Statement of Faith
The following comprise the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.
(A) The Holy Scriptures. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbal and plenary inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original manuscript, invaluable and God-breathed and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Matt. 5:18; John 16:12-13)
(B) The Godhead. We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, in equal and power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4, Matt. 28:19; John 14:10, 26; 2 Cor. 13:14)
(C) The Person and Work of The Father. God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes of things according to His own purpose and grace. As the absolute and Highest Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. He created the universe apart from pre-existing materials and without means. He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass, continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events. This He
does so as in no way to be author or approver of sin or to remove the accountability of morally intelligent beings. He has graciously chosen from all eternity those whom He would save as His own; He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; and related to Himself to His own as their Father. (Psalms 145:8-9; I Chron. 29:11; Psalms 103:19; John 1:18; Romans 11:33; I Cor. 8:6; Eph. 1:3-6; Heb. 4:13; I Peter 1:17).
(D) The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isa. 7:14, 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the Ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2)
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14)
We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate Scriptures and that each believer should seek to be filled with the spirit. (Eph. 1:17-18, 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses apostles (missionaries), prophets (expository biblical prophecy), evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12)
(F) The Total Depravity of Man. We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God; but that in Adam's sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12,6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19)
(G) Salvation. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in The Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. (John 1:12; Eph 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:9; Acts 4:12; John 14:16)
(H) The Perseverance of the Saints and Assurance of Believers
We believe that all the redeemed are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:4-5)
We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Rom. 6:12; 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)
(I) The Church
We believe that the local church, which is part of the body and the bride of Christ is solely made up of born-again persons. (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:12; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27)
We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures and that priority consideration is to be given to the Great Commission at home and in remote places. (Acts 14:27; 20:17; 28:32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11, Matt. 28:19-20)
We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control. (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4:1; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7; 11-13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4)
We recognize water baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper as symbols of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as the only Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-38; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
(J) Separated. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. (Rom. 1:1; 12:1-2; 14:13; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11)
(K) Eternal State. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with The Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; Rev. 20:4-6)
(L) Coming Events
The Rapture of the Church. We believe in the "Blessed Hope", the personal imminent, pre-tribulation, and pre-millennial appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His redeemed ones, the Church. (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thes. 2: 1-2, 6-8; Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:2)
Second Advent of Christ. We believe in the personal return of Christ. He will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11)
The Judgement Seat of Christ. We believe that every saved person of the Church Age will appear before the "Judgement Seat" of Christ to be judged by the Lord in regards to his/her service and motives of the heart and receiving reward according to his/her works. (Matt. 6:2; Romans 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10)
The Millennial Kingdom. We believe that Christ will return to earth at the end of the seven-year tribulation period with His saints to establish the Millennial Kingdom, which will be a literal kingdom on the earth, solely ruled by Jesus Christ from the throne of David. (Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29-30; 2 Thess. 1:6-12; Rev. 20:1-6, 12-14)
Great White Throne Judgement. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the final resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at The Great White Throne Judgement, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)
(M) The personality of Satan. We believe that Satan is a fallen angelic being, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10)
(N) Creation. We believe that the Scriptures should be interpreted literally, including the events of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. We reject Evolution, The Gap Theory, The Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. (Gen. 12; Ex. 20:11; Heb. 11:3)
(O) Civil Government. We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions 1) the home 2) the church 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)
(P) Human Sexuality
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, transgenderism, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one's gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 16:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-28; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7-10; Eph. 5:22-23) It should be the policy of Piney Grove Baptist Church that only members in good standing may be joined in marriage by any pastor, elder, or other individual legally authorized to perform such a ceremony in the State of North Carolina. Additionally, upon the approval of the Council, non-member relatives of members may be joined in marriage either at the church facility or elsewhere.
Other churches, individuals, or ministries that wish to use the church facility for weddings must first assert in writing that they affirm this statement on human sexuality. The Council will have sole authority to approve such use of the facility.
(Q) Family Relationships
We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, 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, elders, and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:11-15; 3:4-5, 12)
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)
(R) Abortion. We believe that human life begins at conception, and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth, or population control, or the physical or mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5, 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44; Gal 1:15)
(S) Euthanasia. We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus, we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Matt. 5:21; Acts 17:28)
(T) Love. We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only towards fellow believers, but also towards those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10, 17-21, 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2, 1 John 3:17-18)
(U) 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. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32)
(V) Missions. We believe that God has given the church The Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to unreached people groups and not wait for them to come to us. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20)
(W) Giving. We believe that every Christian, as a steward of God's wealth entrusted to him, is privileged and exhorted to financially support his local church. We believe that every Christian should give 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 his giving once the gift has been made. (Gen.14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)
(X) Observations. It is recognized that gaining unanimity on a document of this magnitude may be difficult. None the less, the committee that assembled this document understands that in a non-affiliated Baptist church such as Piney Grove, there are bound to be differences of opinion among Believers of good conscience. On those issues that are peripheral to the specific salvation message, a candidate for membership who is in disagreement on some point may be admitted if he/she can give sufficient and direct Biblical support for their position. And upon admission agrees not to create division in the church family over the doctrine in question.
SECTION 2.02-AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.