Bethany Baptist Des MoinesWhat We Believe

The Bible

We believe the entirety of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to be verbally inspired by God and that it is inerrant and infallible in its original autographs. The Scriptures are thus sufficient and are the final authority for all matters of life and faith. (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2-3; 18:28; 26:22-23; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 10:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)

We believe that all Scripture should be consistently interpreted in a literal-historical-grammatical manner. While we recognize the existence of types and pictures of Christ in the Old Testament, we do not believe in a separate hermeneutic for the Old Testament Scriptures. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)

God

We believe in One God eternally existing in Three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Though distinct in personhood, all Three Persons are equal in deity, essence, and will. (Genesis 3:22; Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6)

We believe in the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, the Almighty Father, Creator of heaven and earth as He has revealed Himself in the Holy Scriptures, (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:; Matthew 22:32; 2 Corinthians 6:18)

We believe that God created the earth in six literal days. We believe in the authority of the creation account recorded in Genesis and reject any attempt to harmonize it with the narrative of Darwinian macro-evolution. (Genesis 1-2)

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of  the living God; that He is fully God yet fully man; that He was begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in the line of David; that He suffered, died, and was buried in accordance with the Scriptures; that He rose from the dead on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; that He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father to make intercession for us; that He will return to judge the quick and the dead. (Matthew 1:1, 20-23; 26:2; 27:26-28:1; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-49; John 1:14; 20:1-9: Acts 1:1-11; Romans 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Colossians 1:22; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 3:1; 4:5; 2 Peter  1:16)

The Holy Spirit

We believe in God the Holy Spirit; in His personhood and deity. We believe that He reproves and restrains the world, regenerates those who receive Christ by faith, indwells all believers, baptizes believers into one Body, seals them for the Day of Redemption, and fills Christians for ministry. (John 3:6; 16:7-11; Romans 5:5; 6:13; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Galatians 4:6; 5:16; Ephesians 1:13; 5:18; 1 Peter 1:23)

We believe that the Spirit has given gifts to Christians for the ministry and edification of the church. We believe that the sign gifts of the apostolic age were granted for limited purposes that are no longer relevant for today and have thus ceased. (1 Corinthians 12-14)

Man

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God and thus was endowed with dignity, conscience, reason, emotions, and will. (Genesis 1:27; 2:17)

We believe that man sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also that spiritual death which is separation from God. All who reach moral responsibility are sinners in  thought, word, and deed. (Genesis 3:6; Romans 5:12)

Salvation

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. (Romans 3:26; 2 Corinthians 5:21)

We believe that on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice an individual is saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God. We believe that this is the only way to be forgiven of sins, saved from wrath, and to form an eternal relationship with God. (Romans 3:26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-9)

We believe that there is now no condemnation for those who have truly exercised saving faith; that the believer is eternally secured by the power of God. We do not believe that a true child of God can lose his or her salvation. We thus believe that all who have been born again of the Spirit can be assured of their salvation and eternal union with God in Christ. (John 5:24; 10:28; 13:1 14:16-17; 17:11; Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 5:13; Jude 24)

Sanctification

We believe that all Christians are called to put off the old man, renew their minds, and put on the new man; to be holy as God is holy. We believe that the only way to achieve holiness, both positionally and practically, is through divine grace. Human effort apart from dependency on God will fail. (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:22-24; 1 Peter 1:16)

We believe in separation from all worldly practices and whole-hearted devotion to the cause of Christ as the only Scriptural basis for a happy and useful Christian life. We believe that all Christians and churches should seriously evaluate their character, conduct, and practice under the light of Scriptural principles to determine if anything might be dishonoring to the Lord. (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:22-24; 1 Peter 1:16)

We believe that all things are lawful but not all are expedient; that both personal and corporate holiness should go beyond the Law to an increased understanding of the character of our Holy God and His moral will for our lives. All pursuits in sanctification should be motivated by love for the Lord our God. (1 Corinthians 10:23; Luke 10:27; Romans 14)

The Church

We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word. (Matthew 18:17; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11; 8:1; 11:21-23; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; 4:17; 5:12-13; 11:2; 14:23; 2 Corinthians 8:5; 1 Timothy 3:5; 3 John 9)

We believe, in  accordance with New Testament directives and examples, that Christians should regularly assemble as a properly ordered local church. These church meetings exist for the edification of the saints. Though unbelievers may benefit from these meetings, the design of the assemblies is not to be evangelistic. Rather, believers are to be edified and admonished through the preaching of the Word, the practicing of the ordinances, and by fellowship with other believers. We reject any effort to brining worldliness into the assembly of God’s people in order to appeal to unbelievers. (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:5; Hebrews 10:25)

We believe it is the responsibility of parents, especially fathers, to teach and admonish their children such that God’s truth is passed on to subsequent generations through godly homes. Christ will not be exalted in this world if the next generation does not follow Him. The church, however well-intentioned, has stepped in and usurped this parental role with an age-segregated Christian education philosophy, and, often times, age-segregated worship. We believe families should be free to worship, serve, and learn together in the context of the local church. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 6:1-4)

We believe Jesus Christ commissioned His servants to make disciples from all nations; that it is clear from the apostolic example that this was intended to take place through the creation, establishment, and replication of local churches. Therefore, local churches are to be passionately involved in the work of domestic and global missions, not merely in support of missions. We believe that individual Christians supported by the church should be proactive in the proclamation of the Gospel and the evangelization of the lost. Likewise, it is primarily the responsibility of local churches to train leaders from within to perpetuate its own leadership and the leadership of sister churches. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 13:1-14:28; 2 Timothy 2:2)

We believe each Christian must be committed to doing his or her part, both generally in “one another” ministry and specifically in the use of spiritual gifts, in the building up of the church. This requires a heart that truly loves Christ and His Body, and thus does not forsake regular assembly with the family of God. A pattern of relationships within the church must be observed, characterized by love, brotherhood, and respect, in which each is to diligently pursue unity in the bond of peace. (Romans 12:3-16; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Ephesians 4:1-6; Philippians 1:27-2:4; Hebrews 10:24-25)

The Ordinances

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of the believer in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, our death to sin and resurrection to new life. We do not believe that the actual act of baptism regenerates or that it should be granted to those who have not made a profession of faith. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:42; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12)

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is to be regularly observed as a corporate memorial service, reminding the church of Christ’s work on the Cross. It is the setting forth in a sacred and symbolic manner the death of our Lord Jesus Christ upon our behalf. we do not believe that the elements of the Communion Service are literally the body and blood of Christ or that they contain His flesh and blood. The service is for believers only, and to partake has value only as it is mingled with faith and repentance upon the part of the communicant. (1 Corinthians 11:23-32)

Marriage and Gender

We believe that in the beginning, God made them male and female; that this blessed distinction should be recognized, encouraged, revered, and celebrated rather than ignored, minimized, or maligned. We believe that men and women are equal in personhood and worth, but distinct in function and role; that these God-ordained roles in marriage, the family, and the church should be embraced and promoted. (Genesis 1:27; Mark 16:10; 1 Corinthians 11:2-15; Ephesians 5:25-33; 1 Timothy 2:8-15)

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between and a  man and a woman. (Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4)

We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s gender, or disagreement with one’s biological gender, is sinful and offensive to God. (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:27)

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor doctrines of Bethany Baptist Church.

End Times

We believe in a distinction between the ethnic nation of Israel and the Christian Church. Both are elect people of God, but unique in the Lord’s ultimate plan for history. This basis is key to understanding the future events described in prophecy. We believe that in this current age, Israel has been set aside because of her unbelief, and prominence given to the Church. However, we do not believe that this sate is permanent, but that one day Israel will mourn over Him who they pierced, and all Israel will be saved. (Zachariah 12:10; Romans 9-11)

We believe in the Blessed Hope of the personal, bodily, pre-millennial, pre-tribulational, and imminent return of Jesus Christ to meet His Bride in the air from which time we will “ever to be with the Lord”. (Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13)

We believe in the Millennial Kingdom; that the Lord Jesus will rule bodily from David’s throne in Jerusalem, having restored the kingdom of Israel. We believe that this is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises to the Patriarchs, King David, and the Jewish people. (Genesis 12:1-3; 1 Chronicles 17; Acts 1:6; Revelation 20)

We believe in the resurrection of the flesh; that the saved will be raised to everlasting life and happiness, and the lost to everlasting conscious suffering and loss. (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29)

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