Our Statement Of Faith
The following paragraphs simply summarize what we believe as a church family and therefore college family.
Independent Baptist Online College is a ministry of Lake Avenue Baptist Church, Elyria, Ohio. Every belief, principle, and practice of LABC, as well as Independent Baptist Online College, is founded on the Word of God. We believe God not only inspired every word, but has preserved His inspired Word for us today in the King James Bible.
We believe that the King James Bible is the inspired, inherent, infallible, preserved, and therefore eternal Word of God for today. We further believe that it is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. At VBT we use only the KJV in all our ministries. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21; Psalm 119:160; Psalm 12: 6 & 7)
There is one and only one living God. He is intelligent, spiritual, and personal. He is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; I Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3)
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and man, and in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord. (Genesis 18:1; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35)
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. We do believe the Holy Spirit supernaturally indwells and empowers the true believer to do the work of God. We in no way believe in the “Charismatic Movement” or in the false “tongues” movement as an evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, we believe it is of the devil and a gross misinterpretation of Scripture. (Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26; Psalm 51:11 Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32)
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12; Romans 5:19; Romans 3:10-19; Ephesians 2:1, 3; Romans 1:18)
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen bodily from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the most tender sympathies with divine perfection. He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour. (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7)
We believe that a Baptist church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, said church being understood to be founded by Christ as the true church and the citadel and propagator of the Divine and Eternal Grace; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, to baptize those disciples; third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Acts 2:41-42; I Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:11; I Corinthians 12:4; Acts 14:23)
We believe that Jesus, who was taken up into heaven, will come in the same manner as He went away – bodily, personally, and visibly. He will at this time receive unto Himself those believers who have died in Christ and those who are alive and remain. We believe that following the rapture of the church, Israel’s seventieth week will be fulfilled. This will be a time of God’s judgment on the whole earth. The last 3 1/2 years of this will be the time of Jacob’s Trouble, or the great tribulation period. We believe that the great tribulation will be climaxed by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory. We believe that this will usher in the millennial reign of Christ, that Satan will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit, that the curse that now rests on all creation will be lifted, and that Israel will be restored to her own land and to the fulfillment of God’s promises to her. (John 14:1-3; Philippians 3:20-23; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14; I Corinthians 15:42-53; Daniel 9:27)