What calvary believes

What we believe as a church is of incredible importance. We can only be united under a common confidence in the Holy Scriptures. We must share the common ground of trust in Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of His Word. What we believe must be rooted and grounded in Scripture.  If we don't share this common ground then our church has no firm foundation and our fellowship will falter. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:4-6, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."



Basic beliefs

The gospel is the hope of the world. As we read the Scriptures, we see the overarching themes of God’s providence, power, and provision to reconcile mankind and the created world to Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ. In light of this, we aim to be explicitly Bible-centered in all that we preach, teach, and practice.

 

We believe:

  • The Scriptures are true, authoritative and sufficient.[1]
  • There is only one true God, Creator of heaven and earth, who eternally exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.[2]
  • All things exist for the glory of God.[3]
  • All humanity, Christ excluded, is sinful by both birth and action.[4]
  • The deserved penalty for sin is physical and spiritual death.[5]
  • Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, was born of a virgin and is both fully God and fully human.[6]
  • Jesus Christ died as the sacrificial substitute to pay the penalty for sin.[7]
  • Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and will one day physically return.[8]
  • There will be a future physical resurrection of the dead. Only those who turn from sin and to Jesus in faith and repentance will be raised to eternal reward. Those who do not turn from sin and to Jesus will be raised to eternal punishment.[9]
  • Only through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and repentance from sin can one be reconciled to God and experience true life and joy.[10]
  • Biblical baptism is an act of obedience to Christ for those who are saved, has no saving power, is symbolic in nature, has immersion in water as its method, and is required for membership.[11]


[1] Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21

[2] Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; Isaiah 46:9-10; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Genesis 1:26; 
Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:17-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
[3] Psalm 148; Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 61:3; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 1:3-14
[4] Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12-21; 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3
[5] Genesis 2:15-17; Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12; 6:23; James 1:14-15
[6] Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:52; John 1:1-4, 14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3
[7] John 1:29; 10:1-18; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18
[8] Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-53; John 1:20-21:25; 1 Corinthians 15:12-34; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7
[9] Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15
[10] John 3:18, 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Timothy 2:5-6
[11] Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 3:23; Acts 2:41; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12

What we believe and affirm

In order to be a true biblical church there are absolute fundamental beliefs that are necessary. These fundamental beliefs cannot be compromised and are essential for membership at Calvary Baptist Church. Therefore, we affirm the following as brief summary of what we believe and teach at Calvary Baptist Church:

The Scripture

The Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God (the Old and New Testaments). The Bible is sufficient. God inspired and administered men to write every word He breathed out therefore it is complete. Scripture is the sole authority in our church and for every true believer as we trust in in the thorough sufficiency of Scripture to complete the work of God. Scripture is the sole means by which Christ speaks to true believers and His church; therefore, sufficiency means there is no need for additional revelation or insight to be understood other than the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

(2 Timothy 3: 16-17; 2 Peter 1:3, 20-21; Psalms 19:7-14; Hebrews 4:12-13; 3:7; Matthew 4:4)

The Trinity

The Godhead is described in Scripture and we believe Scripture completely regarding the Trinity. God is spirit, eternally self-existent, unchangeable, sovereign, holy, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and true. God has existed eternally in three distinct persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and yet all three One God. Each member of the Trinity is to be worshipped and obeyed. 

(Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; John 4:24; Hebrews 1:8-10; James 1:16; John 1:1; John 10:30; Matthew 28:18; Matthew 14:6-9; Ephesians 2:4; 1 John 4:8)

God the Father

God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, according to His purpose, plan, and will, orchestrates and sets in motion everything.  Nothing occurs outside His sovereign will and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). As Creator, Ruler, and Lord, He is the unlimited, sole authority in the universe (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). As the absolute Ruler and Creator, He is Father to all, but He is the spiritual, healing, saving, loving, graceful, Father to only believers (Ephesians 4:6; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He is sovereign in all ways and His glory upholds all creatures, creations, and happenings (Ephesians 1:11; 1 Chronicles 29:11). However, in His sovereignty He neither approves, condones, or originates sin. Man alone is accountable for sin thus, God alone, as Creator and Lord, in His perfection, is the rightful judge of man’s sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47; 1 Peter 1:17). In eternity past, He graciously chose those His own, those He would save; thus, His provision of salvation is found in His Son, Jesus Christ, alone (Ephesians 1:4-6; John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).

Jesus Christ and His Atoning Work

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, existing eternally with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We believe in Jesus Christ’s Incarnation, born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit. He is fully God and fully man. He atoned for our sin on the cross as the perfect sacrifice and rose again from the dead to offer salvation to individuals who place their complete faith and trust in Him. His atonement for sin is for only those who believe in Him thus we deny a universal salvation. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God the Father and is head of the church. He is reigning and interceding for those who believe in Him, therefore, those who place their complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and trust in His finished work of atonement, shall never be separated from Him.

(Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:35; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:25-26; Matthew 20:45;  1 Peter 2:24; Romans 8:34; Luke 24:47-48; 1 Timothy 4:10; 2 Peter 2:1; John 10:15; Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 5:9)

The Holy Spirit

The Person of the Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Trinity, eternal, and co-equal with the Father and the Son. Being sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost in fulfillment of the promises and prophecies of God given before to reside as a permanent minister of God. We believe that all believers are filled and indwelt with the Holy Spirit at the time of their conversion as a present Helper, and the Promise of our complete redemption to come. We believe that the Holy Spirit empowers change through the Word of God, thus, the Holy Spirit’s work of maturing believers into Christ-likeness is demonstrated in their lives by the fruit He produces in them.

We believe that the miraculous or charismatic gifts mentioned in the New Testament were very real gifts orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, used for a specific purpose, in a specific time for the confirmation of the Gospel in the absence of a Written Word as the New Testament was being written and compiled. These gifts also served to validate the Apostles and their unique ministry. This was an exceptional time in the founding of the Church, not a normative pattern to be emulated for all time.

(Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; John 15:26; Acts 1:5,82:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-23; Colossians 3:16; Acts 4:31; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:3-5; John 1:12; 14:16,-17; 16:7-11; 6:44; Romans 5:5; Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:14; 1 John 2:27; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12)

Man and Sin

We affirm that God created Adam, the first man, in the image of God and in a state of absolute perfection. By disobedience to the revealed will of God, Adam fell from his created state of perfection and suffered a severed relationship with His Creator. Now under the curse of sin, Adam and all his descendants are totally depraved, sinful by nature and by choice, and under the power of Satan, the Deceiver. All men now stand condemned before God and under His judgment and wrath. Because of sin, our complete depravity mandates that we are incapable of saving ourselves. In our sin, we are not only unable but unwilling to turn to Christ for Salvation. Salvation is by His grace, through faith, in Jesus, according to Scriptures, for the glory of God alone.

(John 8:44; Genesis 1:26; 2:7; 3:1-6; Romans 5:12-14; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:9-23; Jeremiah 17:9; )

Salvation

Again, the salvation for sinners is solely by the grace of God, through faith, in Jesus Christ alone, according to Scripture alone. How can all these ‘alones’ jive; consequently, all arrive to and for the glory of God alone. God’s glory and grace are most clearly seen as He sovereignly chooses and grants sinners opposed to Him the repentance and faith to turn from sin and receive what Christ has done for them. Thus, salvation is in no part works based or secured by any effort of men. We believe that the Holy Spirit effectually calls, regenerates, draws and enables men to both desire and express faith in Christ. Man cannot choose to pursue or follow Christ on his own.  In Christ alone has all the demands of the Law and of God’s holiness been fulfilled and satisfied. Salvation is best prescribed thus we affirm Ephesians 2:8-10 as the process of salvation in Jesus Christ.

(Romans 3:24-28; Romans 5:1; Romans 5:18,19; Philippians 3:9; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:10-11; 8: 7,8; Ephesians 2:1-3; John 3:19-20; Matthew 1:21; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 13:48; Romans 9:11-17,22-23; 2 Corinthians 4:4-5; Acts 16:31; John 1:12-13; 6:44; 3:3; 16:7-11; 2 Peter 1:1; Acts 11:18; Romans 6:3-6; Romans 5:1; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:34-39; Ephesians 1:3; Ezekiel 36:26-28; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 8:10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:21; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 12:5-12, 14; 1 John 2:3, 4; 3:8-10)

The Church

We affirm that the Church is that special, visible manifestation of Christ’s redeeming work on this earth. The practical means of grace are practiced in the church through the faithful preaching of God’s Word, by believer’s baptism via immersion, and communion. We believe and affirm that a pattern of faithful and public attendance to the church by believers is necessary. Therefore, church membership should be taken seriously and a believer must be committed to faithful church attendance. The proper submission to Christ is church membership and through biblical membership to a church, church members are blessed to participate in the lives of other believers, hold each other accountable in each other’s spiritual growth, and serve Christ alongside other beliers who are firmly grounded in the Word of God.

We believe the mission of the church is to make disciples locally and globally through the preaching of the Gospel, the strengthening of believers through the preaching and teaching of the whole counsel of God, and to maintain regular worship of God as prescribed in Scripture.  Therefore, true worship of the church must be founded in the commands of Scripture apart from any other practice, belief, concept, or opinion. True Biblical worship engages the whole person as we direct our praise and worship to God by worshipping His Son alone.

According to Scripture, we believe the church is led by elders who serve by shepherding God’s flock as they will be required to give an account to Christ. We believe that God has gifted others in the church to serve as deacons in meeting the functional and practical needs of the church. We believe that the church is charged with submitting to the leadership of elders who are under the authority of Christ.

(Acts 1:5; 11:16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 1:18; Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Ephesians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 4:2; Acts 20:17,28; 1 Timothy 5:17; 3:14; John 4:24; 16:14; 1 Corinthians 14:25; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2:13).

Eternity and the End of Time

We believe that at death, the soul and spirit of man is separated from his body. For those who have trusted Christ as Savior, they are immediately ushered into the glorious presence of Christ. We believe that those who have not received Christ enter into eternal torment, separated from God forever. Both the saved and the lost will rejoin their physical bodies in the resurrection and will be judged. The saved will stand before Christ in judgment for their service for Christ, and enter the eternal joys of Heaven; while the lost will stand before Holy God with no atonement for sin. The lost shall be cast into Hell forever. We do not believe in soul sleep (annihilationism), or in the existence of intermediate states for the soul once separated from the body. We affirm the fundamental teachings of Scripture as it relates to the events occurring in the end of time. This Biblical belief give believer hope and joy as we await Christ’s return.

We believe these are the essential and fundamental tenets of a Biblical theology of the end times.

(Hebrews 9:27; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 1:23; Hebrews 12:23; Luke 16:23-24; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Job 19:26-27; 1 Corinthians 15:42-43; Acts 24:15; John 5:28-29; Philippians 3:21; Revelation 19:11-21).