Our beliefs are biblically based and serve as boundaries to our convictions as a local community of believers.
The paragraphs below summarize our beliefs at Harvest Fellowship Baptist Church.
Jesus Christ is the second member of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on a cross. After three days, He arose physically from the dead to demonstrate His power over sin and death and will one day return to the earth to judge the world, assigning unbelievers to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment; and will receive believers unto himself to enjoy eternal blessedness and joy with God in the new heaven and the new earth. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 1:35-36; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24, 10:12; Philippians 2:5-8; John 14:8-12; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 John 2:1; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Acts 1:9-11)
The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity who came on the day of Pentecost to indwell the Church for the glory of God in Jesus. The spirit is the primary agent for the conviction of sin and regeneration. Simultaneously with salvation, the Holy Spirit imparts new life, baptizes believers into the body of Christ (i.e., the Church), permanently indwells and securely seals them unto the day of redemption, and distributes spiritual gifts to them for the purpose of building up other Christians. The Holy Spirit fills (directs and controls) believers as they yield to him, enables them to mature spiritually (i.e., to live more like Jesus), and empowers them to live free from sin’s control and on a mission in the world to be Jesus’ witnesses. (John 16:8; Acts 1:8; Titus 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14; John 16:12-15)
All of humanity was created in the image of God to have fellowship with him and was originally innocent of sin. However, due to Adam’s disobedience, sin was passed down to all humanity, alienating us from a relationship with God. Consequently, humanity is spiritually dead, by nature children of wrath, and incapable of establishing a right relationship with God through our own efforts. (Romans 3:23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:3; Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 51:5)
Having a relationship with God is a gift that God freely offers to every person who places faith in the Lord Jesus. This gift of salvation was made possible through Jesus’ perfect life, death on the cross for our sins, and his subsequent resurrection from the dead. Therefore, salvation, the forgiveness of sins, perfect righteousness, and eternal life can only occur when a person repents of sin and places his/her trust in the redemptive work of Jesus as the all-sufficient payment for his/her sin. It is not obtained nor kept through any human work. (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9; Colossians 1:13-14; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 2:2, 5:11-13; Hebrews 9:11-28)
The church is the body of Christ of which Jesus is the Head and whose members are those who have placed their trust in the person and work of Jesus. The church commits to living their lives in step with the gospel, according to the Bible, and to lovingly and graciously hold each other accountable to the same; gathers to worship, pray, read Scripture, fellowship, and observe baptism (by immersion) and the Lord’s Supper (a symbolic act that represents and proclaims Jesus’ death until he returns); and then scatters into the world to glorify God by living Christ-like, counter-cultural lives, doing good works in the name of Jesus and preaching the Good News of Jesus to those who have yet to believe. (Ephesians 4:1-16, 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Mark 16:15; 1 Peter 2:12, 3:13-17)
Men and women have been equally created in the image of God and should, therefore, be viewed and treated with the utmost dignity and respect. We also believe God, in His infinite wisdom and goodness, created men and women to be distinctly different in their makeup.
Our anatomical gender differences and the categorical attraction to the opposite sex are God’s good design. We are to embrace, express, and/or enjoy these differences in ways that do not go contrary to His divine order. For example, marriage is to be between one man and one woman and sex is to only be enjoyed in that relational context. So it is our biblical practice to only counsel and marry heterosexual couples.
Additionally, God has given both men and women-specific roles and responsibilities in marriage as well as in the church. In Christian marriage, husbands are not only to lovingly, sacrificially, and unselfishly love their wives, but also to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Wives are to voluntarily submit themselves to their own husbands as to the Lord.
Certain biblically-qualified men are to fulfill the following roles and responsibilities in the church of elders, pastors, and overseers. Christian men and women members are to willingly and joyfully submit themselves out of reverence for the Senior Pastor/Chief Shepherd of the Church, the Lord Jesus. (Genesis 1:27; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)