The following is the doctrinal statement of Sound City Bible Church, adopted June 2015 by the Elder Team.
1. God as trinity
There is one God (Deut. 4:35, 39; 1 Kings. 8:60; Ps. 86:10; Isa. 44:6; Jn. 17:3), who is triune in nature, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16–17, 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). Each person of the Godhead equally possesses all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality (1 Cor. 8:6; Jn. 5:17–18, 10:30; Acts 5:3–4; 2 Cor. 3:17–18).
2. God the Father
God the Father is the first Person of the Trinity. He is the holy and loving Creator of all things (1 Cor. 8:6; Rom. 11:36). Although distinct from his creation, he is immanently at work in it (Jn. 5:17). He orders all things according to his own purpose and grace (Ps. 145:8–9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom he would have as his possession (Eph. 1:4–6). He saves from the penalty of sin all who come to him through Jesus Christ (John 6:37, 65, 10:28–29). As Father, he then adopts as his own all who come to him (John 1:12; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:4–7; Heb. 12:5–9).
3. God the Son
Jesus Christ is God’s divine Son, the second person of the Trinity. He was miraculously born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:23; Lu. 1:26–35), being both fully God (Col. 1:15–16, Heb. 1:3, Col. 1:19, 2:9) and fully man (Heb. 4:15; Phil. 2:7). He lived a sinless life and then was crucified, dying in our place in order to atone for sin, was buried, bodily arose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and will personally return to establish his kingdom on the earth (John 1:1–2; Luke 1:35; Rom. 3:24–25; 1 Pet. 1:3–5; Heb. 9:24, 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1–2).
4. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is the transforming agent who takes up residence in all Christians when they turn from sin and turn to Jesus in repentance, trusting Jesus as Savior and submitting to him as Lord (Rom. 8:9). The indwelling Holy Spirit convicts people of sin (Jn. 16:8), regenerates (Tit. 3:5), baptizes (Acts 1:5), seals (Eph. 1:13–14), and empowers all Christians for holy living in service to God, his church, and all people (Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:26; Jn. 14:26; Luke 12:12; Gal. 5:22–25).
5. The Bible
The Bible is God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16; Matt. 22:31–32; Col. 1:24–25). Every word of it completely trustworthy and true (Ps. 18:30, 19:7). The Scriptures, both the Old Testament and New Testament, are the inspired Word of God (1 Cor. 14:37; Eph. 3:2–5; 1 Thes. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21), and without error (Ps. 12:6; Prov. 30:5; Jn. 17:17) in the original writings (i.e. autographs). The Bible is the complete revelation of God’s will for the salvation of mankind (2 Tim. 3:15) and is the final authority for all Christian faith and life (Matt. 7:24–27; Luke 11:28; John 13:17, 14:15, 15:10, 14; James 1:22).
God, out of nothing (Heb. 11:3), created everything that has been and will ever be, including both the visible universe (Gen. 1) and the unseen spiritual realm (Amos 9:6; Ps. 89:11, Ps. 102:25; Isa. 44:24; Eph. 3:9, Col. 1:16). He did so as an act of his will (Rev. 4:11), an expression of his power and wisdom (Jer. 10:12), an act of his love (John 3:16–17), and a display of his glory (Ps. 148:3, 7–11, 13; Isa. 6:3). Before mankind’s rebellion, God’s creation was perfect and free from the devastating effects of sin (Gen. 1:31, 3:17–19; Rom. 5:12, 8:19–21).
God created mankind in his image and likeness, in only two equal yet complementary forms—male and female—each with significant dignity, value, and worth (Gen. 1:26–27, 2:21–25, 5:1–2; Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6; 2 Cor. 3:18). Humanity occupies a unique space in God’s created order, preeminent amongst all he created (Gen. 1:28). Humanity is above the animals (Gen. 9:1–2), yet below God himself (Ps. 8:4–8).
8. Satan & demons
God has an enemy known as Satan or the Devil. He is not equal to God, but is a created being, an angel who led a rebellion of angels (i.e. demons) against God (Jude 1:5–6; 1 Pet. 3:22; Rev. 12:9; Ezek. 28:11–19). His mission is to steal, kill, and destroy, and he does so through various means, including deception, accusation, and temptation (Gen. 3:1–14; 1 Pet. 5:8; Jn. 8:44, 10:10). Although Satan does have influence and power on the earth today (Eph. 2:2, 6:12), he was disarmed by Jesus on the cross (Col. 2:13–15). When Jesus returns, Satan will be be ultimately defeated and thrown into the lake of fire forever (Rev. 20:10).
9. Sin & the Fall
Adam and Eve, our first parents, willingly sinned against God, violating his law in their disobedient act of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:1–24). Because of their sin, all humanity has fallen into sin (Rom. 5:12). Since then, every person is born with an inherited sinful nature (Ps. 51:5; Eph. 2:3). As such, we find ourselves estranged from our holy and perfect Creator, justly deserving of divine wrath, inwardly depraved (Rom. 3:10–11; Mark 7:21–22), and utterly incapable of returning to right relationship with God apart from a special work of God’s grace in us through Jesus (Rom. 3:24, 1 John 4:19). Our depravity is radical and pervasive, extending to our mind, body, will, and affections (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 8:7; Eph. 4:18).
God has graciously offered the gift of salvation to all who believe in the person and work of Jesus (Eph.2:8–9). Those who believe that he is the Son of God, that he died in our place for our sins (2 Cor. 5:21), and that he rose from the dead will be saved (1 Cor. 15:3–4; 1 Pet. 2:24). On the cross, Jesus took the punishment that we deserved because of our sins and satisfied the righteous wrath of God (Eph. 2:1–5; Heb. 2:17; Rom. 3:24–25; 1 Jn. 4:10). Because of his life, death, and resurrection, all who trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord are restored into right relationship with God (2 Cor. 5:18–19; Rom. 5:11). Salvation is a free gift of God and is not attainable by works (Rom. 9:16, 11:5–6; 2 Tim. 1:9). Salvation is only found by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn.10:9,14:6; Acts 4:12).
We believe the universal church, the body and bride of Christ, is a spiritual entity comprised of all born-again persons in all places throughout all times (2 Tim. 2:19; Jn. 6:37, 44, 13:18). We believe that the local church is a visible expression of this universal church. The church is a committed assembly of professing believers in Jesus Christ who are voluntarily joined together in one locality for the purposes of glorifying God, the preaching of Jesus and his gospel, the regular observance of the ordinances, fellowship, discipleship, and evangelism (Eph. 4:11–16; Acts 2:41–47, 8:12; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 11:23–26). We believe committed active participation (i.e. covenant membership) in a single local church to be normative for the Christian (Heb. 10:24–25; Jas. 5:16; Jn. 13:35; Gal. 6:2, 10; Eph. 3:10, 5:15–21; Col. 3:16; 1 Thes. 5:11; Heb. 6:10).
Jesus established two practices or ordinances that should be celebrated and regularly observed by Christians. Baptism, which symbolizes the burial and resurrection of Jesus, is to be observed after one has repented of sin and placed their faith in Jesus Christ (Mt. 28:19; Acts 2:41, 8:12). The Lord’s Supper or communion, which represents the broken body and shed blood of Jesus, is to be practiced regularly by all Christians (1 Cor. 11:23–26; Lk. 22:14–20).
13. Marriage & sexuality
After the creation of our first parents, Adam and Eve, God instituted marriage as a covenantal, whole-life union between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:18–25; Eph. 5:31; Mark 10:6–9). Therefore, marriage defined in this way is the only “kind” of marriage sanctioned or ordained by the church. As such, marriage is the only place that sexual activity of any sort or kind is permissible (1 Cor. 7:1–5). God’s design for human sexuality, as set forth in Scripture, is for complete fidelity—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—within heterosexual and monogamous marriage (Lev. 18:22–23, 20:13; 1 Tim. 1:9–10; Rom. 1:26–28; 1 Cor. 6:13–20, 10:8; Heb. 13:4; Eph. 5:22–33). Regardless of one’s marital status, God’s will is for complete abstention from sinful sexually immoral practices such as lust, fornication (i.e. non-marital sexual activity of any kind), adultery, and pornography (Gal. 5:16; 1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Thes. 4:3–5; Mt. 5:28; Rom.13:12–14; Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:3; Acts 15:29). As with all of God’s plans, his plan for marriage and sexuality is the best of all possible plans for such matters, bringing him the most glory while protecting his people and bringing them the greatest joy.
14. Death & the intermediate state
Except for those who are alive when Christ appears, everyone will experience death. Even though Jesus has conquered death through his death and resurrection (Heb 2:14–15), death remains the last enemy to be defeated fully (1 Cor. 15:26). When Christians die, their spirit passes immediately into the presence of Christ where they enjoy conscious fellowship with him until the day of the resurrection (Phil. 1:21–24 2 Cor. 5:8). When non-believers die, their spirit passes immediately into hades where they also await the day of resurrection and the final judgment. (Mark 9:43–48; Rev. 20:15, 22:3–5, 11).
15. Christ’s return
We believe that Christ will one day appear physically and publically. When he returns, he will bring about the ultimate defeat of Satan, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment, and the eternal blessing of the righteous (1 Cor. 15:1–58; Rev. 20:10, 22:12; Heb. 9:28; 1 Thes. 4:13–5:11; Phil. 3:20–21). At that time, the kingdom of God will be completely fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth, in which righteousness dwells and in which he will be worshiped forever (Rev. 21:1–27, 22:1; 2 Pet. 3:13). Those who have rejected Jesus will spend eternity in the conscious torment of hell (Dan. 12:2; Mt. 25:46; Rev. 14:11; 20:11–15, 21:1–22:15).