SLBC Statement of Faith

The Bible

We believe that the Bible, all 66 books, both Old and New Testament, is the complete, sufficient, and authoritative Word from God to man regarding all of life, especially knowledge of God and salvation for mankind.  God wrote the Bible through the hands of men who were fully inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit.  The Bible is completely without error in the original manuscripts.  Our responsibility and great privilege is to rightly interpret the message of the Bible and apply it to every facet of our lives. 
For purposes of church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Elder Board is the church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application. (2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 1)

God as Trinity

We believe in the one true God who is the creator of all things.  God is one in essence, while eternally existing in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19-20)

God the Father

We believe that the first person of the Trinity, God the Father, orders and directs all things according to His own purpose, pleasure, and grace. He has decreed all things that come to pass for His own glory. He graciously involves Himself in the affairs of men, hears and answers prayer, and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Matthew 6:9, John 5:19-24, Ephesians 1:3-6)

God the Son: Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God (fully God) and that He also, at a certain time, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary as a Son of mankind (fully man).  Jesus Christ is not just a really good man, nor is he half God and half man. Jesus Christ is one person with two natures: divine and human.  (John 1:1-4,18, Matthew 1:18-25, Philippians 2:5-11)

God the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a totally divine person whose primary ministry is to bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit applies the saving work of Jesus Christ to the lives of men and women.  He convicts mankind of sin.  He enables mankind to attain new life through Jesus Christ.  Furthermore, the Holy Spirit indwells, comforts, guides, teaches, and empowers Christians for godly living and service. (John 16:8-15, Ephesians 1:13-14, Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 3:16, Titus 3:5)

Humanity

We believe that God created mankind with dignity in His own image, to enjoy a relationship with Him, and for the noble purpose of carrying out His will on earth thus bringing glory to Him.  Tragically, the human race rebelled in the beginning and fell into sin by a voluntary act of disobedience to the will of God (original sin).  All men and women are sinners not only by inheritance, but by their own choice, and therefore are justly under the wrath of a Holy God and Creator without defense or excuse.  Mankind is spiritually dead and subject to the certainty of both physical and spiritual death apart from Jesus Christ.  Mankind is helpless and in absolute need of salvation.  (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:7, Genesis 3:3-4, Romans 1:18-32, 5:1-2, Ephesians 2:1-3)

Salvation

We believe that “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). According to the Scriptures the Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on a cross for our sins as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice.  He also rose from the dead, appeared to many, and ascended to the right hand of God the Father in heaven.  All who personally receive and embrace the person and work of Lord Jesus Christ by grace alone through faith alone are immediately given new life by and indwelt with the Holy Spirit.  They are thereby the children of God forever and members in the one true Church, the body of Christ.  This is the only way of salvation for mankind. (John 1:12, 3:16, 5:24, 14:6, Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9, Titus 3:4-7)

The Gospel

The Gospel is the “good news” that this forgiveness of our sins is available in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Atonement – “To remove sin/make clean.” The sacrificial system of Ancient Israel included atonements, which were offered to God by a High Priest in order to temporarily remove/clean the sins of Israel. This foreshadowed the real and final atonement made by Jesus Christ on the cross.

Justification – “To judicially declare as righteous.” On the basis of the work of Christ (credited to us) God judicially declares us legally justified, absolved from sin, and released from the penalty of sin (condemnation). 

Reconciliation – “To restore a broken relationship.” As a result of the work of Jesus Christ, we are reconciled in our relationship with God from our state of separation and alienation.

Redemption – “To free on payment.” This is an ancient slave market term meaning to pay a certain price to redeem a slave from his/her owner. Similarly, in Christ we have been redeemed from the power and ownership of sin.

Sanctification – “To be made Holy/like Jesus Christ.” Sanctification is the process following justification where Christians are continuously conformed by the Holy Spirit to be more like Jesus Christ.

The Church

We believe that upon receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, a person becomes part of His body, the Church, of which Jesus is the head.  There is one true Church (universal and invisible Church) composed of all those throughout the world and over the course of time who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.  The Bible commands Christians to consistently gather locally in order to devote themselves to fellowship, Bible study, observance of the sacraments (baptism and communion), worship, prayer, service to one another, development and use of talents and gifts, loving service and evangelism to the world.  Wherever Christians meet consistently in obedience to the above command, there is the local expression of the Church (the local church) under the oversight of elders and other supportive leadership.  Church members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ. (Matthew 16:18, 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, 2:42-46, Ephesians 4:12, 5:19-21, Hebrews 10:24-25)

Church Leadership: Elder & Servant Leader

We believe the Bible teaches that in order for a local church to be healthy, two leadership roles should be filled: Elder & Servant Leader. Elders are to be exemplary Christian men, Biblically qualified, who give spiritual oversight to the local church in the areas of doctrine, direction and discipline. (1 Timothy 3:1-16, Titus 1:5-9) Servant leaders are to be exemplary Christians who lead by serving in various ways in the ministry of the local church. (Acts 6:1-7, 1 Timothy 3:8-12)

Church Membership

We believe that the Bible commands Christians to belong to a local church for fellowship, spiritual growth, protection, and accountability.  We will unashamedly challenge Christians to become members of their local church because a commitment to local church membership is a commitment to belong.  The process of becoming a church member includes: A) credible Christian testimony B) desire and intention to be baptized, C) affirmation of essential doctrines of the Christian faith, D) desire and intention to contribute to the life of the local church in a variety of ways and be held accountable.  (Matthew 18:15-20, Hebrews 10:24-25, James 5:16)

Church Sacraments

We believe that baptism and The Lord’s Supper are the two sacraments that are to be observed in the local church.  A sacrament is where the internal reality of God’s grace is communicated to and experienced by His people with an external sign or symbol.  These signs and symbols are never to be mistaken as a means to salvation. (Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 22:14-23, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34)

Baptism- Baptism is commanded and is a way for believers to publicly identify with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.  The primary mode of baptism in the Bible is immersion in water.

Lord’s Supper– We believe that communion is a commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and a reminder, through the bread and wine, of the Savior’s broken body and shed blood. 

The Return of Jesus Christ

We believe that the next great event in human history will be the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds in order to rapture His Bride, the church.   After a seven-year tribulation period, He will come to the earth for His second coming.  (Matthew 24:44, Titus 2:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Eternal Destiny

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead at the return of Jesus Christ. True believers will rise to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in resurrection bodies (literal heaven). Unbelievers will rise to judgment and a sentence of eternal conscious torment (literal hell). (Matthew 25:34, 41, 46, John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 15, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Jude 1:7, Revelation 20:10-15)

Statement on Marriage and Sexuality

  • We believe the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one naturally born man and one naturally born woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture.  We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a naturally born man and a naturally born woman who are married to each other.
  • We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. 
  • We believe that any form of sexual immorality such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God. 
  • We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly. 
  • We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  
  • We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. 
  • Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with scripture nor the doctrines of the church.