Confession of Faith and Covenant
Section 1 ~ Confession of Faith
(A) The Bible
We define the Bible as the 66 books that make up the Old and New Testaments of our King James Bible, otherwise known as the Common Version or the Authorized Version of 1611. We believe this Bible to be the preserved Word of God. We accept Bibles in other languages as they are true to the King James Version, and the Hebrew and Greek Manuscripts from which it was translated. The King James Bible will be the only Bible used authoritatively in any English-speaking service at our Church.
II Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In agreement to this passage and others (II Peter 1:19-21; Matthew 5:18; I Peter 1:25; Proverbs 30:5; Psalms 12:6-7; 119:89, 160; Isaiah 40:8) we believe the Bible to be the inerrant, perfect, preserved Word of God. We do not believe that the Bible contains the Words of God, but is the very Words of God. We believe that the men who wrote our Bible were under the Divine influence of the Holy Spirit and that each word is of Divine origin. We further believe that God has perfectly preserved His Words in the Masoretic Text (Hebrew Old Testament) and the Textus Receptus (Greek New Testament), which texts we have today. These texts of the original languages were translated into English and became known as The King James Bible (AV 1611). We accept no higher authority for faith, practice, and life.
(3) Interpretation of the Bible (II Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11)
We accept no other method of interpretation than the literal-contextual method. We also declare a separation from all other methods and systems of Biblical interpretation such as: Arminianism, Calvinism, Allegorism, Traditionalism, Rationalism, Humanism, and any other method or system not mentioned here.
(a) Literal-contextual method defined
Contextual: Each verse must be interpreted in the context of the verses which directly surround it. Each section must be interpreted in the context of the chapters and the book in which it is found. In turn each interpretation must be made subject to the whole of the Bible. Apparent contradictions are subject to the whole of Scripture as there are no true contradictions in the Bible.
Grammatical: Each word must be interpreted in accordance with its normal meaning and usage as a part of the sentence in which it is found.
Historical and Cultural: Each Biblical event must be understood in the historical and cultural setting in which it was recorded.
Dispensational: Each event must be interpreted in the context of the dispensation in which it was recorded.
Special types: There are certain passages of Scripture which are either figurative or metaphoric. Only passages denoted as such by Scripture shall be interpreted in this manner. The interpretation of such passages is still limited to the other rules listed above.
(b) The main emphasis of Biblical interpretation is not the quest for knowledge but the quest for spiritual understanding as it teaches us how to live for our Lord Jesus Christ. Not every question can be answered by man nor did God intend to give man every answer.
(c) No other method of interpretation shall be accepted as true or authoritative by this Church. The word of no man shall be accepted as to the veracity of any interpretation that is not clearly found in the Bible. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (II Peter 1:20)
We believe in the Triune God of the Bible. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (I John 5:7) We further believe that these three persons are eternally self-existent and co-equal. The Holy Ghost is not one part of God but God, and the same for the Father and Son. Each has identical attributes, power, perfection, and Divinity.
(1) God the Father
We believe in the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, all loving, creator God of the universe (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 32:4; II Samuel 22:31). God is perfect in His holiness and love. His holiness sets the standard and demands that every sin, which is a breach of that standard, be paid for. His perfect love sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay that price on the Cross of Calvary for every member of the human race (John 3:16). He is the eternal “I Am that I Am” (Exodus 3:14) who came seeking man. He came seeking Adam after the first sins in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8) and He is still seeking souls today that He may forgive their sins and give them eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. (II Peter 3:9; Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10; John 20:31)
(2) God the Son
(a) Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Luke 1:31-35; John 3:13). It is by this confession that we can have eternal life (Romans 10:9-10). There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). We believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus was born of the virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20). Yet He did not begin at His birth, for Jesus is God who has no beginning or ending (Isaiah 9:6; John 8:58; Revelation 1:8).
(b) After becoming flesh and dwelling among us (John 1:1-14), living a perfect and sinless life (John 8:46; I Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:22; I John 3:5), Jesus Christ offered Himself on the cross as the only sacrifice for our sins (Titus 2:14; John 10:11-18). Jesus arose from the grave on the third day, having conquered death and hell (Revelation 1:18). Jesus sprinkled His blood on the mercy seat in heaven having obtained an eternal redemption for all who will believe (Hebrews 9).
(c) Before ascending back to the Father Jesus gave irrefutable proof of His bodily resurrection (I Corinthians 15:1-8). He left the promise of his imminent return for which the believer and His Church are commanded to watch (Acts 1:11). Jesus is now preparing a place for us and intercedes for us to the Father (John 14:1-6; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:14-16). He is approached directly through faith in His Word and not by way of any person or organization whether past, present, or future. Jesus is our faithful High Priest. We are to cast all our cares upon Him and live only in a way that would be pleasing to Him.
(3) The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of God. He is not third in any way other than listing. He is a Person whose chief duties are: to comfort and indwell Christians; to illuminate believers; to guide believers into all truth; to bring honor and glory to God and Jesus Christ; to seal believers until we are in heaven; to pray for believers according to the will of God; to judge the world of sin; and to be the restraining force that keeps evil in check until the Church is taken out of the world.
(1) Man was created on the sixth day of creation. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created He them. (Genesis 1:27) Adam was formed from the dust of the earth and Eve from the rib of Adam. God gave an eternal soul to Adam and to Eve, and since that day every human being receives an eternal soul at conception. Man was created to have fellowship with God. Man was created in perfect and complete innocence with the moral ability to choose between obedience and disobedience to God and His commandments. Man transgressed and in that day died spiritually as God had warned, and was no longer in the image of God as He had been originally created.
(2) Man is born in sin and is spiritually dead for that all have sinned. Man contains no spark of divinity, but has a heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Man is utterly unable to rectify his sin problem and reconcile himself to God. Only through the power and work of Jesus Christ can this be accomplished.
(1) Salvation is the eternal saving of man’s fallen soul from the eternal judgment of God. Salvation was accomplished through the work of Jesus Christ and is a free gift to whosoever will come to Jesus admitting their inability to save themselves. The Bible also calls this being “born again”, “redeemed”, “justified”, and “reconciled”.
(2) Salvation is accomplished in an individual’s life by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ alone. This is apart from any act or power of any other individual or Church. No amount of good works, baptisms, or benevolent feelings can save an individual. To be saved an individual must repent of sin (bring sin to God rather than trying to atone for it by one’s own efforts); believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (to the exclusion of all else); call (simply ask Jesus for salvation); and receive (allow Jesus to do all the work of salvation). These are not steps or parts of the whole but descriptions of the same act (i.e. you cannot truly believe on Jesus without repenting of sin, calling, and receiving).
(3) Salvation was paid for by Jesus’ blood sprinkled on the mercy seat in Heaven and therefore is eternal. Salvation, once truly possessed, cannot be taken away by any sin, person, Church, or supernatural power. … it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2. 8b-9)
(4) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17) The saved individual will live out his salvation by showing to the world the good works that are the result of true salvation. True salvation will drive the individual from sin, not toward it. These good works are not the result of innate goodness but the direct result of the work of Christ in the individual’s life.
(5) Being human, saved individuals will still sin. Sin is to be recognized as such, confessed directly to God who is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(E) The Church
(1) We believe that the Church is an individual organized group of saved, Scripturally baptized people, who assemble together regularly for the purpose of worship, edification and the carrying out the Great Commission which Jesus gave to His Church. The members of this assembly share common doctrine, practice, exhortation, fellowship, and general life-style, all of which is in accordance with the Word of God.
(2) Jesus said, “I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We understand this to mean that Jesus is the principle of the Church; the Church has only Jesus for its head. No man or group of men shall exercise authority over this local Church for this local Church is directly accountable to Jesus Christ for its faith and practice. The Church that Jesus has built and will continue to build does not consist of any denomination or hierarchy, but is composed of individual Churches which have formed in accordance with the teachings of the Bible to follow Christ.
(3) This Church shall remain separate from any church or group of churches that embrace ecumenicism. Further, this Church shall remain separate from other churches that do not espouse our doctrinal position, nor may this Church abdicate its God given autonomy to any man. This Church will submit to the ordinance of men as unto the Lord except as such ordinances will cause the Church to violate our final authority, the Word of God.
(F) Church Ordinances
We believe in two ordinances as given to the Church by the direct command of Jesus Christ.
(a) We believe that Scriptural baptism consists of a Scriptural authority (a true Bible preaching and Bible living Church); a Scriptural candidate (a Scripturally saved person); and a Scriptural mode (full body immersion in water, once in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost).
(b) This Church will not recognize as Scriptural baptism any baptism from any Church that is not of like faith and practice. In cases of question the Word of God and the judgment of the Pastor will be final.
(c) In baptism no special or mystical grace is imparted to the recipient. Baptism is a simple act of identification with Jesus Christ and a picture of what happened spiritually at the time of salvation.
(d) All baptisms shall be performed by the Pastor or man appointed by the joint agreement of Pastor and Church. In the event of the office of pastor being vacant the Church shall then appoint a spiritually qualified man to perform this ordinance till at such time the office of pastor is filled.
(e) No person shall hold membership, office, or exercise any authority in the Church unless that individual has been Scripturally baptized. If such individual shall unknowingly be appointed or given such office, it shall terminate upon the knowledge that this individual does not possess Scriptural baptism. This has precedence over all other contracts or agreements that are made.
(2) The Lord’s Supper
(a) The Lord’s Supper is a memorial, showing the death of the Lord till He comes back to take His Church to Heaven. No special or mystical grace is imparted to the recipient.
(b) The Lord’s Supper is to consist of: (1) unleavened bread representing the pure, sinless, broken body of our Lord Jesus Christ offered on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins, and (2) pure grape juice representing the pure, sinless, blood of Jesus shed on the cross. No substitutes or changes may be made to these elements. Each in turn, the bread then the wine, is distributed, prayed for, and then partaken of together.
(c) Only persons who through careful self-judgment believe themselves to be in a right relationship with God are to partake. It is understood that these individuals are already saved, baptized, and members of the Open Door Bible Baptist Church of Astoria. Also, the individuals must not be under Church discipline nor be living lives contrary to the Word of God.
(d) The warnings of Scripture are most severe and the handling of this ordinance is to be of the most sober order. If there is any question as to an individual partaking of this ordinance, that one is to be warned of the consequences and allowed to make his own decision.
Though the term “missions” is not found in Scripture, we use this term to describe the carrying out of the Great Commission. This work will be defined as starting new Churches in areas without a Church of like faith and practice, or assisting in the starting of these Churches. This work must be carried out according to Biblical guidelines and our Church shall always be involved in this work. To accomplish this goal our Church shall do the following:
(1) Regular prayer shall be maintained by the Church and individuals in the Church for all missionaries we support.
(2) As the Lord leads support may be given to individuals and ministries which will establish and help in the establishing of churches of like faith and practice both within the United States and in other countries. These individuals and ministries shall be evaluated by the Pastor and the Church as to their adherence to Biblical principles and then be accepted by a vote of the Church for monthly support and amount of support. It is important for each Church member to pray for the mission work of the Church and to support it financially.
(3) This Church, at the Pastor’s discretion, shall have missionaries present their ministries to the Church for the purpose of encouraging the Church to pray and give to the support of missions. If at any time a member of the Church is called of God to serve as a missionary we shall as a Church support that individual in any way we can.
(4) If at any time a missionary or individual supported by this Church shall deviate from Biblical guidelines or no longer be involved in the ministry of starting churches, the support of that person or ministry shall be dropped upon the recommendation of the Pastor and the vote of the Church. Each missionary or ministry that is supported shall have some part in the fulfillment of the Great Commission whether it be the training, building buildings, or supporting the work of the Church planting pastor or missionary.
(H) Human Sexuality
(1) Human sexuality is a gift from God. It is to be exercised and enjoyed between husband and wife in the marriage relationship alone. The Bible teaches the highest of all moral standards and this standard is to be lived by the grace and power of God by all who are members of this Church. The Bible says that it is good for a man not to touch a woman and that the answer to all these needs and desires is fulfilled in the marriage relationship. Therefore, we stand unashamedly against all perversions of this standard: pornography, all adult entertainment establishments, premarital relationships, adultery, rape, incest, homosexual and lesbian relationships, bestiality, and any other practice or establishment which promotes such behavior.
(2) Any individual that shall engage in conduct that is outside the Biblical perimeter shall be subject to dismissal from Church membership till at such a time he or she can be renewed according to Biblical procedure.
(3) Any individual employed by the Church, any Sunday School Teacher, or any officer of the Church shall be immediately dismissed upon violation of God’s moral standard.
(1) Marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for His Church. Therefore, marriage is to be for the duration of the lives of those involved. It is a sacred vow before God and can only be broken when God’s standard for morality has been violated.
(2) Divorce is never encouraged and is only a last recourse due to the hardness of wicked hearts. Divorce on any grounds other than fornication is un-scriptural. God forgives all sin, and divorced people may serve in the Church except for the offices of deacon and pastor.
The family was first instituted by God in the Garden of Eden. God said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.” This Church shall do all possible to help preserve and strengthen the Biblical family, and takes a strong stand against all attempts to demean or destroy it.
The husband (male by birth) is to be the head of the home and its leader. He is responsible directly to God for the leadership of his home. He is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. He is to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He needs to lead his family to God and the Church, provide for their physical needs, provide for their emotional needs, and provide for their spiritual needs. He is to dwell at home and show his children by example what it is to live for Christ. This is the highest calling of a man and his most sacred duty as he cannot truly serve God without properly leading his family to God.
The wife (female by birth) is to be the “help meet” of her husband. She is to reverence him and to aid him in making their home one that honors Christ. The wife is to guide the home and allow the husband to be her leader as she did with Christ when she was saved.
Children are an heritage of the Lord. They are special gifts from God and are to be trained to serve Him. Children are commanded to be obedient to their parents, who are commanded to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Children can not be left on their own. It is the parent’s God-given responsibility to shape the child’s life according to Biblical truth and instill within them the Biblical truths of right and wrong, and of good and evil.
Each saved person is called to live a life separated from the world. Each member of this Church is to live a life separated from worldly pleasure and practice. There are to be no loyalties to secret organizations, lodges, or groups of a religious nature that hold doctrine contrary to this Church. Any question shall be subject to the Bible. Each member is to live his life as an ambassador for Christ, giving a good testimony for Christ and His Church. Therefore, a member of this Church should not patronize places that would hinder this testimony; participate in activities that would bring reproach on the name of Christ; or follow the immodest dress fads of the world. Separation from the world should manifest itself in the speech, dress, general conduct and attitude of each individual. We realize that this is the result of a growing relationship with Christ and do not mean this to include those who are in the process of allowing Christ to change their lives.
This Church shall separate from all other churches and organizations that differ from this doctrinal statement. This Church shall not be a part of nor participate in any movement or organization that recognizes false doctrine as true or attempts to have unity based on “no doctrine”. Our doctrine is our identification with Christ and His Church and is never to be compromised.
(L) The Devil
We believe the devil to be a real person who was created by God as the anointed cherub that covereth. Due to his pride he fell from this position and became the devil and Satan, and he is the accuser of all Christians. Aside from human nature the devil is the source of all temptation and is the promoter of all that is evil. His desire is to keep unregenerate man from the truth of salvation, and hinder Christians in their efforts to effectively serve God. He was conquered by Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and is to be resisted in the power of Jesus Christ. The end of the devil is to be eternal suffering in the lake of fire.
We believe in the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial, imminent return of Christ for His Church. There will be seven years of tribulation followed by the restoration of Israel and the Millennial Kingdom of Christ here on earth, consummating in the eternal state of the new heavens and new earth.
(N) Civil Government
We believe government to be ordained of God and should be respected by the Christian so as to give a good testimony for the God which we serve. We are to obey its laws, pay taxes, and be involved in its process.
(1) This obedience must be done as unto the Lord, and if at any time a decision must be made to either obey one and disobey the other, we will chose to obey God rather than men. We believe in a separation of Church and state so that neither becomes the servant of the other, but that each carries out their duties and responsibilities to God.
(2) No member of this Church shall engage in a lawsuit against another member but seek a suitable end to the dispute by application of Biblical principles in the Church.
We believe that each member has the privilege and duty to involve themselves in the financial support of the Church. The tithe is the basis for all giving but should be given out of a cheerful heart, not as of duty or necessity. There are also offerings of free will, sacrificial and faith promise. We believe that God promises special blessing to those who give. All designations of gifts shall be taken as advisory, and each accepted as a gift made to God and this Church as the steward. Upon giving the gift to the Church the individual sets aside all rights to direct its use. The Church is responsible directly to God for the use of gifts donated.
(P) Social Issues
The Church is to be involved in its community and country as the ambassador of Christ. Many issues called “social issues” by society started as issues of morality and Biblical obedience or disobedience.
The Bible teaches that each life is sacred and that God is no respecter of persons. There is no Biblical right for the stoppage of life except in war or as capital punishment. Abortion is unjustified, unmitigated murder in all circumstances. A miscarriage is not considered an abortion but a natural occurrence beyond the control of the mother.
The physical descendants of Israel, the son of Isaac, are God’s chosen people. We offer no reason or explanation for this other than the Will of God. In obedience to the promise of blessing on those who bless Abraham and his descendants, this Church will engage in missions designed to bring Jewish people to the Messiah of the Bible, Jesus. This Church will not engage in anti-Semitism and stands opposed to those who do.
(3) We stand opposed to all places and organizations that promote and participate in the destruction of moral absolutes, family, Church, and government.
Section 2 ~ Authority of this Confession
The Confession of Faith as contained in this document cannot exhaust every minute detail of our doctrine. It gives a summation of all essential doctrines and shall be binding upon all members of this Church. As explained in the preamble our final authority shall be the Word of God. We offer this confession as a witness to all who wish to know what our Church believes and how we wish to practice.
Section 3 ~ Covenant
We, the members of the Open Door Bible Baptist Church of Astoria, having been biblically saved and baptized, and made willing to assemble together by the work of the Holy Spirit in each life, do covenant to serve our Lord as the Body of Christ. We will endeavor by the power of God and knowledge of His Word to live the truths taught in the Bible and show the world that there is only one way of Eternal Salvation, i.e. through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. As this cannot be accomplished through human design and effort we implore the Living God to be active in our lives as individuals and our life as the Church of Jesus Christ. We pledge to give ourselves to the study of God’s Word both in services and at home; to serve together in the Church in a spirit of love and unity; to prayerfully, physically and financially support the Church; and to work through this Church to fulfill the great commission and reach the needs of the world.
By living the above we will naturally shun habits of this world such as: consuming intoxicating drink or illegal drugs; listening to worldly music; participating in worldly amusements and pleasures; gambling; gossip; deviation from God’s moral standards; anger toward one another; unforgiving spirit; and any other thing that can or will bring reproach on the name of Christ. We will not pledge our allegiance to any secretive society, but our loyalty shall be first to our God and His Church.
By living a life of Christian love and fellowship we can overcome evil by good and show the world in which we live the difference that Christ can make. In the case that one in following the will of God leaves the fellowship of this Church, that one at first opportunity will find another Church of like faith and practice where he can continue serving our Lord.