In this space, it is typical for a church to put their Doctrinal Statement or Statement of Faith. However, since the words “doctrine” and “faith” are so misunderstood these days, we consider this document our Statement of Convictions. This is to communicate that what we say below is much more than pliable, negotiable, personal opinions.
We recognize that Christians disagree on many areas in this statement. Therefore, as you read below you will ﬁnd topics where Christians disagree that the elders decided to take a ﬁrm stand on. These statements include some non-negotiable essential doctrines, and we believe they will signiﬁcantly shape the kind of church we will be.
However, you will also ﬁnd topics below where Christians disagree that we decided not to take a ﬁrm stand on. This is not because we think these subjects are unimportant. This is because we want to partner in membership and ministry with people who hold diﬀering views, as long as they do so in a way that values love and unity over being right.
At Brightstar Bible Church, we are deeply convinced about,,,, and wholeheartedly committed to the following statements, which form the basis of everything we do and hold to be true.
We teach the Bible is verbally inspired by God, the Holy Spirit, making Him it’s ultimate source in totality and in every word from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Because of this one fact, these 66 books are inerrant, and infallible in the original manuscripts, the supreme authority in, as well as the suﬃcient guide for all matters of faith and conduct, even though human authors penned each book. We teach the Bible is “propositional revelation” (the mind of God expressed in words and sentences, not by mystical impressions or experiences), and we practice the grammatical
historical method of rightly dividing the Word, and trust that with the illumination of the Holy Spirit we can arrive at the correct interpretation of any passage. We also accept the historical record of the Bible as accurate. The Bible is not a collection of beliefs; it is God’s revelation of REALITY without which we can not know the Truth.
In everything, the Bible is true, accurate, suﬃcient, and in no way misleading. There is no truth that is inconsistent with the Bible. This means we reject all postmodern, mystical, subjective, and political interpretations that do not rely on the above standards and we reject the idea that truth and morality are merely relative or subjective. [Pss 12:6, 19:7-9, 119:160; Jer 26:2; Matt 4:4, 5:18, 24:35; John 10:35, 16:12-15, 17:17; Rom 15:4; 1 Cor 2:7-13; 1 Thes 2:13; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:16-21].
We teach there is only one true and living God, who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each divine person equally deserves worship and obedience, and are equal in every divine perfection, though at the same time each Person is distinct and executes diﬀerent, but harmonious functions in the work of creation, providence, and redemption [There is Only One God: Deut 4:35, 6:4; Isa 43:10, 44:6, 45:5-6; Mark 12:29; 1 Cor 8:6; Gal 4:8; Eph 4:6; 1 Tim 2:5; James 2:19; The Trinity: Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; Eph 1:3-14, 2:18, 3:14-18; 1 Pet 1:2; The Father is God: John 6:27, 17:1-3; 1 Cor 8:6, 15:24; Gal 1:1; Eph 5:20; Phil 2:11; James 1:27; 1 Pet 1:3; The Son is God: John 1:1-3, 5:18, 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Phil 2:5-6; Col 2:9;Titus 2:13; Heb 1:8-9; 2 Pet 1:1; The Spirit is God: Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 3:17-18;
The Three Persons Are Not the Same Person, but Three Distinct Persons: John 1:1-2, 14:26, 15:26,17:1-3, 24; Rom 8:11; 1 John 2:1].
GOD THE FATHER
We teach that God the Father is an eternal, inﬁnite, unchanging, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, knowledge, wisdom, faithfulness, power, justice, patience, love and the sole authority over the entire universe. He created all things out of nothing, physical and non-physical, not because of any deﬁciency in Himself or incompleteness in His self-suﬃciency, but for His own purpose and glory. We teach He holds His entire creation together, He foreknows, ordains and controls all things, He concerns Himself with and mercifully enters into the aﬀairs of humankind, He hears and answers prayer, and adopts into His family all who come to Him through Jesus Christ, rescuing them from eternal, conscious torment in the lake of ﬁre. [Gen 1:1-31; Exod 3:14, 6:3, 15:11, 34:6-7; 1 Sam 2:6-8, 1 Chr 29:11; Neh 9:6; Job 42:2; Pss 89:11, 90:2, 100:5, 115:2-3, 135:5-6; Isa 6:3, 42:8-9, 46:9-10; Ezek 18:4; Dan 4:24-35; Jonah 4:2; Nah 1:7; Hab 1:13; Mal 3:6; John 1:12, 4:24;Acts 17:24-25; Rom 2:4, 9:15, 11:33-36; 1 Cor 8:6, 10:13; Eph 1:3-6, 1:11; 1 Tim 1:17, 2:5; 2 Tim 1:9; Titus 2:11; Heb 1:2, 12:5-9, 13:5; Jam 1:13, 1:17, 4:13-16; 1 Pet 1:15-16; 1 John 4:8,4:16; Rev 4:8].
GOD THE SON, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We teach the eternal Son of God, through Whom God the Father created the world and is currently upholding it, was prophetically predicted in the Old Testament, became fully human, being conceived by the Holy Spirit in a woman named Mary and was born Jesus of Nazareth. We teach that at no time during His stay on earth was Jesus anything other than fully divine. We consider His virgin conception and birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings all to be true and historical, along with His substitutionary, atoning, once-for-all-time death, burial, physical resurrection, ascension into heaven and perpetual intercession for His people. We teach His personal, visible return to earth in the future to judge the world and establish His rule over the earth. In light of all of this, we teach that belief in Him is the only way any person can or will ever be saved [Gen 3:15, 49:10; Num 24:17; Deut 18:15-18; 1 Chr 17:12-14; Pss 2:6-12, 16:10,22:1-18, 110:1-7, 118:22; Isa 7:14, 52:13-53:12; Dan 2:44-45, 9:24-25; Mic 5:2; Zech 9:9, 12:10; Matt 1:23-25, 28:18-20; Mark 1:1, 10:45; Luke 1:26-35, 2:10-11; John 1:1-3, 1:29, 5:18-23,8:58, 10:17-18, 10:30, 14:6-10; 17:3-5, 20:28; Acts 1:9-11, 2:22-24, 4:11-12, 13:33-35, 17:30-31, 20:28; Rom 5:6; 1 Cor 8:6, 15:3; 2 Cor 5:21; Eph 1:20-22; Phil 2:5-11, 3:20-21; Col 1:15-17,2:9; 1 Thes 4:13-17; 1 Tim 2:5, 3:16; Titus 2:11-14; Heb 1:2-12, 2:14-18, 4:14-15, 7:23-28, 9:25-28, 10:14; 1 Pet 1:18-19, 2:22, 3:18; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 John 2:1-2, 5:11-13; Rev 1:5].
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We teach that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person with an intellect, will, and emotions. He created and preserves the world, was heavily involved in Jesus’ earthly life (His conception, empowering His ministry, at His cruciﬁxion and resurrection), was sent by the Father and the Son in fulﬁllment of the New Covenant as Jesus’ comforting replacement, the divine author and interpreter of Scripture, convicts of sin, restrains evil, brings glory to Jesus, grants new life to those who are spiritually dead, places all believers into the one true church, convinces them to repent and believe, indwells them permanently, gives them access to God, leads them away from and empowers them for victory over sin, transforms them into the image of Jesus, produces godly character, prays for them, gives them a ministry for the good of the church and protects them until the day of redemption.
We do not teach the gift of tongues (or any other individual spiritual gift) is required as evidence of salvation, or that any ‘word from the Lord,’ feeling, impression or message from the Holy Spirit will ever contradict or supersede what He has already said in the Bible. We also teach the repudiation of the prosperity movement, which we consider “another gospel.” It is often connected with miraculous spiritual gifts for the purposes of personal gain at the expense of, and in abuse of the ﬂock. [Gen 1:2; Job 33:4; Pss 33:6, 139:7-10; Isa 44:3, 61:1; Ezek 36:27; Joel 2:28-29;Matt 3:16, 12:28-32, 28:19; Luke 1:35; John 3:3-8, 6:63, 14:16-17, 14:26, 15:26-27, 16:7-15; Acts 1:16, 5:3-4, 15:28, 28:25; Rom 1:4, 8:2-27; 1 Cor 2:10-11, 3:16, 6:11, 6:19, 12:7-13; 2 Cor 3:17, 13:14; Gal 5:16-18, 5:22-23; Eph 1:13-14, 2:18, 2:22, 4:30, 5:18; 2 Thes 2:6-8; Titus 3:5; Heb 9:14, 10:15-16; 1 Pet 1:10-11, 1:23-25; 2 Pet 1:21; 1 John 4:13].
THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
God is self existent, He has always been. All things that are flow from His eternal existence.
God is a Spirit without a physical body, visible but always present.
God is sovereign, He rules and reigns supremely in creation and in the spiritual.
God is Holy, infinitely transcending humanity. He is the perfect picture of morality, purity, and innocence. He is flawless in every aspect of His being.
God is omnipresent, everywhere at one time.
God is omniscient, meaning He is all knowing, anything there is to know whether past, present, or future, He knows it. Knowing the end of the story from the beginning.
God is omnipotent, meaning God is all powerful. All existing power flows from Him and is regulated by His infinite power. He has no equal, or no rival, He is infinitely powerful beyond all.
God is immutable, meaning that He is unchanging in His nature and attributes. There is not an old testament God, and a New Testament God. The circumstances of man change throughout the pages of scripture but our unchanging God interacts differently within those circumstances. God unfolds His story, in His time, which will lead to the culmination of His high purpose being accomplished as He builds the household of God, when He makes all things new, when evil in vanquished and His people spend eternity with Him.
God is absolute truth. All truth flows from Him. There is no truth in all of creation that does not originate in Him. Everything He speaks is an exact representation of the way things are.
He is infinitely wise. This means God uses His all-knowledge in such a way that He chooses the best possible end, outcome, and high purpose for those who love Him. His ways do not always match up to our ways, but His ways are perfect.
God is perfect in His goodness. His goodness extends to all of creation, it rains on the just and the unjust. Salvation is offered to all.
God is full of grace. He freely gives eternal salvation, and imputes the righteousness of Jesus to all who believe on His son Jesus.
God is love, and because of His perfect love, He must bring that perfect love to its fulness. God’s perfect love will be experienced differently by each person depending upon where they stand in relationship to His son Jesus. He offers His mercy through the work of His son.
He offers forgiveness to those who will not reject Him.
Because God is love, God is perfectly just. His promise of justice brings with it the necessity of dealing with injustice, therefore, God is wrath. He must right every wrong, and deal with anything unclean before the eternal state. These attributes are not a piece of the pie. God is the absolute infinite fulness of every attribute. For example; God is 100% Love, 100% Righteous, 100% Justice and so on.
No one like God;Ex 15:11; Psa 89:8; Isa 46:9; Gen 1:1; John 17:5; Psa 93:2; Micah 5:2; Psa 90:2; Isa 43:10; Rev 4:8; Isa 57:15; Psalm 102:27; All life flows from Him John 1:4; Acts 17:28; John 5:26; John 11:25; John 14:6; Rom 11:34-36; 1 Cor.8:6; Col 1:17; Heb. 1:3; Unchanging Rev 1:8; Mala. 3:6, Ps 102:25-27; Psa 103:17; James 1:17; Unchanging in His Word Num 23:19; Psalm 119:89; Ps 119:60; Isa 40:8; Mth 5:18; Lk 16:17; 2 Cor 1:20; In His plans; Rev 13:8; Psa 33:10-11; Prov 19:21; Isa 14:26-27; Rom 8:28-30; Omnipotence Jer. 32:17; Isa. 40:17; Job 42:2; Isa 43:13; Isa 40:28-29; Psalm 102:25-28; Eph 3:20; Romans 1:16; Holiness Ex 15:11; 1 Sam 2:2; Psalm 22:3; Isa 6; Sovereignty Dan 4:35; Isa 45:7; Isa 46:9-10; Deut 32:39; Prov 16:33; Psalm 135:6; Prov 16:4; John 6:44; Rom 9:18; Psalm 103:19; 1 Chr 29:11-12; Psa 115:3; Prov 16:9; Job 42:2; Prov 19:21; Eph 1:11; Isa 14:24; Rom 9:19-20; Edh 1:4; Phili 2:13; Job 23:13; 1 Sam 2:6; Rom 9:11; Prov 21:30; Ex 4:11
We teach a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3, creation out of nothing (ex nihilo), the special creation of a historical Adam & Eve, a historical Noah and a worldwide ﬂood. We believe the Earth is aging, it is degrading as it succumbs to the eﬀects of sin and fallenness. It will continue to “wear out like a garment” until the Creator renews it once again. Gen 1:1; Isaiah 51:6; Rev 21:1
We teach Adam and Eve, the parents of the entire human race, were real people who were created in innocence, without sin and with the capacity, desire, and mandate to glorify God in all things. We teach that all human beings, whether in the womb or out, regardless of age or level of health, are images of God and are, therefore, inherently valuable and worthy of respect (thus, while loving those involved in these practices we strongly oppose abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia). We teach that in Adam’s sin the whole human race fell, inherited the guilt of his sin and a sinful nature, becoming spiritually dead, enslaved to sin and alienated from God so that all are now sinners both by nature and by choice. We teach that all humanity is guilty before God, totally infected by sin and incapable of saving himself from his depraved condition, leaving every single human that has ever lived hopelessly lost and awaiting the unending wrath of God. This understanding of human beings leads us to reject any concept of
universal salvation [Gen 1:26-31, 2:15-3:20, 6:5, 8:21, 9:6; 1 Kgs 8:46; Pss 8:3-8, 14:1-3, 143:2; Prov 6:16-19; Eccl 7:20, 8:11; Isa 13:11, 43:7; Jer 17:9; Ezek 18:4; Matt 7:11, 10:31, 12:12; John 3:19, 6:44, 6:65; Rom 1:18-32, 3:9-23, 5:10-21, 6:17, 6:20, 6:23, 7:18, 8:7-8; 1 Cor 2:14, 11:7,15:48-49; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Gal 3:22, Eph 2:1-3, 2:11-12, 4:17-18; Col 1:21, 2:13; 2 Thes 2:12; 2 Tim 2:26; Titus 3:3; James 2:10-11, 3:9; 1 John 1:8, 1:10; Rev 4:11].
MEN AND WOMEN
We teach that God created both men and women in His image, making only two genders completely equal in value and dignity and equally worthy of respect (contrary to all forms of misogyny and misanthropy). However, they are not identical but instead are complementary in both role and function. In other words, in the church and in the home, men have been given the responsibility of leading (e.g., only men should be church elders/pastors) and women have been given the responsibility of following that leadership. We teach what the Bible has always taught and has clear historical precedent, that marriage is between one man and one woman and marriage roles have always been part of God’s good creation, being ordained by Him before sin entered the world. [Gen 1:26-27, 2:18-24, 5:1-2, 9:6; Mark 10:1-12; 1 Cor 11:3, 11:34-37; 1 Tim 2:11-14, 3:1-2; Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; James 3:9; 1 Pet 3:1-7].
We teach that salvation is completely a gift of God’s grace given to all whom He elected to salvation before the creation of the world. Salvation includes all that God does in saving humans from the penalty, power, and presence of sin and in restoring them to a right relationship with Him. As such, we teach salvation is solely the work of God from initiation to completion. We teach salvation can never be gained by human good works but is a free gift only for those who repent of their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord, His ﬁnished work on the cross and His resurrection. We teach all who do so are united to Christ, and therefore, are forgiven and saved from their sins, declared righteous before God and are adopted into His family so as to bring Him glory forever [Mark 1:15; John 3:16, 3:36, 6:44, 17:3, 20:31; Acts 3:19, 5:31, 10:43, 11:18-21, 13:48, 20:21, 26:20; Rom 1:16-17, 3:21-5:21, 9:15-16, 10:9-17; 1 Cor 1:27-30;2 Cor 5:19-21, 7:10; Gal 2:6, 2:16, 4:4-5; Eph 1:3-14, 2:4-10; Phil 1:6, 3:8-9; Col 1:21-22; 1 Thes 2:13; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Tim 2:4; 2 Tim 1:8-10; Titus 1:1, 2:11-14, 3:3-7; James 1:18; 1 Pet 1:2-5;1 John 1:9, 4:9-10, 5:11-13].
We teach sanctiﬁcation (i.e., growth, change, maturity, etc.) from sin has both positional and practical aspects. Positional sanctiﬁcation as a work of the Holy Spirit is complete and absolute (a synonym for salvation); however, practical sanctiﬁcation is a result of the continuing work of the Spirit using the Word of God as we submit to it’s truth, it is the primary means for growth into Christlikeness. We teach that while the process of practical sanctiﬁcation is assured by the Word and the Spirit, it is imperfect in this life but each believer will experience it in it fulness in the future.. There is some element of corruption in every believer after they are regenerated, which is the source for the Christian’s war between the ﬂesh and the Spirit. In general, spiritual growth occurs as believers grow in love for Jesus through the Gospel, feed on His Word, and are in fellowship with other believers for encouragement and service.
PRESERVATION AND PERSEVERANCE
We teach all who have ever been regenerated (“born again”) are kept by God’s power and thus, their salvation is secure in Christ forever; they can never be lost. We teach that this assurance, however, is never to be understood as an excuse for sinful living. God in His holiness will not tolerate persistent sin in His children. We teach that one’s salvation will be expressed by a fruitful, God-pleasing life that stays faithful to that commitment until death [Pss 31:23, 66:8-9; John 6:37-40, 8:31-35, 10:28-29, 17:2, 17:11-12, 17:24; Rom 8:31-39; Eph 4:30; Phil 1:6;Col 1:21-23; 1 Thes 5:24; 2 Tim 1:12, 4:7, 4:18; Titus 2:14, 3:8; Heb 3:6, 3:14, 7:25; James 2:14-26; 1 Pet 1:5, 1:23-24; 1 John 2:3-6, 2:15-19, 2:29-3:1, 3:4-10, 5:1-2, 5:11, 5:18; 2 John 2;Jude 1, 24].
We teach the true Church, the Church Universal, the household of God, is made up of every person throughout history who has ever repented of his or her sins and trusted Jesus Christ to save them from God’s wrath. Each local church, as established in Scripture, is made up of redeemed individuals who have joined together for worship, instruction, fellowship, service and to reach the lost [Matt 16:18, 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21, 30-31; Acts 1:8, 8:3, 9:31, 20:28; 1 Cor 3:9, 3:16-17, 10:31-32, 12:12-28; Eph 1:22-23, 2:19-22, 3:10, 3:15, 4:12-16, 5:23-27; Col 1:18, 1:24, 1:28-29, 2:19; 1 Thes 5:11;1 Tim 3:15; Heb 9:12; 1 Pet 2:9-10, 5:2-3; Rev 19:7-8, 21:9].
SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD
We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase.
We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (and aﬃrm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness that reﬂects the teaching of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10; Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2)
We teach the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the local church: Baptism and Communion / The Lord’s Supper. We teach baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God and is to be done after a person experiences salvation, never before and never to earn salvation, but as an expression of one’s union with Christ in His death and resurrection. We teach Communion commemorates and proclaims Jesus’ death. We believe these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ [Baptism: Matt 28:19; Mark 1:10; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39, 10:44-47; Rom 6:3-4; 1 Cor 1:14-17; Col 2:12; Communion: Matt 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor 10:16-17, 11:20-32].
We teach every individual human being can have a direct relationship with God and is ultimately responsible to God alone in all matters of faith. We teach that every church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that, therefore, Church
and State must be kept separate as having diﬀerent functions, each fulﬁlling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
ANGELS AND DEMONS
We teach that angels are created, personal beings, and therefore should not be worshiped, who worship God in His presence, carry out His purposes in the world, help God’s people and will join Jesus when He returns to earth. We teach that Satan is a fallen angel, the adversary of man, who took numerous angels with him when he fell and helped introduce sin to the human race. Satan and his demonic army, though they know the truth, are encouraging sin and false religion in the world and will all be eternally punished in the lake of ﬁre [Gen 3:1-24; 1 Kgs 19:5; Pss 34:7, 91:11-12, 103:20-21; Isa 6:2-3; Dan 8:16-17, 9:20-23, 10:11, 12:6-7; Matt 4:3-10, 13:39-42, 13:49-52, 18:10, 24:31, 25:41, 28:2; Mark 8:38; Luke 1:19, 2:13-14, 15:7,16:22, 20:36; John 8:44; Acts 7:53, 8:26, 12:5-11; 1 Cor 4:9; 2 Cor 4:4, 11:3, 11:14; Eph 2:2, 3:9-10, 6:11-12; Col 1:16, 2:18; 1 Thes 2:18; 2 Thes 1:7; 1 Tim 3:6, 3:16, 5:21; 2 Tim 2:26; Heb 1:6-7, 1:14, 2:2, 12:22; James 2:19, 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8-9; 2 Pet 2:4; 1 John 3:8; Jude 6; Rev 1:1, 5:11-12, 7:11-12, 9:11, 20:2, 20:10].
We teach an imminent, physical, personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of the fullness of His kingdom. We teach that at death the souls of those who have trusted Jesus for salvation pass immediately into His presence and remain there in sinless, conscious bliss until the resurrection when soul and body will be reunited. We teach that at death the souls of all unbelievers will never be annihilated, but will remain in conscious misery until their soul and body will be reunited at the ﬁnal judgment and cast into the lake of ﬁre, separated from God in conscious punishment forever.
We anticipate Jesus’ imminent return as a future fulﬁllment, meaning we do not believe He has already returned. [Dan 12:2; Matt 5:12, 6:20, 13:40-42, 24:3-51, 25:41-46; Mark 13:32; Luke 10:20, 12:33; John 5:22-29, 14:2; Acts 1:9-11, 10:42,17:31; Rom 2:8-16, 6:16-23, 8:17, 8:30, 13:12, 14:10; 1 Cor 3:10-4:5, 13:12, 15:35-50, 16:22; 2 Cor 5:6-10, 12:2-4; Gal 5:21; Eph 5:5; Phil 1:21-23, 3:20-21, 4:5; 1 Thes 1:9-10, 3:13, 4:13-17; 2 Thes 1:7-10, 2:13-14; 2 Tim 2:10, 4:1; Titus 2:13; Heb 6:2, 9:27, 11:16, 12:22-23; James 1:15, 5:7-9; 1 Pet 1:4, 4:5-7, 5:4; 2 Pet 2:17, 3:7-12; 1 John 3:2;Jude 6, 14-15, 23; Rev 1:7, 6:17,7:16-17, 11:15, 14:11, 19:1-20, 20:1-15, 21:8, 22:15].
If you have any further questions, email us at PastorMike@BrightstarBible.Church and someone will be in touch with you.