PVBC Doctrinal Statement 

 

PVBC's "First Building" 

The PVBC Doctrinal Statement

 

We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and the basis of our beliefs. We hold to the historic doctrines of the Baptist faith which are briefly summarized as follows:

 

 

I. God

 

There is one living and true God, the creator of the universe (Ex. 15:11; Isa. 45:11; Jer. 27:5). He is revealed in the unity of the God-head as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who are equal in every divine perfection (Ex. 15:11; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).

 

  1. God the Father is the supreme ruler of the universe. He providentially directs the affairs of history according to the purposes of His grace (Gen. 1; Psa. 19:1; Psa. 104; Heb. 1:1-3).

 

  1. God the Son is the Savior of the world. Born of the virgin Mary (Matt.1:18; Luke 1:26-35), He declared His deity among men (John 1:14,18; Matt. 9:6), died on the cross as the only sacrifice for sin (Phil. 2:6-11), arose bodily from the grave (Luke 24:6, 7, 24-26; I Cor.15:3-6),  and ascended back to the Father (Acts 1:9-11; Mark 16:19). He is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for believers (Rom. 8:35; Heb. 7:25) until He returns to rapture [them] His Church from the world (Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:16-18).

 

  1. God the Holy Spirit is the manifest presence of deity. He convicts of sin (John 16:8-11), teaches spiritual truths according to the written Word (John 16:12-15), permanently indwells believers (Acts 5:32; John 14:16-17, 20, 23), and confers on every believer at conversion the capacity to render effective spiritual service (I Peter 4:10, 11).

 

II. The Scriptures

 

  1. The Scriptures are God’s inerrant revelation, complete in the Old and New Testaments, written by divinely inspired men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). Those men wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13).

 

  1. The Scriptures provide the standard for the believer’s faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16, 17), reveal the principles by which God will judge all (Heb. 4:12; John 12:48), and express the true basis of Christian fellowship (Gal. 1:8, 9; 2 John 9-11).

 

III. Creation

 

  1. The World: God created all things for His own pleasure and glory, as revealed in the biblical account of creation (Gen. 1; Rev. 4:11; John 1:2-3; Col. 1:16).

 

  1. The angels: God created an innumerable host of spirit beings called angels. Holy angels worship God and execute His will; while fallen angels serve Satan, seeking to hinder God’s purposes (Col 1:16; Luke 20:35-36; Matt. 28:29-30; Psa. 103:20; Jude 6).

 

  1. The human race: God created man in His own image. As the crowning work of creation, every person is of dignity and worth and merits the respect of all other persons (Psa. 8; Gen 1:27; 2:7; Matt. 10: 28-32; Acts 10:28).

 

IV. Satan

 

Satan is a person rather than a personification of evil (John 8:44), and he with his demons oppose all that is true and godly by blinding the world to the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-4), tempting saints to do evil (Eph. 6:11; I Peter 5:8), and warring against the son of God (Gen. 3:15; Rev. 10:1-10).

 

V. Depravity

 

Although man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:16; 2:7), he fell through sin and that image was marred (Rom. 5:12; James 3:9). In his unregenerate state, he is void of spiritual life, is under the influence of the devil, and lacks any power to save himself (Eph. 2: 1-3; I Pet. 2:22). Because of the sin nature, man possesses no divine life and is essentially and unchangeably depraved apart from divine grace (Rom. 3:10-19; Jer. 17:9).

 

VI. Salvation

 

  1. The meaning of Salvation: Salvation is the gracious work of God whereby He delivers undeserving sinners from sin and its consequences (Matt. 1:21; Eph. 2:8-9). In justification He declares righteous all who put faith in Jesus Christ as Savior (Rom. 3:20-22), giving them freedom from condemnation, peace with God, and full assurance of future glory (Rom 3:24-26).

 

  1. The Way of Salvation: Salvation is based wholly on the grace of God apart from works (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:9). Anyone who will exercise repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved (Acts 16:30-32; Luke 24: 47; Rom. 10:17).

 

  1. The Provision of Salvation: Christ died for the sins of the whole world (John 1:29; 3:16; I John 2:1-2). Through His blood, atonement is made without respect to persons (I Tim. 2:4-6). Any sinner can be saved by this gracious provision (Heb. 2:9; John 3:18).

 

  1. The Purpose of Salvation: Election is the sovereign act of God by which He bestows His mercy of salvation upon all He has chosen in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world, according to His foreknowledge (Eph. 1:3-5; I Peter 1:1-2). It is consistent with God’s sovereignty and man’s free agency (Eph. 1:11-14). Election necessitates the preaching of the gospel to every creature, the convicting of sinners by the Holy Spirit, and the belief of the truth by every repenting sinner (Matt. 28: 18-20; Mark 16:15). Within our finite limits of understanding, sinners are free to accept or reject God’s offered mercy (John 1:11-12).

 

VII. Sanctification

 

All believers are set apart unto God (Heb. 10:12-14) at the time of their regeneration (I Cor. 6:11). They should grow in grace (2 Peter 1:5-8) by allowing the Holy Spirit to apply God’s Word to their lives (I Peter 2:2), conforming them to the principles of divine righteousness (Rom. 12:1-2; I Thess. 4:3-7) and making them partakers of the holiness of God (2 Cor. 7:1; I Peter 1:15-16).

 

  

VIII. Security

 

All believers are eternally secure in Jesus Christ (John 10:24-30; Rom. 8:35-39). They are born again (John 3:3-5; I John 5:1; I Peter 1:23), made new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4), and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9, I John 4:4), enabling their perseverance in good works (Eph. 2:10). A special providence watches over them (Rom. 8:28; I Cor. 10:13), and they are kept by the power of God (Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13;I Peter 1:3-5; Heb. 13:5).

 

IX.Church

 

  1. The Nature of the Church: The church is made up of all who truly trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Such believers form the body of Christ and His wife, and each believer, either Jew or Gentile, is baptized by the Spirit into that body (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19; 5:25-27). A New Testament church is a local congregation (Acts 16:5; I Cor. 4:17) of baptized believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41) who are united by covenant in belief of what God has revealed and in obedience to what He has commanded (Acts 2:41-42).

 

  1. The Autonomy of the Church: She acknowledges Jesus as her only Head (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18) and the Holy Bible as her only rule of faith and practice (Isa. 8:20; 2 Tim. 3:16-17), governing herself by democratic principles (Acts 6:1-6; I Cor. 5:1-5) under the oversight of her pastors (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24).

 

  1. The Perpetuity of the Church: Prophesied by Jesus during His personal ministry on earth (Matt. 16:18; Mark 3:13-19; John 1: 35-51), true churches have continued from Pentecost (Acts 2) to the present and will continue until Jesus returns (Matt. 16:18; 28:20) for her.

 

  1. The Ordinances of the Church: Her two ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer as a confession of his faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 29:19; Rom. 6:4) and is prerequisite to church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42). The Lord’s Supper is the sacred sharing of the bread of communion and the cup of blessing by the assembled church (Acts 20:7) as a memorial to the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ (Luke 2:19-20; I Cor. 11:23-26). Both ordinances must be administered by the authority of a New Testament church (Matt. 28:18-20; I Cor. 11: 23-26).

 

  1. The Officers of the Church: Pastors and deacons are the permanent officers divinely ordained in a New Testament church (Phil. 1:1). Each church may select men of her choice to fill those offices under the leading of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:1-6; 20:17-18) according to the divinely given qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9).

 

Pastors (elders, bishops) are authorized to oversee and teach the churches under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24; I Peter 4:1-4). Each church is responsible to follow them as they follow Christ (I Cor. 11:1; I Thess. 1:6; Heb. 13:17) and to provide a livelihood for them that they might fulfill their ministries (I Tim. 5:17-18; Phil. 4:15-18). Pastors are equal in the service of God (Matt. 23:8-12).

     

Deacons (ministers, servants) are servants of the churches and assistants to the pastors, particularly in benevolent ministries. Each church may select her own deacons according to her needs, and no church is bound by the act of another church in that selection (Acts 6:1-6).

    

  1. The Ministry of the Church: Her mission is evangelizing sinners by preaching the gospel (Matt. 28:19; Luke 24:45-47), baptizing those who believe (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 35-38), and maturing them by instruction (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42) and discipline (Matt. 18:17-18; I Cor. 5:1-5).

 

  1. The Fellowship of the Church: She is free to associate with true churches in furthering the faith (2 Cor. 11:8; Phil. 4:10, 15, 16) but is responsible to keep herself from those who hold doctrines or practices contrary to Holy Scripture (Gal. 1:8-9; I John 2:19). In association with other churches, each church is equal and is the sole judge of the measure and method of her cooperation (Matt. 20:25-28). In all matters of polity and practice the will of each church in final (Matt. 18:18).

                                                   

X. Civil Authority

 

Human government was instituted by God to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. It is separate from the church, though both church and state exercise complementary ministries for the benefit of society (Matt. 22:21).

 

Christians should submit to the authority of the government under which they live, obeying all laws which do not contradict the laws of God, respecting officers of government, paying taxes, rendering military service, and praying for the welfare of the nation and its leaders (Rom. 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13,17; I Tim. 2:1-2). They should vote, hold office, and exercise influence to direct the nation after the principles of Holy Scripture.

 

Civil authority is not to interfere in matters of conscience or disturb the institutions of religion (Acts 4: 18-20), but it should preserve for every citizen the free exercise of his religious convictions.

 

Churches should receive no subsidy from the government, but they should be exempt from taxation on property and money used for the common good through worship, education, or benevolence.

 

 

XI. Last Things

 

  1. The Rapture of the Church: The next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself into heaven both His own who are alive and remain unto His coming, and also all who have fallen asleep in Jesus, and that this event is the blessed hope presented in the Scripture, and for this we should be constantly looking (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14).

 

  1. The Apostasy of the Church: The apostle Paul warns of a “falling away” that will lead to a heeding of deceitful spirits and the teaching of demons (1 Tim. 4:2). Paul states that it will occur in the “later times” and produce hypocrisy and a searing of the conscience. This apostasy will be religious and moral in nature (2 Tim. 2:1-5). Paul further teaches that the seeds of apostasy are present in the Church but they will also completely mature in the last days, which he describes as “difficult times” (2 Tim. 3:1).

 

  1. The Tribulation: The rapture of the church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 6:1 -19:21) during which the church, the body of Christ, will be in heaven. The whole period of Israel’s seventieth week will be a time of judgment on the whole earth, at the end of which “the times of the Gentiles” will be brought to a close.  The latter half of this period will be the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), which our Lord called the great tribulation (Mt. 24:15- 21). We believe that universal righteousness will not be realized previous to the second coming of Christ, but that the world is day by day ripening for judgment and that the age will end with a fearful apostasy.

 

  1. The Second Coming of Christ: The period of great tribulation in the earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as He went. The millennial age will follow, with Satan bound. Israel will be restored to her own land and the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled by the consummation of its three divisions – Land (Palestinian Covenant), Seed (Davidic Covenant), and Blessing (New Covenant) finally brought to complete fruition. The whole world that survives will be brought to a complete knowledge of the Messiah (Deut. 30:1-10; Isa. 11:9; Ezek. 37:21; Jer. 31:31- 40; Mt. 24:15 - 25:46; Acts 15:16-17; Rom 8:19-23; 11:25-27; Rev. 20:1-3).

 

  1. The Eternal State: At death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body when Christ comes for His own, whereupon soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; but the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death 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 from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 23:42; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Judges 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).

 

 

ADDENDUM - Marriage and Sexuality (this section adopted 04/06/2014)

 

 

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture.

 

We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that 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 sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.

 

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to this statement on “Marriage and Sexuality” and conduct themselves accordingly.

 

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

 

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the church.