STATEMENT OF FAITH OF CHRIST BIBLE CHURCH OF CHICAGO
- The Bible
We believe the Bible is the supernaturally inspired Word of God, and that the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments represent the canon of inspired Scripture. The Bible simultaneously speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of the human authors He used as instruments. The Bible is inerrant (without error) in the original documents, the final authority for all Christian faith and practice and the complete revelation of God’s will for mankind. Hence there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Heb. 10: 15-16; 1 Cor. 2:12-13; Matt. 5: 17-18; Ps. 119:160)
We believe there is one infinite and personal God, who is the sovereign Creator and omnipotent Sustainer of all things, who is eternal and perfectly existent in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three equally possess all the characteristics of personality and attributes of Deity and each is equally deserving of worship and obedience. By His providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes.
- God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (Psalms 102:26-27; John 1:18, 4:24)
- Jesus Christ
We believe Jesus Christ is both fully man and fully God; therefore, His deity is total and His humanity is perfect. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary and, as the Son of God, He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father. He voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by being crucified and dying on the cross as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of mankind, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him and His work alone. He arose bodily from the dead and He ascended to the Father’s right hand. There, as High Priest and Advocate, He intercedes for the believer before the Father. He indwells the believer in glory to consummate history and fulfill the eternal plan of God. (Col. 1:15-17; Phil. 2:5-8; John 1:1; 4:26, 8:58; Luke 24; Heb. 2:14, 4:14-16, 9:24, 10:5; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 1:18-25, 25:31-46; Mark 10:45; 1 Thes. 4:16-18; Rom. 5:18-19; 1 Cor. 15:12-19; 2 Cor. 5:21; Is. 53:5; Rev. 11:15-17, 20:4-6, 11-15, 22:13)
We believe at the beginning of history, mankind was originally created to have loving fellowship with God. However, our first parents, Adam and Eve, defied God and chose to live independently of Him. Thus, all human beings are born with a depraved, sinful nature and commit acts of sin and rebellion against God’s rule in their lives. Individuals cannot be saved from the penalty of their sins and restored into a right relationship with God through human effort or works of goodness, but only through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit which comes as a free gift of God’s grace on the basis of Christ’s shed blood. Salvation becomes a reality in peoples’ experience when they admit that they are sinners repent of their sin receive God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life through faith, receive God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life through faith and acknowledge their need for repentance. This transformation is accomplished as they personally and solely rely on Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross and receive Christ as their Savior and Lord. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:10, 23-28, 4:6, 5:9-10, 6:23, 8:3, 10:3; Is. 64:6; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 1:3-7, 4:32; John 1:12, 3:3, 3:16, 10:28, Acts 4:12, 13:38-39; 2 Cor. 5:1, 17; Col. 3:9-10; 1 Pet. 1:3-6)
We believe that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again spiritually, and that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We believe, also, that our redemption has been accomplished by the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and that His redemption is by the grace of God, an unmerited gift, given in love by God and not the result of any human works (John 3:7-18; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal 3:13)
We believe that upon receiving the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, the believer passed immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life and into fellowship with God
(John 1:12; 3:26; 5:24).
We believe that once this salvation is accomplished, we and all true believers everywhere shall be kept forever. (John 3:5, 10:28-29; Rom. 3:24; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:5, 8-9)
- The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity whose present ministry is to glorify Jesus Christ, convict people of sin (awakening in them a recognition of their need of a Savior) and to be actively involved in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit’s ministry in believers’ lives involves regenerating and permanently indwelling them at the moment of conversion and guiding, instructing and empowering them for Christlike living. The Holy Spirit’s power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for believers to live a life of holiness and obedience and to bear fruit to the glory of Christ. We believe that the Holy spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity dwells in every person immediately after he places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God provides, through the Holy Spirit, power to live the Christian life. (Romans: 5:5; 8:9)
We believe that every believer receives grace sovereignly from God, in the form of a spiritual gift which enables him to function as a member of the body of Christ.
(John 14:16, 26, 16:8, 13, 3:5-8; Ps. 139:7-10; Gen. 1:27; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:17; Eph. 4:30; Titus 3:5; 1 Cor. 3:16, 12:13; Rom. 8:9,13; Gal. 5:16-17, 25, Rom. 5:5)
- The Church
We believe the universal church is the body of Christ, of which He is the Head, and it is composed of all who have acknowledged Jesus Christ a Savior and Lord and are united to Him and to one another by the indwelling Holy Spirit. All individual believers are to be an active part of a local church body, devoting themselves to worship, prayer, the teaching of God’s Word, the observance of believer’s baptism and communion as the sacramental ordinances established by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the body and outreach to the world, thereby glorifying Christ and furthering His purposes. (Matt. 16:18, 28:19-20; Acts 2:41, 15:13-17; 1 Cor. 12:7, 12-13, Eph. 1:5-18, 22-23, 4:12, 5:23, 30; Col. 1:18, 2:19; Rom. 12:4-9; 1 Pet. 4:10)
- Human Destiny
We believe death seals the eternal destiny of each person. At the return of Christ, every human being will be bodily resurrected from the dead. The believer will be resurrected and received into everlasting life and joy and communion with the Lord and will be rewarded according to works done in this life that glorify Christ, at the Rapture. The unbeliever will be resurrected to judgment and condemnation, as God will reveal His justice in consigning them to perpetuate, in eternal retribution, their own rejection of God. These unbelievers will therefore be everlastingly and consciously separated from Him, at the Great White Throne Judgment. (Matt. 20:1-16, 25:14-30, 46; John 5:24-29; 1 Cor. 3:11-15, 9:25, 15:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 2:11, Rom. 2:5-11; Thess. 4:16-18; 2 Thes. 1:7-10; Rev. 14:11, 20:11-1
I.. Faith and Practice
We believe Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. South Shore Baptist Church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members regarding areas about which Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately accountable. Also, if a person has questions about any of the church’s polices or positions on certain matters, they should address them to the Elders of the church.
We believe the Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All individuals involved in our ministry shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are contrary to the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension.
- Church Ordinances
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper to be observed by all believers until His return (Matt. 28:19; Luke 22: 19-20; Acts 10:47-48).
We believe that the ordinance of baptism is immersion of the believer in water as it is a symbol of the essential facts in redemption, the death and resurrection of Christ; and a symbol of resurrection to newness of life (Rom. 6:4; Acts 8:36-39)
- The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a privilege afforded to all believers, in commemoration of our Lord’s death until He comes. It is to be experienced in a spirit of self-examination (1 Cor. 11:23-28).
- The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan, the devil, is the prince of the demons and is the declared adversary of God and man. However, when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, He destroyed the power of Satan and guaranteed the ultimate triumph of God (Eph. 2:2; 1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 20:10).
- The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the pre-tribulational and pre-millennial coming of Christ for His church. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the saved and endless suffering of the unsaved.