, 5:21; 2 Tim 2:26; Heb 1:6-7, 1:14, 2:2, 12:22; James 2:19, 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8-9; 2 Pet 2:4; 1 John 3:8; Jude 6; Rev 1:1, 5:11-12, 7:11-12, 9:11, 20:2, 20:10].
We teach an imminent, physical, personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We teach that at death the souls of those who have trusted Jesus for salvation pass immediately into His presence and remain there in sinless, conscious bliss until the resurrection when soul and body will be reunited. We teach that at death the souls of all unbelievers will never be annihilated, but will remain in conscious misery until their soul and body will be reunited at the final judgment and cast into the lake of fire, separated from God in conscious punishment forever. We have chosen not to take a stand on many end times details (e.g., the timing of the Rapture, the start of the Tribulation period, how long it will last and whether Christians will go through it, the start of the Millennium and how long it is, etc) though each elder has come to conclusions on these issues. We anticipate Jesus’ return in the future, meaning we do not believe He has already returned [Dan 12:2; Matt 5:12, 6:20, 13:40-42, 24:3-51, 25:41-46; Mark 13:32; Luke 10:20, 12:33; John 5:22-29, 14:2; Acts 1:9-11, 10:42,17:31; Rom 2:8-16, 6:16-23, 8:17, 8:30, 13:12, 14:10; 1 Cor 3:10-4:5, 13:12, 15:35-50, 16:22; 2 Cor 5:6-10, 12:2-4; Gal 5:21; Eph 5:5; Phil 1:21-23, 3:20-21, 4:5; 1 Thes 1:9-10, 3:13, 4:13-17; 2 Thes 1:7-10, 2:13-14; 2 Tim 2:10, 4:1; Titus 2:13; Heb 6:2, 9:27, 11:16, 12:22-23; James 1:15, 5:7-9; 1 Pet 1:4, 4:5-7, 5:4; 2 Pet 2:17, 3:7-12; 1 John 3:2; Jude 6, 14-15, 23; Rev 1:7, 6:17,7:16-17, 11:15, 14:11, 19:1-20, 20:1-15, 21:8, 22:15].
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