God is a Person who has revealed Himself as a Trinity in unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit—three Persons and yet one God ( Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 8:6).
The Bible, including both the Old and the New Testaments, is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit1 (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)
Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, which is to say, He is Himself very God; He took upon Himself our nature, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary2; He died upon the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of the world3; He arose from the dead in the body in which He was crucified; He ascended into heaven in that body glorified, where He is now our interceding High Priest; He will come again personally and visibly to set up His Kingdom4 and to judge the quick and the dead (Col. 1:15; Phil. 2:5-8; Matt. 1:18-25; 1 Pet. 2:24-25; Luke 24; Heb. 4:14-16; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 11:15-17; 20:4-6, 11-15).
Man was created5 in the image of God but fell into sin, and, in that sense, is lost; this is true of all men, and except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God; salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree; the retribution of the wicked and unbelieving and the rewards of the righteous are everlasting, and as the reward is conscious, so is the retribution6 (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:10, 23; John 3:3; Acts 13:38-39; 4:12; John 3:16; Matt. 25:46; 2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Thess. 1:7-10).
The Church7 is an elect company of believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body; its mission is to witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the gospel among all nations; it will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before He appears to set up His kingdom8 (Acts 2:41; 15:13-17; Eph. 1:3-6; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:6-8; 1 Thess. 4:16-18; Rev. 3:21).
Faith BIble Presbyterian Church’s Doctrinal Positions related to its Doctrinal Statement
Notes elaborating the Doctrinal Statement
1 The Bible is without error in all it affirms in the original autographs and is the only authoritative guide for faith and practice and as such must not be supplanted by any other fields of human learning.
2 Jesus Christ, the only eternally begotten Son of God, is fully God and fully man possessing both deity and humanity united in one person, without division of the person or confusion of the two natures.
3 An individual receives the benefit of Christ’s substitutionary death by faith as the result of responding to the message of the gospel. Salvation is the free gift of God’s grace through faith alone, in Christ alone, therefore not dependent upon church membership, intermediaries, sacraments or works of righteousness to attain or sustain it.
4 It is Faith Bible Presbyterian Church’s position that this refers to the premillennial return of Christ at which time He will set up His millennial reign, during which time He will fulfill His promises to Israel.
5 This affirms that the first human beings were a special and unique creation by God as contrasted to being derived from any pre-existing life forms. Further, God created everything “after its kind”, which excludes any position that allows for any evolutionary process between kinds.
6 This statement excludes any position which asserts a temporary or complete cessation of consciousness, or merging with eternal oneness, or annihilation of the damned, or a “second chance” or a period of suffering or purification in preparation for entrance into the presence of God.
7 The Church also known as the Bride of Jesus Christ is a distinct entity in the ongoing program of God. Further, this universal Church consists of all who possess saving faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and which will represent every language, people and nation.
8 Christ will return in the air preceding the seven-year Tribulation at which time He will receive into heaven all believers who constitute His church. During that tribulation period God will bring salvation to Israel and the nations while exercising judgment on unbelievers.
The Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible
Revelation is God’s self-disclosure. It is God making Himself known to men. God has revealed himself in a limited way in creation. But the Bible is a form of special revelation. The Bible is “special” revelation in the sense that it goes beyond what may be known about God through nature. It is divine in origin, since in the Bible God makes known things which otherwise could never be known (I Cor. 2:11-16; Ps. 19:1; Rom. 1:19, 20).
The Bible is unique because it is God’s revelation recorded in human language. According to II Timothy 3:16–17 the words of Scripture are “God breathed” or inspired. This implies that God is the source or origin of what is recorded in Scripture. God, through the Holy Spirit, used human authors to write what He revealed in the Bible. They were not mere copyists or transcribers. The Holy Spirit guided and controlled the writers of Scripture, who used their own vocabularies and styles but wrote only what the Holy Spirit intended. This is true only of the original manuscripts, not the copies or translations. Although the original manuscripts have been lost to us, God has preserved the biblical text to a remarkable degree (II Tim. 3:16,17; II Peter 1:21, I Cor. 2:12-13).
The Bible is verbally inspired. This means that the words of the Bible, not just the ideas, were inspired. What is more, this is true of not just some, but all the words of the Bible. As a result, the Bible is free from error in what it says. Faith Bible Presbyterian Church believes strongly in the factual, verbal, historical inerrancy of the Bible. That is, the Bible, in its original documents, is free from error in what is says about geography, history and science as well as in what it says about God. Its authority extends to all matters about which the Bible speaks. It is the supreme source of our knowledge of God and of the salvation provided through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our indispensable resource for daily living (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 5:39-47; II Tim. 3:16,17; I Peter 2:2).
Even though the Bible is God’s revelation, it must still be interpreted. Interpretation has to do with our reception and understanding of that which God revealed and recorded. Revelation is a divine act. Interpretation is a human responsibility. Divine inspiration guarantees the truthfulness of God’s word but not the accuracy of our interpretation. The Bible is infallible in all it affirms to be true and therefore absolutely reliable. We, however, may be fallible in our interpretation of the Bible (John 16:13).
The Deity of Jesus Christ
The Bible directly states that Jesus is God in a number of passages. Taken by themselves, these verses provide enough evidence for the church to believe in and teach the deity of Jesus Christ. But the indirect evidence of Scripture is equally compelling (John 1:1, 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Titus 2:13, Heb 1:8; I John 5:20. Other passages include John 13:3, 17:5, Col. 1:15-19, I Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:3).
The names of God are often applied to Jesus. He is called “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father” and “Immanuel” (meaning “God with us”). Elsewhere Jesus is called “The Lord (Jehovah) our Righteousness,” “God,” and “Son of God” (Isa. 9:6; 7:14; Matt. 1:22–23; Jer. 23:6; Isa. 40:3; Heb. 1:8; I Tim. 3:16; John 10:36).
The Bible ascribes the characteristics of deity to Jesus Christ. He is described as eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and immutable (Eternal: Isa. 9:6; Mic. 5:2; John 1:1, 2; 8:58; 17:5; 24; Col. 1:15, 17; I John 1:1; Rev. 1:8. Omnipresent: Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13. Omniscient John 2:24, 25; 16:30; 21:17; Rev. 2:23. Omnipotent: Isa. 9:6; Phil. 3:21; Rev. 1:8; cf. John 5:17; Heb. 1:3; Matt. 28:18. Immutable: Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8).
Jesus Christ is equal with God the Father. He is worshiped as God. His name is assigned equal standing with God the Father in the church’s baptismal formula and in the apostolic benediction (John 20:28; Acts 7:59; Heb. 1:6; cf. Exodus 34:14; Matt. 4:10. Matt. 28:19; cf. Acts 2:38; II Cor. 13:14; cf. I Cor. 1:3, Eph. 1:2).
Christ performed works which only God can do. He is creator. He is the upholder of all things. He forgives sin. He will raise the dead and execute judgment. (John 1:3, 10; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2,10; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3; cf. Luke 10:22; John 3:35; 17:2; Eph. 1:22. Matt. 9:2-7; cf. Mark 2:7; Luke 7:47, 48; Col. 3:13. John 11:25; cf. John 5:25, 28-29; 6:39, 40, 54; John 5:22).
Jesus Christ Himself claimed deity. He taught His disciples to pray in His name. He claimed that He and the Father were one and that He was the Son of God. He claimed that to know Him was to know God, to see Him was to see God, to receive Him was to receive God, to believe Him was to believe in God and to honor Him was to honor God, while to hate Him was to hate God (John 16:23, 24; 10:30, 36; 14:9; 17:11; 8:18; 14:7; 12:45; 14:9; Mark 9:37; John 12:44; 14:1; 5:23; 15:23).
The Virgin Birth
We believe that the eternal Son of God “took upon Him our nature, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.”
The virgin birth is implied in the Old Testament as early as Gen. 3:15, which promised that “the seed of woman” would be the victor over Satan and sin. It is expressly predicted in Isaiah 7:14: “Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel”. According to Matt. 1:22–23, this prophecy was fulfilled in Mary. She is called a “virgin” in Luke 1:27. The Greek term parthenos has the meaning of “maiden” or “pure virgin”. Mary did not conceive through ordinary means, but through the Holy Spirit. This was God’s miraculous intervention, producing offspring without a human father. No man or angel was involved. Christ, who was God from all eternity, took hold of this human nature thus conceived and joined it to Himself (Luke 1:35, 26-28; Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35; Heb. 2:14; Phil. 2:7).
What called for the virgin birth? The fundamental need was found in the nature of the human race. Every normal, human birth produces another sinner, just as Adam, as sinner, produced a race of sinners. Our Savior had to be genuinely human and truly sinless in order to be our perfect substitute and pay our penalty of guilt before an infinite God by His death (Gen. 5:1-3; Rom. 5:15-21; Eph. 2:1-2; I Pet. 1:18-19; Heb. 9:14).
This doctrine stands at the heart of the Lord’s person and saving work. Without the virgin birth, there would be no salvation for sinners. Jesus Christ would be a sinful human being. If the virgin birth did not occur, then the Bible is not true and cannot be trusted. In short, it is an essential part of salvation and of Scripture. We unashamedly believe and teach the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
The Substitutionary Atonment
According to the Scriptures, sin must be paid for. When Jesus Christ died, he suffered as a substitute in the place of and on behalf of fallen humanity. Christ’s death made it possible for men and women to be declared righteous, based on their faith in Him Christ’s death was not merely a statement against evil or an expression of love, but a payment that satisfied God’s demand. Christ’s death was necessary for several reasons (Rom. 6:23; I Peter 1:18, 19; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 3:21; II Cor. 5:21).
First, sin alienates us from God. Those who are controlled by sin cannot please God. Jesus Christ’s death made peace with God possible. Christ came, not just to provide us with a godly example, but to die on our behalf and to bear the cost for sin (Eph. 2:12; Rom. 8:5-8; Col. 1:20-21; Gal. 3:13).
Second, God is holy. God’s holy character requires that sin be punished. Sin makes us the objects of God’s wrath until the penalty of sin is paid. By laying down His own life, Jesus paid the price on our behalf, satisfying God’s demand. This payment was made, not to Satan, but God (I John 1:5; Rom. 3:4, 24-26; 1:18; 6:23; John 10:17, 18; II Peter 2:1; Matt. 20:28).
Third, the presence of sin renders us helpless. We cannot save ourselves. We do not have the will or the ability to offer anything acceptable to God on our own behalf. We not only suffer from the guilt and penalty of Adam’s original sin, but also from the effects of our own sinful nature and actions (Rom. 3:10-12, 20, 28; John 1:13; Eph. 2:1-5; Rom. 5:12-15; 6:6; 3:23).
God, who is rich in mercy, sent Jesus Christ to die in our place, so that He might be righteous in dealing with sin while at the same time providing His own righteousness to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Christ’s death was more than an attempt to reverse the human course started by Adam; it served as a substitute payment for the trespasses of all who believe (Rom. 3:23-26).
The Resurection of Jesus Christ
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our Christian faith. This event, which occurred almost two thousand years ago, is the best attested fact in human history and experience. The resurrection of Christ was predicted in the Old Testament and by Christ Himself. During the forty days following His resurrection, Jesus showed Himself to be alive from the dead by “many infallible proofs.” He appeared at various times and places to many people who told others what they had seen (I Cor. 15:17; Job 19:25-27; Ps. 16:9-11; 22:22; 118:22-24; Matt. 16:21; Mark 9:30-32; Luke 18:31-34; John 2:19-22; Acts 1:3; Luke 24:33-43; John 20:24-29; I Cor. 15:3-8).
Christ’s resurrection has been at the heart of the church’s message from the Day of Pentecost to the present. By rising from the dead, Jesus Christ demonstrated that He had cleansed the guilt of our past and is able to help us in our present lives. His resurrection assures us that our future is safe and secure. Without Christ’s resurrection we would have no salvation from sin, and no hope for our own future resurrection (Rom. 4:24-25; Heb. 7:25; John 14:19).
The empty tomb is proof of Christ’s deity. It guarantees the future resurrection of believers. The resurrection of Christ also provides believers with spiritual power today. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is evidence that God will one day judge the world in righteousness (John 5:26; Rom. 1:4; John 14:19; I Cor. 15:20-23; Rom. 6:3-4; Eph. 1:19-21; Acts 17:31).
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the second coming of Christ. His return from heaven will be personal, visible and glorious, a blessed hope for which we should constantly watch and pray (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13; Rev. 1:7).
The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son and is of the same essence. Yet He is also distinct from them.
Scripture describes the Holy Spirit in personal terms, not as an impersonal force, when it says that He teaches, guides, comforts, and intercedes. He possesses emotions, intellect, and will. The Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and gave counsel to the church at Jerusalem. He was sinned against and lied to (John 14:26; Rom. 8:14; John 14:26; Rom. 8:26; Eph. 4:30; I Cor. 2:10-14; 12:11; Acts 8:29; 15:28; 5:3, 4).
The Scriptures also attest to the deity of the Holy Spirit. He is spoken of as God and is identified with the title of Jehovah. The Christian who is indwelt by the Spirit is indwelt by God. The Holy Spirit possesses the attributes of deity, such as omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and eternality. He does works only God can do, such as creating, regenerating and sanctifying. He is equally associated with the other members of the Trinity (Acts 5:1-4; Isa. 6:8-9 with Acts 28:25; Jer. 31:31-34; with Heb. 10:15; I Cor 3:16; 6:19; Eph. 2:22; I Cor. 2:10-11; Psalm 139:7; Zech. 4:6; Heb. 9:14; Gen. 1:2; John 3:6; II Thess. 2:13; Matt. 28:19, 20; II Cor. 13:14).
The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament differed somewhat from His work in the New Testament. The possession of the Holy Spirit by the believer was not permanent in every case. The Spirit had a ministry of restraining sin and in the creation of the world (Psalm 51:11; Gen. 6:3; Gen. 1:2; Isa. 40:12).
The Holy Spirit today plays a major role in the application of salvation to the individual. It is the Spirit who brings conviction to the unbeliever and causes him to see the truth of the gospel in a clear light. Those who respond to this conviction and place their faith in Jesus Christ receive eternal life and a new nature. The Holy Spirit unites the believer with Christ and places him in the body of Christ, the church. He also unites the believer with Christ in His death, enabling him to live victoriously over sin. The Holy Spirit controls the believer who yields to God and submits himself to the God’s Word. When these conditions are met, the believer lives in the power of the Spirit and produces the fruit of the Spirit (John 16:8-11; 3:3-7; Titus 3:5; I Cor. 12:13; Rom. 6:1–10; 12:1,2; Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:16; Gal. 5:16, 22, 23).
The Holy Spirit indwells the believer permanently. While the child of God may sin and grieve the Spirit, the Spirit will never leave the true believer. Absence of the Holy Spirit is the mark of the unsaved. The Holy Spirit seals the believer. This ministry guarantees the security of the believer “until the day of redemption (I Cor. 6:19, 20; Eph. 4:30; Rom. 8:9; Jude 19; II Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
The Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts or abilities for service to every believer. Although His restraint of evil in the world today will cease with the rapture, because He is omnipresent His presence will continue in the earth, even though He is taken out of the way. During the tribulation period He will be poured out a second time for salvation and filling. In the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Spirit will be in God’s people and the Spirit will be upon the King (Rom. 12; I Cor. 12; Eph. 4:7 – 13; II Thess. 2:7; Zech. 12:10; Joel 2:28-32; Ezek. 39:29; Jer. 31:33; Isa. 11: 2-3).
Sign Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Faith Bible Presbyterian Church maintains that there is one baptism of the Holy Spirit that occurs at the time a person is born again, placing that one into the body of Christ. Faith Bible Presbyterian Church also distinguishes between spiritual gifts distributed to believers to equip them for ministry and the “sign gifts” which are understood to have been manifestations of the Holy Spirit to authenticate the messenger and the gospel message during the foundational period of the church. Therefore, Faith Bible Presbyterian Church holds that “sign gifts” are not normative for the church today (Acts 2:38; Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 12:13; Rom. 12:4-5; I Cor. 12:12; I Cor. 12; Eph. 4:7-13; I Pet. 4:10-11; I Cor. 13:8-10; 14:20-22; 1:22; 13:8-10).
Our doctrinal statement does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Holy Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source all of all we believe.
For purposes of Faith Bible Presbyterian Church’s faith, doctrine, practice and discipline, our Elders are Faith Bible Presbyterian Church’s final interpretative authority on the Bible’s meaning and its application.
To learn more of what we believe please visit our “Distinctives” page and see the Westminister Shorter Catechism, Larger Catechism, and Confession of Faith as we are in substantial agreement with them.
Maranatha! – Our Lord, Come!