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The Statement of Faith summarizes the major doctrines that we hold to be core beliefs—those that are foundational to the faith and/or are central to our corporate practice. Everything we teach must be clearly and unequivocally consistent with these doctrines. If there are differences concerning any aspects of the Additional Doctrines, we willingly maintain fellowship despite these, avoiding divisiveness and giving deference to the stated position of the church.  

All members shall consistently affirm agreement with the Statement of Faith and demonstrate submission the spirit of our Constitution (available upon request). Elders and teachers of the church must be in agreement with the stated positions on Additional Doctrines, or submit to teaching those positions, or not teach on the particular doctrine.   

 

Statement of Faith  

We the members of Branson Bible Church are in agreement with the following summaries of Biblical  doctrines that are foundational to the gospel and central to our practice. 

The Bible 

The Bible, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s verbally  inspired and infallible word, inerrant and complete in the original manuscripts. It alone is  the authoritative and sufficient revelation by which we may know God and be made right  with Him. (Psalm 19:7–9; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; Hebrews 4:12–13  2 Peter 1:20–21) 

God 

There is but one God, the Creator, Preserver and Sovereign Ruler of all things. He is self existent and infinite in being and perfection. To him all creatures owe the highest love,  reverence and obedience. God is eternally existent as Father, Son and Spirit, each with  distinct personal attributes but without division of nature, essence or being. Father, Son  and Spirit are co-equal and co-existent. From eternity God decrees or permits all things  that come to pass and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all  events. He does so without authoring or approving sin and without removing the will  and responsibility of intelligent creatures. (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Chronicles 29:11–13;  Psalm 18:30–32; Matthew 28:18–19; Mark 12:29–30; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Ephesians 4:6;  Colossians 1:19-20; Hebrews 1:1–3) 

The Person and Work of Christ 

The eternal Son of God came into this world to manifest God to mankind, to fulfill  prophecy, and to save his people from their sins. To this end he was born of the virgin  Mary and took upon himself a human body and a sinless human nature. The Lord Jesus  Christ is very God and very man at the same time: two whole, distinct natures joined in  one person. Christ’s atoning death on the cross is substitutionary (taking sins upon  himself) and redemptive (paying the penalty for them). This redemption has been  accomplished solely by the death of Christ, who was made to be sin and a curse for all  who turn to him in faith, dying in their place. He arose from the dead in the same body,  though glorified, in which he had lived and died, and his resurrection body is the pattern  of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers. He became head over all  things to the church, which is his body, and he continues to intercede and advocate for  the saved. (Luke 1:30–35, 2:40; John 1:1–3,18, 3:7–18, 20:20; Romans 5:6–9;  2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13, 6:15; Ephesians 1:7, 22–23; Philippians 2:5–8, 3:20–21;  Hebrews 4:15, 7:25; 1 John 2:1) 

The Holy Spirit  

The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He brings new life  to those who are spiritually dead, and in him they are baptized into union with Christ and  adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and  empowers believers for Christ-like living and service. (Matthew 28:19; John 14:16-17, 16:7-11, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30;  1 Peter 4:10) 

Humanity 

Humanity was created in the image and likeness of God, as male and female, and initially  without sin. All humanity shares the guilt and consequences of Adam’s original sin:  alienation from God, a nature that is totally depraved, and an inability to be reconciled to  God apart from His intervention. (Genesis 1:26, 2:17, 6:5; Psalm 14:1–3, 51:5;  Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10–19; Ephesians 2:1–3; 1 John 3:8) 

Salvation 

The salvation that comes through Jesus Christ is entirely a gift of God’s grace through  faith and is not by any human works. It is the only means by which sinful men may be  reconciled to God. Faith that leads to salvation is from God and involves the following:  a genuine change of mind and heart, acknowledging the fact that one is a sinner,  condemned before God; an understanding that Jesus, as our substitute, died for our sins  and rose again; and a trust in Jesus Christ alone to save from the penalty of sin and  restore us to right relationship with God. Salvation includes regeneration (gift of spiritual  life), justification (declaration of judicial righteousness), adoption into God’s family, and  glorification (final resurrection of believers to perfection). Faith in Christ that brings  salvation includes repentance from sin and will result in good works that reflect God’s  character. (John 3:16, 5:24; Acts 17:30, 20:21; Romans 5:12, 10:9–10; 2 Corinthians 5:21, 13:5; Ephesians 2:8–10; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5-6) 

Sanctification and Perseverance 

Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made  partakers of his holiness. It is a progressive work, begun in regeneration, that is carried  on for the duration of life in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the  Holy Spirit. Toward this end we continue in the appointed means, especially the word  of God, the communion of the saints, the ordinances, self-examination, self-denial,  watchfulness, and prayer. (John 17:17; Romans 6:19–22; I Corinthians 1:30;  2 Corinthians 3:18, 7:1; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 10:10,14, 12:10–11; 1 Peter 2:2) 

The redeemed are kept by God’s power unto glorification, and are thus secure in Christ  forever and will persevere until the end, a perseverance based on the efficacy of Christ’s  work and their union with him. It is the privilege of believers to walk humbly in this  assurance, but the testimony of God’s word forbids the use of Christian liberty as an  excuse to sin. Although true believers may fall into sin, and for a time continue therein,  they will not utterly or finally fall from the state of grace, but will turn again in repentance  and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end. (Luke 10:20, 22:32; John 5:24, 10:28, 13:1, 14:16-17, 17:11; Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6–8;  2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:22, 1 John 2:1–2, 5:13; Jude 24) 

The Church 

The Church is the spiritual body and bride of Christ, who is its head and gives it life. It is  composed of all born again believers of this present age. Local churches are God’s primary  means for the training, worship, and ministry of believers. Christ rules the local church  through men appointed as Elders and Deacons, selected according to the standards  expressed in the New Testament. We practice the ordinance of believer’s baptism by  immersion as a testimony of salvation, and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper as a  repeated remembrance of Christ’s death on a cross and the believer’s participation in  receiving the benefits of his sacrifice. (Matthew 28:18–20; John 17:18-23; Acts 1:8, 2:41,  6:2–4, 10:47–48, 14:23; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:23–32, 12:12–14; Ephesians 1:22–23,5:25–27; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9) 

Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender 

God has ordained marriage as a union between one man and one woman, where sexual  relations are honored and affirmed by God. Sexual unions outside of marriage are sinful  perversions of human sexuality. Similarly, the gender in which we are born is by God’s  glorious design as opposed to merely one’s self-perception. It represents God’s intention  for how we can best honor him with our lives. Therefore, any and all attempts to  physically change, alter, or disagree with one’s predominant biological sex are sinful acts  of rebellion towards God. God, however, offers redemption and restoration to all who  confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  (Genesis 1:26–28, 2:22–25; Matthew 19:4–6; Romans 1:26–32, 2:23, 7:2,10:9–10;  1 Corinthians 6:9–11; Ephesians 2:1–10, 5:25–28; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–7; Hebrews 13:4;  Jude 1:7) 

The Second Coming of Christ 

There will be a personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ, at which time  believers who have died will be raised and those who are still alive will be transformed,  both to forever be with the Lord. This coming of Christ, at a time known only to God,  demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to be  diligent in good works to make manifest to all men the reality and power of their hope in  Christ. (Acts 1:9–11; Romans 8:19–23; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13–18) 

The Eternal State 

At death the redeemed pass immediately into the presence of Christ and there remain in  joyful fellowship until their bodily resurrection to eternal life. The unsaved at death  descend immediately into Hades where they are kept under punishment until their bodily  resurrection, resulting in damnation. All men will face a final judgment before God which  will determine forever their ultimate state. The wicked will be condemned to eternal  punishment, while the righteous will experience endless joy in the presence of the Lord.  (John 5:28–29, 11:25–26; 2 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9; Revelation 20:5–6, 12-13) 

 

Additional Doctrines 

 

Angels  

Angels are spiritual beings created by God to execute his purposes. One chief angel,  Satan, led numerous angels in rebellion against the Creator, and he continues in  opposition to Christ and his people. Many other angels remain in God’s service for his  glory and our good. (Luke 2:9–14, 15:10; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 1:6–7, 13–14;  Revelation 5:11–14, 20:10) 

Creation  

In the beginning God was pleased to create the world and all things in it, both visible and  invisible, in a six-day period, and all very good. He did this to manifest the glory of his  eternal power, wisdom and goodness. (John 1:2–3; Hebrews 1:2; Job 26:13; Romans 1:20;  Colossians 1:16; Genesis 1:31) 

Christian Living  

All of the saved should live in a holy manner that brings glory and honor to their Lord,  including separation from apostasy, sinful practices, and inappropriate associations. Such  separation should be done with a humble, gracious spirit. (2 Corinthians 6:14–17; Romans 12:1-2, 14:13; 2 Timothy 3:1–5; 1 John 2:15–17; 2 John 9–11) 

God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially and to live out our faith  with care for one another, compassion toward the poor, and justice for the oppressed.  With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to  combat the spiritual forces of evil. (2 Timothy 3:1–5; Romans 12:1–2, 14:13; 1 John 2:5-17; 2 Corinthians 6:14–17)  

It is the privilege and obligation of those who have trusted Christ to witness by their life  and speech to the truth of the Bible and to proclaim the gospel to all mankind.  Evangelism is further accomplished worldwide by sending missionaries out from the local  church. (Matthew 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19–20) 

Gifts of the Holy Spirit  

The Holy Spirit sovereignly gives believers spiritual gifts for the purpose of serving others  and building up the church. Some gifts, often identified as sign gifts, were given in order  to authenticate the message of the first-century church and are not observed in the  present-day church. God still works miracles today when He chooses, and He hears and  answers the earnest prayers of believers in accordance with His will. (Romans 12:3-8;  1 Corinthians 12:4–12, 13:8–12, 14:1–40; Ephesians 4:7–16; James 5:14–18; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 1 John 5:14–15) 

End Times Expectations  

The next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord Jesus  Christ for the redeemed, both dead and alive. Following the Rapture will be a period of  great tribulation on the earth, and in His subsequent return to earth with His saints, He  will establish His millennial kingdom. The final judgment of the great white throne will take place at the end of the millennium. (Romans 8:19–23; 1 Thessalonians 5:9;  2 Thessalonians 1:7–9; Jude 1:14–15; Revelation 3:10, 19:11–16, 20:1–6,11)