The Holy Scriptures
The Holy Bible, also known as Scripture, is God’s revelation to humanity in written form. All Scripture is comprised in the 66 books of the Holy Bible. The 39 Old Testament Books and the 27 New Testament books have been given to us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or, “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). From the Triune Living God, by all His perfect and infinite attributes, without error and without change, all Scripture is absolute, inerrant in the original manuscripts, and infallible. We teach the literal, grammatical, historical and contextually accurate interpretation of Scripture without apology, alteration or addition. Including the accurate and reliable account of creation in six literal 24-hour days (Genesis 1:31, Exodus 31:17, John 11:9, Ecclesiastes 1:9). Because God is absolute, His Word is absolute – and is the only guiding rule and final authority for Christian faith and practice – also referred to as Sola Scriptura, one of the pillars of our faith (John 10:35, John 16:12-13, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We reject the claim that man is the sole author of Scripture. Through the Holy Spirit, each writer, with their unique background, character, and style, wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were the final authority in disputes to what was written, and therefore God’s Word was recorded for humanity (2 Peter 1:20-21). Scripture is without error, in whole or in part in the original manuscripts (Matthew 5:18, 2 Timothy 3:16-17) and we have in our possession today, in various languages, a true and accurate translation thereof.
We understand that although there are different affirming Christian denominations and therefore some different applications drawn from the same Holy Scripture, there is indeed only one true interpretation. God’s Word is to be studied in context to obtain the literal, grammatical and historical meaning of each chapter and verse. Through the study of the Holy Bible, the Holy Spirit enlightens the reader to all understanding (John 7:17, 1 Corinthians 2:7-15, 1 John 2:20). Each person, filled with the Holy Spirit, should read carefully, and study to show themselves approved, rightly handling the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Each person is not only to read, but they are to meditate on, memorize and apply the truths of Scripture to their life.
There is only ONE Living and Triune God (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 45:5-7, 1 Corinthians 8:4). He is perfect in all His attributes. He is infinite, all-knowing, and one in essence, eternally existing in three co-equal Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14).
God The Father
God the Father is the First Person of the Holy Trinity. He is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). He is the One Who orders all things and puts all things in place according to His sovereign will (Psalm 135:6-7, Psalm 145:8-9, Proverbs 16:33, Acts 17:24-29). The Father is the Creator of all things that are made, throughout the entire universe, seen or unseen and therefore is Sovereign over all creation, has providential care over all creation and is sovereign over the redemption of every sinner (Psalm 103:19, Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 45:7-9, Romans 11:36). When we use the term, God the Father, it is the declaration of His designation within the Holy Trinity, and His relationship with humanity as He chose to reveal Himself (Ephesians 4:6). All human beings are created in the image of God (imago dei); however, He is the spiritual Father only to His adopted (redeemed) children (believers) (Romans 8:14, 2 Corinthians 6:18).
Proclaiming God the Father is the declaration that by His own Will, and for His Own glory (Soli Deo Gloria) He set all things into being, and providentially decreed all things to come to pass (Isaiah 46:10, Ephesians 1:11, 1 Chronicles 29:11). Since God made all things perfect, and only perfection can exist in His physical presence, He cannot allow sinful men to simply be approved and admitted into His eternal dwelling place (heaven). As The Sovereign, it is imperative to understand that God is neither the author of, nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13, John 8:38-47, Romans 3:21-25). Because of His Grace, He has chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6, John 6:37, John 6:44, John 17:6). The Father saves the elect from sin; all who come to Him through Jesus Christ the Son, and remains the Just and the justifier of those who have faith in Christ Jesus the Son (Romans 3:26). By this, the Father adopts as His own all those who will come to Him. He will be their Father, they become His children (Ezekiel 36:26-28, John 1:12, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, Hebrews 12:5-9).
God The Son
Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Trinity. He possesses all divine attributes, and therefore is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent with God the Father and The Holy Spirit (John 10:30, John 14:9). The Father created all things in accordance with His will, through His Son, Jesus Christ by whom all things continue in existence and operation while being held together (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:2-3).
Jesus Christ is truly God, truly man; two natures in one being. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:35, Galatians 4:4-5). In this incarnation, the eternal Son, without altering His Divine nature, nor surrendering any divine attributes, entered into the creation order to live among humanity yet without sin (Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 7:26, Colossians 2:9, Luke 5:18-26, John 16:30, John 20:28) Jesus Christ kept the Law, atoning for sin, and satisfied the just wrath of God due to sinners. Doing so, believers, now have a righteousness not of their own, but a righteousness outside of themselves, because Jesus took their filthy rags upon Himself, and in exchange provides them with His righteous perfect robe – known as the Divine exchange (imputation). (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 10:15, Romans 3:24-25, Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 2:24)
Because of the perfect life, obedience and death of The Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is no longer in bondage to sin, but is freed from the penalty of punishment that awaits all those outside of Christ. On the day of the believer’s death, or on the final day of consummation (the second coming of Christ) [whichever comes first], the believer will be pronounced righteous and enter into eternal life as adopted children of God (Romans 3:25, Romans 5:8-9, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 3:18, Philippians 3:20-21, 1 Corinthians 15:50-52). Jesus Christ is our Prophet, High Priest and King Who is building up His Church. He does this by interceding for us as He reigns over all things (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 4:14). Our justification is sure because of Jesus Christ’s literal and physical bodily resurrection from the dead. We affirm that Jesus Christ was placed inside the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, it was sealed and guarded by the Roman military, and then He indeed rose from the grave on the third day and it was found empty (Mark 16:6, Luke 24:1-53, John 20:2, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 1 Corinthians 15:20). By this, God the Father confirmed the deity of His Son and provided the visible, documented vindication that He accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at the cross on Calvary as the substitutionary atonement for sinful humanity. Jesus Christ then ascended to the right hand of God the Father and now advocates for us as High Priest (Matthew 28:6, Luke 24:38-39, Acts 2:30-31, Romans 4:25, Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 9:24, 1 John 2:1). All believers now rest in the guarantee of a future bodily resurrection, where they will be united with Him in a resurrection like His. (John 5:26-29, John 14:19, Romans 1:4, Romans 4:25, Romans 6:5-10, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 1 Corinthians 15:50-52).
Jesus Christ will return soon, in a second advent, not as the Redeemer but as the Judge, and will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23, Revelation 22:20). This judgment will take place at the Great White Throne of Judgment for believers, (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10), for all living inhabitants of the earth (Matthew 25:31-46) and for all those who have already died (Revelation 20:11-15).
God The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Holy Trinity (by mention, not by ranking). He is divine, eternal, underived and possesses all of the divine attributes of personality and deity of God. The Holy Spirit is not an ‘it’, a force nor a power, but is truly God. This includes; in intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotion (Ephesians 4:30), and will (1 Corinthians 12:11). Like the Son, the Holy Spirit is co-equal, co-existent, and co-eternal with God the Father. He is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscience (Hebrews 9:14, Psalm 139:7-10, Isaiah 40:13-14, Romans 15:13). He is truth and leads all believers into wisdom and understanding (John 16:13). His work began for the New Testament church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) when He came from the Father, as promised by Christ the Son (John 14:1-17, John 15:26) to build and equip the body of Christ, the Church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin, reveal righteousness and provide judgment. He glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and transforms believers by conforming them to the image of Christ (John 16:7-9, Acts 1:5, Acts 2:4, Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 2:22).
The Holy Spirit is supernatural and Sovereign over regeneration. He is the true baptism Who baptizes all believers into the body of Christ by indwelling them (1 Corinthians 12:13, 1 Corinthians 3:16). He is the One Who sanctifies, instructs and empowers all believers (saints) for Christian service, and seals all believers for the day of redemption (Romans 8:9, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Ephesians 1:13). He is our divine teacher. The Holy Spirit is the One Who guided all the prophets and apostles in the ways of truth and was the Agent in which all authors of Holy Scripture were carried along and wrote (2 Peter 1:19-21). Therefore, all redeemed believers are filled with the Holy Spirit at the very moment they are saved by Christ, and it is therefore every believer’s duty to yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in their sanctification (John 16:13, Romans 8:9, Ephesians 5:18, 1 John 2:20-27).
The Holy Spirit is the One Who administers the spiritual gifts to the Church (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:1-31). All gifts are for the work of the ministry and bring glory to God alone. The Holy Spirit does not act independent from the Father or the Son, insomuch, that He will not violate or contradict the attributes of God (Malachi 3:6). This remains true when an individual professes to be operating in “the Spirit”. Any person who professes to operate in the Spirit, while conducting themselves privately or publicly in a manner of disqualification, or builds for them-self a kingdom, peddling the gift of God and isn’t proclaiming the authentic Gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:17), indeed is not a manifestation of the Spirit’s work in our day and age. The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ, by implementing His work of redeeming grace upon the lost while growing believers in the holy faith (John 16:13-14, Acts 1:8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 2 Corinthians 3:18).
God has and can, based on His divine wisdom and Sovereign will, bestow ‘sign’ gifts upon His Church for the purpose of perfecting the saints. However, these gifts are never the norm, and have always been expressed throughout Scripture as the exception. To a large degree, they have ceased from the time that Apostolic succession transitioned to the elders of the Church. Therefore, the primary purpose of speaking in tongues, and the working of the sign gifts (miracles) as seen in Scripture, was to authenticate the Gospel being preached while confirming the divine truth as taught. They are not to be considered a required mark of Christianity, nor necessary evidence of salvation. As such, we teach what aligns to the historic teaching of Reformation theology and do not promote or operate in what is known as “charismatic experiential theology” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 1 Corinthians 12:30, 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, 2 Corinthians 12:12, Ephesians 4:12-17, Hebrews 2:1-4).
In the beginning, all things that have been and now are, were created by the eternal “I AM” (YHWH, “Yahweh” Trans.). It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the Glory of God alone and as a demonstration of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create the world and all other created things whether visible or invisible, in the span of six literal 24-hour days, from sunset to sunrise, and declared all things He made to be good. (Genesis 1:1-31, John 1:2-3, Hebrews 1:2, Job 26:13, Romans 1:20, Colossians 1:16, John 11:9, Ecclesiastes 1:9).
With the truth and authority of Scripture firmly established, we teach that God did indeed create mankind, male and female. As such, the first people were created as; a biological male who was anatomically able to reproduce with a biological female, who was anatomically able to carry offspring within her womb. Both male and female, created with purpose, and with immortal souls, as intended by God, from which all of humanity has ultimately been conceived from. Further, as noted in the 1689 2nd London Baptist Confession; [mankind] being made after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change. (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Romans 2:14-15; Genesis 3:6) Besides the law written in their hearts, man received an explicit command from God not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which whilst they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 1:26-28).
Mankind (biological Male and biological Female) were intentionally and directly created by God in His image, from which all of humanity has been ultimately conceived from (Genesis 1:26-27, Acts 17:26). He formed Adam from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7), and his helper Eve He created from Adam’s rib (Genesis 2:21-23). They were created in the image and the likeness of God. The intelligent design and creation of mankind did not evolve, nor proceed to a level of consciousness on its own, but was instead created intentionally intelligent, having moral responsibility, volition, and self-determination, and was yet without sin in their original nature (Genesis 2:15-25, James 3:9). Man was created for the purpose of glorifying God and to fully enjoy Him forever. Through this privilege and enjoyment of fellowship, mankind was to live a life by the will of God while accomplishing the intended purpose of His creation of them (Isaiah 43:7, Colossians 1:16, Revelation 4:11).
The disobedience (original sin) of our ancestral parents, when they broke the command of God, had ramifications for all of humanity that would come forth from them. As such, the original pair of mankind (Adam and Eve) lost their innocence and incurred the penalty of spiritual death; therefore, becoming subject to the justifiable wrath of God. Mankind, no longer perfect, and now inherently radically corrupt and spiritually dead and hopelessly lost, is no longer able to either choose or act in a way which is acceptable to God apart from God’s divine grace. Mankind, therefore, requires God’s grace fully for redemption which is to be established by reconciliation through Jesus Christ the Son alone (Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:1-19, Ezekiel 36:25-28, John 3:36, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 2:1-3, 1 Timothy 2:13-14, 1 John 1:8).
Mankind is under the dilemma of original sin (the consequences of the sin of Adam) which means that every person ever born is conceived in guilty standing before our Holy God. Therefore, all men everywhere are sinners. We sin and love sin because we are sinners by nature, confirmed by divine declaration. The only man ever to be exempt from this great dilemma is the God Man Jesus Christ, Who is truly God and truly man yet without sin (Psalm 14:1-3, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:9-18, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:10-12, Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 4:15).
Created mankind is appointed once to die (Hebrews 9:27). When this occurs, the soul of the redeemed saint (a sinner saved by God’s grace) passes immediately into the presence of Jesus Christ our Lord for eternity (Luke 23:43, Philippians 1:23, 2 Corinthians 5:8). This is known as the separation of the soul and the body (Philippians 1:21-24), and this separation will remain until the glorious resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, Revelation 20:4-6) which is when body and soul will be reunited forever with the Lord that will occur at the time of His second coming. All men will be resurrected; those cleansed by the blood of Christ will be saved to eternal life (John 3:36, Romans 8:10-11, Romans 8:19-23, 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved will go to judgment (namely, the Great White Throne of Judgment) and be cast into everlasting conscious punishment and torment in the lake of fire (Daniel 12:2, Mark 9:47-49, John 5:29, Revelation 20:13-15).
Marriage and Family.
(from the Baptist Faith and Message 2000)
God has planned the family as the first institution of the world. It is made up of persons joined to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the joining of one man and one woman with the promise of being faithful to one another for a lifetime. Marriage is God’s special gift. Marriage shows the union between Christ and His church. Marriage gives the man and the woman the way for intimate friendship. Marriage is the way of sexual expression according to the main beliefs in the Bible. Marriage is the way for increasing of the human race.
The husband and wife are of the same worth before God. Both are created in God’s likeness. The marriage relationship shows the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his
wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given duty to provide for, to protect, and to guide his family. A wife is to submit herself with kindness to the servant leadership of her husband. A wife submits just as the church willingly submits to the leadership of Christ. She is made in the likeness of God. Her husband is also made in the likeness of God. This makes the wife and husband equals. She has the God-given duty respect her husband. She is to serve as his helper in running the household and supporting the next generation.
Children, from the moment of creation, are a blessing and inheritance from the Lord. Parents are to show to their children God’s example for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and right values. Parents are to guide their children to make choices based on truths in the Bible. Parents are to guide their children by living a life faithful to God. Parents are to guide their children with loving discipline. Children are to respect and obey their parents.
(Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.)
God’s purpose for marriage was introduced in creation (Gen. 2:24) and then reaffirmed in the Gospels (Matt. 19:5) and the Pauline epistles (Eph. 5:31). This biblical principle for marriage transcends time and culture. Marriage, according to Scripture, is a covenant commitment to the exclusive, permanent, monogamous union of one man and one woman, and thus it cannot be defined as a flexible contract between consenting human beings. Rather, the strong and enduring bond of marriage, pledged in the presence of God Himself, is enriched by the couple’s unconditional love for and acceptance of one another. Believers must resist any claims of legitimacy for sexual relationships that biblically have been declared illicit or perverse lest they fall prey to an accommodation to the spirit of the age.
We hold to and teach the Reformed Biblical understanding of the order of salvation (Ordo Salutis). Therefore, we openly reject semi-Pelagian theology. We teach that salvation is entirely initiated and accomplished by God. God calls a sinner (effectual call) by bringing them to a place of repentance, so that they see their helpless standing before Him and are genuinely able to call out to Him for salvation while trusting in the completed perfect work of Christ instead of their own merit to save themselves. At that moment, the Holy Spirit indwells that person and produces regeneration within their heart and mind, so that they are able to live by faith and walk in obedience according to God’s will. This happens in an instant, in one action, which justifies the person before God because of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness onto them in a divine exchange for their sin debt that was already paid for in full by Christ’s complete atoning work through His perfect sinless life and His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary. Therefore, salvation is entirely achieved of God by His grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. It is through the atoning blood and merit of Jesus Christ that a person is saved, never based upon any merit or work that a person can achieve for them-self or another (John 1:12, Ephesians 1:7, Ephesians 2:8-10, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Acts 4:12).
The term regeneration refers to a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in which the divine nature and divine life are given to a person (Ezekiel 36:26-28, Romans 8:9, John 14:17, John 3:3-7, Titus 3:5). Regeneration always proceeds faith, and as such is an instantaneous accomplished work, solely catalyzed by the power of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word of God (Romans 10:14-15, Romans 10:17). Once a sinner has been regenerated, spiritually enabled by the Holy Spirit, they will grow in repentance through the gift of faith. Regeneration will be manifested and evident by fruits of righteous conduct, although works done by man cannot earn salvation nor lose salvation that is sovereignly provided by God and absolute once received (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 10:28, 1 John 2:19, Romans 8:30, Romans 8:38-39). Good works are the evidence of salvation (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 7:15-20, James 2:14-26) and will be demonstrated by all those who profess Christ and are carried along by The Holy Spirit Who leads in accordance with the Word of God (Ezekiel 36:27, Ephesians 5:17-21, Philippians 2:12, Colossians 3:16, 2 Peter 1:4-10). Through active obedience to the sanctifying work of The Holy Spirit, the believer is conformed to the image of The Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 2:20).
Definition of Terms Regarding Salvation
Radical Corruption (Total Depravity)
Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto (Romans 5:6, Romans 8:7, Ephesians 2:1, Ephesians 2:5, Titus 3:3-5, John 6:44). [1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 9, paragraph 3]
Sovereign Election (Unconditional Election)
By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice (1 Timothy 5:21, Matthew 25:34, Ephesians 1:5-6, Romans 9:22-23; Jude 4). [1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 3, paragraph 3]
Definite Atonement (Limited Atonement)
God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification; nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them (Galatians 3:8; 1 Peter 1:2, 1 Timothy 2:6, Romans 4:25, Colossians 1:21-22, Titus 3:4-7). [1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, Article 11, paragraph 4]
Efficacious Grace (Irresistible Grace)
Those whom God hath predestined unto life, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace (Romans 8:30, Romans 11:7, Ephesians 1:10-11, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, Ephesians 2:1-6, Acts 26:18, Ephesians 1:17-18, Ezekiel 36:26, Deuteronomy 30:6, Ezekiel 36:27, Ephesians 1:19, Psalm 110:3, Song of Songs 1:4). [1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 10, paragraph 1]
Persevering Grace (Preservation of the saints)
Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and given the precious faith of His elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence He still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and Rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet He is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of His hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity (John 10:28-29, Philippians 1:6, 2 Timothy 2:19, 1 John 2:19, Psalm 89:31-32, 1 Corinthians 11:32, Malachi 3:6). [1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 17, paragraph 1]
Justification and Sanctification
We teach there is a distinction between justification and sanctification. Justification is an act of God, by which He declares righteous those who through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Romans 8:33, Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38). There is a confession of God as sovereign (Romans 10:9-10, 1 Corinthians 12:3, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Philippians 2:11). Righteousness is outside of any individual, therefore alien to them so that no virtue, boasting or work of man may stand (Romans 3:20-26, Romans 4:6) and rests solely on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21) and our filthy rags imputed to Christ at Calvary. In this, God in His justices is able to pardon sinners without violating His Word (Proverbs 17:15) and is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:26). Whereas Sanctification is the doctrine that redeemed sinners are to be SET APART unto God by justification and is declared to be holy and called a saint. This is known as positional sanctification, or a believer’s standing before God (Acts 20:32, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Hebrews 2:11, Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 10:10, 1 Peter 1:2). Progressive sanctification is the state of a believer being brought closer to God and to enjoyment in their justification. The individual will show and walk in the means of grace in their life, and able to increase in personal holiness and conforming to the will of God, brought more into the image of Jesus Christ (John 17:17, Romans 6:1-22, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Separation from Sin
All redeemed individuals are to separate themselves from sin. This is the pattern throughout Holy Scripture and such a separation shows the fruits worthy of repentance. There is a day coming of great apostasy and worldliness that is unlike before, therefore the believer is to walk in the paths of righteousness in accordance with their calling (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, 2 Timothy 3:1-5). Saints do not avoid sin as a work, they avoid sin and separate themselves because they are grateful for the grace that has been bestowed upon them. God is worthy of all total obedience and consecration, therefore all who profess the name of Christ should joyfully adore Him in order to joyfully follow Him (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, 1 John 2:15-17, 2 John 9-11).
The Church is the collection of people who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and have faith in Jesus Christ alone as Saviour, also known as the Bride and Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 2 Corinthians 11:2, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:23-32, Colossians 2:10, Revelation 19:7-8). This assembling of the church began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, Acts 2:38-47) and will come to completion immediately prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ on The Day of The Lord (Zephaniah 3:8, Isaiah 11:11, Micah 4:6-7, Mark 13:26-27). The Church is ordained and structurally designed by Jesus Christ, exclusively made up of regenerated “born again” individuals whom He has saved (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). The Church is to be present and continue to operate in local geographical settings as presented and taught within the New Testament (Acts 14:23-27, Acts 20:17-28, Galatians 1:2, Philippians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1). All believers, although dispersed across the entire earth, are a part of One Body and are called to belong to a local expression of this ordained institution, through a local church assembly of other believers (1 Corinthians 11:18-20, Ephesians 4:11-13, Hebrews 10:25).
Since Christ is the head of the Church, He alone has supreme authority of the Church (1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 1:22, Colossians 1:18). Church leadership, structure, worship, dispersion of spiritual gifts and matters of discipline are all appointed by Christ and confirmed through the Scriptures which designate all things pertaining to matters of faith and practice. All things performed by, and the entire purpose of the local assembly of believers (church) is to Glorify God and build itself up in the faith as it is carried along by the Holy Spirit. It is to be governed by the authority of Scripture and follow the ordinances of the Faith (Communion and Baptism). Further, believers are to equip and be equipped for the work of ministry by growing in grace and the use of their spiritual gifts for the purpose of building each other up while fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, Luke 22:19, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:38-42, Acts 2:47, Ephesians 3:21, Ephesians 4:13-16, 2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 John 1:3).
Separation of Church and State (Civil Magistrates)
We teach that God (as Sovereign) has ordained government (civil magistrates) to govern people. All government is placed by God and is under Him (Romans 13). Though the government has been granted authority to govern, protect, tax and pass laws, they are not church officers. Therefore, they cannot administer any ordinance or interfere with matters of the Christian faith. We teach civil authorities have been positioned by God to protect the freedom of the church of Christ and in no way may interpret or prevent free public worship. This means no government or agent of the government may interfere, interrupt, cause distress or any disturbance to the public, or a corporate gathering of the church.
It is the responsibility of the Christian to pray for those who govern. To honour and obey all lawful and just laws enacted by the government as they are subject to them. However, Christians can and should reject any unjust or unlawful decree that denies them full obedience of conscience to the Word of God. As a church, we teach that anytime a law is enacted that violates the Christian faith or conscience, it is better to obey God than man (Acts 5:29). Therefore, when laws are passed to usurp Christ’s authority over the church, the Word of God stands as the final authority over faith and practice. Even at the threat of imprisonment the church will gather and operate in defiance to such laws, in her obedience to Jesus Christ, who is head over the church, and all dominions.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church, and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Col 1:15-18 NASB)
Religious Liberty (Christian Liberty)
We believe in religious liberty within the Christian Church; that every person has the right to practice and propagate their beliefs as confirmed and supported through Holy Scripture. We affirm that where Scripture is silent, we are silent, and where Scripture shouts, we shout. (1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1, 2 Corinthians 3:17, Romans 14:5, Romans 16:17-18, Revelation 22:18-19)
Further, we stand by and teach in regards to Religious Liberty that which is found in the 1689 2nd London Baptist Confession, Chapter 21 paragraph 2.
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to His word, or not contained in it. So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also (James 4:12; Romans 14:4; Acts 4:19,29; 1 Corinthians 7:23; Matthew 15:9; Colossians 2:20-23; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 1:24).
There are two terms for angels: holy and fallen. The holy angels were created by God and as such, they are limited in their power and position. They are never to be worshipped or sought after through any form of worship, petitioning, or attempt of communication. Though their order of creation places them higher that man, they serve God and worship Him alone (Isaiah 6:2-3, Luke 2:9-14, Hebrews 1:6-7, Revelation 5:11-14, Revelation 19:10, Revelation 22:9). Fallen angels are also created beings and are limited in their power and position. The accuser, satan, is the author of sin and one who originally rebelled against God and fell from his position in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-17, Ezekiel 28:11-19, Luke 10:18). During this fall, he took many angels with him who are now referred to as demons (Revelation 12:3-4, Revelation 12:9). Satan is now the chief enemy of God and man (Genesis 3:14-15, Isaiah 14:13-14, Matthew 4:1-11, Revelation 12:9-10) and is referred to as the prince of this world, although subject to God’s will and limited in his power and position (Ephesians 2:1-2, John 12:31, 2 Corinthians 4:4).
We teach that eschatology (matters pertaining to the end of things) is a third-tier doctrine and should not cause believers to break fellowship with other believers. Though it is important to have a firm, Biblical position in this area, not everyone can agree on the full, truest description of how all things will commence at the end of the age regarding the order of events at the second coming of Jesus Christ and the depiction of a physical millennial reign of Him on earth.
We teach, that there are four definable End-Time positions with varying understandings in each position. These include: Historical Pre-millennialism, Dispensational Pre-millennialism, Post-Millennialism, and Amillennialism.
We deny full Preterist theology and understand that there are those who refer to themselves as ‘partial-preterists’. It is our practice to hear the Scriptural evidence from each person professing to be a partial-preterist before coming to any conclusions about their theology, as many people in fact believe in one of the four major End-Time positions but find difficulty in articulating their argument well enough to define it. Throughout the history of the Christian Church, and found within the teachings of the Reformation, certain positions hold more weight historically regarding the hermeneutics and systematic theology surrounding them. Because of this, we do not consider this a divisive issue. We respect that John Calvin, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, and many others disagreed on their End-Time positions. Saying this, we caution those who hold to dispensational theology and strongly encourage them not to make prophetic claims or decrees that are not explicitly found in Scripture regarding the times and the seasons, specifically in light of Christ’s return. We stress that all of our ministry groups and the related extensions of The Mill Christian Fellowship do not teach end time theology as part of any curriculum or syllabus, and instead turn this issue over to the elders for individual counsel.
We believe that there are only two ordinances for the Church regularly observed in the New Testament in the following order:
Baptism (‘baptizo’), which is the act of immersion of the believer in water, whereby they obey Christ’s command and have set forth their public identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38).
The Lord’s Supper, which is a time of memorial wherein the believer partakes of the two elements, bread, and wine, which symbolize the Lord’s body, shed blood and the proclamation of His death, which is to be performed continuously until He comes (Matthew 26:26-28, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
We profess that Creeds and Confessions exist for the church to articulate doctrinal positions. These positions are historic, and address matters the Protestant Church previously had to deal with, therefore important for current use. Creeds and Confessions do not override Scripture but can be treated as church texts. These documents address certain doctrinal areas of Protestant Christianity and will always point back to our final authority. The Mill Christian Fellowship has adopted the 1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith and all elders, pastors are required to agree upon the confession.
Adopted Confessions and Statements
Regulative Principle of Gathering
The Mill is a community of believers that desire to adhere to the regulative principle of worship. This is the theological position that as we gather for corporate (public) worship, we do so as command by Scripture. Since the Bible provides what is, and what is not acceptable in regards to worship and gatherings, the church has an obligation to follow what is written, more than what is popular.
Since Scripture speaks of using various instruments such as trumpets, flute, harps, and string instruments (Psalm 150:1-6, Ephesians 5:19), we do use musical instruments ranging from piano to drums. However, all songs are selected for their doctrinal purity. Further, the Mill also sings Psalms and have responsive readings and doxologies.
With this, the Mill also holds to the Biblical sphere of responsibility regarding the heads of the home. Every man, who is with wife and/or children, is to disciple their families to be part of the Christian community. Therefore, children and mothers who need to attend to their children are not removed from service. All families are provided the opportunity to remain in the service together. Please see here for more information.
The Mill is not a credal church in which we rely on the creeds as a unifying statement of faith. However with the constant attacks on the person of Christ, the Trinity and other key doctrines, we do recognize the following.
The Creed of Chalcedon
We, then, following the holy fathers, all with one consent teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and body; coessential with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one person and one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the creed of the holy fathers has handed down to us.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.