What We Believe
The following are some of the basic doctrines we hold to, proclaim and seek to live out as an assembly*. For a fuller understanding of our church’s beliefs reference the church’s confession of faith (www.rblist.org/1689.pdf).
I. The Bible
The Holy Scripture, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is the all-sufficient, certain and infallible rule or standard of the knowledge, faith and obedience that constitute salvation. The manner in which God formerly revealed His will having long ceased, the Holy Scripture becomes absolutely essential to men.
II. God and the Trinity
There is but one, and only one, living and true God. He is self-existent and infinite in His being and His perfections. Three divine Persons constitute the Godhead-the Father, the Son (or the Word), and the Holy Spirit. They are one in substance, in power, and in eternity. Each is fully God, and yet the Godhead is one and indivisible. The Father owes His being to none.
III. God’s Sovereignty
From all eternity God decreed all that should happen in time, and this He did freely and unalterably, consulting only His own wise and holy will.
By His decree, and for the manifestation of His glory, God has predestinated (or foreordained) certain men and angels to eternal life through Jesus Christ, thus revealing His grace.
Not only has God appointed the elect to glory, but He has also foreordained that they should be redeemed by Christ, and effectually called to faith in Christ. Furthermore, by the working of His Spirit in due season they are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation.
IV. Man and Sin
God made man upright and perfect, but Adam's obedience to God was short-lived. He willfully broke the law under which he had been created, and also God's command not to eat of the forbidden fruit. Their sin involved us all, and by it death appertained to all. All men became dead in sin, and totally polluted in all parts and faculties of both soul and body.
God chose and ordained the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be the mediator between God and man; also to be prophet, priest, king, head and savior of His church; also to be the heir of all things and judge of the world. He is true and eternal God and he took upon Himself the nature of man when conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He has two distinct natures, the divine and the human, inseparably joined together in one Person.
The Lord Jesus perfectly fulfilled God’s law and also underwent its punishment The third day He was raised bodily and He has also ascended into heaven, where He sits at the right hand of His Father, interceding for His own. At the end of the world He will return to judge men and angels.
VI. Faith and Repentance
The grace of saving faith and repentance unto life are a result of the regenerating work of the Spirit in the hearts of the elect when they called by the gospel. In saving faith the believer accepts, receives and rests upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life. Repentance unto life consists of godly sorrow, hatred of sin, and a turning from it unto God to live a life pleasing to Him.
VII. Perseverance of the Saints
True believers can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but they shall certainly persevere in faith and holiness to the end and be eternally saved, for they are graven on the palms of His hands, and their names have been written in the book of life from all eternity.
VIII. The Law of God
God gave Adam a law, written in his heart that required his full obedience. The same law that was first written in man's heart continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after Adam fell into sin, and was given by God upon Mount Sinai in the form of ten commandments, written in two tables. The first four commandments constitute our duty towards God and the remaining six our duty to man. The ten are known as the moral law.
Obedience to the moral law is required of believers as well as all. In the gospel Christ in no way cancels the necessity for this obedience; on the contrary He greatly stresses our obligation to obey the moral law. This is view of the law of God does not run contrary to the grace of the gospel, but is in perfect harmony with it, for the Spirit of Christ subdues the will of man and enables it to obey it freely and with cheerfulness.
IX. Worship and The Lord’s Day
The only acceptable way of worshipping the true God is appointed by Himself, in accordance with His own will and all other forms of worship not prescribed in the Holy Scripture, are expressly forbidden.
God has particularly appointed one day in seven to be kept as a holy Sabbath to Himself. It is binding upon all men in all ages. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the Sabbath was the last day of the week, but when Christ's resurrection took place it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day. It is to be continued to the world's end as the Christian Sabbath, the observance of the seventh day being abolished.
Men keep the Sabbath holy to the Lord when, having prepared their hearts and settled their mundane affairs beforehand, they set aside all works, words and thoughts that pertain to their worldly employment and recreations, and devote the whole of the Lord's day to the public and private exercises of God's worship, and to duties of necessity and mercy.
X. The Church
The catholic or universal church is invisible in respect of the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace. It consists of the whole number of the elect who have been, who are being, or who yet shall be gathered into one under Christ.
A local church should be comprised of those who are truly regenerate who willingly consent to hold fellowship together according to Christ's instructions, giving themselves to the Lord and to one another, as they obey the requirements of the gospel.
Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament instituted by Jesus Christ. It is intended to be, to the person baptized, a sign of his fellowship with Christ in His death and resurrection, and of his being engrafted into Christ, and of the remission of sins. It also indicates that the baptized person has given himself up to God, through Jesus Christ, so that he may live and conduct himself in newness of life. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water and t its proper administration is immersion.
XII. The Lord’s Supper
The Lord's Supper was instituted by the Lord to be observed for a perpetual remembrance of Him and His sacrificial death, to confirm saints in the belief that all the benefits stemming from Christ's sacrifice belong to them, promote their spiritual nourishment and growth in Christ, and to strengthen the ties that bind them to all the duties they owe to Him. The Lord's Supper is also a bond and pledge of the fellowship which believers have with Christ and with one another.
The outward elements in the Lord's supper-bread and the fruit do not mysteriously become the body and blood of Christ. However, as believers outwardly partake of the elements receive and feed upon Christ crucified inwardly by faith.
XIII. The Eternal Destinies of Men
The bodies of men after death return to dust and suffer decay, but their souls immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous, whose holiness is at death perfected, are received into paradise, where they are with Christ, and waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. The souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day.
At the last day, saints then alive on the earth will not die, but be changed. All the dead will be raised up with their selfsame bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, and shall be united again to their souls forever.
By the power of Christ, the bodies of the unrighteous will be raised to dishonor. By His Spirit, Christ will raise the bodies of the righteous to honor, for they will be refashioned after the pattern of His own glorious body.
XIV. The Last Judgment
God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ. All persons who have lived upon the earth; they will appear before Christ's judgment throne to give an account of their thoughts, words and deeds, and to receive His award in accordance with what they have done in this earthly life, whether good or evil.
In that day the righteous will inherit everlasting life. But the wicked, who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, will be relegated to everlasting torments and punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.
* Based on The Faith We Confess-a modern version of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith