Meriden Hills Baptist Church
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Statement of Faith

 

What We Believe

Soundness in the faith in the following fundamental truths is required by all members of this Church.

 

SECTION 1:  THE SCRIPTURES

We believe that the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments as originally written were God-breathed, both verbally and in every part.  We believe God, Who is Truth, communicated through Spirit-controlled men so that the scriptures are without error and therefore authoritative in all they teach and in all matters they touch.  We believe the Bible is the supreme revelation of God's will for man and constitutes the only infallible guide for faith and life.  We believe that the King James Version is the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people of today.  It is the only version used by our church.

Psalm 19:7-11; Proverbs 30:5-6, Matthew 5:18; John 10:34-35; Romans 15:4;  2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:18-19

 

SECTION 2:  THE TRINITY

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.

Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19; John 6:27; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:8

 

SECTION 3:  GOD THE FATHER

We believe God,  the Father, perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, measureless in power; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from eternal death and from hell all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Genesis 1:1; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 46:9; Romans 11:33; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 19:6

 

SECTION 4:  GOD THE SON, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary as no other man was ever nor can be born of a woman.  He is "God manifest in the flesh".  He lived a life of absolute sinlessness and in His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins, dying not as a martyr, but as a voluntary substitute in the sinner's place.  He rose bodily on the third day and ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest, interceding and preparing a place for us.  He shall appear in the air to rapture His saints, and after seven years, shall come again with the saints to set up the throne of David and establish His millennial kingdom.

Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 28:6; John 1:1; John 14:3; John 20:27-28; Acts 15:16; 1 Corinthians 15:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:1; Revelation 3:21

 

SECTION 5:  GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT   

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person possessing all the attributes of deity and is equal with God the Father and God the Son.  We believe that He was active in creation and is the restrainer of the evil One; that He convicts of sin, of judgment, and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, helps, and distributes spiritual gifts to all believers; that the Apostolic gifts, such as tongues and healing, were unique to the first century and ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed.

Genesis 1:1-3; Matthew 28:19, John 7:39; John 14:16-17,John 14: 26,  John 16:8-11; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-13;1 Corinthians 12:28-31; 1 Corinthians 13:8-12; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8, 2 Thessalonians 2:13

 

SECTION 6:  ANGELS, GOOD AND EVIL

We believe in the existence of angels who were created by God to bring honor and glory to His name and to serve Him.  Angels who have chosen to follow God are ministers for Him on behalf of those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  They were among the hosts of angels those who fell with Satan.  They are presently functioning in Satan's counterfeit system as rulers of darkness, to be resisted by the believer through the armor provided by God.  We believe that Satan, the "god of this age" and "the prince of the power of the air", once knew heavenly honors.  That because of pride and ambition to be above the Almighty God, he fell and is currently the power of all darkness and evil and is destined for final defeat at the hand of God's Son, and for the judgment of eternal hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.

Isaiah 6,  Isaiah 14:12-15; Matthew 17:18; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:11-13; Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 1 Peter 1:12; 1 Peter 5:8; Jude 6; Revelation 19:16-20; Revelation 20:10

 

SECTION 7:  CREATION

We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God's own image and after His own likeness; that man's creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was created directly, and God's established law was that they should bring forth only "after their kind".

Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:24; John 13; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6

 

SECTION 8:  MAN

We believe the Scriptures teach that man was created by a direct act of God and not from any previously existing form of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, the first parents of the entire human race.  By voluntary transgression man fell from his sinless state, in consequence of which all men are now sinners by nature and by choice, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal judgment and separation from God in a place called hell without defense or excuse.

Genesis 1:27, Genesis 3:6,  Genesis 3:24; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 1:32, Romans 3:10-23, Romans 5:12-19

 

SECTION 9:  SALVATION

We believe the Scriptures teach that Christ died for the whole world and that salvation of sinners is divinely initiated, wholly of grace, and accomplished only through the mediatorial work of the Son of God.  It is wholly apart from works and is upon the sole condition of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and never without genuine repentance.  In order to be saved the sinner must be born again, personally receiving Christ as Savior, being regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith in God's Word and becoming the recipient of a new nature.  The great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification, that judicial act of God accompanied by the pardon of sin and the imputation of divine righteousness, not because of any work of righteousness on our part, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood.  The believer who has exercised personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is completely justified and in possession of eternal life which is eternally secure.

Habakkuk 2:4; John 1:11-12, John 3:3-17, John 10:28-29; Acts 13:39; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 4:2; 1 Peter 1:18-23; 2 Peter 1:4, 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 5:11-13

 

SECTION 10:  THE CHURCH

We believe the Scriptures teach that the local church is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word.  Its Scriptural officers are pastors, sometimes called bishops or elders, and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the epistles to Timothy and Titus.

aThe Distinctives:  This definition of the local church leads to these Scriptural distinctives:

B   Biblical authority of the Scriptures  2 Timothy 3:16-17

A   Autonomy of the local church   Timothy 3:15

P    Priesthood of the believers   Revelation 1:5-6

T   Two officers, Pastor (elder, bishop) and Deacon   Philippians 1:1

I    Individual soul liberty (personal responsibility)   1 John 2:27

S   Saved Church membership   Acts 2:41, Acts 2:47

T   Two ordinances (Baptism and the Lord's Supper )  Acts 2:41-42

S   Separation of church and State   Matthew 22:21  

 

b.  The Mission:   We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission:  first, to make individual disciples; second, to build up the church; third, to reach and instruct as He has commanded.

Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8

 

c.  The Ordinances:    We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Baptism is performed under the authority of the local church to show forth our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour.  Baptism pictures our death to sin and resurrection to a new life.  It is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.

The Lord's Supper, or communion, commemorates the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the bread representing His body that was broken for us, and the fruit of the vine representing His blood that was shed for us.  Before partaking of these elements each person should examine himself, "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body".

We believe the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are to be observed under the authority of the local church.

Matthew 3:16, Matthew 28:19-20; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

 

d.  The Support:  We believe God's method of financing His earthly work of spreading the Gospel to all nations, the care of the churches and the support of the ministry, is by the tithes and offerings of His people.  We believe that everyone is accountable to the Lord for one-tenth of his income; that tithing was instituted long before the Law was ever given and was practice by the early church.   We believe that God is pleased by the believer who is obedient in tithing, and that tithing is a reminder to the believer that God is the true owner of all that we have.

Malachi 3:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7

 

e.  The Body of Christ:  We believe the Scriptures teach that the "church which is His body" is the entire company of believers in Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:13, 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 4:12; Hebrews 12:23

 

SECTION 11:  COMING EVENTS

a.  The Rapture of the Church:  We believe in the "Blessed Hope", the personal, imminent, pretribulational, and premillennial appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His redeemed ones of the church.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2; Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:2

 

b.  The Judgment Seat of Christ:  We believe that every saved person of the Church Age will appear before the "Judgment Seat" to be judged by the Lord in regard to his service and receive rewards according to his works.

Matthew 6:2; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

c.  The Millennial Kingdom:  We believe that Christ will return to earth after the seven year tribulation period with His saints to establish the Millennial Kingdom which will literally be on the earth and ruled by Christ from the throne of David.

Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29-30; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12; Revelation 20:1-6, Revelation 20:12-14

 

d.  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 in the Lake of Fire.  The souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord where they consciously await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and new body are reunited to be forever glorified with the Lord.  The souls of the unbelievers after death remain in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with spirit, soul, and body reunited they shall appear before the Great White Throne Judgment and shall be cast in the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment.

Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-26; John 5:28-29; 2 Corinthians 5:8-10; Philippians 1:23

 

SECTION 12:  CIVIL GOVERNMENT

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that governing officials are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, with the exception only of things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.

Matthew 10:28, Matthew 23:10; Acts 5:29, Acts 23:5; Romans 13:7; Philippians 2:10-11; Titus 3:1

 

SECTION 13:  SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

We believe that all human life is sacred from fertilization throughout the entire natural human life; that human beings are created in God's image and, as such, are to be protected; that the weak, vulnerable, infirm, handicapped, preborn and needy deserve our respect and our care.

Genesis 1:26, Genesis 9:6; Psalm 51:5, Psalm 82:3-4, Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41

 

SECTION  14:  MARRIAGE AND THE HOME

We believe that the home was the first institution God provided for man; that marriage is a sacred relationship between one man and one woman for life; and that homosexuality is a perversion of God's natural order of one man for one woman.

Genesis 2:18-24; Deuteronomy 23:17-18; Mark 10:9; Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:22-33; Jude 7