February 27, 2016

What We Believe

The Bible:

  1. The Scriptures, the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete written revelation of His will and the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience for the Christian life. (Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit:

  1. In one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and holy; eternally existing in three persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1-3; Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 6:4, 33:27 Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 6:1-5; 48:16, 57:15; John 1:1-3; 5:26; 17:5; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:18-20; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:3-6; James 2:19).
  2. God created the universe in six days out of nothing, for His pleasure and glory. Mankind, and all life on earth, did not evolve but were created by a direct act of God. (Genesis 1, 2; Mark 10:6; Hebrews 4:4).
  3. That God the Father reigns with sovereign and providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the course of human history according to the purposes of His will and grace. He is all powerful, all loving and all wise.  God is the Father of those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. (Matthew 6:9; John. 17:2; Ephesians 1:3; Romans 11:33).
  4. That Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Mary.  He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures.  Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate. He will return to establish His kingdom. (Luke 1:35, 17:20-37; John 1:1,2,14,10:30-33; Acts 1:9-10; Romans 3:24, 25, 5:1,2, 8:34; Ephesians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12; Hebrews 7:25, 9:22-24; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24; 1 John 2:1,2).
  5. That the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and, during this age, to convict men; regenerate and seal the believing sinner; and to indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service by uniting believers through heavenly adoption to Christ and His Church (John 14:16, 17, 15:26, 16:8-11, 13; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 1:13, 14, 4:1-6, 30, 5:18).

Man:

  1. That man was created directly and immediately by God in His image and likeness. Although God created man morally upright, he was led astray from God’s Word and wisdom by Satan’s deceit, and chose to take what was forbidden.  Man thus declared his independence from, distrust for, and disobedience toward his all-good and gracious Creator. Thus, our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original innocence and communion with God.  As the head of the human race, Adam’s fall became the fall of all his posterity, in such a way that corruption, guilt, death and condemnation belong properly to every person. All persons are thus corrupt by nature, enslaved to sin, and morally unable to delight in God and overcome their own proud preference for rebellion.  Therefore, man is dead in his sin, and of himself utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.  Man is able to obtain salvation and spiritual life only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3; Ecclesiastes 7:29; John 6:37, 44, 65; Romans 3:22-23, 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12).
  2. That God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. The two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. (Genesis 1:26-27).
  3. That the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, a covenant for a lifetime as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. (Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-40 Hebrews 13:4).
  4. That any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
  5. That all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Psalm 139).

Salvation, Resurrection, and the Return of Christ:

  1. That the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only grounds for justification and salvation for all who believe.  Jesus’ death on the cross provided a penal substitutionary atonement for the sins of humanity. In salvation those who God draws to Christ are rescued from God’s wrath by His unmerited grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone.  Only those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and repent of sin are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become children of God. (Leviticus 1:4; Isaiah 53:5; John 6:37, 44, 65; Romans 3:21-26, 9:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:5, 2:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3, 2:24; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).
  2. In the bodily resurrection of the dead: of the believer to the everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new Heaven and Earth; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment in Hell (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 1:6,-7; Revelation 20:11-15).
  3. In the personal and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “blessed hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. (Luke 21:27-28; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 1:7, 15:58; Colossians 3:4; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; 2 Peter 3:11-13; Revelation 1:7).

The Church and its Work:

  1. That the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together through the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ of which He is the Head. (Ephesians1:22-23; 5:23-24, 29-30; Colossians 1:18, 24).
  2. That only those who thus proclaim to be members of the true Church by faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ shall be eligible for membership in the local church. (John 14:23-24; Acts 2:41).
  3. That through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit the Church should strive to glorify, love, serve, and worship God through prayer and praise, diligent study and application of the Scriptures, evangelism of the world, love for one another, care for those in need, sanctified living, good works, and observance of the ordinances  of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The ultimate mission of the Church is the discipleship of all nations, bringing of the gospel to bear on every aspect of life and thought until the Lord Jesus Christ returns. (Matthew 5:13-7:27; 22:36-40; 28:18-20; Romans 12-14; 1 Corinthians 11:17-14:40; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; 9; Galatians 5:13-6:10; Ephesians 4-6; Philippians 2:12-16; Colossians 3:1-4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22).
  4. That water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age.  They are, however, not to be regarded as a means of salvation. (Matthew 26:26-29, 28:19; John 6:53-57; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:1-4; 1Corinthians10:16-17; 11:23-30; Galatians 3:27; 1Peter 3:21).
  5. This confession of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of New Palestine Bible Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy and discipline, our elder board is the church’s final interpretative authority on the Bible’s meaning and application. (Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:17).

We would also affirm the Affirmations and Denials of Together for the Gospel