What We Believe

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 systematize 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)

About God

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 out 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 mankind’s sin, thus accomplishing salvation for 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 the earth prior to the period of God’s judgment known as “the great tribulation.”  Following this tribulation, He will physically return to the 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 do not serve the same authenticating purpose 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 Christ-like 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)

About Salvation

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 pleaseGod.  Although good works in no way earn salvation, they are the inevitable result of genuine saving 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 anassembly 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)

About Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality

We believe that all persons have been created as male or female and that these two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27). We recognize that male and female are biologically different but equal in personal dignity as created in the image of God.

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning sanctioned by God: the uniting of one man and one woman in an exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25).

We recognize that the relationship and institution of monogamous marriage has been the central, social building block for the common good of human society from the time God instituted it. When a culture fails to honor God’s plan for marriage, countless individuals, particularly women, children, and the underprivileged, suffer significant emotional and material hardships.

We affirm the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the only preeminent Head of this Church, that, “at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’” (Matthew 19:4-5).

We believe that God intended marriage to be a complementary relationship of companionship between one man and one woman based on a covenant of love, mutual care, responsibility and permanence (Malachi 2:13-16). Marriage is a person-to-person fusion of male and female, celebrated by physical union in the consummation of a God-formed bond (Genesis 2:24-25; Matthew 19:4-5; John 4:16-18). Marriage is meant to be a model of the unique relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:21-33).

We believe the union of marriage is intended by God to be a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 2:18, Matthew 19:4-9, Mark 10:5-9, Ephesians 5:31-33). Yet recognizing that humanity does not always live up to God’s intention, we accept the allowance for divorce and remarriage on grounds of marital unfaithfulness as taught by our Lord (Matthew 19:9).

We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). Sexual activity outside of the marriage relationship, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, is immoral and therefore sin (Genesis 2:24-25; Matthew 19:4-6, 9; Romans 1:18-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 15-20; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Jude 7).

We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, sexual intercourse between people not married to each other, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, polyamory, polygamy, and the use of images or media for sexual stimulation) is sinful according to God’s word (Matthew 5:27-28; 15:18-20; Romans 1:21-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

We believe that homosexual orientation (like all other deviant sexual behaviors) is a result of the fall of humanity into a sinful condition. Biological, circumstantial, or familial roots of homosexuality should deepen our compassion for those who are struggling to be free from sexual temptation, but they do not sanction or excuse homosexual behavior (Romans 1:21-27).

We believe there is hope for a person struggling with homosexual temptation just as there is for a person struggling with heterosexual temptation. All those who freely receive the gift of redemption in Jesus Christ our Savior find power to be free from the control of sin through growth in their new identity in Christ and in the fellowship of His Church.

We believe that God created the human race male and female and that efforts to adopt a gender other than one’s biological sex (which is genetically determined and identified at birth by a person’s anatomy) is a violation of God’s will and purpose and therefore sin (Genesis 1:27). Individuals who struggle with gender identity should receive compassionate care and counsel to help them understand God’s will for their lives.

We believe that to preserve the function and integrity of Millersville Bible Church as the local body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Millersville Bible Church in any capacity, all members of Millersville Bible Church and all who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this statement on marriage, gender, and sexuality (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).

We hold these beliefs in humble recognition that God offers redemption and restoration to all who seek His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ by confessing and forsaking their sin (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.)

We hold these beliefs with a commitment to treat all people with compassion and kindness; respect and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). We renounce hateful behavior or attitudes toward individuals who disagree with the doctrines of Millersville Bible Church.

We do not believe that moral disagreements are equivalent to disrespect or hate; in contrast, we believe it is possible to disagree with a person’s lifestyle without rejecting his or her person.