Providence Bible Church
Statement of Faith
Any doctrinal statement is but a fallible human attempt to summarize the riches of an infallible divine revelation. But this in no way detracts from the importance of such a statement. The affirmations which follow carefully specify our position with regard to the major biblical doctrines, and thus provide a framework for our ministry. They also provide an anchor to protect our ministry against theological drift.
The Holy Scriptures
We teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Cor. 2:7-14; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21)
We teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1 Cor. 2:13; 1 Thess. 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Tim. 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture, which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Gen. 1:31; Ex. 31:17)
We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Pet. 1:20, 21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matt. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16).
We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Cor. 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.
We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deut. 6:4; Is. 45:5-7; 1 Cor. 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) – each equally deserving worship and obedience.
God the Father
We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Ps. 145:8, 9; 1 Cor. 8:6). He is the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1-31; Eph. 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Ps. 103:19; Rom. 11:36). His fatherhood involved with His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator, He is Father to all men (Eph. 4:6), but He is Spiritual Father only to believers (Rom. 8:14; 2 Cor. 8:6). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Eph. 1:11). He continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events (1 Chr. 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor does He approve of sin (Hab. 1:13), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Pet. 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Eph. 1:4-6); He saves all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Rom. 8:15; Gal 4:5; Heb. 12:5-9).
God the Son
We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, cosubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9). We teach that God the Father created “the heavens and the earth and all the is in them” according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operations (John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb 1:2).
We teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man (Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 2:9).
We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was born (Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation of was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Ps. 2:7-9; Is. 9:6; John 1:29; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 7:25, 26; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19).
We teach that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity [God the Son] laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, assumed the place of a Son, and took on and existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Phil. 2:5-8).
We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Rom. 3:24, 25; 1 Pet. 2:24).
We teach that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Rom. 3:25; 5:8, 9; 2 Cor. 5:14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18).
We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that he is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matt. 28:6; Luke 24:38, 39; Acts 2:30, 31; Rom. 4:25, 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).
We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Rom. 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Cor. 15:20, 23).
We teach that Christ’s return will be attended by the resurrection of the just and then the unjust (John 5:28-29; 1 Thess. 4:16), and that He is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (2 Cor. 5:10; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:11-15).
God the Holy Spirit
We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Cor. 2:10-13), emotion (Eph. 4:30), will (1 Cor. 12:11), eternality (Heb. 9:14), omnipresence (Ps. 139:7-10), omniscience (Is. 40:13, 14), omnipotence (Rom. 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3, 4; 28:25, 26; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; and Jer. 31:31-34 with Heb. 10:15-17).
We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Gen. 1:2), the incarnation (Matt. 1:18), the written revelation (2 Pet. 1:20, 21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7).
We teach that a unique work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16, 17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ. His activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:22).
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Rom. 8:9-11; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13).
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2 Pet. 1:19-21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Rom. 8:9-11; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13, 14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; 2 Cor. 3:18).
We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today.
We teach that speaking in tongues and the working of signs and miracles as seen in the beginning days of the church are not normative for the post-apostolic church age.
We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Gen. 2:7; James 3:9).
We teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Is. 43:7; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11)
We teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became the subject of the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Gen. 2:16, 17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 2:13, 14; 1 John 1:8).
We teach that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Ps. 14;1-3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9-18; 23; 5:10-12).
We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Eph. 1:4-7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19).
We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:4-11; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:1, 2).
We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18, 19, 36; 5:40; 2 Thess. 2:10; Rev. 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come to faith in the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8). We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Eph. 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Pet. 1:2).
We teach that election should not be looked upon as merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign but He exercises His sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Rom. 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:25-28; 2 Tim. 1-9).
We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 1:13; 1 Pet. 1:23). Regeneration or the new birth precedes and produces the gifts of faith and repentance. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Eph. 5:17-21; Phil. 2:16; Col. 3:12-17; 2 Pet. 1:4-11). This obedience results in the believer’s ever increasing conformity to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). Such conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Rom. 8:16, 17; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 John 3:2, 3).
We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Rom. 8:30, 33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Is. 55:6,7; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:10) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Rom. 10:9, 10; 1 Cor. 12:3; 2 Cor. 4:5; Phil. 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Rom. 3:20; 4:6) and involves the placing of our sins on Christ (Col. 2:4; 1 Pet. 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Cor. 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).
We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2, 30; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Pet. 1:2).
We teach 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 likeness of Christ 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; Rom. 6:1-22; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Thess. 4:3, 4; 5:23). In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict — the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh — but struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Phil. 3:12; Col. 3:9, 10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).
We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 5:9, 10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-9; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25; 13:5; 1 Pet. 1:4, 5; Jude 1:24).
We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an excuse for sinful living and carnality (Rom. 6:15-22; 13:13, 14; Gal. 5:13, 16, 17, 25, 26; Titus 2:11-14).
We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicates that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Cor. 6:14; 7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5).
We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, and because it is God who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13); all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 2 Cor. 6:14-17; John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:11, 12; Heb. 12:1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Matt. 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Rom. 12:1, 2; 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10),
We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Cor. 12:12, 13) the bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:23-32; Rev. 19:7, 8), of which Christ is the head (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:19).
We teach that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ (Eph. 2:11; 3:6). We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 12:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Cor. 11:18-20; Heb. 10:25).
We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:18). and that leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship in the church are all appointed through His sovereignty and found in the Scriptures. The biblically designed officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (males,, who are also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers (Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-5).
We teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (1 Tim. 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is yo submit to their leadership (Heb. 13:7, 17). We teach the importance of discipleship (Matt. 28:19, 20; 2 Tim. 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matt. 18: 15-17), as well as the need to discipline sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matt. 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; 1 Tim. 1:19, 20; Titus 1:10-16).
We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority of control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5)
We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Local churches, however, through their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be sole judges of the measure and method of their cooperation (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Cor. 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saint for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:7-12) and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ (Rom. 12:5-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-31; 1 Pet. 4:10, 11).
We teach that with the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of a man’s message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Cor. 3:8-12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (Matt. 24:24).
We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1-8; John 5:7-9; 2 Cor. 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:14, 15). We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Christian baptism by immersion (Act 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Rom. 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ (Acts 2:41, 42).
We teach that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Cor. 11:23-32). We also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual Communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellow-shipping with His people (1 Cor. 10:16).
We teach that angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9-14; Heb. 1:6, 7, 15; 2:6, 7; Rev. 5:11-14).
We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgement of God by rebelling against his Creator (Is. 14:12-17; Ezel. 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:1-4), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Gen. 3:1-15).
We teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Is. 14:13, 14; Matt. 4:1-11; Rev. 12:9, 10), the prince of this world who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 16:20) and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Is. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
LAST THINGS (Eschatology):
We teach that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev. 6:9-11), that there is a separation of soul and body (James 2:26), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke23:43; 2 Cor. 55:8; Phil. 1:23), and that for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-17) when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (1 Cor. 15:35-44, 50-54; Phil. 3:21). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:8).
We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Rom. 8:10, 11; 19-23; 2 Cor. 4:14), and the unsaved to judgement and everlasting punishment (Dan 12:2; John 5:29; Rev. 20:13-15).
We teach that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the blessed hope of God’s people (Titus 2:13), as He returns to consummate His kingdom. The New Testament term most often used to point to Christ’s return is the “Parousia”. The “Parousia” refers to the “appearing” or the “manifestation” of Jesus in glory at the end of the age.
We teach that Jesus’ second coming will be both personal and visible (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 1:7). His coming will be with power, and His appearing will be accomplished by clouds of glory in like manner to His departure at His ascension (Acts 1:9-11).
We teach that the coming of Christ will be accompanied by the resurrection of the just and then the unjust (John 5:28-29; 1 Thess. 4:16); the catching up of God’s people; the wrath of God being poured out on the wicked, unbelieving world; and the final judgement of both the saved an unsaved (2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2 Cor. 5:10; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:11-15).
We believe that heaven is where the saints of God will dwell in eternal bliss with our Triune God, delighting in fellowship with God our Savior.
Heaven will include the absence of all that brings pain and death.
Heaven will be a place without sin and the effects of sin.
Heaven will be a place where believers will enjoy the immediate presence of Christ.
Heaven will include the beatific vision, the glorious experience of gazing at the face of God, which is not possible in this life.
Heaven will be a place to enjoy God’s rewards forever.
No earthly knowledge or experience will be able to dim the fullness of joy we have in heaven (1Cor. 15:50-57; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; Rev. 21-22).
We believe that hell is the place where the wicked will suffer everlasting torment before the holy, righteous, eternal wrath of God. It is described as a place of fire and darkness (Jude 7:13), of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:12; 25:30), of destruction (2 Thess. 1:9), and torment (Rev. 20:10).