WHAT WE BELIEVE
The teaching and foundation of Stonebridge Bible Church is based on the Scriptures. This “Statement of Faith” reflects doctrines that are essential to understand, teach, and practice God’s Word. We approach the interpretation of the Bible (hermeneutics) through a normal, grammatical, literal, historic, and theological lens.
- Normal – understanding the words of the Bible in their common usage unless otherwise indicated by the context.
- Grammatical – using the recognized rules of grammar in interpretation.
- Literal – understanding the meaning of the Bible in its ordinary sense unless the context requires a figurative interpretation.
- Historical – understanding the words of the Bible in the context in which they were written.
- Theological – a consistent consideration of the whole of the Bible when drawing theological positions.
As members of Stonebridge Bible Church, we believe, affirm, and support this statement of faith.
We believe the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament are God’s authoritative revelation to mankind (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Galatians 1:12). God moved human authors so that the original texts (the “autographs”) are the very word of God (2 Peter 1:20-21) without error (John 17:17). The Bible is the supreme and final authority (Psalm 19:7-11; 119; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 4:12).
We believe there is one sovereign eternally existing God, (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 2:5) in three persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; John 6:27; John 10:30;1 Corinthians 3:16); one in nature, attributes, and glory. The three are one God (2 Corinthians 13:14), infinite (Malachi 3:6; Acts 17:24), eternal (Hebrews 1:8), unchangeable (James 1:17), all wise (Romans 11:33), all powerful (Isaiah 40), all knowing (Psalm 147:5), holy (Isaiah 6:3), just (Psalm 9:16), loving (1 John 4:7-21), gracious (Romans 3:23-24; Galatians 3:18), good (Psalm 100:5), and true (Isaiah 45:19).
GOD the FATHER
We believe that the Father is God (Isaiah 64:8). He begins and ends all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 90:2). He is the Creator (Revelation 4:11) and Sustainer (Psalm 104) of all things, and the spiritual Father of believers (1 John 5:11). He expresses Himself in relationships with those whom He chooses, binding Himself to them by His eternal promises (Genesis 9:9; 17:7-9; 2 Samuel 7:8-16; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 8:29-30; Hebrews 10:16). He is loving (Ephesians 2:3-5), long-suffering, and not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to faith in Christ (John 3:17; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).
GOD the SON
We believe that Jesus Christ is God (John 10:30; Colossians 1:17; Titus 3:4-5). He is fully God (John 1:1-2,14; John 17:1-5) and fully man (Philippians 2:5-8). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Galatians 4:4), lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15), performed miracles (Matthew 11:4-5; John 2:11), died as the only sufficient sacrifice for our sins, and was buried (Matthew 20:28; John 1:29; Romans 3:25; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Hebrews 10:5-14; 1 Peter 3:18). He was literally and bodily resurrected (Matthew 28:5-10), appeared to the apostles and other witnesses (1Corinthians 15:5-8), ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9), was glorified (1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:9), and now intercedes for believers (Romans 8:34).
GOD the HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). He convicts people of sin (John 16:8- 11) and restrains the extent of sin in the world (Genesis 6:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:7). He opens the hearts and minds of people (Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14) to turn from sin (2 Corinthians 3:2-3; Romans 8:1-14), believe in the Son (1 Thessalonians 1:2-5), and be born again (John 3:3-7).
At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells every believer forever (John 14:16; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30). He fills believers with His power (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:16), enables them to live in obedience to the will of God (Galatians 5:16-26), teaches them (1 Corinthians 2:13-15; 1 John 2:27), and gives them His gifts “to each one individually just as He wills,” to serve the church (1 Corinthians 12:7,11; Romans 12:4-8; 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4:11).
The Holy Spirit gives gifts to believers for the “common good” and to reach the world with the gospel (1 Corinthians 12:4-7; 1 Peter 4:10). Spiritual gifts are used in a proper and orderly manner (1 Corinthians 14:40), in love (1 Corinthians 14:1), and without causing division (1 Corinthians 12:25). Spiritual gifts are not an indication of spiritual maturity and they should not be used for self-promotion (1 Corinthians 12:11-12).
We believe that sign gifts (apostle, prophet, healing, miracles, and tongues) authenticated the ministry and message of the apostles (Ephesians 2:20; Hebrews 2:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12) and served in the establishment of the church (Acts 2:41-47; 9:31-42). We believe that God continues to demonstrate His miraculous power and ability in many ways, but the sign gifts, as given to the early church, are not in effect today.
We believe that God created angels as spiritual beings to glorify and serve Him. Angels act as God’s messengers and minister to believers. Although powerful, they are not to be worshiped (Colossians 1:16; 2:18; Psalm 103:20; Hebrews 1:13-14; Revelation 22:8-9).
Satan, an angel of high rank, led many angels in a rebellion against God, bringing judgment on himself and his followers (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; John 16:11; 2 Peter 2:4). Satan tempted Adam and Eve into rebellion against God (Genesis 3:1-19; 2 Corinthians 11:3) and continues, with other fallen angels (demons), to deceive and tempt all mankind and actively opposes God (2 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 12:9). Jesus Christ defeated Satan and his demons by His sacrifice on the cross. Satan and his legions will be thrown into the lake of fire forever at the last judgment (Matthew 25:41; John 12:31-32; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 20:10).
We believe that God spoke the heavens, the earth and all living things into existence in six days. God directly created the original kinds of plants and animals and ordered them to reproduce after their kind. In its original form, the creation was very good and untouched by sin. Man is unique, created in God’s image, and did not originate from any other living thing (Genesis 1-2; 5:1-2; 9:6; Exodus 20:11; Psalm 33:6-9; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17).
We believe that God created Adam and Eve, the first humans, without sin and in perfect fellowship with Him (Genesis 1:26-28, 31; 2:18-24; James 3:9). They chose to sin, to disobey God, and incurred His judgment. The consequences of their sin (the “fall”) separated them from Him and brought suffering and death upon themselves, their descendants, and the whole creation (Genesis 3; Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5; Romans 8:20-22).
Mankind’s continued unbridled wickedness brought further judgment which destroyed the earth in a world-wide flood (Genesis 6-8; 2 Peter 2:4-5). After the flood, mankind’s continued rebellion at Babel brought God’s judgment in confusing their language and scattering them over the earth (Genesis 11:1-9; Luke 1:51).
All mankind inherited Adam’s sin nature (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12), are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1), and are all sinners (Romans 3:10,23; 5:12). Consequently, no one can reconcile themselves to God (Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 8:8).
We believe that salvation is a free gift from God (Romans 6:23) through faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone, unaided by human effort (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7). The death of Christ is full payment for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:11-15; 1 Peter 1:18-21) and satisfies the just requirement of God (Romans 3:23-26; Hebrews 10:1- 10). Believers are made alive by God (1 Corinthians 15:22; Ephesians 2:4-7; 1 Peter 3:18), are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6), but are now children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:26), set apart to a life of spiritual growth, ministry, love, and good works (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:10-14; 3:12-17; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Peter 2:2). We have forgiveness for every sin (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9) and rest secure in the reality of eternal life (John 5:24; 6:39-40; 10:27-30; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 5:9-13).
We believe that God our Creator established the family as the foundation of society and that marriage is a covenant between one natural man and one natural woman in a lifelong commitment. Christ’s words, referencing God’s design in Genesis “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female” (Genesis 1:27; 2:23-24; 5:2 Matthew 19:4-6) unequivocally establishes His position and our practice. Marriage between one man and one woman is not merely a longstanding traditional definition in human history, but God’s holy design. No other iteration or cultural definition of marriage can supplant God’s design for a heterosexual, monogamous, and lifelong marriage. Marriage, ordained by God, provides intimate companionship, pure sexual expression (Genesis 2:25; Ephesians 5:31-33), procreation, and reflects the relationship of Christ and His church (Genesis 1:28; Proverbs 5:15-19; 1 Corinthians 7:1-5).
Children are a gift from God and are fully human at the moment of conception (Psalm 127:3; 139:13-16). Parents are to train their children by modeling a godly life, teaching them the Bible, disciplining them in love, and encouraging them in wisdom (Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Proverbs 1:8-9; 13:24; 22:6). Parents are to care for the needs of their children (2 Corinthians 12:14; Ephesians 6:4). Children are to obey their parents with respect and honor, caring for them in the time of their dependency, and old age (Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 23:22; Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20; 1 Timothy 5:8).
We believe that Christ established His church and He is the Head of His church (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). The church includes believers from its beginning at Pentecost until the return of Christ (Acts 2; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the church carries out Christ’s work in the world (John 15:26; Acts 1:8). The purpose of the church is to worship, praise, and glorify God, to proclaim the gospel of Christ Jesus to the world, and to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). The church is to teach His Word (Colossians 1:24-28; 1 Timothy 4:11); to seek Him through earnest prayer (Acts 2:42); to equip the saints to walk, serve, and fellowship in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:42-46; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 14:26); and to keep His ordinances (1 Corinthians 11:24,25; Matthew 28:19).
We believe that the Lord gave two ordinances to the church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is for believers and is a public statement of faith in Christ and obedience to His command to be baptized (Matthew 28:19). Baptism identifies the believer as a follower of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:13-17) and is best represented by immersion in water (Acts 8:36-39). The Lord’s Supper is open to all believers in remembrance of our Lord’s life, death, burial, and resurrection until He returns (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28).
We believe that the church is expressed in local congregations of believers established under the headship of Christ and the authority of the Bible (Galatians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; Revelation 1:11). Individual congregations are governed by elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7), men who meet biblical standards, who are responsible to guard the purity of church doctrine (Titus 1:9), to shepherd the flock (1 Peter 5:1-3), and to oversee the church (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17). Deacons can be established to assist the elders in the work of the ministry (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).
We believe that Jesus Christ will physically return to take the church out of the world to be with Him forever (John 14:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). We are to remain alert for His return (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6; Revelation 22:20). At that moment, the dead in Christ and living believers will be given their eternal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). Jesus Christ will then bring a seven-year period of wrath upon the earth known as the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:2,3; Revelation 6-18). At the end of this period of judgment, He will return bodily (Acts 1:9-11; Zechariah 14:4-8) with the church to set up a kingdom to righteously rule the earth for a thousand years (Revelation 19:1-20:6; Matthew 13:41-43).
The kingdom will end in rebellion against Christ and His people (Revelation 20:7-9), but the rebellion will fail, Christ will have victory over Satan and all who oppose Him (Revelation 20:9-10). The unbelieving dead of all time will then be raised and given eternal bodies to face God in final judgment (Revelation 20:11) after which they will be thrown into the lake of fire to eternal torment (Revelation 20:15). Believers will enter a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-22:6) prepared for them to enjoy perfect, everlasting fellowship with God.