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Statement of Faith

Midway Bible Baptist Church
Fishersville, VA

SECTION 1 - STATEMENT OF FAITH

(A) The Holy Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the church (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; ).

(B) Dispensationalism

We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man's responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensationsóthe law, the church, and the kingdom are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1: 10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:2425, 27; Rev. 20:2-6).

(C) The Godhead

We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19: 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26).

(D) The Person and Work of Christ

(1) 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 bom of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1: 1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-2 1; Gal. 4:45; Phil. 2:5-8).

(2) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).

(3) 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, and Advocate (Acts 1:9- 10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).

(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

(1) 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 regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1: 13-14).

(2) We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1: 17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).

(3) We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12).

(4) We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (I Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22).

(F) The Depravity of Man

(A) We believe that man is created in the image and likeness of God, and each person is born into this world in a state of innocence, but by means of Adamís sin, sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so death passed upon all men.
(B) Each person, by his own free will, chooses to become a sinner and disobey the law of God.
(C) We believe that Jesus lights the light of every man born into this world, so that all are without excuse for their sin.
(D) We believe that the practice of sin to be the cause of depravity ó not depravity the cause of sin.

(Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19).

(G) Salvation

We 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 ~John 1: 12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8- 10; 1 Pet. 1: 18-19).

(H) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers

(1) We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power, through faith, and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5).

(2) 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).

(I) Of the Perseverance of Saints

We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (2 John 9; John 8:31; 1 John 2:27-28; 3:9; 5:18; 1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matt. 13:20-21; Rom. 8:28; Matt. 6:30-33; Jer. 32:40; Psa. 121:3; 91:11-12; Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13; Jude 24-25; Heb. 1:14; 2 Kings 6:16; Heb. 13:5; 1 John 4:4)

(J) Of the Righteous and the Wicked

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death. (Mal. 3:18; Prov. 12:26; Isa. 5:20; Gen. 18:23; Jer. 15:19; Acts 10:34- 35; Rom. 6:16; Rom. 1:17; 7:6; 1 John 2:29; 3:7; Rom. 6:18, 22; 1 Cor. 11:32; Prov. 11:31; 1 Pet. 4:17-18; 1 John 5:19; Gal. 3:10; John 3:36; Isa. 57:21; Psa. 10:4; Isa 55:6-7)

(K) The Church

(1) We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a local body of born-again persons with organization and leadership. (I Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27).

(2) We believe that the establishment 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).

(3) We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13: 1 4; 15:19-3 1; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

(4) We recognize water baptism and the Lord's Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).

(5) We believe in the importance of the local church and that the welfare of the family depends upon its submission and support of a local church. The family cannot prosper spiritually and be in obedience to the Word of God if they refuse to submit themselves to, and be a part of, a local church. God established the church and it is an important element in our spiritual life, as well as the vehicle which God has ordained for us to exercise our spiritual gifts and callings, worship, and learn the Word of God. Family worship is good and desirable, but it cannot be substituted for public worship and serving God in a local church assembly. (Heb 10:25; Acts 20:7; Acts 2:46; Luke 24:53)

(6) We believe that a local church is a body of believers with leadership and organization. A group of believers or a family does not constitute a church as described and ordered in the Bible. We do not accept the teaching of the ďuniversal church.Ē When the Bible refers to a church it is referring to a local church. When Jesus comes to call his bride the church will then consist of all believers. It is obvious that a local church now contains both lost and saved among its members. (1Cor 11:18; 1 Tim 3; Titus 1; 1 Thes 4:16)

(L) Separation

We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God ( Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7: 1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).

(M) The Second Advent of Christ

We believe in that "blessed hope," the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of I rael (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1: 10; 1 Thess. 4; 13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3: 10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).

(N) The Eternal State

(1) 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).

(2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, 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 to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).

(3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark. 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).

(O) The Personality of Satan

We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:4 1; Rev. 20: 10).

(P) Creation

We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).

(Q) Civil Government and Order of Authority

We believe that God has ordained and created all authority in order. God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of the man, man is the head of the woman. (1 Cor. 11:3) Christ is also the head of the church. (Eph 5:23) We also believe that we are to be subject to civil government and laws of the land, as long as they donít interfere with our ability to obey Godís laws. (Rom 13:1-6; Acts 5:29)

(R) Human Sexuality

We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5: 1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).

(S) Marriage

We believe marriage to be the uniting of a man and woman for life; it is the legal union of a man and woman for life, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Any other union is a sinful perversion of Godís plan for mankind; such as a man and woman living together out of wedlock; or two people of the same sex living together in a sexual realtionship, regardless of what laws may be passed by the civil authority to sanction such relationships. We believe same-sex marriage to be an immoral perversion of Godís design for man and people living in such a state will not be eligible for membership in this church under any circumstances. (Gen. 2:24; Lev. 20:13; Matt. 19:5-6; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Cor. 7:10; 1 Cor. 7:39; Eph. 5:31; Heb. 13:4)

(T) Divorce and Remarriage

We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:312; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).

(U) Abortion

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16: Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

(V) Missions

We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:2 1; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20).

(W) Lawsuits Between Believers

We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian's insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (I Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).

(X) Giving

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9- 10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).


SECTION 2 - AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH

The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members.


SECTION 3 - COVENANT

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances, and all others; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from worldly amusements such as movie attendance, gambling, rock music, and dancing; to be free from a oath-bound secret societies and partnerships with unbelievers; to abstain from the sale or use of tobacco in any form, narcotic drugs, or intoxicating drink as a beverage; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure reconciliation without delay.

We moreover engage, that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.
 

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