What We Believe

The following is an excerpt from the constitution of Maranatha Baptist Church, outlining our core beliefs:

We believe that the Holy Bible, as originally written, is verbally inspired and is the product of Spirit-controlled men, and, therefore, has truth without admixture of error for its matter. We believe that it is the true center of Christian union and the only infallible rule for all human conduct, creeds, and opinions. (II Samuel 23:2; II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1:19-21)
We believe that there is only one omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent living and true God, infinite in every excellence; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three personal distinctions – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – yet one in substance and equal in every divine perfection. (Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19-10; I Corinthians 8:6; I John 5:7)
A. Of God the Father
We believe that the Fatherhood of God over creation is one of measureless extent, including families in heaven and in the earth, and is divinely expressed as the figure of Father and Son in His intimate relationship to Israel. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and this relationship has always and ever existed; and He is the Father of all believers who are born again into God’s family. (Exodus 4:22; II Samuel 7:14; Ephesians 3:15; Hebrews 1:2-4)
B. Of God the Son
We believe in the absolute deity of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; that He was divine as no other man can be, being very God of very God, existing from all eternity, co-equal with the Father and the Spirit; that He never ceased to be God for one instant and that His humiliation did not consist of laying aside His deity; that, as man, He was miraculously begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; that He perfectly obeyed the law, died on the cross for our offenses, and rose for our justification, ascended to the right hand of God, where He ever lives as our High Priest, to intercede for and save “all that come unto God by Him.” (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1 -2; 5:17-23; 10:30-38; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:3; I John 5:20)
C. Of God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine person, equal with the Father , and the Son and of the same nature; that He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment, bears witness to the truth, is the agent of the new birth, and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer, indwelling every true child of God. (John 3:5-8; 4:24; 13:16 -17; 16:8-13; Romans 8:9-11; 14:27; II Corinthians 1:21-22; 13:14,17; Titus 8:5; Revelation 22:17)
We believe in the distinct personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, the adversary of all saints; a liar and the father of lies, author of all powers of darkness and original sin, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Isaiah 14:12-14; Matthew 4:1-3; John 8:44; II Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:11-12; I Peter 5:8; I John 3:8; Revelation 20:10)
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth, including all life, “each after its own kind,” by direct act, and not by the process of evolution. (Genesis 1 and 2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3)
We believe that man, in the person of the first Adam, was created in innocence, but, by voluntary transgression fell into sin, thus plunging the whole race into condemnation and death, so that now all mankind is born in sin and shaped in iniquity and become willful sinners with the first expression of personal choice and so are without excuse before God. (Genesis 3; Psalm 14:1-3; 51:3-5; Romans 1:18-21; 5:10-19)
We believe that the only escape from the condemnation of sin is through the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ, when He voluntarily took upon Himself a human body and nature, yet without sin, and by His suffering, death, burial, and resurrection made full satisfaction to the justice of God for the sin of man; that the blessings of this salvation are given on the grounds of grace to all who believe and confess; and that it is the immediate duty of all to accept this offer. (John 1:14,17; Acts 16:30-33; Romans 3:24-25; II Corinthians 5:17-18; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 2:6-8; Colossians 1:14; I Peter 2:24; 3:18)
We believe that faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation from sin and this salvation is wholly by grace; that no works, however good, make that salvation more secure. (Acts 4:12; 16:31; Romans 5:1-2; 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7)
We believe that all who receive Christ as their Savior are born from above and are eternally secure in Christ. (John 5:24; 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39: Philippians 1:6)
A. Of the Church Universal
We believe that the church universal is a New Testament institution; unknown to the Old Testament prophets; established by Jesus Christ who is its sole head; revealed through the holy apostles; empowered and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit; His “body” for service and His “bride” for glory. It began with the New Testament saints and will be consummated at the coming of Christ in the rapture. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 1:8; 2:1-13; 2:41-47; 15:14; Romans 16:26; I Corinthians 1:2; 12:12-28; II Corinthians 5:17-18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:3-6 and 21; 5:23-33; Colossians 3:4; I Thessalonians 4:13-16)
B. Of the Church Local
We believe that the church universal is manifest through the local church which is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in it by His works; that its officers are bishops (or pastors) and deacons; that it has the absolute right of self-government, directed by the Holy Spirit and answerable only to Christ; and that, in all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline, and benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Acts 2:41-42; 6:1-6; 8:38; Romans 8:1-2; I Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11-12; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:1-8; Hebrews 10:25)
We believe that there are two church ordinances; Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water and is properly called “Believer’s Baptism.” It sets forth in a beautiful and solemn way our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior with the resurrection to a new life. Baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of Church membership. The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of our Lord’s death until He comes and our continual fellowship with Him; it should always be preceded by careful self-examination and the reading of appropriate passages of Scripture. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 11:23-32)
We believe that there is a radical and eternal difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by God’s grace through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for remission of personal sins, sanctified by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in God’s esteem, while all such who otherwise continue in impenitence and unbelief are, in His sight, wicked and under the curse; that this distinction holds among men both during life and after death in the everlasting, conscious felicity of the saved and the everlasting, conscious suffering of the lost; that it is therefore our primary responsibility in the present life to individually and collectively use every opportunity to win souls for the Lord Jesus Christ. (Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 11:30; 22:6; Ezekiel 3:18-21; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 4:19; 25:34-41; Luke 6:25; 16:19-31; John 5:25,28-29; 8:21; Romans 6:17-23; I Corinthians 7:16; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; II Timothy 3:15)
We believe in the bodily, personal, premillenial, imminent return of Jesus Christ; that He will come to catch away His Church, coming only into the air, and that He will come with His Church at the close of the tribulation to judge the living nations and to set up His kingdom on earth. (Psalm 2:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Daniel 7:13-14; Zechariah 2:10-12; Matthew 25:31-46; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; I Corinthians 15:51-52; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 19:11-21
We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead; that the bodies of believers in Jesus will be immortal, raised at the coming of Christ for His Church in the rapture and caught up with immortalized, living saints to meet the Lord in the air; and that the souls of the wicked dead will be called from Hell at the close of the Millennial Kingdom and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne of Judgment to receive their final doom of everlasting, conscious torment in the lake of fire. (Luke 14:14; John 5:21-30; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 7:9-17; 20:11-15)