Pilgrim Bible Church Online
Preaching the Doctrines of Grace
Tacoma, WA 253-693-8470
Pilgrim Bible Church - Statement of Faith
We believe that the 66 Books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the sole, inerrant, authoritative and sufficient basis for the believer’s faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Psalm 19:1-14; Acts 20:32; 1 Thess. 2:13).
We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit Who share equally the one, indivisible divine essence (Deut. 6:4 with Gen. 2:24; Isa. 48:16; John 10:30; Col. 2:9).
We believe that God the Father is a personal, invisible and living Spirit possessing the attributes of love, mercy, faithfulness, self-existence, immutability (unchangeableness), eternality, omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience (John 1:18; 1 John 4:8; Psalm 145:8; Deut. 32:4; Ex. 3:14; John 5:26; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17; Psalm 29:10; 48:14; Job 40:1-14; 42:1-2; Luke 1:37; Psalm 139:7-12; Jer. 23:24; John 21:17; 1 John 3:20).
We believe that the holiness of God is the perfection of all of His attributes and that God is the fountain of all life and being and that He is the creator and sustainer of all things (Isa. 6:3; John 17:11; John 5:26; Rom. 4:17; 11:36; Job 34:14-15).
We believe in the full deity and true humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His substitutionary and atoning death through the cross, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and glory (John 1:1; 8:58; 10:30-33; 1 John 5:20; John 1:14; Luke 24:39; 1:30-35; John 8:46; Heb. 7:26; John 2:11; 11:43-47; John 11:49-52; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 1:14; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Luke 24: 50-51; Acts 1:9-10; Matt. 26:64; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Heb. 9:28).
We believe in the deity of the Holy Spirit and in His personal nature. We believe that the Holy Spirit came to glorify Jesus Christ by convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, by revealing Christ as the only hope of salvation and by applying the saving work of Christ in individual hearts through baptism, regeneration, sealing and sanctification (Acts 5:3-4; 16:6; John 16:14; 16:8-11; 1 Cor. 12:13; Titus 3:5; Eph. 1:13; 2 Thess. 2:13).
We believe that the human race is hopelessly lost in sin and spiritual corruption affecting the totality of man’s constitution, his understanding, will, affections and emotions (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3).
We believe that the human race is a fallen race which was plunged into eternal ruin and death when Adam the head of the race fell into transgression in Eden. Thus all men (Christ alone excepted) are born with the guilt of Adam’s original sin bringing universal physical death upon the entire race (Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:21-22).
We believe that all men inherit a sin nature by natural generation and are guilty of actual sins of thought, word, motive and deed as well as sins of omission, failing to do what one ought. Man is so totally corrupt that even the very best of which he is capable in his fallen state is still only “filthy rags” (Psalm 51:5; Rom. 3:9-18; Job 15:14-16; Isa. 64:6).
We believe that man’s sinful condition is such that he is powerless to take so much as even one step in the direction of salvation apart from divine grace. We therefore affirm that salvation is purely by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone (Rom. 9:16; John 1:12-13; 6:44; Eph. 2:8-9).
We believe that the salvation of sinners is the fruit of the Father’s gracious covenant with His Son in eternity past in which the Father gave to the Son the souls of certain men which the Son then redeemed in time and will ultimately present to His Father in glory (Titus 1:2; John 6:37, 39; 17:2, 6, 24).
We believe that in keeping with the provisions of this covenant of grace, the eternal Son of God stepped out of eternity into time to be born of the virgin Mary in order to be clothed in a fully human nature. As the God-man, Christ could thus carry out the role of mediator between God and man, fully satisfying the eternal and infinite wrath of His Father against sinners, and executing the office of surety and substitutionary sacrifice for His people, paying the infinite debt that sinners owed to God’s holy Law which they had violated and becoming sin on their behalf. He thus put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Gal. 4:4-5; 1 Tim. 2:5; Rom. 3:25; Matt. 27:45-46; 2 Cor. 8:9; John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:26).
We believe that the saving merit of Christ’s atoning work on the cross is laid hold of purely by faith in the Redeemer’s blood and the Redeemer’s righteousness. Faith is a gracious gift which along with repentance was purchased by Christ’s sacrifice for His people at Calvary. Thus we believe that the law of faith excludes boasting because faith is devoid of any and all human works, and that it constitutes a receiving of Christ and a resting in His fully accomplished work of redemption on the sinner’s behalf (Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:29; Acts 18:27; Rom. 3:27-28; Heb. 4:9-10).
We further believe that salvation by faith alone involves the gracious bestowment of Christ’s own perfect righteousness. Thus, the sinner who believes on Christ obtains a new standing in grace before God in which God counts the sinner righteous by the reckoning of the righteousness of the Son of God to the sinner’s account (Phil. 3:9; Rom. 5:1-2; 3:24; 4:4-5; Isa. 61:10)
We believe that regeneration is the gracious work of the Spirit of God whereby the sinner is brought from death to life and from darkness to light and is given a new heart from which arises new motives and desires for and affections toward God. We further believe that at the instant of regeneration, the will of man which had been previously enslaved to sin is liberated from its slavery and powerfully inclined toward God. Thus, the believing sinner is made willing to freely follow Christ by faith (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:1-5; Ezek. 36:26-27; Psalm 37:31; 119:36; 110:3).
We believe that regeneration is logically prior to the receiving of justifying righteousness by faith, and that faith is impossible apart from God’s regenerating grace. Thus we believe that regeneration is not within man’s power to bring about, but is purely the work of sovereign grace in the sinner’s soul. Therefore, we believe that a man cannot believe in order to be born again, but that he must be born again in order to believe (John 3:1-8; Eph. 2:5; 1 Pet. 1:3).
We believe that in the gracious plan and working of God, sinners are brought to the Savior through the process of conversion which consists of conviction, repentance and faith (Acts 2:37; 9:1-9; 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:9-10).
We believe that repentance involves the turning away from and forsaking of sin which is followed by a whole-hearted turning to God. Repentance is thus both a once-for-all turning at conversion, precipitating a daily turning from sins which the Spirit of God and the Word of God continue to reveal to the believer’s heart and mind (Luke 15:7; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; Luke 17:3-4; Jer. 17:9-10).
We believe that sanctification is the outworking of Christ’s sacrifice at the cross which is also the fountain of cleansing for God’s people. Christ didn’t just die to pardon His own, He also died and rose again to free them from sin’s ongoing power (Zech. 13:1; 1 John 1:7; Rom. 6:4; Gal. 5:1; Heb. 10:14).
We believe that whereas justification was a work of God for the believer, sanctification is a work of God within the believer where God progressively makes the believer more holy, more sanctified. We further maintain that sanctification, unlike justification, involves the activity of the believer who must work out his salvation with fear and trembling, necessitating a daily struggle against the flesh (Phil. 2:12-13; 2 Cor. 7:1; 10:3-5; 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 2 Tim. 2:1; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:13-19; Gal. 5:17).
We believe that God gives to all of His elect persevering grace which insures that all those for whom Christ died will be brought to eternal glory (Rom. 15:4-5; John 10:27-29; 6:39; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
We believe in the literal, visible and bodily return of Christ Who will come to gather His elect to Himself as well as to judge the wicked (Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
We believe that the church is the visible expression of Christ on earth and that it is therefore a Christ-confessing, Gospel-proclaiming community of saints called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (Matt. 16:13-19; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Eph. 3:10; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
We believe that the church is both universal and local in its nature, composed of all the elect of all the ages of faith as the universal Body of Christ, but comprised of both wheat and tares (believers and unbelievers) in its local, visible manifestation (Eph. 1:10, 22, 23; 5:23, 27, 32; Col. 1:18; Acts 2:47; Eph. 2:19; Acts 20:29-31; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).
We believe that membership in the universal Body is by Spirit baptism at the instant of conversion while membership in the local church is by means of a credible profession of one’s conversion experience and believer’s baptism by immersion (1 Cor. 12:13-14; Rom. 6:3-5; Acts 2:37-41; 16:13-15, 25-34).
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27; Matt. 19:4-6). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). 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 sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Ps. 139:1-18).