Our Beliefs Regarding the Core Doctrines
1. The Bible:
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration both of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that holy men of God were "moved by the Holy Spirit" to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the Scripture. The Scriptures are therefore infallible and inerrant in their totality in the original writings and are the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
While honoring honest differences of opinion in how God has preserved His Word, we reaffirm with our Baptist forefathers that God, by His singular care and providence, has preserved His Word pure in all ages.
2. The Godhead:
We believe in One Triune God, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are one God having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections and are worthy of precisely the same honor, confidence, and obedience.
3. Jesus, the Christ:
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, being eternally the Son of God, was ordained by the Father to be the mediator between God and man. In the fullness of time God sent forth His Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, to fully reveal God and to redeem sinful, fallen man. Having the very nature of God, He took upon Himself the nature of man, becoming eternally the God-man. The sinless Son of God gave Himself as a voluntary, substitutionary sacrifice on the cross for the sins of all men. After three days the Lord Jesus arose from the grave, ascended to Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He now makes intercession for us and where He also awaits the Father's appointed time to come again for His own.
4. Holy Spirit:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Godhead and possesses the same nature, attributes, and perfections as the other members of the Trinity. We believe that God the Holy Spirit calls, regenerates, baptizes, indwells fills, empowers, and seals the believer until the day of redemption. We reject the practice and doctrine of the modern Charismatic Movement.
We believe that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned, and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death. We also believe that all humanity is born with a sinful nature and are sinners in thought, word, and deed.
We believe that salvation is the gift of God, apart from any human merit, brought to men by grace and received through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on the Cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of sins. All who receive His grace through faith are born-again sons of God, and they are kept by God's power and secure in Christ forever.
We believe that sanctification is the process by which we are made partakers of God's holiness. This is a progressive work which begins at regeneration and is carried on in the lives of believers throughout their earthly life. Sanctification is accomplished by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and our continual use of the appointed means, namely the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.
We believe in the biblical account of creation: that the heavens and the earth were created out of nothing by the direct act of the Triune God in six literal twenty-four-hour days. We believe that God exists independent of His creation and yet sustains, cares for, and watches over all He has created. We reject all forms of naturalistic evolution and all attempts to incorporate it into the biblical account of creation.
We believe that man was created in God's image by the direct act of God. Having been created in a state of holiness and righteousness, Adam willfully sinned against God and fell from that state. The consequence of the fall is that all men are totally depraved-sinners both by nature and by choice. Fallen man is devoid of the ability to do good and to please God. Man, therefore, apart from the grace of God, is already under the condemnation of God and will be consigned forever to eternal conscious punishment.
We believe the biblical doctrine of separation encompasses these areas:
- The separation of the local church from all affiliation and fellowship with those who deny the truths of the Christian faith and from those who are content to walk in fellowship with unbelief, inclusivism, and new-evangelicalism.
- The separation of the individual believer to walk in obedience to the Lord's commands and to avoid all worldly practices that would dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ.
10. The Church:
We believe the Church is a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the Head and which all regenerated people in this age are a part. We believe that the Church, which is His body, is peculiar to the age of grace and entirely distinct from Israel. Furthermore, we believe that a local church is a company of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, immersed upon a credible confession of faith and associated for worship, fellowship, and service. We believe that the local church is autonomous, the center of God's program for this age, and that every Christian is Scripture-bound to give their unhindered support to the ministry of the local church. We believe the primary purpose of the local church is to bring glory to God by evangelizing the world and edifying believers. The Association of Independent Baptist Churches of Illinois exists to assist local churches in fulfilling this stated mission.
11. The Ordinances:
We believe there are two ordinances for the church: baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is by immersion of a believer in water. Baptism is a prerequisite to membership in the local church. The Lord's Supper is the commemoration of the Lord's death until He comes.
12. Future Things:
We believe in the imminent, pretribulational rapture of the church to Heaven, followed by a seven-year tribulation upon all the earth. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus shall come to the earth in power and glory with His Church to establish His millennial reign. Satan will be bound, and Israel shall be re-established in the Promised Land. At the end of this glorious reign, Satan shall be loosed and lead a rebellion against Christ, at which time Satan shall be defeated and then banished to the Lake of Fire forever.
The unrighteous dead shall be judged at the Great White Throne and shall be condemned to everlasting conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire. The righteous shall be in eternal conscious blessedness in the presence of the Lord.
- That marriage of one man and one woman for life, as created by God, sanctioned by Christ, and approved by the Apostles, is God's normal plan.
- That some individuals are called and gifted by God to a single life and that this is also biblical and wholly good.
- That all other expressions of sexuality, such as homosexuality, bisexuality, premarital and extramarital sex, are expressly forbidden in Scripture and are not acceptable.
- That pastors and deacons, as leaders in the church, are to be examples in marriage and family life and not have a pattern of divorce and remarriage.
Baptism is an ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ in the New Testament (Matt 28:19) for those who confess faith in him (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12). Baptism is done by immersing the whole body in water (Matt 3:16; Acts 8:38-39), in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19).
When you are baptized, it serves as a sign of your fellowship with Christ and your identification with him in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom 6:3-5). Baptism marks that you have now put on Christ (Gal 3:27) and received forgiveness for your sins (Acts 22:16). It is the public declaration of your repentance and your belief in Christ (Acts 2:38), symbolizing that you have committed to live and walk in newness of life through Christ (Rom 6:4).
When you decide to be baptized, you are acting in obedience with Christ's command in Matt 28:19-20. At the moment you decided to place your faith in Christ, you were saved (Acts 2:21; 4:12). When you are baptized in water, you are acting out, in the physical realm, what has already happened to you in the spiritual realm; your death, burial, and resurrection through Christ (Gal 2:20; Rom 6:3-5; Col 2:12). Baptism by immersion best illustrates the symbolism of our shared death (crucifixion), burial, and resurrection with Christ. Going into the water symbolizes death and burial. Coming up out of the water symbolizes being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life.