What We Believe

The following is a summary of our major beliefs. We believe in:

Bethel’s Doctrinal Statement defines the boundaries of biblical truth within which we lead our church family.  We believe these truths are crucial to clarify the Gospel, maintain the equity of the church, and preserve our Protestant character while addressing key issues Bethel must uphold in its unique historical context.  Therefore our elders, staff pastors and primary ministry leaders are committed to uphold and teach from these positions.

The Scriptures

We believe the Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the authoritative word of God. God superintended the human authors of the Bible so that they composed and recorded without error in their original writings, His message to mankind. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)

The Godhead

We believe in the eternal existence of the Godhead in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that these are the one God, having precisely the same nature and attributes. (Matt 28:19; John 1:1, 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; Deut. 6:4)

The Father

We believe God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, is sovereign over all creatures and events and governs all things to the praise of His glory. His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator, He is Father to all people, but He is the spiritual Father only to believers, whom He adopts as His own. (Psalm 139:16; Dan 4:34-35; Rom 8:15, 28; Eph 1:4-6, 1:11-14; Rev 4:11; John 1:12)

The Son

We believe that the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, was born of a virgin as the perfect man Jesus Christ, yet He retained His absolute deity, being at the same time very God and very man. He became man for the express purpose of dying as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Through His resurrection, He conquered sin and death, and became the Redeemer of all those who place their trust in Him. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. We believe in His personal return to earth to judge the living and the dead. (John 1:1; Luke 1:35; Matt 1:25; 1 Pet 3:18; 1 John 2:2; 1 Cor 15:3-4, 15:56-57; Rom 3:24-26; Heb 1:3; Acts 10:42; 1 Thes 4:16-17; 2 Tim 4:1)

The Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, though omnipresent from eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost, and that He seals and indwells every believer. By His baptism, He unites all believers in Christ in one body and He is the believer’s source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. (John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; Eph 1:13-14; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 12:3-7, 13)

Mankind

We believe mankind was created in the image and the likeness of God, male and female, and fell through sin, and as a consequence, experienced physical and spiritual death. This spiritual death has been transmitted to the entire human race, such that every child of Adam is born into the world by nature, children of wrath apart from divine grace. (Gen 1:27; Rom 5:12; Eph 2:1-3)

Salvation

We believe, owing to universal death through sin, no one may enter the Kingdom of God unless born again. This new birth is a gift of God which comes through faith alone in the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. (John 3:3, 3:16; Rom 6:23; Eph 2:8-9)

Election and Eternal Security

We believe God, in eternity past, in His sovereign good pleasure, purposed to form a people through Christ’s redemptive death on the cross and His resurrection and not based upon any foreseen merit in them, chose certain people (the elect) to be recipients of eternal salvation. God ensures that the elect come to believe in Christ and their salvation is secure for eternity. (Acts 20:28; Eph 1:4,7; Rom 3:24-26; John 6:44, 10:27-29; Acts 13:48; Eph 1:4; 2 Tim 2:10)

Dispensations

We believe that the dispensations are stewardships by which God has administered His purpose on earth through man under varying responsibilities. (John 1:17; Eph 3:8-10; Col 1:25-27)

The Church

We believe that all who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ are members of the church universal, which is the bride and body of Christ, who is its head. God has ordained the formation of local churches, where believers are to be equipped for their work of service through the oversight of pastors and elders. Two ordinances are given to the church: Water Baptism and the Lord’s Table. These are reserved for and to be observed by those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 11:26, 12:27; Eph 1:22-23, 4:11-12; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-3; Matt 28:19; Luke 22:19)

The Christian Walk

We believe that Christians are called with a holy calling, not to walk after the lusts of their sinful natures, but after the Spirit, and so to live in the power of the indwelling Spirit. It is the responsibility of all believers to witness to the saving grace of faith in Christ and to exercise their spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ. (Gal 5:16-25; Matt 28:19; Rom 12:4-8)

Marriage and Sexuality

We believe God’s creative design to be celebrated and followed by all generations, as set forth in Scripture, is male and female, establishing gender as a biological distinction established at conception. We believe marriage was instituted by God as a gift for the wellbeing of the family and society. We also believe God’s intent is for compete fidelity (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) within heterosexual and monogamous human marriage. Regardless of one’s marital status, we believe the Christian should pursue purity and abstain from sexually immoral practices such as adultery, premarital sex, and pornography (Gen 1:27; Lev 18:23; Matt 19:4-6; Rom 1:18-32, 13:13-14; 1 Cor 6:9-20, 10:8; Eph 5:3-14; 1 Thes 4:1-8; 1 Tim 1:8-10; Heb 13:4)

Future Things

We believe in the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air to receive to Himself all those, dead or alive, who belong to Him. At the end of the present age, the earth will undergo a time of judgment or “Tribulation” for seven years. The culmination of the Tribulation will be the personal return of Christ to the earth to establish the “Millennial Age,” the time during which Christ will reign, Satan will be bound, Israel will be restored, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. The final judgment will occur at the end of the Millennial Age. The unsaved will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord. The saved will enjoy conscious blessedness forever in the presence of God. (1 Thes 4:13-18; Dan 9:27; Matt 24:21; Rev 6:1-19:21, 20:11-15, 21:1-22:5; Isaiah 11)