What We Believe
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." (Eph. 4:1-7 KJV)
We affirm that the seven-fold unity expressed in this passage is the Holy Spirit's doctrinal statement for the Church, which is the Body of Christ. We believe that all the expressions of doctrinal position and requirements for this Dispensation of the Grace of God must be in full accord with the Holy Spirit's outline. We recognize other doctrinal unites for other dispensations, but we affirm that Ephesians 4:4-6 stands alone as the doctrinal unity for this dispensation.
Desiring to be in full accord with the Mind of the Spirit, we hold the following doctrinal beliefs.
The entire Bible in its original writings is inerrant, being verbally inspired of God and is of plenary authority.
Definitions: Inerrant - there are no errors of any kind in the original writings. Verbally Inspired - inspiration extends to the very words which the writers used in the original writings. Plenary - inspiration is full. i.e. All scripture is inspired, or written under the authority of God.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:21
There is one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
A) Three Persons of the God Head: Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14
B) One God: Deut. 6:4; I Tim. 2:5; Isa. 44:6; Eph. 4:6; Gal. 3:20
C) The Father is God: Gal. 1:1; II Peter 1:17
D) The Son is God (John 1:1; Phil. 2:5-9)
E) The Holy Spirit is God: Acts 5:3-4; 2 Peter 1:20-21
THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST
A) Was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18-25
B) Is eternal deity = Is true God. Phil. 2:6-9; Rom. 1:3-4; Jn.1:1-18; 20:30-31; Heb 1:8-12; 7:23-24; Rev. 1:8,17,18; 22:13-20
C) Lived a sinless life as the God-Man. II Cor. 5:21; Heb 4:14-15
D) Gave Himself in vicarious, substitutionary death on the cross. I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:21
E) Was resurrected bodily after 3 days in the grave. I Cor. 15:4; Rom. 1:3-4
F) Will be the ultimate judge concerning the fate of all mankind. John 5:22; Acts 10:38-43; II Tim. 4:1
THE SINFULNESS OF MAN
All men by nature are dead in trespasses and sins and are therefore totally unable to do anything pleasing to God.
Scripture: Eph. 2:1-9; Rom. 3:9-23
GOD'S GIFT OF SALVATION
A) God justifies ungodly sinners by His Grace.
B) The basis for this salvation is totally dependent upon the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary:
1. His shed blood paid the penalty for our sin.
2. His blood washed away our sins.
C) The means through which an individual receives God's gift of Salvation is faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Scripture: Rom 3:24-28; 5:1,9; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; I Peter 1:18-19
All those who have received God's Gift of Salvation are eternally secure in Christ. i.e. Once saved always saved.
Scripture: Col. 3:1-4; Phil, 1:6; Rom. 8:1,29-34, 38-39; John 10:27-29; Eph. 1:4,13-14; Heb. 7:25
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a Person who:
A) convicts the world of sin John 16:8
B) regenerates believers Titus 3:5
C) baptizes believers I Cor. 12:13
D) indwells believers I Cor. 6:19
E) seals believers Eph. 1:13; 4:30
F) enlightens believers Eph. 1:17-18
G) empowers believers Eph. 3:16
THE BODY OF CHRIST - THE CHURCH
In the present dispensation (time) there is in existence only one true Church.
A) It is called the Body of Christ
B) It's membership is made up of all the saved
C) Because of the unique nature of the Body of Christ and the specific calling of the Apostle Paul to reveal this new ministry of the Church, we believe the historical beginning of the Church came some time after the conversion of the Apostle Paul and before the writing of his first epistle.
Scripture: I Cor.12:12-13; Eph.1:22-23; Eph. 3:1-11; 4:4-6
D) See Explanatory Note #1.
A) Every believer has been gifted by God for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ. Rom. 12:3-8; Eph. 4:7-16; I Cor.12:1-31.
B) Individual believers have gifts which differ according to the grace given them from God. Rom. 12:6; I Cor.12.
C) Since the New Testament canon was completed through the ministries of Apostles and Prophets, we believe these two offices have been fulfilled and no longer exist
D) We believe the sign gifts, such as tongues, prophecy, miracles, and healing, etc., have fulfilled their purpose and have passed away according to I Corinthians 13:8-11.
By reason of Christ's victory over sin and of His indwelling Spirit, all of the saved may and should experience deliverance from the power of sin by obedience to Romans 6:11; but we deny that man's nature of sin is ever eradicated during this life.
Scripture: Rom. 6:6-14; 8:37; Gal. 5:16; II Cor. 2:14; 10:2-5
THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Communion of the Lord's Supper as revealed through the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 11:23-26 is for members of the Body of Christ to observe "until He comes".
Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily form the dead (Luke 24:39-43). Therefore (I Cor. 15:21), all men will have a bodily resurrection (Acts 24:15): The saved to everlasting glory and the unsaved to everlasting punishment (John 5:29; Rev. 20:11-15).
A) During God's present program of dispensing His Grace, all believers have been made members of the Body of Christ by one divine baptism (I Cor. 12:13). By that one baptism, every member of the Body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4; Col. 2:12).
B) See Explanatory Note #2
COMINGS OF CHRIST
Jesus Christ shall return at the end of the Church age to catch up (rapture) the Church to Himself (I Thes. 4:13-18; Phil. 3:20-21; I Cor. 15:51-53; Titus 2:13-14). This event is distinct from the return of Christ to judge the earth, when He comes to judge the nations and set up His earthly Kingdom (Zech. 14:4-9; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 19:11-16; Luke 21:25-28; Rev. 10:1-6). The first is the hope of the church, the second is the hope of Israel.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
Nowhere does Scripture extend the hope of salvation to the unsaved dead but instead reveals that they will ever continue to exist in a state of conscious suffering (Luke 16:23-28; Rev. 14:11; 20:14,15; Col 3:6; Rom. 1:21-32; John 3:36; Phil. 3:19; II Thes. 1:90).
The teachings of Universalism, of probation after death; of annihilation of the unsaved dead, and of the unconscious state of the dead, saved or unsaved (Luke 16:23-28; Phil. 1:23; II Cor. 5:6-8), are opposed by us as being thoroughly unscriptural and dangerous doctrines.
A) The mission and commission of the Church, which is His Body, is to proclaim the message of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:14-21) and endeavor to make plain to everyone the administration (dispensation) of the Mystery (Eph. 3:8-9).
B) In this we should follow the Apostle Paul ( I Cor. 4:16; ll:1; Phil. 3:17; I Tim. 1:11-16).
C) That distinctive message which the Apostle of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13-15; 16:25) calls "my gospel" (Rom. 2:16; 16:25) is also called the "gospel of the Grace of God" (Acts 20:24).
D) We, like Paul, must preach the entire Word of God in the light of this Gospel (II Tim. 4:2; Gal. 1:8-9;) and strive to reach those in the regions beyond where Christ is not yet named (Rom. 15:20; II Cor. 10:16).
Sincere believers hold a variety of opinions on some of the details of certain doctrinal issues.
In these explanatory notes we seek to give the nature of the church's conclusion regarding certain aspects of certain doctrines.
These conclusions will have a bearing upon what is taught and emphasized in these areas at Kettle Moraine Bible Church.
1. The Ministry of the Apostle Paul
A) The Apostle Paul, through a series of revelations, received truths from God which had never been revealed to mankind previously. Paul calls the resulting message "The Gospel of the Grace of God" (Romans 16:25; Acts 20:24; Eph 3:1-7).
B) Paul was commissioned by God to dispense His Grace in a new way to the world. No longer was God working through the nation of Israel to dispense His Grace, but now through the Body of Christ each individual whether Jew or Gentile was to be given equal opportunity to come to God through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:11-3:10; Gal. 3:23-29).
C) Paul was God's Apostle sent to preach the Gospel of Christ directly to the Gentile world (Rom. 11:13; Rom. 15:15
2. Water Baptism
The question of Water Baptism is an issue that caused great confusion and division amongst believers for many centuries. There are many disagreements about the purpose and practice of water baptism in the church.
In light of the following understandings, we realize that water baptism is not an essential sacrament, nor do we find clear instruction in the scripture regarding its place in the spiritual program of the Church today.
A) There is one divine baptism from God which has:
1. made all believers members with Christ's body (I Cor. 12:13).
2. identified all believers with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:3,9).
B) Paul, the Apostle sent by God to minister to the Gentile world was not sent to baptize but to preach the Gospel (I Cor. 1:17).
C) It is the existence of the one divine baptism which leads to the unity we are to have in the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:1-6). It is our responsibility to preserve this unity.
D) No where in the epistles of the Apostle Paul, do baptism as essential to church practice.
E) Over 12 different types of baptism can be found in the Old Testament and New Testament. We conclude that the essential "One Baptism" of the Unity of the Spirit, found in Ephesians 4:5, is the baptism of the Holy Spirit into the Body Of Christ referred to in I Corinthians 12:13.