God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe and creation was by divine action and design, not through an evolutionary process. We believe that God, by His sovereign choice and out of love for men, sent Christ into the world to save sinners. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God and make up the Trinity.
Genesis 1:1; 26-27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; I Peter 1:2
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life, and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to claim His own and take them to Heaven.
Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3-4; I Corinthians 15:3-4; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14-15
The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
John 14:16-17, 16:7-13, 17; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5; I Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18
The Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture or error. The Bible is infallible, inerrant, and absolute truth. Where it speaks, we listen and obey.
Psalms 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21
People are made in the image of God to be like Him in character. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God, called sin. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27; Psalms 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23
Salvation is God's free gift to us, but we must receive it by faith. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ and God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from the penalty of sin. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. This is evidenced by repentance, confession, baptism by immersion, and a life committed to His service.
John 1:12, 14:6; Romans 5:1, 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot lose it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
The Local Church, Baptism, and Communion:
We believe the Bible teaches the assembling together of believers to worship the Lord in Spirit and truth, in unity and harmony, and without confusion. Each church is to carry out the “Great Commission” and observe baptism by immersion and participate in observing the Lord’s Supper.
We define the Lord’s Supper as the Scripture defines it.
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NIV)
When we take it, we do so in a worthy manner.
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
1 Corinthians 11:27-28 (NIV)
We do this by self-examination.
- Do I have any sins to confess? (1 John 1:9)
- Do I have relationships to repair? (Matthew 5:23-24)
- Do I need to recommit my life? (Romans 12:1)
Who should take it?
Only those who believe. With regard to children, we believe a child should not take communion until they can understand the concepts of sin and salvation and have accepted Christ. However, we do believe communion is a teaching opportunity to explain the concepts of sin and salvation and our need for Jesus.
People will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is eternal death in Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; Revelation 20:15
The Second Coming of Christ:
There are differing views as to when and how Jesus will return. We believe there will be a literal return of Christ and a judgment day. How and when this will happen has been a source of great debate. We believe the details are in God's hands, and this is not a salvation issue.
Matthew 12:36; John 5:22, 16:8; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Peter 3:7; Jude 6
The Priesthood of Every Believer:
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to full-time Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry.
Every believer has direct access to God through Bible reading/study, prayer, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian is to be a disciple developing relational environments in which they share their faith with those around them by word and by action.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
At Bellview Baptist we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s Body, the Church, as God's Word commands. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the biblical standard of giving to the local church. A tithe of everything a person produces belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.
Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:7-12; Matthew 23:23.
Few areas of theology within the church have caused more division than the subject of spiritual gifts. We do not believe this subject is a salvation issue. Instead, we encourage behavior that unifies.
At Bellview Baptist, it is okay to believe differently, but we will act in this way:
- Because this is a non-salvation area of contention between believers, we will not have a place in our church where the gift of tongues is encouraged.
- We will not allow the discussion of a non-salvation issue to destroy the Lord's work.
- We do believe God does miracles and answers our prayers. And through the work of the Holy Spirit, empowers us to serve Him and do good works.
The following are Scripture references for churches where the gift of tongues and prophecy are used.
These are rules for their use:
- If someone speaks in a tongue, it will be one at a time. 1 Corinthians 14:27,33,40
- There must be an interpreter. 1 Corinthians 14:28
- There must be one who discerns whether it comes from God. 1 John 4:1
- If it is a prayer language, there is a place to pray. Matthew 6:6
- All the gifts must be used to edify the church, not the individual. 1 Corinthians 14:4-5,26
- No one has all the gifts, but the church is to be a body. 1 Corinthians 12:27-30