WHAT WE BELIEVE
Statement of Faith
The following statements are presented here to give you an idea of where the Bethany Baptist Church of west Los Angeles stand as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. While this is not the totality of our beliefs, these statements contain several of the major tenets of our faith here at Bethany Baptist Church and Bethany Christian Bible College.
1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, only infallible, authoritative, inerrant Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; John 10:30).
2. We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons…i.e. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; 1John 5:7).
3. We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 10:33), His virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:35), His sinless life (Hebrews 4:15, 7:26), His miracles (John 2:11); His vicarious and atoning death (1 Corinthians 15:3; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 2:9); His resurrection (John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:4); His ascension to the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19); and His personal return in power and glory (Acts 1:11; Revelation 19:11).
4. We believe in the absolute necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit for salvation because of the exceeding sinfulness of human nature; and that men are justified on the single ground of faith in the shed blood of Christ; and that only by God’s grace and through faith are we saved (John 3:16-21, 5:24; Romans 3:23, 5:8-9; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5).
5. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost: the saved unto the resurrection of life and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28-29).
6. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Galatians 3:26-28).
7. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life (Romans 8:13-14; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19-20; Ephesians 4:30, 5:18).
Right believing often leads to right living.
We believe God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that He is a being of unimaginably wonderful power, goodness, and love.
Genesis 1:1, 26,27, Psalm 118:1, Psalm 145:1–9, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14
GOD THE FATHER
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17
GOD THE SON
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He 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.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make us aware of our need for Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He empowers us to live for Christ, gifts us with different spiritual gifts, and guides us in truth.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
We believe the world exists because God created it, that it belongs to Him and therefore we should cherish and care for it.
Genesis 1:1, Psalm 24:1–2, Isaiah 40:25–26, 1 Corinthians 10:26
We believe all human beings have dignity because they were created by God in His own image, and great worth because they are valued by God beyond our ability to measure.
Genesis 1:27, 31, Psalm 8:3–6, John 3:16, Romans 5:8
We believe this world also has pain and suffering because human beings have fallen and sinned, and are estranged from God, from each other, from ourselves, and from creation. We believe sin has broken all things leaving the world in desperate need of salvation.
Genesis 3:17, Romans 3:23, Colossians 1:21, Titus 3:3
We believe that 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. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life, confess Him as our Savior and Lord, and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
We believe that 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” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
We believe that people were created to exist forever.We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
Matthew 24:30–31, Luke 12:40, John 3:16, Romans 6:23 Romans 8:37–39, Revelation 21:1–5
GOD’S REDEMPTIVE PLAN
We believe God wins.He does not intend for sin and suffering to get the last word, but is at work to redeem and reconcile what He has made. We live with hope because one day Jesus will return, love and peace will prevail, and God will set the world right.
Isaiah 11:6–9, Colossians 1:21–23, Revelation 21:1–5
We believe God has revealed the truth about Himself in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, which are our authoritative guides in faith and action. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.
Matthew 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16–17
We believe that the Church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the head.The Church is not a building or an event, but rather the community of people who have put their trust in Jesus Christ. We believe the church ought to be living proof of a loving God to a watching world.
Matthew 18:18–20, John 1:12–13, Acts 1:8, Galatians 3:28, 1 Peter 2:9
BAPTISM & THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of outward obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior.
The Lord’s Supper is a meaningful and symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, remember the sacrifice of Jesus and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12