What We Believe
We believe that God gave mankind the Bible through human writers (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20, 21) who wrote down the very words of God as they were given to them. The Bible is God’s unpolluted, inerrant manual for life and is relevant in any age. Just as God never changes (Malachi 3:6) neither does His Word (Psalm 12:6-7). God has preserved His Word throughout the ages as it was being copied from the original manuscripts and eventually translated. All teaching and preaching at Berean is done with the King James Version as we believe that it is the most faithful and reliable translation in the English language.
We believe that there is only one true God: Jehovah God, the God of the Bible. He is an infinite, intelligent, perfect spirit and personal being; the creator, preserver, and supreme ruler of the universe; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and all other perfections and worthy of all possible honour, confidence and love. (Genesis 1:1; Jeremiah 10:10; Mark 12:30; John 4:24; John 10:30). This God is made up of three distinct but equal persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:18, I John 5:7). We often refer to this as the “Godhead” or the “Trinity”.
We believe that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God (John 3:16), but also God the Son (1 Timothy 3:16). Like the other members of the Godhead, Jesus has no beginning and no end (Psalms 90:1-2; Micah 5:2; Colossians 1:17; Revelation 1:8,11,17-18). Christ left his heavenly home for a time to take on an earthly body. He was born of a virgin, lived a pure, sinless life, and died a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Three days after his death he rose bodily from the grave and is now ascended to the right hand of the Father where he mediates and intercedes for us as our High Priest (I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:22-25). Jesus is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is one of the three members of the trinity, equal with the Father and the Son (1 John 5:7). He was active in the creation of the world, moving “upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). The Holy Spirit convicts the unbeliever of their lost and sinful state to bring them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. He regenerates, indwells, convicts of sin, leads in righteousness, sanctifies, empowers and emboldens every true Christian. We strongly reject the teaching that the Holy Spirit is just the impersonal “active force” of God the Father. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues were exclusively for the apostolic age and are not for us today. John 14:16,17; John 16:7-14; Genesis 1:2; Matthew 28:19; Luke 24:49; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:14-16, 26; II Thessalonians 2:13; Acts 13:2-4; I Corinthians 12-14
Scripture tells us that Satan was created a beautiful cherub (Ezekiel 28:13-17). He resided in Heaven until he sinned against God by aspiring to be greater than God . God then cast him out of Heaven along with the angels which sided with him (Isaiah 14:12-17; Jude 1:6; II Peter 2:4). Satan and his fallen angels (demons) now inhabit this world, purposing to keep people from the true way of salvation, and attempting to cause Christians to fall into sin (Matthew 4:1–3; II Corinthians 11:13–15; Ephesians 6:11; I Peter 5:8,9). Fortunately, God has made provision for the believer to have victory over Satan and his followers (I John 4:4; James 4:7). At the end of the Millennial Kingdom Satan and his fallen angels will be cast into the Lake of Fire where they will be eternally punished (Revelation 20:10).
We interpret the Genesis account of creation literally and believe that this account is historically, theologically, and scientifically true in every detail. We believe that God miraculously created the earth approximately 6,000 years ago with its fully developed fauna, the first two mature adults, a full complement of animals, and the surrounding universe in six literal twenty-four hour days. He did not use a process of evolution (theistic or otherwise) but created the individual species (which the Bible calls “kinds”) and allowed a range of variations within these kinds. Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:7, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 27; Exodus 20:11; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3
We believe that God created mankind (Adam and Eve) in His image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-31). They were created pure and sinless, but with a free will. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s commandment not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:6–24) and as a result brought death upon themselves and all of their descendants (Romans 5:12,19,20). Because of this fall every person is a sinner by nature as well as a sinner by choice. Further, mankind is totally depraved – that is, sin has affected every part of his/her being. Each person carries a sin debt that he or she cannot pay. Man can either accept Christ’s atonement for his sin or spend eternity in Hell as a punishment for his sin. God has given sufficient spiritual light (John 1:7-9) to man so that we are without defense or excuse (Romans 1:20).
We believe that salvation is the divine rescue of individuals from the just penalty of sin, the power of sin, and ultimately the presence of sin. “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in Whom we trust that He will yet deliver us” (II Corinthians 1:10). Salvation is by grace through faith alone, apart from any works that we can do (Ephesians 2:8-9). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5). To be saved is the same as being converted, born again, or redeemed. God wants all men to come to repentance and salvation. God’s part of salvation is the free gift of Christ’s atoning blood. Man’s part is to repent of being a sinner and put one’s complete trust in Christ alone for the payment of their sin (Acts 20:21). We reject the doctrine of Calvinism and the belief that God has arbitrarily predetermined some people to go to Heaven and some to Hell ( Acts 20:21; I Timothy 2:4; II Peter 3:9; I John 2:2). Further, we see in Scripture that all who are truly born again are kept by the power of God: we cannot lose our salvation (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 1:6).
The Greek word for church is ekklesia, which means “a called out assembly”. We believe the New Testament church is a visible, called out, assembled, local body of baptized believers of whom Christ is the head (Ephesians 5:23). Christ established the church, having bought it with his own blood (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28, Ephesians 5:25). The duties of the local church are to evangelize the lost and to disciple, edify, and equip the believer (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; II Timothy 2:2).
We believe Christ gave two ordinances for the local church: baptism and the Lord’s supper. Both ordinances can only be legitimately partaken of by true believers. Baptism is the first step of obedience of the new Christian (Acts 2:41) that publicly affirms that which has already taken place in his heart, namely, the dying to the old man, and being raised into newness of life (Romans 6:3-11). This action symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism plays no role in our salvation but is to follow salvation (Acts 8:36-37, 18:8). The Lord’s supper is the second ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-30), and was reinforced by the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 11:23-43). Jesus Christ explained the bread to represent His body which was broken for us and the cup to represent the blood which He voluntarily shed for our sins. These elements of communion are symbolic only. The Lord’s table should be eagerly anticipated (Luke 22:13-20) and preceded by solemn self-examination (I Corinthians 11:28).
We believe there are two eternal states that await mankind: either Heaven or Hell. Those who have repented and trusted Christ as their Savior will be resurrected to life and enjoy the blessedness of Christ in Heaven (John 5:28-29). Those who have rejected Christ as their Savior and die in their sins will be resurrected to damnation and experience eternal, conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire (Luke 16:24; Revelation 14:10-11). We are told that “to be absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8) and find no Scriptural evidence for the false doctrines of soul sleep or purgatory.
We believe that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all human life; therefore, all mankind has purpose. We believe that God has made us in His image; therefore, all mankind has intrinsic value. We believe that God is the Sovereign Lord of life; therefore, all mankind has the inherent right of life from conception to natural death. We believe that abortion, murder, suicide, and euthanasia break God’s law.