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Our Beliefs

The Bible

We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God.  We believe the Bible is an essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind.  It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches.  Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose, and all believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine.  They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom.  (Psalm 119:89; Matthew 24:35; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)

God

We believe there is one God who exists eternally as three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  In the unity of the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, fulfill distinct but complementary roles in the great work of redemption. (Genesis 1:26; Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Timothy 1:17)

  • God the Father

We believe in God the Father, the co-Creator with the Son and the Holy Spirit, who is the eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present, and unchanging Creator of all. (Deuteronomy 32:6; Psalms 103:13; Isaiah 63:16; Matthew 6:9; John 5:19-23, 17:1-11; Acts 17:28; Romans 8:14-16; Ephesians 4:6; 1 John 3:1.)

  • God the Son

We believe in God the Son, co-Creator with the Father and Holy Spirit, who took upon Himself human form, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and given the name, Jesus.  His death by crucifixion and His bodily resurrection makes possible the reconciliation between God and the human race.  He ascended to heaven where He is seated in a place of complete authority, making intercession for us as the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Isaiah 53:1-5; Matthew 1:21-23; John 1:1-3, 11:25-26; Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:1-6; 1 Timothy 2:5.)

  • God the Holy Spirit

We believe in God the Holy Spirit, co-Creator with the Father and Son, who is now sent by the Father through the Son to convict the world of sin, lead us into all truth, and empower and equip the Church to carry on Christ’s work on earth. (Genesis 1:2; John 14:26, 15:26, 16:8; Acts 1:8.)

The Fall of Mankind

We believe the human race is fallen from its original, created goodness because of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Because of the fallenness of the human race, individuals are born as sinners, in need of a Savior. (Genesis 1:27, 3:1-6; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:12, 5:19.)

The Plan of Redemption

We believe Jesus Christ was the sacrifice God planned from the foundation of the world for the sin of the human race.  By shedding His blood and dying on the cross, Jesus made provision for the salvation of all people. (Isaiah 53:5; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Peter 1:18-20.)

Salvation

We believe, because of our total inability to save ourselves, salvation is by God’s grace alone.  It is received by faith with repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as life leader and forgiver. (John 3:3,16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 2:24.)

Security of the Believer

We believe, through the declaration of Scripture and the testimony of the Holy Spirit, the obedient believer can be certain of forgiveness, salvation, a continuing walk with Christ, and the promise of resurrection life.  The Scriptures do, however, warn against failing to abide in Christ, being hardened by sin, or being overcome by the world.  To allow the Devil such a foothold is to open oneself to the temptation to consciously reject Christ, abandon one’s faith, and ultimately be lost.

Evangelism and Missions

We believe the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ commands us to carry the gospel message to the entire world – to every nation, ethnicity, culture, and language. The growth and strength of the Church depend on its wholehearted sacrifice and support for world evangelization. (Psalms 2:8; Proverbs 11:30; Matthew 9:38; Mark 16:15; John 4:35-37; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 5:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; James 5:20; Revelation 5:9.)

Water Baptism

We believe water baptism by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an outward sign of an inward work and is commanded by God following conversion. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:4.)

Communion

We believe in partaking of the bread and the cup of communion in remembrance of the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection. We celebrate an open communion for all believers regardless of church affiliation. (Luke 22:7-22; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28; 2 Corinthians 13:5.)

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in every believer at the moment of salvation. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is distinct from salvation, releasing the power of the Holy Spirit through faith. Consistent with biblical accounts, believers should anticipate Spirit-baptism to be accompanied by speaking in tongues and other biblical manifestations. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is given to endue the believer with power from God, to offer an inspired witness for Christ, to lead the believer in a life of holiness, and to equip for a Spirit-filled life of service. (John 7:37-39, 14:16; Acts 1:8, 2:4, 2:38-39, 8:14-17, 10:44-46, 19:6; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16.)

Spirit-Filled Life

We believe every Christian should walk and abide in daily fellowship with the Holy Spirit and experience continual renewing of God’s power to live a Spirit-filled life in attitudes, thoughts, speech, and conduct.  In order to build up and equip both individual believers and the Church of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts that are to be earnestly desired and exercised in the spirit of love. The fruit of the Spirit to be cultivated in the life of every believer is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (John 15:4, 8; Acts 4:31; Romans 8:1, 8:5, 12:1-2, 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 3:17, 12:7-11, 12:31; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:11, 4:30-32, 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 Peter 1:15, 4:10-11; 1 John 2:6.)

Divine Healing

We believe the power of God to heal the sick and afflicted is available to us today.  When Jesus walked the earth, one of the major components of His ministry was healing.  Because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, that same healing ministry is active in our day.  (Isaiah 35; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:18; Acts 3:16, 10:38; James 5:14-16; Hebrews 13:8.)

Church Relationship

We believe Christians should assemble regularly for edification, worship, fellowship, and proclamation of the gospel. All believers should do the work of the ministry according to their spiritual gifts and should tithe and otherwise contribute financially to their church. (Psalms 111:1; Malachi 3:8-10; Acts 2:42-47, 16:5; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Hebrews 10:24-25.)

Marriage

We recognize that God created male and female (Genesis 1:27). A person’s gender is determined by their biological sex at birth. God established marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6). Harvest Bible Institute will not permit any pastor of the Church or instructor at the school, nor others, to use any part of the First Church facilities or property, to perform any type of marriage, cohabitation, or covenant ceremony for persons who are of the same sex, or for those who have changed their gender assigned at birth, or for those who desire polyamorous marriage.

Civil Government

We believe civil government is ordained of God, and all people should be subject to the laws of the land, except those contrary to Scripture.  In times of war, the individual’s participation in actual combat and taking of human life shall be governed by one’s own conscience. (Mark 12:17; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Hebrews 12:14.)

Resurrection

We believe the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ assures the believer of bodily resurrection and eternal life. (Matthew 28:1-7; Romans 6:1-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.)

Second Coming of Christ

We believe the second coming of Christ will be personal, visible, and triumphant. (Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 24:36-44; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, 2:8; Titus 2:12-13; Revelation 1:7.)

Final Judgment and Hell

We believe there will be a final judgment for all unbelievers.  Hell (which itself will someday be thrown into the “Lake of Fire”) is an actual place of great suffering, bitter sorrow, and remorse reserved forever for the devil and his angels and all whose names are not written in Christ’s book of life. (Matthew 13:41-43, 25:41; Mark 9:43-44; Revelation 14:10-11, 20:10-15, 21:7-8.)

Heaven

We believe heaven is an actual place of happiness and security where believers will dwell forever with God and receive the reward of their deeds done while on earth. (John 14:2; 1 Corinthians 2:9, 3:10-15; Revelation 7:15-17, 21:4, 22:5.)