SMBC

South Mountain Bible Church

Beliefs and Values


Beliefs|Core Values




Beliefs

Section 1—Holy Scripture
We believe that the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, His Revelation to man, inerrant in the original writings and that it is therefore the supreme and final authority in all matters of doctrine, faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Section 2—The Trinity of the God-head
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

Section 3—The Pre,-Existence, Deity and Incarnation of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ ever existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit and that in His incarnation was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary and is true God and true man. (John 1:1-19; 2 Timothy 3:16)

Section 4—The Creation and Fall of Mankind
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 which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, are totally depraved and for those who reach moral responsibility become sinners in thought, word, and deed, and that they must be born-again to be accepted of God (Romans 5:12; 3:10; John 3:1-21).

Section 5—The Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.
We believe that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are saved on the grounds of His shed blood. We believe that He arose bodily from the dead on the third day in the same body in which He suffered and died. We also believe that our Lord ascended into Heaven; that He is now seated at the right hand of the Father and is our High Priest and Divine Advocate with the Father. We believe that by His finished work of the Cross and His unceasing ministry of intercession in Glory, that Jesus Christ has procured for every believer Eternal Redemption, Eternal Salvation, and Everlasting Life. (1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 5:9; 1 Corinthians 15:4; John 20:27; Mark 16:19; Hebrews 8:1; 7:25; 1 John 2:1; Hebrews 9:12; 5:9; John 3:16).

Section 6—The Personality and Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, that He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, that He regenerates the sinner by the Word of God, that He permanently indwells the Church and the body of each believer, that He seals, enlightens, instructs, and guides every born again person, and that He is the sufficient power for godly living, Christian service and spiritual worship (John 16:7-15; 3:5-7; 1 Peter 1:23; Ephesians 4:30; John 14:16, 17, 26).

Section 7—The Nature of the Church
We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ was begun at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended from Heaven and came into the church; that it is composed solely of born-again people who have been called out from among the Jews and Gentiles to become the Body and Bride of our Lord. Christ glorified in Heaven is its Head and the Holy Spirit on earth is the active agent of the God-Head who ever seeks to bring about within its rank conformity and obedience to the Word of God and the Will of God. The one body unites believers to each other, and all to Christ, and its chief purpose of existence is to proclaim the Gospel to the World. (Acts 2; Romans 1:16; Acts 15:14; Ephesians 5:23, 24; 1 Corinthians 12:12,13; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8)

Section 8—Ordinances
We believe that the ordinances of the New Testament Church are significant above any others that Christians are commanded to observe. While recognizing that Water Baptism has no saving merit it is our conviction that after one is saved, Baptism is the next step in order to portray to the world the believer's union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. It is our conviction that the scriptural method of Water Baptism is immersion. We believe that Jesus Christ instituted the Lord's Supper to commemorate His death till He comes. We further believe that Water Baptism by immersion is observed but once, and is a sign of identification, and a testimony to newness of life; but the Lord's Supper is commemorative and is to be observed often as a memorial of the Broken Body and the Shed Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Washing of the Saints' Feet is a voluntary act which portrays the deep humiliation of Jesus Christ and His great love to His followers (John 13:1-17; Matthew 28:19; Matthew 3:13-17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-33; Acts 8:31-38).

Section 9—Our Lord’s Second Advent
We believe in the Blessed Hope, and personal, pre-millennial, pre-tribulation, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which is known as the Rapture of the Church. We also believe in the personal, visible and glorious return of Christ to the earth with His Saints at the end of the Great Tribulation. This phase of His coming is known as the Revelation of Jesus Christ. When He returns to earth with His Saints, we believe that Jesus Christ will establish His millennial kingdom and will reign for one thousand years. (Titus 2:13; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 14:3; Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-6).

Section 10—Israel’s Place in God’s Program
We believe that 'the gifts and calling of God are without repentance', and therefore His covenant people, Israel, now blind and scattered, shall be redeemed and re-gathered to the Land of Promise which is commonly known as Palestine; and under the personal and millennial reign of Christ upon David's throne in Jerusalem, shall become the head of the nations and “the Gentiles shall come to their light and kings to the brightness of their rising.” (Romans 11:25-29; Psalm 72; Isaiah 60:3).

Section 11—The Resurrection of the Dead
We believe in bodily resurrection of the just at the Rapture; (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57) and the unjust at the end of the time. (Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:28,29).

Section 12—The Eternal State of the Saved and the Lost
We believe in a Heaven and a Hell, Heaven the place of eternal conscious joy for al) who receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Hell the place of conscious punishment for all who reject Jesus Christ and those dying in their sin until the final Judgment at which time death and Hell are cast into the Lake of Fire which is the place of eternal conscious punishment. (John 14:1-6; Psalm 16:11; Phil. 1:21 & 23; Psalm 9:17; John 8:24; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Revelation 20:10-15).

Section 13—The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a personal being, a fallen angel, prince of demons, the god of this age, the great enticer and deceiver, the adversary of Christ and His people. the accuser of the brethren, whose end is the Lake of Fire (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Matthew 25:41; 2 Corinthians 1:3,4; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9,10; 20:10).

Section 14—Salvation
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18,19).

Section 15—The Assurance of Believers
We believe 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 occasion to the flesh. (Romans 13:13,14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

Section 16—The Two Natures of the Believer
We believe that every saved person possesses two natures with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and, that all claims to the 'eradication of the old nature' in this life are unscriptural. (Romans 6:13; 8:12,13; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).

Section 17—Law and Grace
We believe the grace of God to be sufficient for the maintenance of a godly walk and that Christ and not the law is the believer’s rule of life. (Galatians 3:11; 2:16; Romans 3:28; Romans 3:19-20; 11:6; 1 John 1:9).

Section 18—Separation and Sanctification
We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach non-conformity to the world for every believer; that born-again people should separate from the world unto Christ; that it is clearly commanded of God to all believers to live lives of separation from all worldly and sinful practices and to be Holy as He is Holy. We believe that positional sanctification occurs at the moment of regeneration and that practical sanctification is to be progressive throughout the entire life span of a believer here on earth. God's provision for holy living is in the believer's identification with Christ in His death, resurrection, and Ascension; the indwelling person and power of the Holy Spirit and the believer's yieldedness to Him; and by the powerful Word of God (Colossians 3:14; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 3:18; 7:1; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-16; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 10:1 & 14; 2 Peter 3:18; Romans 6:1-14; Ephesians 1:15-2:6; 5:25-27; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 6:19-20; Gal. 5:16-23).

Section 19—Separation and Sanctification
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 homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, transgender, cross-dressing, child sexual abuse and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We do not condone violence or abuse against any who are involved in these sins, but we do reserve the right to address them as sin (Gen. 2.24; 19.5, 13; 26.8-9; Lev. 18.1-30; Rom. 1.26-29; 1 Corinthians 5.1; 6.9; 1 Thessalonians 4.1-8; Hebrews 13.4)



Core Values

Sexual purity
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 homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, transgender, cross-dressing, child sexual abuse and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We do not condone violence or abuse against any who are involved in these sins, but we do reserve the right to address them as sin. For further study: Gen. 2.24; 19.5, 13; 26.8-9; Lev. 18.1-30; Rom. 1.26-29; 1 Cor. 5.1; 6.9; 1 Thess. 4.1-8; Heb. 13.4
1. Each one who works with children and the elderly must fill out a church form on their background. There are no exceptions to this rule.
2. The church leadership reserves the right to do Pennsylvania State Police background checks as is appropriate.
3. The church leadership depending upon information revealed through the above investigation reserves the right to deny the privilege of working with children and the elderly
4. SMBC determines to promptly act upon any information against a church worker behaving in an inappropriate way toward a child or the elderly.
5. SMBC strives to maintain a safe environment for children and the elderly.

Missions
The great commission calls the church to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations of the earth. Following the lead of the Apostle Paul we endeavor to contribute to foreign missions.
Therefore, periodically we invite missionaries to speak in our primary services in order to increase SMBC’s vision of the what God is doing around the world. Furthermore, we encourage each member:
1. To regularly contribute to the missions fund
2. Adopt a missionary for the purpose of correspondence, prayer, and encouragement
3. To pray daily for our foreign missionaries
4. If applicable, encourage your children to consider foreign missions

Selling
We believe that the Bible teaches that the proper method of financing the Lord's work is by free-will offerings from consecrated hearts in systematic, proportionate giving. (1 Corinthians 16:1,2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). Therefore, any kind of fund raising through selling in the name of the church is forbidden.

Proclaiming the good news
God gave his church the marvelous privilege of proclaiming the Gospel to those trapped in the kingdom of darkness. In fact, only the church is given the privilege of bearing the good news of Christ’s redemption.
Therefore, it is our intention that every activity of the church is to be evaluated on its contribution to bringing the Gospel to those without Christ. If the activity does not contribute to getting the good news to those without Christ, it is eliminated from the church calendar.
To maintain this value the leadership will provide:
1. Training for all the members in evangelism
2. Annually evaluate the programs of the church for their effectiveness in evangelism
3. Plan events that will provide opportunities to bring the unsaved to hear the Gospel

An open heart to the broken
We highly value the ministry of restoration. This is the place for those broken by the tragic experiences of life to find healing, love, and restoration. Those who have suffered through divorce are welcome here. Those struggling with substance abuse are welcome here. Therefore the top priority of SMBC is to encourage, to strengthen, to minister to one another, and to pray for one another.
Three important things must take place to make the above a reality:
1. This must be a place where people can repent openly and freely without rejection (Heb. 12.14-17).
2. The members of this fellowship are obligated to lovingly confront one another in regard to known provable sin (Mt 18.15-17).
3. All efforts of confrontation are for the purpose of restoration (Gal. 6.1).
4. Guidance is found in the church discipline policy.

Service
God is the great servant God. Jesus served us with salvation through his own death on the cross. Jesus taught us to serve one another by wrapping a towel around his waist, taking up a basin, and then washing the disciples feet. He taught us to reverse the order from the non-Christian world. The greatest in the Kingdom of God is the one who serves others.
1. We ask each member to do one weekly Christian service task for others in the church or outside the church.
2. It is expected that members will give themselves to meeting the practical (financial and physical help) needs of others in SMBC when it becomes apparent.

Prayer
Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” Paul taught, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.” The Bible instructs us to make prayer the top priority of the chcurch. God’s work in the church advances through prayer.
Therefore, we ask our members to commit themselves to a life of prayer. You are asked to organize and/or attend prayer groups for the sake of interceding for the work of the church, for the lost, for those struggling to overcome sin and the tough experiences in life. Intercession needs to include prayer for our civic leaders as well.

The Place of the Word of God in changing lives
Our name includes Bible because we believe it is through interaction with the Scriptures that God changes lives. Therefore, we thoroughly integrate the Bible into all of our activities.

Family life
We insist that each member practice a daily time of prayer and reading of the Bible. And, we insist that each family regularly practice a time of prayer together, especially couples who are Christ-followers.
We highly value family time and urge each family to spend regular quality time together interacting with each other.