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Doctrinal Statement and Distinctives
Article 1. – The Bible.
We believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” We believe that the Old and New Testament Scriptures are the final authority in all matters of faith and practice, inerrant in the original writings, and designed to bring about the changes in our lives. We believe the words and sentences of the Bible should be interpreted in their normal, natural, and usual sense (Matthew 5:17; John 10:35; 16:7-15; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 10:11; 1 Timothy 1:5; 5:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:16).
Article 2. – The Godhead.
We believe there is one true God, who is triune, existing eternally in three persons (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), coequal in nature, attributes and perfection (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:18-20; John 1:1-14; 6:37; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 1:8).
Article 3. – The Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that the eternal Son of God became incarnate through the virgin birth, and received a human body and a sinless human nature. He became and remained a perfect man, and yet He retained His absolute deity, being at the same time very God and very man (Luke 1:30-35; 2:40; John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 4:15).
We believe that in fulfillment of prophecy He came first to Israel as her Messiah-King, and that, being rejected of that nation, He, according to the eternal counsels of God, gave His life as a ransom for all. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, in our place, and as our substitute (John 1:11, 29; Acts 2:22-24; Romans 3:23-26; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 21; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 10:5-14; 1 Peter 3:18).
We believe that Jesus Christ literally arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died. The resurrected Christ walked and talked with men and women. His resurrection confirmed the truth of all He said, and it guarantees the redemption and resurrection of all who believe in Him (John 20 & 21; Romans 1:4; 5:8; 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:5-6; 15:20-22; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Ephesians 1:19-22; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
We believe that Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as Head of the Church and as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-11; John 14:2; Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 4:14-16; 6:20; 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2).
Article 4. – The Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost, dwells in every believer, and by His baptism unites all believers into the body of Christ, and that He, as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and all acceptable service and worship (John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:7).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is involved in certain well-defined ministries: restraining evil; convicting the world; regenerating, indwelling, and anointing all who are saved, sealing believers unto the day of redemption. We also believe that the Holy Spirit will teach, guide, and endue with power those believers who are yielded to Him and walking in obedience to the Word (John 3:6; 16:7-16; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 2:20-27).
We believe that divine enabling gifts for service are bestowed by the Holy Spirit upon all who are saved. The gifts of apostle and prophet were given to the church in the first century in order to lay a solid foundation. Those gifts were confirmed by miracles and healings. The gift of tongues was also given to confirm the work of God in this early part of the age of grace. We believe that these foundational and confirmatory gifts were temporary, and ceased to be given as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established. We believe that other gifts were permanent, and that these gifts are given to every believer for the building up of the body of Christ (Acts 4:8; Romans 8:23; 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 13:1-13; Ephesians 2:20; 4:11; Hebrews 2:3-4; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
Article 5. – Angels.
We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels. These angels are involved in various ministries. Michael the archangel is God’s ministering agent to Israel; Seraphim are involved in worshipping God; Cherubim are involved in guarding the holiness of God; Guardian angels are involved in aiding, encouraging, and caring for those who are children, those who will be saved, and those who are saved (Genesis 3:22-24; Daniel 12:1; Isaiah 6:1-3; Matthew 4:11; 18:10; 26:53; 28:2,6; Luke 15:10; 16:22; Acts 8:26; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 1 Timothy 5:21; Hebrews 1:14; Jude 9).
We believe that “Lucifer, son of the morning” – the highest created angel – sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan; that a great number of angels rebelled against God with him in his moral fall, thereby becoming demons. Some demons are active as Satan’s agents and associated with him in the execution of his unholy purposes, while others are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; 1 Timothy 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6).
Article 6. – 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, became alienated from God, and became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that as a result of this fall man is totally depraved, and is, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:53; Romans 3:10-19; 5:12; 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 5:6).
Article 7. – Sin.
We believe that “all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God.” Sin is going astray from God’s standard. Sin is missing the mark of God’s holiness and righteousness and glory. Sin’s penalty is death. Christ died for sinners. Men must either accept Christ’s payment or personally experience the eternal conscious torment of death in hell and the Lake of Fire. When a Christian sins he has an advocate in Jesus Christ, and he is urged to confess and forsake his sin (Isaiah 53:6; 64:6; Romans 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 1 John 1:1-9; 2:1-2).
Article 8. – Salvation.
We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again; and that no degree of reformation however great, no attainments in morality however high, no culture however attractive, no baptism or other ordinance however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; but a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are sons of God. We believe, also, that our redemption has been accomplished by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin for us, dying in our place; and that nothing can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood, or to the merit of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that the new birth comes only through faith in Christ. Therefore, salvation is a gift of God brought to man by grace, and is received by faith. All who so believe are regenerated and are sealed by the Holy Spirit and are therefore eternally secure in Christ. Jesus Christ is the only way to God. There is no other way (Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 26:28; John 1:12; 3:5, 16, 18, 36; 5:24; Acts 16:31; Romans 5:5-9; 3:22-26; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13,22; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:18-23; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:31-39; 1 John 5:10-13).
Article 9. – 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 which began on the day of Pentecost (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:5; 11:15; 1 Corinthians 12;13; Ephesians 1:21-23; 5:25-32).
We believe the Scripture teaches that each local church should be governed by a plurality of elders (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:1-7).
We believe there are two ordinances which were prescribed by Christ to be performed by His Church. Baptism: We believe that baptism into water pictures our identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 8:36-39; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Communion: We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial service which reminds us of the death of Christ on our behalf, testifies to our fellowship with Christ in this life, and anticipates the coming of Christ in the future (Matt 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11;23-28; Jude 1:12).
Article 10. – The Future.
We believe that the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the Rapture, the coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself and into heaven both those who are alive in Christ and those who have fallen asleep in Christ. This is the blessed hope for which all believers are to be looking (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14).
We believe that the translation of the church into heaven at the rapture will be followed by a seven year period that fulfills the prophecy of Israel’s seventieth week. This will be a time of terrible judgement. The last half of this period is known as the time of Jacob’s trouble and as the great tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 6:1-19:21; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-21).
We believe that the period of the great tribulation on earth will be climaxed by the second advent of Christ to the earth in person, in power, and in judgment. He will judge the nations, He will bind Satan for a thousand years, He will give Israel the promised land, and He will rule and reign on the earth as the promised Messiah-King (Genesis 12;1-3; 2 Samuel 7:8-17; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Matthew 24:15-25:46; Acts 15:16-17; Romans 8:19-23; 11:25-27; Revelation 20:1-3).
We believe that the souls and spirits of those who have trusted in Christ pass immediately into His presence at the moment physical death occurs, and remain in conscious spiritual joy until the resurrection of the glorified body when Christ comes for His own, whereupon soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever. The spirits and souls of unbelievers who have died physically remain conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction (Luke 16:19-26; 23:42; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 1:6-7; Revelation 20:11-15).
The vision of Le Mars Bible Church is to bring glory to God by:
Priority of the Word of God.
Jesus Christ is the head of the church, and He exercises His headship through His Word, the Bible. We believe that God grows His church as His people hear and obey the Word (John 17:17). We are committed to carefully, thoroughly proclaiming all of the truth that God has revealed to us in His Word, and to unquestioned obedience to all that it proclaims. This is an essential part of the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). We do not believe that doctrine is divisive, but that it is the indispensable foundation for all that we believe and do.
Priority of prayer.
We believe in the necessity of prayerful dependence upon the Lord in everything we do, and seek to imitate the priorities of the apostles in Acts 6:4, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”
Priority of the gospel message.
1 Corinthians 9:23 says, “I do all things for the sake of the gospel.” It is only through the gospel message that God gives eternal life, so all of our outreach to the people around us will have the gospel message at its center. This priority steers us away from social projects that leave out the gospel message, and it steers us away from ecumenism. We gladly partner in ministry with other organizations and churches that share our commitment to the gospel, but we do not partner in ministry with those that teach a false gospel.
Importance of world missions.
Acts 1:8 says, “You shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” We believe it is important for us to be involved in supporting worldwide missions to take the gospel to the least reached.
Sufficiency of Scripture for counseling.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” When people face difficult life situations, we counsel them based upon the Word of God rather than upon modern psychology.
Distinct roles of men and women.
Men and women stand as equals before God. Without making one inferior to the other, God calls men and women to distinct roles and responsibilities. In the home, men are called to lead and to love like Christ, and women are called to submit to their own husbands (Ephesians 5) and to give priority to their homes and families (Titus 2). At LBC, women serve in many vital roles, including teaching women and children, giving public testimony of what God has done in their lives, and serving on a variety of ministry teams. But, as spelled out in 1 Timothy 2:12, teaching men and serving as a pastor, elder, or deacon are roles reserved for men.
If a member of our church becomes entangled in unrepentant sin, we are committed to following through on the process that Jesus lays out for us in Matthew 18:15-18, which ends either in restoration or in excommunication from the church.
We believe that receiving Christ includes yielding to Him as the new authority in one’s life and being willing to turn from sin (Luke 9:23-27; 24:45-47). Sanctification does not happen all in one instant, but takes place gradually over a lifetime of confessing sin and growing in our relationship with Christ (1 John 1:8-9). But the Holy Spirit works in the believer so that true salvation does result in a changed life (1 John 2:3-6; 3:14).
The sovereignty of God in salvation.
We believe that before the foundation of the world God chose those whom He would save (Ephesians 1; Romans 9; Acts 13:48). This election was not based upon anything that the Lord saw in that person, but upon the will and love of God. God’s sovereign election, however, does not contradict or negate man’s responsibility to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord. Neither does it lessen the believer’s responsibility to proclaim the gospel and plead with his neighbors to be saved.
Six day creation.
We believe in interpreting the Bible literally, according to the original intent of the author. This conviction leads us to believe that God created the world in six literal twenty-four hour days. We believe He created all things thousands of years ago by His Word, not millions or billions of years ago by a process of evolution.