Lighthouse Baptist Church's Statement of Faith
By the grace of God, our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, and our faith in Him, we the members of the Lighthouse Baptist Church being completely dependent on the guidance of God’s Word and direction of the Holy Spirit, in order to establish rules and procedures with which to administer this independent local New Testament Church, do ordain and establish the following by-laws (constitution) to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
The name of this congregation of believers shall be known as the Lighthouse Baptist Church.
A. The purpose of this church is to carry out the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ, as divinely established in His Word (the Bible), who has made the local New Testament Church to be His earthly body. B. This congregation is organized as a church exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), including, but not limited to, for such purpose; the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, the building, maintaining and operating of churches, parsonages, schools (day school, Sunday school, evening school, Bible institute, college, and (or seminary), chapels, radio and television programs and stations, rescue missions, day care centers, camps, nursing homes, bus ministry, cemeteries, and print shops for printing and distribution of literature, and any other ministries that the church may be led of God to establish.) C. The church shall also ordain and license men to the Gospel ministry; evangelize the unsaved by the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; educate believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture, both in Sunday and weekday schools of the Christian education; maintain missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country; and engage in any other ministry that the church may decide, from time to time, to pursue in obedience to the will of God.
Lighthouse Baptist Church is one that believes in a supernatural Bible, which tells of a supernatural Christ, who had a supernatural birth, who spoke supernatural words, who performed supernatural miracles, who lived a supernatural life, who died a supernatural death, who rose in supernatural splendor, who intercedes as a supernatural priest and who will one day return in supernatural glory to establish a supernatural kingdom on the Earth.
We believe that holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The scriptures are the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God; inerrant, infallible, and true to the very jot and title, having no admixture of error, and therefore are the final authority for faith, life, and conduct; they are the complete and final revelation of the will of God to man, and they shall be preserved until Heaven and Earth have passed away.
A. By the “Holy Scriptures” we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, which not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.
B. By “Inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were supernaturally and verbally given by God - every word representing the very mind of the Spirit.
C. By “Preservation” we mean that God has promised to keep His divinely-inspired Word pure, complete, and free from error throughout all generations.
We accept the Authorized 1611 version (King James Version) of the Bible as God’s fulfillment of His promise of preservation to us as English speaking Christians. We believe this version to be an accurate translation of the pure line of manuscripts, these manuscripts being the Masorectic Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Byzantine (Textus Receptus, Majority Text) manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. (II Tim. 3:15-17; Rom. 3:2,10;15:4; II Pet. 1:19-21;3:16; I Pet.1:24,25; Isa.8:20;40:7; Acts 28:23; Jer.8:9;23:29; Luke 16:29,24:27; Matt. 22:29;24:35; Heb. 1:1;4:12; Ps. 12:6,7;119:9,89;105;138:2; Prov.30:5; Gal.1:8,9; I Jn. 5:11; Rev. 3:10;22:18,19)
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations - the age of law, the age of the church, and the age of the kingdom - are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen. 1:28; I Cor. 9:17; II Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3: 13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25,27; Rev. 20:2-6)
We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfection’s.
A. We believe God the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding of, nor from any other. He is the loving Father of all who, by faith in Jesus Christ, are adopted into His family. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13-14; John 14:10,26)
B. We believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead; and, that He ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of representative, intercessor, and advocate. (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2,14; Acts 1:9-10; 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 8:34; II Cor.5:19-21; Eph.1:7; Col.4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; I Pet. 1:3-5; 2:24; I John 2:1-2)
C. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person eternally proceeding from God the Father and God the Son. He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son, who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption; and that He is the divine teacher who enlightens, guides, endues, sanctifies, and empowers the believer for godly living and service. (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 12:12-14; II Cor. 3:6; Eph 1:13-14;17,18; 5:18; I John 2:20,27)
We believe the Son of God, in the fullness of time, took upon Himself man’s nature with all the properties and infirmities, yet without sin; and, that He was conceived, in a miraculous manner, by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. Both the divine and human nature are inseparably joined in the person of Christ, yet these natures remain unmixed and without confusion - that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son - the one mediation between God and man.
We believe that man was created in innocence, in the image and likeness of God, but by voluntary transgression fell from the sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, with an inherited sinful nature, alienated from God and is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. In that, God did not author nor promote man’s sinful nature, man cannot blame God for his own willful rejection of Jesus Christ. (Gen.1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; I Pet. 1:18-19)
We believe that the salvation of sinners is the gift of God, wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death and shed blood made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the just dying for the unjust, that we may have the forgiveness of sins, imputed to our account, in response, to the putting of our faith in the precious blood that Jesus shed for sinful mankind. (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; Heb. 7:27; 9:11-15,22; 13:12,20; I Pet. 1:18,19)
We believe in the Genesis account of Creation, that God was the creator of all things, visible and invisible, who in six literal, 24-hour periods, created and prepared “Heaven and Earth and the sea, and all things that are therein;” that man was created of the dust of the ground, directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of specie, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animals and vegetable life was made directly and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind”. (Gen 1-2; Ex. 20:11; John 1:3; Col. 1:16,17)
We 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 malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power source of the present apostasy, the lord of the antichrist; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire, a place prepared for him and his angels. (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10)
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. Many storms and floods arise and beat against the children of God, yet they shall never be shaken or taken off the foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; as they are engraven upon the palms of the Savior’s hands.
The Christian however, through the temptation of Satan, the world, and their own sinful flesh, may fall into grievous sins and for a time continue therein; yet they will most definitely incur God’s displeasure, grieve the Holy Spirit and ,except there be a forsaking of sin, there will be a grievous chastening; though it is a privilege as believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation, the testimony of God’s Word clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1,38,39; 13:13-14; I Cor. 1:4-8; Gal. 5:13; I Pet. 1:4-5; Titus 2:11-15)
We believe that the local church is a visible congregation of baptized believers, which constitutes the body and the espoused bride of Christ; and, that Jesus Christ is the Rock upon which the true New Testament Church is built upon; and, that the establishment and continuance of the local church is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference and control of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, and that the one and only head is Christ, the chief shepherd; and, that every church is the sole and only judge on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, and, that the will of the local church is final; we recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Acts 13:1-4; 14:27; 20:17,28-32; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom.16:1,4; I Cor 3:9,16; 5:4-7,13; 12:12-14; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; I Pet. 5:1-4; I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)
A. BAPTISM: We believe that Christian baptism is by immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and, that it is invalid unless it is performed by the proper authority, which is to be the local New Testament Church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with it’s effect in our death to sin and resurrection to walk in newness of life; and, that it is a pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord’s Supper. (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41,42; 18:18; Rom. 6:3-5)
B. LORD’S SUPPER: We believe the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper the same night wherein He was betrayed, to be observed in His churches unto the end of the world for the perpetual remembrance of His sacrificial death, and His speedily return. The elements are unleavened bread, typifying our Lord’s broken body and the unfermented fruit of the vine, typifying our Lord’s shed blood remitting our sins; the partaking of the Lord’s Supper is always preceded by a solemn self-examination of one’s own heart and life. (Ex. 12:48; Luke 22:15-18; I Cor. 11:23-26)
We believe that all that are saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord; and, that separation from all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded by God. We believe that separation from all religious apostasy, is essential to maintaining the blessings of God upon the life of the church and the ministries thereof. (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; IICor. 6:14-7:1; II Tim. 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11)
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry; and, that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit; and, that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor 1:22; 12:4-11,28; 13:8; 14:21-22; Eph. 4:7-12)
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions:
A. THE HOME -- We believe in the honorable state if matrimony between two believers of different sex, as God first instituted in paradise between Adam and Eve: and, that it is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord, thus obeying Christ’s command to not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; and, that if one party is married to an unbeliever, the other should not leave the unbelieving party, but should pray and remain faithful so that they may be won by their conversation; and, that it is the privilege of both, to be fruitful and multiply as God so chooses.
B. THE CHURCH -- (refer to Article II, Section X)
C. THE STATE -- We believe and confess that God has instituted civil government for the punishment of the wicked and the protection of the persons life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and, that civil magistrates, being set up by God, with the laws and regulations that are prescribed, ought to be obeyed by us, in the Lord; not only for punishment, but for conscience sake; and, that prayers and supplications ought to be lifted up for those in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.
Every person is subject to these authorities, but ALL (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to interfere upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibilities under God. (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; I Pet. 2:13-14)
We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies; and, that divorce and remarriage is regarded by God as adultery. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the office of Pastor and/or Deacon. (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; I Tim. 3:2,12; Titus 1:6)
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being; and, that abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life; and, that abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth and/or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
We believe that God has given to the local church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel, near and far, to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and, that as Ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to the lost world and not wait for them to first come to us. Having a deep love and devotion to the Lord first, then a love and burden for lost souls perishing, is the heart of evangelism and missionary endeavors; and, knowing it is God who alone can save souls through the finished work of Christ, yet it our responsibility as individual Christians to redeem the time, laboring earnestly for the redemption of men’s soul. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:20)
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes; and, that the church possesses all resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company, as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (I Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32)
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially; and, that God has established the tithe (a tenth) as a basis for giving; but, that every Christian is, also obligated by God, to give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spreading of the Gospel; and, that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe and/or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; I Tim. 5:17-18; I John 3:17)
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman; and, that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, beastiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5,13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
We believe that God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; and, that all we have and are, we owe to Him. Christians are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God; and that the tithe is to be considered the starting place of Christian stewardship. (Luke 12:42; 16:1-4; I Cor. 4:2; Titus 1:7; I Pet. 4:10)
We believe the primary responsibility of education was given to the home and the church; and, that our children should be taught subjects from a Christian point of view; and, that the education of children should include informing them of the necessity of a personal salvation experience with Jesus Christ.
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day and is to be kept sacred for religious purposes by abstaining from all secular labor, except works of mercy and necessity.
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life.
We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life in principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; and, that justification has nothing to do with moral improvement, but with judicial standing.
We believe faith is a work performed by the Spirit of Christ and enables the sinner to trust, believe, and rely upon the veracity of the Scriptures and the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; and, that saving faith is not based on feelings, but rather upon the fact of the Gospel; and, that saving faith is accompanied by works, otherwise, faith is dead and has no value.
C. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and, that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on Earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
We believe all those who are justified and redeemed through Jesus Christ are made partakers of the grace of adoption, which in relation to salvation is a legal relationship; and, that the adopted enjoy the liberties and privileges as the children of God, having received the spirit of adoption; they also will have access to come with boldness to the throne of grace; and, that as children of God are pitied, protected, provided for and chastened by Him, as by a father.
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ started His church, builded it upon Himself and His apostles, and purchased it with His own blood; and, although many are false that go by the same name, the Lord’s New Testament church is the Independent Baptist Church which has been preserved and perpetuated for over 1900 years. We contend that our origin DID NOT precede from the Roman Catholic Church; therefore, we are not to be considered an offspring of the Protestant Reformation. One can trace the Lord’s true church through the Montanists (2nd C), the Novations, and Donatists (also called Anabaptists) (3rd C), the Waldenses, Paulicians, and Albigenses (Middle Ages).
We believe in and accept the sacred scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value.
A. THE ETERNAL STATE
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28,29; 11:25.26; Rev.20:5,6,12,13).
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord; where in special bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; II Cor.5:8; Phil. 1:12,3:21; I Thes. 4:16,17; Rev. 20:4-6).
We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the Second Resurrection, when with the soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; II Thes. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
B. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
The first phase, referred to as the Rapture, when those who have died in Christ have their bodies raised incorruptible, and we which are still living shall be changed in a moment - in the twinkling of an eye - and shall then be translated from this old vile world to be with our Lord and Saviour and inhabit the place He has prepared for us.
The second phase referred to as the Revelation, is at the close of The Great Tribulation in which the Battle of Armageddon will be terminated; the Lord and King Jesus Christ will come with His saints following and riding upon white horses to take fiery vengeance upon the Anti-Christ, the False Prophet, and all unbelievers.
C. THE BEMA-SEAT OF CHRIST
We believe this is not a judgment which determines one’s destination, nor is it a judgment concerning the sins and transgressions committed on the Earth; but, is a judgment to test what every individual Christian did or didn’t do for their Lord, and to reveal their motives that we may be rewarded accordingly.
D. THE GREAT TRIBULATION
We believe the time of “Jacob’s Trouble”, follows the event known as the rapture, and is terminated by the Lord’s coming during the Battle of Armageddon; and, that the time span is seven years, divided in the middle (called the abomination of desolation) making the last three and one half years many times more vile and devastating than the first; and, that this is a time of terrible judgment upon Israel and the inhabitants of the Earth, who have not been blessed to be part of the Rapture.
E. RESTORATION OF ISRAEL
We believe the Lord of Zion will bring His people (Israel) back to the promised land, and He shall be their King; and, that He has left a remnant which will be regenerated and converted; and, that Israel will recognize their Redeemer, the Messiah of Israel and the Jesus of Nazareth, followed by unfeigned repentance and godly sorrow.
F. THE MILLENNIUM
We believe and contend that the Lord’s reign is literal, universal, and physical; and, that it shall follow the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Battle of Armageddon, and the binding of Satan; and, that Jesus, who is Kings of Kings, shall sit on the throne of David and shall rule with a rod of iron dashing His enemies into pieces. The thousand year Sabbath shall be enjoyed by every Christian as we will be in our glorified bodies reigning with Christ.
G. THE UNIVERSE
We believe that God is going to make all things new; and, that God will cause the Earth to burn up with a fervent heat, purifying it into His holiness, and making a new Heaven and a new Earth for His children to enjoy.
H. THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
We believe God hath appointed a day wherein He will judge the world in righteousness; and, that in that day not only the fallen angles, but likewise all those who have died in their sins, shall appear before Christ; and, that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of God are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and, that this distinction holds among men both in and after death; the everlasting felicity of the sealed and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.