At Philadelphia Baptist Church, we believe:
(A) THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible, as originally written, was verbally inspired and the product of Spirit-filled men, and has been divinely preserved word for word in its entirety, as the Authorized Version of 1611, and, therefore, is the truth without any admixture of error for its matter. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. We believe the Bible to have only one interpretation which may be revealed to any believer by the Holy Spirit.
a. By “the Holy Bible”, we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which as written and preserved in the Authorized Version of 1611, does not only contain or convey the Word of God, but IS the Words of God.
b. By “inspiration”, we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and preserved, free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be. II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21; John 17:17; Psalms 12:6,7.
c. Whereas there are a number of other versions of the Bible in circulation, all of which are not reliable due to their omission of words and their being translated from corrupt manuscripts, we consider it, therefore, a necessity and a privilege to use only the King James A.V. 1611 in our pulpit and in our classrooms. Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5,6; Revelations 22:18,19.
(B) THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, and infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit or Ghost–equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Isaiah 44:6; 57:15; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11; I John 5:7.
(C) THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is equal with God the Father and God the Son, and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that He convicts of sin, righteousness, and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in our preaching and testimony; that He is the agent of the New Birth; that He seals, fills, leads, intercedes, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and comforts the believer. II Corinthians 3:17; John 14:16, 17, 26; Hebrews 9:14; Luke 1:35; John 1:12,13; Genesis 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-8; Ephesians 1:13,14; John 1:33; Romans 8:14-16, 26, 27; I Corinthians 6:11; I Corinthians 2:10-13; I Corinthians 12:13.
(D) JESUS CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin; and that He is both completely man and completely God. He was subject to temptation, yet without ANY sin. He is the Messiah for Israel, the Saviour of the world, the ONLY way any man can come to God the Father for forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. He is to be worshipped and glorified as the LORD. Isaiah 7:14; 9:6,7; Luke 1:31-35; Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15; I Peter 2:22; John 4:42; 14:6; John 20:28; Luke 24:52; John 16:14; Philippians 2:9-11.
(E) SATAN OR THE DEVIL
We believe he was created perfect, as a cherub called Lucifer, in the original creation, and because of pride, rebelled against God and became the author of sin. After the recreation of heaven and earth, he appeared as an angel of light to Eve in the garden of Eden and tempted her to willfully disobey God’s command, resulting in the fall of man. We believe he was then cursed, to be henceforth referred to as a serpent, or the dragon. Now as a great red dragon he abides in the great deep, and as the devil he appears on earth and in heaven as the god of this world to fulfill the ultimate will of God in judging, killing, deceiving, hindering, tempting, and accusing. During the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70th Week, or the Great Tribulation, he will come down to earth to indwell the antichrist. After the antichrist is destroyed, he will be chained in the bottomless pit for 1000 years, at the end of which he will be loosed to assemble an army of sinners for his last attempt to overthrow God. He and his army will be destroyed and he will be cast into the lake of fire, forever. Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-15; II Peter 3:3-7; Genesis 1:1-3, 28; II Corinthians 11:14; Genesis 3:1-6; 14-19; Romans 5:12; Revelation 12:3,9; Job 41:31-34; Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-7; II Corinthians 4:3,4; Jeremiah 51:20-25; John 8:44; I Thessalonians 2:18; II Thessalonians 2:3-9; Revelation 19:11-20, 20:1-10.
(F) THE CREATION
We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God in the person of Jesus Christ without any evolutionary process; that man composed of spirit, soul, and body, was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. Genesis 1 & 2; Colossians 1:16, 17; Matthew 19:4; John 1:3.
(G) THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in a state of innocence as a free moral agent under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, as a result of which all men are totally depraved (excluding the will), are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, and are sinners by nature and by conduct; and therefore, are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:1-6; Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-19; 5:12, 19; Ezra 7:13.
(H) CHRIST’S ATONEMENT
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him a body of flesh, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins by His death, which reconciles the sinner to God; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the just dying for the unjust; Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen bodily from the dead, He is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person, the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and all-sufficient Saviour and only High Priest for the believer. We believe this atonement is not limited but effectual to any sinner accepting it by faith. We believe this atonement is eternal, and therefore, covers all sins, past, present, and future of the redeemed. Therefore, any individual under this atonement is eternally saved from eternal condemnation because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-26; John 3:16; II Corinthians 5:18-21; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7 I John 4:10; I Corinthians 15:3,4; II Corinthians 5:21; I Timothy 2:5; I John 2:2; Hebrews 9:14; John 5:24; Romans 5:8-11.
(I) THE NEW BIRTH
We believe that the new birth (being born again) is the regenerative act of the Holy Spirit upon a sinner when he repents of his sins and believes the Gospel according to the Scriptures, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. As a result of the new birth, the sinner is made a new creature in Christ Jesus, partaking of the divine nature and receiving eternal life as a free gift of God. Regeneration of the spirit, resulting in the “new man” and consequently partaking of the divine nature in the spirit is brought about in a manner above comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth. John 3:3, 6-8; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 5:1; John 1:12,13; I Corinthians 4:15; I Peter 1:23; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:15, 4:24; Titus 3:5.
We believe that justification is the judicial act of God, whereby He declares us to be just and righteous, through faith in Christ Jesus; that justification includes the pardon of sin and the imputation of God’s righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood. Acts 13:39; Isaiah 53:11; II Corinthians 5:18-21; Romans 3:24-28, 5:1,9.
We believe that the salvation of a soul requires a belief in God, repentance toward God, which involves genuine sorrow for sin and a willingness to turn from it; and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that this salvation is thereafter permanent and eternal to the believer. Hebrew 11:6; Acts 20:21; II Corinthians 7:9,10; I Thessalonians 1:9; Acts 16:31; John 3:16; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30.
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God, accomplished in a threefold manner: first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer’s spirit, or “new man” in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Saviour; second, a continuing process in the soul of the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the inner man; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return, when the body, or old man, will then be changed and transformed into a perfect, sinless body in the image of Christ. I Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10-14; I John 3:9; Ephesians 4:24; John 17:17; II Corinthians 3:18, 4:16; I Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 5:25,26; I Thessalonians 4:3,4; 5:23,24; Philippians 3:21; I Corinthians 15:51-54; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Romans 8:29; I John 3:2.
We believe that adoption is the gracious act whereby the Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, places new believers into the honored position of mature sons, in contrast with regeneration whereby the believer receives the nature of God and becomes a child of God. The full benefit of the position accorded by adoption as the sons of God awaits the glorification of the believer at the coming of the Lord, and the redemption of the body. Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:1-7; Ephesians 1:13,14; I John 3:1,2; Romans 8:15,23.
(N) THE CHURCH
We believe in the unity of all true believers in the Church, which is the Body of Christ, which was established on the day of Pentecost, and that all believers, from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jews and Gentiles, are added to this Church by the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the exact time that they trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour.
We believe that this Church is manifested through the local church, which is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws in accordance with the Pauline revelation, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word; and that its officers are pastors, also called elders, and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is for the edification, perfection, exhortation, and comfort of its members in spiritual matters; the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right to self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only head and shepherd of the local church is the God-called and Spirit-filled pastor, just as Jesus Christ is the Head and Chief Shepherd over the entire church; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. Ephesians 1:10,22,23: 3:1-6; Galatians 3:26-28; I Corinthians 12:12,13; Acts 1:5, 2:4,41,47; I Corinthians 11:2; Titus 1:5-7; Ephesians 4:11-16; Acts 20:17-28; I Timothy 3:1-7; I Peter 5:1-4; Hebrews 13:7,17; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23,24; Acts 15:13-18.
(O) BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water, under the authority of the local church, to show forth in a like figure or emblem, our submission to and faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, through whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that this baptism is to be administered by the pastor or an officer or elder of the church appointed by the pastor, and thereby is a witness that the believer is in subjection to the position of the pastor, whatever church he may be in; that only one baptism is necessary in the life of the believer; that baptism is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by serious self-examination and confession. Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; I Peter 3:21; I Timothy 1:1,6; Acts 9:18; I Corinthians 9:25; 10:1-2; 1:23-32; Matthew 28:19-20.
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as an example for giving, but that every Christian should give 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 rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28: I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17.
(Q) HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that (1) God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex, Genesis 2.24, Genesis 19:5, 13, Genesis 26:8-9, Leviticus 18:1-30, Romans 1:26-29, I Corinthians 5:1, 6:9, I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4.
(2) the only legitimate marriage is the joining of a man and a woman, Genesis 2:24, Romans 7:2, I Corinthians 7:10, Ephesians 5:22-23,
(3) men and women are spiritually equal in position before God in Christ, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be the leaders (pastors and officers) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:18, I Timothy 2:8-15, 3:4-5, 12
(R) CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming King of Kings. Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-16; I Timothy 2:1,2; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19-20.
(S) LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander, I Corinthians 6:1-8, Ephesians 4:31-32.
(T) SPIRITUAL GIFTS, MIRACLES, SIGNS, AND WONDERS
We believe the gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians 12 are given, today, for the ministry to all parts of the body of Christ with the exception of those gifts which are specifically called “signs”. Those gifts which are signs, wonders, or miracles, were given by the Spirit during the beginning of the church in the book of Acts for these purposes:
1. to identify an “apostle”, 2. to get the Jews to listen to the gospel or to believe a new revelation, 3. to confirm the Word or Scripture that was being present spoken by the apostles, but not yet in written form as we have the Scriptures today. Since there are NO apostles today and that the gospel ministry is almost totally to the gentile and we have a complete Bible, we reject “speaking in tongues”, “supernatural healing”–as found in the apostolic ministry (we believe God heals today in accordance with His Word and divine will through faith and confession), and any other “sign or wonder”, as heresy and “lying signs and wonders” produced by Satanic power in these last days to deceive the whole world. I Corinthians 12:1-11; Mark 16:17,18; Acts 2:4,5,43; 3:7,12; 5:12; II Corinthians 12:12; I Corinthians 1:21,22; 14:21,22; Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:3,4; James 5:14-16; I Corinthians 11:30-32; II Thessalonians 2:8,9; I Timothy 4:1,2; Matthew 24:5,11,24.
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she is being regathered to Palestine, and, after the rapture of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ. Genesis 13:14-17; Romans 11:1-32; Ezekiel 37.
(V) THE RESURRECTIONS, JUDGMENTS, PRE-MILLENNIAL RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
a. We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:6,7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; I Corinthians 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6.
b. The ascension of Jesus Christ. Acts 1:9-11; Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19.
c. The imminent pre-tribulation resurrection of all born-again believers at the end of this dispensation. Philippians 3:20; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:6,11; Titus 2:13; Revelation 4:1; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; I Corinthians 15:51-53.
d. The Judgment Seat of Christ after the rapture of the Church, before the throne of God, where the believer’s works and motives for service will be tested by fire, with the promise of literal rewards and inheritance during the millennial reign. Romans 14:10; II Corinthians 5:10; II Timothy 2:10-12; Luke 19:11-26.
e. The future conclusion of Daniel’s 70th Week, called the Great Tribulation, determined on the nation of Israel, involving the coming world church, a one-world government both of which will be dominated by the Anti-christ. Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:4-26; Revelation 6-19.
f. The personal visible return of Jesus Christ to this earth to destroy Anti-christ and all his enemies, either at Armageddon or the Judgment of the Nations, and then to establish the 1000 year reign with the Jew in Palestine as the head of the nations, the earth regenerated, and Himself the King of the earth, ruling with a rod of iron, on the throne of David in Jerusalem. Revelation 19:11-21; Acts 1:10,11; Revelation 16:12-16; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:1-6; Romans 11:25-27; Deuteronomy 28:13; Matthew 19:28; Isaiah 11:1-10; 9:6,7; Luke 1:32; Isaiah 24:23.
g. The Last Judgment, or Great White Throne Judgment, involving all of the unconverted or unbelievers since Adam. This judgment will only determine the extent or degree of their damnation and eternal destruction in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:11-15; 20:5,6; Matthew 23:14; Revelation 14:10,11; 21:8.
h. The New Heavens and New Earth, eternal bliss and life of believers of all dispensations. Revelation 21:1-22:5; Psalms 16:11; John 3:16.
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 authority 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.