We understand that choosing the right church for your family is an important decision and you may have questions. We hope the following information will be helpful to you concerning the mission of Heritage Baptist Church.
The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Scriptures -- both the Old and New Testaments -- to be the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men in God's control, inerrant and infallible, in the whole and in part, in all areas (including creation, science, geography, chronology, history, and in all other matters in which it speaks), in the original manuscripts, and the complete and final authority in faith and life. We accept the grammatical-historical-literal system of interpretation of the scriptures, and accept the historical record of the Bible as accurate and adequate.
I Thes. 2:13, " For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe".
II Tim. 3:15-16, "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
We believe in the Biblical account of the creation of the universe in six literal, solar days; that God created by His Word the heavens, the earth, and all their hosts, without pre-exsisting materials; that man was created by a direct act of God; that all humans were present in Adam when he was created; that new individuals (in all their parts) come into exsistence today, not by a continuing creation, but through the laws of propagation established by God; that each individual is a living person from the moment of conception; that all forms of evolutionary hypotheses are serious errors which strike at the very person and glory of God.
Gen. 2:7, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul".
John 1:3, "All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made".
We believe in one God, eternally exsisting in three persons -- Father, Son, Holy Spirit -- who are identical in essence, equal in power and glory, and possess precisely the same attributes and perfection.
Deut. 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord".
Lk. 3:22, " And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased".
The Condition of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, in innocence and without sin. But in Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, became spiritually dead and alienated from God so that man is a sinner by both nature and imputation, thereby justly condemned to eternal damnation without defense or excuse, and man, of himself, is incapable of remedying his lost and depraved condition by any means whatsoever.
Gen. 1:26, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth".
Eph. 2:1-3, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others".
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that God demands a life of perfect obedience to His law; i.e., complete and total righteousness. Thus, God the Son had to become man in order to provide for us what God the Father's holy nature (and self-consistency) demanded -- perfect righteousness. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God; having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. He accomplished this redemption by voluntarily giving Himself as a sinless substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, thereby satisfying God's righteous judgement against sin. He gave proof that He accomplished that redemption by His bodily resurrection from the grave. He then ascended to the right hand of His Father where He intercedes on behalf of those who have believed on Him.
Jn. 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Rom. 2:12,13, "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
The Person and Work of the Holy spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Person who convicts the world of sin; that He alone brings new life to those who are spiritually dead; that He baptizes (or places) all believers into the one true Church, which is the Body of Christ; that He indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, and fills (controls) those who are yielding to Him to empower for Christian life and service.
Rom. 8:9, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his".
Eph. 3:16, "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;"
Satan and the Fallen Angels
We believe that God created an innumerable company of spiritual beings, known as angels; that one, Lucifer, the highest in rank, sinned through pride, and thereby became satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his moral fall; that some became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes; and that others who fell are "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day"
We believe that satan is the author of sin and, under the permission of God, was the deceiver of Eve in the Fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. In his warfare, he appears as an angel of light, counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine, and that these doctrines in every case are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of Christ and of salvation by grace alone.
2 Pe. 2:4, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgement;"
I Tim. 4:1-3, "Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."
We believe that salvation is the gift of God's grace given to all who believe on the Son (i.e., to all whom God has sovereignly and unconditionally elected to salvation. It includes all that God does in saving the elect from the penalty, power, and presence of sin, and in restoring them to a right relationship with God. As such, it is solely the work of God from initiation to completion. It cannot be gained by good works, but is a free gift for all whom God has enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. All who so put their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord have been forgiven and saved from their sins and declared righteous before God, and have been born into the family of God by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. God's purpose for saving His elect is so that they bring glory to Him by their lives.
Rom. 9:16, "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy".
Eph. 1:7, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace".
Security, Assurance, and Human Responsibility
We believe that all the saved -- those in whom God has accomplished His transforming work of grace -- are kept by His power, and thus, are secure in Christ forever. This assurance, however, is not the occasion for sin, for God in holiness cannot tolerate willful and/or persistant sin in His children, and in infinite love He corrects them. True faith in Christ is always expressed by a fruitful, God-pleasing life.
I John 5:13, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God".
Heb. 12:6, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth".
We believe that God, in the scriptures, has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. This includes the salvation from the penalty of sin, and just as surely, the provision of sanctification (separation) from sin. Sanctification from sin affects both the position and practical aspects. Positional sanctification (i.e., justification) as a work of the Holy Spirit is complete and is without further growth; however, practical sanctification (i.e., progressive sanctification), a result of the work of the Spirit in regeneration using the Word of God, provides the nourishment for growth in maturity in Christ. While practical sanctification is assured by the Word and the Spirit, it is yet imperfect in this life. There is some element of corruption in every part of the fallen nature which is the source for the war between the flesh and the spirit. The maturing to obedience is possible for believers as they feed on the Word, submit to the Spirit of God, and are in fellowship with other believers for service and accountablity.
John 17:17, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
Heb. 10:25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching".
We believe that the true Church, called in Scripture the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism.
Every person who has trusted Jesus Christ for salvation in this present age has been baptized (placed) into this organism by the Holy Spirit. The local church, as established in Scripture, is made up of redeemed individuals who have joined together for worship, instruction, fellowship, and service, exhibiting the true love of God to each other.
Eph. 1:22,23, "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all".
Act 2:42, "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers".
The Christian Life
We believe that a Christian should desire to live a life of righteousness, good works, and separation unto God from the evil ways of the world, manifested by speaking the truth, maintaining the sanctity of the home, settling differences between Christians in accordance with the Word of God, not engaging in carnal strife but showing a Christ-like attitude toward all men, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, and maintaining a life of prayer.
Rom. 12:1,2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God".
Gal. 5:22,23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law".
We believe that believers are to be generous in thier giving, and that all giving should preferably be done in secret according to the Lord's command. Thus, Tithing or giving is proper and obedient to God's Word. The Holy Spirit Will definitely lead as the Bible teaches the believer. Systematic Giving is very important. Since the believer must pay his bills on time so must the Family of God.
Matt. 6:1-4, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrates do in the synogogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly".
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of the Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind. We also believe that the sending of missionaries is a local church function (just as it is the responsibilty of the local church to conduct church discipline and believer's baptism) and, thereby, cannot be delegated to a mission board or agency.
Mk. 16:15, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature".
Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witness unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth".
The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and, that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and, that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established.
Eph. 4:7-12, "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
Movements Contrary to the Faith
We are opposed to all forms of theological compromise, apostasy, liberalism, ecumenical evangelism, neo-orthodoxy, neo-evangelicalism, and the charismatic and ecumenical movements of our day. We believe that all are out of harmony with the Word of God.
Since we believe that evil, false doctrine, and spiritual compromise are all contagious, we thereby believe that the only way the purity, peace, and reputation of the church can be maintained is by separation -- both personal and ecclesiastical. Christians are to be in the world, but not of it, having no friendship, affiliation, nor identification with it (personal separation). Likewise, Christians should not attempt to "Christianize" the world's principles and practices and bring them into the church as part of Christian worship, fellowship, prayer, preaching, or communion. We also believe in the separation from detractors of orthodox doctrine; unbiblical ecclesiastical practices (i.e., neo-evangelicalism, ecumenism, ecclesiastical apostasy, modernism/liberalism, and the charismatic movement), immoral unrepentant "believers", and the state [primary separation]. Moreover, we believe that Christians are commanded by Scripture to withdraw from professing brethren who enter into memberships, affiliations, and fellowships (including evangelistic crusades, youth movements, mission agencies, schools, etc.) which seek to unite separatist fundamentalists with those who do not obey the Biblical teachings on separation (i.e., with those who refuse to obey the Biblical doctrine of separation) [secondary separation].
I Cor. 5:11, "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat".
Rom. 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; avoid them".
We are firmly opposed to all societies, lodges, and organizations of an un-Christian or anti-Christian character. We avoid membership or participation in any organization that in its objectives, ceremonies, or practices is inimical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the faith and life of the Christian church.
Attitude Toward Civil Government
We believe that civil government is ordained of God for the welfare of human society to promote and protect the good and to restrain and punish evil. Therefore, we consider it the duty of Christians to pray for rulers and for those that are in authority over them and to give due respect to them. However, where the demands of civil law would militate against the supreme law and will of God, Christians should obey God rather than man.
Dan. 4:17, "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men".
Acts 4:19, "But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye".
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances by all believers until His return -- water baptism (by immersion) to show forth our identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior and the Lord's Supper as the commemoration of His death until He comes.
Matt. 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
Col. 2:12, "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead".
We believe that the dispensations are divinely ordered stewardships, or rules of life (not ways of salvation), by which God administers His purpose on Earth through man under varying responsibilities in successive ages. Each dispensation begins with man being divinely placed in a new position of privilege and responsibility, and each closes with a failure of man resulting in righteous judgement from God. Three of these dispensations, or rules of life, are the subject of extended revelation in Scripture. They are the dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom. They are distinct and are not to be intermingled or confused, as they are chronologically successive. Thereby, Covenant Theology as found in Reformed Theology is unscriptual.
Jn. 1:17, " For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ".
Eph. 1:10, "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"
The second Coming of Christ
We believe in the imminent, personal, pre-tribulation coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church and His subsequent premillennial return to earth with His saints to establish His Millennial Kingdom upon the earth.
I Thess. 1:10, "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come".
Rev. 3:10, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth".
The Eternal State
We believe that at the death of the souls of those who have trusted Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at Christ's coming for the Church, when soul and body will be reunited. We then shall be with Him forever in glory. We also believe that at death the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious misery until the final judgement of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium when soul and body will be reunited and cast into the lake of fire -- not to be annihilated, but to be separated from God forever in conscious punishment.
II Cor. 5:8, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord".
Matt. 25:46, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal".