Section I - The Holy Scriptures
We believe that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God" and we understand these words apply to the whole of the book called the Bible, in the sense that the Holy Spirit "breathed out" the very words of the sacred writings to holy men of old; and that His Divine inspiration is not in different degrees but extends equally and fully to all parts of these writings: historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical, and to the smallest word, and inflection of a word, provided such a word is found in the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16, 17, 2 Pet. 1:20, 21, 1 Cor. 2:13, Mk. 12:26,13:11, Acts 1:6, 2:4).
Section 2 - The Godhead
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence and obedience (Deut. 6:4, Mt. 28:19-20, Mk. 12:29, Jn. 1:1-4, Acts 5:3, 2 Cor. 13:14, Heb. 1:13, Rev. 1:4-6).
Section 3 - The Person and the Work of Christ
(A) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Jn. 1:1, 2:14, Lk. 1:35).
(B) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Rom. 3:24, 25, 1 Pet. 1:3-5, 2:24, Eph. 1:7).
(C) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, Advocate. He is also Head and Supreme Administrator of the Church (Acts 1:9, 10, Heb. 7:25, 9:24, Rom. 8:34, 1 Jn. 2:1, 2).
Section 4 - The Person and the Work of the Holy Spirit
(A) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (Jn. 16:8-11, 1 Cor. 12:12-14, 2 Cor. 2:6, Rom. 8:7, Eph. 1: 1 3, 14).
(B) We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth; that it is the privilege and duty of all believers to be filled with the Spirit (Jn. 16:13, 1 Jn. 2:20, 27, Eph. 5:18).
Section 5 - The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; that man is totally depraved, guilty before God, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26, 27, Rom. 3:22, 23, 5:12, Eph. 2:1-3, 12).
Section 6 - 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 remission of our sins (Eph. 1:7, 2:8-10, Jn. 1:12, 1 Pet. 1:18, 19).
Section 7 - The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
(A) We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are sealed by the Spirit and are kept by God's power, and are thus secure in Christ forever (Jn. 6:37-40, 10:27-30, Rom. 8:38, 39, 1 Pet. 1:5).
(B) 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 (Rom. 13:13, 14, Gal. 5:13, Ti. 2:11-15).
Section 8 - The Two Natures of the Believer
We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, the first natural and sinful, the second heavenly and righteous, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:13, 8:12, 13, Gal. 5:16-25, Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:10, 1 Pet. 1:14-16, 1 Jn. 3:5-9).
Section 9 - Separation
We believe that all saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded of God (2 Tim. 2:1-5, Rom 12:1, 2, 14:13, 1 Jn. 2:15-17, 2 Jn. 9-11, 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).
Section 10 - Missions
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word the truth of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Mk. 16:15, Acts 1:8, 2 Cor. 5:19, 20).
Section 11 - The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
(A) We believe that God is sovereign in bestowment of all His gifts. It is the Scriptural responsibility for every believer to be actively engaged in serving both believers and unbelievers, trusting the Lord to manifest His gifts in the life of the believer as he serves. The believer's goal in his service is to manifest the life of Jesus Christ which is present in his life (Rom. 12:1-21, 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 2 Cor. 12:12, Eph. 4:7-12, Phil. 2:1-11, 1 Pet. 4:10).
(B) We believe that God hears and does answer the prayer of faith, in accord with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (Jn. 15:7, 1 Jn. 5:14, 15).
Section 12 - The Church
(A) We believe that the Church is composed of all who are united by the Holy Spirit to the Risen and Ascended Son of God; that by the same Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, and thus being members one of another we are responsible to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian prejudices and denominational bigotry, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently (Mt. 16:16-18, Acts 2:32-47, Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 12:12-27, Eph. 1:20-23, 4:3-10, Col. 3:14, 15).
(B) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 1 Tim. 3:1-13, Ti. 1:5-11).
Section 13 - The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man, and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Job 1:6,7, Isa. 14:12-17, Ezek. 28, Mt. 4:2-11, 25:41, Rev. 20:10).
Section 14 - The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in the "Blessed Hope," the personal, imminent, and pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones, who comprise the church, and in His subsequent return to earth with His saints to establish His millennial kingdom (Zech. 14:4-11, 1 Thes. 1:10, 4:13-18, 5:9, Rev. 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6).
Section 15 - The Eternal State
(A) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Mt. 25:46, Jn. 5:28, 29, 11:25, 26, Rev. 20:5, 6, 12, 13).
(B) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit and soul and body are reunited to be glorified, and after glorification to reign forever with the Lord (Lk. 23:43, 2 Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:23, 1 Thes. 4:16, 17, Rev. 20:4-6).
(C) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection. Then with soul and body reunited they shall appear before the Great White Throne Judgment to be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated but to suffer everlasting, conscious punishment (Mt. 25: 1-46, Mk. 9:43-48, Lk. 16:19-26, 2 Thes. 1:7-9, Jude 6, 7, Rev. 20:11-15).
Section 16 - Ordinances
(A) Baptism. We believe that baptism by immersion best represents the believers' identification with the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and is clearly commanded by both His example and by the teaching of the word of God (Mt. 28:19, Acts 8:12-13, 26-40, 16:19-34, Rom. 6:3-10).
(B) The Lord's Supper. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by the Lord as a remembrance of His sacrificial death, and it is the responsibility and privilege of every believer to partake thereof (Mt. 26:26-29, Mk. 14:22-25, Lk. 22:14-23, 1 Cor. 11:13-31).
The following amendment was unanimously approved at Sherwood Bible Church's semi-anual meeting held Sunday, February 1, 2004 and is therefore a recognized part of Sherwood Bible Church's Constitution.
(See article II-Doctrinal Statement)
Section 17 - Human Sexuality
A) We believe that the Biblical model for marriage is a union between one single adult male and one single adult female and that this is the only Biblical and acceptable model for marriage (Gen. 2:23,24; Mt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:28-33; I Pet. 3:7).
(B) We believe that sexuality and the expression of sexuality, is not a right nor an entitlement nor is the expression of sexuality required for a sense of wholeness but was instituted by God for two primary reasons: (1) for the purpose of the bearing of children (Gen 1:28); and (2) for the purpose of developing union and enjoyment within the context of a Biblical marriage (Gen 2:24,25) and that a Biblical marriage relationship is the only acceptable place for the expression of sexual desire and relations (Pr. 5:18-19; Mt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-8; Eph. 5:28-33).
(C) We believe that any deviation from the Biblical model for sexual relations solely within the context of a Biblical marriage, many of which are common or are accepted by society, are deviations from the clear teachings of the Scriptures and are to be rejected solely on the basis of the authority of the Scriptures. Some of these deviations are, but are not limited to, premarital or extramarital sex or cohabitation, homosexuality, pornography, pedophilia, bestiality and incest (Lev. 18:6-19, 22; Lev. 19:29; Lev. 20:13; II Sam. 13:1-14; Pr. 6:26-29; Mt. 5:27,28; Rom. 1:26-27; I Cor. 6:9; I Thes. 4:3-7; I Tim. 1:10; Heb 13:4).
(D) We believe that singleness and marriage are both equally part of God’s will and that singleness is to be considered a gift and special calling which offers unique opportunities for undivided devotion to God. Singleness is voluntary and is not required by the Scriptures. Sexual expression within the context of singleness is rejected by the teachings of Scripture (Mt. 19:10-12; I Cor. 7:2-8; I Cor. 7:32-35; I Tim. 4:1-3).
(E) We believe that those who lead in the church, both those who hold a church leadership office as well as those who minister, lead or teach in any way within the church, are to be held by the Scriptures to the Biblical model of sexual expression as written in (A) through (D) above. Any church leaders, ministers, ministry workers or teachers, whether paid or unpaid, who deviate from the Biblical model should be removed from their ministry position; according to Article III, section 4, (B) (2); until restoration has taken place (I Cor. 5:1-13; I Tim. 3:1-13; II Tim. 2:19-26; Titus 2:1-8).
(F) We believe that God’s grace and mercy apply to those who have fallen into sexual sin and have acknowledged, confessed and repented and that Christ’s example and the teachings of the Scriptures dictate that the church has a responsibility to assist in the restoration and care of these and for possible offspring who may have resulted from such sexual sin (Rom. 12:15; Lk. 19:10; Jn. 4:7-29; Jn. 8:2-11; Rom. 6:1-4; Rom. 12:15, II Cor. 2:1-8; I Jn. 1:9).