What We Believe

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." - A.W. Tozer

Doctrinal Statement

The following are the core beliefs of Calvary Baptist Church | Ludington, MI based on the foundational truths taught in the bible. All of our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows out of these biblical doctrines.

The Scriptures

We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible (2 Pet. 1:3), consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments; that every word and thought written by men carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:19-21) is divinely inspired (2 Tim. 3:16) in the original manuscripts; and that it is therefore the only infallible and inerrant (Prov.  30:5; John 17:17) Word of God. There is a strong warning to those who would add or take away from these sixty six books (Rev. 22:18-19).

We believe the Bible clearly reveals, by the aid of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10-14), and the literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of the Word of God, the true center of Christian unity, Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1-3), and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried (2 Tim. 2:15).

The True God: Holy Trinity

We believe there is only one living and true God (Deut. 6:4), Who is the infinite, sovereign Spirit (John 4:24), the Creator and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1), inexpressibly glorious in holiness (Ex. 15:11), and worthy of all possible glory, honor, power, and worship (Rev. 4:11); that in the unity of the Godhead there are three eternally existent persons (Matt. 3:16-17), Father, Son and Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct, but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Eph. 1:3-14).

We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, sovereign, personal Spirit (John 4:24, John 5:37), perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love (Ps. 103:8). We believe that He is self-existent and the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1), and that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of each person, that He hears and answers prayer (1 Pet. 3:12; 1 Jn. 5:15), that He disciplines the ones he loves (Heb. 12:9), and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (John 5:23-24, 14:6).

His Person
We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, co-equal with the Father and with the Holy Spirit; that He was pre-existent as the Father’s eternal Son (John 1:1-3,14; Col. 1:5-17), the second person of the Godhead, who was active in creation and became the man (Phil. 2:5-7), Jesus.
His Virgin Birth
We believe that Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, being conceived by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, and was born absolutely sinless as no man was ever born or can be; and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son. (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Matt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:30-35).
His Work
We believe that Jesus lived a sinless life (Heb. 4:15); that He came to serve and not to be served (Matt. 20:28) and to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10); that He taught with authority (Matt. 7:28-29) and performed many miracles (John 20:30,21:25). We believe in His substitutionary atoning death (1 Pet. 2:24), His bodily resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20), and His ascension to heaven (Acts 1:6-11). We believe that Jesus is the head of the Church (Eph. 1:22-23,5:23) and that He now offers perpetual intercession for the saints (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). One day He will rapture His church (1 Thess. 4:13-18), return to earth, rule and reign, defeat Satan, and judge the living and the dead (Rev. 19:1-20:15).

Person and Work
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, co-equal with God the Father, and God the Son (Matt. 28:19), and of the same nature; that He was active in creation (Gen. 1:1-3); that in His relation to the unbelieving world, He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled (2 Thess. 2:6-7); that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John. 16:8-11); that He bears witness to the truth of the Word of God in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent of the New Birth; that He illumines, indwells (1 Cor. 6:19), seals (Eph. 1:13-14), empowers (Acts 1:8), guides, teaches (John 14:26), witnesses (Rom. 8:16), sanctifies (2 Thess. 2:13), and helps the believer. (John 14:16-17).
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
We believe that Holy Spirit Baptism takes place at salvation when Christ places the believing sinner into the Church by means of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:13,27; Gal. 3:27).
Sign Gifts
While we believe that God can do the miraculous, we believe the Sign Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:17,18; II Cor. 12:12) (i.e. the gift of tongues, the gift of prophecy, the gift of faith healing, and the gift of miracles) which were used to affirm the Word of God in the apostolic age, have ceased and are not to be practiced in the church (Heb. 2:3,4; I Cor. 13: 8).


We believe in the reality and personality of Satan; and that he was created by God as an angel, but through pride and rebellion, became the enemy of his creator (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek.28:11-19). He became the unholy god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4) and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of God's eternal justice in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10).


We believe the biblical account of Creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but the literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God and not from previously existing forms of life or matter.  

We believe from Scripture in the literal 24 hour day (Gen. 1:1-31; Ex. 31:15-17) and that the entire creation was made in 6 literal days by the spoken word of God (Gen. 1:31).

We believe that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, the first parents of the entire human race (Gen. 1&2; Col. 1:16,17; John1:3); and that our Creator established human gender biologically in fixed, binary categories: male and female (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:4-6). Seeking to confuse or change the God-given distinction of the two genders violates God’s creative design and revealed will (Rom. 1:24-29).

In light of God’s creative design, we believe that the Bible teaches that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman and that sexual intimacy is to be expressed only within the bonds of a Biblically-defined marriage. (Gen. 2; Matt. 19:4-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-5). Any other form of marriage or sexual intimacy is immoral and a perversion of God’s gracious will.


The Gospel
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the finished work of the Son of God. By the appointment of the Father, He freely took upon Himself a human nature, yet without sin (Phil. 2:6-8). He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and made full and vicarious atonement for our sins by His death (Isa. 53:3-7; John 3:16). His atonement consisted not in setting an example as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust (Rom. 3:24-25), and bearing our sins in His own body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). After three days, He rose again in accordance with the Scriptures defeating sin and death and securing the basis for salvation (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
Faith and Repentance
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation (Eph. 2:8-10). Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). We believe that true faith without works is dead and the first work of faith is repentance. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit. It is characterized by a godly sorrow for sin and changed living. True repentance is inseparably related to true faith (James 2:17).

We believe that justification is the judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer to be righteous through faith in Christ Jesus. Justification includes the pardon for sin and the imputation of God’s righteousness: that is given (Rom. 5:1, 8:1), not in consideration for any works of righteousness which we have done, or can do (Acts 13:39; Gal. 2:16), but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s perfect life, atoning death, and bodily resurrection. (Isa. 53:11;   2 Cor. 5:18-21).
We believe that adoption is the gracious act of God, whereby the Father, for the sake of Christ, places new believers into the honored position of mature sons. The full benefits of the position granted by adoption as the sons of God await the glorification at the coming of the Lord     (Eph. 1:5,13-14; Gal. 4:4-7; 1 Jn. 3:1-2).
New Birth
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again (John 3:6-7) making a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). The new birth is instantaneous and not a process. The new birth makes the one dead in trespasses and sins into a partaker of the divine nature (Eph. 2:1-5). They receive eternal life which is the free gift of God (Rom. 6:23).
Eternal Security
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept eternally by the Holy Trinity (John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Phil. 1:6; Jude 1).

Progressive sanctification is a joint work between God and man, where God supplies grace for Christians to grow in obedience to Christ (Phil. 2:12-13).  While Christians are sanctified (made holy) in a positional sense at conversion, it still remains for them to grow in holiness (Rom. 6:1-14; Tit. 2:11-13).  This work of grace is empowered by the Holy Spirit. By faith, the believer will utilize the normal means of grace such as Bible reading, prayer, thought renewal, and fellowship in the context of the local church (Col. 3:1-17).  Christians will experience real progress in growing more like Christ, yet this work will be incomplete in this life (2 Cor. 3:18).

Though we are glorified in the sight of God, the believer will experience the full and final result of salvation (Rom. 8:28-30) in which the believer is finally transformed from one degree of glory into the image of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). All the benefits in Christ are finally experienced in their fullness at the believer’s death or the Lord’s return (1 Cor. 15:51-56; 2 Cor. 5:1-5).

The Church

We believe in the unity of all true believers purchased by His blood (Acts 20:28) and under His headship and control (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). We believe that the Church was established on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41-47); and that all believers from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jews and Gentiles, are added to this Body (Acts 15:14; 1 Cor. 12:12-13,27), the Church, through salvation in Jesus Christ.
We believe the Universal Church is manifested in local churches (1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; 1 Thess. 1:1)  which are organized bodies of immersed believers (Acts 2:41) associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel (Acts 2:42). The local church governs itself under the authority of the Word of God through the observance of biblical ordinances (Acts 8:12; 1 Cor. 11:23-26), the government of biblical offices (1 Tim. 3:1-13), and the commitment to evangelize the lost (Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) and edify the saints (Eph. 4:11-13).
We believe the purpose of the church is to bring glory to God through equipping saints for the work of the ministry, building up of the body (Eph. 4:12), and presenting everyone mature in Christ (Col. 1:28).
The Great Commission
The responsibility of every individual Christian is to obey the Great Commission by making disciples of all nations (Mt. 28:18-20).

We hold that the local church has absolute right of self-government free from the interference of a hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Acts 6:1-7; 15:13-29); that the one and only Head is Christ (Eph. 5:23) through the Holy Spirit. Each local church, through the interpretation and application of Scripture, is the sole judge on matters of membership, policy, government, discipline, or benevolence.
We believe that that there are two offices within the local church (Phil. 1:1). Those offices are pastors/elders/overseers (Acts 20:17-28) and deacons (1 Tim. 3:8-13).
We believe pastors are men who aspire to the office and are qualified in accordance with Scripture (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9). Pastors are given by God to the church (Eph. 4:11) in order to exercise spiritual authority through public and private ministry of the Word of God and prayer (Acts 6:4) as they keep watch over the flock (Acts 20:28) of which they will give an account (Heb. 13:17).
We believe deacons are qualified men (1 Timothy 3:8-13) who serve the church by meeting physical needs, promoting church unity, and supporting the ministry of the pastors (Acts 6:1-7).
We believe church membership should be granted only to those who are immersed believers (Acts 2:41), associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel (Acts 2:42), and are living with evidence of the new birth (1 Jn. 1:5-10) and personal assurance of salvation (Jn. 10:28-30).
We believe church members should stir one another up to love and good works and not neglect to meet together (Heb. 10:24-25).
Church Discipline
We believe church discipline is for members who have broken covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel and are living contrary to the Christian life. The purpose of church discipline should be the restoration of a member to repentance and a correct way of living (Mt. 18:15-17) in a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1). In the event that there is no repentance in a member, he/she should be removed from membership and treated as an unbeliever (1Cor. 5:1-5).

We believe that there are two ordinances for the church to practice. Those ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe that baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water after the example (Mt. 3:16) and command (Mt. 28:19) of Christ; that it symbolizes our identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life (Rom. 6:3-5).
We believe baptism is a public profession of faith and should take place under the authority of the church; that baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership, and is the next step of obedience for the believer, but is in no way a part of salvation (Acts 2:41; 8:36-38).
Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord's Supper was established by Jesus before His crucifixion, on the night He was betrayed. We believe the elements of the Lord’s Supper are pictures of the body and blood of Jesus (Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25).
We believe the Lord’s Supper is the remembrance of the Lord's death until He comes. We believe the Lord’s Supper should be observed by obedient believers gathered under the authority of a local church and should be preceded always by serious self-examination. (I Cor. 11:23-28)

We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate entirely from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy unto God. (2 Cor. 6:14-18; 7:1; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Titus 3:10; Rom. 16:17; 2 Jn. 9-11).
We believe that separation from worldliness and apostasy does not require isolation from an unbelieving world (1 Cor. 5:9-13; Jn. 17:14-21).
Civil Government
We believe that civil government is appointed by God for the interests and good order of human society. We believe that governing authorities are to be prayed for and deliberately honored and obeyed ( Ex. 18:21-23; 2 Sam. 23:3-4; Mt. 22:21; Acts 23:5; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:17), except in those things opposed to the Word of God and the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (Dan. 3:17-18; Acts 4:18-20; 5:29), who is the coming King of Kings Rev. 17:14).


We believe that Israel is God’s chosen national people (Gen. 28:13). In God’s sovereign will, Israel serves as a channel of His blessing to the entire world (Gen. 12:3) for His glory (Isa. 43:7), and His witness to the nations (Isa. 43:9-10). God’s election of Israel for this unique relationship is irrevocable (Rom. 11:28-29), though Israel is dispersed now because of her disobedience and rejection of God (Rom. 11).
We believe Israel is distinct from the church and central to God’s plan, past, present, and future. The unfulfilled prophecies given to Israel in the Old Testament will find their literal fulfillment in Israel at a future time (Ps. 105:6-10).

End Times

We believe in the pretribulational rapture of the church (Rev. 3:10), an event that can occur at any moment, at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies (1 Cor. 15:42-44,51-54; Phil. 3:20-21), and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the Tribulation. (1 Thess. 4:11-18). 

We believe that the Tribulation, which follows the rapture of the church (Dan. 9:25-27), will be culminated by the premillennial return of Christ in power and great glory (Mt. 24:29-31) to sit upon the throne of David (Isa. 9:6-7; Lk. 1:30-33) and to establish His Millennial Kingdom upon this earth. (Isa.11:1-9; Acts 2:29,30; Rev. 20:1-4,6).

The Righteous and the Wicked

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (Mal. 3:18); that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His sight; those who continue in unrepentance and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both in and after death (Prov. 14:32), in the everlasting happiness of the saved (Rom. 6:17-18,23)and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the Lake of Fire. (Mt. 25:34-41; Luke 16:19-31 Jn.5:28-29; Rev. 20:14-15).

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