Statement of Faith

bible flag pic

This church holds the following statement of faith as being, a summary of Christian doctrine whose authority consists only in its agreement with the Word of God. This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible (KJV) itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe that the following statement of faith accurately represents the teachings of the Bible, and therefore is binding upon all members.

THE SCRIPTURES

We believe that the Holy Bible was divinely inspired by God and given to man as the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man. By the “Holy Bible” we mean that collection of sixty-six books (Genesis through Revelation) of the Old and New Testaments, which we believe is the very Word of God. Because inspiration without preservation would be meaningless, and the original manuscripts of the Bible are no longer in existence, God has supernaturally and providentially preserved His Word, without error, for us today in the Authorized Version 1611 (King James Version). We believe that this preserved Bible is the final authority for us in all matters of faith, doctrine, and practice. Finally, we believe that Christians should not only believe the Book, but also do what it commands and teaches. (Psalms 12:6, 7; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; James 1:22-25; 2 Peter 1:21)

THE TRUE GOD

We believe that there is one true and living God, eternally existing and manifesting Himself to us in three divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who are all equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 45:21,22; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; 14:9,10,26; 15:26; I Timothy 3:16; 1 John 5:7)

THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, eternal with the Father, was conceived of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, and is both the Son of God and God the Son. He is both true man and true God; one person, with two natures; tempted in all points like we are yet without sin. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 2, 14; Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:14,15)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through dying and shedding his blood on the cross as the representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification is made sure by his literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24,25; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14-22; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 Peter 2:24)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father, where as our High Priest, he fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, Mediator, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9,10; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; I Timothy 2:5; I John 2:1,2)

THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY GHOST

We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, converts the repentant sinner, places him into Christ, indwells and seals the believer, interprets the Scripture, and endues God’s children with power to be bold witnesses. (John 16:7-11; John 3:5,6; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:10-14; 12:13; Ephesians 1:13,14)

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. (I Corinthians 2:10; Ephesians 1:17,18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20,27)

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. (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12)

We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Ghost, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was a gift given of the Holy Ghost, but is no longer in operation today. (I Corinthians 1:22; 13:8-10; 14:21,22)

CREATION

We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after his own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary changes of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly; and God established that they should bring forth only “after their kind.” We reject any form of theistic or atheistic evolution. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; John 1:3; Romans 1:20; Revelation 10:6)

THE FALL OF MAN

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but in that Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; so all men are sinners by birth and by choice and are of themselves utterly unable to remedy their lost condition. (Genesis 1:26, 27; Romans 3:10, 11, 22, 23; 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19)

THE WAY OF SALVATION

We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace. It is received by repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, who shed his precious blood on Calvary for the forgiveness of sins. We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again, and that the new birth is instantaneous and not a process. (John 1:12; 3:1-7; Acts 20:21; Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; I Peter 1:18, 19)

ETERNAL SECURITY AND THE ASSURANCE OF BELIEVERS

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; Romans 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:3-5; I John 5:11-13)

We believe that it is a 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. (Romans 6:1, 2, 12, 13; 13:13, 14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)

JUSTIFICATION

We believe that, at one time and for all people, the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in him are justified on the grounds of his shed blood. (Romans 3:25-26; 5:9; I Corinthians 15:1- 4; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 10:12)

SANCTIFICATION/ THE SETTING ASIDE OF THE BELIEVER

We believe that at the time of the new birth the believer is positionally sanctified, but we also believe that each believer is practically and progressively sanctified, in holiness, for service as the believer yields to the working of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 10:10, 14; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 4; 5:23; 2 Timothy 2:21)

THE FREENESS OF SALVATION

We believe that the blessing of salvation is made free to all by the Gospel; And that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection results in going to hell and finally being cast off into the lake of fire. (Isaiah 55:1; John 3:16-19; Romans 5:18; 10:13; 16:25, 26; II Peter 3:9)

REPENTANCE AND FAITH

We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening of the Spirit of God; and thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing him as our only and all-sufficient Savior. (Psalm 51:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3, 5; 24:47; Acts 3:19; 20:21; Romans 10:9-11)

SEPARATION

We believe in the Biblical doctrine of separation which encompasses three things:

The Separation of the local church from all affiliation and fellowship with those who deny the verities of the “faith which was once delivered to the saints”, and from all those individuals and organizations similarly associated including Charismatics, Calvinists, Hyper Calvinists, Promise Keepers, etc.

The Separation of the individual believer from all worldly practices that may dishonor the Savior.

The Separation of the church and state; in that the state has no Biblical authority over the local church.

(Romans 12:1, 2; I Corinthians 6:18-20; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Galatians 1:8, 9; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; Jude 3)

THE LOCAL CHURCH

We believe that a New Testament local church is a congregation or assembly of baptized believers, associated together by a covenant of faith, based solely upon the Word of God. The officers of ordination are pastors or full time Christian workers engaged in a specific preaching ministry, and the Scriptural Ordinances are water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, and that all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, and of benevolence are to be guided, first and foremost by the Word of God and then by the membership of the Salem Baptist Church. We believe that the mission of the church is to win the lost, baptize those who are saved, and instruct them in the Word of God so that they too will win the lost. (Matthew 18:15-20; 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; 6:1-7; 15:1-22; 17:11; I Corinthians 11:20-34; I Timothy 3:1-13; II Timothy 2:2; 3:16, 17)

We also believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate functions for men and women in the home and the local church. The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be the leaders of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensing and ordination by the church. We also hold firm to the belief that only men can be preachers, pastors, evangelists, and deacons. (I Corinthians 11:3; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4, 5, 12)

BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER

We believe that salvation must precede water baptism. We believe that the ordinance of Scriptural baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost under the authority of the local church. It is to picture, in a solemn and beautiful ceremony, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen savior, showing forth our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Salvation and Baptism are prerequisite to the privilege of church membership. The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance in which members of the church, by sacred use of unleavened bread and non-fermented fruit of the vine, are to commemorate the love of Christ shown at Calvary. This ordinance should always be preceded by solemn self-examination realizing that we are showing forth the Lord’s suffering and death till he comes. We believe that these two ordinances are ceremonial and not redemptive in nature. (Matthew 3:16; 28:19, 20; Luke 22:19, 20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41, 42; 8:36-39; I Corinthians 11:23-31; Colossians 2:12)

CIVIL GOVERNMENT

We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of Human society; and that magistrates, those in authority, are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except in things opposed to the Word of God. (Romans 13:1-7; Acts 5:29; I Timothy 2:1-3; Matthew 22:21; 23:10; 1 Peter 2:13, 14)

THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked, and that only the righteous are the children of God. The righteous are saved by grace through repentance and faith and are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Spirit of our God. All unbelievers who continue in rebellion and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both in life and after death. (John 8:44; Romans 1:17, 18; I Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10; I Peter 4:18; I John 5:18, 19; Malachi 3:18)

SATAN

We believe that Satan was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be above the Almighty, he fell and drew after him a host of angels. He is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and Jesus Christ, the accuser of the brethren, and the author of all false religions. He is destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s Son and the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire. (Genesis 3:1-5; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-17; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4; I Peter 5:8,9; I John 3:8; Revelation 12:9,10; 20:10)

HEAVEN AND HELL

We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into his presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at the Rapture when soul and body reunited shall be present forever with the Lord. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery in hell until the Great White Throne Judgment at the close of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. Then the unbeliever shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting torment. (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15)

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

We believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ for all New Testament believers. This rapture of the saints will be followed by the seven-year Tribulation. 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. (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Luke 1:32, 33; Acts 1:11; I Corinthians 15:51-55; I Thessalonians 3:13; 4:13-18; Revelation 1:7)

UNCHASTE CONDUCT

We believe that God has commanded that no physical or sexual activity be engaged in outside of a legal marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We also hold that the so-called “common law marriage” is not a marriage but rather a perversion of true marriage. (Genesis 2:24; 19:5,13; Leviticus 18:1-30; John 4:16-18; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1-5; 6:9; Galatians 5:19-21; I Thessalonians 4:1-5; Hebrews 13:4)

We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22, 23, 31)

Because of our belief in the sanctity of Scriptural marriage, there shall not be any homosexual or lesbian admitted into the membership of the Salem Baptist Church. If any member is found in this lifestyle, they shall be subject to church discipline, and thus be removed from the membership of the church. (Genesis 19:4-7; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:24-32; Jude 7)

ABORTION

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcited taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:44)

MISSIONS

We believe that all men everywhere are lost and condemned, and that the command to go into all the world and preach the gospel is clear and unmistakable. God has given the local church a great responsibility to proclaim the Gospel to all nations by the sending out and supporting of missionaries, so that there will be a great multitude from every nation and tribe who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 29:19, 20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:1-4)

LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS

We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31, 32)

GIVING

We believe that God’s method of financing His earthly work of spreading the Gospel to all nations, the care of the churches, and the support of the ministry and of God’s man is by the tithes and willing offerings of God’s people giving through their local church. We believe God has established that the tithe is the Lord’s and that every Christian should give other offerings, sacrificially and cheerfully. (Proverbs 3:9,10; Malachi 3:8-10; Luke 6:38; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6,7; I Timothy 5:17,18; Hebrews 7:1-6)

THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER

We believe that in the church there is to be no special group of priests. The Old Testament priesthood was fulfilled in Christ. Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest, and every believer is a priest to offer the sacrifice of praise to God through Jesus Christ. (I Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:5, 6)