Willoughby Letter- October 2021
The following is a statement of the doctrinal beliefs of Millersville Bible Church. We recognize that any doctrinal statement is but a fallible human attempt to summarize and systemize the riches of an infallible divine revelation. Yet this in no way detracts from the importance of such a statement. The affirmations which follow carefully specify our teaching position with regard to the major doctrines of Scripture. They also provide an anchor to protect the church against theological error.
About the Bible
The sole foundation of our faith is the Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen individuals. Scripture thus at one and the same time is the authoritative revelation of God and reflects the backgrounds, vocabularies, and styles of the human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired of God. As such, the authority of Scripture cannot be overruled by religious tradition or personal experience.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
We believe that there is only one true God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality and is worthy of precisely the same worship. It pleased God in the beginning to create of nothing the universe and all it contains, in order to make the glory of His power, wisdom, and goodness known. By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation. Through His providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes.
(Deut. 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; John 17:3: I Corinthians 8:5-6; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 5:22-23; Genesis 1:1; Romans 1:20; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Ephesians 1:7-12)
About Jesus Christ
God has fully and finally revealed Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the second person of the Trinity. Through His miraculous conception and virgin birth, He was united forever with a true human nature and is thus both fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of all. Through His death on the cross, Jesus fully paid the penalty for the sins of all who place faith in Him alone. After His bodily resurrection from the dead, Jesus ascended into heaven as the exalted Lord of all, taking His seat at the Father’s right hand, where He intercedes for His own as the advocate and only mediator between God and man. The Lord Jesus Christ will return to remove His church from earth prior to the period of God’s judgment known as “The Great Tribulation.” Following this tribulation, He will physically return to earth to judge the wicked, reward the righteous, and establish and rule over His millennial kingdom.
(Hebrews 1:1-2; Matthew 1:18-21; John 1:1,14; Hebrews 2:14-15; Philippians 2:6-8; Colossians 2:9; I Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:14; John 10:17-18; Hebrews 9:14, 24-28; Romans 3:21-26; 4:25; I John 2:2; II Corinthians 5:21; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3; 7:25-26; I John 2:1; I Timothy 2:5-6; Acts 1:9-11; John 14:1-3; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; I Thessalonians 5:9; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; John 5:22-23; II Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 11:15; Psalm 72:8-14; Isaiah 11:2-9; Zechariah 14:6-21; 11:2-9; Zechariah 14:6-21; Revelation 20:1-9)
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, was sent by the Father and Son to convict the world of sin and enable people to repent and believe in Christ. At the moment of faith, the Holy Spirit permanently indwells each believer, giving him new life, uniting him with the body of Christ, and giving him special abilities with which he can serve the Church. We believe the miraculous gifts were authenticating signs given to the early church to confirm the teaching of the apostles. They were foundational gifts and are not needed today because we have the complete revelation of God in the Scriptures. In His ongoing ministry in the life of the believer, the Holy Spirit provides inner assurance that he is God’s child, power to overcome temptation and sin, and growth in Christlike character. In everything, the Holy Spirit’s primary mission is to glorify Jesus Christ through the worship and witness of the Church.
(Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; John 15:26; John 16:8; Titus 3:5-7; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 8:9; John 6:63; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 12:11; I Peter 4:10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3-4; Ephesians 2:19-20; Romans 8:15-16; Ephesians 3:14-16; Ephesians 5:18-21; Galatians 5:16-23; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; John 16:14; I Corinthians 3:16; Acts 1:8; Revelation 22:17)
A central theme of Scripture is God’s provision of salvation for sinful human beings. Though originally created in perfect fellowship with God, the first man yielded to the temptation of Satan and disobeyed the command of God, bringing upon himself and all subsequent humanity God’s judgment of both physical and spiritual death. All human beings therefore enter the world under condemnation and with a disposition which rejects God’s authority over their lives, rendering them unable to please God. Because God is holy and just, He must punish all sin. Yet in His love and grace, He chose to allow His Son Jesus Christ to bear the full penalty man’s sin deserved. Whoever repents of sin and places faith in Jesus Christ alone as Savior and Lord receives forgiveness of sin and is declared righteous in God’s sight. The believer in Christ also receives spiritual life, creating in him the desire and ability to please God. Although good works in no way earn salvation, they are the inevitable result of genuine faith. Salvation is based completely on the grace of God, and nothing can change the believer’s status as a fully justified member of God’s family and kingdom.
(Luke 24:44-47; Acts 10:43; Hebrews 1:1-3; Genesis 1:27; 2:17; 3:6; Romans 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:10-19; 8:5-8; Deuteronomy 32:4; Exodus 34:7; Proverbs 11:21; Romans 5:8; 8:32; II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:21-26; 10:9-10; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 16:31; John 14:6; I Timothy 2:5-6; II Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:14-24; John 6:39-40; 10:27-29; Jude 24; Romans 8:38-39; Galatians 4:4-7; Colossians 1:13-14)
About the Church
In the present age, God’s primary work is to call out from among all humanity a people to be His very own, who through common faith in Jesus Christ are united in one spiritual body, the Church. Jesus Christ, through His death and resurrection, has been exalted as Head of the Church. It is God’s will for each believer to be an active and accountable part of a local expression of Christ’s body, which is an assembly of those who have made public profession of faith in Christ through baptism, and who unite for the purpose of worship, prayer, ministry of the Word, fellowship, service, observance of the Lord’s supper, and discipline. God has entrusted the oversight of the local church to scripturally qualified men called elders, who serve as accountable to the chief shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, and who by their example, instruction, exhortation, correction, and discipline shepherd the assembly of believers. Functioning under the elders are scripturally qualified deacons who serve the assembly by caring primarily for its physical and material needs. The mission of the Church in the world is to make disciples by winning, building, equipping, and mobilizing people to advance Christ’s kingdom and exalt His name.
(Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:39; Titus 2:13-14; I Peter 2:9-10; Acts 15:14-18; Ephesians 2:11-22; 4:11-16; I Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:18- 23; 5:23; Acts 20:17-28; I Peter 5:1-4; I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; I Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:17; Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:8-13; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 9:19-23)
About Human Destiny
According to Scripture, all people are sinners and therefore destined to die. Upon death, the soul of the believer immediately enters the presence of God, and the soul of the unbeliever enters a state of separation from God. For all people, there will be a resurrection of the body and a final judgment. For unbelievers, judgment will result in eternal, conscious punishment. Believers will be rewarded for works done in this life and experience eternal joy and communion with God.
(Romans 3:23; 5:12; 6:23; Hebrews 9:27; Philippians 1:21-23; II Corinthians 5:8; John 3:36; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:1-15; Luke 16:19-26; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Matthew 25:41-46; Philippians 3:20-21;
I Corinthians 3:12-15; II Corinthians 5:9-10)