The New Covenant Bible Church Statement of Faith was composed during the church’s founding in 1984. The founders referred to several sources when they wrote this document. One underlying source was “The Abstract of Principles;" a very conservative and helpful document produced by The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1858. You will notice that parts of our Statement of Faith quote The Abstract of Principles word for word.
The elders of New Covenant Bible Church believe that our Statement of Faith is an important document and a good document, but not a perfect document. Over the years we have discovered language that needed updating, Scripture references that were lacking or imprecise, as well as the occasional phrase or two that needed correcting or rewording as the Lord sharpened our theological understanding through His written Word. As such, it remains a faithful statement of what we believe Scripture teaches as well as a work in progress.
1. The Bible
The Scripture of the Old and New Testaments are inspired (and inerrant in the original manuscripts). The word in the New Testament for inspired is "God-breathed" (2 Tim. 3:16). The Scriptures came about not by the impulse of man, but through men being moved by the Holy Spirit to speak from God (2 Pet. 1:21). The Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
2. The Trinity
God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 48:16; Matt. 3:16-17; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2).
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all; to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience (Ex. 3:14; Isa. 40:25-26; 45:5-7; 46:5-7; John 17;
1 Thes. 1:9; Heb. 11:6).
4. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man, having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin. He perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, rose bodily again the third day, and ascended to His Father at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercessions for His people. He is the only Mediator, Savior, and Author of salvation, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe (Isa. 48:16; 52:13-53:12; Matt. 28:18; John 1:1-18; 17:5, 24; Acts 1:9-11; 2:36; Eph. 1:22-23; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 1:1-14; 2:10; 4:14-15; 5:9; 12:24; Rev. 17:14).
5. Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity whose purpose in the redemption of man is to convict him of sin, regenerate the repentant unbeliever, guide the believer into understanding the Holy Scriptures, indwell and give gifts to believers as He wills; that they may minister as Christ would to men. (John 3; 14:15-31; 16:7-15; Acts 2; 5:3-4; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12; 2 Cor. 13:14; Ephesians 4:1-12; Titus 3:4-5; 1 Peter 1:3; 4:10-11).
6. The Creation
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things. God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were active in the creation; and God has ordained that all creation shall ultimately belong to the Son. In the final analysis, acceptance of the truth of the absolute creation of all things by God is a matter for faith rather than scientific proof. Genesis 1 is the foundation of any Christian explanation of creation (Gen. 1:26; John 1:3; Heb. 1:2; 11:3).
7. The Fall of Man (Original Sin)
God originally created man in His own image and free from sin. But, through the temptation of Satan, man transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness. As a result, man’s inherent nature is corrupt from conception and wholly opposed to God and His law and is under condemnation. Man, as soon as he is capable of moral action, becomes an actual transgressor. Adam was the responsible head of the human race, thus his sin and guilt is imputed to all. (Isa. 48:8; Ps. 14:3; 58:3; Rom. 3:9-18, 23; 5:12-19, 1 Cor. 15:22, 45-49).
Sin is disobedience and rebellion against God. Arising from our fallen nature, sin separates us from God and is the reason we deserve God’s wrath. Sin is the universal condition of mankind and man's greatest problem (1 Sam. 15:23; Isa. 1:2; Rom. 3:23; 1 John 3:4; 5:10, 17).
Salvation is deliverance from the wrath of God and from the power and dominion of sin, and of this, Jesus Christ is the author (Matt. 1:21; Acts 4:12; 16:31; 17:30; Heb. 2:10; 5:9; 7:25; 9:14). It is freely offered to all men, but is conditioned upon repentance and faith in Christ (Jn 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation proceeds from the love of God to a sinful humanity and a lost world through Jesus Christ. We believe in the saving power of the Blood of Jesus Christ and His imputed righteousness to all who believe on Him in faith. We believe that the terms of salvation are repentance toward God for sin, and a personal, heartfelt faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which results in a person’s salvation and the gift of eternal life. This salvation is entirely by the grace of our Lord and not of works. Works are excluded except as a fruit of salvation (John 17:2-3; Acts 3:19-20; Rom. 4:1-9; 10:9-10; Eph. 1:3-15).
10. Perseverance of the Saints
It is the duty and privilege of a Christian to continue steadfastly in obedience and fidelity to Christ, this is not in order to inherit eternal life, but to demonstrate love and gratitude to Christ for His great salvation (1 Cor. 15:58, 1 Pet. 1:10, Rev. 3:2). The Christian's fidelity and obedience will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). Salvation is not affected by lack of human faithfulness but rewards are. If getting to Heaven depended upon human faithfulness or human merit in any degree, no human being would ever get there or claim merit for entrance. Christ will abundantly reward faithfulness in His redeemed children, but He can never accept their faithfulness as merit for salvation. A true Christian may stumble in sin for a season by losing his spiritual vitality through deliberate disobedience to the Lord (Jer. 3:6-14; Hos. 11:7-12). However, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, confession and repentance, the believer receives forgiveness and renewed fellowship with Christ and His Church (I Jn. 1:7-9).
For that individual, however, who has professed salvation and has shown all the outward signs of faith in Christ and obedience to Him, then loses all interest and even becomes hostile to Christ and His claims, persisting in sin and sinning willfully knowing the truth as it is in Christ and putting to shame the Church, the Word was never grounded or accepted in that heart to the point that it grew and flourished unto salvation (Matt. 7:21-23; 13:3-23; Mark 4:3-8; Rom 9:6-8; Heb. 6:1-12; 1 Jn. 2:19, 24). This is why we must diligently use the means of grace appointed of God to preserve us in the watchful and steadfast spirit (Matt. 24:13; 1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 6:13-18; Phil. 2:1-2; Heb. 5:12-14; 6:1; 2 Pet. 1:10; Rev. 3:2-3).
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit who quickens the dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone. Believers should seek, as the early disciples did, to practice the separated life from the world and unto Jesus Christ, and to set standards of conduct which shall exalt our Lord and His church (Titus 3:5).
The atonement is the covering over of sin. In Heb. 2:17, Rom. 3:25, 1 Jn 2:2, 1 Jn 4:10, Matt. 20:23, Mk. 10:30, Lk.2:38, Heb. 9:12 and other passages the doctrine is taught that Christ died to effect reconciliation between God and man and to redeem or ransom men from the penalties and dominion of their sins. The Scriptures reveal the Atonement to us as an accomplished and completed fact (Heb. 9:13-28). They represent this fact as necessary to human salvation (Lk. 24:40-46,47, Acts 4:12). The death of Jesus was indispensable (John. 3:14-15). In the Atoning death of Christ was exhibited not only the holy wrath of God against sin, but quite as much the love of God toward sinful men (Rom. 3:25-26, Rom. 5:6-8, 2 Cor. 5:14-15). However the universality of Atonement does not lead to universal salvation. The great offer of salvation may be, and often is rejected, and when the rejection is final, the Atonement avails nothing for the sinner (Mk. 16:16, John 3:36, Heb. 10:26-29). The Atonement is the actual objective ground of forgiveness of sins and acceptance with God for all penitent believers (Jn. 3:16, Acts 2:38, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14).
Repentance is an evangelical grace wherein a person being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk with God so as to please Him in all things (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3-5; 15:11-32; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38; 2 Pet. 3:9).
Faith, even saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ, accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification, sanctification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness (Rom. 5:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:7; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:8; Heb. 12:2).
Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin through the sanctification that Christ has made, not for anything wrought in them or done by them, but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ; they receiving and resting on Him, and His righteousness by faith (Rom. 3:34; 5:1; 4:25; 8:30; 10:10; Gal. 2:16; 3:24).
While holiness refers to the sate or condition of godliness, sanctification describes the act or process by which persons or things are made to partake of this quality. The work of sanctification includes both the human act of consecration and the divine act of cleansing and hallowing. The new birth is not identical with sanctification. The new birth is an instantaneous act; sanctification has a progressive aspect, initiated by regeneration, carried forward by the Holy Spirit and continued until glorification as a process of spiritual maturation. In sanctification, God's will is that sinful attitudes and actions should be put to death in the Christian's life, his nature and character renewed after the image of God in Christ, and his obedience to God increased so that he lives to please God. All these things take place through the power and help of the Holy Spirit as He fills the Believer (1 Cor. 12:13, Heb. 12:14; 13:12-16; 1 Thes. 5:23; Phil. 3:21; Eph. 4:23-24).
17. The Church
The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is vested supremely all power for its government. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the Body of Believers who have been baptized in the name of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who are under recognized, delegated authorities, and who assemble to worship, carry forth the Great Commission and minister as the Holy Spirit leads (1 Cor.
12:12-27; Eph. 5:23-27; 1 Tim. 3:15).
Water baptism is an act of obedient discipleship, appointed by Christ, administered in the name of the Trinity, which symbolizes repentance, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the confession of His Lordship, admittance into the family of God, entry into all the benefits of His death and resurrection and the desire to live a new life through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:4; Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:12).
19. The Lord's Supper
The Christian sacrament of the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ Himself (Matt. 26:26-28, Mk. 14:22-25, Lk. 22:17-20). In the Gospel accounts the bread is His Body and the wine is His Blood, the blood of the new covenant shed for the remission of sins. In I Cor. 11:23-26 it is made clear that both the partaking of the broken bread and the drinking of the wine are for a remembrance. But not only a remembrance, the sacramental meal of the bread and wine becomes a continuing symbol of the Blood and Body of Christ. It looks both ways, to the past in remembrance and to the future in anticipation. The concept of "closed communion", a practice which admits only the enrolled members of a particular group, is foreign to both the spirit and practice of the Christian Church.
20. The Lord's Day
The Lord's Day is a Christian institution for regular observance and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion.
21. Evangelism & Missions
The church must have a true deep and real passion for lost souls and make every effort to bring every person into a personal salvation relationship with Jesus Christ (Lk. 4:18-19). We are to see ourselves as workers together with God, understanding what is His work in bringing a person to a saving faith in Jesus Christ and what is our part. We are to make disciples of all nations. The Bible presents many motives for supporting and engaging in missionary work, prominent among which are concern for God's glory, obedience to our Lord's commission, the desperate need of men without Christ, the adequacy and purpose of the Atonement and the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-30, Acts 1:8). We are to support missionary work wholeheartedly and generously, by finance and prayer, as part of our worship of God (1 Thes. 2:8, 1 Cor. 9:4-14, Heb. 13:16, Phil. 4:15, Acts 13:2).
There should be no question but that God is the Owner of Heaven and earth (Gen. 14:19). In order that we might remember that God is the Owner; He has ordained adoration, praise, worship and the offering of gifts. God desires that each one of His children should learn the meaning of stewardship. A steward is one handles the wealth or possessions of One greater and richer than the steward Himself. God is the Creator and rightful Owner of all material wealth in the universe. He allows man to gather some about him for his use in this world, yet He does not intend that man should allow his affections to go out to these things in such a way that the person forgets his Maker. God demands a stewardship of time and life, but He also demands it of material possessions as well.
23. The Tithe and Offerings
The basic Biblical provision in stewardship is the paying of tithes, or a tenth of the increase one receives (Gen.14:20, 28:22). God commanded that the tithe be regarded as holy (Lev. 27:30). Tithing became the touchstone of stewardship and blessing in the Old Testament. The principle of giving has not been rescinded in the New Testament, and it presupposes that our giving will often more than equal the tithe because of the inward compulsion of the Holy Spirit moving us to respond to the generosity of God with similar generosity (2 Cor. 9:7-13, Eph. 4:28). This is God's plan of finance for His work and we believe that it is a joy for His children to acknowledge His Lordship in this manner (2 Cor. 8:7-9).
God from eternity decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events, yet so as not in any wise to be the author or approver of sin, nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.
Election means first, that God is sovereign, free to do whatever He chooses to do, and secondly that salvation is by His grace and Power alone. Scripture teaches that believers are saved by the Power of God through faith. Scripture also teaches that God has foreordained that believers will be saved. Scripture does not suggest however, that He similarly foreordains some to damnation (Ryrie). Man's true destiny is to be conformed "To the image of His Son," (Rom. 8:29) but only those who respond in faith to the gospel call are among the elect. The elect, so defined, are predestined to be saved, and not by their own efforts, but by the power of God.
26. The Rapture
We believe that the Lord Jesus will come again; that we who are alive at His coming shall not precede those that are asleep in Christ Jesus but that we shall be caught up with the risen saints to meet the Lord in the air, so that we shall ever be with the Lord. (1 Cor. 15:51; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).
27. The Second Coming
Christ's glory will be seen, and the resurrection of the dead and the transformation of all believers will take place. The judgment will follow, with the final division of all men and women, either to being with Christ forever or to suffering the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord. The end of all things as we know them will come, and the Father will be glorified in it all (Matt. 25:31, Mk. 13:26, Rev. 1:7, Phil. 3:21, Phil. 2:9-11, Lk. 12:4-48, 1 Cor. 15:24).
28. The Judgment
Christ will be the Judge and all will appear before Him. The perfect justice of God and the undeniable guilt of all men and women will be plain beyond dispute. Those justified through faith in Christ will be acquitted from the guilt of sin and will receive rewards according to their faithfulness; the unbelieving will receive their final condemnation (Heb. 9:27, Acts 17:31, Rom. 2:16, Rom. 5:1).
29. Resurrection of the Body
All will rise from the dead, believers to the resurrection of life, and unbelievers to the resurrection to judgment. Christ's resurrection will be the pattern of the believer's. This will be a bodily resurrection (1 Cor. 15:23, 12-13, Jn. 5:28-29, Jn. 6:40, Lk. 24:39-43, Jn. 14:1-6, Rom. 8:34).
30. The Family (Adopted from The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message)
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
31. Marriage and Sexuality
A Divine Institution: The Bible presents marriage as a divine institution. If marriage were of human origin, then human beings would have a right to decide the kind of marital relationships to choose. Marriage, however, began with God. It was established by God at the beginning of human history when He "created the heavens and the earth" (Gen 1:1). As the Creator of marriage, God has the right to tell us which principles should govern our marital relationships. If God had left us no instructions about marriage after establishing it, then marriage could be regulated according to personal whims. But He has not left us in the dark. In His revelation contained in the pages of the Bible, God has revealed His will regarding the nature and function of marriage. As Christians who choose to live in accordance with God’s will, we must study and respect those Biblical principles governing marriage, divorce, and remarriage. In some instances, the laws of a state regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage ignore or even violate the teachings of the Bible. In such cases, as Christians, "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
The Institution of Marriage: After Adam expressed his excitement at the sight of Eve and exercised his authority by naming her, God united them in holy matrimony, saying: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh" (Gen. 2:24). This foundational statement about marriage is repeated three times in the Bible: First, by Jesus in the context of His teachings on divorce (Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:7,8) and then by Paul to illustrate the relationship of Christ to His church (Eph. 5:31).
Marriage as a Covenant: The very first description of the nature of marriage in the Bible, as consisting of leaving, cleaving and becoming one flesh (Gen. 2:24), reveals the Biblical understanding of marriage as a covenant relationship. This meaning of marriage as a covenant of companionship is expressed more explicitly later in Scripture in such passages as Malachi 2:14: ("The Lord was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.") Being a sacred covenant, human marriage serves in the Old and New Testaments as the prism through which God reveals His covenant relationship with His people and Christ with His church.
Affirmations: New Covenant Bible Church (hereinafter NCBC) affirms the following in regards to Marriage and Sexuality:
Our views flow from our commitment to God (Dt. 6:5; Matt. 22:37-38) and to His Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17; cf. Dt.32:45-47; Matt. 4:4) – in that; God created human beings as male and female (Gen. 1:27). The complementary, relational nature of the human race as “male and female” reflects the created order given by God when He created human beings “in His image” (Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1, 3; 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:7; James 3:9; cf. Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:10). It is with joy in our finitude that we are to receive the gift of being either male or female.
Scripture grants two life-enhancing options for sexual behavior: monogamous marital relations between one man and one woman (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:18, 21-24; Matt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:5-8; cf. Heb. 13:4) or sexual celibacy (1 Cor. 7:7; Matt. 19:12). Either is a gift from God, given as He wills for His glory and the good of those who receive and rejoice in His gift to them.
In Scripture monogamous heterosexual marriage bears a significance which goes beyond the regulation of sexual behavior, the bearing and raising of children, the formation of families, and the recognition of certain economic and legal rights, all of which are important. Marriage between a man and a woman is emphatically declared in Scripture to create a “one flesh” union (Gen. 2:23-24; Matt. 19:5), which in turn signifies the mystery of the union between Christ and His body, the Church (Eph. 5:22-33). This means that the foundational understanding of marriage is as a covenant grounded in promises between a man and a woman which finds its divinely intended expression in the “one flesh” union of husband and wife, and between the “one flesh” union of husband and wife and God (cf. Prov. 2:16-17; Mal. 2:14; Eph. 5:31-32).
All of human existence, including our sexuality, has been deeply damaged by the fall into sin (Gen. 3; Rom. 3:23; 5:12). We all are sinners, broken in some measure by this fall. Though Christians are rescued, reconciled, renewed and in process of sanctification, this brokenness also affects us in that we groan, as the whole creation, eager to experience final redemption knowing at present we live in a not-yet-glorified state (Rom. 8:22-23).
Everything, from our environment to our bodily genetic code, has been ravaged by sin and the fall. Whether the homosexual attractions people experience are the
product of their environment, their genetics, or another source, they are not what God intends and so do not render homosexual behavior legitimate.
All of our members, employees, and volunteers must affirm and adhere to this Doctrinal and Religious Absolute statement on marriage and human sexuality to qualify for involvement with the ministry. This is necessary to accomplish our religious mission, goals and purpose. Behavior or counter-witnessing that does otherwise will impede and burden our integrity and religious mission. We believe that God’s grace can wipe the slate of guilt and sin, though the consequences are still incurred.
32. The Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Deut. 32:39; Ps 139:1-18).
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of New Covenant Bible Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our elder board is New Covenant’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.