We believe in the Bible as the verbally (every word) and plenary (completely) inspired Word of God and that it was written inerrant in its original languages and has been providentially preserved “for all generations forever.” All portions of Scripture are equally inspired and contain no contradiction. The Holy Bible has God as its Author (2 Peter 1:21); salvation for its end (2 Timothy 3:15); and truth for its matter (Proverbs 30:5-6). The Scriptures are our only rule for faith and practice, the supreme standard by which all conduct, creeds, associations, and ministries should be tried (1 John 4:1). The canon, the sixty-six books of the Bible, is complete. Nothing shall be added to nor taken from (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:1; Revelation 22:18-19). To eliminate confusion, all preaching and teaching will be from the King James Version. We believe the King James Version of the Scriptures has been faithfully translated from the preserved Word of God.
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God. He is an infinite, intelligent, and personal Being; a perfect Spirit, who is the Creator, Preserver, Sustainer, and Supreme Ruler of the universe; inexpressibly glorious in holiness (Ex. 15:11); worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love (Mark 1:20). The Godhead exists eternally in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections. Likewise, they are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:25; John 1:1; John 14:1-17; I Timothy 3:16).
We believe in the deity and virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, not having a human father, and He is true God and true man. He is man’s only hope of salvation from sin being the only mediator between God and man. He died, was buried, and rose again the third day for our sins according to the Scriptures. His return for His Church, (the body of Christ), which He will take to Heaven, is imminent. He will come to this earth to set up His Millennial reign (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; John 10:30; John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; I Thessalonians 4:1-18; Revelation 20:4-6).
We believe the Holy Spirit to be co-equal with the Father and with the Son. He is a person. He came to this earth as the fulfillment of Christ’s promise. He convicts, regenerates, indwells, seals, fills, empowers, and guides the believer (John 16:7-13; John 3:3-5; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:1-14; Ephesians 5:18).
We believe that God created man in His own image by the special act of God (Genesis 1:27 and 2:7). Man was created in a state of holiness, but through the temptation of Satan, he voluntarily transgressed and fell from his holy state (Genesis 3:1-24). The consequence of this fall is that mankind is born with a sinful nature (Romans 5:19; Psalm 51:5). This sinful nature is evidenced by sinful acts. We believe that man is totally depraved, and if he is not born again, he is lost (Jeremiah 17:9; Luke 16:23; Romans 3:1-23; I Corinthians 15:21-22; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8).
We believe that a person is saved when he repents of sin and exercises faith by accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. Below we list particular matters concerning salvation.
We believe that the great gospel blessing, which Christ secures to all that believe in Him, is Justification (Acts 13:39). Justification includes the pardon of sin (Romans 5:9) and the promise of eternal life on the principles of righteousness (Romans 5:17). It is freely given, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood (Romans 4:4,5). By virtue of faith, His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God (Romans 5:19). It brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity (Romans 5:1, 2).
CONCERNING THE BASIS OF SALVATION
The basis of our salvation is the precious blood of Christ: “Forasmuch as ye know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb, without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:18-19). We are saved by Christ’s death, but the Bible teaches it was necessary that His saving death had to be by the shedding of His blood.
CONCERNING THE WAY OF SALVATION
The salvation of man is only by the grace of God and not by works which man can do (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
When a person places his faith in Jesus Christ as the One who paid the penalty for sin, that person is regenerated, born again (John 3:3). This means he has a new life and should be changed so that works which glorify God will be manifested through his life (2 Corinthians 5:17). Believers are regenerated by the Holy Spirit using the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23 and Titus 3:5-6).
CONCERNING REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are inseparable graces wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God. In Acts 20:21, Paul stated that his ministry was one of “Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Biblical saving faith requires Biblical repentance. Saving faith requires that we turn to God with confession, and supplication for mercy, at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as the only and all-sufficient Savior (Luke 13:3-5; Luke 18:13; Romans 10:9-10).
CONCERNING THE SCOPE OF OUR SALVATION
We believe the scope of salvation includes forgiveness of all our sins – past, present, and future; a perfect standing before God as in Jesus Christ, and the changing of our earthly body to be conformed like unto the body of our Lord at His return for His own.
CONCERNING GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE
We believe election is the eternal purpose of God according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners (2 Timothy 1:8-9). Being perfectly consistent with the free agency of men, it comprehends as well as embraces all the means in connection with the end (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). It is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable (Exodus 33:18-19). It utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of His free mercy (1 Corinthians 4:7). It encourages the use of means in the highest degree (2 Timothy 2:10). It may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (1 Thessalonians 1:10). It is the foundation of Christian assurance (Romans 8:28-31), and to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (2 Peter 1:1O-11).
We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3). It is a progressive work (Proverbs 4:18). It begins in regeneration (1 John 2:29). It is carried in the hearts of believers throughout their earthly lives by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means, especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer (Philippians 2:12-13).
CONCERNING THE FILLING OF THE SPIRIT
We believe that the filling of the Spirit in a believer’s life is manifested by that person’s willingness to be under control of the Spirit and thus to be obedient to the Word of God. We do not believe that speaking in tongues is a primary manifestation of the fullness of the Spirit as it is taught and espoused by the charismatic movement. We believe that tongues were a sign in the early church, and the gift ceased after the completing of the canon of Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).
CONCERNING THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that every true believer has eternal life (John 3:16; 3:36; 5:24; 6:47), and he is kept by the power of God (1 Peter 1:9). God gives eternal life to the believer, and he shall never perish (John 10:28-29).
We believe that the local church is composed of:
- A local group of believers who are self-governing, with no ecclesiastical organization in authority over them.
- Believers who are baptized by immersion.
- Believers who meet regularly for fellowship, worship, and Bible study.
- Believers who observe the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- Believers who carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
We believe the only Scriptural officers of a local church are Bishops (Pastors or Elders) and Deacons (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1, 8). The titles Bishop, Elder, and Pastor in the New Testament refer to the different functions of the same office.
We believe that Satan is a person. He is a created being who sinned and became the archenemy of God and His creation. He is the chief adversary of God’s children. He seeks to keep man from the Lord, and when he cannot succeed in this, he seeks to weaken the testimony of Christians. He has at his command a great host of fallen angels and demons to carry out his purposes. He is not omnipotent and can be overcome by the power of God. His doom is sealed in the Lake of Fire forever and ever (Ezekiel 28:12- 19; Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 20:10).
We believe there will be a resurrection of all, first, the just at the coming of Jesus Christ, and finally, the unjust after the Millennium. The saints are raised to be forever with the Lord, and the unsaved will be confined for eternity in the Lake of Fire. We believe in the ‘Blessed Hope,’ which is the personal, bodily, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Saviour for His Church (the Rapture). ‘Blessed Hope’ also includes His later return to the earth in power and glory with His saints to set up His Kingdom, the Millennium (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9, 11; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; Revelation 21:1-8.)
We believe that God commands Christians to be a separated people according to 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18 and 7:1:
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
The Somerville Baptist Church will be separated from all forms of apostasy and religious inclusivism. We reject the ecumenical movement, joining all churches into one body regardless of doctrine or practice, and the Charismatic renewal movement, with its unscriptural emphasis on tongues and healing. Somerville Baptist Church will enjoy fellowship with churches of like faith and order, but will have no part in any council of churches that is ecumenical in nature and thrust.
We believe Christians are to be personally separated from all worldly practices that hinder spiritual growth and stability. We believe that God’s people should not love the world’s system or the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15-16).
The Somerville Baptist Church believes that a Christian should live a holy life, be separated from the world, and maintain a testimony consistent with the New Testament. We also believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we all should walk together in Christian love, strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and godliness, holding a conviction that Christianity is a way of life. Therefore should be propagated through Bible-centered and Christ-centered teaching, promoting the prosperity and spirituality of this church, sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines, contribute cheerfully, and regularly support the church with our tithes and offerings so that the ministry is supported, expenses are met, the poor are helped, and the gospel is spread through all nations.
This church encourages all of its members to maintain family and private devotions; to seek the salvation of kindred and acquaintances, walk circumspectly in the world, be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment, zealous in our effort to win souls to Christ, to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger, and to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage, and from the improper sale and use of narcotics.
We further encourage each member to show brotherly love toward one another, to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay. Should the will of God direct any to move from this area, we encourage each, as soon as possible, to unite with some other church of like faith and practice and thereby continue living a testimony for Christ and living the principles of God’s Word.