WHAT WE BELIEVE “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” Titus 2:1 Beliefs & Practices of Salem Bible Church
SUMMARYSalem Bible Church would be a Church after the New Testament pattern, being made up of witnesses of Christ. Emphasis is placed upon the scriptural thought of the fellowship of believers in Christ rather than upon the importance of membership. Free of the sectarian spirit, we would remember that there is but one body, the Body of Christ, in which Body all believers are members. This Church is established to preach the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints. Salem Bible Church is an institution free from any denominational control. Her members, aware of the prevailing apostasy in denominations, have separated themselves therefrom, in the spirit of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
PURPOSEThe purpose of the Salem Bible Church shall be to render spiritual worship to God the Father in the name of God the Son in the power of God the Holy Spirit; the salvation of souls; the edification of the saints through the teaching of God’s Word; the world-wide proclamation of God’s saving grace, in keeping with Christ’s great commission; the defense of the “faith once delivered to the Saints”; and cooperation with such Holy Word.
1. The Holy ScripturesWe believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matt. 5:18; John 16:12, 13).
2. The GodheadWe believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit-co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4; 2 Cor. 13:14).
3. 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 men. (John 1:1, 2, 14; Luke 1:35).
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, and justification through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice. (1 Peter 2:4; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Cor. 5:19; Uohn2:l-2; Rom. 5:9).
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, Advocate, and the Great Shepherd of the sheep. (Acts 1:9, 10; Heb. 9:24, 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1, 2).
4. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
- We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the supernatural agent in the new creation, baptizing all believers in the Body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; 2 Cor. 3:6; 1 Cor. 12:2-24; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13, 14).
- We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth; and, it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (John 16:13; I John2:20, 27; Eph. 5:18).
5. Total Depravity of ManWe believe that man was created in the image of God and the likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, man is totally depraved, and of himself utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26, 27; Rom. 3:22, 23; Eph. 2:1-3, 12; Rom. 5:12).
6. SalvationWe believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (Eph. 2:8-10; John 1:12; I Peter 1:18, 19; I Cor. 15:3, 4; 2 Cor. 5:21).
7. The Eternal Security and 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; Rom. 8:1; 8:38,39; I Cor. 1:4-8; I Peter 1:5)
- We believe that it is the 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. (Rom. 13:13, 14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
8. The Two Natures of the BelieversWe believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provisions made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and, that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural. (Rom. 6:13; 8:12,13; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:10; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9).
9. SeparationWe believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; walk worthy of the vocation to which they are called; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded by God. (2Tim. 3:1-5; Rom. 12:1-2; John 2:15-17; 2 John verses 9-11; Rom. 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14; 7:1; Eph. 4:1).
10. MissionsWe believe that it is the debt of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind. (Acts. 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Rom. 1:14).
11. The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
- We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scripture were completed and their authority became established. ( I Cor. 12:4-11; 2 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7-12).
- We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with His own will, for the sick and afflicted. (John 15:7; I John 5:14, 15).
12. The Church
- We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age. (Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; I Cor. 12:12, 14; 2 Cor. 11:2).
- We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament. (Acts 14:27; I Tim. 3:1, 13; Titus 1:5-11).
13. DispensationalismWe believe in the dispensational view of Bible Interpretation but reject the extreme teaching known as “Hyper-Dispensationalism” such as that teaching which opposes the Lord’s Table. (Eph. 3; I Cor. 9).
14. The Personality of SatanWe believe that Satan is a personal spirit (John 8:44), created perfect (Ez. 28:15). He became the enemy of God and God’s people (Eph. 6:10-17), by sinning willfully (Is, 14:12-14), becoming the first sinner and servant of sin (John 8:34). He blinds the minds of the unsaved to the Gospel of Christ (2Cor. 4:3, 4), posing as an angel of light (2Cor. 11:13-15) going about as a roaring lion (I Peter 5:8, 9). His destiny is the Lake of Fire
15. The Second Coming of ChristWe believe in that “Blessed Hope” the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation and pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth, with His saints, to establish His Millennial Kingdom. (I Thess. 4:13-18; Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-6; IThess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev.3:10).
16. The Eternal State
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal glory, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.
- We believe that the souls of the redeemed at death, are absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; I Thess. 4:16, 17; Phil. 3:21).
- We believe that the souls of unbelievers are, after death in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne of Judgment and shall 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 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude verses 6, 7; Mark 9:43-48; Rev. 20:11-15.)