What We Teach
OUR PILLARS, MISSION, BELIEFS
THE 4 PILLARS OF HARVEST
Proclaiming the authority of God’s Word without apology (2 Timothy 4:2)
Lifting high the name of Jesus through Worship (John 4:24)
Believing firmly in the power of prayer (Jeremiah 33:3)
Sharing the good news of Jesus with boldness (Ephesians 6:19-20)
We exist to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and love people.
THE 4 W'S OF DISCIPLESHIP
We believe a disciple is someone who increasingly:
(John 4:21, 23)
Walks With Christ
(1 John 2:4-6)
Works For Christ
Witnesses For Christ
(1 Peter 2:9)
We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8).
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the father, the son and the holy spirit; and that these three are one god, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 4:3-4).
We believe in the total deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh. We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe Him to be true God and true man (John 1:1,14,18; John 14:8-9; I Timothy 3:16).
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He convicts us of sin and regenerates the sinner upon believing on Christ, baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head. He indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for godly living and service through individually bestowed spiritual gifts. While the scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, it does seem to indicate that their usage would vary according to the need that each gift is designed to meet. Harvest Bible Chapel does not encourage the use of the ‘sign gifts’. Instead we choose to emphasize the more excellent way of love and zeal for the more edifying gifts (John 16:8, 13:15; Titus 3:5;Ephesians 1:22, 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17, 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 12:4-5, 11-13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4; II Corinthians 12:12)). A fuller statement of the church’s position on the charismatic movement is available here.
We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments to be the full record of God’s self-disclosure to humankind. Different men, while writing according to their own styles and personalities, were supernaturally moved along by the Holy Spirit to record God’s very words, inerrant in the original writings. Therefore, those applying themselves to study its literal, historical-grammatical context can accurately understand God’s Word. Scripture is fully trustworthy as our final and sufficient authority for all of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of His maker, but by voluntarily transgression fell from His sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners; not only by constraint, but by choice and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that without exception every man is totally depraved and needs a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, 32)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, as mankind’s representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that all, who by grace through faith, receive Him as their personal savior are justified on the basis of Jesus’ blood shed on calvary. They are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become eternally secure as children of God. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes a person into the body of christ at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:37-39; II Corinthians 5:21; I Corinthians 12:13).
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven, and His present life for us as high priest and advocate (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25-26). Consequently, at the return of Christ we believe in the bodily resurrection of those who believe in him (John 11:25-26; I Corinthians 15:51-52).
We believe in “That blessed hope”, the personal, premillenial, and imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, all believers have therefore become part of His body, the Church. There is one universal Church, composed of all those who profess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The scriptures command believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of christ to make disciples (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; I Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20;Hebrews 10:25).
Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command there is the local expression of the church – under the watch-care of elders and other supportive leadership. Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying christ (Ephesians 4:16).
The Bible teaches that all believers are saints, set apart unto God and are thus responsible to live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord (Romans 12:1-2; I Peter 1:14-19; II Timothy 2:19; Titus 2:1) lest the Word of God be blasphemed (I Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:5). As Christians, we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek the things which are above, walk as He walked, and accept as our responsibility the duty and privilege of bearing the Gospel to a lost world (I John 2:3; Colossians 3:1; Epheisans 5:23; Matthew 28:19-20). A victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who have presented themselves wholly to Christ and walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, which all believers are called to do (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6; 7).
We believe marriage is a monogamous, heterosexual union instituted and ordained by god (Genesis 2:18-25; Ephesians 5:22-33). As such, it is to be an exclusive covenantal union of one man and one woman for the purpose of a lifetime of mutual commitment and companionship. A civil government’s sanction of a union will be recognized as a legitimate marriage by this church only to the extent that it is consistent with this belief.
OUR DISTINCTIVES ON THEOLOGICAL TOPICS
Baptism and communion are the two ordinances required in the Church. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers, and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8).
Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4).
Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and a symbolic reminder through the bread and the juice-of the Savior’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of confession of our sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).
Harvest Bible Chapel is a conservative, evangelical, non-charismatic fellowship that welcomes all who know Jesus Christ as their savior and all who are seeking him. Those who claim to possess the gift of tongues and other sign gifts are welcome to worship and fellowship with us if they are willing to be a source of unity rather than division within our church body. We believe that the Christian life is supernatural and that the Lord continues to perform miracles. We also believe that current displays of the gift of tongues distract from the main task of the local church, which is to glorify god through the fulfillment of the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
Current displays of the gift of tongues:
- Give unwarranted prominence to the gift, which is described in the New Testament as being only one of many spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12);
- Emphasize speaking in tongues as the primary manifestation of the spirit’s work in a person’s life, while minimizing the spirit’s work in producing a holy life (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 2 Timothy 1:9), and a life that displays the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22);
- Often suggest that speaking in tongues is a required proof of being spirit-filled or of possessing salvation in christ, even though the Scriptures do not teach this.
Harvest Bible Chapel seeks to prevent the propagation of doctrines that would cause divisions within an individual church. Therefore, members of Harvest Bible Chapel are not to propagate the teachings and emphases of the current charismatic movement. And though we do not control personal, individual interactions with the Lord, we prefer that overt expressions of tongues and other sign gifts not be expressed at meetings that are under the organization and authority of Harvest Bible Chapel.
The Church exists to fulfill the Great Commission, glorifying God by making disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and love people (Matthew 28:19-20, Matthew 22:37-38).
The Great Commission is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made, and grow in their relationship with Him and likeness to Him. God is glorified as we manifest his presence as we do his work (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
In seeking to act upon the church’s purpose, we recognize the extraordinary value in multiplying the reach of his ministry by planting local churches and by associating with existing, like-minded local churches. God is glorified when harvest bible chapels and other like-minded churches associate with one another in order to foster relationships that edify, protect, encourage, support and admonish.
We believe God created the Universe in six 24-hour days and that, before He created the universe, nothing except the Godhead existed (Genesis 1; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16).
God chose to create the Universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11).
We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:24-28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 4:6).
It is God’s divine decision to save a person and it is God’s kindness, forbearance and patience that lead that person to repentance (Romans 2:4. All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25). We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion. This assurance relies on God’s decisive grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation, but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as his son or daughter (Galatians 4:4-7), and His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14), and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future eternal joy in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16: 30-34)), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God’s infinite power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scriptures and that they contain all the words of God that we need in order to completely trust and obey Him. The Scriptures are inerrant in their original writings (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16) and are infallible in their instruction (Proverbs 6:32; 2 Peter 1:19), eternal in duration (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25) the final authority and the standard for faith and practice (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119); and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life (Psalm 19:14-17; 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe that the very words of Scripture in the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic are inspired by God. Therefore, we believe that the Bible versions which translate God’s word most literally into modern English should be preferred. Examples of such translations are the “English Standard Version”, which is the preferred translation of Harvest Bible Chapel, the “New American Standard Bible” and the “Legacy Standard Bible.”
Harvest Bible Chapel affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those roles excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the offices of Elder and Deacon and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men, or in which they teach doctrine to men (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.