Tabernacle Baptist Church is an independent, fundamental, Baptist church committed to reaching the greater-Williamsport area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe in the supremacy of Bible teaching and preaching and in the importance of believers living a Spirit-filled, separated life.
Statement of Faith
Our Church holds the following statement of faith as being a summary of Christian doctrine whose authority consists only in its agreement with the Word of God.
A. The Holy Scriptures
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, as originally given by God and recorded by Spirit-controlled men. We believe in the verbal (every word) and plenary (complete) inspiration of the Scriptures, that they are God-breathed, inerrant (without error) in the original writings, infallible (unable to fail) and that they are the final authority for faith and life. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed, and opinions shall be tried.
Psalm 119:89,105,130,160; Matthew 24:35; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:18-19.
B. The True God
We believe there is only one living and true God, an infinite Spirit, the maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Exodus 20:2-3; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 9:5; I Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 2:9; 1 John 5:19-20; Revelation 4:11.
C. The Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ
We believe in the deity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect Man; that He is God manifested in the flesh (human body), conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born into humanity through the virgin Mary; that He lived a sinless life on earth; that He died on Calvary’s cross and shed His precious blood as a satisfactory sacrifice for sinners; that His body was buried in and arose the third day from Joseph’s tomb; that He ascended to Heaven and was glorified at God’s right hand; and that He is coming again for His own and then to establish His Kingdom on earth.
Isaiah 7:14; John 16:7-8; Matthew 1:18-25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 1:18-19.
D. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil One (Satan) until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin; of righteousness, and of judgment; that he bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the Agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer, and that the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance) is the evidence of His indwelling rather than the so-called speaking in tongues and other spectacular demonstrations.
Genesis 1:1-3; Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 24:49; John 1:33, 3:5-6, 14:16-17, 26, 16:8-11; Acts 1:8,5:30-32, 11:16; Romans 8:14-16,26-27; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 9:14.
E. The Devil or Satan
We believe that Satan is a supernatural person, a fallen angel, the the author of sin, the father of lies and cause of the Fall of man into sin; that he is the “god of this age,” the “prince of the power of the air,” and the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that his destiny is eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.
Ezekiel 28:1-19; Job 1:6-9; Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; James 4:7; Revelation 20:10.
We believe the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels, and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. Genesis 1,2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17.
G. The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God), but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and that sin entered into the world, and death by sin— not only physical death—but spiritual death, which is conscious and eternal separation from God; and that consequently, his posterity inherit a corrupt nature, being born in sin and under its condemnation and as soon as they become capable of moral action, become actual transgressors. They are sinners by nature and by choice and are therefore under the just condemnation without defense or excuse before God.
Genesis 3; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-19, 5:12-19.
H. The Virgin Birth
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit (not made) in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of Man and the Son of God.
Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-14.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took our nature upon Himself, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that He “died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” that a person is saved when he repents of his sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation and that repentance is a change of mind and purpose prompted by the Holy Spirit within the heart of a sinner who, through conviction of sin has a godly sorrow over sin; which leads him to true saving faith.
Isaiah 53:4-7; Matthew 18:11; Mark 1:15; John 3:16-18; Acts 15:11; Romans 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21,7:10; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Peter 3:9; I John 4:10; I Peter 2:24.
J. The New Birth
We believe that at the point when a sinner repents of sin and turns to Christ in faith for salvation from his sins, that he is instantaneously born again. One who was dead in trespasses and sins has now become a partaker of the divine nature of God and receives eternal life. He has become a new creature [creation]. He was a child of the Devil but is now a child of God through faith in Christ. Unless a person Is born again by the Holy Spirit of God into the body of Christ they cannot enter into the kingdom of God and are eternally damned.
John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:1; 2 Peter 1:4.
We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is granted [bestowed], not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s shed blood and His work on the cross on our behalf.
Romans 3:24, 4:5, 5:1-9; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9.
We believe sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner: first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the submissive heart and life; third, the final completion of this process at the Lord’s return.
John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:6; Ephesians 5:25-27; Hebrews 10:10-14; I Thessalonians 4:3-4, 5:23-24; IJohn 3:2; Revelation 22:11.
M. The Eternal Security of the Saints
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by the power of God and that our eternal destination [Heaven] cannot be altered, and since we are in the hands of God stand no chance of ever losing our salvation through Christ.
John 10:28-29,17:24; Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Timothy 1:12; 1 Peter 1:5; I John 5:13.
We believe in a literal, burning Hell, and that the Lake of Fire and Brimstone shall be the place of eternal punishment for Satan, fallen angels [demons], and the unbelieving dead who have rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mark 9:42-48; Luke 16:22-26; Revelation 20:12-15, 21:8.
We believe in an actual place called Heaven where God’s immediate presence is manifested, where the angels dwell, and where the redeemed who are justified by faith in Christ shall ultimately dwell; it is from Heaven that Christ descended and to which, after the completion of His earthly ministry; He ascended back up into Heaven where He is presently praying for the saints and representing them before the Father. He will one day come from Heaven and judge the living and the dead.
John 14:1-3, Revelation 21
P. The Church
We believe that the local New Testament church is to be composed of regenerated, baptized believers, voluntarily united together for the purpose of worship, edification, ordinances, fellowships, and service; that the officers of the church are Pastor and Deacons whose qualifications and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; that the mission of the Church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity, in the local community, and to the uttermost part of the earth; that the local church has the absolute right to self-government, free from the interference of any individuals or organizations, religious or political; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; with each local church as the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on matters of membership, policy of government, discipline, benevolence, etc., the will of the local church is final. We believe in the unity of all New Testament believers in the Church which is the body of Christ.
Acts 2:41-47, 15:13-18, 20:17-31; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 11:2, 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:15-23, 3:1-6, 4:11, 5:23; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:1-13; I Peter 5:1-5.
Q. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion)
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost and to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen savior. Our submission to Christian baptism symbolizes our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. We believe that water baptism is for believers only, and after one’s salvation experience. We believe that the Lord’s Supper, also known as Communion, in which the local body of believers by sacred use of the bread and the cup, is to commemorate together the broken body and shed blood of Christ and is to be preceded always with solemn self-examination. It should be noted that based on our communion with Christ and His forgiveness of all our sins, that we should not let any sin reside in our heart either personally in spirit or outwardly expressed toward another person, and especially toward a fellow member in our own church. We believe that God will chasten us if we are unwilling to participate in the communion service or if we participate with in an unworthy manner. The church should experience a type of reviving each time we reflect, and participate in, the outward expression of our inward communion with Christ.
Matthew 28:18-20; John 3:22-23; Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-39; Romans 6:4; I Corinthians 11:23-32.
We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate ourselves unto God from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy, and from any compromise with false teachers that deny the faith once delivered to the saints or the power of the blood of our Lord Jesus to save sinners. We believe that a disobedience to these commands hinders the intimacy that God desires to have in manifesting His complete and all sufficient Fatherhood in the hearts of His children.
Romans 16:17; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 John 9-11.
S. Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of conscience, and Prince of the kings of the earth.
Exodus 18:21-22; 2 Samuel 23:3; Matthew 22:21; Acts 4:19-20, 23:5; Romans 13:1-7.
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people, that she Is now dispersed because of her disbelief and rejection of the Christ, and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ.
Genesis 13:14-17; Ezekiel 37-38; Romans 11:1-32.
U. The Second Coming at Christ (Rapture and Revelation)
We believe in the bodily, personal, premillennial, and imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the air to catch away all believers unto Himself before the Tribulation period; that there will be a personal, visible, and glorious return of Christ to the earth, and that the dead bodies of believers will be glorified and come with Christ, who at the close of the Tribulation period, will return with great power and glory to sit upon the throne of David, He will judge the nations and set up His millennial Kingdom on earth.
Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:2-9; Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Acts 2:29-30; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44,51-54; Philippians 3:20-21; l Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10, 20:1-6.
V. The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference in the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the Lake of Fire.
Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 14:32; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 25:34-41; Luke 13:3, 16:25; John 8:21; Romans 6:17, 7:6; I John 5:19; Revelation 20:14-15.