statement of faith
This Statement of Faith describes our core beliefs on key aspects of our faith. Centered in Christ and His message, these Biblically based beliefs relate to the essentials of Christianity, salvation and godly living. The following statements form Valley Bible Church’s Statement of Faith:
...that all sixty-six books of the Bible are God’s written revelation to man. Every word is God-breathed, inerrant, and the Bible is the only sufficient and infallible rule for life and practice. Therefore Valley Bible Church unashamedly emphasizes the exposition of all of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation, line upon line, precept upon precept. In all matters of faith and practice, Scripture is the final authority.
...that there is only one true, holy God, eternally existent in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God created all things by the word of His mouth in six, 24-hour days and perfectly sustains and sovereignly rules all of creation according to His divine will and purpose.
...that the salvation of humanity is completely a work of God’s free grace; it is not in any way the result of human works or goodness. God rescues men and women from their sin through the perfect and complete atonement of Jesus Christ through His sacrificial death on the cross; whereby God draws believing sinners to Himself and grants them the gifts of faith and repentance resulting in their instantaneous justification, their ongoing sanctification, and their future glorification in heaven with Him.
...that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in undiluted, perfect, and eternal union as the Second Person of the Trinity; and we believe in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of God and in His personal return to earth in power and glory.
...that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, co-equal in essence and deity with the Father and the Son, who is continuously active in creation, salvation, sanctification, illumination, and intercession, gifting the early church with authenticating sign gifts, and ongoing equipping gifts for ministry.
...that man is created in the image of God, yet through Adam’s personal disobedience to the will of God he became a sinner resulting in every man born after Adam him being born sinful, spiritually dead, hostile to God, completely helpless and hopeless to do anything to advance his spiritual condition, neither worthy of being saved, nor wanting to be. Man is an absolute slave to his sinnature. Without God’s intervention, man would be eternally separated from God and condemned to hell for eternity.
...in the resurrection of all humanity and death seals the eternal destiny of every person. Having rejected God, unbelievers (those who have not trusted in Christ alone for salvation) will be judged according to their deeds and suffer eternal condemnation apart from Him. Believers will be resurrected to eternal life and communion with God forever and receive rewards for their works done for Christ in this life.
...that the visible, earthly church is made up of all who have repented of their sin and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, who have united with local bodies of believers who reflect the glory of God in worship, are devoted to the preaching of His Word, observe the Lord’s Table and believers baptism, are governed by a plurality of elders, practice church discipline, and exercise their spiritual gifts.
...in future things and in the premillennial return of Christ to rapture His church out of this world before He establishes His millennial rule on earth to complete His covenant with Israel, and establish a new heaven and new earth where we will rule with Him forever.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Old and new Testaments are the divine revelation of God1 and thus constitute the Word of God. Men chosen by God wrote the Bible under the guidance and enabling of the Holy Spirit.2 Thus, every word of the original documents is God-breathed (this is commonly called verbal plenary inspiration).3 Therefore, the whole of Scripture is authoritative for the faith of every believer. Those sections of the New Testament dealing directly with the church are authoritative for the practice of the church.4 Also see Article 8 on The Church.
11 Tim. 5:18; 2 Pet. 3:15-16 21 Cor. 2:9-13; 2 Pet. 1:19-21 32 Tim. 3:16 42Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 10:6-12; 1 Tim. 3:14-15
We believe the Scriptures teach that God is infinite, self-existent, Spirit, unchangeable in His nature, omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present, holy, righteous, good, love and truth;1 that God existed eternally as three distinct, yet inseparable persons known to us as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.2 These three are one as to their nature, essence and attributes.3 Each is equally worthy of worship, trust and obedience.4 Each of these divine persons has a distinct function in the execution of the everlasting purpose of the Godhead.5
1Eph. 1:11; Isa. 57:15; John. 4:24; James 1:17; Rev. 4:8; Isa. 46:10; Ps. 139:1-16; 2 Tim. 4:8; Matt. 19:17; 1 John. 4:8-16; John. 14:6 2Ps. 2:2; Hab. 1;12; Ps. 2:7; Isa. 63:10 3Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29; John 10:30; Matt. 28:19 42 Cor. 13:14; 51 Cor. 8:6; 12:4-6; John 16:7; 15:26; 1 John 1:9
We believe the Scriptures teach that God the Father is the ultimate source of all things.1 His Fatherhood relationship to the Son denotes their equality of nature, while at the same time it expresses the subordination of the Son to the Father in the execution of divine purpose.2 He also has a Fatherhood relationship to spirit beings, thus expressing His authoritative headship.3 He now forgives the sins of believers, entering a Fatherhood relationship with them through their spiritual birth, by which He indwells them, thus making them partakers of the divine nature, and calling them His born ones.4 The Father is the One who sent the Son as His gift into the world.5 Moreover, He, in partnership with the Son, sent the Holy Spirit to be resident in the world on the Day of Pentecost.6
1I Cor. 8:6; 2John1:1, 2; 3Job 1:6; Heb. 12:9; 4I John 3:9; Eph. 4:6; II Peter 1:4; 5John 3:16; 6John 14:26; 15:26
We believe the Scriptures teach that the second person of the Triune God is the Son whose name is the Lord Jesus Christ.1 In the incarnation He became a man through the miracle of His divine conception and virgin birth2 without change in His deity.3 While on earth He lived a sinless life,4 died a propitiatory death for all men,5 was buried and arose bodily from the grave the third day.6 He then ascended bodily into heaven and is presently fulfilling His intercessory and mediatory ministry.7 He has promised to rapture the Church prior to the 70th Week of Daniel.8 After the Tribulation He will return to earth and institute His Millennial, Davidic reign.9
1John 1:1-2; Rom. 9:5; 2 Pet. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:16-17; 2John1;14; Luke 1:31-35; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2;14; 3Phil. 2:6-8; John 1:14; 4Heb. 4:15; 52 Cor. 5:14-15; 61 Cor. 15:1-4; 7Acts 1:9-11; Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 Thess. 5:1-10; 2 Thess. 2:1-3; Dan. 9:24-27; 8Rev. 3:10; 9Matt. 24:29-31; Luke 1:31; Rev. 20:4
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, co-eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Son.1 The Holy Spirit was co-agent in creation, the divine author of the revelation of God, and the divine agent in the supernatural conception of the humanity of the Son.2 He became resident in the world on the Day of Pentecost as a result of being sent by the Father and the Son.3 Since that time He is the co-witness through the believer concerning Christ; He takes the things of Christ and glorifies Him.4 He convicts the unsaved of their need of Christ,5 then regenerates,6 baptizes,7 indwells,8 and seals9 those who respond by believing. He is the anointer or divine teacher of the believer whom He seeks to lead into spiritual maturity through the knowledge of Christ and to empower through His filling ministry.10
1Acts 5:3-4; Heb. 9:14; Matt. 28:19; 2Job 26:13; II Peter 1:21; Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18; 3John 14:26; John 15:26; 4John 15:26; John 16:13-14; 5John 16:6-11; 6John 3:5; 7I Cor. 12:13; 8Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 6:19; 9Eph. 4:30; 10 I John 2:20,27; I Cor. 2:10-12; Eph. 5:18
The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:11; 44:6; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). At the same time, the Bible plainly indicates a plurality within God's nature, subsisting of three eternal and coequal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each the same in basic nature, but distinct in existence. Although the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, the doctrine of the Trinity is a factual conclusion, reached by comparing and combining relevant scriptural truths. The Trinity is one of the great mysteries of the Bible that cannot be fathomed by the finite mind. If God were small enough to figure out, He wouldn't be big enough to worship. The Bible tells us that God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways (Isaiah 55:8–9). Though we will never fully understand the doctrine of the Trinity, there is no reasonable doubt that the Bible clearly teaches its truth. As stated in the sections Father, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit above, we believe that each of these distinct persons is God. Biblical authors affirm the Father's divinity by teaching He is holy (see John 17:11), sovereign (Matthew 11:25), all powerful (Mark 14:36), full of love and forgiveness (Luke 15:11–32), the source of all things (1 Corinthians 8:6), and is all-knowing (Matthew 6:8). Jesus confirmed this truth to His disciples when He referred to God as "My Father" (John 20:17) and taught them to pray to God using the words, "our Father" (Matthew 6:9). The Bible ascribes the same attributes of God to His Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:21–23; 28:18; Luke 5:20–24; John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 17:5; Hebrews 13:8). Jesus Christ is worshipped (Matthew 14:31–33; 28:9; Hebrews 1:6); He is called God (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:21–23; John 1:1,14; 20:28); and He can forgive sins (Luke 5:20–24). The Bible ascribes these attributes to God alone. Finally we believe that Scripture teaches the activities and characteristics of God are attributed to the Holy Spirit as well (Psalm 139:7–10; Luke 1:35; 11:13; John 14:26; Hebrews 9:14). The Holy Spirit is a Person (John 16:13–15; Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:10–13; 12:11); He is Creator (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4); and He is called God (see Acts 5:1–11). We are left with no other rational, biblical conclusion than to believe that God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit exist as a Holy Trinity: the God of the Bible. There is no question of the existence of the Trinity. The only question is one of belief. We should want to know God, not as whom we think He should be, but simply as whom the Bible reveals Him to be.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God immediately and apart from any process of evolution.1 Adam, by a personal disobedience to the will of God, became a sinner,2 depraved in nature and subject to Satan’s power.3 This sin nature and depravity has been transmitted to the entire human race4 so that man is a sinner by nature, choice and practice, and guilty before God, possessing within himself no means of recovery or salvation.5
1Gen. 1:26-27, 2:7; 2Gen. 3:5-7; 3Eph. 2:2-3; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; 4Rom. 5:19; Ps. 51:5; 5Rom. 3:10-12
We believe the Scriptures teach that salvation is by the grace of God through his free gifts which is neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man.1 The sole ground or basis of salvation is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He became personally separated from the Father when the Father made the Son’s soul an offering for sin. Thereby the Father’s outraged holiness against man’s sin nature with its product was propitiated.2 Because of His, infinite character, his blood was a sufficient redemption for all mankind.3 The single condition whereby the value of these propitiatory, redemptive and reconciliatory works of the cross may be applied to the individual is by a personal faith in the crucified and risen Son of God.4 In salvation, the believer is called, regenerated, forgiven all sin, justified, made eternally secure and endowed with every spiritual blessing.5
1Eph. 2:8-9; 2Isa. 53:10; Rom. 6:10; 1John 2:2; 32Pet. 2:1; Rom 3:24; 4Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9; 5Titus 3:5; Rom. 3:24; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 1:3, 13-14
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Church is a spiritual body begun on the Day of Pentecost, into which all true believers of this dispensation are baptized by the Holy Spirit.1 Accompanying this baptism is the giving of spiritual gifts which are used for the edification of the Church.2 The exalted Christ is the only Head of the Church.3 The local expression of the Church is a company of baptized believers, independent in character and autonomous in function, which as fellowship with other churches of like faith and order.4 To these churches are omitted the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.5 Baptism an act of obedience, not a basis of salvation, is by immersion in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is obligatory on the believer and is a sign of identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and is a prerequisite for membership.6 The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of the death of Christ until He comes.7 The officers of the local church are pastors (the term is interchangeable with elder and bishop) and deacons.8 The local churches have the responsibility of worship of the Father and of self-edification of the body of Christ through teaching and preaching of the Gospel and through the functioning of each member of the body by means of their spiritual gift.9
11 Cor. 13:13; Acts 1:5; Acts 11:15-17; 21 Cor. 12:1-14; Eph. 4:7-13; 3Eph. 1:22; Eph. 5:23-24; 41 Cor. 5:4; Acts 15 51 Cor. 11:23-24; Matt. 28:19-20; 6Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:35-39; 1 Pet. 3;21; 71 Cor. 11:26; 81 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9; Acts 20:17, 28; 9Matt. 28:20; Eph. 4:11-16; Heb. 10:25
We believe the Scriptures teach that all believers since the beginning of the Church at Pentecost have received a spiritual gift.1 These gifts are the result of the spirit baptizing the believer into the body of Christ and correspond to the functions of members of the body.2 These gifts were given for the edification and good of the local church and not the individual recipient.3 In the beginning of the church some gifts were given which were of a temporary nature and are thus no longer given.4
Some of these temporary gifts were revelatory, providing oral revelation while the new Testament was being completed.5 These are the gifts of apostle and prophecy, the discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues, a word of knowledge, and a word of wisdom. Others were confirmatory sign gifts, 6vindicating the spokesman of God while the New Testament was incomplete. These were tongues,7 healing and miracles. All other gifts mentioned in the new Testament, however, should be operative in the local church today.8
11 Cor. 12:7, 11, 18-19; 1 Pet. 4:10; 21 Cor. 12:12-13; 31 Cor. 12:15-25; Eph. 4:11-13; 41 Cor. 13:8-12; Heb. 2:2-3; Heb. 2:4; 51 Cor. 14:26; 6Heb. 2:2-3; 1 Cor. 14:22; Heb. 2:4; 71 Cor. 14:22; 8Rom. 12:7-8; Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:9,28
We believe that the Scriptures teach that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his time and possessions; and that he should seek for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. The Christian life should be one of faith expressing itself through love and is lived through the power of the Holy Spirit and not through the observance of the law or any rules of men. A true believer’s life should be characterized by the increasing display of the Spirit’s control and by the fruit of the Spirit and also by prayer, a love for the Bible, and an attitude of humility, submission and forgiveness.
I Cor. 10:31; Rom. 12:1-3; Heb. 12:1-2; John 14:15, 23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Cor. 9:6-9; 1 Cor. 4:2; Col. 1:9-10; Gal. 5:5-16, 22-26; Eph. 4:32
We believe the Scriptures teach that prior to the creation of the material universe, the triune God created a great host of varied spirit beings.1 The holy angels serve God as His messengers and minister to those who are the elect among the human race.2 Lucifer (Satan), the highest Cherubim, fell by sinning against the most high God and took with him a large number of angels.3 Satan is the author of sin and the one who brought about the fall of Adam and Eve.4 Satan is the enemy of God, the accuser of God’s people and is constantly active in opposing the works and people of God.5 Satan was judged at the cross,6 and his ultimate destiny is the Lake of Fire.7
1Job 38:4-7; Col. 1:16-17; 2Heb. 1;14; 3Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:14; Rev. 12:7; 4Gen. 3:5; 5Rev. 12:11; 1 Pet. 5:8; 6John 12:31; John 16:11; 7Rev. 20:7, 10
FUTURE EVENTS (ESCHATOLOGY)
We believe the Scriptures teach that at death the spirit and soul of the believer passes instantly into the presence of Christ and remains in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body when Christ1 comes for His own.2 The blessed hope of the believer is the imminent, personal, pre-tribulation, pre-millennial appearance of Christ to rapture the Church.3 His righteous judgments will then be poured out on an unbelieving world during the Tribulation (the 70th week of Daniel), the last half of which is the Great Tribulation.4 The climax of the fearful era will be the physical return of Jesus Christ in great glory to introduce the Davidic kingdom.5 Israel will be saved and restored as a nation.6 Satan will be bound and the curse will be lifted from the physical creation.7 Following the Millennium, the Great White Throne Judgment will occur at which time the bodies and souls of the wicked shall be reunited and cast into the Lake of Fire.8
12 Cor. 5:8; 21 Cor. 15:51-57; 3Titus 2:13; 1 Thess. 4:14-17; 4Matt. 24:21 5Rev. 19:11-16 6Rom. 11:26-27; 7Rev. 20:2-3; 8Rev. 20:11-15
The greatest privilege a Christian has is the privilege of prayer. Not only is it a privilege, but it is also the responsibility of every believer. Jesus said that we "ought always to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1). Prayer is simply talking to God, letting our concerns and requests be made known to Him. When we pray, we admit our need for God and our utter dependence on Him. Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ do we have access to God (see 1 Timothy 2:5). We approach God in Jesus' name, not our own. Prayer is not a means of trying to get from God what we want, but rather a means by which we enable God to give us what He wants. We believe Scripture commands us to pray (2 Chronicles 7:14; Luke 18:1) and through prayer, we receive things (James 4:2), experience fullness of joy (John 16:24), and find help in times of trouble (Ps 34:17). Prayer is the cure for worry (Philippians 4:6) and also helps us resist temptation (Matthew 26:41). We are to pray always (Ephesians 6:18) and without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Biblically, our prayers can be those of praise and adoration, confession and repentance, supplication or requests, and thanksgiving. (1 Tim. 2:1; Eph. 5:20; Phil. 4:6; Ps. 32:5; 2 Cor. 7:10) Neglecting to pray is a sin. Samuel said, "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (1 Samuel 12:23).
We believe the Scriptures teach that communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus Christ to remember his sacrifice for us and to symbolize the new covenant. The elements of bread and wine or juice are symbols of Christ’s broken body broken for us and his shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather it is a testament of the believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross of Jesus Christ and a public acknowledgement and reminder of the death of Christ until He comes again.
Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
We believe the Scriptures teach that water baptism is not a personal choice but that every true disciple of Christ is to be baptized as an initial act of obedience1; as a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ2, as a public act of identification3, and as an appeal to God for a good conscience and a new walk4. We believe the Scriptures teach that baptism of a believer by immersion is the command and practice of Scripture5. Scripture points to only believers being baptized in each case where baptism is observed6. Immersion is indicated by the selection of the word baptidzo, which means “to immerse, sink, or drown”, and thus is the practice of the New Testament7).
1Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; 16:33; 19:5; 2Romans 6:3-5; 3Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 6:3; 41 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:4; 5Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-39; 6Acts 2:38-41; 8:38; 9:18; 7 Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38
TITHING AND STEWARDSHIP
We believe the Scripture teaches much about the issue of money and giving or tithing. The Bible contains more than two thousand verses on the subject of Christians and their money. Time and again, the Bible associates our money with our commitment and relationship to the Lord. Through giving, the early church helped one another and invested in what God was accomplishing. Biblically our giving is an expression of love and gratitude because everything we have comes from God (see 1 Chronicles 29:14) and it is a test of our faithfulness and reveals much about our spirituality and what we value (Matthew 6:21). The Bible teaches that God cares about our motives and attitudes for giving. Clearly we know that our gifts do not gain us anything from God that has not already been provided by the Cross and that our giving should be purposeful and cheerful, for God loves a cheerful giver (1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:6-10). In 1 Corinthians 16:1–2, we find specific guidelines for giving: it is to be a universal practice for believers; it is to be done regularly; it is a personal act; and it is something we should be prepared to do. We believe that based on scriptural principals, Christians should begin their giving at the level of the tithe (10%) as the training wheels for giving and then let God direct their giving from there. We believe as others do that it would be unthinkable from the standpoint of the cross that anyone would desire to give less under grace than God had commanded his people to give under law. In Malachi 3:10-11, Scripture makes us an incredible promise to those who give the full tithe to the Lord’s work. God does not ask us to give because He needs our resources. Rather, He challenges us to make Him the focus of our lives instead of our money and possessions. We firmly believe that no matter what we give to God, what is left will always sustain us better than if we hadn't given at all.