What We Believe

ARTICLES OF FAITH


The Articles of Faith express the basic theological beliefs of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.  They represent the teaching position of this church and are the basis for the theological qualification of our pastor, administrative council, pastoral staff, deacons/deaconess, trustees, Sunday school teachers, ministry council and ministries supported by this church.


A.      The Scriptures


We believe that the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God and are therefore without error in the original writings.  We further believe that this inspiration is not in different degrees, but extends equally and fully to all parts of the Bible:  historical, poetical, doctrinal and prophetical.  We, therefore, believe in the absolute authority of the Bible in all matters of faith and practice. John 10:35; II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:21.


B.      The True God


We believe in one living and true God who is the creator of heaven and earth; who is eternal, almighty, unchangeable, infinitely powerful, wise, just and holy.


We believe that one God eternally exists in three Persons:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, co-equal, having precisely the same nature and attributes, and worthy of precisely the same worship, confidence and obedience.  Matthew 3:16, 17;  Matthew 28:19, 20;  Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3, 4; II Corinthians 13:14.


C.      God the Father


We believe in God the Father, Creator and Sustainer of all things, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love.  We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; the He sent His Son into the world; that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Genesis 1:1;  Psalms 7:9;  Matthew 5:48;  John 3:16;  Acts 13:17-25;  Acts 14:15-17;  Acts 17:24-28.


D.      The Person and Work of Jesus Christ


We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and is fully God and fully Man.  We believe that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin, and made a curse for us, dying in our place that we might be forgiven.  We believe that he died not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the entire world.  We believe that He was raised from the dead in bodily form and that He ascended into heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us.


We believe in the personal, bodily imminent and pre-millennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ for his Church and His subsequent millennial reign over restored Israel and the kingdoms of the world.  Luke 1:30-35;  2:7;  John 1:1-4;  Romans 9-11;  Philippians 2:5-11;  Colossians 1:13-19;  Hebrews 1:1-3;  I Peter 3:18; I Corinthians 15:3-7;  Hebrews 7:25;  Acts 1:11, 15:14-17;  I Thessalonians 4:13-18;  I John 2:2.


E.      The Holy Spirit


We believe that the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence, but a divine Person;  that He is the source and power of all acceptable worship and service and is our abiding Counselor and Helper.  We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at the moment of conversion and is that act whereby believers are united with Christ as part of His body;  that the Holy Spirit permanently indwells all believers in Christ;  that He will never depart from the Church nor from the weakest believer; that by His indwelling the believer is enabled to live a godly life.  John 14:16,17;  16:13-15;  Acts 1:8;  5:3,4;  Romans 8:9;  I Corinthians 6:19;  12:13;  Galatians 5:22,23.


F.       The Fall of Man


We believe that man, although created as an innocent being in the image of God, fell from his high and holy estate through Adam’s act of disobedience.  As a result, sin entered the human race, leaving mankind subject to the wrath of God, spiritually dead, inherently corrupt, and incapable of pleasing God apart from a work of divine grace.  Thus all men are hopelessly lost apart from salvation which is in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Genesis 1:27;  3:6-24;  Romans 5:12, 19;  Ephesians 2:13;  Romans 3:8-18.


G.      The Way of Salvation


We believe that, due to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again;  that salvation is only by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and that all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ through faith are declared righteous by God and thereby become children of God.


We believe the Scriptures teach that regeneration, or the new birth, is that act of God by which the Holy Spirit imparts a new nature and a new spiritual life, not before possessed, and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus.  The mind is given a holy disposition and a new desire to serve God, the dominion of sin broken, and the heart transformed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God.


As the believer walks in the power of the Holy Spirit, these new realities become evident in life characterized by holiness, compassion and zeal.  Ephesians 2:1-10;  John 14:6;  Acts 4:12;  Hebrews 9:22;  John 3:1-18;  II Corinthians 5:17;  I Peter 1:18, 19.


H.      The Church


We believe the true Church of Jesus Christ had its historical beginning at Pentecost, that it is composed of all true believers in Jesus Christ, is the body and bride of our Lord, and is distinct from Israel.


We believe that since there is spiritual unity of all believers in Jesus Christ, it is our duty to love one another fervently, endeavoring at all times to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


We believe that the purpose of the Church in the world is to glorify God through worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observation of the ordinances , fellowship, the exercise of our gifts and talents, and the proclamation of the gospel both in our community and throughout the world.  Acts 2:1, 41-47;  Romans 12:5;  I Corinthians 12:12, 13;  I Corinthians 10:32;  Ephesians 1:22, 23;  4:3-6;  Colossians 1:18;  Colossians 3:14-15.


I.        The Ordinances


We believe the ordinances of the Church are two in number and constitute a scriptural means of public testimony for the church in this age.  One is that of believer’s baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit;  the other is the Lord’s Supper.  Matthew 26:27-30;  I Corinthians 11:23-30;  Matthew 28:19;  Acts 16:30-33.


J.      The Security of the Believer


We believe that those who have by faith trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are eternally secure and can never lose their salvation.  We further believe it is the privilege of all believers to be assured of their salvation; that this assurance rests not in themselves, but in the promises of God;  that the Scriptures teach that such that are truly regenerate, being born of  the Spirit, will not utterly fall away and finally perish, but are kept by the power of God unto the day of salvation.  We also believe that the doctrine of eternal security should lead to a life of love, gratitude and obedience to God.  John 6:39;  10:27-29;  Philippians 1:6;  I Peter 1:3-5;  I John 2:19;  Romans 11:29.


K.      Sanctification


We believe the Scriptures teach that sanctification is the means by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness and that, as we practice or faith and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in our lives.  Galatians 5:22, 23;  Colossians 3:8-12;  II Corinthians 3:18;  John 17:17;  I Peter 3:18;  I Thessalonians 3:12, 13;  Ephesians 5:26;  I Timothy 4:5;  Hebrews 10:25.


L.      Future Reward and Punishment


We believe that at the moment of death, believers pass immediately into the presence of Christ and remain there in joyful fellowship with Him until the resurrection of the body at His second coming, after which they will be forever with the Lord in glory.  We also believe that at the moment of death, the unsaved descend to Hell where they are kept under punishment until their bodies are raised at the final judgment, after which they will suffer everlasting conscious punishment separated from the presence of the Lord.  Acts 17:31;  Matthew 25:31-46;  II Corinthians 5:8;  Philippians 1:23;  Revelation 20:11-15;  John 14:1-3;  3:16;  II Thessalonians 1:7-10;  Revelation 21:1-5.



ARTICLE IV: ORDINANCES

We believe the Scriptures teach that there are two ordinances to be observed by the local church:  believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper.


A.      Baptism


Believer’s baptism, as taught in Scripture, is an outward profession of faith by one who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Matthew 3:6, 13-16;  Matthew 28:19,;  John 4:1, 2;  Acts 9:36-38;  Acts 22:16.


Baptism shall be by immersion and shall be administered at such times as shall be arranged by the pastoral staff and deacons/deaconesses.  Since baptism is not to be entered into lightly, committee appointed by the Administrative Council shall interview each person seeking to be baptized and shall determine his or her readiness for baptism.


B.      The Lord’s Supper


The Lord’s Supper, as taught in Scripture, is a remembrance of the atoning death of Jesus Christ, a promise of His imminent return and a time for serious self-examination by the individual believer.  Mark 14:22-24;  I Corinthians 10:16, 17;  I Corinthians 11:23-26.


The Lord’s Supper shall be observed the first Sunday service of each month and at such other times as determined by the pastoral staff and deacons/deaconesses.  Since it is not to be entered into lightly, only believers shall be encouraged to purposefully partake in the Lord’s Supper.


The pastoral staff and deacons/deaconesses will serve the Lord’s Supper.