What We believe
We believe in the verbal (the very words) and plenary (all the words) inspiration of the Scriptures in the original manuscripts (Deuteronomy 4:2; 2 Timothy 3:16-17); the 66 books which comprise the Old and New Testaments are equally inspired and without error or contradiction; that by virtue of the superintendence and empowering of the Holy Spirit, the human writers wrote not their private interpretations but the very words of God (2 Peter 1:20-21); the Scriptures are eternal in nature (Psalm 119:89) and recognize, based on our possession of a great number of existing manuscripts, that God, by His gracious providence, has preserved those Scriptures throughout all ages in a state of purity; the Scriptures are the final authority in all matters pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4) and are profitable for teaching, conviction, correction, and a continued walk in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16- 17). The Bible is complete in itself and not to be added to or taken away from (Revelation 22:18-19; Deuteronomy 4:2). As a matter of practice, Heritage Baptist Church uses the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
God the father
We believe in the one true and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Isaiah 44:6,8; Exodus 20:2-3), the Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1; Romans 1:20; Psalm 104), Who exists eternally in three distinct persons (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), Who are coequal in every divine perfection and attribute (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
We believe God possesses divine attributes which go beyond (transcend) the finite capabilities of any creature, including infinite knowledge (omniscience – Psalm 147:5; Psalm 139:1-6), infinite presence (omnipresence – Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah 23:23-24), infinite power (omnipotence – Genesis 1; Genesis 18:14), unchangeable nature (immutability – James 1:17; Revelation 1:8), and unique holiness (Revelation 15:4).
We believe God possesses moral attributes of absolute perfection which He expects man to emulate, such as holiness (Leviticus 11:44), love (1 John 4:7-11), trustworthiness (Psalm 100:5), righteousness (2 Chronicles 12:6), goodness (Psalm 52:1), benevolence (Psalm 145:9), mercy (Ephesians 2:4; Exodus 15:13), purity (Job 4:17; Matthew 5:8), and grace (1 Peter 2:3; Ephesians 2:8-9).
We believe Jesus Christ is eternal God (John 1:1-3; Micah 5:2; Romans 9:1-5) and worthy of glory, honor, and worship (Revelation 5:12); that He became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18; Isaiah 7:14), and that He might reveal God the Father and redeem sinful man (John 1:12-14; Matthew 1:21-23).
We believe Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, thereby qualifying Himself to be the substitutionary payment for the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15); that He accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood in death on the cross (Romans 3:24-26; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 2:1-2); and He assured our justification by His literal, and physical resurrection from the dead (1 Peter 1:3-5).
We believe Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now at the right hand of God, where, as our Great High Priest, He intercedes for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 Timothy 2:5-6) until He returns to rapture His saints and subsequently establish His millennial kingdom on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Zechariah 14:4-11).
the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4); that as a distinct person within the Godhead, He possesses the attributes of personality (Matthew 12:31; Acts 5:3-4, 7:51; Ephesians 4:30; John 14:26); He indwells every believer (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20); He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11); and He regenerates and sanctifies the believer (Titus 3:4-5,7; Romans 15:16).
We believe the Holy Spirit’s work includes filling the lives of Christians (Ephesians 5:18-20) and making intercession (Romans 8:26-27), sealing unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14), quickening (Romans 8:11-14), guiding (John 14:26), and bestowing gifts (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Ephesians 4:9-12; Galatians 5:22-23).
We believe the sign gifts, used to authenticate the Apostolic office, ceased to exist with the death of the Apostles and closing of the New Testament canon (1 Corinthians 13:10; Revelation 22:18-19).
We believe Satan is a real and active being in whom no truth abides (John 8:44); that he fell from an exalted position in heaven due to his pride (Luke 10:17-18; 1 Timothy 3:2, 6-7), taking a number of the angelic host with him in condemnation (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6); that Satan is the god of this world who blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) and constantly battles and accuses believers (Ephesians 6:11-12; Revelation 12:10).
We believe Satan will seek whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8) until the millennial reign of Christ when he will be bound for one thousand years and then, subsequent to one final rebellion against Christ, be cast into the Lake of Fire to burn forever in utter torment (Revelation 20:1-6, 10).
Satan is known by many names including:
“The Serpent” (Genesis 3:1); “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31); “SATAN” (1 Chronicles 21:1); “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4); “Lucifer” (Isaiah 14:12-15); “Belial” (2 Corinthians 6:15);
“the devil” (Matthew 4:1); “the tempter” (1 Thessalonians 3:5);
“Beelzebub” (Matthew 12:24); “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2); “the wicked one” (Matthew 13:19, 38); and “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelations 12:10).
We believe and accept by faith the literal creation of the universe by the direct act of God in six, 24-hour days as recorded in the first two chapters of Genesis (Genesis 1-2; Isaiah 45:12, 18; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16-18; John 1:1-3). We reject all theories of evolution, both theistic and atheistic, as they deny observable laws of nature (Romans 1:20-22, 25), contradict the teaching of Scripture (Romans 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 6:20-21) and undermine the rightful authority of God over His own creation (Revelation 4:11).
We believe man was created in a state of innocence in the image of God for His glory (Genesis 1:26-27; Revelation 4:11) but by willful disobedience man sinned (Genesis 3; Romans 5:19); and as a result, the whole human race, with the exception of Jesus Christ, fell and inherited a sin nature (Romans 5:12-13;17- 19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22); that every man from Adam’s fall onward is a sinner by birth and by choice, thus alienated or separated from God (Ephesians 2:11-13; Colossians 1:21-23) and utterly incapable apart from God of escaping his sinful condition or his rightful eternal punishment (Romans 3:10-23; John 3:19; Romans 5:6- 8; 1 John 5:12; Revelation 21:8).
We believe the salvation of sinners is a gift only by the grace of God (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:14-18; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9), based on the substitutionary death and shed blood of Christ Jesus on the cross (Romans 3:24-26) and specifically excludes any meritorious good works by man on his own behalf (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7).
We believe man receives salvation individually by a repentance from sin (Acts 20:21) and a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:16); that once saved, all true believers are eternally saved and kept secured in Christ by the power of God unto eternal and complete salvation (John 5:24; John 6:37-40; John 10:28-29; 1 John 5:11-13).
We believe the local church is a group of professing believers united together for the purpose of worshiping and glorifying God, receiving biblical instruction, fellowshipping with believers, observing the ordinances of the church, and rendering service to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-27; Hebrews 10:24-25); that the local church is autonomous (self-governed), directly responsible to Christ Who is the Head of the Body (Colossians 1:18); and God has established two official offices for the church: pastor/elder and deacon (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 3:1-13).
We believe God gave the local church two ordinances to observe: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42; Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). We believe baptism is a symbol of a believer’s identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:4-5; Romans 6:3-6). We believe immersion is the proper mode of baptism (Matthew 3:16-17) and the only authority for baptism is the local church. We believe the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25) and that it is open to all true believers who are in right-standing with God (1 Corinthians 11:26-29).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29, 11:25-26; Revelation 20:4-6, 12-15). We believe in a literal heaven where Jesus Christ is presently preparing a place for believers (John 14:2). We also believe in a literal hell, originally prepared for the devil and his fallen angels consisting of everlasting torment, flames, punishment, and separation from God (Matthew 25:31-46; Isaiah 66:22-24).
We believe in the imminent bodily resurrection of deceased believers, immediately followed by the catching away of living believers to meet the Lord Jesus in the air prior to the seven-year Great Tribulation (Daniel 9:21-27; Matthew 24:29-42, 26:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Matthew 24:44; Revelation 7:14, 13:4-6). After the tribulation, Jesus Christ will return to earth to destroy the wicked and establish His thousand-year millennial reign on earth (Revelation 19:11-20:4). Then, at the conclusion of the Millennium, Jesus Christ will cast Satan and all his evil forces into the Lake of Fire for eternal destruction (Revelation 20:10-11); and will sentence all unbelieving sinners to eternal damnation at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:12-15). The redeemed of all ages, after receiving their rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10), shall, in glorified bodies, dwell with the triune God forever, to serve and enjoy Him in perfect peace and happiness (Revelation 21-22).
We believe all the saved should live in such a manner as to not bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and that separation from all religious apostasy and sinful worldliness is commanded by God (Romans 12:1-2; 16:17-18; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 5- 11).
We believe God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home (Genesis 18:9; Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21;1 Timothy 5:8), 2) the church (Acts 5:29; Hebrews 10:23- 25; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 12, 27), and 3) the state (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14,17). Every person is subject to these authorities, and all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific responsibilities and has 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.
MARRIAGE AND HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe God ordained marriage; that the only legitimate marriage is the joining together of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:21-24), and that all sexual activity is to be reserved for the bond of marriage (Leviticus 18:1-30; Hebrews 13:4). We believe any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:24-31), fornication (1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:18-20), adultery or pornography (Exodus 20:14; Proverbs 6:25; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 7:2-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:22) is sinful perversion of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance (Deuteronomy 22:5).
We believe God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male and female. These two, distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God and therefore, the rejection of one’s biological gender is a rejection of the image of God within that person (Genesis 1:26-27).