SECTION 1 - STATEMENT OF FAITH
(A) The Holy Scriptures. We believe the written revelation of God, the Word of God is true (Psalm 119:160) and pure (Psalm 12:6); that God has promised to preserve His Word (Psalm 12:7; 119:89; Matthew 5:18) and is well able to do so (Jeremiah 32:27); that the preservation promise extends to each and every word of His Word (Deuteronomy 8:3); that the many translations available today, their words being demonstrably different-even contrary to one another-in hundreds of places, cannot be the true, pure and preserved Word of God (Psalm 119:89-91); that Satan (Revelation 12:9) has sought to currupt the Word of God from the beginning (Genesis 3:1-5); that God has expressly warned believers to keep His Word (Jude 3; Revelation 22:18-19) and to beware of corruption of it (I Timothy 4:1); that, therefore it is necessary to identify which translation is pure, true and preserved Word of God; and that the King James Bible is the true, pure and preserved Word of God because: (1) it was translated from a preserved Greek text (Matthew 12:33); (2) it has proven itself to the quick and powerful Word of God (Hebrews 4:12) by the changed lives of untold millions of believers (John 8:31-32) for over 400 years; (3) it teaches fundamental doctrines necessary for salvation and sactification which are often weakened by, if not elimated from, the texts of spurious bibles (I Timothy 4:1).
(B) Dispensationalism. We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are observed by rightly dividing the Word of Truth (II Tim. 2:15). Three of these dispensations - the law, the church, kingdom - are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 128; 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 32-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6).
(C) The Godhead. We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, coequal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28: 19:2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26).
(D) The Person and Work of Christ.
1. 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:l-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal, 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).
2. 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; 1 Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
3. 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. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:l-2).
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
1. 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; Ram. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12112-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).
2. 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; 1 John 2:20, 27).
3. 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; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12).
(F) The 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; and, that man is totally depraved (excluding the will), and are sinners by nature and conduct therefore, are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Genesis 2:17; 3:1-6; Psalms 51:5; Romans 3:10-19; Ezra 7:13.
(G) Salvation. We believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone (without works), which requires repentance towards God (involves genuine sorrow for sin and a willingness to turn from it) and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that eternal life is a gift received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the remission of our sins (John 1:12; Eph, 1:7; 2:8-10; I Pet. 1:18-19).
(H) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.
1. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom, 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1 :4-5).
2. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:ll-15).
(I) The Church.
1. We believe that only born-again people should be accepted into the membership of the local church (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph, 1:22-23; 5:25-27).
2. 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, 2832; 1 Tim. 3:l-13: Titus 1:5-11).
3. We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:l-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:11)
4. We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age (Matt, 28:19-20; Acts 2:4142; 18:18; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
(J) Separation. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious ecumenism, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (Rom, 12:l-2; 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7: 1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
(K) The Second Advent 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; I Thess. 1:10; I Thess. 4; 13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev, 3: 10; 19:ll-16; 20:l-6).
(L) The Eternal State .
1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29: 11:25-26; Rev, 20:5-6, 12-13).
2. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil.1:23, 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
3. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment [Matt. 25:41-46; Mark. 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26: 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
(M) The Personality of Satan. 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; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
(N) Creation. We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
(O) 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:l-7; Eph, 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
(P) Human Sexuality.
1. 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 homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. Any employee of the church becoming pregnant or causing pregnancy as a result of consensual intercourse, outside of the marriage relationship, shall be terminated from employment. (Gen. 2:24: Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen, 26:89; Lev, 18:l-30; Rom 1: 26-2 9 ; 1 Cor. 5: 1; 6:9-, 1 Thess. 4:l-8; Heb. 13:4).
2. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman, (Gen, 2:24, Rom. 7:2:1; Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).
3. 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; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12).
(Q) Divorce and Remarriage. We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce was only given by permission because of the hardness of man's heart under certain conditions (Matt. 19:3-12, Rom. 7:1-3, I Cor. 7). Just like any other sin, we believe that divorce can be forgiven and that remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service.
(R) Abortion. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, 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; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16: Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
(S) 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 group, 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 (Matt, 28319-20; Mask 1&:15; Luke 24:4&-48; John 20:2 1; Acts 1: 8; 2 Car, 5:20).
(T) Lawsuits Between Believers. We 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 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:l-8; Eph. 4:31-32)
(U) Giving. We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, should support his local church financially. 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 the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim, 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).
SECTION 2 - AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the statement of faith.
When God opened the door for Pastor Gil to migrate to the United States, he had no intentions of staying for good. He came to give his sons the opportunity and obtain the surgeries he needed. He worked secularly to get medical insurance. His plan was to go back to the Philippines and continue to pastor the church in Caloocan. Why would he stay in America, when he already has a successful ministry in the Philippines? However, God had other plans.
Through another pastor, God introduced Pastor Aranda to a small group of Christians (consisting of four families) who met every week for Bible Studies in Gurnee. They desperately needed a Filipino pastor. When Pastor Aranda was offered the pastorate of an already established church in Chicago, with a stable salary, housing, medical insurance and other benefits, he turned them down. He did not see God calling him to pastor that church. But when this small group asked him to be their pastor, he couldn’t say no. He said yes without promise of any financial support because he was sure that God called him to minister to them! For several years, Pastor Aranda would travel from Chicago to Gurnee to minister to this small group of Christians who could only give him $300 a month (just enough to cover his transportation). But God is good! Soon, God blessed the work. Today, the church is running 150 in attendance and owns a newly-built church sitting in a 9-acre land! Once again, a school ministry using the ACE curriculum was started and Pastor Aranda is expecting God to bless the work once again!
To be more effective in his ministry, Pastor Aranda continued his studies and enrolled in Andersonville Baptist Seminary and obtained the following degrees: Bachelor in Theology, Master in Christian Counselling, and Doctorate in Religious Education. But his most loved degree was the honorary degree conferred to him by Landmark Baptist College as Doctor of Divinity, in recognition of his over 30 years in the ministry.
Pastor Gil Aranda grew up in Sta. Mesa Bible Baptist Church, but it was not until he was 18 years old that he got saved. Three years thereafter, the Lord called him into full-time ministry. He wrestled with God in prayer, wanting to make sure that God really wanted him to become a pastor. Finally in 1971, he surrendered to the call of God, enrolled in Bible School and became a full-time church worker. After his graduation from Manila Baptist Bible College in 1975, he wanted to start a work in either Aklan or Cavite, but God led him to Caloocan. He started to pastor a small group (consisting of two families), which met at a carport. After three years, the church grew to 200 hundred and the carport could no longer accommodate them. So they started to pray for a church and building. God answered in a big way. A missionary transferred ownership to them of a newly built church, complete with a piano and pews. With the huge blessing came greater challenges. In 1982, Pastor Aranda started a school ministry using the ACE curriculum and used it as an evangelistic arm of the church. The church continued to grow so that they had to expand (building-wise) in order to accommodate the people. By 1990, when God lead Pastor Aranda to migrate to the United State, the church was running over 500 in attendance.