Doctrinal Statement

SCRIPTURES/TRANSLATIONS: We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration and the infallibility of Scripture (I Pet. 1:19-21; II Tim. 3:15-17). We believe that the Word of God has been divinely preserved without contradiction or error (Ps. 12:6-7, 138:2; Matt. 25:18; John 12:48) and is our authority for Christian faith and conduct. The King James Bible (Authorized Version) is the official translation of the Bible to be used publicly by AFBM missionaries in English-speaking ministries.

DISPENSATIONALISM: We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life that define man's responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations - the Law, the Church, and the Kingdom - are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; I Cor. 9:17; II Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10, 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-27; Rev. 20:2-6).

THE TRINITY: We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - each coeternal in being; co-identical in nature; and coequal in power, glory, attributes, and perfections (Deut. 6:4-5; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10,26; John 15:16-17,26; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 1:17).

GOD THE FATHER: We reject the ecumenical teaching that God is the Father of all and that all are brothers. We believe that He is the Spiritual Father of those who have been born again. (John 3:3, 1:12; Eph. 4:6; Phil. 1:2).

GOD THE SON: 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 (Isa. 7:14, 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8). 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 (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; I Pet. 1:3-5, 2:24). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 7:25, 9:24; Rom. 8:34; I John 2:1-2).

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and 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 (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 12:12-14; II Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).  We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18, 5:18; I John 2:20,27). We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip  believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:4-11,28; Eph. 4:7-12). We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, even though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (I Cor. 1:22, 13:8, 14:21-22).

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 human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Furthermore, we believe that man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23, 5:12, 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3, 4:17-19).

CREATION: Creation was not a matter of evolution, nor evolutionary change of species, nor development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms. Creation was a direct act of God (Gen. 1:1, 2:1-4; John 1:3; Heb. 3:4). We reject unscriptural theories of origin such as evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).

SIN: We believe that by voluntary transgression man fell from his sinless and happy estate. The consequences of which all mankind are now sinners by nature and by choice, and, therefore, are under the condemnation of God without defense or excuse (Gen. 3:1-6; Rom. 3:10-19, 5:12,19).

SATAN: We believe that Satan is a created angel who enjoyed heavenly honors but fell through pride and ambition to be like the Almighty drawing after him a host of angels. He is now the malignant prince of the power of the air and the god of this world system. We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin, and the cause of the Fall of Man; 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; I Pet. 5:8; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:14-17; Matt. 4:2-11, 25:41; Rev. 20:10).

SALVATION: We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God. He freely took upon Himself our sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and, by His substitutionary death, made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24,25; Eph. 2:8,9; I Pet. 3:18,19). Election is by the foreknowledge of God, and the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel that is received by faith. Man's unbelief merits the just condemnation of a holy God (John 3:18,36; Rom. 8:29,30). All who believe in Him are justified from all things, and His righteousness is imputed to us, including the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life, not bestowed because of any works of ours, but solely because of faith in the Redeemer's blood (Acts 13:39; Rom. 1:17, 3:24, 5:1).

SANCTIFICATION: We believe sanctification is three-fold: (1) Positively - God sets apart the believer in Christ at the time of salvation (Rom. 5:8,9; I Cor. 6:11, 12:13; Heb. 10:10); (2) Practically - sanctification is experienced by degrees as the believer yields himself to God and grows in wisdom, knowledge, experience, and grace. (Eph. 4:24; I Thess. 4:3-4; II Pet. 3:18; (3) Potentially - the believer is separate from the presence of sin in his glorification in Heaven (I Thess. 3:13, 5:23; Phil. 3:20,21; I John 3:2). Practical sanctification manifests itself in both personal and ecclesiastical separation. Personal separation involves separation unto God in holiness and separation from the world and ungodliness. (II Cor. 7:1; I John 2:15-17; Rom. 12:1,2). Ecclesiastical separation involves the separation of the believer from apostasy, liberalism, modernism, neo-evangelicalism, pseudo-fundamentalism, and any movements or organizations that practice or sanction Biblical compromise (Rom. 16:17; II Cor. 6:14, 11:4; Gal. 1:8,9; Eph. 5:11; I Tim. 6:3-6; II Tim. 2:16-18; Titus 3:10; II John 9-11).

ETERNAL SECURITY: We believe that the redeemed, once saved, are kept by the power of God and thus secured in Christ forever (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; I Pet. 1:5). The saved should rejoice with a personal confidence of a present salvation that rests in the manifestation of the indwelling Christ and the veracity of the Word of God (I John 5:11-13).

LOCAL CHURCH: We believe that the local church is a body made up solely of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel (I Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27). We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27, 20:17,28-32; I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11). We believe in the autonomy of the local church to be free of any external authority or control. We believe the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from any interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, and that its only Head is the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41-42, 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Rom 16:1-4; I Cor. 3:9, 5:4-7; I Pet 5:1-4; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:18). The mission of the local church is to fulfill the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19,20) to make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them as Christ commanded (Acts 2:41-42, 18:18; I Cor. 11:23-26).

ORDINANCES: We believe the Scriptural mode of baptism is immersion. It is the outward sign of an inward belief, identifying the convert with the Lord Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-6). The Lord's Supper commemorates our Lord's death until He comes and is open to all baptized believers living in obedience to Jesus Christ (I Cor. 11:23-32). The ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only ordinances given to the local church and are to be administered by the local church.

RETURN OF CHRIST: We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16, 20:1-6).

CIVIL GOVERNMENT: We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective, Biblically-assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; I Pet. 2:13-14).

HUMAN SEXUALITY: We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman (as biologically determined at birth). We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex (Gen. 2:24, 19:5,13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4). We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Rom 7:2; I Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23). We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; I Tim. 2:8-15, 3:4-5,12).

DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE: We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until either spouse dies. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church or in AFBM and be greatly used of God for Christian service, any previous divorce or previous divorce and remarriage by either spouse, disqualifies individuals or couples from service as AFBM missionaries. If divorce occurs after acceptance as a missionary, the subject missionary will be dismissed from AFBM (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6).

ABORTION: We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified and unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5, 139:14-16: Isa. 44:24, 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

MISSIONS: We believe that God has given the local church a great commission to proclaim the gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the foreign nations of the world and not wait for them to come to us. As a missionary sponsoring agency, we unite with like-faith, local churches that send and sponsor missionaries for the purpose of evangelizing the military forces of the world. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:20).

LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS: We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians including the local church or missions agencies as Armed Forces Baptist Missions to resolve personal disputes. We believe the local church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian's insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (I Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).

GIVING: We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe not only that God has established the tithe as a basis of giving to support the local church, but also that every Christian should give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church missions programs. We encourage local fundamental, independent Baptist churches to financially support our mission agency. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of their offerings once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; I Tim. 5:17-18; I John 3:17).





Armed Forces Baptist Missions 3252 Taylor Road Chesapeake, VA 23321