VBC  Statement of Faith

(Revised by congregational vote on April 27, 2014)

A.   The Scriptures

1) We believe that God has given His complete written revelation (the Scriptures) to mankind by means of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  That He superintended both the transmission and the reception of the message of God to the human author (2 Pet 1:21).  Although God’s revelation reflects the characteristics of its human authors, it is God-breathed, that is inspired (2 Tim 3:16).  As a result, it is completely without error in the original writings (Matt 5:18).  This revelation is the only such communication from God and is the only authority for the believer’s faith and practice (2 Tim 3:17).

2) We believe the correct interpretation of Scripture is one that is according to a normal, literary means.  This would include interpreting Scripture according to the grammatical, historical and theological context of each passage.  It must be understood, however, that all proper interpretation is dependent upon the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, who enlightens the believer in harmony with the grammar, the historical setting and the total teaching of all Scripture (1 Cor 2:9-13; 2 Tim 2:15).  This methodology leads to a dispensational view to Scripture.  This is an approach that recognizes that God’s revelation has been progressive, and He has dealt with man according to His sequential revelation to man (Heb 1:1, 2).  In addition, it affirms that individual salvation has always been by faith in God’s provision of grace (Heb 11).

B.   God

1) We believe that the God of the Scriptures exists in three divine persons:  the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Each is eternal, identical in essence and possesses the same attributes (Gen 1:26; Exo 3:14; Matt 3:16, 17).  The existence of God is stated throughout the Scripture, although it nowhere attempts to prove it (Gen 1:1).  The distinctions between the persons in the Trinity are seen in their separate offices.

2) We believe that God is Spirit.  He can only be known by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (John 4:24).

3) We believe that God exercises each attribute in conjunction with all His attributes.  In particular, God’s holiness tempers and conditions the exercise of all the other attributes (Isa 6:3).  The result is that He must demand holiness in His creatures (1 Pet 1:16).

4) We believe that God, in six solar days, created all that has ever existed, and that today He sustains His creation (Gen 1; Col 1:16, 17; Heb 1:3; 11:3).

C.   God the Father

1) We believe that God the Father is the first person of the Godhead.

2) We believe that he is perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, measureless in power and matchless in love (1 Pet 1:15, 16; Rom 11:33-36; Eph 2:4,5).

D.   Jesus Christ

1) We believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Godhead, eternally existent (John 1:1, 2; Heb 1:8) and equal in essence with the Father (John 5:23, 26; 14:9-11; Col 2:9).

2) We believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Matt 1:18-25) and as a result He became the God-man, a being consisting of both a perfect human and divine nature, yet only one person (1 Tim 2:5).  He then lived a sinless life (Heb 4:15) and voluntarily died as a substitutionary sacrifice for all men (2 Cor 5:21).  His death was followed by His literal, physical resurrection (1 Cor 15:3-4), after which He ascended bodily into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).  Today Jesus ministers as a mediator on behalf of all believers (Heb 4:14; 1 Tim 2:5; 1 John 2:1-2).

E.   The Holy Spirit

1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.  He possesses personality and is of the same essence as the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3, 4; Matt 28:18-20; 1 Cor 2:11).

2) We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the believer at the time of conversion includes regeneration (Titus 3:5), baptism into Christ’s body (1 Cor 12:13), permanent indwelling (John 14:16) and sealing (Eph 1:13, 14).  In yielded believers, the Holy Spirit controls the life (Eph 5:18), illumines the mind (1 Cor 2:12-14), guides (Rom 8:14), provides assurance of salvation (Rom 8:16) and makes intercession (Rom 8:26).

3) We believe that the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts upon the individual believers in this age (Rom 12:3-8).  The gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 were revelatory and sign gifts that functioned only until the completion of the New Testament canon.  In light of the present day undue emphasis upon some of the gifts of the Spirit (that is, tongues and healing), we are against the charismatic movement.

F.   The Church

1) We believe that all who are saved from the day of Pentecost to the Rapture are a part of the Body of Christ, the church in prospect (1 Cor 12:13).  This body has the following characteristics:  Christ is the head of the body (Eph 1:22-23; Col 1:18); Christ is the foundation of that body (1 Cor 3:11-12); membership in the body is by Spirit baptism (1 Cor 12:13); in God’s prophetic plan, the church is separate from Israel (1 Cor 10:32).

2) We believe that the local church is God’s chosen means to accomplish His purposes for this age and that all believers should be a member of a local assembly (Matt 28:19, 20; 1 Tim 3:15; Heb 10:25).  As a result, Christian service must be performed in connection with the local assembly, otherwise it is invalid.  We believe that there are only two offices in the local church found in Scripture:  pastor and deacon (1 Tim 3:1-13).  We believe that the local assembly has authority to practice two ordinances:  immersion of believers (Rom 6:3; Acts 2:41; 8:37-39) and the Lord’s supper (1 Cor 11:24-26).

3) We believe that the local church should maintain separation from the world (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Cor 6:17-18) and from doctrinal error (Gal 1:6-9; 2 John 10).  Those who fail to practice sound doctrine or proper moral conduct should be disciplined to maintain the purity in the local assembly and to foster repentance in the heart of the one disciplined (Matt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5; 2 Cor 2:1-11).

G.   Man

1) We believe that the first man was Adam (Gen 2) and that he was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26, 27).  This image included untested holiness and personality (Gen 2:16, 17).

2) We believe that Adam’s act of disobedience (Gen 3) brought sin into the human race (Rom 5:12).  Adam’s sin brought immediate spiritual death to himself, his eventual physical death, the depravity of his nature (Rom 1:28-32; 1 Cor 2:14) and the sentence of eternal punishment.  Further, all men suffer all the consequences of Adam’s sin because he is the father of the human race (Rom 5:12).

3) We believe that all men are sinners by nature and by choice (Rom 3:10-13).  Both by birth and by a deliberate act of the will, men fail to conform to God’s moral law in act (Rom 3:23), disposition (1 John 3:4) and state (Psa 51:5).  Men choose self rather than God and have no means to save themselves.  As a result, all men are destined to physical death and eternal spiritual death because of sin (Rom 6:23; Ezek 18:4).

H.   Salvation

1) We believe that God has provided a way of salvation (John 14:6) from the consequences of sin (Rom 6:23) through Christ’s shed blood on the cross (1 Pet 1:18-19).  This salvation was given because of the love of God and it is available to all mankind (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).

2) We believe that the Word of God and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit are necessary in the salvation of the individual (Rom 10:17; John 16:8).  The obtaining of salvation is impossible apart from a personal, voluntary choice of the sinner.  At this time he must repent of his sin (Acts 17:30) and ask God to save him (Rom 10:9, 10, 13), while trusting only in Christ (Eph 2:8, 9).

3) We believe that all believers have their salvation forever guaranteed (John 10:28-29; Rom 8:38-39).

4) We believe that a continuing work of salvation, called sanctification, is present in the life of each believer.  This sanctification is a process that is transforming the believer’s mind and life into conformity with Christ (2 Cor 3:18; Rom 8:29; 12:1-2).

I.   The Future

1) We believe that the next prophetic event to be fulfilled will be the coming of the Lord Jesus in the air to rapture all the believers of this age.  It is an imminent, pretribulational, premillennial and personal return of Christ (Titus 2:13; Phil 3:20; 2 Thess 2:3-8; 1 Thess 4:13-18).  At this time the body of each dead believer will be united with its spirit and living saints will be taken from the earth to meet the Lord in the air.  Following this event, the reward/judgment of saints will occur at the bema seat (1 Cor 3:11-15).  At some subsequent time, the believers will be gathered to participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-9).

2) We believe that the seven-year tribulation period follows the Rapture (Rev 4-19; Dan 7:24-27).  After the tribulation, there will be the millennium or 1,000 year reign of Christ upon the earth (Rev 20:1-7).  Succeeding the millennium will be a brief period of rebellion and then the Great White Throne Judgment will take place.  After this, there will be the eternal state in which the wicked will be in the lake of fire and the Saints will be with the Lord forever (Rev 20:7-15; 21:1-4; 1 Cor 15:24).

J.   Civil Government

We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: (1) the home, (2) the church, and (3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)1

K.   Human Sexuality

1) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)

2) We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)2

L.   Family Relationships

1) We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)

2) We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)3

M.   Abortion

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)4

N.   Euthanasia

We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Matt. 5:21; Acts 17:28)5

O.   Authority of Statement of Faith

The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.6

  1. Section added by VBC congregation vote on April 27, 2014. []
  2. Section added by VBC congregation vote on April 27, 2014. []
  3. Section added by VBC congregation vote on April 27, 2014. []
  4. Section added by VBC congregation vote on April 27, 2014. []
  5. Section added by VBC congregation vote on April 27, 2014. []
  6. Section added by VBC congregation vote on April 27, 2014. []