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What We Believe

The following is copied directly from our "Articles of Faith" that we agreed upon as members to represent the church's beliefs as a whole.

ARTICLE I – DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

I. Inspiration

A. The quality of all Scripture that makes it God's Word although it was written by human authors that were borne along by the Holy Spirit so that each other's individual personalities are evident. This is not mechanical dictation nor is it the result of inspired authors or processes. (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21)

B. Terms Explained:

1. Verbally: This refers to the fact that the Bible, even to its very words, is true and without error in the original writings. Therefore, more than just the thought or concept is inspired. (Matthew 5:17-18; John 10:34-35) The word "plenary" is often used with "verbal" to give the view that all Scripture is fully and equally inspired. (II Timothy 3:16)

2. Inspired: Inspiration is that particular work of God by which the Holy Spirit becomes the Co-Author of Scripture, directed, employed, and supplemented with the personal characteristics, abilities, and work of the Providentially prepared human writers to the end that the original writings are inerrant and constitute the final source of knowledge for both faith and practice. (II Peter 1:20-21) Inspiration does not suppress intellectual ability and talent. (Luke 1:1-3)

3. Inerrant: Inerrant means that the Scriptures in their original writings were without error. (John 10:35; Luke 16:17)

4. Final Authority: The Scriptures are God's special revelation (communication of truth) to man, and because they are inspired and inerrant, they become our final authority. However, care must be taken in our approach to the Bible in interpretation. Although, we believe totality of Scripture, it is not all applicable to us and must therefore be interpreted dispensationally.

II. Trinity

A. We believe in a triune God, Who is one in essence and manifested in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; all being co-equal. God is an eternal, self-existent and self-sufficient Spirit; the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who deals personally with mankind as dispensationally understood in His Word.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Eternally Self-existent and Self-Sufficient: Because of His eternalness, God must be the source of His own life and needs. (Revelation 1:8; II Peter 3:8)

2. Trinity: Refers to the fact taught in Scripture that although God is one in essence, and manifested in three persons that share the same essence, these persons are co-equal, co-eternal. (I Timothy 1:17)

III. Incarnation

A. We believe that Jesus Christ took upon Himself real human flesh forming the unique God-Man Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Jesus Christ: He was the God-Man. Two natures (deity-humanity) in one person. The relationship is such that there is no dividing of person or no confounding of the two natures.

2. Conceived of the Holy Spirit: This was a divine act of God. (Matthew 1:18)

3. Born of a Virgin: The Son of God was born of a woman who was also a virgin. (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25)

IV. Holy Spirit

A. We believe in the Holy Spirit Who is the third person of the Trinity and thus God. The Holy Spirit is acting in salvation, in conviction, regeneration, indwelling, baptizing, and sealing the believer. After salvation He is active in filling, teaching, guiding, anointing, assuring, and praying for the believer.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Conviction: To give unquestionable evidence to the truthfulness of the Gospel. (John 16:8-11)

2. Regeneration: The act of imparting eternal life to a believing sinner. (Titus 3:5; John 16:5-6)

3. Indwelling: All believers are permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit from the moment of regeneration. (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

4. Baptizing: All believers are baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ at the moment of regeneration, and thus united with Christ in His death to the sin nature. (Romans 6:1-19) This is non-experiential and has no signs accompanying it.

5. Sealing: The Holy Spirit is the seal the Father gives to a believer at the time of regeneration to guarantee the certainty of our future part in the rapture. (II Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30)

6. Filling: The ministry of the Holy Spirit in making up out lack of Christ-likeness by producing His fruit in us.

7. Teaching: (John 16:12-15)

8. Guiding: (Romans 8:14)

9. Anointing: (I John 2:27)

10. Assuring: (Romans 8:16)

11. Praying: (Romans 8:26)

V. Creation

A. We believe the Biblical account of creation of the physical universe, angels and man; and that the days of creation were solar days of 24 hours duration each; that this account is neither allegory not myth, but a literal historical account of the direct immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work or God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. (Genesis 1:2; Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3)

VI. Man

A. We believe that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned, and thereby incurred not only physical death, but spiritual death, which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and those who reach moral responsibility become sinners in thought, word, and deed.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Created in the image of God: Made by God in His own image. (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 5:2; I Corinthians 11:7)

2. Separation from God: When man of his own free will chose to disobey God, he sinned (the breaking of God's law). Sin separated us from God. As a sinner, man incurs not only physical death, but spiritual death. (Romans 6:23; Romans 3:10-23; Galatians 3:22)

VII. Atonement

A. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died shedding His blood for the sins of the whole world according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitute sacrifice and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His blood.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Representative: This means that Jesus Christ represented all the sins of the world. He, who knew no sin, what made sin for us. (II Corinthians 5:14-21) Adam was the representative of all in need of a saving sacrifice. (I Corinthians 15:22) Therefore, if Christ represented all, his sacrifice will cover all. (John 3:16)

2. Substitutionary: This is called the vicarious suffering in the He died in out place. Christ did not die for His sin, for He had none (John 8:46), be He died for the sins of others. (I Corinthians 15:3; Romans 5:8)

3. All: "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13; I John 2:2; I Timothy 4:10)

4. Justified: Justification is the act of God whereby He declared the guilty and depraved sinner to be righteous because of the sinner's belief in Jesus Christ. (Man receives a new standing). (Romans 5:1)

VIII. Eschatology

A. We believe in that blessed hope, the personal pre-tribulational, return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Blessed Hope: This means that Christ will return again as He promised in John 14:1-6 and Acts 1:11.

2. Personal: Jesus, Himself, will appear; not as a spirit, not a gust of wind, but as Jesus Christ Himself.

3. Pre-Tribulational: Means that Christ will come before the beginning of the Tribulation for his saints, both living and dead; leaving only unbelievers to pass into the judgment of the Tribulation. (I Thessalonians 1:10; I Thessalonians 5:9; I Corinthians 15:51-58)

4. Imminent: This means that Christ could come at any moment. (Mark 13; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Matthew 24: 36-44)

5. Pre-Millennial: Refers to the Biblical fact that Christ shall return at the end of the seven (7) year Tribulation period to establish His one thousand (1000) year reign on earth. (Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:2-3)

6. Eternal State: An eternal period after the Millennium which begins with the creation of a new heaven and a new earth all governed by the perfect rule of God.

IX. Salvation

A. We believe that all who receive by faith the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their personal sins are born again of the Holy Spirit, and thereby, they become the sons of God and heirs of Eternal Life.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Faith: Paul, in his book of Galatians, shows that faith is the only criterion of Salvation. Works are ruled out. Therefore, a man is saved by faith alone and is kept not by his works, but through faith in Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 11:1; Galatians 3:10-11, 22-26; Ephesians 2:5, 8:10)

2. Saved: Meaning rescue from judgment unto a blessed life and future hope by the grace of God. (Hebrews 7:25; Philippians 1:6; I Peter 1:3-5)

3. Sons: This term refers to the Biblical fact that a believe is adopted into the family of God at the moment of regeneration, and implies the responsibility to live according to the Word or God. (John 1:12; Ephesians 1 :5; I John 3:1-2)

X. Future States

A. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the saved and unsaved, the everlasting happiness of the saved and conscious suffering of the lost, which demands a heaven and hell.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Bodily Resurrection: After the final Battle of Armageddon and the Millennium, the unsaved shall stand before the "Great White Throne". Those not found in the Book of Life are cast into the Lake or Fire. (Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8)

2. Everlasting Conscious Suffering: Shows the final destiny of all unbelievers of all ages. (Revelation 20:11-15)

3. Heaven: (John 14:1-6; Hebrews 11:10-16)

XI. Angels

A. We believe in the existence of both good and evil spirit beings. The good spiritual beings are those that remained faithful to God during Satan's rebellion, and the evil spiritual beings are those that rebelled with Satan. (Ezekiel 28:11-19; Isaiah 14:12-17)

B. We believe in the existence of a literal devil, the old deceiver, who is the prince of this evil world system; god of evil age; who personally attacks Christians to ruin their Christian walk. The ultimate destiny with his evil angels and all unbelievers is the eternal punishment of the Lake of Fire. (John 14:30; II Corinthians 4:4; I Peter 5:8)

C. Terms Explained:

1. Devil: He was a created being. One of Heaven's highest angels, but he fell because of "I". (Isaiah 14:12-15)

2. Eternal Punishment: Revelation 20:10 gives us the final doom of the Devil and his angels.

3. Evil World System: The governmental system of Satan that seeks to so involve the Christian that he has not time for serving God. (I John 2:15-17)

4. Evil Age: Satan's theme throughout the ages found in Isaiah 14:14, which is, to act and live independent form God's control. This was Satan's sin, his temptation to Eve, and is prevalent today. (II Corinthians 4:4; Romans 12:2)

XII. Church

A. We believe in the church, which is the Body of Christ, and the local New Testament Church which is a small visible manifestation of that Body. The mission of the church is to edify the saints that they might mature in the Word of God and win the lost. The church shall support all of its endeavors by the free will tithe and offerings of its own people.

B. Terms Explained:

1. Body of Christ: The collective body of believers in Jesus Christ is the church. (Ephesians 5:23-32; Colossians 1:18, 2:10; Matthew 16:15-18)

2. Mission: (Ephesians 4:11-13; Matthew 28:18-20)

3. Tithes: This is 10% of our income. (Matthew 23:32; I Corinthians 16:1-2)

4. Offerings: The tithe is 10% and an offering is that amount given above the 10%.

XIII.The Local Church

A. We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and excercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His work; that its officers are Pastors and Deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the local church has a two-fold ministry of edifying the saints for their particular ministries and the winning of the lost of the world. (Acts2:41-42; I Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:11; Acts 20:7-28; I Timothy 3:1-7; Ephesians 5:23-24)

XIV. Ordinances

A. We believe that the ordinances of the church, given by our Lord, are Baptism (by immersion) and the Lord's Table (communion).

B. Terms Explained:

1. Baptism: Jesus Himself was baptized so as to set it forth as a pattern for believers of all times. (Matthew 3:13-15) Jesus commanded His disciples to teach and baptize all nations (Matthew 28:19-20) NOTE: Immersion of believers was the only type of baptism known of the early Christians. It signifies the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:3-4; I Peter 3:21) Acts 18:8 gives us the proper place of baptism.

2. Communion (the Lord's Supper): This ordinance was instituted by our Lord on the night in which He was betrayed. (Matthew 26:26-30) We find our information and directions for use as given by Paul in I Corinthians 11:23-30. It is a memorial of His sacrificial death and is symbolic of His body that was given and His blood that was shed and is prophetic in His ordinance.

XV. Civil Government

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society; that those in authority are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the King of the earth. (Romans 13:1-7; Acts 5:29; Acts 5:19-20; Daniel 3:17-18; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21)

XVI. Human Sexuality

We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexually, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. (Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5,13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; I Corinthians 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)

DIRECTIONS & CONTACT

Our facilities are located at the corner of Metomen (Hwy 49) and Griswold Streets, at the gray, stained glass windowed building right next to the old Ripon hospital site (950 Metomen St, Ripon, WI 54971)

Phone: 920-748-3936

Email: pastor@riponbaptistchurch.org

© 2017 Ripon Baptist Church. 950 Metomen St, Ripon, WI 54971