What We Believe THE BIBLEWe believe that the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God. By the Holy Bible we mean the collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, which as originally written, is the very Word of God. By inspiration we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally inspired and free from error, as no other writing has been or ever will be inspired. Therefore, the Bible is and shall remain to the end of the age the only complete and final revelation of God to man; the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal, literal, and grammatical-historical meaning. Such interpretation reveals divinely determined dispensations which define man’s responsibility or stewardships by which God directs man according to His purposes in successive ages. We recognize the value, blessing and longstanding of the King James Version of the Bible and recommend its continued use in this church. II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:19-21; Heb. 1:1-2; Acts 1:16; Eph: 6:17; Ps. 119:89.THE GODHEADWe believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and while each has a separate and distinct functions, all three are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence and obedience. Deut. 6:4; Mt. 28:10-20; II Cor. 13:14; Rev. 1:4-6; Eph. 2:18; Mt. 3:16-17.THE LORD JESUS CHRISTWe believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the eternal Word manifested in flesh. We believe that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, not having a human father, but that He is truly and totally God and truly and totally man. We believe in His vicarious, substitutionary and redeeming death, Christ receiving in Himself the penalty of man’s sin. We believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and that He is now at the right hand of God the Father as our Mediator, Priest and Advocate. We believe in His personal, imminent and pre-millennial return for His redeemed ones. John 1:1-3, 14; Mt. 1:18-25; I Cor. 15:3-4; Heb. 9:24; I Thess. 4:14-17; Rev. 19:11-16; I Pet. 2:24; Acts 1:9-10; Eph. 1:7; Rom. 8:34.THE HOLY SPIRITWe believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; 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, baptizes, endues, guides, teaches, witnessed, sanctifies, indwells, fills and helps the believer. John 14:16-17; Heb. 9:14; Gen. 1:1-3; II Thess. 2:7; John 16:8-11; John 3:5-6; Eph. 1:13-14; I Cor. 12:12-13; John 16:13; John 14:26; Rom. 8:9, 14, 16, 26-27; I Pet. 1:2.THE DEVIL OR SATANWe believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world; that he is the tempter, the enemy of God, the accuser of the saints, author of false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy, the lord of the anti-Christ, the author of the powers of darkness; that he is destined to final defeat at the hands of God’s Son, to the judgment in the Lake of Fire, a place prepared for him and his angels.Is. 14:12-15; Ez. 28:14-17; Rev. 12:9; Eph. 2:2; I Thess. 3:5; I Pet. 5:8; Mt. 13:25, 37-39; II Cor. 11:13-15; 4:4; Job 1:6; I John 4:3; II Thess. 2:8-11; Rev. 20:1-3,10; Mt. 25:41.THE CREATIONWe believe in the Genesis account of creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created in God’s 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 then all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind”. Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16-17; Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7; 1:11, 24.THE FALL OF MANWe believe that man, originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, fell form his high and holy estate by eating the forbidden fruit, and as the consequence of his disobedience, the penalty of death was then and there inflicted, so that his moral nature was not only grievously injured by the fall, but he totally lost all spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and subject to the power of the devil. Gen. 1:26; 2:17; John 5:40; 6:53; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom.3:9-10, 19, 20-23; I John 3:8.THE SALVATION OF MANWe 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. Eph. 2:8-10; John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; I Pet. 1:18-19.THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVERWe believe that the person who has once trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior is eternally secured in Him; and that the believer’s standing in Christ is perfect and eternally changeless but that his state during his earthly life is subject to fluctuation. John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 35-39; I Pet. 1:5; I John 1:6; 2:2.THE TWO NATURES OF THE BELIEVERWe believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural. Rom. 6:13; 8:12-13; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:10; I Pet. 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9.THE CHURCHA) We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age. Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; I Cor. 12:12-14; II Cor. 11:2.B) We believe that the local church is an assembly of confessing, immersed believers in Jesus Christ; locally organized, Holy Spirit-united-and-empowered for the purpose of glorifying God through: 1) evangelism, which includes proclaiming the gospel and baptizing new believers, 2) edification through the ministry of the Word, participation in the Lord’s Supper, fellowship and discipline, and 3) worship, which includes praise, song, and prayer. Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:41-42, 10:47-48; Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 2:12, 3:1-13; Heb. 10:25.C) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught, defined, and exemplified in the New Testament.Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32; Titus 1:5-11D) We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control of persons or organizations. We believe Christ is our Supreme Lord and Lawgiver, and take His Word as our only and sufficient rule of faith and practice in all matters of conscience and religion. On all matters of membership, polity, government, discipline, and benevolence the will of the local church is final.Mt. 18:15-18; Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; I Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; I Peter 5:1-4.E) We believe the Bible teaches that the following offices of the church should be held by men only: Pastor, Assistant Pastor(s), and Deacons.I Tim. 2:12; Acts 15.THE ORDINANCESA) WATER BAPTISM. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water and an emersion from the water of a believer in obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus Christ “in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Ghost”, to show forth our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect, our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Mt. 3:16, 28:19; Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12.B) LORD’S SUPPER. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial service and is the setting forth in a sacred and symbolic manner the death of the Lord Jesus Christ upon our behalf until He returns. The emblems of the Communion Service are not literally the body and the blood of Christ, nor do they contain His flesh and blood. The Communion Service is for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and to be taken only after solemn self-examination. Mt. 26:26-28; I Cor. 11:23-32.FUTURE EVENTSWe believe in that “Blessed Hope”, the personal, pretribulational, premillenial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment; that at that moment the dead in Christ will be raised in glorified bodies, the living in Christ will be given their glorified bodies without tasting death, and both groups will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; that this rapture of the church is pretribulational – that is, it will take place prior to the seven years of Tribulation; that the Tribulation will be culminated by the premillenial revelation of Jesus Christ in power and great glory to deliver Israel, to bind Satan, and to sit upon the throne of David for a literal thousand year reign upon the earth; that Christ will ultimately cast Satan and his hosts into the Lake of Fire.Phil. 3:20, 21; I Thes. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54; Rev. 3:10, 20:1-4, 6, 10.FINAL DESTINIESA) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.Mt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:5-6; 12-13.B) We believe that the souls of believers in Christ do, at death, immediately pass into His presence, and there remain until the resurrection of the body at the rapture when soul and body reunited shall stand before Christ to be judged of their Christian works for the giving of rewards; and they shall then be associated with Him forever in glory.I Cor. 3:11-15; II Cor. 5:10; I Thes. 4:13-18.C) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final resurrection at the end of the millennium for judgment; the result of this judgment will be that all will be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.Luke 16:19-26; II Thes. 1:6-9; Rev. 20:11-15.THE MINISTRY AND SPIRITUAL GIFTSWe believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and, that the gifts of evangelist, pastors and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and, that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority become established; and that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with His own will, for the sick and afflicted. I Cor. 12:4-11; II Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7-12; John 15:7; I John 5:14-15; James 5:14-15.CHRISTIAN LIVINGA) SEPARATION. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy and all worldly and sinful pleasure, practices, and associations is commanded of God. II Tim. 3:1-5; Rom.12:1-2; 14:13; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; II Cor. 6:14; 7:1.B) YIELDED LIFE AND SERVICE. We believe that God calls all who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior to a life of yieldedness to Him and this yielded life is the privilege and duty of every believer. Rom. 6:13; 12:1-2; II Cor. 6:14-18; I Cor. 6:19-20.C) CHURCH MEMBERSHIP. We believe that all in this dispensation, who have placed their faith and trust in Christ as Savior, are members of the Church, the body of Christ. Christ is the Head; we are members of His Body, the Church. We believe that every Christian should unite with a local church. I Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 5:25-32; Col. 1:18; Heb. 10:25.D) STEWARDSHIP. We believe that God calls every Christian to exercise the gift of giving and that the exercise of this gift is set forth in the Scripture as the administration of a stewardship; and that the giving should be regular, reliable, and systematic. Mal. 3:8-10; I Cor. 16:1-4; 4:2; Rom. 15:26-27.E) EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS. We believe that every one who has named the name of Christ should be so utterly devoted to the cause of his Lord and his devotion will find expression in a life of Bible study, prayer, and soul winning, and that this burden for the lost will not be confined to his own local service for Christ but will reach to earth’s remotest bounds; that his support of missions should extend to his testimony, his prayer, and his giving. Mt. 4:19; Mk. 16:15; Rom. 10:13-17; II Tim. 2:15.Human Sexuality and MarriageA) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, bestiality, fornication, incest, adultery 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; 26: 8-9; Lev 18:1-30; Rom 1:26-29; 1 Cor 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thes 4: 1-8; and Heb 13: 4).B) 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; and Eph 5: 22-24)C) Under no circumstances can any pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church be compelled to perform a marriage ceremony for any person. It is the sole discretion of any pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church whether or not they will preside over a marriage ceremony. If they choose to preside over a marriage ceremony, either on the church grounds or in another location, that marriage must not violate the clear teachings of the Bible or any statement given in this document. If a pastor chooses to perform a marriage ceremony that violates the clear teachings of the Bible or the statements of this document, it is grounds for immediate dismissal.