CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH PETERBOROUGH
STATEMENT OF FAITH
A. THE BIBLE
We believe the Holy Scriptures to be the inspired (written by God) and inerrant (verbally and entirely infallible and without error) Word of God, given to mankind. They are complete, and God has preserved them for every generation, in both the Old Testament (as confirmed by Christ in Luke 24:44 and John 5:46) and the New Testament (as confirmed by Christ in John 16:12-13). God’s Word is incapable of being wrong (Numbers 23:19; John 17:17; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
This church (Calvary Baptist Church Peterborough) will teach and preach from the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible, as it is our conviction that it is the only properly sourced and translated Bible for the English-speaking world.
This Bible is our only authority in matters of faith and practice and should there ever be a conflict between the church constitution and this Bible, the Bible shall prevail.
All visiting teachers and preachers will be asked to use this Bible when preaching at the church. Congregational visitors to the church may naturally use whatever Bible they feel is right but we will take the opportunity to demonstrate how the King James Bible is God’s holy, preserved Word for English speaking people.
The Bible tells us it is able to make one wise unto salvation, and is profitable for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (see 2 Timothy 3:15-16). The Bible is complete, and God has preserved it for every generation (Psalm 12:6-8). Its theme is Jesus Christ and His mission of bringing salvation to a lost world. The Bible is indestructible and eternal; powerful and an invaluable help to the believer as he serves the Lord.
B. DISPENSATIONAL INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE
We believe that the only way to understand the Bible correctly is to carefully and truthfully study it using a literal, grammatical, and historical method of interpretation in order to discover the original intent of the text (2 Timothy 2:15). Every word is interpreted using its primary, literal, ordinary meaning, unless the context and other related passages clearly indicate otherwise (such as types, symbols, figurative expressions, parables, and obvious allegories). A passage of Scripture can have only one meaning (1 Peter 2:20) within the paragraph and cannot be interpreted accurately apart from context in both Old and New Testaments. It may have many applications, however. For a proper interpretation, we must compare Scripture with Scripture.
Scripture must always be interpreted within the context and dispensation in which it was written. The Bible reveals God’s working with man in different ways, in different periods of time, or what is sometimes called “dispensations” (1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10), “times” (Luke 21:24; Acts 1:7 and 3:21; Romans 11:5; Ephesians 1:10), “ages” (Ephesians 2:7, 3:5 and 21), or “days” (Isaiah 2:12 and 49:8; 2 Corinthians 6:2; John 6:54; 1 Corinthians 1:8; Philippians 1:10 and 2:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:2). We believe that a good understanding of this subject is important to understanding the Bible.
There is only One Living and True God. He is Triune (three-in-one) and eternally existent in three Persons, being the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are all three One, all three eternal, and all three share the same nature, power, glory, attributes, and perfection. God is almighty, infinite, all-knowing, most holy, and never changing. He created the world and everything in it. In His mission of reconciling the world unto Himself, He is both all-loving and all-just (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-17 and 28:19; 1 Corinthians 8:4,6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:10, 26; 2 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19).
D. THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
1. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived in the womb by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men through our redemption achieved when He died on the cross (Isaiah 7:14 & 9:6; Matthew 1:18, 21-25; Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1-2, 14; Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:2-3, 8). We believe Mary went on to have other children; and we, therefore, do not believe that Mary is “the mother of God” or that she is to be worshipped. In all of human history only Jesus Christ fulfills the prophecies and Biblical qualifications of the Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of the world, as He Himself claimed (Deuteronomy 18:18-19; John 5:46; Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 11:10; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 53:4-6,12; Matthew 27:11; Mark 14:61-62 and 15:2; Luke 23:3 and 24:44; John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
2. We believe that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross was a substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that He was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:20-22); and, that our justification is made sure and certain by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5 and 2:24). We believe the Lord Jesus Christ descended into the heart of the earth, and then rose again, winning full victory over sin, hell, and the grave (Matthew 12:39-40; Jonah 2:2; Acts 2:27; 2 Corinthians 5:20-22).
3. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfils the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
E. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a distinct Person of the Godhead (Acts 5:3-4; Psalm 139:7: Romans 1:4), Who does the mission and work of God in this world, as set out in John 16:8-11, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
We believe the Holy Spirit plays a pivotal role in convicting, pointing, and drawing men towards Jesus Christ. He was also at work at Creation, in the inspiration of the Bible, in Christ’s birth and resurrection, and was promised by Christ to come to the believers after His ascension. He regenerates those who trust in Christ (John 3:5-6), baptising them spiritually into the body of Christ. He then indwells believers (Romans 8:9), and He seals them unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14).
4. We believe that every believer has the Holy Spirit, but to be filled with the Holy Spirit means to be yielded to the Holy Spirit’s control. We do not believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit is associated with falling down or speaking in tongues.
5. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand the Scriptures (Ephesians 1:17-18 & 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
6. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary (died along with the apostles). We believe that speaking in tongues is not the sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. Concerning healing, we believe that the ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (1 Corinthians 1:22, 13:8, and 14:21-22).
F. MAN’S MORAL CORRUPTION
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is depraved, and, of himself, unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:17; Leviticus 17:11; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9, 22-23, 5:12, 6:23, and 10:13; Ephesians 2:1-3 & 4:17-19; 2 Peter 3:9).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7 & 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19). We believe a person must be saved to be born again and become a Christian. We believe people are faced with a choice: to believe what the Bible says; or reject the Bible and ignore it. Ultimately, we believe this is a personal decision whether a person wishes to go to heaven or whether he/she wishes to remain lost in his/her sins, and bound for hell.
The key question we believe people must answer is this: where will each person spend eternity?
* Living with God in a perfect heaven forever?
* Or in the Lake of Fire for all eternity?
We believe these are the only two choices presented in the Bible, and the Bible has never been wrong about anything. If a person wishes to live with God, then he has to accept God’s terms.
Since we believe people cannot make themselves holy, the Lord is ready to give people His goodness instead. His goodness is contained in Jesus Christ Who went to the cross and died for their sins. If people receive Him as their Saviour, we believe those people will receive perfect goodness, and holiness, so that they can please God, and be acceptable in His sight. The Bible says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). That is the invitation. Neither people’s own thinking nor their good works can save them. People must trust Jesus Christ alone by grace, through faith (Genesis 15:6; Isaiah 53:5-6 and 64:6; John 3:16, 36 and 14:6; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 6:14 and 8:2; 1 Corinthians 1:18; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 7:27 and 9:26, 28; 1 Peter 1:3-5,19; Titus 3:5).
H. THE ETERNAL SECURITY AND ASSURANCE OF THE BELIEVER
7. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever: “once saved, always saved” (John 6:37-40 and 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:4-5). We do not believe there are any circumstances by which a genuinely saved person can become unsaved.
8. We believe 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 to the flesh (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
I. THE CHURCH
9. We believe that the local church, which is part of the whole body and espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again, saved persons (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23 and 5:25-27).
10. We believe that the establishment and the continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament (Acts 14:27, 20:17, and 20:28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
11. We believe that God uses evangelists, pastors, deacons and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12).
12. We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31, and 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16 and 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
J. THE GREAT COMMISSION
The Great Commission was the command given by Jesus Christ to the church to preach the Gospel to the entire world. The Gospel is to be preached to every person, and believers are to be baptised. Followers are to be trained, resulting in the multiplication of churches for the Lord’s glory. As believers serve the Lord, Christ goes with them (Matthew 28:18-20), as well as His power (Mark 16:15-18). They are witnesses of the truth (Luke 24:44-48) with Christ’s authority (John 20:21) to reach all people worldwide with the Gospel (Acts 1:8).
K. THE ORDINANCES OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
The Lord Jesus Christ gave two ordinances to the New Testament church.
13. Baptism was commanded by Christ in Matthew 28:18-20 as part of the Great Commission. It is a work of righteousness, and therefore is not a part of salvation (Titus 3:5). This is the first step of obedience for thankful believers. Baptism in the Bible is by immersion as a picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, and of our new life in Christ and by no means a prerequisite to salvation (1 Peter 3:21). It is a doorway to membership of a local church as a testimony of salvation.
14. The command of observing the Lord’s Supper also was given by Christ as a memorial to His sacrifice for us. The blood He shed for us is symbolised by unleavened fruit of the vine (grape juice), and His broken body is symbolised by unleavened bread.
These ordinances of the New Testament church are not “sacramental” channels of grace, but are beautiful memorials of obedience.
L. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe that the return of Jesus Christ is manifest in two distinct and different events:1) the rapture and 2) the second coming.
We believe that the rapture is that “blessed hope” of the Christian, and describes the personal, imminent return of Jesus Christ for His bride (the Church). 1 Thessalonians 4:17 states: ”Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [the dead in Christ] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This will be followed by the seven-year tribulation period, a terrible time during which Anti-christ and his followers will attempt to destroy God’s chosen people Israel (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21). For believers, the rapture is a “blessed hope” for anticipated joy, which we believe will occur prior to the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8; Revelation 3:10).
At the second coming, Christ will return bodily to the Mount of Olives with great glory, along with His angels and saints, to destroy the unbelievers who have gathered there to fight Him (Job 19:25-26; Zechariah 14:1-4; Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7 and 19:11-13, 16). At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Millennial Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel (2 Samuel 7; Isaiah 65:18-25; Jeremiah 32:41; Ezekiel 28:25 and 37:15-28; Zechariah 8:1-23, 12:10 and 14:16-21; Romans 11:1-2, 24-26). Christ will bind Satan and set up His own perfect government on earth, where He will reign 1,000 years (Psalm 89:3-4; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2:31-45; Micah 4:1-2; Zechariah 14:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10, 19:11-16 and 20:1-7).
This 1,000-year reign of Christ will complete His full redemption of the world and will be followed by an eternal kingdom in the new heavens and new earth, as well as the New Jerusalem, where God the Father and Jesus, the Lamb of God, will reign, to which there shall be no end (Isaiah 51:6, 65:17-19 and 66:22-23; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Hebrews 11:10; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Revelation 21-22). Believers are promised to reign with Him.
M. THE ETERNAL STATE
15. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment in a lake of fire. (Job 19:25-27; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46; John 5:25-29 and 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-15).
16. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection (Luke 14:14 and 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23 and 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6).
17. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection; when with the soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting, conscious punishment and torment (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15).
N. THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
We believe that Satan is a created individual (Colossians 1:16), the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:14; Matthew 4:2-11 and 25:41; John 8:44; Revelation 20:10).
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject “the theory of evolution” and any other science or philosophy that is in opposition to the Bible. (Genesis 1:1-2, 5 and 2:3; Exodus 20:11; Matthew 19:4 and 25:41; 2 Peter 3:5; Hebrews 11:3).
P. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home or family; 2) the church; and 3) the state or government. Every person is subject to these three authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:13-14).
Q. HUMAN SEXUALITY AND MARRIAGE
18. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman. We also believe that any form of sodomy (homosexuality), lesbianism, bisexuality, transexual-ism, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are all sinful perversions of God’s gift of normal relationships and are also an abomination to God (Genesis 2:24, 19:5 &13, and 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).
19. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23).
R. FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
20. We believe 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 church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the Church. Accordingly, only men are eligible to hold the offices of Pastor/Elder or deacon in the Church (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15 & 3:4-5, 12).
21. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the Church submits to the headship of Jesus Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, based on the principles of the Scriptures, through consistent lifestyle examples and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18, 22:15, and 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33 & 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that as many people as possible can be saved. We believe He is the only way to salvation and to heaven and we therefore reject the ability of any other religion whatsoever to bring about peace with God or provide a way for a sinner to get to heaven. As ambassadors of Jesus Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20). We believe that it is right and appropriate for the local church to evangelise the community it works in by whatever means brings glory to God, for example, tracting, door to door visitation and street preaching.
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that which God has given him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God had established the “tithe” as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all the rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made because it has been given to God (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; 1Timothy 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).
1. Personal Separation: In the Bible, believers are commanded to practice personal separation, which is to be separated from the world, sin, and error, and to the Lord, truth, and righteousness. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as NOT to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord; and, that Christians should abstain from all appearances of evil (Romans 12:1-2 and 14:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14 and 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
2. Ecclesiastical Separation: Churches likewise are to obey the command to avoid false doctrine and apostasy (falling away from the faith). To protect the church, believers must mark those who teach false things (Romans 16:17) and avoid bringing them into fellowship with them (2 Corinthians 6:14). It is important for churches to have Bible discernment (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and to avoid getting together with ministries or organisations that continue to reject any part of Scripture (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Believers must avoid the doctrines of these organisations, but be willing to help individuals to understand the truth. Churches must obey these commands, whilst being spiritual about it (James 3:13-18).
AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
This 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 used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the statement of faith.