Revised March 2018
- We believe the Bible is God's inspired, inerrant, infallible Word1, which serves as our final authority in faith and practice, and is true in all that it affirms and is sufficient to lead every person to find salvation2 and live a joyful life that pleases God in every way.3 It is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, beliefs, and opinions should be evaluated.4
- We believe in one infinite and personal God, the holy, just, self-existent, boundless, good, loving Creator and Sustainer of all things eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each equal in power and glory. He has made himself known in creation and throughout history in mighty acts and through his Word—Jesus Christ being that Word incarnate.5 His purposes are always accomplished.6
- We believe in the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Trinity7, who took on human nature when the Holy Spirit overshadowed the virgin Mary causing her to conceive and give birth to Jesus Christ8, who uniquely was both fully God and fully man9.
- We believe Jesus Christ redeemed sinners from God’s infinite and just penalty against sin by obeying God’s law in every way10, dying for our sins on the cross, satisfying God’s wrath by the blood of his atoning death11, crediting believers with his righteousness, and proclaiming the surety of our salvation with his physical resurrection from the dead.12 Jesus Christ is humanity’s sole hope for salvation.13
- We believe Jesus ascended to heaven, remaining both fully God and fully man14, where he now sits at the right hand of God interceding for believers forever, from which he will return bodily to judge the living and the dead.15
- We believe the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity16, convicts the world of sin and righteousness17 and that He regenerates, indwells, and seals all believers until the Day of the Lord.18
- We believe the Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures19, guides Christians toward the truth of God's Word.20 The duty and privilege of every Christian is to be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit.21
- We believe the Holy Spirit, sanctifies believers, from regeneration to glorification, transforming them into the image of Christ22, by leading them to put sin to death and live by faith in God, making them partakers of his holiness.23
- We believe the Holy Spirit gives individual Christians diverse gifts for the common good of the church.24
- We believe that Satan is a personal being. He is the enemy of God, the accuser25, and tempter26, of God’s people, and the deceiver of all men.27 Christians should not fear Satan but resist him knowing he is God’s defeated enemy28, not equal29, destined along with all those who follow him to eternal punishment in the lake of fire.30
- We believe God created Adam and Eve “very good” as the only creatures in His own image and likeness, both male and female, innocent and fully able to worship, glorify, and enjoy God, exercising dominion over the earth as stewards.31
Gender and Sexuality
- We believe God created both genders, male and female, equal in dignity and value with physically and spiritually complementary roles both in the home and in the church.32
- We believe God designed marriage to unite one man and one woman in a lifelong, joyful covenant of love to display the profound mystery of Christ and His church.33
- We believe God gifts some individuals with singleness that they may serve him more freely without the cares that come with marriage and its attendant responsibilities.34
- We believe God created sex for marriage, and all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin.35
- We believe Adam's intentional disobedience36 of God's command37 initiated mankind's rebellion against God.38 Therefore all mankind became sinners by nature and by choice.39 Mankind is subsequently inclined toward evil40, alienated from God, and stands judged without defense or excuse.41 Adam’s Fall subjected relationships to brokenness and creation to corruption.42
- We believe that, apart from the grace of Jesus Christ, the whole of humanity stands justly condemned by God as rebellious sinners and therefore worthy of eternal punishment.43
- We believe that the salvation of sinners is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone44, whom the Father sent to take upon himself our nature freely, yet without sin, to fulfill God's law and die in our place45, and having risen bodily from the dead to sit enthroned in heaven as both Lord and Savior.46
- We believe that everyone who repents and believes the gospel stands justified before God not because of any human works but solely on the basis of the righteousness of Christ credited to the believer's account through faith in the Redeemer's death on our behalf, resulting in the pardon of sin and adoption as Children of God to eternal life.47
- We believe Jesus Christ is the head of the universal church—the body and bride of Christ. It is made up of all the children of God throughout the ages.48
- We believe local churches are God's plan for glorifying himself by making disciples of all nations through the proclamation of the gospel.49 Local churches consist of elders, deacons, and members.50
- We believe faithful church membership is the proper context for engaging in the “one anothers” of the Bible51, exercising spiritual gifts52, observing the ordinances of baptism and communion, and practicing church discipline.53
- We believe Christians should be baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit upon repentance and credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.54
- We believe baptized believers take part in communion with Christ and one another by eating the bread and drinking the cup in commemoration of their Savior’s death on their behalf and their right relationship with God and faithful fellowship with other believers.
- We believe the right exercise of church discipline is necessary to protect and promote the purity of the church.55
- We believe Jesus will soon return bodily to conquer his enemies and create new heavens and a new earth where all of God’s children will dwell with him forever in glory.
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people—the unsaved to a judgment of eternal conscious punishment in Hell56 and the saved to eternal life.
1. 1 Thess 2:13; Heb 4:12; Rev 19:13 ↩
2. John 5:39; 2 Tim 3:15–16 ↩
3. 2 Peter 1:3 ↩
4. Biblical allusions to inerrancy: Prov 30:5–6; Matt 5:17–19; 1 Sam 15:29 with 1 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 3:16.
Resources on biblical inerrancy and authority: The Doctrine of the Word of God, John Frame; The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to Biblical Authority, Gregory Beale; The Scripture Cannot Be Broken, John MacArthur, et al.; Inerrancy and Worldview: Answering Modern Challenges to the Bible, Vern Poythress; Defending Inerrancy: Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation, Norman Geisler, William Roach; “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy,” International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978; “Why I Am ‘Comfortable’ with Inerrancy,” Roger Nicole; “Evidence for Inerrancy,” Stephen Wellum; “Inerrancy” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Wayne Grudem; “What is Inerrancy,” John Piper; “Inerrancy: Did God Really Say . . . ?” T4G Panel, 2012; “Did Fundamentalists Invent Inerrancy?” John Woodbridge; Taking God at His Word, Kevin DeYoung.
Resources on the distinction between inerrancy and infallibility: “Inspiration, Infallibility, Inerrancy” (or audio), R. C. Sproul/Ligonier Ministries; “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy,” Article XI, and exposition; “Can the Bible Have Errors but Still Be Infallible?” Norman Geisler; “The Cambridge Declaration,” Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. ↩
5. John 1:1–3, 14, 18; John 14:9–11; Heb 1:1–3 ↩
6. Ps 115:3; Isa 46:9–10; Eph 1:11
Biblical monotheism: Gen 1:1; Exod 20:1–6; Deut 5:6–10; 6:4–9; 32:39; Josh 24:14–27; Isa 45:5–7, 18; 46:9–10; John 14:6–7; Acts 4:12; 17:24–31; Rom 16:27; 1 Cor 15:27–28; Rev 1:8; 22:13.
Biblical trinitarianism: Gen 1:26; Matt 28:17–20; Luke 3:22; John 10:30; 14:1–11; 15:26; Heb 1:1–6.
Resources on theology proper (the doctrine of God): The Trinity, Augustine; The Existence and Attributes of God, Stephen Charnock; No One Like Him, John Feinberg; The Doctrine of God, John Frame; The Doctrine of God, Gerald Bray; The Providence of God, Paul Helm; Perspectives on the Doctrine of God, Bruce Ware, Paul Helm; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance, Bruce Ware. ↩
7. John 1:1–3, 14, 18; 8:58 ↩
8. Isa 7:14; 9.6–7; Matt 1:23; Luke 1:35; Phil 2.5–11 ↩
9. Ps 2:7; John 3:16; Acts 13:33; Heb 1:5; 5:5 ↩
10. John 8:29; Rom 3:21–26; 8:1–4; 2 Cor 5:21; Col 2:13–14; Gal 3:10–14 ↩
11. John 10:10–18; Gal 2:20; Heb 2:9; 9:18–28; 1 John 3:16 ↩
12. Acts 2:29–36; 13:30–39; 17:30–31 ↩
13. Resources on Christology: On the Incarnation, Athanasius; Christologia: A Declaration of the Glorious Mystery of the Person of Christ: God and Man, John Owen; God the Son Incarnate: The Doctrine of Christ, Stephen Wellum; Christ Alone, Stephen Wellum; The Person of Christ, Donald Macleod; The Work of Christ, Robert Letham; Christ in Christian Tradition: From the Apostolic Age to Chalcedon (451), Aloys Grillmeier (additional volumes by Grillmeier advance the history of Christology). ↩
14. Acts 1:9; 7:55–56; 1 Tim 2.5 ↩
15. Acts 1:10–11; 10:42; Rom 8:34; 2 Tim 4:1, 8; 1 Pet 4:5; Heb 1:3; 7:23–25; 9:27–28 ↩
16. The Holy Spirit as divine: he creates, Gen 1.2; Luke 1:35; he is omniscient, Acts 5:3; 1 Cor 2:10; his will is sovereign, Acts 15:28; 21:11; he is the “Spirit of God,” 26x in Scripture; and the “Spirit of Christ,” Rom 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11. ↩
17. John 16:7–11 ↩
18. John 3:1–8; 14:17; Rom 2:29; 8:13–14; 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Cor 1:22; Gal 5:16–25; Eph 1:13–14; 2:22; 4:30; Phil 1:6; 3:3 ↩
19. 1 Peter 1:10–12; 2 Peter 1:19–21; 1 Tim 5:18/Luke 10:7; cf. Lev 19.13; Deut 25:4; 1 Cor 9:7–14 ↩
20. John 14:15–17, 26; 15:26; 16:13–14 ↩
21. Rom 8:13–17; Gal 5:25; Eph 5:18 ↩
22. Num 11:29; Ezek 36:26–27; Joel 2:28–29; John 14:26; Acts 2:4, 16–21; 4:31; 1 Cor 6:11; Gal 5:16, 25; Eph 5:18; Phil 1:9–11; 2:12–13; 1 John 2:20, 27 ↩
23. Rom 8:13–17; 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Cor 3:18; 5:16–17; 2 Peter 1:3–4; Heb 10:26–29; 12:10, 14; 1 John 3:6, 9–10 ↩
24. Rom 12:6–9; 1 Cor 12:4–13; 1 Peter 4:8–11
Resources on the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit, John Owen; The Holy Spirit, A. W. Pink; The Holy Spirit, Sinclair Ferguson; Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12–14, D. A. Carson. ↩
25. Zech 3:1–3; Rev 12:10 ↩
26. Gen 3:1–5; Matt 4:1–3; 1 Thess 3:5 ↩
27. John 8:44; 2 Cor 11:14; 1 John 2:22; Rev 20:2–3, 8–10 ↩
28. Matt 10:28; Heb 2:14; 1 Peter 5:8–11; James 4:7; 1 John 3:8b; 4:4; 5:18 ↩
29. Isa 45:12, 18; Zech 3:2; Jude 9 ↩
30. Rev 19:20; 20:10
Resources on Satan: The Adversary, His Person, Power, and Purpose: A Study In Satanology, William A. Matson. ↩
31. Gen 1:26–28, 31; 2:7; 2:20–25; Eccl 7:29; 1 Cor 11:8–12; 1 Tim 2:13
Mankind as unique in creation: Gen 1:26; 9:5–6; Ps 8:4–8; Phil 2:5–10; Heb 2:16–17.
Resources on theological anthropology: Created in God’s Image, Anthony Hoekema; Personal Identity in Theological Perspective, Richard Lints, et al.; Preserving the Person, C. Stephen Evans; “Hylemorphic Dualism,” David S. Oderberg; The Doctrine of Humanity, Charles Sherlock.
Resources on complementarianism and egalitarianism: Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, et al.; Recovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, Ronald Pierce, Rebecca Merrill Groothius, et al.; Women in the Church: An Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9–15, Tom Schreiner, Andreas Köstenberger; Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry, Stanley Grenz, Denise Muir Kjesbo.↩
32. Deut 22:5; cf. 1 Cor 11:14–15; Rom 1:18–32; 1 Cor 6:12–20 ↩
33. Gen 2:18–25; Matt 19:3–9; Eph 5:22–32 ↩
34. 1 Cor 7:6–8, 32–35, 40 ↩
35. Matt 19:3–9; 1 Cor 6:12–20
Resources on Christian Worldview: Creation Regained, Albert Wolters; The Universe Next Door, James Sire; Life’s Ultimate Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy, Ronald Nash.
Resources on biblical manhood and womanhood: Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, et al.; Divine Design: God’s Complementary Roles for Men and Women, John MacArthur.
Resources on gender and sexuality: “The Nashville Statement” on biblical sexuality, CBMW; What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?, Kevin DeYoung; Is God Anti-Gay?, Sam Allberry; The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield; God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines, R. Albert Mohler, et al.; “Statement on Marriage, Gender and Sexuality,” Five Points Community Church.
Resources on marriage and singleness: Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life, Barry Danylak; Jonathan and Sarah: An Uncommon Union, Edna Gerstner; The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, Timothy Keller; This Momentary Marriage, John Piper. ↩
36. Gen 3:6, 17; 1 Tim 2:13a ↩
37. Gen 2:17 ↩
38. Gen 3:17–19, 22–24; 1 Kings 8:46; Ps 14:2–3; 53:2–3; Eccl 7:20; Rom 3:9–12, 23; 5:12–21; 1 Cor 15:21–22 ↩
39. Ps 51:5; 1 Kings 8:46; Eccl 7:20; Rom 5:19; 1 Cor 6:11; 15:22, 48–49; Eph 2.1–3; Rom 3:19–23; 7:6–11; 8:1–4; 2 Cor 5:21; Col 2:13–14; Gal 3:10–12, 22; Heb 12:14 ↩
40. Gen 6:5; Ps 14:2–3; 53:2–3; 119:136; Rev 13:3b ↩
41. Ps 89:48; Isa 40:10, 15–17; Dan 4:34–35; John 3:17–18, 36; Rom 1:20; Eph 2.12 ↩
42. Resources on the Fall: Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, Cornelius Plantinga; Fallen: A Theology of Sin, Christopher Morgan, D. A. Carson, et al.; Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Jonathan Edwards; Freedom of the Will, Jonathan Edwards; The Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther.
Resources on the problem of evil: The Many Faces of Evil, John Feinberg; How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil, D. A. Carson; God, Freedom, and Evil, Alvin Plantinga. ↩
43. John 3:17–21, 36: Rom 3:9–23; 1 John 5:19 ↩
44. John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom 10:8–13; 1 John 4:15; 5:10–13 ↩
45. Isa 53:11–12; Mark 10:45; John 8:29; 10:10–18; 12:49–50; Rom 3:21–26; 8:1–4; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10–14; Col 2:13–14; Heb 2:9, 17–18; 4:15; 9:18–28; 10:28 ↩
46. Acts 2:36; Phil 2:6–11; Heb 1:3 ↩
47. Matt 26:28; Mark 10:45; Luke 9:23; John 6:29; Acts 2:38–39; 16:30–31; Rom 1:5; 5:1–2; 10:9–13; 16:25–26; 2 Cor 3:16–18; Eph 2:8–10; Phil 1:6; 2 Tim 2:19; Titus 3:5–7; Heb 2:9; 10:26–31; 1 John 3:9–10; 2:19; 5:18; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:39; Rom 1:16–17; 10:9–17
Resources on justification: Saved by Grace, Anthony Hoekema; The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen; Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray.
Resources on sanctification: The Mortification of Sin, John Owen; Knowledge of the Holy: A. W. Tozer; Knowing God: J. I. Packer; Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges; A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, J. I. Packer; Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis. ↩
48. Eph 2.13–22; 5.25–27, 31–32; 1 Tim 3:15; Heb 12:22–23 ↩
49. Matt 28:18–20; Eph 3:10; 4:11–16 ↩
50. Acts 2:42; 6:2–3; 14:23; 1 Cor 14:26–40; Eph 4:11–16; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9 ↩
51. E.g., John 13:34–35; 15:12; Rom 12:10; 1 Cor 11:33; Gal 6:2; Eph 5:19–21; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 5:11; Heb 10:24–25; James 5:16; 1 Peter 4:8–10; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7–12 ↩
52. Rom 12:6–9; 1 Cor 12:4–13; 1 Peter 4:8–11 ↩
53. Matt 18:15–20; 1 Cor 11:23–26; 1 Cor 5; 2 Cor 2.5–11 ↩
54. Acts 2:38; 8:34–38; 9:18; 10:47–48; 16:33; 22:16 ↩
55. Matt 18:15–18; 1 Cor 5.9–13
Resources on ecclesiology: Sojourners and Strangers, Gregg Allison; The Church, Edmund P. Clowney; Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Mark Dever; What is a Healthy Church Member?, Thabiti Anyabwile; I Am a Church Member, Thom Rainer; Discipling, Mark Dever; Church Elders, Mark Dever; Understanding Church Leadership, Jonathan Leeman; Understanding the Congregation’s Authority, Jonathan Leeman.
Resources on the ordinances of the church: Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper, John Armstrong, et al.; Understanding Four Views on Baptism, Tom Nettles, et al.; Understanding Baptism, Bobby Jamieson; Understanding the Lord’s Supper, Bobby Jamieson; Understanding Church Discipline, Jonathan Leeman. ↩
56. Isa 26:19; Dan 12:2–3; Isa 66:24; Mark 9:47–48; John 5:28–29; 2 Thess 1:5–10; Rev 19:20; 20:10–15. The term “Hell,” here, is used colloquially in reference to the final state (rather than the place—i.e., “Hades”—where the unrighteous dead await their final state of being cast, along with death, into the Lake of fire [Rev 20:14]).
Resources on eschatology: The Bible and the Future, Anthony Hoekema; The Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell, Paul Helm; Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, Christopher Morgan, et al.; Heaven, Christopher Morgan, et al.; Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond, Craig L. Blaising, et al. ↩
The Church Covenant to be adhered to by all members of Trinity Bible Church: Depending on the leading and enabling of the Holy Spirit, we make a sincere commitment to constantly strive:
- To honor the Lord Jesus Christ as we apply the teachings of His Word to our own lives and seek to grow in His likeness.
- To accept and love one another as God has loved us in Christ—sacrificially and without discrimination.
- To show our love in warm, open friendliness and practical care for one another; sharing our real needs, our joys, and our sorrows.
- To become personally involved with one another so that we build each other up in spiritual understanding and growth toward Christian maturity.
- To be considerate and kind to one another, slow to take offense and quick to forgive and to ask forgiveness.
- To pray for our Church, its pastors and staff; to pray for and with one another.
- To faithfully support the services of our Church, and to help in its ministries according to our spiritual gifts and as we have opportunity.
- To give regularly, generously, and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the evangelizing of the world.
- To be faithful in personal Bible reading and prayer, and in family devotions if possible.
- To bring up our children in the teaching and discipline of the Scriptures and to be examples to them of consistent Christian living.
- To live in the world as responsible, godly citizens, people of integrity, whose lives are above reproach.
- To preserve loyalty to biblical truth and to promote unity and growth in our Church.
- To be actively involved in sharing the gospel of Christ with others by personal example, prayer, and the spoken word.