The BibleWe believe the Bible, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, was written by men as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (II Sam 23:2, II Peter 1:20-21). That God promised that He would preserve His Word (Matthew 5:18, 24:35). That the Word of God is the only true source for faith and practice (Isa. 8:19-20; John 1:17). That the Word of God is the complete and divine revelation of God to man.
We believe God continues to keep His promise of preservation through the Authorized Version (KJV); that it is an accurate English translation of the preserved Word of God. We believe the King James Version to be the only inspired, preserved, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God for the English-speaking people (II Timothy 3:16, Psalms 12:6-7). Only the King James Version is to be used in all public worship, Sunday School classroom, and any ministry under the auspice of and on the premise of Hartford Independent Baptist Church.
When considering the translation of the Word of God into other languages. Hartford only supports the usage of the Masoretic Text for the Old Testament and the Textus Receptus (Majority Text) for the New Testament. Hartford shall consider translation from these texts alone as the authoritative Word of God for that specific language group.
The GodheadWe believe that there is one and only one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Jeremiah 10:10). He is infinite, intelligent, perfect in spirit, and personal in being. He is the creator, preserver, and supreme ruler of the universe (I Kings 8:27; Acts 17:24-28; Psalms 139:1-6; John 4:24; Hebrews 3:4), inexpressibly glorious in holiness (Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; I Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 4:6-8), and all other perfections, including His nature and attributes. He is worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love (Mark 12:30; Matthew 10:37; Jeremiah 2:12-13). That in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; I Corinthians 12:4-6; I John 5:7); equal in every Divine perfection (John 10:30; 14:23; 17:5, 10; Acts 5:2-4; I Corinthians 2:10-11; Philippians 2:5-6) and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Ephesians 2:18; Revelation 1:4-5).
We believe that He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3), and the Father of all who come to Christ by being born-again (John 1:12; John 3:3). We rejoice that He concerns Himself mercifully and patiently in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers the prayers of His children and the prayer of repentance by the sinner (John 6:37). He so loved the World (souls of men) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
The Son of God
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is full God and full man (Philippians 2:5-6); He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born unto a virgin, Mary (Matthew 1:18-25); He lived a sinless life; died an atoning death; performed and performs miracles; is man’s eternal substitute via the cross (II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 3:18); bodily resurrected (Luke 24:36-40); He ascended to the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:9-11); He now intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25); His return is imminent at the rapture (I Thessalonians 4:13-17) and literal at His Second Coming (Zechariah 14:1-4).
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person (John 14:26); that He has power and is present in the world (John 16:7-13); He is the supernatural agent in regeneration (Romans 8:9-17); He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ (Romans 6:1-6); He indwells and guides believers (John 16:13); bestows gifts on believers (Romans 12:5-8); He convicts of sin and produces within believers the fruit of Christian character (Galatians 5:22-23).
We believe that God gave certain (temporary) gifts to the Apostolic Church (I Corinthians 12:4-10) for the purpose of the identification of His true servants (and their message) (I Corinthians 1:22; I Corinthians 14:22) and that they ceased with the death of the Apostles in conjunction with the completion of the revealed Scriptures (I Corinthians 13:8-10). We therefore do not endorse that teaching known as the Tongue Movement, nor the Charismatic Movement in its position of speaking in tongues and practicing so-called divine healing. We, therefore, do not endorse those temporary gifts as active in this day. However, James 5:13-15 tells us that the sick can ask for an anointing and laying on of hands from the elders for the purpose of healing.
SatanWe believe that Satan is a created angelic being with personality and was the “anointed cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:13-15). He is a fallen and unholy angel (Isaiah 14:12-15). He is the enemy of God (Matthew 13:25, 28, 39) and great counterfeiter who deceives all men (Revelation 12:9-10; II Corinthians 4:3-4). He is the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33); a liar and a murderer (John 8:44). Although powerful, he is not omnipotent (Isaiah 14:15-20). He has a host of demons that are part of his global network (Daniel 10:13). He will rise to power, temporarily, in the Tribulation Period through the false trinity. However, he is an already defeated foe of God and will be cast into the lake of Fire with the Beast and False Prophet forever (Revelation 12:9-10; Revelation 20:10; Job 1:6-7).
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, consecutive 24-hour periods. We reject evolution in any form. We believe the Biblical account and also believe that science itself gives evidence of a “young earth”. The Laws of Thermodynamics also give evidence against any evolutionary process. We also reject the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; Revelation 4:11).
We believe God’s prize creation is man, whom He formed with His hands from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). We believe there are only two forms of eternal beings: mankind and angelic (Genesis 3:1-5; Job 1:6-7). We reject the lie that there may be extra-terrestrial life on other planets. Man is limited to his habitation of the terrestrial earth and angels exist in their “own estate” (Jude 6).
ManWe believe that man was created in a state of innocence. That innocence was lost when man sinned by rebellion in eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2-3). Consequently, all men are depraved, not totally depraved (John 3:18, 36). Man cannot be saved by any works of righteousness (Titus 3:5), Christian service, sacrament, ritual or organic goodness (Romans 3:10, 23; Ephesians 2:1-9). Man is eternally lost and will remain so until he (individually) obeys the Lord Jesus’ command to be “born-again” by grace through faith (John 3:3; Romans 5:12; John 1:12).
SalvationWe believe that salvation is solely and wholly a work of God alone (John 3:17; I Timothy 2:4). It is and always has been by grace through faith alone. Its sole condition is placed upon “all men” to repent (turn from their life without Christ) (Acts 17:30) and receive Christ as he (man) trusts him (Jesus) as his personal Savior (turning to Christ for conversion). It is by man’s acceptance of Jesus Christ’s finished work at Calvary and His shed and atoning blood; his substitutionary death as he (man) hears the truth of the Gospel that makes it possible (Romans 10:14-16).
We believe that at the very instant of his accepting Christ as his personal Savior, man is completely and utterly redeemed, never again to be lost (John 6:37-40). Salvation is not a process of any kind nor of any time duration. It is both instantaneous and eternal once the sinner accepts Christ (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:1; I Peter 1:5). We believe all three persons of the Godhead are involved in the salvation of each individual soul (I Peter 1:2).
At the instant of salvation, the Holy Spirit does a five-fold work: He regenerates, baptizes, indwells, seals and fills the repentant sinner (Titus 3:5; Romans 6:1-6; John 14:20; I Corinthians 3:16; II Corinthians 1:22; Acts 2:4).
Not only do we believe that every born-again believer is eternally secure in Jesus Christ, we also believe that at the instant of salvation every believer is imparted a new nature (II Peter 1:4); he is literally re-gened (spiritually) in the inner man. This new nature does not take the place of the old sinful nature but is given to every believer so that he/she may overcome the old with victories in using the new nature. Sanctification is the believer allowing the Holy Spirit to give him/her the desires to please God, change and become a new creature in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). The believer is to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct him/her in all truth (John 16:13); accept the gracious power from Him to make the changes from within (I Corinthians 1:2; 6:11); and obey the scriptural commands as he/she loves Jesus Christ (John 14:15; 15:10). The believer is to see himself as he is, the temple of God (I Corinthians 3:16-17).
We would like for it to be clearly understood that Hartford Independent Baptist Church rejects all five points of the Calvinists acronym of “TULIP” as well as the five points of Arminianism’s acronym “ASTER”.
Total depravity Acknowledgment of man’s spiritual inability
Unconditional election Selection by foreknowledge
Limited atonement Total atonement
Irresistible grace Evasion of conviction possible
Perseverance of the saints Repudiation of salvation possible
Hartford chooses rather to hold to Biblical view found in the acrostic “LOTUS”
Lost condition of all mankind – Romans 3:10; 3:12; 3:23; 5:12; Psalm 51:6
Opportunity of all to be saved – John 1:12; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:38-39; Rom.10:12-13
Total atonement – I Timothy 2:6, 4:10; Romans 5:6, 5:8; Isaiah 53:6; Hebrews 2:9; II Peter 2:1; Matthew 20:28; John 1:29, 3:16, 6:33, 10:11, 11:50-51; I John 2:2, Ephesians 5:25; Galatians 2:20
Unsaved’s ability to reject – Matthew 23:37; John1:11; Acts 7:51
Security of the Believer – John 3:36, 5:24, 6:47, 10:27-28; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 10:17
SeparationWe believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that the believer is positionally sanctified in Christ at salvation. However, it is the duty of each individual believer to separate himself through personal obedience and “to come out from among them (unsaved world) and be ye separate” (II Corinthians 6:14-17). The believer is also commanded “to present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
Therefore, the believer should avoid all worldly vice, addictions, habits, behavior and associations that would hinder him/her from obeying and growing in Christ. The believer is to walk circumspectly in the world, to be just in his dealings, faithful in his engagements, exemplary in his conduct and to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger (Galatians 5:16; Romans 13:13; Ephesians 4:1; 5:2; 5:15).
We believe that the Church is the Espoused Bride of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 11:2). The Church is, presently, a spiritual body made up of all born-again believers (I Corinthians 12:12-14). This body has a head, the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). It is this body of believers that will be “called-out” at the Rapture. Those who make up this body to be “called-out” are all true born-again believers from the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) until the trump of God is sounded to summon them (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
We also believe that the Holy Scriptures teach consistently throughout the New Testament that every believer is to unite him/herself with a local church made up of fellow born-again, baptized believers (Acts 2:38-42). The local church is to obey the model of Matthew 28:18-20. Its members are to meet for the purpose of obeying the Word of God for instruction, worship, fellowship, prayer and observing its ordinances.
We believe that the local, autonomous church consists of independent congregations associated and bound by covenant in the faith, fellowship and practice of biblical Christian living (Acts 2:4, 42, 47; I Corinthians 5:12, 13), observing the two ordinances commanded by Christ (I Corinthians 11:2), governed by His laws (Galatians 6:2; Matthew 28:20; John 14:15; I Thessalonians 4:2) and exercising the gifts (Romans 12:5-8), rights & privileges invested in them by His work, Word and Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:7).
We, therefore, believe that the visible church of Christ is a voluntary and independent group of baptized believers (Matthew 18:15-18; 23:8-10; 28:18-20) that functions not as a pure democracy, but as a body under the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction of the Pastor as the under-shepherd (I Peter 5:1-3; I Timothy 3:8-13). He shall exercise his office in unity with deacons as other ordained officers. Determinations of the internal affairs of the church are considered ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the church’s own rules and procedures (I Corinthians 5:4-5, 13; II Corinthians 2:7-8). The Pastor shall oversee all aspects of the church. The deacons shall meet regularly with the Pastor and give counsel and assistance to the Pastor as requested by him (Hebrews 13:7, 17; I Thessalonians 5:12; Titus 1:5).
Civil GovernmentWe believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three institutions: the home, the church, the civil government. Every person, especially believers, are to subject themselves to these authorities. However, all three of those authorities are answerable to God and are to be governed by His Word. Each institution has been given specific Biblical responsibilities and no one should infringe upon the other. Each has been carefully given, by God, its own sphere of responsibility and accountability (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 2:13-14).
Human SexualityWe believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that God has prohibited any intimate, sexual activity outside the institution of marriage (Genesis 2:24; Leviticus 18:1-30). We define marriage as the legal union of one naturally born man to one naturally born woman. We, therefore, believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transvestitism, bestiality (Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1), and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:25). We believe that it is also a sin to attempt to alter one’s gender or appearance by surgery or clothing.
DivorceWe believe that God disapproves of divorce and intends for marriages to last until one of the spouses dies (Matthew 19:3-12; I Corinthians 7:1-16; 27-40). For this reason, no persons shall use Hartford Independent Baptist Church for a ceremony of any other marriage other than the first marriage for either spouse, or having been loosed from their spouse by death (I Corinthians 7). However, Hartford Independent Baptist Church will always love and accept divorced people and divorced and re-married people into our church fellowship. Divorced or divorced and re-married believers can joyfully serve the Lord here in many capacities. However, no divorced man, or man married to a divorced spouse can hold either office of Pastor or deacon (I Timothy 3:2-12; Titus 1:6).
Family RelationshipsWe believe that men and women are equal in position concerning their standing in Christ (Romans 10:13). However, men and women hold distinct and separate functions in the home and church (I Peter 3:7). Therefore, the husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be leaders in the church (Pastor, deacons, and ministry heads). Accordingly, only men are eligible for preaching and ordination (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Timothy 3:1). This places the responsibility on the man to answer to God for the institutions of the home and church.
AlcoholWe believe that the Scriptures teach that the consumption of alcohol is sinful, foolish and in direct disobedience to God (Leviticus 10:9; Proverbs 20:1, Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21; I Thessalonians 5:6,8).
AbortionWe believe that life begins at conception and the unborn child, in any stage of development, is a living soul (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5). We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, population control or the physical wellbeing or mental health of the mother are acceptable (Isaiah 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5).
Two OrdinancesWe believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that there are two ordinances given to the local church:
1. Baptism: We believe that the mode of believer’s baptism is by immersion (Matthew 3:16; Romans 6:3-6). It is called “believer’s” baptism because only those who have been saved shall be baptized (Acts 2:41). We believe that the ordinance of baptism has been ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ to show forth the beautiful picture of the sinner being immersed into Christ’s body at Calvary. This ordinance is for the purpose of the believer’s public identification with Jesus Christ and his scriptural step of obedience in growing in Christ by obeying the Scriptures (Acts 8:12; Acts 9:18 Acts 10:47-48).
2. Lord’s Supper: We believe that the second ordinance given to the local church is the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 11:23-28). It is clear that this ordinance is for believers only and is illustrative of their “fellowship” with Christ and the believer’s relationship to the local church. The elements themselves symbolize the crucified body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
GivingWe believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-47; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17)
Missions We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:20)
Lawsuits Between BelieversWe believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries and losses from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32; Matthew 18:15-17)
CommitmentWe believe that history has revealed for us that there exists a lineage and heritage of believers whose doctrine can be traced back through church history to the very Apostles and their doctrine. For this reason, we accept the following truths to be a willful choice of our alignment in this present day of Apostasy, Ecumenism, and Heresy to adhere and embrace the following distinctives:
§ Bible (King James) as our sole and only authority of faith and practice (Matthew 4:4).
§ Autonomy of the Local Church (Epistles of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, etc.).
§ Priesthood of the Believer (I Peter 2:5; 2:9; Hebrews 4:16).
§ Two Ordinances: Believer’s Baptism and Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:44; I Corinthians 11).
§ Individual Soul Liberty (Romans 10:13; John 6:47; Mark 8:34; John 3:16).
§ Separation of Believer from the World (II Corinthians 6:17; I Thessalonians 5:22).
§ Two Offices: Pastor & Deacon (I Timothy 3:1-13).
§ Separation of the State from the Church (the principle is that the church of Jesus Christ should accept no welfare or oversight from the state to make her indebted to the world’s system).