Volney Bible Church Doctrinal Statement
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation where with ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto everyone of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ" (Eph. 4:1-7).
We affirm that the seven-fold unity expressed in this passage is the Holy Spirit's doctrinal statement for the Church, which is the Body of Christ. We believe that all the expressions of doctrinal positon and requirements for this dispensation of the Grace of God must be in full accord with the Holy Spirit's outline. We recognize other doctrinal unities for other dispensations, but affirm that Ephesians 4:4-6 stands alone as the doctrinal unity for this dispensation.
Desiring to be in full accord with the mind of the Spirit, we hold and require the following doctrinal beliefs:
The entire Bible in its original writings is verbally inspired of God and is of plenary authority (2nd Timithy 3:16, 17; 2nd Peter 1:21)
There is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1st Timothy 2:5; Ephesians 4:4-6; Matthew 28:19; 2nd Corinthians 13:14).
THE PERSON OF THE CHRIST
Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man (Luke 1:35; Philippians 2:6-9; Romans 1:3,4).
All men by nature are dead in trespasses and sins and are, therefore, totally unable to do anything pleasing to God (Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:9-12).
God justifies ungodly sinners by His grace upon the ground of the blood of Christ through the means of Faith. This complete salvation is bestowed as the free gift of God apart from man's works. (Romans 3:24-28; 5:1,9; Ephesians 2:8,9).
All of the saved are eternally secure in Christ (Colossians 3:1-4; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:1; 8:29-34; Romans 8:38,39; John 10:27-29; Ephesians 2:8,9).
PERSONALITY AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a person, Who convicts the world of sin and Who regenerates, baptizes, enlightens and empowers (John 16:8; Titus 3:5; 1st Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13,17,18 ; 3:16).
In the present dispensation there is only one true church, which is called the Body of Christ (1st Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22,23; 3:6). The historical manifestation of the Body of Christ began with the apostle Paul before he wrote his first epistle (1st Thessalonians 2:14-16; Acts 13:45,46; Philippians 1:5,6; Acts 16; 1st Corinthians 12:13,27; Acts 18).
The only gifts necessary fo the ministry of the Body of Christ are those enumerated in Ephesians 4:7-16. Of these, only the gifts of Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers are in operation today. All of the sign gifts of the Acts period, such as tongures, prophecy, and healing (1st Corinthians 12:1-31), being temporary in character, have ceased (1st Corinthians 13:8-11).
By reason of Christ's victory over sin and of His indwelling Spirit, all of the saved may and should experience deliverance from the power of sin by obedience to Romans 6:11; but we deny that man's nature of sin is ever eradicated during this life (Romans 6:6-14; Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 8:37; 2nd Corinthians14; 10:2-5).
The communion of the Lord's Supper as revealed through the apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 11:23-26; is for members of the Body of Christ to observe "until He comes." There is no place in scripture where the Lord's Supper and water baptism are linked together either as ordinances or as sacraments for the Church.
All saved persons have been made members of the Body of Christ by one divine baptism (1st Corinthians 12:13). By that one baptism every member of the Body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. in the light of the statement concerning the one baptism in Ephesians 4:5, the statements concerning baptism in Colossians 2;12 and Romans 6:3,4 and Paul's statement in 1st Corinthians 1:17 that "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel," we conclude that water baptism has no place in God's spiritual program for the Body of Christ in this day of Grace.
Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead (Luke 24:39-43). Therefore (1st Corinthians 15:21), all men will have a bodily resurrection (Acts 24:15): the saved to everlasting glory and the unsaved to everlastin punishment (John 5:29; Revelations 20:11-15).
SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
The rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ will be pre-millennial. He will come first to receive the church unto Himself (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18; Philippians 3:20,21) and them come to receive His Millennial Kingdom, over which He will reign (Zechariah 14:4,9; Acts 1:10,11; Revelations 19:11-16; 20:4-6). Because of the nature of the Body of Christ, the resurrection and rapture of the Church, which is His Body, will take place before the Great Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-31)at His appearing in the air (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18; Philippians 3:20,21; Titus 2:13,14; 1st Corinthians 15:51-31). The resurrection of the other saved dead will occur after the Tribulation (Revelations 20:20:4-6).
STATE OF THE DEAD
Nowhere does Scripture extend the hope of salvation to the unsaved dead but instead reveals that they will ever continue to exist in a state of conscious suffering (Luke 16:23-28; Revelations 14:11; 20:14,15; Colossians 3:6; Romans 1:21-32; John 3:36; Philippians 3:19; 2nd Thessalonians 1:9). The teachings of Universalism, of probation after death, of annihilation of the unsaved dead, and of the unconscious state of the dead, saved or unsaved (Luke 16:23-28; Philippians 1:23; 2nd Corinthians 5:6-8), are opposed by us as being thoroughly unscriptural and dangerous doctrines.
The mission and commission of the Church which is His Body, is to proclaim the message of reconciliation (2nd Corinthians 5:14-21) and endeavor to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery (Ephesians 3:8,9). In this, we should follow the apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1st Timothy 1:11-16). That distinctive message which the apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13; 15:16) calls "my gospel" (Romans 2:16; 16:25) is also called the "gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). We, like Paul, must preach the entire word of God in light of THIS gospel (2nd Timothy 4:2; Galatians 1:8,9) and strive to reach those in regions beyond where Christ is not yet named (Romans 15:20; 2nd Corinthians 10:16)
SANCTITIY OF LIFE
We recognize that all human beings are made in the image of God, created as male and female (Genesis 1:26, 9:6; Psalm 139:13-14), and thus, every human being has been granted by God the right to life from conception or the functional equilvalent thereof until his or her natural death. The intentional killing of an innocent human being violates God's lasting commandment, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13).
We recognize that marriage is between one man and one woman for life (Matthew 19:4-6; Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:22-33) and that God has designed sexual relations to be enjoyed only within the God-ordained marriage relationship (Hebrews 13:4).