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what we believe
Santa Rosa Bible Church Doctrinal Statement
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THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe ALL the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament [see note] (excluding the Apocrypha), in the original writings:
We believe that the Holy Scriptures are the only inspired Word of God and are the final authority in faith and practice. (Matt.5:18; John 16:12-13)
Note: The Old Testament is defined as the 39 books recognized by the Council of Jamnia in AD 90. The New Testament is defined as the 27 books recognized by the Synod of Hippo in AD 393.
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfection. (Deut. 6:4; Mat. 3:13-17; Mat. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)
THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
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 man. (John 1:1-2,14; Luke 1:35).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. Our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Heb. 4:15; Rom 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He exercises universal authority. He is the Head of the Church, and as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate on our behalf. He is also preparing a place for us until He returns for us. (Matt. 28:18; Col. 1:17-18; Eph. 1:22-23; Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2; John 14:1-3).
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)
We believe that He convicts the world (non-believers) of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 16:8)
We believe that at the moment of salvation, He acts upon the new believer resulting in regeneration, indwelling the believer, baptizing them into the body of Christ, giving them spiritual gift(s), and sealing them for glorification. (John 3:3-8; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Cor. 12:13-14; 7:11; Eph. 1:13-14)
We believe that in the daily walk of the believer He is the divine teacher who guides believers into all truth. (1 John 2:27)
We believe He is ready to fill (control and empower) the believer, a special privilege and duty of all believers, when the believer ceases to grieve the Spirit, ceases to quench the Spirit, and walks with (relies upon) the Spirit. (John 16:13; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19)
We believe that God, acting in all three persons, created the universe in six days. (Gen 1; Ex 20:11; Psa. 33:6; John 1:3, 10; Col. 1:16)
We reject such theories of creation and origin that necessitate man's death before Adam's sin and the fall of man because it was through this sin that death entered the world. (Rom. 5:12)
We believe that God created man in His own image and gave him dominion. (Gen 1:26-31)
Note: The teaching position of Santa Rosa Bible Church shall be that the 6 days of creation are literal, and that the exclusion of death before Adam's sin applies to animals as well as man. This more narrow view is not required for membership.
We believe that Satan is a person, a created angel, the author of sin, and the cause of the willful fall of man in Eden. We believe he is the open and declared enemy of God and man, and that he will be eternally punished in the lake of fire. (Neh. 9:6; Job. 1:6,7; Psa 148:2,5; Isa. 14:12-17, Ezek. 28:11-19; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Col. 1:16; 1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 20:10).
THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN
We believe that man was created in a perfect and innocent state, but that in Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. We believe that every part of our being (i.e., intellect, will, emotions, and body) are corrupted by sin. We further believe that natural man is dead in his sin, incapable of saving himself. (Gen. 1:26-27, Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3, 12).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received through personal faith (trust, or belief) in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. (Eph. 2:8-10; John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18, 19).
THE ETERNAL SECURITY AND ASSURANCE OF BELIEVERS
We believe that all believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit, kept by God's power, and are therefore secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1,38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; Phil. 1:6; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 1 Peter 1:5).
THE TWO NATURES OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature (Spirit, new self, etc.) over the old nature (flesh, old self, etc.) through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We also believe that all claims to the elimination of the old nature in this life are unscriptural. (Rom 8:12,13; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).
We believe that scripture teaches that our assurance of salvation is not a license to sin, but that we should live in such a manner as not to disgrace our Savior and Lord. God commands separation from all religious apostasy, and all sinful pleasures and practices. (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Rom 6:1-14; 12:1,2; 13:13-14; 14:13; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11, 2 Cor. 6:14, 7:1)
We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism, pure, being made up of all true believers of the Church Age. (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2).
We believe that the local church is God's primary tool for His work. We believe as an organization, it is impure, being composed of believers and unbelievers claiming to belong to Him. Also, 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).
We believe in the Dispensational (in contrast to Reformed/Covenant) view of Bible interpretation.
This view follows naturally from a literal, historical, and grammatical interpretation of scripture. This view states that there are distinct ways or economies of God administering His rule over mankind throughout history. Each distinct way is called a “dispensation” or "age" and is distinguished by additional revelation and new responsibilities for mankind in the rule of life.
Throughout time God's holy nature and moral absolutes remain unchanged. The dispensations are different ways of God administering His unchangeable moral absolutes over mankind during different periods of time throughout history.
Salvation is always by the grace of God through faith in the Word of God. It is always based on the redemptive work of Christ through His substitutionary death for the sins of mankind.
We hold that the Church and Israel are totally separate. Thus the rules, conditions, and promises given to Israel and those given to the Church are distinct and separate.
We hold that the Church began at Pentecost and practices two ordinances, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We look forward to Christ’s return as stated under THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST, and believe that it is at Christ's return that He will sit on the throne of David, fulfilling His covenant with Israel.
(Matt. 28:19-20; John 15:25; Acts 2:41-42; 11:15; 18:8; Romans 9:4; 1Cor. 10:32; 11:23-26; Gal. 3:19, 25; 5:18; Eph. 2: 14-16)
ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
We believe that there are two ordinances commanded of believers, these being Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Relating to baptism, we believe:
It is for believers who have already been regenerated through salvation. Thus, the practice does not contribute to the saving process of the believer.
It is practiced by immersion (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 8:25-40).
Relating to the Lord's Supper, we believe:
It is a memorial to Christ's atoning sacrifice. The elements used are not transformed, nor do they carry any special dispensation of grace.
It is open to all believers, as Christ, not the local church, is the host of the memorial. (1 Cor. 11:23-32)
THE MINISTRY AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS
We believe that spiritual gifts (such as teaching or mercy) are a supernatural ability to serve in Christ's church. We also believe that every believer is given a spiritual gift or gifts with which to glorify God and build up the Body of Christ. (1 Pet. 4:10-11; 1 Cor. 12:7,12; 14:26)
We believe the Bible teaches there are some temporary gifts that have ceased.
The first group of temporary gifts was associated with the revelation of New Testament truth and includes such gifts as apostles (apostolic authority) and prophets (revelation of The Faith, or Scripture). (Eph. 2:19-22; 4:11-12; Jude 3)
The second temporary group is called the sign gifts. These include gifts such as tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, and healings. They were initially given to authenticate the message and ministry of the Apostles. Once the authenticity of God's message was established the sign gifts ceased from normative use. (Mk. 16:14-20; 1 Cor. 13:8-10; Heb. 2:3-4)
We believe God still heals and still performs miracles, but it is our understanding that He does not use healers or miracle workers in the first century sense. He performs both in accord with His sovereign will and in response to the prayers of faith offered by His people. (1 Cor. 12:11)
We believe that it is the obligation of all believers to make disciples by proclaiming the Gospel to all people and then disciplining all who believe. (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8, 2 Cor. 5:19-20)
THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST
We believe in that "Blessed Hope", the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation and pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to remove all believers from the world (rapture). (1 Cor. 15:50-58; 1 Thes. 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; Rev. 3:10)
We also believe in His post-tribulation return to earth, with His bride (the Church), to establish His millennial kingdom. (Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-6)
THE ETERNAL STATE
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)
We believe that the souls of the redeemed go to be with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection. At the first resurrection the spirit and soul are united with a new body to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; Rev. 20:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thes. 4:16-17).
We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection. At the second resurrection the soul and body are reunited and shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment. They shall then be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment. (Luke 16:19-26; Matt. 25:41-46; 2 Thes. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Mark 9:4-8; Rev. 20:11-15)