About > What We Believe
Statement of Faith
1. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, His revelation to man and inerrant in the original writings of holy men of God who were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the very words of Scripture (2 Peter 1:21). The Bible is, therefore, the supreme and final authority in all matters of doctrine, faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We believe that the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming. Therefore, no portion of either the Old Testament or New Testament is properly read or understood until it leads to Him (Luke 24:25-27, 44; Acts 17:2-3). The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their “normal grammatical-historical” meaning.
2. THE TRINITY OF THE GODHEAD
We believe in one God (Mark 12:29), eternally existing in three persons (Genesis 1:26): Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). As Three-in-One, the three persons of the Godhead are unified completely in nature, attributes and worth yet manifest diversity in role and function within creation and the affairs of men (Acts 2:32-33; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22, 13:14; 1 John 1:1-2).
3. THE PRE-EXISTENCE, DEITY AND INCARNATION OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ ever existed with the Father and Holy Spirit and that in His incarnation He was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary and is true God and true Man, yet without sin (Matthew 1:16, 25; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-8). Because Jesus ever existed as the Son of God, we believe He was not created but that He is the creator of all things (Colossians 1:15-17). As the exact representation of the Father, He and the Father are one (John 10:30; Hebrews 1:2-3). He is the first-born of all creation in that He holds preeminence over all creation (Colossians 1:15-17).
4. THE DEATH, RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and a substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe in Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood (1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 5:8-9). We believe that Jesus Christ arose bodily from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:4; John 20:27; Mark 16:19). Our Lord ascended into Heaven, is now seated at the right hand of the Father and is our High Priest and Divine Advocate with the Father (Hebrews 8:1, 7:25; 1 John 2:1). By His finished work on the cross and His unceasing ministry of intercession in glory, Jesus Christ has procured for every believer eternal redemption, eternal salvation and everlasting life (Hebrews 9:12, 5:9; John 3:16).
5. THE LORD’S RETURN IN THE AIR AND THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH
We believe in the blessed hope that the church as the body of Christ will not be subject to the wrath of the Tribulation (Romans 5:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9; Titus 2:13). We believe that the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord in the air. He will receive to Himself into heaven both His own who are alive and remain until His coming as well as all who have died trusting in Christ as their Savior (1 Corinthians 15:50-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). We believe in the personal, pre-millennial, pre-tribulation and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which is known as the “rapture of the church.”
6. THE TRIBULATION
We believe that the rapture of the church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel’s seventieth week during which the church, the body of Christ, will be in heaven (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 6:1-19, 21). The whole period of Israel’s Seventieth Week will be a time of judgment on the whole earth to bring about both the repentance of Israel (Jeremiah 30:7; Ezekiel 20:37; Matthew 24:9-26) and to punish all unbelievers from all nations (Jeremiah 25:32-33; Isaiah 26:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:12; Revelation 3:10).
7. OUR LORD’S SECOND ADVENT
We also believe in the personal, visible and glorious return of Christ to the earth with His saints at the end of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 19:11-21). This phase of His coming is known as the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7,13). When He returns to earth with His saints, we believe that Jesus Christ will establish His millennial kingdom and will reign for a literal one thousand years (John 14:3, Revelation 20:1-6). During this time Israel will be restored to her own land and God’s covenanted national promises to Israel will be established fully (Genesis 12:1-4; Deuteronomy 30:1-10; 2 Samuel 7:10-16; Ezekiel 36:22-28, 37:21-22,28). We believe that the “gifts and calling of God are without repentance” and therefore that His covenant people Israel, now blind and scattered, shall be redeemed and re-gathered to the land of promise under the personal and millennial reign of Christ (Romans 11:25-29).
8. THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the redeemed at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57) and of the unredeemed at the end of time (Daniel 12:1-2; Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:28-29).
9. THE ETERNAL STATE OF THE SAVED AND THE LOST
A. We believe in the existence of a literal heaven and a literal hell. Heaven is the place of eternal and conscious worship of God and of joy for all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Psalms 16:11; John 14:1-6). The souls of those who have trusted in Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence at the moment of physical death. At the time of their death they remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body when soul and body will be reunited to abide with Christ forever in glory (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23).
B. Hell is the place of eternal, conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire for all who reject Jesus Christ and those dying in their sin (Psalms 9:17; Matthew 25:41,46; John 8:24). After death, the souls of the unbelieving remain conscious of condemnation and are in misery until the final Great White Throne judgment. At this time, soul and body will be reunited and cast into the Lake of Fire – not annihilated, but punished and eternally apart from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15). We reject any notion of a transitory state between Heaven and Hell, but rather believe that a fixed chasm permanently divides these two realms of existence (Luke 16:24-26).
10. THE PERSONALITY AND MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity (John 16:13-15). He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11). He regenerates the sinner by the Word of God (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23). He permanently indwells the body of each believer at regeneration (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9-11; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14). He confirms our salvation and intercedes for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:16, 26-27). He seals, enlightens, instructs and guides every born-again person (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; John 16:13). He is the sufficient power for godly living, Christian service and spiritual worship (John 14:16-17, 26, 16:7-15; Romans 8:2-11; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Peter 1:23). He provides spiritual gifts to every believer for the edification of and service for the common good of the body of Christ, the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:7-13; 1 Peter 4:10). We do not believe in a so-called “second work of grace” commonly and wrongly referred to as the “baptism in the Holy Spirit” with the evidence of speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4-6).
11. THE CREATION AND FALL OF MAN
We believe that mankind was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Mankind sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Genesis 2:17, 3:1-24). All human beings are born with a sinful nature (Psalms 51:5; Romans 5:12), are subject to the power of the devil (Romans 6:17; Ephesians 2:2) and are totally depraved (Jeremiah 17:9; Ephesians 2:1). Consequently, none seek after God nor are they able to seek God apart from divine grace (Romans 3:10-1, 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:8-13).
12. THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH
A. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ began at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended from heaven and indwelt those who believed in Christ (Acts 2). The church is composed solely of born-again people who have been called out from among Jews and Gentiles to become both the body of our Lord on earth and His promised bride in heaven (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Revelation 19:7-9). The church will find its consummation at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7). Christ glorified in Heaven is its Head; the Holy Spirit on earth is the active agent of the Godhead Who ever seeks to bring about the building up of the church in love, peace, joy and righteousness in obedience to the word and will of God (Romans 14:17-19; 1 Corinthians 12:14-27; Ephesians 4:1-16, 5:23-25).
B. The one body of Christ unites all believers to one another and all believers to Christ worldwide and yet we believe that the establishment and continuance of local self-governed churches under the servant leadership of elders and deacons is clearly taught throughout the New Testament (Acts 13:1-4, 20:17-32; 1 Timothy 1:1-13; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3). The chief purpose of both the universal church and each individual local church is to glorify God through His grace in the building up of the Body of Christ in unity (Ephesians 4:1-3; Psalm 133, Proverbs 6:16-19), in the manifestation of good deeds and in the evangelization of the world (Matthew 5:16, 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 2:4-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Titus 2:11-14).
We believe that the two ordinances that Christians are to observe are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. While recognizing that water baptism has no saving merit, it is our conviction that after one is saved, baptism is the next, necessary step of obedience in portraying to the world the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4; Acts 10:47-48, 16:32-33). It is our conviction that the scriptural method of water baptism is immersion as Jesus followed prior to His ministry (Mark 1:9-11). It is also our conviction that immersion most accurately and beautifully portrays our identification with Christ and is observed but once (Colossians 2:9-13). We believe that Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper to commemorate His death until He comes and is to be observed often as a memorial to the body and the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-33).
14. THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
We believe that Satan is a created, finite spiritual being (Ezekiel 28:12-19), subject to the sovereign authority of God (Job 1:6-12). He is a fallen angel (Isaiah 14:12-15), the author of sin (Genesis 3:1-6; Ephesians 2:2), the prince of demons and the god of this age (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Satan is also the great enticer and deceiver (2 Corinthians 11:3, 14-15), the father of lies (John 8:44), the active adversary of Christ and His people (2 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Peter 5:8) and the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). He will be punished eternally in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by His grace and received only through personal faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-5; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
16. THE ASSURANCE OF BELIEVERS
We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation in accordance with the sufficiency of Christ’s death as a payment for our sins, the divine will and protection of Jesus and His Father, and the consistent teaching of God’s Word (Luke 10:20; John 10:27-30; Romans 8:28-30; Colossians 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 John 5:11-13). Scripture clearly forbids the use of our assurance/Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Galatians 5:13; Romans 6:1-14, 13:13-14), but rather excites brotherly love, gratitude and obedience within the child of God (Titus 2:11-15; Hebrews 10:22-25).
A. We believe that in the divine power of Christ Jesus we have been given everything for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God’s provision for holy living is abiding faith in the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, resurrection and ascension (Romans 6:1-14; John 15:1-6, 16:7; Galatians 2:20). This life of abiding faith is cultivated through prayer (John 15:7); the teaching, meditation, and application of the powerful Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-4:2); and the encouragement and fellowship of other believers (Hebrews 10:22-25).
B. We believe that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set the believer free from the law of sin and death through the indwelling person and power of the Holy Spirit, “Christ in us” (Romans 8:1-9). We believe that at the moment of regeneration the believer is set apart by a holy calling to live not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:12-13; 1 Peter 1:14-16). Consequently, we believe that each believer has the responsibility of yielding or presenting him/herself to God in faith (Romans 6:13, 12:1-2); being filled by the Spirit in faith (Ephesians 5:18); and walking by the Spirit in faith (Galatians 5:16) in order to live a life of holiness in practical and progressive sanctification moment by moment throughout his/her entire lifetime (Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 2:6).
C. We believe that believers are new creatures in Christ and yet still retain the mortal and corruptible flesh. The flesh is at opposition with the Spirit and wages war with the Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:1-5, 16-17; Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:14-23). Consequently, we believe any claim of perfectionism before our glorification in heaven is unscriptural (1 John 1:8).
We believe that believers are to be in the world but not of the world as was the practice and prayer of our Lord (John 17:11-17; Matthew 5:13-16) and that a believer’s life must not bring dishonor to our Lord and Savior (1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). We must not be a stumbling block to our fellow believers even in areas of Christian liberty (Romans 14:3). Separation from all doctrinal apostasy as well as the practice of all worldly and sinful pleasures is clearly commanded of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Timothy 6:3-14; 2 Timothy 3:1-14).
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. All literature and teaching used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.
ARTICLE 4 – CULTURAL ISSUES
1. GENDER ISSUES
A. Scripture says 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 homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. (Genesis 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Leviticus 18: 1-30; Romans 1 :26-29; 1 Corinthians 5: 1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4: 1-8; Hebrews 13:4). Westminster Bible Church will not condone such behavior in its members. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. Therefore we will not join same-sex couples in marriage. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22).
B. Let us be clear on this. God hates the sin but loves the sinner. As a church, our goal is to love people who are ensnared in these lies of Satan. Sinners of all kinds are welcome at Westminster Bible Church. But because of our love for them, we have to tell them the truth -- this is not God’s way to live. Come as you are. Meet God here. And He will change your life.
C. Scripture says that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and in the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be the leaders (pastors and elders) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12).
2. LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
Scripture says 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 or damage from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32).