We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical context. The King James Version of the Bible is to be used as the official text from the pulpit, in personal work and in every official function associated with Tri-City Baptist Church. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Matt. 5:18; Ps. 12:6-7)
The Scriptures clearly reveal periods of stewardships related to the progression of God’s revelation. The acknowledgement of these dispensations is essential to proper understanding of the Scripture. (Luke 16:16; John 1:17; Eph. 3:2)
We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 14:10, 26; 2 Cor. 13:14)
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood, His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 John 1:7)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is our High Priest, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:22-25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2)
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 1:13-14)
We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures. He will never teach or lead in contradiction to the Scriptures. It is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit and depend upon Him for Spiritual help in every area. (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)
We believe the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. He uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. ( 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12)
We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary and have ceased. Ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (1 Cor. 13:8; 14:21-22; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:4; James 5:14-16)
The Universal Sinfulness of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God; but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is universally sinful by nature and by choice and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26-27; Is. 59:2; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19)
We believe the Gospel message is for all men and that all men must be born again to escape eternal damnation in the lake of fire (John 3:3; Rev.20:15). This salvation is by the grace of God totally apart from works and is appropriated by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ by faith (Eph. 2:8-9; John 1:12). To add any element of works (e.g. baptism) for salvation is to reject it. No man is so sinful that God cannot save him (Is. 1:18). However, man could reject the knowledge of God to a point of no return (Prov. 29:1; Rom. 1:24-28).
We believe that there is no salvation apart from the Lord Jesus Christ revealed as very God in the flesh in the Word of God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Those ignorant of that name must be informed by specific revelation from the Word of God to be saved; however, the one seeking to know his Creator will be given sufficient light as he continues to receive it (Mark 4:24-25; Rom.1:19-20).
We believe salvation takes place as a result of the communication of the Word of God (1 Pet. 1:23; Rom. 10:17); God’s working in the sinner’s heart (i.e. the Father, John 6:44; the Son, John 12:32 and accomplished directly through the Holy Spirit, John 16:7-11); and the response of the sinner to God’s working with a turning to God from idols (i.e. repentance, 1 Thess. 1:9) and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21; John 3:18). We believe repentance and faith are mutually inclusive.
The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
We believe that all the redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5)
We believe that simultaneous with salvation the Holy Spirit indwells the believer. He is the seal, an earnest of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14), He baptizes the believer into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), and will convict the believer who is living out of the will of God. (Heb. 12:8)
We believe that the Church is a living body whose members are assuredly known only by God and are vitally united to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-13). Only born again believers make up this body. We believe that God established the Church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41) and He has been building His Church since that day (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47). God will continue to call out a people for His name until the rapture of the Church (Acts 15:14).
We believe God has also established a local, visible body called the church (Acts 14:27; Acts 20:28). We believe the local body is not a separate entity but a visible representation of the Church. There is one Church, and Christ is the head (Col. 1:18). Though deception is possible (Mt. 13:24-30), the local church should be composed of born again, baptized believers (Acts 2:41). Though Satan may creep in and disrupt a local body (Acts 20:29-30), the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church (Mt.16:18).
We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
We believe the local church has two ordinances:
Baptism – Baptism is carried out in obedience to the command of Christ (Mt. 28:19). It is to be administered by the authority of a local church. Baptism should take place subsequently to belief in Christ (Acts 8:36.37; Acts 10:47-48). The act of being baptized does not contribute to salvation (1 Pet. 3:21). Baptism is accomplished by immersion; picturing the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt. 3:16). It is an act of disobedience for a believer to fail to be baptized.
Lord’s Supper – the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the death of Christ (1 Cor. 11:26). It was instituted by Christ (Lk. 22:19). The elements are unleavened bread and unfermented grape juice. Though some type of alcoholic content may have been used in the first century, in light of God’s condemnation of the beverage use of alcohol (Prov.23:31;35) and the availability of healthy grape juice, the use of alcohol in any beverage form would mar our testimony (Rom. 14:16). The juice at no time becomes the blood of Christ nor does the bread literally become the flesh of Christ (John 6:48-63).
We believe the local Church has authority as a body to demand public repentance for public sin, as well as to discipline and/or expel members locally for the purpose of restoration of their walk with the Lord as well as the Church (Mt. 18:18; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 2 Thess. 3:14-15).
We believe in separation from ecclesiastical unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-17; Gal. 1:8-9). Hence, we reject the ecumenical movement. We believe in separation from this world system (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-17). God would have believers live a life apart from worldly amusements, dress, and ideals. We believe in separation from disobedient brethren including but not limited to false teachers (Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15). We reject the charismatic movement as unscriptural. Though we seek to be separate per the command of Scripture, we see our need to associate with the lost, short of compromise, that we might lead them to Christ (1 Cor. 5:9-10).
The Return of Christ
We believe in the “blessed hope”, the personal, imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel. We are both Pre-Millennial and Pre-Tribulational (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)
The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-15)
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6)
We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt. 25:41-46; Mk. 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)
The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10)
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11)
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)
We believe that God has commanded that no 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. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance (Deut. 22:5).
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)
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)
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 of 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)
Divorce and Remarriage
We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon. (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Mark 10:6-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).
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 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; Luke 1:44)
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 any direct act which 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)
We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10, 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)
Lawsuits between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32)
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20)
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)