What we believe
Learn about where we stand as a church on important issues regarding our faith, what it means to become a Christian and who we are in Christ.
The following is the statement of doctrine to which we ask the assent of all applicants for membership.
A. The Word of God
1. We believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” in the sense that God guided and inspired Spirit-filled men to write the message in their own language, style, and personality as He superintended their choice of words and the citations from sources they used, so as to guard the message to keep it accurate. His Divine inspiration is not in degrees, but extends equally and fully to all parts of the sacred writings, historical, poetical, doctrinal and prophetical, even to the smallest word, and inflection of a word found in the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:13; Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Acts 1:16; 2:4).
2. We believe that all the Scriptures, from first to last, center about our Lord Jesus Christ, in His person and work, in His first and second coming; and hence that no chapter, even of the Old Testament, is properly read or understood until it leads to Him; and moreover, that all the Scriptures are designed for our practical instruction (Luke 24:27,44; John 5:39; Acts 17:2,3; 18:28; 26:22,23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11).
B. The Trinity
1. We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfection, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-14; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 5:3, 4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 1:4-6).
2. We believe in God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity (1 Peter 1:2).
3. We believe that Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, which is to say, He is Himself very God; He took upon Himself our unfallen nature, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; He died upon the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the world; He arose from the dead in a body which is human, still bearing the scars of death, but a body which is now glorified; He ascended into heaven in that glorified body, where He is now our interceding High Priest; He will come again personally and visibly to set up His kingdom and to judge the living and the dead (Col. 1:15; Phil. 2:5-8; Matt. 1:18-25; 1 Pet. 2:24,25; Heb. 4:14-16; Acts 1:9-11; 1Thes. 4:16-18; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev.11:15-17; 20:4-6,11-15).
4. We believe in the Holy Spirit, not as an influence, but as a Divine Person, the source and power of all acceptable worship and service, and our abiding Comforter and Helper; that He never takes His departure from the Church, nor from the feeblest of the saints, but is ever present to testify to Christ, seeking to occupy us with Him; He will not serve our selfish interests (John 7:38,39; 14:16, 17; 15:26; 16:13,14; Acts 1:8, Rom. 8:9; Phil. 3:3).
1. We believe that man, originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, fell from his high and holy estate by eating the forbidden fruit, and as the consequence of his disobedience the threatened penalty of death was then and there inflicted, so that his moral nature was not only grievously injured by the Fall, but he completely lost all spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and subject to the power of the devil (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; John 5:40; 6:53; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 6:5,6; 1 John 3:8).
2. We believe his spiritual death, or total corruption of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire race of man, the man Christ Jesus alone excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of Divine life, but is essentially evil, being at enmity against God, and incapable by any human process to live in accordance with His Word (Gen. 6:5; Ps. 14:1-3, 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6; Rom. 5:12-19; 8:6,7).
1. We believe that, owing to this universal depravity and death in sin, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he or she is born again; no degree of reformation, however great; no attainment in morality, however high; no culture, however attractive; no humanitarian and philanthropic schemes and societies, however useful; no baptism or other ordinance, however administered; can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; rather, a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation (Isa. 64:6; John 3:5,18; Gal. 6:15, Phil. 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23).
2. We believe that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin, and made a curse for us, dying as a substitute for us; and that no repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, or of all the churches that have existed since the day of the Apostles, can add in the very least to the value of the precious blood, or to the merit of that finished work, wrought for us by Him who united in His person true and proper divinity with perfect and sinless humanity (Lev. 17:11; Matt. 26:28; Rom. 5:6-9; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7, 1 Pet. 1:18, 19).
3. We believe that Christ, in the fullness of the blessings He has secured by His obedience unto death, is received by faith alone, and that the moment we trust in Him as our Savior we pass out of death into everlasting life, being justified from all things, accepted before the Father according to the measure of His acceptance, loved as He is loved, and having His place and portion, as linked to Him, and one with Him forever (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Rom. 5.1, Eph. 2:4-6,13; 1 John 4:17; 5:11,12).
E. The Eternal Keeping Power of God
1. We believe that a born again believer cannot ever lose his salvation (John 5:24; Phil. 1:6, John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:33-39). Everlasting life commences at the moment of salvation and is eternal; consequently, men who are saved by grace stay saved by grace. Salvation is not dependent on man’s works before salvation or man’s work to keep salvation. It is accomplished only though the work of Christ which never fails.
2. A believer may fall into carnality and out of fellowship with the Lord and consequently is ineffective in his testimony. This results in God’s discipline in such a believer’s life (Heb. 12:5-15; 1 Cor. 5:1-5). He or she can suffer loss of reward (1 Cor. 3:11-15) and even become a prodigal but still not lose their salvation. God does not encourage these conditions, but seeks to restore such a believer, as backsliders are never happy people; if necessary, they can become weak or sick and some can even be taken home before their time (1 Cor. 11:28-32).
F. The Church
We believe that the Church is composed of all who are united by the Holy Spirit to the risen and ascended Son of God; that by the same Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, and thus, being members one of another, we are responsible to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian prejudices and denominational bigotry, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently (Matt.16:16-28; Acts 2:32-47; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:3-10; Col. 3:14,15).
G. Christian Walk
1. We believe that we are called with a holy calling to walk, not after the flesh, but after the spirit, and so to live in the Spirit that we should not fulfill the desires of the flesh; but the flesh needs to be kept constantly in subjection to Christ until death, or it will surely manifest its presence to the dishonor of His name (Rom. 8:12,13, 13:13,14; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:1-10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).
2. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. Furthermore, we believe the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows upon every Christian believer, at the moment of spiritual birth, a spiritual gift or gifts. It is the responsibility of every Christian man and woman to discover, develop and employ his or her spiritual gift or gifts for the edification of the church and the accomplishment of the work of Christ in the world. (1 Cor. 12:4-31; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). Spiritual gifts are not to be confused with fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) or spiritual offices in the church (1 Tim. 3:1-13). Fruit of the Spirit are facets of Christ’s character which every believer is to cultivate. The spiritual offices of elder, deacon, and deaconess are positions in the church for oversight of its affairs. (See Article III C, D and E.)
H. After Death
We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in 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 the soul and spirit of a redeemed person will be reunited with a glorified body and shall be associated with Him forever; but the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting conscious torment separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Jude 6, 7; Rev. 20:11-15).
I. Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium and the Eternal State
We believe that our task as believers in a local church is to preach the gospel to the whole world through the leading and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Our task is not social work to reform the world but to preach the gospel while anxiously awaiting the imminent return of the Lord Jesus to rapture the Church, thus consummating the Church age on the earth (1 Thes. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-58). After the Church is raptured, there is introduced upon the earth a seven-year period of tribulation described in Revelation, chapters four through nineteen. The church, in heaven during this time, is judged (1 Cor. 3:12-15; 2 Cor. 5:10) and made ready for the marriage feast (Rev. 19:7, 8) and then returns to the earth with Christ and other hosts of Heaven to defeat Satan and the foes of the Lord who ruled the earth during the tribulation (Rev. 19:11-21). Then will come the binding of Satan for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-3), and the completion of the first resurrection of the believers of all ages joining the previously resurrected church (Rev. 20:4-6). The second resurrection is for the unsaved and great white throne judgment of the lost (Rev. 20:11-15). Jesus will then, in Person, sit on the millennial throne and rule the earth for 1,000 years. Israel will then be restored to their own land and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord and prosper (Rev. 20:3,4,6; Isa. 11; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 15:15-17). This will be followed by a loosing of Satan for a short time, his final internment in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7-10), and then the introduction of the eternal state, which is described in Rev. 21 and 22.
We believe that there are two ordinances given to the New Testament church. They are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Water baptism is symbolic of the Spirit baptism described in Eph. 4:5, Rom. 6:3,4 and 1 Cor. 12:13. Spirit baptism happens to the believer at the moment of the new birth when he is baptized (placed) into the body of Christ. Water baptism is to be accomplished by immersion in water of a believer who, by so doing, acknowledges his personal belief in Christ. It does not save, but indicates obedience to the Lord’s command of Matt. 28:19,20. Immersion typifies the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and the believer who is identified with Christ. The Lord’s Supper, as described in 1 Cor. 11:23-34, is to be partaken of in a regular fashion by believers only. Any believer present is invited to join in this time of fellowship. It is to be a time when partakers are enjoined to respond to the Spirit who searches their hearts by confession of any known sin (1 Cor. 11:27-32) and a time when we especially remember the Lord’s death on our behalf (1 Cor. 11:24,25).
K. Human Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological gender is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25, Rom. 7:2, 1 Cor. 7:10, Eph. 5:22-23). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 7:2-5, Heb. 13:4).
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, attempts to “alter gender” by surgery or appearance, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Gen. 19:4-7, Gen. 26:8-10, Lev. 18:1-30, Matt. 15:18-20, Rom. 1:24-27, 1 Cor. 5:1, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, 1 Thes. 4:1-8, Heb. 13:4).
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Emmanuel Bible Church as the local body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the members of Emmanuel Bible Church and the community at large, it is imperative that all members and persons employed by Emmanuel Bible Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matt. 5:16, Phil. 2:14-16, 1 Thes. 5:22).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21, Rom. 10:9-10, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, 1 John 1:9). We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31, Luke 6:31-36). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed towards any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture or the biblical convictions of Emmanuel Bible Church.
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