I. The Trinity
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7
We believe in one God who is the Creator and Ruler of the universe and has eternally existed in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equals and together make up the Godhead.
The Father – He is all powerful (omnipotent), all knowing (omniscient), and all loving (1 John 4:8). He is spirit (John 4:12), the invisible God (1 John 4:12), who is timeless and ever present (omnipresent). He is sovereign and reigns with providential care over the universe and the flow of human history goes according to His purpose and plan.
The Son (Jesus) – Jesus Christ is the “Son of God.” Jesus has eternally existed and is known as the divine logos or the “Word” of God (John 1:1). He was present and active in the creation of the world and is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15-17, John 1:14). He is co-equal with the Father in power and might, but gave up administrative power to the Father until the end of the world (1 Cor. 11:3, 15:25-28). He became a man at his incarnation, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21). He bodily arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate his power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to Earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Holy Spirit – He is the third person of the Trinity. He guides men into all truth; exalts Christ; convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment; cultivates Christian character; comforts believers; bestows spiritual gifts by which believers serve God; and seals the Believer until the day of final redemption. His presence in the lives of Believers is the assurance of God to bring us into the fullness of the stature of Christ. (John 16:7-15, 1 Cor. 12:2-8)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21
To put it simply, we believe in the Bible and only the Bible. The Bible is God’s word to us. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it has salvation for its end and is truth without any mixture of error.
III. Human Beings, Life, & Marriage
We believe in a literal Genesis account and therefore derive the following doctrines:
A. Sanctity of Life
Man is made in the image of God and are the supreme object of God’s creation (Gen. 1:26-28, Ps. 8:4-8). Therefore, each and every life is precious. We believe that life starts at conception (Jer. 1:5, Ps. 139:13-16). We uphold the sanctity of life and that the right-to-life should be protected.
We believe that marriage is a holy union, ordained by God, between one male and one female only. The doctrine for marriage is found in Genesis 1:27, 2:18-25 and reaffirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:4-6.
C. Sinful Beings
We believe that all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called sin. All humanity are descendants of Adam and Eve (Acts 17:26), thus through Adam’s transgression, all of humanity is born with a sin nature (a desire to sin). Sin separated us from God and causes much of the pain and problems we experience in life. God hates sin, not the sinner. God loves us and wishes for all to repent and turn to him (2 Peter 3:9).
Romans 2:11 states that “there is no partiality with God.” God shows His mercy, grace, and offers salvation to all regardless of gender, social status, wealth, or intelligence. It is clear that men and women are equals before God, but are created to fulfill different roles. The Bible is clear that the man shall be a provider for his home (1 Tim. 5:8, 2 Thes. 3:10) and this is exemplified in Adam (Gen. 2:15, 3:23). Adam was created first, then Eve from Adam; Eve was deceived first and then deceived Adam. Therefore, in accordance with Scripture and the Southern Baptist Convention, we also believe that men are the spiritual leaders of the home and that women cannot serve in the offices of pastor or deacon (2 Tim. 2:11-3:16, 1 Cor. 11:3-9).
A. Salvation by Faith, Not of Works
Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works (Eph. 2:8-10, Is. 64:6). Only by trusting Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one received Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
B. Eternal Security of the Believer
We are eternally secure, because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true Believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” your salvation. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian (John 17:12, 2 Cor. 1:21-22, Eph. 4:30). It is the grace and keeping power of God that give us this security. The question is not, did the person lose their salvation? The question is, was that person saved to begin with?
C. Confession to God
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2
We believe that we have direct communication to God through His Son Jesus. Jesus walked a perfect life and died for all sins; no one else (currently living or throughout history) has ever walked a sinless life. Jesus has earned the right to be the perfect mediator between us and God for He is sinless. We do not need to confess to a priest for Jesus is our high priest. We do not have to go to any man, or “Mary” or any “saint” in order to talk with God. The scriptures claim that there is only one mediator!
V. Our View on Eternity
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
We believe that a person has until death to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If they have never accepted Jesus, then upon death they are sentence to Hell because they have rejected the only atonement for their sins. To those who accept Christ, we believe that eternal life begins at the time of their salvation and while here on Earth, God is perfecting believers through a process call sanctification (simply meaning one is set apart for God). We do not believe in “soul sleeping.” We believe that upon death a person is conscious, aware, and interactive as Luke 16:19-31 exemplifies. The lost upon death will find themselves in Hell and the saved upon death will be united in Heaven with God as 2 Corinthians 5:8 teaches. We do not believe in an intermediate state, such as purgatory.
VI. The Church and the Unity of Believers
A New Testament Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of born again Believers who are associated by their common faith and fellowship with Jesus. A local church is to observe the two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The Church should exercise their God given gifts and extend the Gospel. The Church is on autonomous body serving under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. All members are equally responsible as they serve with the scriptural officers of the Church, the pastors and deacons.
We believe that it is the responsibility and privilege of the believer to be in church on Sunday. Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us that believers are not to forsake the assembly of believers. We are to united together at church to Worship and hear the Word of God preached. How can one provoke others to love and good works from home? Jesus Christ is to be our ultimate example and Luke 4:16 tells us that it was Jesus’ custom or habit to be in church every Sabbath. We must ask “how can our faith take us to Heaven, if it does not even take us to church?”
We also realize that a church is only effective when it is unified. We must put aside foolishness and quarreling within the church and only then will we be effective for the spreading of the Gospel. To live in harmony with other Believers is clearly the teaching of the New Testament. It is the responsibility of each Believer to endeavor to live in fellowship with each member of Christ’s Church. It is further the responsibility of each member to bring all gossiping and backbiting to an end. 1 Cor. 1:10 gives an appeal for the unity of believers. Jesus explains in Matthew 12:25 that “…every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
VII. Rejection of Prosperity Preaching
We rejects all preaching and doctrines that teach “if you become a Christian then everything will be all right.” A Christian does not become immune to the world upon conversion for we still live in a world of sin and bad stuff does happen, even to Christians. Financial stress, sickness, family issues, and the list continues on and on. Becoming a Christian does not mean that we will never have problem again, but it does mean we will now have God to lean on during our struggles. We now take our struggles, trials, storms and approach them differently. God is guiding us and we must look at each situation with the attitude of “what is God trying to teach me.”
Prosperity preaching is unbiblical. Ask a prosperity preach why are there still Christian struggling in financial and family issues. Why are the Christians at the nursing home not healed? Why are Christian around the world being persecuted? Jesus states that he did not come to make peace but division for the cause of the Kingdom (Matthew 10:34-39). He also stated that if He was persecuted then we shall be as well (Matthew 5:10-12). 1 Peter 5:8-10 even states that God puts us in some trials in order to grow us spiritually. Christianity does not teach no hardship here, but teaches how to lean on God during hard times and experience the peace of Christ during storms.
Giving to the Church – We believe in giving the tithe – ten percent of our gross income (not net income) as the Biblical standard of giving. The tithe is to be given as the undesignated offering to the storehouse ministry of a local church (Malachi 3:7-11). This is exemplified in the Old and New Testament (Gen. 14:18-20, Matt. 23:23). According to the scripture, we are to give cheerfully, regularly, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on Earth.
It is the duty of every born again follower of Jesus Christ and of every church to make disciples of all man everywhere. It is the command of Christ for every Believer to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort, godly conduct, and by all other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ. At Victory Baptist Church, we use the love loud theme – Love them to Jesus.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20
X. Church Ordinances
The day that you get saved, you undergo a spirit baptism, which the scripture calls the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 3:16). This simply is when you accept Christ as Lord and Savior and God sends the comforter – The Holy Spirit – to live within your heart. It is the process of salvation and it is a baptism that God performs spiritually. Nothing is needed on our part but to have faith in God and trust in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
The next step is Believer’s baptism. It is a symbolic ritual, which has no saving power, but shows our first act of obedience towards God. We believe that scriptural Baptism must be (1) by being completely immersed under water and (2) after salvation. Jesus was immersed (Mark 1:10) and all baptisms in the New Testament were by immersion. These two facts set the standard for Baptism today. Believer’s baptism symbolizes (1) the Believer’s faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, (2) the Believer’s death to sin and resurrection to walk anew in Christ, and (3) the Christian’s belief that he will die, be buried, and that Jesus will resurrect him from the dead (Romans 6:3-11).
B. Lord’s Supper (Communion)
The Gospels talk about the Last Supper and describes a practice that Jesus left to his believers to perform in order to remember Him and His sacrifice for all sin. The event became the symbol of the New Covenant. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 covers this ordinance in detail. We are to eat bread, symbolizing the body that was broken on the cross for us and drink the cup, symbolizing the blood that was shed for us. It also points us toward a time when the practice will no longer be need, when we are united with Christ (Revelations 19:7-10). Some church believe that they are literally eating the body and blood of Jesus (referred to as the Eucharist). We believe that the ritual is only symbolic.
The frequency of this ordinance was left to each individual church to decide. We at Victory do this quarterly. Some churches do this more often, which is not wrong. However, we feel that if practice constantly then people will get desensitized to it and people will lose sight of its importance. Another thing we do differently is that we use grape juice instead of wine. We feel that it may be just one taste that could possibly set back a former alcoholic into their old ways and we do not wish to be a stumbling block to them or other believers. Unlike many other churches, we at every Lord’s Supper service read 1 Corinthians 11:24-31 and note how serious the event is.