MBC Hazlet - Maranatha Baptist Church

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What We Believe

The Word of God

We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God's will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority on everything it declares to be true.

We believe every word to be fully inspired of God and should be interpreted by seeking the original intent of each biblical author. Historical and grammatical context, word usage, and literary features must be taken into account and Scripture is to interpret Scripture.

Pr. 30:5-6; Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 24:25; John 10:35; 1 Cor. 2:13-14; I Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pe. 1:20-21

The Trinity

We believe in one God, creator and sustainer of all things, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent in being. We believe that while each person of the Trinity is equal, each person executes distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.

Deut. 6:4; Is. 43:10-11; Matt. 3:16-17; 5:48; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Col. 1:15-17; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 11:3

Doctrine of God

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe He is the creator of all and that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, hears and answers prayer, and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Deut. 6:4; Is. 43:10-11; John 1:1; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 12:4-6

Doctrine of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God's eternal Son and that He has precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We believe further that Jesus is not only true God, but true man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He was tempted in every area, but lived a life without sin. He died in our place as a substitution to satisfy the righteousness and holiness of God.

We believe in His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into Heaven, His present role as High Priest and Intercessor on behalf of His people, and in His personal, visible, and pre-millennial return to Earth.

Matt. 1, 18-25; Phil. 2:6-8; I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:8, 2:14-17, 4:15, 8:1; 1 Peter 2:22-24; 3:18; I John 2:1 Rev. 20:6

Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, that He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation, and permanently indwells them. His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, convict individuals of sin, and empower and lead the believer towards godly living and service. Such service is enabled through the Spirit's sovereign distribution of spiritual gifts. While there are a variety of spiritual gifts, they are given for one purpose: to mature and build up the Church. Finally, as some gifts were given primarily for the founding of the church, we do not believe they are normative today.

John 14:16, 17; I Cor. 12:7, 11, 13; Eph. 2:20, 4:11-13; Heb. 2:3-4

Man

We believe man, both male and female, was directly created by God in His image and likeness. In his original state, man was free from sin. We believe sin is anything contrary to the character of God and it harms both the individual and the relationships surrounding the individual Through Adam's voluntary act of disobedience against God, man fell from that original state, forfeiting his fellowship with God and incurring the penalty of physical and spiritual death. The consequence is that all people are born sinners. By nature and by choice, man remains spiritually dead and his soul is destined for a conscious eternity apart from God.

Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 1:28, 31; 1 Cor 15:33; Gal. 5:12, 19-21; Rev. 20:10, 21:8

Salvation

We believe Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's salvation which was purchased by Christ on the cross. Through His sacrifice, He took on Himself the sins of all mankind and died in our place. We also believe eternal life is a free gift of God, apart from any human merit, works, or ritual. By grace, any person may obtain this gift by confessing faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior. We further believe salvation once possessed, can never be lost or forfeited.

John 1:12, 10:27-29; Acts 4:12; Rom 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8- 9; I John 2:2; I Peter 1:3-5, 2:24

The Church

We believe the Church is a creation of the Holy Spirit, appointed and directed by God and under the authority of Jesus Christ as the head. The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and, as such, are called "Christians." Each Christian is a member of the "Universal Church" but as God brings Christians together in any given area they must unite and form a local church.

We believe the local church is God's method for disciple-making and the context through which individual believers can best exercise their gifts, talents, and abilities. The congregation meets for the purposes of worship, instruction, fellowship, evangelism, and service and is to be organized under the leadership of spiritually qualified men who serve as Elders. Both leaders and individual members have a responsibility to mature and become equipped as disciples of Christ.

We believe baptism and the Lord's Supper are Christ's only ordinances for the church and believers are to be obedient in regard to both. We believe immersion is the best expression of believer's baptism because it best symbolizes the individual's identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and the desire to walk in newness of life. We further believe the Lord's Supper, using the bread and cup, is a commemoration of the Lord's sacrifice which is to be celebrated regularly until He comes again.

Matt. 28:19; Acts 2: 4, 47; 8: 36-37; Rom. 6: 3-5; I Cor. 11:23-26; Eph. 4:11-13. 5:29; Heb. 10: 24-25

Marriage & Family

We believe that marriage was ordained by God at creation as a blessing for both man and woman, before any sin or rebellion entered the world. God created marriage to be the sacred union of one man and one woman who enter into a covenant relationship, to complement one another, serve one another, and sanctify one another for as long as they both might live.

Marriage serves a variety of God-ordained purposes beginning with companionship. Since Christian marriage is a representation of Christ's relationship to His church, believers are instructed to only marry another believer.

A secondary purpose is procreation. We believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. So all human life is sacred and worthy of protection from the moment of conception to the moment of death.

A third purpose for marriage is to provide a legitimate outlet for our sexual drive. And we believe all sexual relations must therefore be reserved for that union.

Although most individuals will get married, there is a special enabling for some to be single. Singleness (celibacy) provides greater freedom for service to the Lord and is to be honored in the church.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-24; Leviticus 18:22; Psalms 127, 128; 139:13-16; Matthew 19:1-12; Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-11, 7:8-14, 25-40; Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4

Community & Conscience

We believe that each local church is self-governing in function, and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority. While each church must agree on its own core doctrine, the interdependence of local churches is both reasonable and wise when different congregations share a common mission to reach their communities for Christ.

We believe in the mutual submission of believers to each other in love and that love is the defining characteristic of true Christians. We further believe every human being is directly responsible to God in matters of faith and life. In those areas not explicit in Scripture, each person should be free to worship and serve God according to the dictates of his or her conscience.

Mark 9:35-41; John 13:35; Acts 14:23; Rom 14:1-12; 1 Cor 8:9-13; Eph 5:21; Col 1:16; Titus 1:5

Future Things

We believe God has a plan for future events involving both the saved and the lost. At the moment of death, the saved enter into the joyous presence of Christ; the lost enter into eternal pain. We also believe in two resurrections; the resurrection of the just to eternal life and the resurrection of the unjust to condemnation.

We believe Christ will return at any point in time to take His Church to heaven followed by a worldwide Tribulation. At the end of this time the lost shall be judged at the Great White Throne and the saved shall spend eternity in the presence of Christ. He will establish an earthly thousand-year reign followed by a new heavens and earth.

Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:22-23; 23:43; John 14:2-3; Phil. 1:23; I Thess. 4:13-18; II Thess. 2:1 -12; Rev. 3:10, 5:10, 19:11-16, 20:6-15; 21:1


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