Our ministry subscribes to the basic tenets of the Apostles Creed, and several tenets of the Dortrecht Confession of Faith as follows:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Dortrecht Confession of Faith (articles XI.-XV)
XI. Of the Washing of the Saints’ Feet
We also confess a washing of the saints’ feet, as the Lord Christ not only instituted, enjoined and commanded it, but Himself, although He was their Lord and Master, washed His apostles’ feet, thereby giving an example that they should likewise wash one another’s feet, and do as He had done unto them; which they accordingly, from this time on, taught believers to observe, as a sign of true humility, and, especially, to remember by this feet washing, the true washing, whereby we are washed through His precious blood, and made pure after the soul. John 13:4-17; 1 Timothy 5:10.
XII. Of the State of Matrimony
We confess that there is in the church of God an honorable state of matrimony, of two free, believing persons, in accordance with the manner after which God originally ordained the same in Paradise, and instituted it Himself with Adam and Eve, and that the Lord Christ did away and set aside all the abuses of marriage which had meanwhile crept in, and referred all to the original order, and thus left it. Genesis 1:27; Mark 10:4.
In this manner the Apostle Paul also taught and permitted matrimony in the church, and left it free for every one to be married, according to the original order, in the Lord, to whomsoever one may get to consent. By these words, in the Lord, there is to be understood, we think, that even as the patriarchs had to marry among their kindred or generation, so the believers of the New Testament have likewise no other liberty than to marry among the chosen generation and spiritual kindred of Christ, namely, such, and no others, who have previously become united with the church as one heart and soul, have received one baptism, and stand in one communion, faith, doctrine and practice, before they may unite with one another by marriage. Such are then joined by God in His church according to the original order; and this is called, marrying in the Lord. 2 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Genesis 24:4; Genesis 28:2; 1 Corinthians 7:39.
XIII. Of the Office of the Secular Authority
We believe and confess that God has ordained power and authority, and set them to punish the evil, and protect the good, to govern the world, and maintain countries and cities, with their subjects, in good order and regulation; and that we, therefore, may not despise, revile, or resist the same, but must acknowledge and honor them as the ministers of God, and be subject and obedient unto them, yea, ready for all good works, especially in that which is not contrary to the law, will, and commandment of God; also faithfully pay custom, tribute, and taxes, and to render unto them their dues, even also as the Son of God taught and practiced, and commanded His disciples to do; that we, moreover, must constantly and earnestly pray to the Lord for them and their welfare, and for the prosperity of the country, that we may dwell under its protection, earn our livelihood, and lead a quiet, peaceable life, with all godliness and honesty; and, furthermore, that the Lord would recompense unto them, here, and afterwards in eternity, all benefits, liberty, and favor which we enjoy here under their praiseworthy administration. Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:17; Matthew 22:21; Matthew 17:27; 1 Timothy 2:1.
XIV. Of Revenge
As regards revenge, that is, to oppose an enemy with the sword, we believe and confess that the Lord Christ has forbidden and set aside to His disciples and followers all revenge and retaliation, and commanded them to render to no one evil for evil, or cursing for cursing, but to put the sword into the sheath, or, as the prophets have predicted, to beat the swords into ploughshares. Matthew 5:39, 44; Romans 12:14; 1 Peter 3:9; Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3; Zechariah 9:8, 9.
From this we understand that therefore, and according to His example, we must not inflict pain, harm, or sorrow upon any one, but seek the highest welfare and salvation of all men, and even, if necessity require it, flee for the Lord’s sake from one city or country into another, and suffer the spoiling of our goods; that we must not harm any one, and, when we are smitten, rather turn the other cheek also, than take revenge or retaliate. Matthew 5:39.
And, moreover, that we must pray for our enemies, feed and refresh them whenever they are hungry or thirsty, and thus convince them by well-doing, and overcome all ignorance. Romans 12:19, 20.
Finally, that we must do good and commend ourselves to every man’s conscience; and, according to the law of Christ, do unto no one that which we would not have done to us. 2 Corinthians 4:2; Matthew 7:12.
XV. Of the Swearing of Oaths
Concerning the swearing of oaths we believe and confess that the Lord Christ has set aside and forbidden the same to His disciples, that they should not swear at all, but that yea should be yea, and nay, nay; from which we understand that all oaths, high and low, are forbidden, and that instead of them we are to confirm all our promises and obligations, yea, all our declarations and testimonies of any matter, only with our word yea, in that which is yea, and with nay, in that which is nay; yet, that we must always, in all matters, and with everyone, adhere to, keep, follow, and fulfill the same, as though we had confirmed it with a solemn oath. And if we do this, we trust that no one, not even the Magistracy itself, will have just reason to lay a greater burden on our mind and conscience. Matthew 5:34, 35; James 5:12; 2 Corinthians 1:17.
Finally, we subscribe to the Statement of Faith of our home church, Calvary Bible Church of Lima, OH.
- The Holy Scriptures.
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12-13).
- The Godhead.
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; II Corinthians 13:14).
- The Person and Work of Christ.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (John 1:1-2,14; Luke 1:35).We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24-25; I Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:3-5).
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 fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24: Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34; I John 2:1-2).
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling, and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; II Corinthians 3:6; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14).We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth; and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (John 16:13; I John 2:20,27; Ephesians 5:18).
- The Total Depravity of Man.
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and that man is totally depraved, and that sin has entered into every part of his being; and that while the natural man may show limited evidence of good works, he is, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3,12).
- The Relation of the Sexes.
God created man in His own image, and human beings are, by creative act, male and female. God has so ordained the family that the male is designated as the head, and the woman is in submission to her husband. Men and women are different by nature and by creative design, and their differences do not indicate superiority or inferiority of either, but rather, they are evidence of an all-wise Creator (Genesis 1:27; 2:18-25; 3:16; I Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-24).
- The Family.
We believe that God established the family according to the exclusive pattern of one woman for one man. God assigned the husband to be the head of the wife and the parents to be the head of the children. Husbands are to love their wives and wives are to be subject to their own husbands; children are to obey their parents and parents are to bring their children up in the nurture (training) and admonition (education) of the Lord (Genesis 2:18,21-24; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Colossians 3:18-21).
- Human Life.
We believe in the sanctity of human life. We believe human life begins at conception, and from conception through the elderly adult years should be respected as a creation of God. We believe abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, suicide, assisted suicide, and other similar acts are acts of murder and therefore against the will of God (Genesis 1:27; Exodus 20:13; Leviticus 19:32; Job 12:12; Psalm 139:13-14; Isaiah 44:2,24; Jeremiah 1:5; Romans 9:20-22; I Timothy 5:1-2).
- Sexual Perversion.
We believe that the God who created male and female in the human family also established the sexual union of the man and the woman, but only in the marriage relationship. Sex outside of marriage is clearly forbidden, and all sexual relationships between man and man (homosexuality), or between woman and woman (lesbianism), or between humans and animals (bestiality) is a vile perversion of the creative order, and will result in subjection to the wrath of Almighty God (Genesis 2:21-24; 19:1-38; Exodus 20:14; 22:19; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God to repentant 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 (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:18-19; II Corinthians 7:10).
- The Security and Assurance of Believers.
We believe that all of the redeemed, that is, those who are born again, are kept by God’s power, and are secure in Christ for eternity (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1,38-39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; I Peter 1:5).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).
- The Two Natures of the Believer.
We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provisions made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural (Romans 6:13; 8:12-13; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9).
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and that separation from all religious apostasy, and all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded by God (II Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:1-2; 14:13; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scriptures, and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:19-20).
- The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts.
We believe that God is sovereign in bestowment of all His gifts; and, that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established (I Corinthians 12:4-11; II Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12).We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; I John 5:14-15; James 5:14-15).
We believe that God made man to minister to others as a way of life, and that each person is to minister according to the “measure of faith,” each saint being gifted uniquely, manifesting all the gifts in varying degrees (Romans 12:1-8).
- The Church.
We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27; I Corinthians 12:12,14; II Corinthians 11:2).We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17; I Timothy 3:1,13; Titus 1:5-11).
We believe that water baptism of believers and the Lord’s Supper are the ordinances to be observed by the Church, but that neither of these is essential to salvation (Acts 16:31; Matthew 28:19; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
We believe that the purpose of the Church includes the corporate exaltation of God, the edification of believers, and the evangelism of the lost (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 4:11-12; Acts 1:8).
We believe in the dispensational view of Bible interpretation, which is that the Bible is to be interpreted literally (including prophetic passages) unless it obviously is to be interpreted figuratively. God revealed Himself and His expectations to man gradually and progressively, working with man in different ways during different “economies” (dispensations) (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:8; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
- The Personality of Satan.
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin, and the cause of the fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; that Christians are to war against him continuously (I Peter 5:8); and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
- The Second Advent of Christ.
We believe in the “Blessed Hope,” the personal, imminent, and premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones (the rapture); and, in His subsequent return to earth, with His saints, ending “the tribulation,” to establish His Millennial Kingdom (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Zechariah 14:4-11; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1- 6; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10).
- The Eternal State.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; John 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6,12-13).We believe that, at death, the souls of the redeemed are absent from the body and present with the Lord, where, in conscious bliss, they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; Revelation 20:4-6; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the Second Resurrection, when, with 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 (Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:41-46; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 20:11-15).
- Fellowship Covenant.
In subscribing to these articles of faith, we by no means set aside or undervalue any of the Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments; but we deem the knowledge, belief, and acceptance of the Truth as set forth in our Doctrinal Statement to be essential to sound faith and faithful practice.
GOSPEL-CENTERED DOCTRINE AND PREACHING
We believe that the gospel—the good news of God’s saving activity in Jesus Christ—is the pinnacle of His redemptive acts (Ephesians 1:9–12), the center of the Bible’s story (Luke 24:44–47), and the essential message for our faith, life, and witness (1 Corinthians 15:3–11). We are committed to preaching the gospel, singing the gospel, and praying the gospel, (2 Timothy 4:2; Colossians 3:16; Matthew 16:18). Our ultimate hope in all that we do is not our plans and labors, but the perfect life, substitutionary death, victorious resurrection, and glorious ascension of Jesus Christ.
COMPLEMENTARIAN LEADERSHIP IN THE HOME AND IN THE CHURCH
We believe it was God’s glorious plan to create men and women in His image, giving them equal dignity and value in His sight, while appointing differing and complementary roles for them within the home and the church (Genesis 1:26–28; Ephesians 5:22–33; 1 Timothy 2:8–15). Because these roles give different expressions to God’s image in humanity, they should be valued and pursued in joy and faith. As the redeemed community of God, the church has a unique opportunity and responsibility to celebrate this complementarity, to contend for it against cultural hostility, and to protect it from sinful distortions.