Statement of Faith

1. The Bible

The Bible consists of 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. It is the complete and only written revelation of God to mankind. The writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit to use the very words God wanted us to have. The Bible was without error in the original writings. It is the final authority for our beliefs and practices. (Matt 24:35; Psa 119:82; 2 Pet 1:19-21; 2 Tim 3:15-16)

2. The Triune God

There is one God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, who has eternally existed as three equally divine Persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is eternal, unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He is holy, just, loving and worthy of all praise. This Triune God is the Creator and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. The Trinity is a mystery far beyond our comprehension. (Deut 6:4; Psa 139:2-6; Matt 28:19; Jn 4:24; 2 Cor 13:14)

A. God the Father: God the Father rules over His universe according to His eternal purposes. He is Father of all who are in Christ Jesus and are sons of God. (Matt 6:9; John 20:17; Eph 4:6)

B. Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. All things were created by Him. He is fully God and fully man and will remain so forever. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. As God in human form, He is the Son of God and son of man. He was tempted in all points as we are but remained without sin. He voluntarily gave His life on the cross, was buried, and then rose from the dead in a literal, resurrected body. In that body He ascended into heaven where He intercedes before the Father for us. He will one day return in that resurrected body to judge the world and complete His work for mankind. (Matt 1:18; John 1:1; John 1:18; 1 Cor 15:3-4; 1 Tim 2:5; 2 Tim 4:1)

C. Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is a divine person equal with the Father and the Son. He also was active in creation. He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled. He enables men to understand the truths of the Scriptures. He convicts of sin and bears witness to the truth of the Gospel. Every born-again believer of Jesus has the Holy Spirit living within from the moment of faith in Jesus Christ. (Gen 1:2; John 14:26; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 6:19; Eph 1:13)

3. Creation

A. Creation of the universe: We believe the biblical account of creation. This account is neither allegory nor myth but a literal, historical account of the creative acts of God without any evolutionary process. God created the physical universe, including man, in six days. In each of the six days He created instantaneously by speaking things into existence. (Gen 1:27; Exo 20:11; John 1:3; Col 1:16)

B. Creation of Angels: Angels are spirit beings who were created by God to be His ministers. They are subject to God and are not to be worshiped or be given undue emphasis. (Heb 1:3; 2 Pet 2:11; Rev 22:8)

C. Creation of mankind: God created man and woman in His own image; therefore, they were without sin. They were the only creation with an eternal soul. He created them without using any pre-existing forms of life. All people are descended from the historical Adam and Eve. (Gen 1:26; Gen 2:7)

4. Man’s Sinful Condition

God created man in His own image, but man, tempted by Satan, willfully disobeyed God and fell from his sinless condition. Since that time, every person born of earthly parents is a sinner by birth. He is separated from God and is spiritually dead. In that condition man is sinful in thought, word, and deed. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, no man seeks God. By nature all men are under condemnation and need a Savior. (Psa 51:5; Rom 3:10-11; Rom 5:12; Eph 2:1)

5. Salvation From Sin

Salvation from sin is initiated wholly by God’s grace apart from any merit or works. Jesus voluntarily shed His blood for us as our sinless substitute and fully satisfied the demands of the holy and righteous God. He then offers to all mankind forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Any person who receives this gift by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus has been born-again and receives eternal, spiritual life and is eternally secure in Christ. At the time he receives Jesus as Savior and Lord, he becomes a part of the true Church, known as the Body of Christ. (John 3:16; Rom 4:16; Rom 10:9; Eph 2:8)

6. Justification

This is a legal declaration by God by which we stand before Him guiltless. It is a legal act of God in which He considers our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us. He thereby declares us to be righteous in His sight. (Acts 13:38; Rom 2:13; Rom 5:1)

7. Sanctification

This is the act of setting apart that makes us partakers of His holiness. It is a progressive work that is begun in regeneration. It is carried on in the hearts and lives of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. (John 17:17; 1 Cor 1:30; 1 Thess 4:3)

8. Marriage, Gender and Sexuality

God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Rejection of one's biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. The term 'marriage' has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. That any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bi-sexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. That in order to preserve the function and integrity of Prairie Baptist Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Prairie Baptist Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Prairie Baptist Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to abide by this statement on marriage, gender and sexuality. That God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. That every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Prairie Baptist Church. That all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Gen 1:26-27; Gen 2:18-25; 1 Cor 6:18; 1 Cor 7:2-5; Heb 13:4; Mat 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Mat 5:16; Php 2:14-16; 1 The 5:22; Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31; Psa 139:13-15)

9. Satan and Demons

Satan is a real being with great influence in human affairs. He is the master of all that is evil. Even though he has supernatural power, authority, and intelligence, he is not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. God created Satan as one of the highest-ranking angels. Later he, through pride, fell from his position, when he aspired to become like God. Satan also tries to influence mankind to usurp God’s place, even as he did with Adam and Eve. He blinds the minds of unbelievers and disguises himself as an angel of light to deceive as many as possible; but he cannot force anyone to obey him. God limits his activities and influence. One day Satan will be cast into the lake of fire to suffer eternal punishment, because Jesus is the final Victor! Demons are angels who followed Satan in his rebellion against God. Their sin caused God to cast them out from His holy presence. They assist Satan in his activities on earth but are not allowed to inhabit the body of God’s children. (Job 1:12; Isa 14:12-14; Matt 25:41; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; Rev 20:10)

10. Heaven and Hell

Heaven is the place where the saved of all ages will be forever in God’s holy presence. In heaven our attention will be on Jesus the Lamb of God. We will continually worship Him with praise for beyond anything we experience in this world. We will recognize one another, but this will not detract from attention we unitedly will give to Jesus Christ. Hell is an actual place of conscious, eternal torment. Everyone in hell is eternally separated from God and all His mercies. All who reject Christ as Savior will be forever in hell. It is the lake of fire and brimstone that God prepared for Satan and his angels. It also is the place for all men whose names are not written in the Book of Life. (Matt 6:20; Matt 10:28; Rev 4-5; Rev 20:15)

11. Future Events

At any moment Jesus could return to raise the bodies of believers who have died and to snatch up all living believers. All true followers of the Lord Jesus will then receive glorified bodies similar to the resurrected body of our Lord. This will happen in a split second prior to the Tribulation. The rest of mankind will be left behind to face the wrath of God on earth during the seven-year Tribulation described mostly in Revelation chapters 6-19. Jesus will visibly return to the earth in His resurrected body at the end of the seven-year Tribulation to rule on earth for 1,000 years. During those years He will fulfill all unfulfilled Old Testament prophecies promised for Israel. Following the thousand-year rule of Christ on earth comes the final judgment, the destruction of the present heavens and earth, and the establishing of the new heaven and earth. (Matt 24:30; 1 Thess 4:16-17; 2 Pet 3:7; Rev 20:5-6; Rev 20:12; Rev 21:1)

12. The Christian Life

A. Believers in relation to other believers: The Scriptures give clear commands and principles that govern Christian conduct. In obedience to God’s Word believers should maintain personal separation from all worldly practices and influences and abstain from behavior that causes offense to a brother or sister. He should do only those things that will glorify God and edify other believers.

B. Believers in relation to nonbelievers: It is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to give the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those with whom he has contact. This is done by action, attitudes, and words.

C. Believers in relation to God: Every true follower of Jesus should be well acquainted with biblical teachings and regular in prayer. True believers in Jesus are royal priests, and in this capacity have the privilege of bringing petitions and offerings of praise directly to God. (Rom 12:1; 2 Cor 6:14,17; Col 3:17; Jam 4:4)

13. Gifts of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit gives to each believer the fruit of the Spirit. He also gives gifts that equip each believer for serving the Lord. These are to be used only for the edification of the Body of Christ. Sign gifts, such as speaking in tongues, have fulfilled their purpose and are not applicable to the work of the Holy Spirit today. (1 Cor 12:8; 1 Cor 13:8; Gal 5:22-23)

14. The Church

A. The Church Universal: The universal church began at the Day of Pentecost and will be completed at the time Jesus returns to snatch up His own to meet Him in the clouds. The N.T. uses various terms to describe this group. Among them: the “bride of Christ,” the “family of God,” a “new temple built from living stones,” a “holy priesthood,” and “the body of Christ.” Only born-again believers of the Lord Jesus are members of this body. The universal church is manifest through local churches. (1 Cor 1:2; Eph 5:24-25; Eph 5:27; Col 1:18; Rev 21:9)

B. Local Churches: A local church is an assembled group of immersed believers with Jesus Christ as its Head. It has two offices of male leadership: pastor/s and deacons. It is to be involved in building up and educating believers from the Word for worship, ministry, and Christian service. The church provides the means for corporate worship, prayer, discipleship, benevolence, fellowship, and evangelistic outreach both locally and worldwide. Belonging to a local church has no merit for salvation. Each local church is self-governing and is to maintain separation from all organizations that do not accept or practice God’s Word as their final authority for faith and practice. (Rom 16:1; 1 Cor 1:2; 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 6:17; 1 Tim 3:5; Titus 1:5)

15. Church Ordinances

The church has two ordinances. These are symbolic in nature and have no saving merit:

A. Baptism: This is immersion of a born-again believer in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Believers’ baptism symbolizes identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. (Matt 28:19; Acts 8:36; Rom 6:4)

B. Communion – The Lord’s Supper: Local churches are to remember periodically the sacrifice of our Lord on the cross by partaking of unleavened bread as a symbol of the body of Christ and by partaking of juice from the vine as a symbol of the shed blood of our Lord. A believer by self-examination should prepare to receive these elements by asking God to reveal sin in his life and confessing such sin/s before God and any offended persons. Baptism is a prerequisite for participation in the Lord's Supper. (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:26-27)

16. The Lord’s Day

On the first day of the week our Lord rose from the dead. On the first day of the week He met with His followers after His resurrection. The early church set the precedent for us as it continued the practice of meeting on Sunday’s and referred to it as the Lord’s Day. (Matt 28:1; Matt 28:5-6; 1 Cor 16:2; Rev 1:10)

17. Civil Government

Civil government is of divine appointment for the good of society. We should pray for government leaders and obey them, except in those things opposed to the will of God as revealed in His written Word. (Matt 22:21; Rom 13:1; 1 Tim 2:1-2)