Doctrinal Statement of Gila Christian Ranch

PREFACE

The scriptural convictions conveyed by this doctrinal statement are entirely traditional. In practicing these biblical beliefs, this ministry shall endeavor to promote the fundamentals of the faith, assist the ministry of the local church, and retain a distinctly independent, Baptist character.

DOCTRINES

Section 1 - The Holy Scriptures
    We believe in the divine inspiration and authority of the Scriptures. By this is meant a miraculous guidance of the Holy Spirit in their original writing, extending to all parts of the Scripture equally, applying even to the choice of words, so that the result is the very word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Moreover, it is our conviction that God has exercised such singular care and providence through the ages in preserving the written Word that the Scriptures as we now have them are in every essential particular as originally given and contain all things necessary to salvation. By Scriptures is meant the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament always accepted by historical fundamental Christian churches. We receive the Received Text and reject Wescott and Hort. (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21)

Section 2 - Of the True God
    We believe that there is only one living and true God, infinite in every excellence; that in unity of the Godhead there are three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-yet one in substance and equal in every divine perfection. (Exodus 20:2-3; 1 Cor. 8:6; I John 5:7)
    We believe in the absolute Deity of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; that He was divine as no other man can be, being very God of very God, existing from all eternity co-equal with the Father and the Spirit; that He never ceased to be God for one instant and that His humiliation did not consist in laying aside His deity; that as a man He was miraculously begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. (John l:l-2; 1 John 5:20; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26-38)
     We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, co-equal with the Father and Son and of the same substance and nature; that He convicts of sin, righteousness and Judgment, bears witness to the truth, is the agent of the New Birth and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to the truth and helps the believer, indwelling every true Child of God. (ll Cor. 13:14; John l4: 16-17; Romans 8:14-27; Eph. 1:13-I4; 4:20; 1 Cor. I2:13)

Section 3 -The Personality of Satan
    We believe that Satan is a personal being, a fallen angel, prince of demons, the god of this age, the great enticer and deceiver, the adversary of Christ and His people, the accuser of the brethren, whose end is the Lake of Fire. (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; 11 Cor. 4:3-4; I Peter 5:8; Rev- 12:9-10; 20:10; Matthew 25:41)

Section 4 - The Creation
    We accept the Genesis account of Creation as literal and historical and believe that man came by direct creation of God, created as full man, and not by evolution, and occurring in a six-day week, each day having twenty-four (24) hours. (Genesis, Chapters l and 2; Col. 1:16-17; John 1:3)

Section 5 -The Fall of Man
    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 only by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1-6,24; Eph.2:1-10; Romans 5:10-19)

Section 6 - The Virgin Birth
    We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a Virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son. (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Matthew 1:18, 23, 25; Luke 1:35; John 1:4)

Section 7 - The Redemption from Sin
    We believe that the only escape from the condemnation of sin is through the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ, when He voluntarily took upon Him a human body and nature, yet without sin, and by His suffering, death, and resurrection made full satisfaction to the justice of God for the sin of man through His blood, that the blessings of this salvation are given on the grounds of grace to all who believe and confess that it is the immediate duty of all to accept these offers of mercy. (John 1:1-3,14; 3:1-7; Heb.10:4-14; Acts 16:30-33)

Section 8 -The New Birth
    We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process, that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with the Word of God, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.(John 3:3, 6-8; II Cor. 5:17; 1 John 5:l; Acts 16:30-33; II Peter 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2: l; II Cor. 5:19; Col. 2:13; James 1:18)

Section 9 - Salvation by Grace
    We believe that faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation from sin and this salvation is wholly by grace; that no works, however good, make that salvation more secure.(Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; Rom. 10:9-13)
    We believe that all who take Christ as their Savior are born from above and are eternally secure in Christ. (John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Phil. 1:6)

Section 10 - The Local Church
    We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His Word; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are Pastors and Deacons whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. 
    We believe the true mission of the church, the Body of Christ, is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the inheritance of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Head is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches and Christian ministries to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Acts 2:14; 15:13-18; 20:17-28; I Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:12, 22; 4:11; 5:23-24; II Tim. 3:17; Col. 1:18)

Section 11 - Baptism and The Lord's Supper
    We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, one time backward, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, as a testimony to our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of church membership. 
    We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. (Acts 8:26-39; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Col. 2:12; I Cor. 11:23-28)

Section 12 - The Eternal State of the Saved and the Lost
    We believe in a Heaven and a Hell. Heaven--the place of eternal conscious joy for all who receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Hell--the place of eternal conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire for all who reject Jesus Christ and those who have never heard the Gospel of Christ are condemned to Hell by the witness of God's glory in creation. (John 8:24; 14:1-6; Psalm 9:17; 16:11; Phil. 1:21, 23; II Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:10-15; Rom. 1:19-20; 2:1; Acts 4:12)

Section 13 - Civil Government
    We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the Kings of the earth. (Rom.13:1-7; Il Sam. 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; Acts 4:19-20; 5:20; Dan. 3:17-18; I Tim. 2:1-11; I Peter 2:13-15)

Section 14 - The Resurrection, Personal, Visible, Premillennial Return of Christ and Related Events
(a) We believe in the Bodily Resurrection. (Matthew 28:6-7; Luke 24:2-6; 39; Mark 16:6; John 20:27; 1 Cor. 15:4)
(b) The Ascension. (Acts 1:9-11; Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 12:2)
(c) The High Priesthood. (Heb. 2:17; 5:9-10; 8:6; I Tim. 2:5; I John 2:1)
(d) Of the Return of Christ. We believe in the bodily, personal, premillennial return of Jesus Christ: that He will come before the seven-year tribulation period to catch away His church, coming only into the air, and that He will come with His church at the close of the tribulation to judge the living nations and to set up His Kingdom on earth. (I Thess. 4:13-18; Matthew 25:31-46; Rev. 19:11-21 and others; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:16; James 5:8; Heb. 9:28)
     1. The Resurrection of the Righteous Dead. (I Thess. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:42-44, 52) 
     2. The change of the Living in Christ. (I Cor. 15:51-53; I Thess. 4:13-18; Phil. 3:20-21)
     3. The Judgment Seat of Christ. (I Cor. 3.13-15; Rom. 14:10; II Cor. 5:10; Matthew 12:36)
(e) The Millennial Reign. (I Cor. 15:25; Isaiah 11:4-5; 32:1; Psalm 72:8; Rev. 20:4, 6) 
(f) The White Throne Judgment. (Rev. 20:11-15)
(g) The New Heavens and the New Earth. (Rev. 21:1-5)

Section 15- Seperation and Sanctification
    We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach non-conformity to the world for every believer; that born-again people should be seperated from the world unto Christ; that it is clearly commanded of God to all believers to live lives of separation from all worldly and sinful practices and to be holy as He is holy.
    We believe that sanctification is to be progressive throughout the entire lifespan of a believer here on earth. God's provision for holy living is in the believer's identification with Christ in His death, resurrection and ascension; the indwelling person and power of the Holy Spirit and the believer's yieldedness to Him; and by the powerful Word of God. (Col. 1:13; 3:1-4; II Cor. 3:18; 6: 14-17; 7:1; Titus 2:14; I Peter 1:14-16; Heb. 4:12; 10:1,14; II Peter 3:18; Rom. 6:1-14; 12:1-2; John 17:17; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:1-4)

Section 16 -The Family
    We believe the family unit is the blessing of His institution of marriage. We purpose to strengthen the Christian family unit through scriptural instruction as to the place and role of each member of the family. This instruction is meant to supplement the scriptural teaching obtained within the family and not to compete with or replace it. (Eph. 5:15-6:9)