Who We Are
We are sinners who have been saved by the grace of God through repentant faith in Jesus Christ. That may sound "churchy" to some, but it is the best and truest way to describe those who make up the membership of Calvary Bible Church. And we know the "sinner" part of that description all too well. But, thanks to forgiveness through Jesus, we believe that we are among those who are "washed…sanctified… justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” [1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV]
And even though some may be put off a little bit by the use of "church words," we rejoice that God's Word says the church is made up of those who are "sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:” [1 Corinthians 1:2 ESV]
That is who we are! And you are welcome to come and join us.
Where We Are Working
Calvary Bible Church is honored and blessed to participate in God's work around the world as we support multiple missionaries and their work of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ in both words and deeds. We are glad to be partners with those who have left hearth and home to live in other countries, and we are glad to work with various partners in our own land.
This is not just a line item on a budget for us, but a matter of our heart's desire. Why? Because we are convicted that God's Word is absolutely true and relevant. It is that word which says, "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Corinthians 5:18–21 ESV]
Why We Do What We Do
Because Calvary Bible understands that we exist for and through the grace of God, and because we believe that the way God speaks to His people today is through the Scriptures, we strive to understand our purpose in ways that are both thoroughly biblical and strategic. In other words, if we are to be faithful in the ministry God grants us, we understand that it will take a God-honoring philosophy of ministry.
A philosophy of ministry is a set of principles that sets the standards regarding how our church will function in its ministry. Simply stated, our philosophy of ministry defines why we do what we do!
It is our shared doctrine (that is, what we believe) that makes it plain that it must be biblical principles which guide the choices and decisions in our ministry. So, our philosophy of ministry must be drawn from a careful and proper investigation of the Word of God. When we define our philosophy of ministry in this way, we may not only come to know why we do what we do, but we also gain insight on how to actually accomplish what God calls us to do.
The role of personal tastes, desires, thoughts of gain and other such things actually have to diminish for this to take place. And, in a church called to glorify God and not itself, that is a good thing.
We are certainly glad to expand on these things in person (and you may find some sermons and writings about these principles on this web site), but for this brief sidebar, here is a list of the guiding principles that we try to follow. This is why we do what we do at Calvary Bible Church:
What We Believe
The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Bible, that is, the Holy Scriptures as found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, and infallible as it is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12,13).
The Tri-Unity of the Godhead
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and each having the same characteristics and perfections. This God, who is the creator of the universe and all that is therein, is the one and only God, who alone is worthy of all honor and praise (Genesis 1:1-2, 26-27; Deuteronomy 6:4, 28:14; John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
God the Father
We believe in God, the Father, a personal, infinite spirit who has always been thus from eternity past through eternity future. He has never been a man or any other being who transitioned into God. He is and has always been perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. He foreknows infallibly all that shall come to pass, concerning Himself mercifully in the affairs of men. He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (John 4:24; 1 John 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 John 4:8; Psalm 116:5-6; Isaiah 40:25-26, 44:6, 58:9 and Psalm 37:39).
The Person and Work of Christ
• We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (John 1:1,2,14; Luke 1:35).
• We believe that He died on the cross for all who would believe as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that this atoning sacrifice is sufficient for its purpose and does accomplish the redemption and justification of all who trust in Him. All of this was assured by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24,25; 4:25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24; and 2 Peter 2:1).
• We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as the High Priest of every genuine believer, He fulfills the ministries of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1,2).
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
• We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13,14).
• We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guides believers into all truth; and, that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit as they yield to Him (John 16:13; 1 John 2:20,27; Ephesians 5:18).
The Sin Problem of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the entire race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and being dead in sin are alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his alienated condition (Genesis 1:26,27; Romans 3:22-23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12).
The Salvation Graciously Offered by God
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by repentant and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins for everyone who believes (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18,19).
The Security and Assurance of Believers
• We believe that all the genuinely redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1,38,39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5).
• We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word; which Word also clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as a reason to pursue or excuse sin (Romans 13:13,14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
The Two Natures of the Believer
We believe that every person possesses two natures, that is, the flesh and the spirit. Those who are born again become new creations in Christ, and thus, are given provision for victory of their new nature (spirit) over the old nature (flesh) through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and, that all claims to the destruction of the old nature's desire for sin in this life are unscriptural (Romans 6:13, 8:12,13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).
The Practice of Separation
• We believe that all who are genuinely redeemed should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all sinful practices and associations is commanded of God (2Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 14:13; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 1:9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
• We believe that sexual intimacy is a wonderful gift of God that is only to be expressed between one man and one woman (as genetically defined at birth), within the love and bonds of marriage (Genesis 2:24-25; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Hebrews 13:4). Therefore, we believe that any other form of sexual intimacy is both immoral and a perversion of God’s gift (Leviticus 18:1-30; Proverbs 6:32; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8).
The Joy of Proclaiming the Gospel
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by deeds and by words to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the good news (that is, the Gospel) to all mankind (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19,20).
The Use of Spiritual Gifts and Their Ministry to the Body
• We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and, that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are provided by God and sufficient for the perfecting of His saints today as they exposit and model the Holy Scriptures. The sign gifts, such as speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:11-14).
• We believe that the biblical office of pastor/elder in the church, or their equivalents, are restricted to biblically qualified men (1 Timothy 2:12, 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). We believe the other biblical office is that of deacon, which is also restricted to biblically qualified men (1 Timothy 3:8-13).
The Church, Which Is the Bride of Christ
• We believe that the Church, which is the body and the promised bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age (Ephesians 1:22,23, 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2).
• We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
• We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Romans 16:1-4; 1 Corinthians 3:9,16; 5:4-7; 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
• We believe in the ordinances of believer’s water baptism and the Lord’s supper as scriptural means of testimony for the church age, that is, outward means by which the inward faith of the believing may be expressed (Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 2:41,42; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a literal personality; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6,7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11, 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the "Blessed Hope," that is, the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation and premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth, with His saints, to establish His literal 1,000 year kingdom (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Zechariah 14:4-11; Revelation 19:11-16, 20:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10).
The Eternal State
• 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 20:5,6,12,13).
• We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the resurrection, when soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; Revelation 20:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23, 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).
• We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude vv. 6,7; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 20:11-15).
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