Statement of Faith Capitol Allentown Baptist Church

FaithThis doctrinal Statement of Faith reflects the broad, conservative tradition of Capitol Allentown Baptist Church which is consistent with the teachings of the Bible and which has stood the test of time and experience. We specifically adhere to the following doctrinal truths:

God

We believe the Bible declares in Deuteronomy 6:4 that there is only ONE God, which according to 1 John 5:1-7 is revealed in THREE distinct persons. There is ONE Divine nature existing eternally in three persons, the Father, The Word (the Son / our Lord Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. God is eternally self-existent as revealed in Exodus 3:14, 1 Timothy 2:5 and 1 Corinthians 8:6. God is unchanging in Divine Nature and Character according to Malachi 3:6 and James 5:17

God the Father

The Father is Spirit by nature and distinction according to John 4:24, but not to be confused with the person of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word, Old and New Testaments, consistently refer to the Father in distinction from the other two persons of the Eternal Trinity. He functions as the final Master of Divine Decree and Plan for Eternity, Heaven and Earth according to John 5:17-30.

God the Son – Jesus Christ

His Deity

Jesus Christ is absolute Deity as set forth in John 5:17-30, Colossians 1:17 and Hebrews 1:8. Jesus was active at Creation as witnessed in John 1:1-3. He is eternally the Son of God in Position within the Divine God-head as stated in Psalm 2:7.

His Pre-Existence (as God the Son)

Jesus, whose name means “salvation”, was pre-existent to his earthly life according to John 1:1 and John 8:58. Jesus’ coming is prophesied in the Old Testament in such notable passages as Genesis 3:15; Psalm 22 and Isaiah 9.

His Virgin Birth

Jesus was born of a virgin by special work of the Holy Spirit according to Matthew 1:16, which was prophesied in Isaiah 9. His virgin birth is both miraculous and is evident in the Scriptures from the beginning as promised by the phrase the “seed of the woman” in Genesis 3:15. To deny the virgin birth of Jesus is to deny His sinless humanity and His Divine origin.

His Humanity (Perfect and Sinless)

In His humanity He lost nothing of His deity as can be witnessed by the transfiguration recorded in Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2. In His humanity He was perfect and sinless according to 2 Corinthians 5:21and Hebrews 4:15. His coming as a man while still being wholly God is spoken about in Philippians chapter 2 and is one of the great “mysteries” of the work of God to redeem mankind as recorded in1 Timothy 3:16.

His Purpose for Coming

His purpose, during His first advent, was to “seek and to save that which was lost” and to ultimately provide Himself as a permanent sacrifice for the sin of mankind as stated in Hebrews 10:12. In addition His purpose was to train disciples (followers) to tell others about the Good News of God’s salvation and persuade others to be followers of Jesus (Matt 28:18-20). In addition, His appearance is in part a sign to the nation of Israel that because of their disobedience and lack of faith, God’s plan for salvation would become available to not only Jews but also to Gentiles according to Jesus’ own witness in John chapter 10.

His Physical Death and Physical Resurrection

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ died a literal (physical) death at the hands of Roman soldiers on a cross. The gospel accounts teach that His suffering was real, personal and agonizing in every aspect.  The Bible also clearly states in John 10:18 that no man could take the Lord’s life, it was a voluntary act on His part to die on our behalf. Jesus was buried in a real tomb and his body lay there for three days and nights. The Bible also clearly states that on the third day, which was the first day of the week (Sunday), that Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead. This resurrection was not merely “metaphysical” or “spiritual” but was the permanent revitalization of His physical body to a “glorified” state that would never suffer death or physical corruption again. (see Matthew 28:1-7; Acts 3:10; 13:30-34; Romans 6:9; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:42; Ephesians 1:20; 2 Timothy 2:8)

His Physical Ascension and Physical Return.

Acts 1:9 records that Jesus physically ascended into the clouds 40 days after His resurrection. At that same time the angels clearly promised in Acts 1:11, to the followers of Jesus gathered on the Mount of Olives, that He would return in the same way that He left. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 teaches us that Jesus will come in the “air” to “catch away” those who believe in Him and that we will be with Him forever. The New Testament writers were adamant and expectant that Jesus would physically return for those who trusted in Him.

His Position as High Priest

Hebrews 5:5-10 states that Jesus was declared by the Father to be an eternal High Priest following the pattern set by Melchizedek. He replaces the line of Aaron and has become the eternal mediator between God and Man. No earthly man, who is not also God, may become a “high priest forever.” His role as High Priest also causes him to be the “author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” As noted in Hebrews 5:9.

God the Holy Spirit

The Bible states that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person equal with the Father and the Son and is the same in substance and Nature. (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit was active at Creation as witnessed in Genesis 1:2. The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to be another (equal in ability and position) comforter to his followers after His ascension according to John 14:16 and 16:7-11. The Holy Spirits particular work in this age is to convict men of sin, righteousness and judgment according to John 16:8-11. The Holy Spirit was the active member of the Godhead in producing the human body of Christ in the virgin Mary according to Matthew 1:18.  The Holy Spirit is the invisible, yet ever-present member of the God-head that bears direct witness to God’s truth in this age according to John 16:13-14. The Holy Spirit seals (permanently marks) the believer in God and Christ according to 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13 and Ephesians 4:30. The Holy Spirit gives special gifts to believers for the purpose of building the Church according to Romans chapter 12, 1 Corinthians chapter 12-14 and Ephesians 4:11-12. The Bible declares in 2 Corinthians 6:16. The Holy Spirit directly indwells (lives within) each person who confesses Christ as Savior. (Ezekiel 37:14; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 1:22)

The Bible

We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is the “God-breathed” (2 Tim 3:16) Word of God and is according to 2 Timothy 3:15 profitable for doctrine (teaching), reproof (evidence), correction and righteous instruction. The Bible, as it agrees with the original autographs, is infallible and inerrant. 1 Peter 1:20-21 states that the Bible is the direct work of God’s Spirit and did not come to us by the “will of man.” As such, it is to be the FINAL authority for faith and practice in the life of one who believes and follows our Lord Jesus Christ.

Creation

We believe the Bible declares that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” According to the Genesis account, this creation was accomplished in six LITERAL days (24 hour periods) and includes all earthly creatures as well as the creation of mankind. The Bible inherently denies the theory of evolution (Genesis chapters 1&2 & Romans chapter 1:18-21) and declares that ONLY mankind was created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26)

Satan

We believe the Bible states that Satan, also known as Lucifer and the Devil, is a created angel, in particular one of the Cherubim. (Ezekiel 28:13-19). Lucifer sinned against God because his heart was “lifted up” (he was filled with pride and believed he was greater than God) according to Ezekiel chapter 28. Satan came as a serpent in the Garden and tempted Eve with promises she could be like God according to Genesis chapter 3. He is the Father of lies, a murderer, and full of lusts according to Jesus. (John 8:44). He is the unholy “god” of this age who blinds the minds of people so they do not see the glorious Good News of God according to 2 Corinthians 4:4. He appears as an “angel of light” as recorded in 2 Corinthians 11:14. He is the “accuser of the brethren” according to Revelation 12:10 and is the adversary of every follower of Jesus who “moves about like a roaring lion, raging about seeking who he may devour” according to 1 Peter 5:8. Satan is destined to judgment, 1000 years of bondage (Revelation 20:1-3) and eternal punishment in the “lake of fire” according to Revelation 20:10.

Salvation; Faith; Repentance & Grace

We believe the definition of Biblical (and thus spiritual) Salvation: Salvation is the rescue of mankind from God’s wrath and eternal punishment for sin. Salvation is provided wholly and only by God and is not based upon any personal merit or effort on mankind’s part. Salvation is freely offered as a gift to ANY who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and once received provides a restored relationship with God and the promise of eternal fellowship with God. The only requirement for a person to be saved is to trust on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who died in your place and for your sins. (Romans 10:9-13)

The Church

1. The Purpose of the Church

The church exists at the express choice and will of our Lord Jesus Christ to carry out several distinct purposes here on earth.

The Scriptures state in Matthew 28:18-20 that believers are to carry out the mandate to “make disciples” and this is done by “teaching all things whatsoever I [Christ] have commanded.” In addition, in Acts 1:8 this mandate is tasked to the disciples and the scope given is to ultimately impact the World. This making of Disciples is the primary principle of church growth and is commonly referred to as “evangelism.”

The church also exists for the distinct purpose of worship. Matthew 4:10 declares: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only…” Christ states that the “greatest commandment” is to “Love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind.” This focus on God instead of man is true worship and according to John 4:24 must be a “spiritual” rather than strictly ceremonial worship.

God has also given to us the principle that we are to fellowship together. In Acts 2:46 we read, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house…” Christ also indicates in the “Great Commission” of Matthew 28 that we are to be “baptizing” those whom we seek to “make disciples.” This is the process of bringing people into fellowship with one another, centered on the person and work of Christ.

The church has the directive to “edify” or mature its membership in their relationship to Christ. Acts 2:42 we read, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship,” This relates to the need for commitment in the local church  to the life-altering principles of God’s Word. The Psalmist, David, uttered it this way; “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” The church must be going about the the process of Maturing believers through regular teaching of God’s Word at every level of age and Christian experience.

God has also required of the church that we equip people for ministry. When questioned about which is the “greatest commandment” Christ states that the “second, is like to the first, love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39). In addition in Acts 2:45 we note that the early church “gave as anyone had need.” Ephesians 4:11-12 establishes that four types of men were given to the church “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry…”

In these purposes we fulfill the mandates of our God 1) to Magnify His Name in Worship, 2) to Make Disciples by telling people about the Good News (evangelism), 3) to bring those who are saved and baptized into Membership thus incorporating them into the Fellowship of the local church, 4) to Mature them in their relationship to Christ by faithfully teaching them God’s Word and 5) to Equip them for Ministry which is the process of serving God by serving others.

2. The “Universal” Church

Though the Bible never uses the specific term, the “universal church” all those who have trusted in Christ shall be part of the “one fold with one shepherd” that Jesus mentioned in John 10:16. This means that every believer in every part of the church age are members of the “universal church” that is represented in Revelation 5:9. The “universal church” is the final gathering of believers in every age, however, in terms of temporal existence the life and concern of a follower of Jesus is to be occupied by membership and service in a local assembly of believers.

The Life of the Believer

1. The Believer’s Two Principles (natures)

Romans chapter seven teaches that every person who chooses to become a follower of Jesus Christ has two “principles” or laws that war against each other. This is also referred to as having “two natures.” The Bible simply teaches that sin remains in our physical bodies and wars against the “law” of our mind and Holy Spirit who lives within us. The apostle Paul is clear that this is a battle for the mind (thinking) in the believer and that how a believer thinks will directly result in how they act. Romans chapter eight teaches that if we yield to the flesh (body) then the principle of death (the wages of sin=death) wins. If we yield to the Holy Spirit, then God’s purpose and the principle of life wins. (Romans 8:1-8). The Bible is clear that there is a war, but that the believer is directly responsible to renew their thinking so that God’s truth wins that war. (Romans 12:1; Romans chapter 8).

2. The Matter of Holiness
(Separation from Being Like Unbelievers)

God’s Word clearly teaches that all followers of Jesus are to separate themselves from the world with regard to the way sinful people act and think. 1 Peter 1:13-16 teaches that we are to be “holy” (separated) as God Himself is Holy. This life of holiness is directly contrasted to the way we used to live before we became followers of Jesus.

3. Marriage, Family and the Home

The Bible teaches that the only permissible sexual relationship between a man and a woman is within the context of Marriage. In Matthew 19 we read:

 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’
5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.

God’s perfect plan for a family is one man and one woman coming together and in their loving relationship producing and raising children. God has clearly revealed in His Word in Leviticus 10:10-21; Romans 1:24-27 and Ephesians 5:3 that He is opposed to all forms of sexual immorality, including same-sex relationships.

Children are to be raised in a spiritually and emotionally stable home where the teachings of Christ and the Holiness of God are consistently taught and lived. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21)

4. In Regards to Civil Government

The Bible clearly teaches that civil government exists to protect the citizens. We are to obey the government as citizens so that we will not be punished and so we will have a good testimony. We are to recognize that no government authority (even evil ones) exist without God’s permission. We are to pay taxes, as individual citizens. We are to give honor and respect to government officials. (Romans 13:1-7)

The Bible does teach that the authority for both the local Church and civil government extend from Him (Matthew 18:20-21; Romans 13:1-7). The local Church and the civil government are both ordained by God’s authority; however, their spheres of control are separate and unique. The local Church (that is the assembly) is headed by Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:18) and is not subject to civil authority. Christ extends His authority to his followers to carry out His commands without regard to the territory or authority of any one civil government, though on and individual basis His followers are to obey civil government. Only when civil government forbids freedom to worship and preach the gospel should the individual or collective group of believers openly reject and refuse to obey civil government (Acts 4:1-21; 14:5; 16:37-40; 19).

Civil Government is granted authority to exist by God, but derives it’s earthly authority from its own citizens and / or leaders and as such only properly exercises that control only over its own citizens and territories. (Romans 13:1-7).

Future Events

The Bible teaches the literal and personal return of Jesus for his saints as taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Scriptures declare, as stated in Daniel 12:1-2, that there is a resurrection unto eternal life (for those who trust Christ) and a resurrection unto eternal shame and contempt (judgment and punishment) for those who ignore God’s command to believe. The Bible states that Jesus’ return in the air for his church (as mentioned in Acts chapter 1) will proceed the “tribulation period” (mentioned in Daniel 9-11 and Matthew 24 and taught in Revelation chapters 4-18) and that the world will undergo seven years of intense judgment by God where an “anti-Christ” controlled by Satan will rule this planet (Revelation chapter 13).  The Bible teaches that Jesus will rule and reign over the nation of Israel and the earth for a thousand years (Revelation chapters 19:1-20:6) and then there will be a final judgment of Satan and all those who have rejected Christ Revelation 20:7-15). After this God will create a new heaven and a new earth where there will be eternal worship and the removal of sickness, suffering and death. (Revelation 21:1-22:5) The Lord Jesus taught in John 10:16 that the true believers of all ages of mankind will be brought together and combined into one “flock” who is nurtured and led by the Master Shepherd, Jesus Christ

Future Events

The Bible teaches the literal and personal return of Jesus for his saints as taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Scriptures declare, as stated in Daniel 12:1-2, that there is a resurrection unto eternal life (for those who trust Christ) and a resurrection unto eternal shame and contempt (judgment and punishment) for those who ignore God’s command to believe. The Bible states that Jesus’ return in the air for his church (as mentioned in Acts chapter 1) will proceed the “tribulation period” (mentioned in Daniel 9-11 and Matthew 24 and taught in Revelation chapters 4-18) and that the world will undergo seven years of intense judgment by God where an “anti-Christ” controlled by Satan will rule this planet (Revelation chapter 13).  The Bible teaches that Jesus will rule and reign over the nation of Israel and the earth for a thousand years (Revelation chapters 19:1-20:6) and then there will be a final judgment of Satan and all those who have rejected Christ Revelation 20:7-15). After this God will create a new heaven and a new earth where there will be eternal worship and the removal of sickness, suffering and death. (Revelation 21:1-22:5) The Lord Jesus taught in John 10:16 that the true believers of all ages of mankind will be brought together and combined into one “flock” who is nurtured and led by the Master Shepherd, Jesus Christ