Statement of Faith

MBU Official SealThe Statement of Faith of Maranatha:

We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Old and New Testaments; God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the new birth in Christ alone; baptism by immersion for believers only; the eternal security of the believer; the Lord’s Supper as a memorial; six creation days of twenty-four hours each; the bodily resurrection of Christ and His bodily ascension into heaven where He now intercedes for believers; the pretribulation rapture of all believers; the premillennial return and millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ; the judgment; the reality of heaven and hell; the local church as God’s institution to carry out the Great Commission; and the obligation of every believer to live a holy life and witness to the lost of the saving power of Christ.

Maranatha Baptist Seminary has enlarged this doctrinal statement for Seminary purposes. Students are not required to be completely in agreement with this statement, but should understand that this is the basis on which all teaching in the Seminary is grounded.

The Scriptures

We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the verbally, plenarily inspired Word of God and are inerrant in the original writings (1 Cor 2:13; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21; Rev 22:18-19; Matt 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 17:17). The Bible is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice (Isa 8:20; Matt 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 2 Tim 3:16-17). We practice a dispensational hermeneutic, based on a progressive unfolding of revelation from God which results in various dispensations or distinguishable economies of God’s revealed truth (Rom 16:25; 1 Cor 4:1; Eph 1:10; 3:2-4; Col 1:25-27; Heb 1:1). This hermeneutic recognizes a fundamental distinction between Israel and the Church in origin, purposes, and destiny (1 Cor 10:32).

The Godhead

We believe in the one Triune God (Deut 6:4; Isa 45:21-22), eternally existing in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Gen 1:2; Matt 1:18; 3:17; 12:32; 28:19; John 4:21, 23; 5:44; Rom 1:3-4; 15:6; 2 Cor 13:14; Jude 20-21), of one essence but distinct in persons, and equal in perfection and attributes (2 Sam 23:2-3; John 5:23; 6:27; 16:15; Acts 5:3-4; Eph 2:18; Heb 1:8; 9:14). We believe that the Trinity created the physical universe, including all life forms, in six
successive solar days, and the spiritual universe of angels (Gen 1-2; Exod 20:11; Ps 19:1-6; 33:6,9; 90:2; Isa 40:28; 1 Cor 8:6; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:9-11). We oppose the evolutionary hypothesis of origins, whether theistic or atheistic.

God the Father

We believe in God the Father, the First Person of the eternal Trinity (John 17:5; Rom 16:26). The Father is the ultimate source of all things, the sustainer of all things, and the controller of all things (Neh 9:6; Ps 103:19; 104:19-22; 148:8; Prov 19:21; 1 Cor 8:6; 10:13; John 5:17; Eph 3:9).

God the Son

We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God (Isa 9:6; Matt 16:16; John 10:36; 17:5), who in His incarnation became man while remaining God (Matt 20:28; John 1:1; 8:40; Rom 9:5; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 2:13; Heb 1:8; 1 John 5:20). We believe in His virgin conception and birth (Matt 1:18-25), His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice (Isa 53:1-12; John 1:29; 1 John 2:2), His bodily resurrection from the tomb (Matt 28:5-7; Luke 24:1-7; 1 Cor 15:3-4; Rev 1:18), and His ascension into heaven (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:2, 9-11) as the believer’s High Priest and Advocate before the throne of God (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 1:3; 4:14-16; 1 John 2:1; Rev 3:21).

God the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead (John 16:7-8; 1 Cor 3:16; Heb 9:14). He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11), imparts spiritual life in regeneration (John 3:3, 5; Titus 3:5), permanently indwells believers (John 7:37-39; 14:16; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 3:16), becomes the seal of divine ownership and earnest that guarantees the final salvation of the believer (2 Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:13-14; 4:30), and fills and empowers believers as they yield to the Word (Acts 2:4; Rom 6:13; 12:1-2; Gal 5:16; Eph 4:30).

Sin

We believe that man was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-31; 2:7-25; 1 Cor 11:7; Jas 3:9) in righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:24; Col 3:9-10). Man freely transgressed God’s commandment (Gen 3:1-7; 1 Tim 2:14), and because of the sin of Adam all humans are now condemned and are sinners by nature and by choice (Gen 8:21; 1 Kings 8:46; Isa 53:6; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:10, 12, 23; 1 John 1:8, 10).

Salvation

We believe that salvation has been provided by the substitutionary death of Christ for all sinners, is given to man by grace, and is received by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Isa 53:4-12; John 1:12; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet 1:18-19; 2:24). All the redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5). Salvation results in justification (Rom 4:1-5, 25; 5:1, 18-19), forgiveness of sin (Acts 10:43; Eph 1:7; 4:32; Col 1:14; 2:13; 1 John 2:12), adoption (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5), sanctification (1 Cor 1:2, 30; 6:11; Heb 10:10, 14), and glorification (Rom 8:30). We believe that sanctification has three aspects. First, in positional sanctification the believer is given a perfect standing before God (Acts 26:18; 1 Cor 1:2; 6:11; Heb 10:10, 14). Second, in present sanctification the believer is cleansed of the daily defilement of sin and is in the process of being brought into conformity to the image of Christ (John 13:10; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Thess 5:23). Third, in final sanctification the believer will be fully conformed to the image of Christ and sin will be eliminated forever from his experience (Phil 3:21; 1 Thess 3:12-13; Heb 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24).

Church

We believe that the church is God’s institution for spiritual ministry and activity in this age. The Head of the church is Christ, and the members are believers in Jesus Christ, who have been immersed upon their confession of faith and who share a common body of truth (Acts 2:42; Eph 1:22-23; 2:11-22; 5:23; Col 1:18, 24; 2 Thess 3:6; Jude 3). The church is the center of a Christian’s worship, work, and fellowship. The church assembles for the preaching of the Word, the observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and the discipleship and discipline of the members (Matt 18:15-17; 1 Cor 5:4-5, 12; 6:1-5; 2 Cor 2:6; 2 Thess 3:6; 1 Tim 3:15; Jude 3; Rev 2-3). The ordinances for the church are water baptism by immersion (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-5) and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor. 11:23-32). The church has two offices: pastor and deacon (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 2:12; 3:1-13; Heb. 10:25). The church is independent and autonomous, free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). The church is responsible for the spread of the Gospel to the world (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2: 41-42; 10:47-48). The Great Commission and the practice of the early church require churches and believers to proclaim the Gospel to all nations (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20)

Separation

We believe that true spiritual fellowship is the result of a common faith. While unity is preferable and sought after (John 17:20-23), personal separation is required from a brother who refuses to live a lifestyle in accord with the teaching of Scripture and ecclesiastical separation is necessary from a church which holds to divisive doctrinal error (Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:11; 2 Thes. 3:6, 14-15). The worldview of the believer is dictated by Scripture, rather than by the world, and is motivated by love for God, fellow believers, and the lost (Rom. 12:1-2; 14; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Eph. 5:15-18; Titus 3:10; 1 John 2:15-17; 4:1; 2 John 10-11).

Future Events

We believe in the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, first to take His saints home to be with him at the rapture of the living and resurrection of the dead (Matt. 24:44; John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:4-18; Titus 2:11-13), and second to establish His earthly kingdom (Dan 7:9-14; Zech 14:1-4; Mal 3:1-2; Matt 24:29-30; Acts 1:11; 2 Thess 2:8; Rev 1:7). We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).