Statement of Faith Core Orthodoxy

(with institutional distinctives noted)

Since its founding in 1933, Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary and Graduate School has maintained an unqualified commitment to a historic, orthodox position on essential doctrines of the faith as expressed in this document. A statement of faith is central to the college’s identity, serving as a unifying and clarifying document in an age of theological shifting and confusion. Hermeneutically, the institution approaches Scripture from a grammatical, historical, and contextual viewpoint.

THE SCRIPTURES. We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament are the Word of God and are verbally inspired of God and inerrant in the original writings. We believe that this inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the Scriptures, and that they are the supreme and final authority in faith and life. John 17:17; Galatians 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

THE GODHEAD. We believe in one God eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections. Matthew 28:19–20; John 1:1-2; Acts 5:3-4; Colossians 2:9.

JESUS CHRIST – HIS PERSON AND HIS WORK. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was eternally begotten of the Father, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. We believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world1 as the substitutionary sacrifice, that His crucified body was raised from the dead, and that He ascended into heaven to appear before the Father as our High Priest, Advocate, and Mediator. Luke 1:35; Romans 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:1–3; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15–17; 2:9; Hebrews 4:15; 9:24; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 2:2.

THE HOLY SPIRIT. We believe that the Holy Spirit came in a special sense2 indwelling every believer. In this age, the Holy Spirit carries out the ministries of restraining evil in the world; convicting people of sin, righteousness, and judgment; regenerating and indwelling all believers; baptizing them into the Body of Christ; sealing them unto the day of redemption; and empowering them for sanctification and service.3 John 14:16–17; 16:7–15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 12:13, 28–30; Ephesians 2:20-22; 4:1-16, 30; Hebrews 2:1-4; Titus 3:5.

HUMANITY. We believe God created humanity, male and female, reflecting the image and likeness of God. Each person’s biological sex has been sovereignly appointed by God and is an irreversible aspect of his or her nature. Adam, the first human4, sinned and thereby incurred the judgment of both physical death and spiritual death which is eternal separation from God. Therefore, all human beings, with the exception of Christ Jesus, are born with a fallen nature, are accountable for their sin, and need to be born again. Rejection of one’s God-ordained biological sexuality reflects a rejection of God’s plans and purposes. God has established and revealed in Scripture a divine order to regulate humanity. Human institutions reflecting that order are marriage of a man and a woman, family, and human government. Genesis 1:1,26,27; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:3-7; Romans 1:21-32; 3:10-12; 5:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 1:8-10; Genesis 2:18-25; Colossians 3:18-21; Romans 13:1-7.

SALVATION. We believe that salvation was provided5 and accomplished solely by the finished work of Christ shedding His blood upon the cross, and no work on the part of any person can merit this salvation. Whoever believes solely in the finished work of Jesus Christ receives the new birth, becomes a partaker of the divine nature, and thus becomes a child of God.6 John 3:16; 6:37; 10:27–30; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 2:8–9; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 1 Peter 1:18-19, 23; 2 Peter 1:3-4.

THE CHURCH. We believe the Church universal7 consists of all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Head of the Church, called His Body. The local church is a body of believers in Christ who are joined together under scriptural leadership for the worship of God, for edification through the Word of God, for prayer, for fellowship, for the proclamation of the Gospel, and for observance of the ordinances.8 Matthew 16:16–18; Acts 1:4-5; 2:42–47; 11:15-16; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:20–23; Philippians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:15.

THE FUTURE. We believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, in the reward and everlasting conscious blessedness of the just, and in the judgment and everlasting punishment of the lost. 9 Luke 16:19–26; John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; Revelation 20:1–15; 21:1–8.

Statement of Faith approved by the Board of Trustees 2.2.2005
Revision approved by Board of Trustees 11.18.2014 (Humanity)
Statement of Faith (with LBC Distinctives noted) presented to Corporation 10.11.2022 and subsequently approved by two-thirds vote.

1…sins of the whole world… Explanation: Regarding the extent of Christ’s atonement, LBC espouses an “unlimited” view, while evangelical believers of a Calvinistic doctrinal persuasion prefer to describe the atonement as “particular,” that is, the scope of Christ’s atoning work is limited to only the elect.

2…in a special sense on the day of Pentecost. See explanation in next footnote.

3 We believe that some gifts of the Holy Spirit are permanent and are intended for use throughout the entire Church Age. Other gifts were temporary and were given in the Apostolic Age for the purpose of founding the church. These include the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, miracles, healings, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. At the same time, we affirm that God performs miracles as He wills. Explanation: Some evangelicals affirm that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit continue to function throughout the entire church age with no exceptions, including those “sign gifts” viewed by our statement as transitional and foundational to the birth of the church. Others maintain that events on the Day of Pentecost are repeatable throughout the church age.

4 Adam, the first human, sinned… Explanation: Some evangelical scholars, while affirming the inerrancy of scripture, view Adam as an “archetype.” That is, the Bible presents him as a literary figure representing the rebellious nature of all humans. Whether or not Adam was a historical person is a secondary issue in this point of view, the primary focus of the biblical text being to use Adam in a representative sense for a theological purpose.

5 …salvation was provided for everyone in the whole world and was accomplished… Explanation: See, “Jesus Christ, His Person and Work,” for the explanation on the extent of the atonement.

6 …becomes a child of God, once for all, forever. Explanation: The language “once for all, forever,” captures LBC’s belief in the eternal security of the believer in their redeemed relationship with God through Christ. Believers who espouse forms of Arminian theology would not affirm eternal security and seek to emphasize the importance of ongoing obedience in the believer’s life while still adhering to salvation by grace through faith.

7 the Church universal began at Pentecost with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and consists of… See explanation on following footnote.

8 …ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Explanation: Believers who ascribe to covenant theology disagree that the church began only at Pentecost, preferring to emphasize continuity between OT and NT believers and seeing the church as spiritual fulfillment of promises made to ancient Israel. On the question of ordinances, some believers (i.e. the Salvation Army) do not observe baptism or communion out of their belief that some may place so much importance on the outward signs that the inward spiritual reality is de-emphasized. Other groups affirm the practice of these ordinances but would add the practice of ceremonial foot-washing as a third ordinance given to the church.

9 …in the imminent return of Jesus Christ to rapture the Church Age saints, followed by the tribulation period, and the visible return of Jesus Christ with His saints for His millennial reign on earth. We believe in the bodily resurrection . . . and everlasting conscious punishment of the lost. Explanation: Our statement is an understanding of a premillennial eschatology consistent with a dispensational hermeneutic. The order and timing of end-time events (or in the case of amillennialists, whether these things actually describe historical events) is viewed differently by non-dispensational theologians, while still affirming a high view of scripture and a literal return of Christ to the earth.