What We Believe

The Doctrinal Statement of Calvary Bible Church

We believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible, consisting of sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. We further believe that the Bible was given by divine inspiration and is the inerrant Word of God in all matters that it addresses including historical, geographical, and scientific data (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:19-21; I Thess. 2:13); that it is sufficient, harmonious, and authoritative; that it reveals man’s state by nature (Rom. 3:10-12) and presents the only means of his salvation (Acts 4:12); that it constitutes the only perfect rule and final authority in all matters pertaining to Christian faith and practice (Matt. 5:18-19; Acts 17:11; Isa. 8:20); and it sets forth the principles by which man will be judged (Rom. 2:1-3, 16). We believe that the only infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself. Moreover, we believe that the canon of Scripture is closed (Heb. 1:1-2) and that all canonical revelation from God has ceased.

We believe that there is only one true God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:21-22); eternally existing (Exod. 3:14; Jer. 10:10) in three persons of one substance, power, and eternity (Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14): Father (John 4:23-24), Son (John 1:1-14; Rom. 9:5), and Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). These three are the same in essence though distinct in personality, responsibility, and function, equal in every divine perfection and attribute (Phil. 2:6; Heb. 9:14), and working harmoniously to accomplish the manifold acts and purposes of God (John 14:26, 15:26, 17:3).

We believe that God the Father began to assume his place as Father in relation to the Son and Holy Spirit in the council of the Godhead before creation and time (Ps. 2:7-10); that, although equal in nature, the Son and Holy Spirit have been subordinate to the Father since the council and will remain in that relationship until eternity future (I Cor. 15:28), and the subordination is for the purpose of executing the divine purpose (John 4:34, 5:17-18, 14:16; Eph. 1:3-14). The Father is the ultimate source of all things (I Cor. 8:6; Ephesians 3:9); sustains a Fatherhood relationship to spirit beings (Job 1:6; Heb. 12:9); sent the Son into the world (John 3:16), and with the Son sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, 15:26), but the Father is never the sent one. The Father enters a Fatherhood relation with men through their spiritual new birth (John 1:12-13, 3:1-7); indwells believers (John 14:23; Eph. 4:6); makes them partakers of the divine nature (II Pet. 1:4); calls them his born ones (I John 3:9); forgives their sins (I John 1:9); and answers their prayers (John 16:23).

We believe in the identification of Jesus Christ as the impeccable (able not to sin and not able to sin) Son of God and God the Son (Matt. 16:13-16; John 10:36); His incarnation (Heb. 10:5); that he was begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25); his vicarious atonement for the sins of the world (Isa. 53:1-12; John 3:16; Gal. 4:4-5), the resurrection of his body from the tomb (Matt. 28:5-7; Luke 24:46; I Cor. 15:3-4); his ascension into heaven (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51), as our High Priest (Heb. 4:14-16) and Advocate (I John 2:1-2), before the throne of God (Heb. 1:3; Rev. 3:21); that he is both God (Isa. 9:6; Phil. 2:6) and man (Matt. 20:28; Phil. 2:7-8), the two natures being inseparably united in one glorious Person without sin; and that he is the only sufficient mediator between God and humanity (I Tim. 2:5-6).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 15:26). His principle ministries since his advent at Pentecost are: to reveal Christ to all in the regeneration and sanctification of souls (John 16:12-16); to reprove or convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11); to restrain the progress of evil until God’s purposes are accomplished (II Thess. 2:7); to bear witness to the truth preached (Acts 5:30-32); to regenerate those who repent of their sins and exercise faith in Christ (John 3:3-8; Tit. 3:5); to instruct, comfort, and guide God’s children (John 14:16-18, 14:26, 16:13); to sanctify them (II Thess. 2:13; I Pet. 1:1-2); to empower them for life and service (Rom. 8:2; Acts 1:8; Eph. 3:16; I Cor. 2:1-4; I Thess. 1:5); to give life to their mortal bodies that he seals (Rom. 8:11; Eph. 1:13); to indwell the believer (Rom. 8:11); to intercede for the believer in his prayer life (Rom. 8:26-27); and, to bestow gifts sovereignly upon each believer (I Cor. 12:7-11). While certainly not a part of the modern-day charismatic movement, we do believe that the power of the Holy Spirit is available in our day and is absolutely necessary for the believer to live a holy life.

We believe that man was created by an immediate act of God and not by a process of evolution; that he was created in the image and likeness of God, possessing personality and holiness; that he was endowed with power of rational and responsible choice in view of moral ends; and that the purpose of his creation was to glorify God (Gen. 1:27; Col. 3:10; Acts 17:24-28).

We believe that in the providence of God, man was brought to trial in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1-6). Under trial he lost his holy estate, incurring spiritual death for himself and all of humanity (Rom. 5); was alienated from God (Eph. 4:18); and became depraved physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually by voluntarily transgressing his positive command, and yielding to the enticement of Satan. In consequence of this act of disobedience, the entire human race became involved in sin so that in every heart there is by nature that evil disposition which eventually leads to responsible acts of sin and to just condemnation (Gen. 3:1-6; Rom. 1:19-32, 3:10-12, 3:23, 5:12, 5:18; Eph. 4:18; I John 1:8-10).

We believe that God has provided redemption for men through the mediatorial work of Christ, who voluntarily offered himself on Calvary as a perfect sacrifice for sin, the just suffering for the unjust, bearing sin’s curse and tasting death for every man (Matt. 20:28; Heb. 9:11-12; I Pet. 3:18; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 2:9; I Timothy 2:5-6).

We believe that the salvation of sinners is through the Son of God, who is the Savior by virtue of his substitutionary death for sinners (Eph. 5:23; II Pet 1:11); salvation is completely dependent upon the grace of God (Eph. 2:8); can be obtained only through the gift of God (Eph. 2:9; Rom. 6:23); that man can in no way merit salvation (Tit. 3:5); the basis of salvation is the shed blood of Christ (Rom. 3:25; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:22); the conditions of salvation are with repentance and faith in the resurrected Son of God (Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 16:31); the instruments of salvation are the Word of God (Rom. 10:17; I Pet. 1:23), and the Holy Spirit who applies the Word to the heart of man to bring conviction of sin (John 15:26; 16:7-11); that in salvation the believer is elected, called, regenerated, converted, justified, adopted, sanctified, and glorified (Rom. 8:30), forgiven all sins (Col. 1:14), and endowed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3); that the true believer is secure in Christ, nothing being able to separate him from God, and that this security is dependent upon God’s ability to keep the believer and not the believer’s ability to keep himself (Rom. 8:35-39; John 10:27-29; Phil. 1:6; II Tim. 1:12).

We believe that sanctification is the threefold process by which we, according to the will of God, are made partakers of his holiness: first of all, positionally, meaning that we are complete in Christ the moment we believe, having a perfect standing before God (I Cor. 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14); secondly, experientially, meaning that we are progressively being conformed to the likeness of Christ (II Cor. 3:18; Heb. 2:11) through the appointed means of praying (Mark 14:38), Bible study ( John 17:17; I Pet. 2:2), the pursuit of holiness (Heb. 12:14; I Pet. 1:13-16), self-examination (II Tim. 2:21), fellowship (Acts 2:42-44), and witnessing (Matt. 28:18-20); thirdly, completely, meaning that we shall be transformed into the very image of Christ at his appearing, and only then (Eph. 5:27; I John 3:2-3), thus taking hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us (Phil. 3:12).

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all his spiritual gifts, collectively and individually (Rom. 12:6; I Cor. 12:11, 18; Eph. 4:7-8), and that all believers are given at least one spiritual gift at the time of salvation (I Cor. 12:7) and this gift(s) is determined by God’s sovereign choice (I Cor. 12:11). We further believe that all spiritual gifts are to be used “for the common good” (I Cor. 12:7) and believers are to value and appreciate the gifts and gifted persons that Jesus has placed into His body (I Cor. 12:12-27). Some spiritual gifts served the purpose of attesting the authority and ministry of the original Apostles (Heb. 2:4) who formed the foundation of the Christian Church (Eph. 2:20) and as such are known as “sign gifts” that authenticated their commission and mission as Apostles. Believing God still does miracles today, all believers are encouraged to daily pray and expect Jesus to be supernaturally involved in their lives, both personally and corporately. Because the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowment of all His spiritual gifts, it is God’s prerogative to make use of any of the spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament (Rom. 12, I Cor. 12-14, Eph. 4, I Pet. 4) at any time according to His good pleasure. However, the ministries of Calvary Bible Church will not practice the so-called “sign gifts” (such as speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc.) nor activities (such as public healing services, slaying in the Spirit, etc.), commonly associated with some Christian and/or religious movements.

We believe in the reality of Satan as a distinct person ( Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7), who, having been perfectly created (Ezek. 28:12-19), fell from his exalted state through pride, which prompted his rebellion against God (Isa. 14:13-14; Ezek. 28:17; I Tim. 3:6), leading a multitude of the angelic host in his revolt (Ezek. 28:16, 18; Rev. 12:7-9); that he is the archenemy of God committed to thwarting the divine councils (Matt. 4:1-11; II Cor. 11:13-15); that he is the prince of this world (John 12:31) and the god of this age (II Cor. 4:3-4); that he is the king over the realm as indicated by the name of Beelzebub (Matt. 12:22-30); that he is the adversary of believers and the accuser of the brethren (I Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:10); and that he is to be cast forever into the lake of fire as execution of his sentence of judgment at Calvary ( John 16:11; Rev. 20:10).

We believe that the church, as set forth in the New Testament, has a twofold aspect: universal and local. We believe that the church, the body of Christ (Eph. 1:19-23; Col. 1:18), is composed of all elect in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:26-29), and that it is essentially an organism rather than an organization (Eph. 2:11-22). We believe a local church to be an organized body of immersed believers (Acts 2:41, 47) who meet regularly for the purposes of worship (John 4:23-24; Phil. 3:3), fellowship (Acts 2:42), observance of the ordinances (Acts 2:41), proclamation of the gospel (Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 24:46-47), and the edification of the saints (Eph. 4:11-12); that each local church is to be autonomous (I Cor. 5:1-6), although churches may voluntarily cooperate with each other (Acts 15:2, 4-5, 23-25); that a local church has as its Biblical officers, at minimum elders (Acts 20:17, 28; Tit. 1:5-7; I Tim. 3:1-7), and deacons (Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:8-13); that other officers may be added as needed by the Elders of the church provided such officers are not contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture; and that the ordinances of the church are Baptism (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:41, 10:46-48) and the Lord's Supper (I Cor. 10:16-22, 11:17-34).

We believe that baptism is the public confession of Christ as Savior and Lord. It is a symbol of one's union, by faith, with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection, and therefore is to be administered by immersion to only those who have given evidence of faith in Christ as their personal Savior (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-41, 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12). We believe that baptism is the official entrance into local church membership.

The Lord's Supper
We believe that the Lord's Supper should be observed by all believers in obedience to the command, "Do this in remembrance of me" (I Cor. 11:24-25). It consists in the partaking of the consecrated emblems of bread and wine, and symbolizes the broken body and shed blood of Christ which was given for the remission of our sins, and our continual dependence upon him for our sustenance (John 6:25-59). The Lord's Table should be open to all immersed believers who are in a right relationship with God (Matt. 26:26-30; Luke 22:19-20; I Cor. 10:16-22; 11:23-26).

We believe in the personal, visible, and future return of Christ to the earth (Phil. 3:20-21; Titus 2:11-13; I John 3:2-3); and that the world will not be converted during the present time period, (II Tim 3:1-13; 4:1-5), but is ripening for judgment until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24; II Thess. 1:7-9), which will climax in the apostasy of professing Christendom (II Thess. 2:3; Rev. 17).

We believe in the resurrection of the just and the unjust ( John 5:25-29); that the souls of those who have trusted in Christ go immediately into his presence at death (II Cor. 5:1-8), where they remain in a state of conscious bliss until the resurrection of the just, at which time they are reunited with their glorified bodies (I Cor. 15:12-58; Phil. 3:20-21); and that the souls of unbelievers go immediately into a state of conscious torment at death (Luke 16:19-31), where they remain until the resurrection of the unjust, at which time both soul and body shall be cast into the lake of fire (Matt. 10:28; Rev. 20:11-15).