At Colonial we believe that the most important thing about us is what we believe. After all, what you believe affects every other area of your life. Beliefs have consequences, and we want the consequence of what we believe to glorify God because we have believed HIS Truth and that Truth is bearing fruit in our lives.
In that vein we want to affirm and proclaim God’s Truth as faithfully and accurately as possible. In order to accomplish these goals we present our doctrine in two phases:
What We Affirm & Believe
There are certain fundamental beliefs that are necessary to be considered Christian, and are therefore necessary to the life of the church. On these basics there can be no compromise, and are essential for membership at Colonial Bible Church. In that spirit we affirm the following as a substantial summary of what we believe and teach:
We affirm that the Bible is the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God in both the Old and New Testaments. We believe that the Bible was written by human authors as God’s Spirit inspired and superintended them to pen every word that was breathed out by Him. Because of this, we believe that the Bible is complete, and is the sole authority for the faith and practice of every believer. We trust in the complete sufficiency of Scripture to accomplish the work of God with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and in conjunction with the ministry of the Word in the body of Christ. We believe that the Scripture is the present means by which Christ speaks to His Church and mediates His rule in the Church with absolute clarity. Thus Scripture needs no further revelation or improvement to be relevant or understood.
(II Timothy 3: 16,17; II Peter 1:3,4,20,21; Psalms 19:7-14; Hebrews 4:12,13; 3:7; Matthew 4:4)
We affirm the infinite nature of the Godhead as described in Scripture. As such He is spirit, eternally self-existent, unchangeable, sovereign, holy, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and true. He has existed eternally in three distinct persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and yet is inseparable as One. Each member of the Triune Godhead is thus fully God in His attributes, nature and essence. Because of this each Member of the Godhead is to be reverenced, worshipped, and obeyed. We believe that the Godhead is the sole Creator of all things through Divine decree, apart from any outside aid or process.
(Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; John 4:24; Hebrews 1:8-10; James 1:16; John 1:1; John 10:30; Matthew 28:18; Matthew 14:6-9; Ephesians 2:4; I John 4:8)
Jesus Christ and His Atoning Work
We affirm the Person of Jesus Christ as the second Person in the Trinity, the Son of God. We believe that Jesus Christ has eternally existed with the Father and Spirit in the unity of the Trinity. We believe that Jesus Christ came to earth, being conceived and born of a virgin by a miracle of the Holy Spirit. In His incarnation He was found in complete humanity, without compromise to His complete deity. We believe He lived a life without sin, died a sacrificial death in our place because of our sin, and rose again from the dead to bring new life to those who believe. We affirm and believe that the death of Jesus was a substitutionary act on behalf of sinners, in that He died in our place, taking on Him the penalty of our sin, and absorbing God’s wrath. Because He lived a sinless life, His death alone was able to satisfy the righteous and holy demands of God, which He has now done for us who believe. We further affirm that the work of Jesus affected, for those who believe, a great exchange of our sin for His righteousness. We believe that the atoning work for sin by Jesus Christ is efficacious only for those who believe, and thus we deny a universal effect of His death unto salvation. We believe that Jesus is now ascended to the right hand of the Father and is the Head of His Church which He died to purchase. He is now reigning and interceding for those who by faith, have trusted in His finished work. We believe it is the joy of all who are truly born-again to confess and accept Jesus Christ in all His offices, as both Lord and Savior, His Person and offices thus unable to be separated.
(Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:35; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:25, 26; Matthew 20:45; I Peter 2:24; Romans 8:34; Luke 24:47,48; I Timothy 4:10; II Peter 2:1; John 10:15; Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 5:9)
The Holy Spirit
We affirm the Person of the Holy Spirit as the third Person in the Trinity, eternal, and co-equal with the Father and the Son. Being sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost in fulfillment of the promises and prophecies of God given before to reside as a permanent minister of God. As God, we believe that He conducts His ministry of conviction of sin, regeneration unto life, drawing sinners to the Father, comfort of the believer, illumination for spiritual understanding, indwelling and sealing the life of the believer, empowering the believer for Gospel service, sanctifying the believer from sin, and maturing the believer into a greater reflection of Jesus Christ. We believe that all believers are filled and indwelt with the Holy Spirit at the time of their conversion as a present Helper, and the Promise of our complete redemption to come. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a term used in Scripture synonymous with immersion in the Spirit, sealing, indwelling, and filling. Thus, our baptism in the Holy Spirit is the moment in which He is “poured out” on the believe at conversion. This work of the Spirit unites us to Christ and other believers in the permanent bond of salvation. Thus we do not believe in successive waves of the baptism or filling of the Spirit.
We believe that the Holy Spirit empowers change through the Word of God, in the life of the believer as they yield to Him, and to the lordship of Christ in obedience. The Spirit’s work of maturing believers into Christ-likeness is demonstrated in their lives by the fruit He produces in them. We believe also that at the point of conversion the Holy Spirit, gives spiritual gifts to those who believe that they might be used for the work of the ministry in the Body of Christ to edify those around them.
We believe that the miraculous or charismatic gifts (tongues, healing, apostolic prophecy/revelation, miracles, etc.) mentioned were very real gifts used for a specific purpose, in a specific time for the propogation and confirmation of the Gospel in the absence of a Written Word as the New Testament was being written and compiled. These gifts also served to validate the Apostles and their unique ministry. This was an exceptional time in the founding of the Church, not a normative pattern to be emulated for all time.
(Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; John 15:26; Acts 1:5,8; 2:4; II Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-23; Colossians 3:16; Acts 4:31; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:3-5; John 1:12,13; 14:16, 17; 16:7-11; 6:44; Romans 5:5; Titus 3:5; II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:14; I John 2:27; Ephesians 1:13; Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:1-11; II Cor. 12:12)
Man and the Fall
We affirm that God created Adam, the first man, in the image of God and in a state of absolute perfection. By disobedience to the revealed will of God, Adam fell from his created state of perfection and suffered a severed relationship with His Creator. Now under the curse of sin, Adam and all his descendents are totally depraved, sinful by nature and by choice, and under the power of Satan, the Deceiver. All men now stand condemned before God and under His judgment and wrath. We believe that our depravity and sin have completely affected every area of humanity, including the will of man, which although free, has been made a slave to sin, and is thus incapable and unwilling to do any good. Such a state of depravity makes the sinner both unwilling and unable to come even to Christ in of and of themselves.
(John 8:44; Genesis 1:26; 2:7; 3:1-6; Romans 5:12-14; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:9-23; Jer.17:9; )
We affirm that the salvation of sinners comes solely from the grace and good pleasure of God, by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Because man is hopelessly lost, unwilling, and unable to save himself, God’s glory and grace are most clearly seen as He sovereignly chooses and grants sinners opposed to Him the repentance and faith to turn from sin and receive what Christ has done for them. Thus, salvation is in no part merited, secured or achieved by the efforts or works of men. We believe that the Holy Spirit effectually calls, regenerates, draws and enables men to both desire and express faith in Christ. Such actions cannot be attributed to depraved men in any form as all are born dead in sin, and opposed to all spiritual good. Faith in the finished work of Christ alone for sinners is the basis for God’s legal declaration of justification in a believer’s life. Justification is the immediate and eternal declaration of Christ’s righteousness imputed to the life of those who believe. Christ alone has fulfilled the demands of the Law and of God’s holiness and has satisfied the Father by His perfect obedience and payment at the cross on behalf of sinners.
The blessings of God’s unmerited salvation toward those whom He chose before the foundation of the world unto eternal life through faith in Christ (Eph. 1:4), yields in their union with Christ, complete forgiveness of sin, adoption, being eternally secured, and experiencing all spiritual blessing. We believe that genuine regeneration and salvation from God not only brings life, but also demonstrable change through justification and the continuing work of sanctification through the Holy Spirit. This new creature will give confirmation of salvation through the fruit of the Spirit, good works, and ultimately their perseverance in the faith.
(Romans 3:24-28; Romans 5:1; Romans 5:18,19; Philippians 3:9; Ephesians 2: 8-10; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:10,11; 8: 7,8; Ephesians 2:1-3; John 3:19-20; Matthew 1:21; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 13:48; Romans 9:11-17,22,23; II Corinthians 4:4,5; Acts 16:31; John 1:12,13; 6:44; 3:3; 16:7-11; II Peter 1:1; Ephesians:8; Acts 11:18; Romans 6:3-6; Romans 5:1; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:34-39; Ephesians 1:3; Ezekiel 36:26-28; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 8:10; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:21; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 12:5-12, 14; I John 2:3, 4; 3:8-10)
We affirm the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying and maturing the life of the true believer in Christ-likeness. We believe that the declaration of justification by God makes the true believer a completely new creation in Christ. We believe that through the power of the Gospel all true believers are freed from the dominion of sin in their lives, so that they are now free to follow Christ. This new life produces a new heart, new desires, and new tendencies that are the general trajectory of their life. We do not believe that believers have reached a state of perfection in this life, but as a general rule, their lives are on a path to spiritual growth and change. At varying times all believers will struggle with sin and disobedience because of indwelling sin, but this pattern will not be the habitual and lasting course of their life. We believe that the work of the Holy Spirit in maturing and sanctifying the believer will produce ever increasing fruit that testifies of their genuine conversion. This fruit occurs as God’s Word is renewing and continually replacing our remaining sin through faith in God’s promises and the mortification of our flesh.
(Romans 6:14; I John 2:3,4, 3:4-10; Ezekiel 36:26-28; Ephesians 4:24; I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Corinthians 3:1-4; Romans 7:15-25; Ephesians 5:5,6; Romans 8:13; Romans 12:1; Ephesians 3:16-19; John 17:17; John 15:1-17)
We affirm that the Church is that special, visible manifestation of Christ’s redeeming work on earth that took its recognizable form at Pentecost as He saves sinners and brings them together as one body. We believe that Christ reigns supreme as the exalted Head of the Church, and that it is the special place where the means of grace are practiced through the preaching of God’s Word, baptism by immersion and communion. We believe that the church has both a universal and local expression. The church universal is the body of Christ around the world, while the local church is the local, visible manifestation of Christ’s church. We believe that the Scripture teaches a pattern of faithful and public commitment to the church by true believers through church membership. We believe that church membership gives the right Biblical expression of submission to Christ, participation in the lives of other believers, accountability in one’s own spiritual growth, and the needed nourishment of a community of a loving spiritual family grounded in the Word of Christ.
We believe the mission of the church is to make disciples locally and globally through the preaching of the Gospel, the strengthening of believers through the preaching and teaching of the whole counsel of God, and to maintain regular worship of God as prescribed in Scripture. We believe the worship of the church is to be conducted according to the confines, regulations, and commands of Scripture apart from any other practice not prescribed therein. The worship of God is to be conducted in spirit and in Truth as the Word of Christ strengthens and deepens the understanding of the believer into the things of God with the aid of the Holy Spirit. We believe that Biblical worship engages the whole person as we express our praise, worship, gratitude, confession, and petitions in meaningful worship with the realization of Christ’s presence through the Word and Its application by the Holy Spirit.
According to Scripture, we believe the church is to be governed and led by elders who serve by shepherding God’s flock. We believe that God has gifted others in the church to serve as deacons in meeting the functional and practical needs of the church. We believe that the church is charged with the ministry of reconciliation and restoration to those among its membership who at times may be found in sin, and where restoration is not possible, to enact Biblical church discipline.
(Acts 1:5; 11:16; I Corinthian 12:12,13; Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 1:18; Matthew 28:19-20; I Corinthians 11:23-26; Ephesians 4:11-13; II Timothy 4:2; Acts 20:17,28; I Timothy 5:17; 3:14; John 4:24; 16:14; I Corinthians 14:25; I Thessalonians 1:5; 2:13)
Eternity and the End of Time
We affirm the Biblical teaching of life after death. We believe that at death, the soul and spirit of man is separated from his body. For those who have trusted Christ as Savior, they are immediately ushered into the glorious presence of Christ. We believe that those who have not received Christ enter into eternal torment, separated from God forever. We believe that both those who are saved and lost will be joined again to their mortal bodies in the resurrection and will be judged by God, at which time the unsaved will be cast into Hell forever, and the saved will enter into the eternal joys of Heaven in their glorified bodies. We do not believe in soul sleep (annihilationism), or in the existence of intermediate states for the soul once separated from the body.
We affirm, that those believers alive at the coming of Christ will be gloriously and instantly changed, and that those who have died will experience a bodily resurrection and reunion of body, soul, and spirit.
We affirm the fundamental teachings of Scripture as it relates to the events occurring in the end of time. Such beliefs ground us in hope, and motivate our growth in becoming like Christ as we await His return. These beliefs include a literal return of Jesus Christ, a future bodily resurrection, a literal Heaven and Hell, and a future judgment to come.
We believe these are the essential and fundamental tenets of a Biblical theology of the end times. Many nuanced views exist as to the timing of the various events as well as other secondary matters related to the ends times, but do not demand a particular view in order to be considered orthodox. But the fundamentals as listed above are the pillars which cannot be compromised.
(Heb. 9:27; Eccl. 12:7; Lk. 23:43; II Cor. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:23; Heb. 12:23; Lk. 16:23-24; I Cor. 15:51-52; I Thess. 4:13-18; Job 19:26-27; I Cor. 15:42-43; Acts 24:15; John 5:28-29; Phil. 3:21; Rev. 19:11-21; )
These are a summary of the fundamental teachings of Biblical Christianity as they have been affirmed throughout the history of the church in expressions such as the Nicene Creed, and various other confessions that remain true to Scripture.
What We Teach
Colonial Bible Church thrives as the body of Christ grows to understand more fully the Truths that God has set forth in His Word. We understand that this is a lifelong endeavor to study and know the Word of God, and that each of us are at a different place in what we know and understand. What We Affirm are the basics, What We Teach is a more substantial and detailed expression of what we believe and teach. Because we value the multitude of counselors, and those beliefs that have weathered the course of history we hold to the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, as our expression of what is taught at Colonial Bible Church. You can find a copy here or pick one up in the foyer when you visit us.