What We Believe
Statement of Faith
Hunterdon Bible Chapel (South Branch Bible Fellowship)
We would like to introduce ourselves. South Branch Bible Fellowship is an assembly of Christians who gather simply and solely in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 18:20), (the only one in whom there is salvation, Acts 4:12), to worship and grow in grace.
We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are verbally inspired by God (God Breathed). They constitute the supreme and final authority in faith and life, and are infallible, (II Tim. 3:16, II Peter 1:21) and that they are complete and sufficient revelation of His will for man’s salvation and conduct.
We believe that the Bible teaches...
there is one God, who is infinitely perfect and holy, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19)
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, to be true God, and in His Incarnation to have been true man. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, died for our sins, and was raised for our justification. He is now seated at the right hand of God in majesty, making intercession for us as our great High Priest. He is the only one whose life was absolutely sinless. (I John 5:20, Matt. 1:18-23, I John 3:5)
Holy Spirit is part of the God head in the Deity, Personality, and Work of God.
Man has fallen. Man was created in the image of God. He was ruined by the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, and utterly sinful by nature. Thereby he incurs not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. It is impossible for him to be saved by his own works or religious observances. Man must be born again before he can enter heaven. (Rom. 3:23, John 3:3,7; Rom. 5:12, Eph. 2:8-9, John 3:3)
On Calvary’s Cross, Christ fully and eternally paid the penalty for sin, through his shed blood. Any person who repents of his sin and receives Jesus Christ as his personal savior is immediately and eternally saved, is born again by the Holy Spirit, and is united to Him in one body, the Church, of which He is the head. (Heb. 10:12, Luke 13:5, John 10:28-30, John 6:47, John 3:36)
All who are unrepentant, and unbelieving, will be lost in a Christ-less eternity of conscious torment, separated from God forever, and forever. No second chance after death.
In the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. This is our blessed hope that compels us to live holy lives, love the brethren, offer heartfelt worship, remain committed to service, and to diligently study God’s Word. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is coming again, to raise those who have died believing in Him, and those believers who are still alive, taking them to be with Him eternally. (I Thess. 4:14-17, Phil. 3:20, 21)
There will be a judgment where the unjust, those who reject Christ as their Savior, will be condemned to hell. The just will reign eternally with Christ. (John 3:16-18, Rev. 20:11-15)
We adopt no other names than those given in the Bible, such as Christians, Saints, Brethren, Disciples, and Believers. These names are used to describe all who are members of the Church, which is called “The Body of Christ”. (Eph. 1:22-23) The church consists of all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They join together for worship, prayer, fellowship, proclamation of the Gospel, and the observance of Baptism by immersion, and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of South Branch Bible Fellowship as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the South Branch Bible Fellowship members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by South Branch Bible Fellowship in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of South Branch Bible Fellowship
We believe Water baptism, as taught in the Word of God, is by immersion. (Acts 8:38) It is a voluntary act by a believer, to publicly profess and identify in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it exhibits the desire to walk after Him in “newness of life”. (Rom. 6:4)
Baptism is in no way essential for salvation. It is the outward (public) display of the inward reality of regeneration, which has already occurred in the believer. (I Cor. 1:17) We believe it is an act of obedience, and a forward step in the spiritual development of the believer.
The Lord’s Supper (Communion):
On the eve of His death, our Lord Jesus instituted what is commonly known as the “Lord’s Supper” (Luke 22:15-20) as a remembrance of Himself, especially His death. The Scriptural injunction is that, “as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show forth the Lord’s death till He come”. (I Cor. 11:26-28) This observance is fulfilling Christ’s request to believers only, who are exhorted to examine themselves, confess any sin, and then partake of the two emblems,
1) The bread, which represents His body, broken for us, and
2) The cup, which represents His blood, shed for us. (I Cor. 11:23-26)
Christians gather for the Lord’s Supper on the first day of each week, Sunday. (Acts 20:7) This gathering takes the form of spontaneous, Spirit-led expressions of worship and praise, in prayers, singing hymns, reading and comments on the Scripture, all centered around Christ, who is “in the midst” as we obey His command, “This do in remembrance of me”. (Luke 22:19-20) Near the end of the service, thanks is given for each emblem before it is passed among the saints who partake of the bread and the cup as it is passed to them. Only believers should partake, as evidenced in the Scriptures.
We believe in the Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the uttermost parts of the earth.