A church is always about “belief.” What people believe has tremendous impact on how they live, the things they value and how they find purpose. Everyone “believes” something. Not all churches “believe” the same thing and many don’t follow what they say they believe. Lighthouse Baptist Church accepts the Bible to be the Word of God and thus, it is the source of truth and all that we believe.
It is a Book to be trusted and embraced. Its pages are filled with God’s personal message to the human race. In it we find hope and direction for our lives and our families. God is alive and very much interested in us, His special creation. He has chosen to communicate with us through His Word, the Bible, and we are wise to believe and follow it’s words.
At Lighthouse Baptist Church we stand without apology on the Bible as our final authority for faith and practice.
The Bible verses that accompany each point are by no means ‘exhaustive’, but are simply meant as references to illustrate that particular point.
THE BIBLE: We believe that the 39 books, known as the Old Testament, and the 27 books, known as the New Testament, make the full revelation from God in what we believe to be “The Bible”. This book is also known as “The Word of God”, “The Word” and “The Scriptures”. We believe that the Holy Spirit moved upon holy men to write the Bible so that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired by God and free from all error, as no other writings have been or ever will be. We believe the Bible is the final written revelation from God to man. We further believe that it is complete in that God is no longer `adding` to the Bible as evidenced these days in `extra Biblical utterances`. We further believe the Bible to be the supreme and final authority for our lives in all matters of belief and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21) We believe that the King James Version (first published in 1611) is the preserved Word of God in the English language, having been translated from the Masoretic Hebrew Text and the Textus Receptus.
THE TRUE GOD: We believe the Bible teaches that there is only one God, who is eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forming the `Trinity` and comprising what is known as the `Godhead`. Each One has the very same eternal nature and deity forming one God, yet eternally existing as three separate Persons. We believe that God can do anything He chooses to do (omnipotent), He knows everything He chooses to know (omniscient), and is everywhere He chooses to be (omnipresent). (Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14 and Psalm 139:7)
- •THE FATHER: We believe in the personality and divinity of God the Father (Galatians 1:1). We believe that He is fully God along with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Albeit, He has the attributes of a father, namely love (John 3:16), provision (Philippians 4:19), protection (Isaiah 41:10), teaching (Psalm 32:8), and discipline (Proverbs 3:11-12). We believe He bids us to enter into close intimate fellowship with Himself (Galatians 4:6) and encourages us to pray to Him always (1 Thessalonians 5:17: Philippians 4:6-7).
- •JESUS CHRIST: We believe in the personality and divinity of Jesus Christ (the Son) as the second Person of the Godhead. We believe that He is both fully God and fully man (John 10:33), being miraculously born of a virgin named Mary (Matthew 1:23). We believe that He lived a perfect life, totally free from sin (Hebrews 4:15); that He died on the cross making a vicarious blood atonement and paying the penalty of the world`s sin (1 John 2:2); and that He was buried and rose again bodily on the third day according to the Old Testament Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). We believe He is in heaven (though at the same time present in each believer`s heart through the power of the Holy Spirit) and will one day come again in bodily form to the earth (Romans 8:34 and Acts 1:11).
- •HOLY SPIRIT: We believe in the personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Godhead. We believe that He is fully God (Acts 5:3-4). We believe that He is vital in the salvation process (John 16:8) and comes into the heart to permanently indwell the new believer. Thus, We believe He “seals” the believer unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). We believe that as we yield control of our lives to Him, He comforts us (John 16:7); teaches us truth (John 14:26); leads us in the will of God; fills and empowers us for service (Acts 4:8); protects us from evil, and as we “walk in the spirit”, He enables us not to “fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
CREATION : We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God`s own image and after His own likeness; that man`s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God`s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind.” (Genesis 1:1,11,24,26-27; 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 17:23-26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6)
MAN: We believe the Bible teaches that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned (through disobedience) and incurred the penalty, which included not only physical death, but also spiritual death (separation from God). We believe that all humans born since then have been born with a sinful nature, and in the case of those who reach an age of moral responsibility, become sinners in thought and deed by choice. (Genesis 1:26; 3:6; and Romans 5:12; 7:9)
SATAN: We believe the Bible teaches the reality and personality of Satan. We believe him to be our enemy and that his power was broken when Jesus died on the cross and will one day be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Isaiah 14:12-15; John 16:11; and Revelation 20:10)
DAMNATION: We believe the Bible teaches that there is currently a place called `Hell` where all unsaved people go when they die. We believe this is a terrible place of separation from God, where there are actual torments. We also believe there is no `second chance` for salvation after a person dies. WE believe that, one day, every one in hell will be judged according to their works in this life, and cast into the “Lake of Fire” for all eternity. (Mark 9:43-44; Luke 16:23; and Revelation 20:13-14).
SALVATION: We believe the Bible teaches that mankind can and must be `saved` in order to have eternal life with God after death, as opposed to eternal separation from God after death. We believe that salvation is a free gift, offered by God to mankind (Ephesians 2:8-9). We believe that Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) came to earth for the express purpose of shedding His blood and dying for our sins on a cross, literally paying what we owe in hell. We believe that He physically died, was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. God now offers salvation as a free gift (paid for by Jesus Christ) to the entire world as individuals. If individuals will realize that they are spiritually lost, admit their sinfulness before God, repent and ask His forgiveness, taking Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, they will be saved. Nominal belief is not enough. There must be a wholehearted committing of oneself as sinner to Jesus Christ as the one and only Savior. (John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10; and 2 Peter 3:9)
ASSURANCE: We believe the Bible teaches that every saved person may know his salvation is sure. We believe that every born-again person is secure in Jesus Christ for all time and eternity and will not lose their salvation. We believe that each born-again person is secure in Jesus, based on Christ’s finished work on calvary. (1 John 5:13)
HEAVEN: We believe the Bible teaches there is a place called `Heaven` where God resides, including all the departed saints of God. No unsaved person may enter into it. We believe this place to be one of perfection, joy and happiness. (John 3:13; and Revelation 19:1; 21:1-27)
THE LOCAL CHURCH: We believe that the local church is a visible expression of Christ’s body, having leadership (pastors and deacons), membership, ordinances (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) and regular meetings.. We do believe that, in Christ, all believers are organically connected to each other and, thus, can refer to each other as `brother` or `sister`.
ORDINANCES: We believe there are only two (2) ordinances belonging to the local church, that being Baptism and the Lord`s Supper. We do not believe these to be `sacraments`, which, according to certain religious groups, impart spiritual merit to the recipient, thus helping them to obtain eternal life. We believe they are symbols, done in obedience to Christ by faith, and thus picture our salvation and closeness to Christ. We believe these ordinances were given to the local church only and not to non-church or para-church groups.
- •Baptism: The Greek word `baptizo` means to immerse or submerge completely, and was understood to also carry with it a change of some sort afterwards. (It does not mean to `sprinkle`, as this is the Greek word `rantizo`.) Baptism is meant for people who have experienced salvation (Acts 2:38) and is therefore not for babies or lost persons. We believe it is the command of Christ for all believers to be publicly baptized by a local church (Matthew 28:19).
- •The Lord`s Supper: We believe the Lord`s Supper is a memorial of the shed blood and broken body of the Lord. It is a reminder of the death of Christ and His future return. Participants are to be saved, baptized, and belong to a church. Self-examination is to precede participation in the Lord’s Supper. (1 Corinthians 11:24-29; Matthew 26:26-29; Acts 2:41-42.)
PURPOSE: We believe the local church has been formed for the purpose of worship of God, fellowship, teaching and preaching, discipline (for unruly members), and evangelism. We believe the local church is to be self-governing and to be separate from government or denominational control. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:41-42; and Ephesians 4:11-14)
MUSIC: We believe we are to strive to maintain an adherence to godly music, as typified in our hymnbooks. We believe godly music comprises the following:
- •Be decent and in order: The music itself should be balanced, refreshing and uplifting, and should not favor a heavy beat. Nor should any of the instruments suggest a ‘sensuous’ sound. (1 Corinthians 14:40).
- •Teach the Word of God: The purpose of Christian music in our churches is to convey a Biblical message and to promote the worship of God, instruction to Christians, or a call to sinners. The message should be a clear truth or principle from the Word of God. This may include human experience as it relates to the Word of God. There should be no doubt in the minds of the listeners that the musician is singing about the Lord, as opposed to just a ‘good friend’. (Ephesians 5:19) Give glory to God: The music should have a tone of reverence and give glory to God rather than attract attention to the performer or the music. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
LAST THINGS: We believe the Bible teaches the coming again of Jesus Christ back into the world to take out all Christians. This is known as the ‘rapture’ of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe the world will then undergo seven years known as the ‘Great Tribulation’ (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; and Matthew 24:21). We believe that after these seven years Christ shall return to earth with the saints of God to rule for one thousand years, known as the “Millennial Kingdom”, in which Satan will be bound (Revelation 19:11,14; 20:1-3). We believe that after these one thousand years, Satan will be loosed for a short amount of time, and then Christ will put down all sin and wrong (Revelation 20:7-9). We believe that, at that time, Christ will judge all sinners, sending them to the Lake of Fire, where Satan is to be cast, and that He will then bring about a new Heaven and a new Earth (Revelation 20:10-15; 21:1).
Charismatic movement: We believe that the modern charismatic movement (and Pentecostalism) as evidenced in `tongues speaking’ ‘faith healing’ ‘extra-Biblical utterances’ and its spectacular displays (i.e. laughing / shaking in the ‘spirit’) is NOT of God but, rather, is an invention of men and Satan. We believe the ‘sign-gifts’ of the New Testament have all passed away with the death of the Apostles, and there is no longer any need for them because we have the complete Word of God. (1 Corinthians 13:10; 2 Corinthians 12:12)
Ecumenical movement: We believe that the modern ecumenical movement is NOT of God, but is being used of Satan to promote a one-world-church, which shall come under the control of the anti-christ during the Great Tribulation period. Therefore, we refuse to be a part of any group that promotes this cause. (Revelation 17:1-6; 19:1-3)
Missions: We believe the command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given to the churches. (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, Romans 10:13-15)