We believe the Bible in its totality is God’s sufficient and final revelation to mankind concerning the nature and character of God, saving knowledge, true religion, and obedience to His will. The Scriptures, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, are the only inspired, inerrant, and infallible rule of faith and practice. (Proverbs 30:5-6; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21). We believe that the Word of God was ultimately authored by God and was given to mankind in its original form through the plenary verbal inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures testify that the Holy Spirit moved upon certain men to record divine revelation without error or fault, while maintaining their unique personalities and writing styles. (2 Peter 1:20-21). We believe that the Bible is the supreme and final authority in testing all claims about what is true and what is right. (John 17:17).
We believe there is only one living and true God who is an eternal, infinite, uncreated, and immutable Spirit. (John 4:24). The Scriptures declare that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent - perfect in all His attributes. He is one in essence yet exists in three persons, defined as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal roles but without division of nature, essence or being (Mathew 28:18-20; 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Corinthians 13:14), and each equally deserving worship and obedience.
God the Father: God the Father, the First Person of the Trinity, is revealed to us as the Creator, Sustainer, and the Ruler of all things. (1 Chronicles 29:11). His engagement with the universe is not limited to His initial acts of creation but to His continual provision of endless mercies and providential workings throughout human history. (Psalm 145:9; Matthew 5:45). Though Sovereign over all, He is neither the author of evil nor approver of sin. (1 Peter 1:16).
His fatherhood is recognized within His connection to the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. Although He is God over all flesh (Jeremiah 32:27), not all humans can relate to Him or experience Him as their spiritual Father. This right has only been granted to those who have been adopted into His spiritual family by receiving the Son through repentance and faith. (John 1:12).
God the Son: God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, is the exact imprint of the nature of God, meaning that He perfectly shares and displays the divine qualities and excellencies of the Father. (Hebrews 1:3). It is through the Son that the Father created and is currently upholding and sustaining the universe. (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:3).
Though eternal and uncreated, God the Son entered into the world fully human, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, yet was without sin. (John 8:46; Galatians 4:4-5). The incarnation of the Son does not mean that He lost His divine nature or attributes but that He willfully surrendered His majesty and status of glory that He shared with the Father from eternity past for the sake of our salvation. (John 17:5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9). The incarnation clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man, being the only means of salvation for all by the shedding of His blood. After his salvific mission on earth was finished, God the Son resurrected bodily, ascended into heaven, and is currently seated at the right hand of the Father as our King and High Priest and will one day physically return to the earth to judge the living and the dead. (Luke 24:39; Acts 1:11; Hebrews 4:14-16).
God the Holy Spirit: God the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, is proven to be more than a powerful force or an impersonal energy. He is a true divine person, possessing all the qualities of personality and deity which include His own mind (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), and emotions (Ephesians 4:30), while being described as omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. (Isaiah 40:13-14; Psalm 139:7-8; Acts 1:8).
The activity of the Holy Spirit includes His partnership with the Father and the Son in the work of creation (Job 33:4), the incarnation (Luke 1:35), the resurrection (Romans 8:11), and our sanctification. (Ephesians 3:16). His engagement with the unregenerate is mainly defined by convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8), while He seals, indwells, empowers, transforms and teaches those who have put their faith in Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 2:27).
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was sent by the Son from the Father to glorify Christ on the earth. (John 15:26; John 16:14). He does so by building up the Church as He administers gifts according to His will (1 Corinthians 12:11), and fills His people with His power for the sake of faithful witness by word and deed. (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:18).
We believe man was originally created by God in His own image, free from sin and corruption. God created Adam from the dust of the ground and Eve from his side, and together they were the historical, first parents of the entire human race. (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:6; Genesis 2:21-23). It was through the temptation of Satan that Adam voluntarily transgressed against God, causing our ‘first parents’ to fall from their original state of holiness and righteousness to one of rebellion and hostility against God. This act of rebellion caused the human race to be infected with a sin nature at birth, deserving the condemnation of God and the penalty of physical and spiritual death. (Romans 5:12-19; Romans 6:23). Man is therefore born inherently corrupt with a disposition to break God’s commands and laws, naturally walking in a way of life and mindset opposed to His word and His will. (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 1:21; Romans 3:23; Romans 8:5-8).
We believe that salvation is the redemption of the entire individual (body, soul, and spirit) and is offered freely by the grace of God to those who repent and believe in the sacrificial and substitutionary life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The moment one genuinely repents and puts their faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, they pass from death to life and are accepted by the Father as wholly justified. It is solely by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that one may be saved from the judgment and wrath of God that rests on every human being. (John 3:36; John 14:6; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10). Because of the sufficiency and finality of the finished work of Christ on the cross, those who are saved are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 5:24; John 6:37-40; John 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; Romans 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1:24).
We believe that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). Though it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, the Scriptures clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living. (Romans 6:15-22; Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, which is made up of born-again believers who have put their faith in Him. Although every Christian is joined to the spiritual Body of Christ, every believer is called to be a part of a local assembly for the purpose of accountability, discipleship, Christian service, hearing of God’s word, corporate worship, prayer, and being equipped for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:11-14). We also believe the Church is distinct from the nation of Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1-6; Ephesians 5:32).
We teach that the one supreme authority for the Church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated offices serving under Christ and over the assembly are the elders (also referenced as bishops, pastors, and shepherds; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and the deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).
We believe baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ, calling every believer to identify with His death, burial, and resurrection by being fully immersed in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-4). This ordinance is an outward sign of giving oneself to God and walking in the newness of life found in Christ. (Acts 2:38).
We believe the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ, expressed by the eating of bread and the drinking of the cup for the sake of remembering the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ. It has in no sense a sanctifying or saving work, but is designed to commemorate His death, creating a heart of thanksgiving and joy in the believer. (Matthew 26:26–29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41-42), and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination. (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). Whereas the elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, participation in the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, who indwells every believer, and so is present, fellowshipping with His people. (1 Corinthians 10:16). We also believe that the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance open exclusively to those who have repented and put their faith in Christ, and is not open to those who do not believe the Gospel according to the Scriptures.
We believe that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Revelation 6:9-11), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8), that there is a separation of soul and body (Philippians 1:21-24), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), which initiates the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6), when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord. (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:8).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all mankind, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11; Romans 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15). We believe that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever. (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
We believe that the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world during a seven-year period (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth. (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged. (Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy. (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15-31; 25:31-46).
Second Coming and Millennial Reign
We believe after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10-11; Acts 2:29-30) and establish His messianic kingdom for 1,000 years on the earth. (Revelation 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth. (Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-22; Revelation 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world. (Daniel 7:17-27; Revelation 20:1-7).
We believe that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 8:1-17) to restore them to the land that they forfeited through their disobedience. (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11:1-26), but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing. (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-32; Romans 11:25-29). This time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:17-25; Ezekiel 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan. (Revelation 20:7).
We believe that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells. (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:1-27; Revelation 22:1-21). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another. (John 17:3; Revelation 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever. (1 Corinthians 15:28).
We believe that marriage was given by God as part of His common grace and that it has no meaning other than as He has provided (Genesis 2:18-24). The term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:23-24).
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged outside of a marriage between a man and a woman (Hebrews 13:4). Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, pornography, any attempt to physically change one’s sex or to deny one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God (Leviticus 18:1-30; Matthew 5:28; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1 and 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8).
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Maranatha Bible Church as the local Body of Christ and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is required that all persons employed by the church or who serve as volunteers in any capacity abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly.