What We Believe

INTRODUCTION

NORTHWEST BIBLE CHURCH is a local body of believers who are committed to the goal of “glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.”  We are united together by our “common salvation” (Jude 3), wrought for us by the atoning work of Jesus Christ upon the cross.

     As sinners saved by God’s amazing grace, we profess that there is only “one faith” (Eph. 4:5), or one gospel by which men can be saved; namely, we are saved by grace through faith alone in Christ alone (Eph. 2:8-9; Jn. 14:6).

      We also recognize, however, that true, genuine believers may differ on other areas of doctrine.  Thus, in order to strive toward the goal of the “unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man” (Eph. 4:13), the elders set forth the following Doctrinal Statement concerning our convictions.  We do this in the hope that the Head of the Church might be pleased to develop within us a common understanding of the truth of Scripture.

SCRIPTURE

WE TEACH that the Scriptures, consisting only of the 39 books of the O.T. and the 27 books of the N.T., are inspired, inerrant and authoritative for the Church.  We are committed to the centrality of God’s Word in the life of this church for both doctrine and Christian living (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

GOD

WE TEACH that there is only one God (Deut. 6:4) who exists eternally in three separate and distinct Persons: the Father (Eph. 4:6), Son (Jn. 1:1; 8:24), and Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4).  He alone is the Creator of all things, the Savior of His people, and is sovereign over His universe (Eph. 1:11).

JESUS CHRIST

WE TEACH that Jesus Christ is the virgin-born, sinless, and only begotten Son of God (Mt. 1:23; Jn. 1:18), truly God and truly man (Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:6-7), who came into the world to save sinners from hell by His penal-substitutionary death (Mt. 1:21; 1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:4-6).  In triumph, He arose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God (Eph. 1:20f).

MAN

WE TEACH that all men are by nature spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-3), and are totally unable to do any good in the sight of God, being wholly inclined toward sin (Rom. 3:10-12; 8:5-8).  As depraved sinners by nature, we have no ability whatsoever to come to saving faith on our own (Jn. 6:44; 1 Cor. 2:14).

SALVATION

WE TEACH that salvation is by grace through faith alone in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and not by our works (Eph. 2:8-9). Justification is not based on our own righteousness because it is like a “filthy garment” to God (Isa. 64:6).

WE TEACH that salvation is a work of God whereby the Father graciously  elects whom He will save (Jn. 6:37, 39; Eph. 1:4), the Son redeems those given to Him by the Father (Mt. 1:21; Jn. 10:11; Eph. 5:25), and the Holy Spirit applies this salvation to the hearts of the elect by effectually calling and regenerating them so that their “opened hearts” (Acts 16:14) can believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (Jn. 6:44, 63; Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 2:12, 12:3;  Jer. 24:7).  Therefore, saving faith must be a gift of God (Rom. 12:3; Acts 11:18; Jn. 6:37; 2 Cor. 4:6; Phil. 1:29).  We also affirm that it is the responsibility of the church to preach the gospel to the world as it is the means by which God draws His chosen people to Himself (Rom. 10:13-15; Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 17:30).

SAVING FAITH

WE TEACH that all who possess true saving faith are eternally secure in Christ and unable to lose their salvation (Jn. 6:37-40; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Jn. 10:27-30; Rom. 8:35-39). By God’s indwelling Spirit, they can never finally nor totally fall away from the state of grace, but will persevere in the faith to the end (Jer. 32:40; Mt. 7:16-18; Phil. 1:6; 1 Jn. 3:9, 5:18).

WE TEACH that true believers are in a spiritual warfare and due to our remaining corruptions may fall into grievous sins.  However, those who profess but continue to live in sin and disobedience to Christ without repentance, and who fail to progress in any form of sanctification have no assurance of being born again (Tit. 1:16; Heb. 12:14; Jas. 2:14-26; 1 Jn. 2:4, 29, 3:9-10).

SANCTIFICATION

WE TEACH that sanctification is a sovereign work of God whereby He gradually renews the believer into His own image (Phil. 1:6; Col. 3:10).  In this work of renewal, God uses various means of grace which each believer should diligently pursue: the study of Scripture, public worship, prayer, godly fellowship, the fruit of the Spirit, the Lord’s Supper, good works, etc.  Sanctification falls short of perfection in this life due to indwelling sin.

 

THE LAW OF GOD

WE TEACH that the OT moral law is eternal and has been incorporated into the law of Christ (1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:14, 6:2; Rom. 13:8-10).  The moral law has two primary functions: 1) to reveal sin (Rom. 3:20, 7:7; 1 Jn. 3:4) and,  2) to set forth the paths of righteousness which only the redeemed, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are able to obey (Rom. 8:4; 1 Jn. 2:3, 29; Gal. 5:16). The ceremonial and civil laws have expired due to their temporary and typical nature.  However, the ceremonial laws are valuable to study in that they point forward to Christ and His church, and the civil law still provides principles relevant to the church (1 Cor. 5:1-13; 1 Cor. 9:9-10; 2 Cor. 13:1), and is useful in learning how to apply moral law to civil life.

WE TEACH that the Sabbath laws, dealing with worship on the seventh day, were part of the ceremonial law (Col. 2:16), and have been replaced by worship on Sunday, the Lord’s day (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10).

 

SPIRITUAL GIFTS

WE TEACH that the customary exercise today of such spiritual gifts as speaking in tongues, healing, prophecy, etc. are inconsistent with their  descriptions found in Scripture  and  are  not  to  be trusted as valid manifestations of the Spirit of God.  For example, the biblical gift of tongues was a known language (Acts 2:5-11), not unintelligible, ecstatic speech.  Although we affirm that God still heals,  the gift of healing in the Bible clearly included abilities not present with today’s healers (Acts 9:36-41).  Also,  prophets in the  Bible received direct revelations from God which had the authority of Scripture and they could prophesy  future events without error. The so-called prophets today do not have these powers.

WE TEACH that every believer is gifted by the Holy Spirit  (1 Cor. 12:4-31), and should serve the Lord for “the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12).

 

ONE PEOPLE OF GOD

WE TEACH the unity of God’s people throughout the ages.  We believe that Christ inaugurated the New Covenant by His death on the cross (Lk. 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; Heb. 8:7-13).  We understand that this New Covenant transformed O.T. Israel into a spiritual and believing body (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:26-27), consisting of believing Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 2:15, 3:6).  Thus, believing Gentiles are now grafted into the “olive tree” of Israel (Rom. 11:17), are called the “seed of Abraham” (Gal. 3:29), and are circumcised of heart as “true Jews” (Rom. 2:26-29).

CHURCH OFFICES

WE TEACH that there are only two church offices: elders and deacons. There is only one Head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:23), and that each local church should have a plurality of elders who function as under-shepherds, pastors and overseers (Acts 14:23).  They should be qualified men (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9), who are able to guard the truth (Acts 20:28-32), lead with a godly example (1 Pet. 5:1-3), and have a servant’s heart (Jn. 13:14-15).  Deacons are also to be qualified men (1 Tim. 3:8-13) who serve the church under the leadership of the elders.

CHURCH DISCIPLINE

WE TEACH the importance of church discipline as set forth in the teachings of Scripture.  When a believer is engaged in unrepentant sin of a serious magnitude, those who are spiritual should attempt to restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1). If they do not repent, they should be removed from the fellowship of the church following the pattern of Mt. 18:15-17.  Also see 1 Cor. 5:9-13.

CHURCH ORDINANCES

WE TEACH that the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are for those who profess faith in Christ (Acts 16:31-34; 18:8; 1 Cor. 11:23-34).

THE LAST JUDGMENT

WE TEACH that there will be a literal and physical return of Jesus Christ to this earth (Acts 1:11). We also believe that when He comes, there will be the Day of Judgment in which all of the dead shall be resurrected from the grave (Jn. 5:28-29; Mt. 25:31-46; 1 Cor. 15:51-57).  The judgment of God will separate the “sheep from the goats” with the righteous being blessed with eternal life in the presence of God forever, and the wicked condemned to eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Mt. 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:6-10; Rev. 20:11-15).

MARRIAGE

We teach that marriage is ordained by God and is to be only between one biological man and one biological woman as set forth

In Scripture (Gen. 2:18-24).  Both sex outside of marriage and homosexual relationships are sinful and contrary to God’s design for marriage as set forth in the Scriptures (Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:22).  The facilities of this church will only be used for marriage ceremonies that agree with the Bible’s view of marriage.

GENDER

We teach that God created each person as male or female as reflected in their physical anatomy at birth.  Those who reject their biological sex as determined at birth and seek to present or clothe themselves as the opposite sex are sinfully rejecting God’s design for their life (Deut. 22:5).

SANCTITY OF LIFE

We teach that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image (Gen. 1:26), including the pre-born baby, the aged, and physically or mentally challenged.  Therefore, we should value and protect all human life from conception to natural death (Ps. 139:13).

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Northwest Bible Church will only employ those who are in agreement with this Doctrinal Statement.  This Doctrinal Statement does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs.  The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God and the sole and final source of all that we believe.  For the purposes of Northwest Bible Church’s faith and practice, the elders of this church are the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

The purpose of NWBC is to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ.   All of our ministries, programs, schools, etc. are designed to equip this and the next generation of Christians  to be disciples of Christ in their homes, churches, vocations and communities for the glory of God.

 

SOLI DEO GLORIA

February 2017

Note: While this is the doctrinal standard of the elders there are members in the church who may hold to various different views on minor issues. This we accept basing our unity of the faith on the essential doctrines of grace.

 

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