What We Believe

Our Doctrines of Faith
 
GOD
 
1) God is omnipotent. God is all-powerful. There is nothing that He cannot do. (Psalm 47:5)
2) God is omniscient. He is all knowing. Nothing is too difficult to understand for God and He knows every shred of information in the universe. (Job 37:16)
3) God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. No one or nothing in the universe can escape His presence (Psalm 139:7-10)
4) God is omnibenevolent. He is completely good, kind, generous and loving. Nothing evil, corrupt or insincere can come from Him. (Psalm 23:6; 1John 4:7-8)
5) God is spiritual. He is transcendent and not limited to a physical body. (John 4:24)
6) God is Holy. He is set apart. He is pure and sinless. He is moral perfection. (Isaiah 6:3)
7) God is self-sufficient. He does not need anything to survive. (Exodus 3:14)
8) God is eternal. He has always existed and will never cease to exist. (Isaiah 57:15)
9) God is personal. God has a personality and expresses emotions. He also relates to human beings. (Samuel 2:35; Nehemiah 9:17; Amos 5:21)
10) God is unchanging. He does not become more or less powerful. He does not have mood swings. He is always complete and perfect. (1Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6)
11) God is Triune:
Father– He sent His Son to save the world from sin.
Son– He died on the cross and rose again. He is Savior. He is also our Intercessor. His sacrificial death prevents Christians from facing judgement and allows them to have a relationship with God.
Holy Spirit– He lives in every believer. He convicts people of sin. He inspires and brings understanding to the Church. He glorifies the Son.
12) God is Creator: He created all that exists. (Genesis 1:1)
13) God is Sustainer: He keeps existence going. Without Him existence would come to an end. (Chronicles 29:11-12)
14) God is Savior: Only He can redeem mankind so that they may spend an eternity with Him. (John 3:16; 1Timothy 4:10)
 
JESUS CHRIST, GOD THE SON
 
1) Jesus is God. (John 20:28)
2) Jesus is pre-existent. There was never a time that He did not exist. (John 1:1-2; 8:58)
3) Jesus was virgin born. (Luke 1:34-35)
4) Jesus is sinless. (2Corinthians 5:21)
5) Jesus lived and ministered on the Earth. (John 1:14)
6) Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world (atonement). (Romans 5:8; 1John 2:2)
7) Jesus rose from the grave three days after His crucifixion. (Luke 24:5-7)
8) Jesus ascended to Heaven. (Luke 24:50-51)
9) Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand. (Hebrews 1:3)
10) Jesus is the only way to salvation. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
11) Jesus will come again. (Revelation 19:11-21)
 
THE HOLY SPIRIT
 
1) The Holy Spirit convicts humans of sin. (John 16:8)
2) The Holy Spirit calls unbelievers to salvation. (Revelation 22:17)
3) The Holy Spirit brings new spiritual life to the believer. (John 3:3-3:6)
4) The Holy Spirit indwells in every believer. (Acts 2:38)
5) The Holy Spirit directs believers to the truth. (1Corinthians 2:12-13)
6) The Holy Spirit empowers believers. (Acts 1:8)
7) The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers. (Corinthians 12:4)
 
REVELATION
 
There are three types of direct revelation from God:
1) Manifestation: God intervening in history to reveal truth about Himself and His will. (Genesis 12:1-3)
2) Inspiration: God inspired the writing of His word so that mankind may know and obey Him. (2Timothy 3:16-17)
3) Illumination: God still speaks today through the Bible, prayer, events, and the Church. (1Corinthians 2:10)
Miracles
God is interested in His creation and He intervenes constantly. Many of His interventions have supernatural characteristics that cannot be explained by science. Miracles give evidence to God’s existence and reveal that God loves the world. (Romans 15:19)
The Word of God
1) The Bible is inspired by God. (2Peter 1:19-20)
2) The Bible is inerrant. It is without any errors. (John 1:17)
3) The Bible teaches and guides Christians in belief and lifestyle. (2Timothy 3:16-17)
 
LAST THINGS
 
Heaven
1) Heaven is the abode of God. (Revelation 4:1-3)
2) Heaven is the destination for believers after death, before Christ’s return. (John 14:2-3; Ephesians 1:18)
3) Heaven is a place of peace, joy, and holiness where Christians will see God face-to-face. (1Corinthians 13:12; 1John 3:2)
Hell
1) Hell is the final punishment reserved for Satan and his demons. (Revelation 20:10)
2) Hell is the destination for those who did not accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (Revelation 20:15)
3) Hell is a place of fire, pain, suffering, and anguish that cannot be comprehended in this life. (Luke 16:23-24)
The Return of Christ
1) Christ will come to take His Church (the rapture) and bring about the first resurrection of believers. This will begin the tribulation. (Revelation 20:4-6; 1Thessalonians 4:16-17)
2) Christ will return to destroy the Antichrist and his armies and end the tribulation. (Revelation 19:11-12)
3) Christ will return to establish a millennial reign. (Revelation 20:1-6)
Eternity
1) The millennial reign will end with Satan’s revolt. (Revelation 20:7-8)
2) Satan’s revolt will end with God’s judgement, which will destroy the Earth. (Revelation 20:9-10)
3) God will judge all unbelievers. (Revelation 20:11-15)
4) God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth. (Revelation 21:1-2)
5) New Jerusalem will descend to Earth and believers will abide there forever. (Revelation 21:3-7)
 
BAPTISM
 
The Word “baptize” is a word directly provided from the Greek New Testament that means “to immerse” or place under the water. Therefore baptism is not performed properly unless the new convert is completely placed under the water. Baptism occurs after an individual becomes a Christian. Baptism symbolized two things:
1) The Work of Christ-  It is a public symbol of the work of Jesus Christ performed to secure salvation for believers. The placing of the baptismal candidate under the water represents his death and the resurfacing of the candidate symbolizes Christ’s resurrection. (Romans 6:4)
2) The Change of the Believer- The immersion of the candidate into the water signifies that the former unconverted and spiritually dead individual is dead. The resurfacing of the candidate represents the fact of a new life granted by the Holy Spirit. Upon conversion, the old, rebellious and sin-loving person departs and the new, humble and Christ-loving believer is born. (Romans 12:1; 2Corinthians 5:17)
 
ETERNAL SECURITY
 
Once an individual becomes a Christian, he or she is saved for all eternity. It is impossible for a person who is truly a believer to “lose” his or her salvation. The salvation that God offers is perfect and powerful and cannot be lost or discarded. The transformation of the person when he or she is converted is also dramatic. He or she would never want to live the life of an unbeliever again. Those who claim to have been believers, but demonstrate a consistently dishonorable lifestyle never became believers from the first. Believers still sin, but they are convicted by the Holy Spirit of sin, which they confess, ask forgiveness, and repent. (John 10:28-29; Philippians 1:6; 1Peter 1:3-5)
 
THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS
 
Each and every Christian is a “priest”. The meaning of priesthood has three major components.
1) Relationship-  Every believer has a relationship with God. They have direct access to God in prayer and also receive communication from Him. (Ephesians 2:17-19; Hebrew 4:14-16)
2) Obedience– As a member of the priesthood, each believer should act in a manner worthy of the name, “Christian” A follower of Jesus Christ should act and behave like his or her Master. (1John 2:3-6)
3) Service- All believers have an important role in the Body of Christ. All have been called to serve and be active members of their local church. These roles coincide with the strengths and gifts God has given the believer. Every role is equal, despite the fact that some have a more public role than others. (Galatians 5:13)
 
CHURCH AUTONOMY
 
Each congregation governs itself under the lordship of Christ, the Shepherd of the Church. The members, under God’s direction, call the pastor and ministerial staff and if the need arises, ask staff members to leave. Baptist churches have no outside governing body or hierarchy that determines its direction. Decisions are decided by members in called business meetings. The church’s finances are also raised entirely by the local membership. Many churches associate with a denomination that pools together resources to advance the Gospel through missionary activity. This church is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. (Acts 1:15-26)
 
CHURCH GOVERNMENT
 
1) Equality- Every believer has an equal voice within the Church. No position or office in the Church allows greater privileges or honor. All are equal in the eyes of God. (1Corinthians 12:12-26)
2) Accountability– Each believer should be accountable to his or her fellow believers. Accountability has two outcomes. 1) It encourages holy living.  2) It prevents sin from infecting and affecting the entire congregation. (Matthew 18:15-17; 1Corinthians 5:1-13)
3) Honesty– Major decisions should not be concealed from the congregation. Major decisions, whether in voting for a pastor, staff member, deacon, building project, the formation of a new committee, or making a large purchase must be voted on by the congregation. (Acts 6:1-3)
 
SANCTITY OF LIFE
 
Scripture clearly teaches that God considers that human beings are persons deserving dignity and respect in every stage of life. This encompasses new life in the womb and long-lived lives approaching death. Mental capacity or economic status should not exclude a person from the gift of life or rights to be treated with respect. Christians should be at the forefront in defending the preservation and dignity of human life. This includes opposing abortion, all forms of euthanasia, racism, and mistreatment of those suffering from poverty. (Proverbs 21:13; Jeremiah 1:5; James 1:27)
 
THE FAMILY
 
God established the family when He created humanity. A family begins with marriage. Marriage consists of a husband who is a man and a wife who is a woman. The family grows through the children in this union. This is God’s ideal for family and it should be encouraged by the Church. All deviant relationships and lifestyles, such as homosexuality, polygamy, pedophilia, cohabitation, and open marriage cannot be condoned by God’s people. Because sin and tragedy are in this world, there exist broken homes, single parent families, and blended families. The Church has the responsibility not to shut out these families, but to reach out and minister to them in love of Jesus Christ. (Genesis 2:19-24; 1Corinthians 6:9-18; Hebrews 13:4)
 
FAITH, CULTURE, AND GOVERNMENT
 
The Lord has granted the freedom of every human being to worship Him. Worshiping God has an impact upon every aspect of the person and how he or she relates to the culture, society, and government. While believers live apart from the world in manner and belief they also live in the world. Christians are called to influence those around them. This includes the shaping of moral and ethical attitudes and government policy. The government of this country freely allows the active participation of its citizens to direct the government, most notably in the election of officials. Christians are encouraged to exercise their solemn duty to vote, hold peaceful demonstration, and run for elected office as God directs them. A believer’s decision to vote or his or her stance on issues should also be guided by God’s standards of justice and ethics. The Church should remember its primary role in evangelizing the world and not assume the role of government. Instead, Christians must respect the government’s God-given duties. (Matthew 5:14-16; Romans 13:1-7)
 
AFFILIATIONS

Little River Baptist Church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and is part of the Southern Baptists Conservatives of Virginia.