WHO WE ARE
Berean Family Church is a family-integrated church dedicated to the truth of God's Word. We endeavor to build our lives, families, and our church upon the infallible teaching of the Bible, studying the scriptures and encouraging one another in fellowship according to the model of the church given in the New Testament. We meet regularly to worship and listen to the expositional preaching of the Bible.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We affirm the Five Solae that comprised the foundation of the Protestant Reformation:
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
Scripture alone is the final authority to which the church is bound.
Sola Gratia (By Grace Alone)
Salvation is by the grace of God alone.
Sola Fide (By Faith Alone)
Justification from God is received only by faith and apart from any works of the believer.
Solo Cristo (Through Christ Alone)
Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man and the only means of salvation.
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory To God Alone)
All glory is due to God alone.
- The Bible -
We teach that the Bible is God's written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary Word of God (I Cor 2:7-14; II Pet 1:20-21).
We teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (I Cor 2:13; I Thes 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (II Tim 3:16), absolutely inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture, which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Gen 1:31; Ex 20:11, 31:17).
We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Mt 5:18, 24:35; Jn 10:35, 16:12-13, 17:17; I Cor 2:13; II Tim 3:15-17; Heb 4:12; II Pet 1:20-21).
We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God's Word to man (II Pet 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Mt 5:18; II Tim 3:16).
We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:17, 16:12-15; I Cor 2:7-15; I Jn 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.
- God -
We teach that there is but one living and true God (Dt 6:4; Is 45:5-7; I Cor 8:4), an infinite, all-Knowing Spirit (Jn 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19; II Cor 13:14), each equally deserving of worship and obedience.
God the Father
We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Ps 145:8-9; I Cor 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Gen 1:1-31; Acts 17:24-27; Eph 3:9). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Eph 4:6), but He is Spiritual Father only to believers (Rom 8:14; II Cor 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all thing that come to pass (Eph 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (I Chron 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Hab 1:13), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (I Pet 1:17). He saves from sin all those who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (Jn :12; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:5; Heb 12:5-9).
God the Son
We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possess all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (Jn 10:30, 14:9).
We teach that God the Father created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operations (Jn 1:3; Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:2).
We teach that in the incarnation Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man (Phil 2:5-8; Col 2:9).
We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Jn 5:23, 14:9-10; Col 2:9).
We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Is 7:14; Mt 1:23-25; Lk 1:26-35), that He was God incarnate (Jn 1:1, 14), and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God's kingdom (Ps 2:7-9; Is 9:6; Jn 1:29; Phil 2:9-11; Heb 7:25-26; I Pet 1:18-19).
We teach that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, assumed the place of a Son, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Phil 2:5-8).
We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that his death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (Jn 10:15; Rom 3:24-25, 5:8; I Pet 2:24).
We teach that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Rom 3:25, 5:8-9; II Cor 5:14-15; I Pet 2:24, 3:18).
We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High-Priest (Mt 28:6; Lk 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Rom 4:25, 8:34; Heb 7:25, 9:24; I Jn 2:1).
We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross, Jesus' bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (Jn 5:26-29, 14:19; Rom 4:25, 6:5-10; I Cor 15:20-23).
We teach that Jesus will return to receive the church, which is His body, unto Himself at the Rapture and, returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11; I Thes 4:13-18; Rev 20).
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (Jn 5:22-23): Believers (I Cor 3:10-15; II Cor 5:10); Living Inhabitants of the earth at His return (Mt 25:31-46); Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11-15).
As the mediator between God and man ( I Tim 2:5), the head of His body the church (Eph 1:22, 5:23; Col 1:18) and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David (Isa 9:6-7; Ezek 37:24-28; Lk 1:31-33), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Mt 25:14-16; Acts 17:30-31).
God the Holy Spirit
We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (I Cor 2:10-13), emotions (Eph 4:30), will (I Cor 12:11), eternality (Heb 9:14), omnipresence (Ps 139:7-10), omniscience (Isa 40:13-14), omnipotence (Rom 15:13), and truthfulness (Jn 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Mt 28:19; Acts 5:3-4, 28:25-26; I Cor 12:4-6; II Cor 13:14).
We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His work in the creation (Gen 1:2), the incarnation (Mt 1:18), the written revelation (II Pet 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (Jn 3:5-7).
We teach that a work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (Jn 14:16-17, 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ. His activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (Jn 16:7-9; Acts 1:5, 2:4; Rom 8:29; II Cor 3:18; Eph 2:22).
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural agent in regeneration , baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (I Cor 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Rom 8:9-11; II Cor 3:6; Eph 1:13).
We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. In this respect, He is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints. (I Cor 12:4-11; II Cor 12:12; Eph 4:7-12; Heb 2:1-4).
- Man -
We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Gen 2:7, 15-25; Jas 3:9).
We teach that God's intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God's fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God's purpose for man in the world (Isa 43:7; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11).
We teach that in Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man's salvation is thereby wholly of God's grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gen 2:16-17; 3:1-19; Jn 3:36; Rom 3:23, 6:23; I Cor 2:14; Eph 2:1-3; I Tim 2:13-14; I Jn 1:8).
We teach that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam's sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Ps 14:1-3; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:9-23, 5:10-12).
- Marriage -
We teach that the only legitimate marriage sanctioned by God is the joining of one naturally born man and one naturally born woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen 2:18-24; Eph 5:31). God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other, and has commanded that no sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one's gender, or disagreement with one's biological gender, is against God's design and therefore sinful (Ex 20:14; Lev 18:22-23; Ps 139:14; Rom 1:26-27; I Cor 6:9).
- Salvation -
We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (Jn :12; Eph 1:4-7, 2:8-10; I Pet 1:18-19).
We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves and sanctifies (Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:4-11; II Thes 2:13; II Tim 2:12; I Pet 1:1-2).
We teach that the doctrine of election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezek 18:23, 32, 33:11; Jn 3:18-19, 36, 5:40; II Thes 2:10-12; Rev 22:17).
We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Eph 1:4-7; Tit 3:4-7; I Pet 1:2).
We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (Jn 3:3-8; Tit 3:5; II Pet 1:3-4). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (Jn 5:24), when the repentant sinner responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (I Cor 6:19-20; Eph 5:17-21; Phil 2:12; Col 3:12-17; II Pet 1:4; I Jn 3:2-3). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Cor 3:18). Such a conformity is completed in the believer's glorification at Christ's coming (Rom 8:16-17; II Pet 1:4; I Jn 3:2-3).
We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Rom 8:30-33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Isa 55:6-7; Lk 13:3; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18; Rom 2:4; II Cor 7:10) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Rom 10:9-10; I Cor 12:3; II Cor 4:5; Phil 2:11). By this means God is enabled to be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom 3:26).
We teach that every believer is sanctified unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. (Acts 20:32; I Cor 1:2, 30, 6:11; II Thes 2:13; Heb 2:11, 3:1, 10:10, 14, 13:12; I Pet 1:2).
We teach that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the likeness of Christ through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. The believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 17:17-19; Rom 6:1-22; II Cor 3:18; I Thes 4:3-4, 5:23).
In this respect, we teach that every believer is involved in a daily conflict - the new creation in Christ is doing battle against the flesh - but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life an d is never completely ended. all claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal 5:16-25; Phil 3:12; Col 3:9-10; I Pet 1:14-16; I Jn 3:5-9).
We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an excuse for sinful living and carnality (Rom 6:15-22, 13:13-14; Gal 5:13-26; Tis 2:11-14).
We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments. Out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior.
We also teach that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Rom 12:1-2; I Cor 5:9-13; II Cor 6:14-7:1; I Jn 2:15-17; II Jn 9-11).
We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (II Thes 1:11-12; Heb 12:1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Mt 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Rom 12:1-2; II Cor 7:1; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 12:14; I Jn 3:1-10).
- The Church -
We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (I Cor 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (II Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-32: Rev 19:7-8), of which Christ is the head (Eph 1:22, 4:14; Col 1:18).
We teach that the church is distinct from Israel (Eph 3:1-6, 5:32; I Cor 10:32).
We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament (Acts 14:23-27, 20:17, 28; Gal 1:2; Phil 1:1; I Thes 1:1; II Thes 1:1) and that members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (I Cor 11:18-20; Heb 10:25).
We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (Eph 1:22; Col 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (males, who are also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers = Acts 20:28; Eph 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualification (I Tim 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9; I Pet 5:1-5).
We teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (I Tim 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Heb 13:7, 17).
We teach the importance of discipleship (Mt 28:19-20; II Tim 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Mt 18:15-17), as well as the need for discipline for sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Mt 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; I Cor 5:1-13; II Thes 3:6-15: I Tim 1:19-20; Tit 1:10-16).
We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Eph 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (II Tim 2:2, 15, 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; I Jn 1:3), by keeping the oridinances (Lk 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Mt 28:19; Acts 1:8).
We teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (I Cor 15:58: Eph 4:12; Rev 22:12).
We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:7-12) and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ (Rom 12:5-8; I Cor 12:4-31; I Pet 4:10-11).
We teach that, with the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man's message. The only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Rom 12:6-8).
We teach, concerning healing, that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Lk 18:1-8; Jn 5:7-9; II Cor 12:6-10; Jas 5:13-16; I Jn 5:14-15).
We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him n death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Rom 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ (Acts 2:41-42).
We teach that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (I Cor 11:23-32). We also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord's Supper is nevertheless an actual Communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people (I Cor 10:16).
- Eschatology -
We teach that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev 6:9-11), that there is a separation of soul and body (Jas 2:26), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Lk 23:43; II Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the Rapture of the church (I Thes 4:13-17) which initiates the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6), when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (I Cor 15:35-44, 50-54; Phil 3:21). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (II Cor 5:8).
We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (Jn 6:39; Rom 8:10-11,19-23; II Cor 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Dan 12:2; Jn 5:29; Rev 20:13-15).
We teach that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the final resurrection (Lk 16:19-26; Rev 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (Jn 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15) and shall be cast into the lake of fire (Mt 25:41-46; Rev 20:12-15), cut off from the life of God forever (Dan 12:2; Mt 25:41-46; II Thes 1:7-9).
The Rapture of the Church
We teach the personal, bodily return of Christ before the seven year tribulation (I Thes 4:16; Tit 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (Jn 14:1-3; I Cor 15:51-53; I Thes 4:15-5:11) and between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (I Cor 3:11-15; II Cor 5:10).
The Tribulation Period
We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (Jn 14:1-3; I Thes 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jer 30:7; Dan 9:27, 12:1; II Thes 2:7-12; Rev 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Mt 24:27-31, 25:31-46; II Thes 2:7-12). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy (Dan 9:24-27; Mt 24:15-31, 25:31-46).
The Second Coming of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom
We teach that after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Mt 25:31; Lk 1:32-33; Acts 1:10-11, 2:29-30) and establish His messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Rev 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over all the
nations of the earth (Ezek 37:21-28; Dan 7:17-22; Rev 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the antichrist and the false prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Dan 7:17-27; Rev 20:1-6).
We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God's promise to Israel (Isa 65:17-25; Ezek 37:21-28; Zech 8:1-17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through their disobedience (Dt 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Mt 21:43; Rom 11:1-26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:22-32; Rom 11:25-29).
We teach that this time of our Lord's reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isa 11, 65:17-25; Ezek 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Rev 20:7).
The Judgment of the Lost
We teach that following the thousand year reign of Christ (Rev 20:7), Satan will be released to deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time he and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Rev 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Mt 25:41; Rev 20:10) whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men (Jn 5:22) will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne Judgment.
We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (Jn 5:28-29) they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Mt 24:41; Rev 20:11-15).
We teach that after the closing of the Millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (II Thes 1:9; Rev 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (II Pet 3:10) and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Eph 5:5; Rev 20:15, 21-22). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Rev 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (Jn 17:3; Rev 21, 22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (I Cor 15:23-28) that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (I Cor 15:28).
We also affirm the following resolution regarding education:
We also affirm the Declarations of the following organizations:
(The National Center For Family Integrated Churches)
(The International Council Of Biblical Inerrancy)
ABOUT THE PASTOR
Guy Harrell has been in ministry for over 30 years and is devoted to expositional preaching, teaching the Bible verse by verse. While his calling to preach is evident, he affirms that his first ministry is to his family. He has been married to his lovely wife Suzi for 30 years. Guy and Suzi home school their children, discipling them daily in God's Word.