Statement of Faith for FOREST CITY BIBLE CHURCH
I. The Scriptures
We believe that the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is the complete Word of God. It is divinely inspired, without error in the original manuscripts, entirely trustworthy, and constitutes the supreme authority in all matters of faith and behaviour. The Bible has Jesus Christ as its focus and fulfillment.
2 Pet. 1:16-21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Lk. 24:27; Matt. 5:17-17; Ps. 19:7-9.
We believe in God, the Creator and Sovereign Lord of all. The Lord our God is one God who eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are the same in being, equal in every divine attribute, and who exercise distinct but harmonious roles in their work of redemption.
Gen. 1; Ex. 34:6-7; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 8; Ps. 2; Rom. 8:28-32; Matt. 28:19-20.
The Father loves the world. He sent His Son into the world to save sinners. He raised Jesus from the dead, exalted Him by putting all things under His power, and together with Him has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers.
Lk. 3:22; Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:14; 1 Pet. 1:21; Phil. 2:9-11; Jn. 14:26.
The Son became God incarnate as Jesus the Messiah. Jesus is truly God and truly man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and lived a sinless life. He was crucified, raised bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven where He reigns as King and serves as our High Priest and Advocate.
Jn. 1:1; 1:14; Col. 2:9; Matt. 1:22-23; Isa. 7:14; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Heb. 1:1-3; 7:25.
The Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ in all He does. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. At the moment of salvation He regenerates, indwells, gifts, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
Jn. 16:8-15; Tit. 3:5-6; 1 Cor. 12:11, 13; Rom. 8:9-14, 29; Gal. 5:22-25.
We believe that human beings are created in the image of God, and were originally made as morally upright beings in relationship with their Creator. The first humans, Adam and Eve, disobeyed the will of God and so fell from that state of righteousness and fellowship with Him. Moreover, every aspect of their human nature became sinful and corrupt. Having experienced spiritual death, they also became subject to physical death and the power of Satan. All humanity are now born in this corrupt and sinful condition. We are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God and under His righteous condemnation.
Gen. 1:27; 2:16-17; 3:6; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 3:9-12; Ps. 51:5; Jn. 3:36; Rom. 5:12-14.
We believe that salvation is accomplished solely on the basis of the substitutionary death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although He was sinless, He took our sin upon Himself, died in our place as the just punishment of God, and so gave His life as a once-for-all sacrifice. His atoning death has provided full salvation from the penalty and power of sin, with all people being called to repentance and faith, and being saved freely by God’s grace alone through faith alone in the person and work of Christ alone, and not by any works or personal merit.
Salvation includes being declared righteous by God (justification), being transformed into the likeness of Christ (sanctification), and being fully restored to the image of God (glorification). This salvation, which includes our new birth, adoption, and eternal inheritance, is kept by God’s power. On the last day God will bring to completion the saving work He has begun in the lives of His redeemed.
Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:1, 6-10; Gal. 3:13; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 2 Cor. 5:21; Jn. 17:17-19; 1 Jn. 3:2; Phil. 1:6.
We believe in the existence, person and evil nature of Satan. Though he is still active, he has been defeated by Christ’s work at the cross, and will be subjected to everlasting punishment with all the fallen angels.
Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14-15; Jude 6; Rev. 20:10; Eph. 6:12; 1 Pet. 5:8; Matt. 4:1; Jn. 8:44.
VI. The Church
We believe that the Church consists of all the redeemed who are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ. Local assemblies of believers are visible representations of the Church who gather regularly for the purpose of worship, instruction in the Word, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer. The Church has been entrusted with the task of global discipleship as found in the Great Commission. Standing over the universal Church and its local representations is Jesus Christ, the Head and Chief Overseer of all.
Matt. 16:17-18; 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 12:13; Acts 2:42; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; Heb. 12:22-25; Col. 1:18.
VII. Baptism and The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances: Baptism in water (our practice is baptising believers by immersion), and sharing in the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of His atoning death until He returns. Though not the means of salvation, these ordinances testify to the gospel.
Matt. 28:18-20; Lk. 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Rom. 6:3.
VIII. End Times and the World to Come
We believe that at a time known only to God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ will visibly return in glory and power to raise the dead, judge the world, consummate His Kingdom, and make all things new. The unsaved will be subject to eternal punishment, while the redeemed will enjoy everlasting life in a new and perfect creation in the presence of God.
Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:7; Mk. 13:26; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Jn. 14:1-3; Rev. 20:1-15; 21:1; 22:1-15.