What We Believe
The Holy Scriptures
We believe that the Scriptures, consisting of he Old and New Testament, are verbally inspired of God and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are the supreme and final authority in faith and life. The Scriptures have been recorded and preserved by the Holy Spirit (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21; Psalm 12:6-7). We believe that the Masoretic text of the Old Testament and the Textus Receptus of the New Testament are the preserved words of God. We believe that Christians may and should translate from the original language of Scripture into their respective languages in a trustworthy and reverent manner (Psalm 119:89-90; Ecclesiastes 3:14; Matthew 5:17-18; John 10:35; I Peter 1:23-25).
The Trinity of the God-Head
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). These divine Persons are coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial; each Person is as much God as either of the other Two (I John 5:7).
The Pre-existence, Deity and Incarnation of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ ever existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit and that in His incarnation was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary and is true God and true man (John 1:1-9; I Timothy 3:16).
The Creation and Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God and that he did not evolve. We believe that man sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death which is separation from God. We believe that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, are totally depraved, and for those who reach an age of moral responsibility, they must be born again to be accepted of God (Romans 5:12; Romans 3:10, 23; John 3:5-17).
The Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ
We believe that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood. We believe that He literally arose from the dead on the third day in the same body in which He suffered and died. We also believe that our Lord ascended into Heaven; that He is now seated at the right hand of the Father and is our High Priest and Divine Advocate with the Father. We believe that by His finished work on the cross and His unceasing ministry of intercession in Glory, that Jesus Christ has procured for every believer eternal redemption, eternal salvation, and everlasting life (I Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 5:9; John 3:16, 20:27; Mark 16:19; Hebrews 5:9, 7:25, 8:1, 9:12; I John 2:1).
The Personality and Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person, that He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment, that He regenerates the sinner by the Word of God, that He permanently indwells the body of each believer, that He seals, enlightens, instructs, and guides every born again person, and that He is the efficient power for godly living, Christian service, and spiritual worship. We believe that all who by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ are born again by the Holy Spirit, and thereby become the children of God (John 3:5-17, 14:16-17, 26, 16:7-15;I Peter 1:23; Ephesians 4:30).
We believe that the local church has two ordinances and that these ordinances picture the saving works of Jesus Christ. These are, namely, water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. While recognizing that water baptism has no saving merit, it is our conviction that after one is saved, baptism is the next step in order to portray to the world that believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection and with the Lord’s local church. We also believe that upon baptism, the believer becomes a member of the local church which is His Body. We believe that Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper to commemorate His death until He comes and that the elements (unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine) symbolically portray the body and blood of Christ. As such, we deny the doctrine of transubstantiation. (Acts 2:41-47; Romans 6:4; I Corinthians 11:23-29, 12:12-27).
The Salvation of Man
We believe that salvation is only available through the finished work of Jesus Christ, in which He, by His death and resurrection, obtained propitiation for sinners. This atonement of sin is available for all humans, but will only be applied to those who receive it by faith. Therefore, the conditions to salvation are repentance and faith, not our goodness or good works. Believers can know that they have everlasting life and shall not come into judgment, but have passed from death unto life (John 3:18, 5:24).
Our Lord’s Second Advent
We believe in the “blessed hope,” which is the personal, premillenial, pretribulational, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which is known as the rapture of the New Testament saints. We also believe in the personal, visible, premillenial, and glorious return of Christ to the earth with His saints at the end of the Great Tribulation. This phase of His coming is known as the revelation of Jesus Christ. When He returns to earth with His saints, we believe that the Lord Jesus will establish His millenial kingdom and will reign for one thousand years. This is a literal reign upon the earth in fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic promises (Titus 2:13; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 14:3; Revelation 19:11-21, 2:1-6).
The Resurrection of the Dead
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all New Testament saints at the rapture (I Thessalonians 4:16; I Corinthians 15:51-57) and of the resurrection of the unjust at the end of time (Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:28-29). The resurrection of the New Testament saints is unto a glorious body, like unto His (Philippians 3:20-21); while the resurrection of the unsaved is unto a body fitted for the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
The Eternal State of the Saved and the Lost
We believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell: heaven is the place of eternal conscious joy for all who receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and hell is the place of eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire for all who reject Jesus Christ and those dying in their sin (John 8:24, 14:1-6; Psalm 9:17, 16:11; Philippians 1:21, 23; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:10-15). After the Great White Throne Judgment, all the unsaved will be turned into the Lake of Fire; the saints of all ages will enjoy the New Jerusalem and the new earth (Rev. 21-22).
The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a personal being, a fallen angel, prince of demons, the god of this age, the great enticer and deceiver, the adversary of Christ and His people, the accuser of the brethren, whose end is the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Rev. 20:1-10).
We believe that the church is a local, visible body of believers called out from the world for the purpose of obeying the Great Commission, and that they are separated unto Christ. We believe that the supreme mission of the church in this age is to preach the Gospel to every creature and, in the context of the local church, to disciple those who believe on His name (I Corinthians 12:12-27; Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Luke 24:47). We do not believe in the existence of a mystical, invisible body of Christ but instead that each assembly is the
body of Christ in that locale (I Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:22-23). Furthermore, we believe in the perpetuity of the Lord’s churches, i.e. that there have been local churches from the days of Christ until the present who essentially believe what Graphe Independent Biblical Baptist Church believes; and that such churches will continue until the Lord returns. We believe that once a believer has joined the local church, he or she can only be removed from the rolls of the church by death, church discipline, or transfer of letter to a church of like faith and order.
We believe that God commands Christians to be a separated people (II Corinthians 6:17-18 and 7:1). Graphe Baptist
Independent Biblical Church will separate itself from all forms of religious apostasy and neo-evangelical inclusivism. We reject the ecumenical movement which seeks to join all churches into one body regardless of doctrine or practice. We also reject the charismatic renewal movement with its unscriptural emphasis on emotionalism, tongues, and healing. This church will enjoy fellowship with churches of like faith and order, but will have no part in any council of churches that is ecumenical in nature or thrust.
We believe Christians are to be personally separated from all wordly practices that hinder spiritual growth and stability. We believe that God’s people should not love the world or the things that are in the world (I John 2:15-16). In addition, we believe that a Christian should live a holy life and maintain a testimony consistent with the New Testament. This affects such areas as dress and appearance, associations, amusements, language, and all other such areas as would be considered worldly (John 17:15-19; James 4:1-10)