What We Believe
We believe that the Holy Bible, as originally written, was verbally inspired by God and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore has truth without any admixture of error for its matter. We believe that the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tied. (II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:19-21)
One True God
We believe there is one, and only one living and true God, an infinite omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, Spirit, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and Earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three (3) persons, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Genesis 1:1-2, Exodus 20:2-3, Proverbs 30:4, Matthew 28:19, Mark 12:29, John 1:1-14,10:30, I Corinthians 8:6, II Corinthians 13:14, Revelations 4:11)
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, and He is both the Son of God and God the Son. Both human and divine and the absolute Deity; that He existed from eternity and is co-equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He lived a sinless life; that He provided a substitutionary atonement for sinful man through His death on the Cross; that He was buried, and arose bodily from the grave; that He ascended bodily into Heaven where He now intercedes as High Priest for the saints; that He will return in the air at the Rapture of His church just prior to the 7-year Tribulation period that He will return literally to Earth after a seven-year Tribulation period to set up His millennial reign. (John 1:14, Philippians 2:6-7,3:20, Luke 1:35, Hebrews 7:26,8:1-2, I Corinthians 15:3, Matthew 28:6, I Thessalonians 4:14-17, Daniel 9:24-27, Revelations 11:2-3,20:1-4)
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine per- son; equal with God the Father and God the Son and the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world, He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He baptizes and seals all believers into the body of Christ at the moment of conversion; that He indwells, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, fills, sanctifies and helps the believer. (Genesis 1:1-3, Matthew 28:19, Mark 1:8, Luke 1:35,24:49, John 1:33,3:5- 6,14:16-17,15:26-27,16:8-11,16:13-14, Acts 5:30-32,1:16, Romans 8:9-14, 8:16,8:26-27, I Corinthians 6:19, Ephesians 1:13-14, II Thessalonians 2:7,11, 2:13, I Peter 1:2)
We believe in the personality of Satan, the unholy god of this world who fell through pride and rebellion against God. He is the enemy of God and all believers, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present apostasy; author of the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, the lake of fire prepared for him, his angels, and his followers. (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, Matthew 4:1-3, Ephesians 2:2, II Corinthians 4:4,11; 3,13-15, Mark 13:21-22, Revelations 12:10,20:10,21:8)
We accept the Genesis account of creation and believe that man cam e into existence by direct creation of God, not by evolution. (Genesis chapter 1 and 2, Colossians 1:16 –17, John 1:3)
Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker but by voluntary transgressions, fell from his sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1-6,3:24, Romans 1:20,1:32,3:10-19,5:12,5-19, Ephesians 1:1,3, Galatians 3:22)
Atonement for Sin
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God (Jesus Christ) who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death on the cross, made a full and vicarious atonement which consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the just dying for the unjust; Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His body on the tree; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tend rest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior. (Ephesians 2 8, Acts 15:11, Romans 3:24,3:25, John 3:16,10:18, Matthew 18:11, Philippians 2:7-8, Hebrews 2:14,12:2, 7:25,9:12-15, Isaiah 53: 4- 7,53:11-12, I John 2:2,4:10, I Corinthians 15:3,15:20, II Corinthians 5:21, Ga- latians 1:4, I Peter 2:24, 3:18)
A New Creation
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Jesus Christ; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth, the one who is dead trespasses and in sin is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, not of good works, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. (John 1:12-13,3:3,3:8, II Corinthians 5:17, I John 3:6-7, Acts 16:30-33, II Peter 1:4, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:1,5:9, II Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 2:13, Galatians 5:22)
We believe that the great gospel blessing, which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is justification:
A) That justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness.
B) That it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done; but that solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood His righteousness is imputed unto us. (Acts 13:39, Isaiah 53:11, Zechariah 13:1, Romans 1:17,4:1- 8,5:1,5:9,8:1,Titus 3:5-7, Habakkuk 2:4, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38)
We believe that Sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God, accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness as he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return. (John 17:17, I Corinthians 1:30, II Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 5:25-27, I Thessalonians 4:3-4,5:23-24, Hebrews 3:1,10:10-14, I John 3:2, Jude 23,25, Revelations 22:11)
Faith and Salvation
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as representative and substitutionary sacrifice and rose again from the dead for our justification and that all who believe in Him are justified on the grounds of His blood and are saved by grace through faith wholly apart from human merit and works. (Acts 13:39,16:31, Romans 3:21-28,10:9, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5)
We believe that the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, miraculously conceived the Lord Jesus Christ and that He is both a true God and true man. (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-35, John 1:14, Philippians 2:6-11)
The Local Church
We believe that the local Church is a congregation of immersed believers; that the Church, which is His body, includes all New Testament believers from Pentecost to the Rapture, associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are Pastors and Deacons whose qualifications, claim and duties are clearly defined in scripture; we believe the true mission of the Church is the faithful witness- ing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations and that the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; and every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of member- ship, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Acts 2:41-42,20:17-28,15:13-18, I Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23-24, 4:11, I Timothy 3:1-7, Colossians 1:18)
Separation of the Believer
We believe in personal separation from all practices and influences of the world, which hinder a Spirit-filled life. We believe in biblical separation from all forms of ecclesiastical liberalism, apostasy and compromise and shall separate ourselves from all organizations, clubs, secret orders, lodges, etc., which teach doctrine contrary to the Word of God. (Psalms 1:1-6, Romans 6:1-14,12:1, Galatians 5:16-25, Colossians 3:1-17, James 4:4, I John 2:15-17, II Corinthians 6:14, Ephesians 5:11-12)
Eternal Security of the Saints
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. (John 10:28-29, Romans 8:35-39, Philippians 1:6, Jude 1)
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to new life; that it is a prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. (Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-39, John 3:23, 3:34, Romans 6:3-5, Matthew 3:16, 28:18 -20, Colossians 2:12, I Corinthians 11:23-28)
Righteous and Wickedness
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all dead; the saved to eternal glory and blessing in Heaven with God; the unsaved to eternal judgment of conscious suffering in the lake of fire. (Genesis 18:23, Proverbs 14:32, Malachi 3:18, Matthew 7:13-14, 10:28,18:8- 9,25:34-41,25:41-46, Luke 16:25, John 5:28-29,8:21, Romans 6:17,18,23,7:6, I John 5:19, Mark 9:43-49, II Thessalonians 1:6-9, Revelation 10:6,11-15,21:1-8)
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience. We believe that civil government has no right to legislate or seek to control matters of religious faith or practices. (Exodus 18:21-22, II Samuel 23:3, Psalms 72:11, Daniel 3:17-18, Matthew 10:28,22:21,23:10, Acts 4:19-20,5:20,23:5, Romans 13:17, Philippians 2:10- 11, Titus 3:1, I Peter 2:13-14,17, Revelation 10:16)
Things to Come
We believe that the imminent “Blessed Hope”, the Rapture of the Church, is the next prophesied event to occur according to the Scriptures; when “the Lord shall descend from Heaven” to catch up His bride (the church) to meet Him in the air and to participate in the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage of the Lamb in Heaven. This rapture of all believers will announce the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week or the seven-year Tribulation period. There will be three and one-half years of tribulation and three and one-half years of the “time of Jacob’s trouble” or the Great Tribulation which will culminate in the Battle of Armageddon.
The Charismatic Movement
Harvest Baptist Church is in no way, a part of, related to, or identified with the present day charismatic emphasis. This would include not only the older Pentecostal movement, but also a more recent charismatic movement, commonly called Neo-Pentecostalism.
We believe that God gives us gifts so we can build up His Church. To use them effectively, we must:
1) Realize that all gifts and abilities come from God.
2) Understand that not everyone has the same gifts.
3) Know whom we are and that we do our best.
4) Dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not to our personal success.
5) Be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back any thing for God’s service.
Also, that all Christians should speak God’s message to edify and exhort and comfort in a language that is in a known tongue for man to understand, and that we shall seek to excel to the edifying of the church. God gives us spiritual gifts for life on earth in order to build up, serve and strengthen fellow Christians.
We do feel the need to state that during the time of diverse interpretations of speaking in tongues through out the body of Christ, that it not be practiced during any functions affiliated with Harvest Baptist Church. As Paul states in I Corinthians 13:13, Love is more important than all spiritual gifts exercised in the church body. (Romans 12:4-8, I Corinthians 14:1-25,13:8-13,14:40)
The Christian and the Social Order
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
Therefore, the greatest contribution the Church can make to social betterment is to help individuals to make Jesus Christ the leader of their lives. Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalms 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16, 43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Ro- mans 12-14; 1 Corinthians 5:9- 10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26 -28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12- 17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.
The Family Institution
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. To give witness of this Biblical Truth, we will not approve homosexual acts by performing, condoning, or recognizing homosexual marriage.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God- given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Fathers and Mothers are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Fathers and Mothers are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their Father and Mother. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26 28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6- 12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18- 21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3- 5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7