WHAT WE BELIEVE
COMMUNITY BIBLE CHURCH OF HIGHLAND
“We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ.” Colossians 1:28
SECTION 1: THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe and teach that the Holy Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired Word of God, absolutely without error in the original writings. We believe and teach that the Scriptures are the supreme and final authority in doctrine and practice. We also believe and teach that the Scriptures must be rightly divided or taught accurately in order to understand their intended meaning.
John 17:17; II Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17; II Peter 1:21
SECTION 2: THE TRINITY
We believe and teach there is one living and true God, with one essence, eternally existing in three equal persons ― Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Although these Persons possess the same divine nature and attributes, they are distinct in office and activity.
Deuteronomy 6:4, Psalm 139:8, Matthew 28:19, II Corinthians 13:14
SECTION 3: GOD THE FATHER
We believe and teach that God the Father is Father over all creation, Father of the nation Israel, Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Father of believers in Christ Jesus.
Exodus 4:22, Matthew 3:17, Acts 17:29, Galatians 3:26
We believe and teach that God the Father orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. As the absolute and highest ruler in the universe, He has supreme power over all things ― creation, providence, and redemption. He has graciously chosen from all eternity those whom He would have as His own, and He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Job 1:6; Psalm 103:19, 145:8-9; John 1:12, 18; Romans 11:33
II Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:3-6
SECTION 4: THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe and teach that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. We believe and teach that Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins in obedience to the Father’s will. We believe and teach that our redemption and salvation are guaranteed to us by His literal physical resurrection from the dead. His resurrection body is the pattern of that body that ultimately will be given to all believers.
Luke 1:35; John 1:1, 1:14, 1:18; Romans 3:24-26
I Corinthians 15:50-55; Ephesians 1:20-21
We believe and teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven, exalted at the right hand of God, where, as High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of intercession and advocacy for His people.
Philippians 2:9-10; Colossians 1:17-19;
Hebrews 1:3, 3:1, 7:23-25, 9:24, 12:2; I John 2:1-2
SECTION 5: THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe and teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, possessing all the divine attributes; and that in these attributes He is coequal with God the Father and God the Son.
Matthew 28:19, Acts 5:3-4, II Corinthians 13:14
We believe and teach that the Holy Spirit took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the Day of Pentecost; permanently dwells in every believer; by the Spirit’s baptism unites all believers to Christ in one body; and that as the One who indwells every believer is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service.
John 14:16-17, 16:7-15; I Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:22
We believe and teach that, in this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit. These ministries are: the restraining of evil in the world; the convicting of the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment; the regeneration of all believers; the indwelling and anointing of all who are saved; the sealing of believers to the Day of Redemption; the baptizing into the body of Christ of all who are saved; the bestowing of spiritual gifts on each believer; and the continued filling for power, teaching, and service of those who are yielded to Him.
John 3:6, 16:7-11; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13
Ephesians 4:30, 5:18; II Thessalonians 2:7; I John 2:20-27
We believe and teach that certain gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, were given as authenticating signs in the establishment of the Church and were meant to be temporary. We believe and teach that speaking in tongues was meant to be a prophetic sign to unbelievers, especially unbelieving Jews, and was never the common nor necessary sign of the baptism nor of the filling of the Spirit; and that our emphasis is to be on that which edifies and unifies the Church. We believe and teach that the practice of speaking in tongues as it is commonly taught should not be expressed in corporate worship.
Isaiah 28:11; Acts 4:8, 4:31; Romans 8:23
I Corinthians 12:13, 13:8, 14:22-24; Hebrews 2:4
SECTION 6: ANGELS, FALLEN AND HOLY
We believe and teach that angels are spiritual beings who were created as sinless personalities, and that they were given different orders and ranks. They presently exist in both fallen and holy states, the former being Satan and his demons; the latter being ministering spirits, sent out to render service for believers.
Ephesians 6:12, Hebrews 1:13-14, II Peter 2:4, Revelation 7:12
We believe and teach that Satan, by his own choice the enemy of God and of the people of God, is the originator of sin; that he led our first parents into sin; and now rules as the god of this world. We believe and teach that he was judged at the cross, and that ultimately he will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever.
Genesis 3:1-19, Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:11-17, Hebrews 2:14
SECTION 7: CREATION OF THE WORLD AND MAN
Knowing that what we believe about our origins significantly affects how we view God, the world, ourselves, others, and ethics and morality, we believe and teach that all things in heaven and earth were created by God in six literal, normal, evening and morning days; and that all things in heaven and earth exist by His power.
Genesis 1:1, 1:31, 2:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17
While there may be an accumulation of small-scale variations within a species, we do not believe in the general theory of evolution. If evolution as it is taught were true, there would be abundant evidence in the fossil record. There is no evidence for species-to-species evolution. Among many dating methods, evolutionists choose only a few, and these with built-in assumptions.
We believe and teach that man was originally created innocent and in the image and likeness of God, but that he sinned, bringing both physical and spiritual death upon himself and his descendants. We believe and teach that man has inherited a sinful nature, is alienated from God, and is in need of salvation.
Genesis 1:27, 31, 2:17, 3:19; Ephesians 2:1-3
We believe and teach that if Adam was not a historical figure and the Fall is not historical, then the typology of Christ as the last Adam becomes meaningless, as do the doctrines of redemption, atonement, and justification. Furthermore, Paul specifically related the historic fact of Adam to the historic fact of Christ’s resurrection, thereby laying a basis for the believer’s hope in the resurrection of the dead. The significance of the gospel (Christ’s resurrection) is anchored in the historical fact of Adam and the Fall after the historical fact of creation, as written in Genesis, when God had created everything and at that time everything was “very good.”
Genesis 1:31; Romans 5:12-14; I Corinthians 15:12-23, 45-49
SECTION 8: SALVATION
We believe and teach that salvation is the gift of pardon from sins (forgiveness) and eternal life with God (a personal relationship), made available to the sinner through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
John 1:12, 3:3-9 (Ezekiel 36:24-27); John 3:16-21, 4:10-14, 17:3
Romans 6:23; I Corinthians 15:3-8; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-8
When the sinner comes to Christ for salvation he comes with an awareness that sin has ruined his life. Sin is a transgression of God’s character and commands, a commitment to self-centeredness, and an overriding concern for one’s own desires. Because of sin, the sinner has missed the mark of God’s righteousness; he is opposed to God; and helpless to save himself. The sinner is responsible for his ruined condition and before God deserves judgment. Ultimately, that judgment results in death, which is eternal separation from God.
Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10-23, 5:6-10, 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3
Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, God has provided for the sinner a rescue from sin and its penalty. Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and a curse, died in the sinner’s place. Christ’s death and resurrection reveals the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the love of God for sinners, and His forgiveness of the sinner.
Romans 3:21-16, 5:8; II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 3:18
Repentance is in no way a separate and independent condition of salvation; nor are any other acts such as confession, baptism, prayer, surrender of one’s life to the “lordship” of Christ, or faithful service to be added to believing as a condition of salvation. Salvation is a gift of grace received by faith.
John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-10
When the believing sinner places his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation, that person is given a new life. The individual, at the moment of salvation, enters into a personal relationship with God and must be encouraged to begin the journey of discipleship. This discipleship is not a prerequisite for salvation. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone.
Luke 9:23-27, 9:57-62, 14:25-35; John 6:60-66; Romans 8:29
II Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5-8
SECTION 9: ETERNAL SECURITY
We believe and teach that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and therefore are secure in Christ forever. This security is guaranteed by the fact that the life that is imparted is eternal life by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit.
John 5:24, 6:37-50, 10:27-30, 17:15-20; Romans 8:1, 8:29-30, 8:38-39
Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30; Jude 24
We believe and teach 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 for sinful living and deeds of the sinful nature.
Romans 6:15-22, 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 5:25-26; Titus 2:11-15
SECTION 10: SANCTIFICATION
We believe and teach that sanctification is a setting apart to God by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. This sanctification is positional, progressive, and ultimate. Positionally, it is already complete since the believer is in Christ and is set apart to God as Christ is set apart to God. However, since he retains his sinful nature, there is need for progressive sanctification where the Christian grows in the Lord’s grace by the power of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, the child of God will be fully sanctified in his state as he is now in his standing in Christ when he is taken to be with Christ and shall be like Him.
John 17:17; II Corinthians 3:18, 12:9-10; Ephesians 5:25-27
I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:10, 10:14, 12:10
SECTION 11: THE CHURCH
We believe and teach that the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism, made up of all born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ of this present age. We believe and teach that the Church began on the Day of Pentecost, and that a believer is placed into the Church by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit. We believe and teach that the Church is the pillar and support of the truth, and that believers are to conduct themselves in complete truthfulness. We believe and teach that the Church is distinct from Israel.
I Corinthians 10:32, 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27
I Timothy 3:15
We believe and teach that a local church, such as Community Bible Church, is an assembly of professing believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are voluntarily joined together in one location to glorify God by worshipping together; studying the Word of God; correcting one another in love; observing the ordinances; fellowshipping together; being equipped for Christian service; and spreading the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. We are to be continually growing toward the likeness of Christ, which is our shared spiritual goal.
Acts 2:42-47, Romans 8:29-30, I Corinthians 1:1-2, Ephesians 4:11-13
SECTION 12: THE ORDINANCES
We believe and teach that the Lord Jesus Christ put in place the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are to be observed by believers until He returns.
Matthew 28:19-20, I Corinthians 11:23-26
We believe and teach that by water baptism a believer is publicly identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection; that the mode of baptism is by immersion; and that infants of believing parents may be dedicated to the Lord, but not baptized.
We believe and teach that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s death; the elements being symbols of His body and blood. We believe and teach that every believer, regardless of church affiliation, has a right to partake of the elements of the Lord’s Supper; but that participation should always be preceded by solemn self-examination.
I Corinthians 11:27-34
SECTION 13: THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER
We believe and teach that every believer is a priest to God and has equal access into the presence of God the Father, whether the believer is a regular worshipper or a pastor; and that every believer must strive to understand his privileges, resources, and exalted position with Christ.
Ephesians 1:18-23, 2:4-7, 3:11-12; I Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 1:5-6
SECTION 14: MARRIAGE
We believe and teach that:
The Biblical standard for marriage is one man with one woman, joined together in a permanent union throughout life.
Marriage was instituted by God.
Marriage is to be a heterosexual relationship. (Homosexuality and similar sexual practices that deviate from a male and female union in marriage are detestable in the sight of God.)
Marriage involves a formal and public leaving of one’s parents in order to establish a new family as a married couple.
Marriage is the deepest possible relationship into which a man and a woman can enter.
Marriage is to be permanent.
Genesis 1:27, 2:24-25; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:9
Romans 1:18-27, Romans 7:2-3; I Corinthians 7:1-5, 39
We believe that the church’s Biblical view of marriage must logically include the issue of divorce and remarriage. The church’s position on divorce and remarriage is explained in the position paper entitled Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, available from the elders.
SECTION 15: THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe and teach the personal, imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for the Church; both those who have died in Christ and those who are alive. We believe that this imminency means that there are no other prophetic Scriptures to be fulfilled before the Rapture of the Church, and that the Rapture could happen at any moment. We believe that this imminency of the Rapture will enhance a believer’s growth in godliness and is the only view that makes sense of Christ’s return for the Church as, what Scripture calls, “the blessed hope” before the Tribulation; and that we should be constantly looking for this blessed hope.
John 14:1-3; Romans 5:9; I Corinthians 15:51-52
I Thessalonians 1:9-10, 4:13-18, 5:9; Titus 2:11-15; I John 3:2-3
We believe and teach that the Rapture is followed by the seven-year Tribulation on earth, which will culminate in the return of Christ to earth to set up His millennial kingdom.
Zechariah 14:4-11, Matthew 24:15-31, Revelation 20:1-6
SECTION 16: THE ETERNAL STATE
We believe and teach that at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the Church, when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in His glory. We believe and teach that the souls and spirits of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery in Hades until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the Millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord.
Luke 16:19-26, 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23
I Thessalonians 5:23; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15
SECTION 17: THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BELIEVERS
We believe and teach that all believers should seek to live by the Spirit, separating themselves from the ungodly desires of the world. We believe and teach that it is the obligation of every believer to witness by what we say and exemplify by how we live the truths of the Holy Scriptures and to seek to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to all the world. We believe and teach that it is the responsibility of all believers to remember the work of the Lord in prayer and to support it with their resources as the Lord has prospered them. We believe and teach that every believer has or should seek to have at least one spiritual gift that should be exercised, so that the body of Christ might be edified.
Acts 1:8; Romans 12:1-2, 14:13
I Corinthians 12:14, 13:13, 14:1, 3, 12, 16:2; II Corinthians 6:14, 7:1, 9:7 Ephesians 4:11-16