Calvary Baptist Church - Pottstown, PA logo

About Us

What We Believe

DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

Section 1: The Holy Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God and inerrant in the original writings. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to man, and therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their grammatical-historical and dispensational meaning (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21).

Section 2: The Godhead

We believe in the 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 perfections (Genesis 1:1; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 10:30; Acts 5:3-4; II Cor. 13:14).

Section 3: The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

A. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, 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 (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; II Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).

B. 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 was made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; I Pet. 1:3-5; 2:24).

C. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ 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 (Acts 1:9-10; Rom. 8:34; I Cor.15:1-4, 20-25; Heb. 9:24; I John 2:1-2).

D. We believe in the “blessed hope:” the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Matt. 24:44; John 14:1-3; I Thess. 4:14-18; Titus 2:11-13).

Section 4: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

A. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine person of the Godhead 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 (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 12:12-14; II Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).

B. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (I Cor. 2:9-16; Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; I John 2:20, 27).

C. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses pastors and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12).

D. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary and ended with the completion of the New Testament. We believe that speaking in tongues never has been a 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 may choose to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (I Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22).

Section 5: Creation

We believe the triune God, by a free act and for His own glory, without the use of existing materials or secondary causes, created – immediately and instantaneously in six literal days by the Word of His mouth without the process of evolution – the whole and invisible universe (Genesis 1:1-27; Exodus 20:8-11; Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3).

Section 6: Mankind

We believe that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death which is separation from God, and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are now sinners by birth and by choice, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin without defense or excuse. Mankind is therefore dead in sins. (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:17; Psalm 58:3; Rom. 1:20; 3:23; 5:12- 21; I Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3).

Section 7: Spirit Beings

We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spirit beings. One of these, though created holy by God, sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan, the Devil, the enemy of his Creator, leading a host of angels in rebellion against God. He became the prince of the power of the air and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Ezek. 28:1-19; Isa. 14:12-16; Matt. 25:41; II Cor. 4:3-4; Eph. 2:2; Col. 1:16; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 12:7-9; 20:10).

Section 8: Salvation

A. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; I Pet. 1:18-19).

B. We believe that all the redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure (eternally saved) in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; I Cor. 1:4-8; I Pet.1: 4-5).

C. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

Section 9: Final Destinies

A. 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).

B. We believe in a literal heaven. 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 Thess. 4:13-18).

C. We believe in a literal hell. 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 Thess. 1:6-9; Rev. 20:11-15).

Section 10: The Local Church

A. We believe that the local church is a company of believers in Jesus Christ; baptized on an acceptable confession of faith; associated for worship, work, fellowship, observance of the ordinances and the spread of the Gospel to all the world; and having two offices; pastor and deacon, which positions are to be held by men only (Matt. 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).

B. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; Titus 1:5-11).

C. We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 14:23; 15:19-31; 20:28; I Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; I Pet. 5:1-4).

Section 11: Ordinances

We recognize Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age.

A. Water Baptism - We believe that immersion is the only form of baptism revealed and commanded in the Scriptures, that it has no saving power, but is only for those who are already saved; and that the new birth, which comes through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is the Scriptural prerequisite to baptism; therefore, only those who are old enough to believe for themselves should be baptized (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-5).

B. Lord’s Supper - We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the death of Christ and that only those who have been saved through faith in His atoning blood and are walking in obedient fellowship with Him ought to partake of it (Acts 2:41-42; I Cor. 11:23-32). We practice close communion. This means that each time we serve the Lord’s Supper we invite any obedient believer (this includes both church members and visitors) in attendance to partake. Close communion places the responsibility upon the individual to examine his life, confess any known sin, and then partake of the juice and bread in symbolic remembrance of our Lord’s shed blood and broken body.

Section 12: Male Church Leadership

We believe that the Bible teaches that the following offices and elected servants of the church should be held only by men: Pastor, Assisting Pastors, Deacons. However, Women play a vital role in the church. If fact, it wouldn't exist without them! While the Scripture does speak to male church leadership, women of the church are of equal value and worth. (Acts 15; I Tim. 2:12, 3:1).

Section 13: Separation

We believe that separation is a doctrine as well as a practice and that the separation principle runs through the entire Bible. We believe that true spiritual fellowship is the result of common faith and practice in accordance with the Bible. We believe there are several aspects of Biblical separation.

A. Political separation – the separation of the church from the state (Luke 20:25).

B. Personal separation – the separation of the believer from the world and sin in order to serve God. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. Therefore, personal separation involves a separation from acts of sin, the world system, and false teachers (Josh. 24:15; Rom. 12:1-2; 14; II Cor. 6:14-7:1; Eph. 5:15-18; Titus 3:10; I John 2:15-17; 4:1; II John 10-11).

C. Ecclesiastical separation – the separation of the church from apostasy. While recognizing the unity of all true believers, it is also evident that unbelief and error in many organized fellowships has developed to the point where recognized apostasy exists. (II Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11-15; II Tim. 4:2-4; II John 10-11).

D. Familial separation – the separation of the believer from an erring brother, when doctrinal or ethical compromise creeps into his life or ministry. We believe that we must separate from those brethren who continue in disobedience to the Word of God. However, reconciliation is always the goal. (Matt. 18:15-19; Rom. 16:17; I Cor. 5:11; II Thess. 3:6, 14-15).

Section 14: Missions

We believe that God has given the Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available scripturally sound means to go to all people and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:20).

Section 15: Civil Government

We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. 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 infringe upon the other. The home, the church and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; I Pet. 2:13-14).

Section 16: Giving

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated by God to support his local church financially. We believe that God established the tithe as a pattern for proportionate giving. Every Christian should give offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the local church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospe. (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).

Section 17: Moral Issues

A. Abortion – We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

B. Human Sexuality – We believe that God has commanded that intimate sexual activity should not be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography, etc. are alternatives to God’s natural gift of marital 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 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4). While these actions are not supported by God in His Word, we seek to work with individuals who desire to gain victory over these areas.

C. Divorce and remarriage – We believe that marriage is a divine institution and God intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. We believe divorce is a distortion of God’s intention for marriage. Scripture does teach that there is one circumstance in which divorce may be initiated (though not required): in the case of habitual sexual unfaithfulness. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the local church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 5:31-32; 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; I Tim. 3:2, 12)

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