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Doctrinal Statement of Battlefield Baptist Church
â€śTake heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.â€ť (I Timothy 4:16)
I. The Doctrine of the Bible
We believe in the total, absolute authority of the holy scriptures (Psalm 138:2), composed of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. We believe that the original writings were given by inspiration of God and were without error. We believe that the Almighty God who originally gave his words by inspiration has taken upon himself the responsibility for its complete preservation (Psalm 12:6-7, II Timothy 3:16). Thus, after careful study and much scrutiny, we believe the incorruptible word of God, which cannot pass away, is available to the English-speaking world in the Authorized King James Bible (I Peter 1:23-25). We believe that the King James Bible that we hold in our hands is holy scripture â€“ the very words of God Almighty, given by inspiration. Therefore, the King James Bible is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) eternally existent as the Father (John 17:5), the Word (the Lord Jesus Christ) (John 1:1-2, 14), and the Holy Ghost (John 14:26). We believe each has his individual identity and separate responsibilities for the purposes God has determined and established, yet perfectly, â€śthese three are oneâ€ť (I John 5:7).
III. The Doctrine of the Deity and Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ
We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ; that God Almighty (JEHOVAH) was manifest in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (I Timothy 3:16). We believe and confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (I John 4:2). We believe the Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died a sinless death â€“ while yet being made sin on the cross, was buried, rose from the dead, and is alive right now at â€śthe right hand of the throne of Godâ€ť as the man Christ Jesus (I Timothy 2:5; I John 4:2; Luke 24:39; Hebrews 12:2; Psalm 110:1). Our profession of faith in biblical Christology is the same as that of the Apostle Thomas when he said to Jesus, â€śmy Lord and my Godâ€ť (John 20:28). We believe him to be the only begotten (John 3:16), virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23) Son of God (Matthew 16:16).
We believe in the substitutionary atonement (Romans 5:11) of the Lord Jesus Christ made on the cross at Calvary (John 19:30). Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9), and all must be born again (John 3:3) or be forever lost in hell, which was created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). His shed blood is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9) for all sin, however is only effectual for those who believe.
Additional Scriptural Support: (John 3:1-18) - (John 6:44-49) â€“ (Romans 3:25) â€“ (Colossians 1:14) - (Hebrews 7: 22-25) - (Hebrews 9:22) â€“ (I Peter 1:18-19) â€“ (I John 2:2) - (Revelation 1:5)
V. The Doctrine of the Resurrection
We believe in the physical or bodily resurrection (Luke 24:37-43) of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21). We believe that Jesus Christ ascended bodily (Acts 1:9) into heaven (Acts 1:10-11) and as the man Christ Jesus, is now in the flesh at the right hand of God (I John 4:2; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2) as our mediator (I Timothy 2:5), priest (Hebrews 8:1), advocate (I John 2:1), and intercessor (Hebrews 7:25).
We believe in the â€śraptureâ€ť â€“ the personal (Acts 1:11), pre-millennial (Revelation 20:2-7), pre-tribulation (I Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 4:1), and imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for the bride of Christ. This has been, will be, and should be the â€śblessed hopeâ€ť (Titus 2:13) of every born again believer in the church age. We believe that Jesus Christ will return at the appointed time to receive those who are â€śdead in Christâ€ť (I Thessalonians 4:16) and those â€śwhich are alive and remainâ€ť (I Thessalonians 4:17). We believe that Jesus Christ will then return with all his saints (Zechariah 14:5; Jude 14) thereafter to establish his earthly kingdom (Isaiah 11:1-6; Revelation 19:19-20, 20:1-6) with its duration lasting one thousand years. After this earthly reign, he will bring all the unsaved dead (Revelation 20:12-13) to the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11) and whosoever is not found in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). It is at this time that Satan will also be cast into his eternal fate, the lake of fire and brimstone, where he will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10).
We believe in the personality of Satan, â€śthat old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole worldâ€ť (Revelation 12:9). We believe that Lucifer was the anointed cherub that covereth (Ezekiel 28:14). When he rebelled and tried to set himself up as God, he was cast down (Isaiah 14:12-17). Now he is the â€śgod of this worldâ€ť (II Corinthians 4:4), â€śthe prince of the power of the airâ€ť and â€śthe spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedienceâ€ť (Ephesians 2:2). He is a liar and a murderer (John 8:44). He is the tempter (Matthew 4:3; I Thessalonians 3:5). He is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). Soon he will set up a religious/political kingdom on this earth and reign in the person of the antichrist for seven years (Daniel 8:25). When Jesus Christ comes to set up his kingdom, Satan will be bound for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). At the end of the thousand year period, he will be loosed and will deceive the nations of the earth â€śto gather them together to battleâ€ť (Revelation 20:7-8). They will surround â€śthe camp of the saintsâ€ť and â€śthe beloved city,â€ť which is earthly Jerusalem. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour those nations; the devil will then be â€ścast into the lake of fire and brimstone,â€ť â€śand shall be tormented day and night for ever and everâ€ť (Revelation 20:9-10). We believe Satan is presently and actively opposing the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of the word of God on every hand, and is also the enemy of every true believer (I Peter 5:8-9). We believe that his warfare incorporates the deception of mixing truth with error (Genesis 3; II Corinthians 11:14) as well as that which is flagrantly vile and evil (Job 2:7; Luke 22:31), etc.
We believe that heaven is a real place (John 14:2) of eternal (John 10:28) blessedness prepared by God (I Corinthians 2:9) for those who have been cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (I John 1:7). We believe that hell is also a real place (Matthew 13:37-42) of eternal (Mark 9:43-48) suffering (Revelation 20:10) for those whose names are not found in the book of life (Revelation 20:15). (Note: Hell is a temporary place of torment until the great white throne judgment when death and hell are cast into the eternal lake of fire.) Nowhere does scripture teach of an intermediate state in which the unsaved can atone for his sins. Therefore we reject the false doctrine of purgatory. Likewise, the doctrine called â€śsoul sleepâ€ť is also erroneous. (see Luke 16:19-31)
IX. The Doctrine of the Creation of Man and the Fall of Man
We believe in the literal Genesis creation account exactly as it is written and therefore reject all theories of evolution that conflict with the Bible. We believe (Genesis 1:1) exactly as it stands. We believe God to be the Creator and sustainer of all things, visible and invisible (Colossians 1:16-20). We believe the universe and all that is therein to be held together by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). We believe in the universality (Romans 3:32; Romans 5:12) and exceeding (Jeremiah 17:9) sinfulness of man (Psalm 39:5). We believe that through an act of free will and disobedience, man sinned (Genesis 3:6-7). We believe, according to the Bible, in Adam all have sinned (Romans 5:12-15) and, therefore, all are guilty before God (Romans 3:19) and in need of the Saviour, Jesus Christ. We believe that those who die with no knowledge between good and evil (i.e. in innocence) (Deuteronomy 1:39) are safe from the eternal wrath of Almighty God (Romans 4:15; Romans 5:13; Romans 4:8; Romans 5:17).
We believe that man is justified (Romans 5:1) on the single ground of grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 4:5). The all-sufficient and completed work of redemption (Ephesians 1:7) accomplished through Jesus Christâ€™s death, burial, and resurrection (I Corinthians 15:1-4) is fully appropriated at the moment one believes on Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). We believe that salvation in this present dispensation is the free gift (Romans 5:15-18) of God by grace through faith in the gospel of the grace of God (I Corinthians 15:1-4). The adding of works of any kind, such as: Baptism, taking of so called sacraments, local church membership, keeping the ten commandments, living by the golden rule, etc. only frustrates the grace of God and thus falls under the category of â€śanother gospelâ€ť (Galatians 1:6-9).
We believe in the eternal security of all born again believers in our Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:28) in this present dispensation. Once a sinner has become a new creature in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:17), he can never lose that new relationship in the family of God (John 1:12-13) which is based upon Godâ€™s imputed righteousness (Romans 4:22-24) and not our own righteousness (Romans 10:3; Philippians 3:9). We believe, as the Bible states plainly, that when a person is born again, he is spiritually circumcised (Colossians 2:11) â€“ therefore, sins done in the body no longer affect his soul. Sin in the life of the believer affects his fellowship with the Father (I John 1:3-7) and our rewards at the judgment seat of Christ, but not son-ship. All those who are truly born of the Spirit (John 3:6) and who continue in sin (Romans 6:1-2) will be dealt with by the chastening hand of God (Hebrews 12:5-11). Yet all those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1) are sealed (II Corinthians 1:22), taught (John 14:26), and comforted (John 14:16) by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
Additional Scriptural Support: (John 3:36) - (John 5:24) â€“ (Romans 8:29) - (Romans 8:38-39) â€“ (Romans 10:13) â€“ (Galatians 4:6) â€“ (I John 3:14) â€“ (I John 5:10-11) - (I John 5:13)
XII. The Doctrine of Separation
We believe that all Christians are to be separated wholly unto the Lord, and as a necessary result, they must be: (1) â€“ Separated from worldly (1 John 2:15) and sinful (John 8:34) practices. Christians are to be holy, even as God is holy (I Peter 1:16), and this behavior will always be opposed to the course of the present age (I Peter 2:9). (2) â€“ Separated from apostasy (I Timothy 6:3-5) and unbelief (II Corinthians 6:14). A believer must not be â€śunequally yoked together with unbelievers,â€ť thereby being identified with unbelief by association, whether in ministry, worship, or joint religious activities (Amos 3:3; Galatians 5:9). (3) â€“ Separated from disobedient brethren and doctrinal compromise with respect to all ministry and service (Romans 16:17). A believer is identified with the doctrinal positions and practices of those he is in fellowship with, both before God and man (II Thessalonians 3:6). Separation from those who are not walking according to truth deters the leavening effect of compromise, and gives a faithful warning to the erring brother (II Thessalonians 3:14-15). *Let it be noted, however, that we believe righteousness does not come by the keeping of laws, ordinances and commandments, but by an inner change of heart. We therefore place the emphasis on the inner condition, trusting the outward workings to follow accordingly.
Additional Scriptural Support: (Romans 12:1-2) - (I Corinthians 6:19-20) â€“ (II Corinthians 6:14-18) - (I John 2:15-17) â€“ (James 4:4) â€“ (II Timothy 2:19-22) â€“ (Galatians 2:9-11)
XIII. The Doctrine of the Local Church and its Mission
We believe God uses local, independent churches (Philemon 1:2; Galatians 1:2) to accomplish his work in this present dispensation (Ephesians 3:2) extending from Calvaryâ€™s cross to the rapture (I Thessalonians 4:13-18) of Christâ€™s body, the church (Colossian 1:18), at his glorious appearing (Titus 2:13). We believe the head of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:21), not any convention, association, denomination, fellowship, deacon, bishop, elder, pope, priest, pastor, nor anyone else. We believe the church is a body of which Jesus is the head. The two ordinances of the local church are believerâ€™s baptism (Matthew 28:19) by immersion, and the memorial of the Lordâ€™s supper (Luke 22:19-20) until he returns. Neither of these two ordinances have any saving power, however. The local church presently has two offices: Bishop (elder, pastor) and deacon (I Timothy 3:1, 3:10). The church office of apostle (Romans 11:13) is no longer in operation since there are today no living apostles according to scripture. The local church is to be missionary-minded and evangelistic in spreading the gospel to all the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15). The mission of the local church is to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3) of the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:1-4), proclaim and maintain purity (I Timothy 3:15) of doctrine (I Timothy 4:16) and practice, and worship and serve God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
We believe that all followers of the Lord Jesus Christ should maintain good works (Matthew 5:16). A good work is defined as being that which is done in obedience to the will of God (Ephesians 6:6) as revealed in the word of God. Works will determine the reward or loss of reward at the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10) before which every Christian will give an account of the things done in the body. Every believer must realize his responsibility before God to â€śmaintain good worksâ€ť (Titus 3:8). The Bible is the believerâ€™s absolute authority in all matters of faith and practice, his perfect counsel. The Bible provides the believer with all things that pertain unto life and godliness (II Peter 1:3-4). Of these good works we believe it is the responsibility of every believer to proclaim the saving gospel to all men by personal testimony and by giving, â€śas God hath prospered him,â€ť to finance the ministry and missionary efforts of the local church.
Additional Scriptural Support: (Ephesians 2:10) â€“ (I Timothy 5:25) â€“ (I Timothy 6:18) â€“ (II Timothy 3:17) â€“ (Titus 2:7) â€“ (Titus 2:14) â€“ (Titus 3:14) â€“ (Hebrews 10:24-25) â€“ (I Peter 2:12)
XV. The Doctrine of Water Baptism
We believe that water baptism for the regenerated believer is immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19). We believe that water baptism is a figure (I Peter 3:21) of Jesus Christâ€™s death, burial, and resurrection (I Corinthians 15:1-4) and is a public testimony made by the saved Christian and plays no part in salvation (Acts 16:31; I Corinthians 1:17). While we conclude that water baptism plays no part in salvation, let it be noted that we believe everyone who is a born again child of God should be baptized following Christ Jesusâ€™ example (Matthew 3:13-17) and command (Matthew 28:19). A further reason for being baptized is found in the Apostle Paulâ€™s statement â€śBe ye followers of me, even as I am also of Christâ€ť (I Corinthians 11:1) and we are told that Paul himself was baptized (Acts 9:18-19). Those who were received into membership of the local church, in the book of Acts, were baptized in water.
We believe that the Lordâ€™s supper is to be held as a memorial of Christâ€™s atoning death and should also be a reminder that he is soon coming again to receive us unto himself (I Corinthians 11:23-32). We believe that the instruction given by the Apostle Paul governing the partaking of the Lordâ€™s supper to be one primarily of self-examination (I Corinthians 11:23 -32 with emphasis on verse 28 and verse 31). We believe that only a saved child of God, who has truly examined and judged himself, is meet to be a partaker of the Lordâ€™s supper. We reject transubstantiation and consubstantiation as heresy. We do not believe that the body nor the blood of Jesus Christ are present, neither physically nor spiritually, but that the elements simply represent the Lordâ€™s body and blood (Matthew 26:26-29; John 6:63).
XVII. The Doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers
We believe in the priesthood of all believers (I Peter 2:5) and though we understand that no two men were created equal, we abhor any fashion of exalting one member of the body of Christ (Revelation 2:6) over another, or one gift of the Spirit above another (I Corinthians 12).
Additional Scriptural Support: (John 17:11) â€“ (John 17:21-23) â€“ (Acts 2:1) â€“ (Acts 2:46) - (Romans 2:11) â€“ (I Corinthians 10:17) - (I Corinthians 12:13) â€“ (I Corinthians 12:26) â€“ (II Corinthians 13:11) â€“ (Galatians 3:28) - (I Peter 2:9)
XVIII. The Doctrine of Secret Societies
We believe the Bible unequivocally denounces membership of secret societies, of any kind, by the born again child of God (John 18:20). We believe that membership in a secret society undoubtedly yokes believers with unbelievers and thus places the Christian in direct disobedience to the clear command to â€ścome out from among them, and be ye separateâ€ť (II Corinthians 6:14-17). Moreover, we believe and therefore speak, as did the Apostle Paul in (Ephesians 5:12): â€śFor it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.â€ť Therefore, we believe and conclude that the Christian is to separate from and renounce all forms of secret societies following the command given in (Ephesians 5:10-11). A finally warning from the Lord Jesus Christ should be sufficient for all with ears to hear â€“ (Luke 12:2-3): â€śFor there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.â€ť
XIX. The Doctrine of the Separation of Church and State
We believe, as did our Baptist forefathers, in the absolute separation of church and state. We believe that the state has no business dictating to any local church how they should conduct their services and/or ministries. We believe that any attempt by the state to interfere with the working of the church OR any attempt by the church to interfere with the working of the state is a violation of Godâ€™s purpose for both (Matthew 17:24-27; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:11-17).