Keystone School of Biblical Theology

Equipping the Saints for the Work of the Ministry

What We Believe

KSBT's Doctrinal Statement

We believe the Bible, complete with the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the verbally inspired Word of God, and is inerrant in the original writings. We believe the Bible is the supreme and final authority for faith and practice. (II Tim. 3:15 -17) We believe the Bible can be properly understood only by applying the principles of literal and grammatical analysis in carrying out the work of interpretation, while maintaining careful attention to the full context of any passage under consideration.


We believe there is but one living and true God, eternally existing and revealed in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the same in substance, equal in power and glory (Matt. 3:16 -17; 28:19).


We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; that He is true God and true man (I Tim.2:5; 3:16).


We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, that he sinned and thereby incurred physical death and spiritual death, which apart from salvation, will result in eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire. We believe that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and, at the age of moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word and deed; and are totally unable to save themselves (Romans 3:23; 5:12, 18-19; II Tim. 1:19; Rev. 20:15).


We believe the Lord Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world, according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood (I Cor. 15:2-4; Rom. 3:23-28).


We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His bodily ascension into heaven, and in His present life and ministry there as high priest and advocate (Heb 7:25; I John 2:1).


We believe in one condition of salvation, which is biblically expressed as, “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). We believe a godly sorrow for sin and a godly life are the fruits thereof (John 1:12-13; 14:6; II Cor. 5:17). By God’s grace, the true believer in Jesus Christ is given the gift of eternal life, the very life of Christ; and the believer is therefore eternally secure in his salvation (John 6:47-58, 10:28; I John 5:11-13).

We believe in the personality of the Holy Spirit; that He is God: and that His ministry is to glorify Jesus Christ and reveal Him to men. His work in this age is to convict men of sin, righteousness and judgment; to regenerate, indwell and seal the believer; and set apart the child of God to a holy life (John 14:26; 16:8, 14; Acts 5:3-4).


We believe in the imminent and pre-tribulational coming of Jesus Christ from heaven for His church (John 14:2-3; I Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13). We believe in the personal and pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ with His church to the earth in order to establish and reign over His kingdom for 1000 years (Matt. 24:29-31; Rev. 19:11 – 20:4). He will sit on the throne of David and fulfill God’s covenant promises to the restored nation of Israel (Gen. 12:1-3; Deut. 30:1-10; II Sam. 7:8-16)


We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust; the everlasting blessedness of the saved and the everlasting, conscious punishment of the lost (John 5:28-29; I Thess. 4:17; Rev. 20:15, II Thess. 1:7-9).


We believe in the church, the body of Christ, which is composed of all believers in this age, having begun on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and ending at the Rapture. The church is properly represented in local assemblies which carry out the ministry and mission of the church. We believe in two ordinances to be administered by the local church; Baptism, the immersion of the believer in water as a testimony of one’s salvation, and Communion, the serving of bread, representing Christ’s broken body, and grape juice, representing Christ’s shed blood, shared as a testimony of one’s fellowship with the Lord, in remembrance of His death until He comes again. We believe in two local church officers, the pastor (elder/bishop) and deacons. We believe the local church is an autonomous body answerable to its head, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 8:36-39; 13:1-4; I Cor. 11:23-26; I Tim. 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9).


We believe in both personal and ecclesiastical separation. The individual believer is to present himself a living sacrifice to God, not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of his mind (Romans 12:1-2). The church is to be separate from unbelief, apostasy and compromise (II Cor. 6:14-18; Rom. 16:17-18; II Thess. 3:6; II John 10).


Our Positional Statements

 Miracles and sign gifts


 We believe the sign gifts experienced in New Testament times and specifically listed in I Corinthians 12: 8-10 ceased when the canon of scripture was completed. In biblical times the use of miracles was primarily given to authenticate God’s messengers and their message to unbelieving hearers. According to I Corinthians 13: 8-10, the miracles authenticating the apostolic messengers and their message would cease when the scriptures, “that which is perfect”, would come. The apostolic age ended and the sign gifts faded from use by the 2nd century A.D. Hence they are not operative today. (Hebrews 2: 1-4)

 Dispensationalism


 We believe God has dealt with mankind through a series of dispensations wherein He has revealed the true nature of sin, the inability of man to save himself and a consistent pattern of reconciliation by grace through faith, made possible only on the basis of a substitutionary blood sacrifice. Described by various terms, the dispensations are often listed as  Innocence, Conscience, Government, Promise, Law, Grace, Kingdom. Based on a literal grammatical approach to interpretation of the scriptures, Dispensationalism recognizes a clear and permanent distinction between the church and Israel, and a premillenial return of Jesus Christ to rule and reign on the earth for 1000 years.


 We reject Hyper-Dispensationalism which espouses belief in a Jewish church followed by a Gentile church. We reject Progressive Dispensationalism which compromises the biblically declared distinction between Israel and the church. By applying both spiritual and literal approaches to the interpretation of scripture, the view erringly espouses existence of the kingdom as being both present and future, and concludes that Christ is now spiritually reigning on David’s Throne.


 Biblical Text  


 While there exist a variety of theories and evidential information regarding extant manuscripts of the Greek New Testament, we believe the Majority (Byzantine Text) best represents the biblical autographs. We believe the Old Testament autographs are best represented by the Hebrew Masoretic Text. KSBT uses the King James Version in all classroom and preaching sessions. (Ps. 12:6-7).


 Soteriology


 KSBT stands on the sole authority of the Scriptures for faith and practice. All doctrine must be the result of “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” and not the imposing of a preconceived theological system for the sake of systematics. Thus, we do not subscribe to the position of classical Calvinism nor Arminianism. Regarding the doctrine of Soteriology there are certain truths revealed in Scripture that are humanly incomprehensible but “those things which are revealed” we believe and teach (Deut. 29:29).


 God has provided the way of salvation from sin and its ultimate consequences through the propitiation of His Son for the sins of the entire world (Jn. 3:16; I Tim. 2:5, 6; I Jn 2:2). Salvation is obtained by grace through the faith and repentance of the sinner upon the hearing of the Word of God and conviction of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 10:9, 10, 13, 17).


 We reject the theology that denies the responsibility and accountability of all people before God (Ron. 2:2, 6-11; 3:19, 29), and that limits the atonement of Christ to a select minority (Jn. 3:16; I Jn. 2:2; II Pet. 2:1; I Tim. 2:6).


 At the same time, and contrary to Arminian doctrine, the Scriptures clearly teach the total depravity of man (Rom. 3:10-17; Eph. 2:1-3). Furthermore, that salvation is completely the gift of God and not the result of the works of man (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9). Every born-again Christian is eternally saved and secured by God being permanently sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Jn. 10:27-29; Eph. 1:13, 14; 4:30).


 Cultural Relativism 


 As Christians we find great consolation in the absoluteness of God’s Word. Here we find an answer to the question found in Ezekiel 33:10, “…how should we then live?” The Lord has detailed for us His design for living in any culture. Those details come to us through the plenarily inspired, infallible, inerrant, Word of God. Yet, we live in a day when the church is giving lip service to its belief in God’s Word instead of giving whole hearted allegiance to it. As a result, the core of Christianity has been splintered. The world’s philosophy has infiltrated the thinking of the Church and has replaced this absoluteness with a variableness found in “cultural relativism.” Without the Word of God as a mooring, the Church is drifting toward the idea that there are no moral absolutes, that no one can judge one culture over another as to its norms, for these are determined not by the God of Heaven, but by the members of its society. This now extends to sub groups within a society or culture including all divisions of Christendom. Now that the Church, even Fundamentalism, has embraced cultural relativism we find institutions and their leaders questioning the position of past generations and even attacking the stand they took against social or cultural sins of their day. This view that all beliefs, customs and ethics are relative to the individual within his own societal context, that is, that right and wrong are culturally specific, is now widely accepted. It has even resulted in a position that one cannot determine what worldliness is by definition in any culture as described by the Word of God. For example, in “The Remaking of Evangelical Theology”, Gary J. Dorrien makes the point, “Evangelical interactionists such as Grenz, William Dyrness, and Charles Kraft therefore urge that the message of scripture can be understood only by beginning with our embodied life in the world, not with a doctrine of scripture, “We must begin here because we simply cannot begin anywhere else,” Dyrness remarks, “that is, we cannot adopt a point of entry or standpoint that excludes our history and cultural environment.”


 While we agree that we as believers must be aware of the culture in which we live, being “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16), and we must be men who understand our times, 1 Chronicles 12:32, and being in the world, John 17:11; we are at the same time to be biblically relevant rather than culturally relevant. We do not hold to the thought that culture determines morality or socially correct norms, but only the Creator. Hence we will not be coerced by the philosophies or rudiments of the world, Colossians 2:8. We will affect the culture not by being like it, but by living the norms of God’s revealed truth.


 Creationism


 We accept the Genesis account and all other biblical references to creation literally.

 We believe that God created the heavens and the earth and all that are therein, in six consecutive 24 hour days, as described in Genesis 1:1-2:3 and confirmed in Exodus 20:8-11.


 We believe that scientific evidence supports the biblical record found in Genesis 1-11, including a young earth and worldwide flood.

 We reject all theories of origins that involve evolution in any form.


 Separation


We believe the doctrine of separation is rooted in the holiness of our God and His instruction for us to be holy (I Peter 1:15,16). The biblical principle of separation is understood both as from the world (I John 2:15-17), unbelievers (II Corinthians 6:11-7:1), and from brethren that compromise the truth of God’s Word and work (Romans 16:17,18; II Thessalonians 3:6,14,15).

 The biblical doctrine of separation will be a guiding principle to any associations, friendships or institutional development in fulfilling our goal to bring glory to God (I Corinthians 10:31).

 Music Philosophy


 Worship: The heartbeat behind the worldliness and the pop culture tendencies in the area of music in our churches and Bible Colleges today lies within a faulty view and understanding of who God is and how he wants us to worship Him. Worship comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word, weorthscipe, which conveys giving worth, respect, and reverence to the object of one’s worship, which for the true believer is God. Worship is God’s revelation about Himself to us and our response to His revelation (Jn. 9:38). He reveals about Himself to us primarily through His Word, though there are some things that we can learn about Him through creation (Ps.19:1-3). It must be understood that worship is not merely an event; it is a lifestyle. Our view of God will affect our lifestyle and our worship of Him. This includes music to which we listen (Col. 3:16) and everything else that we do. Worship is both corporate and personal. Furthermore, it is a command and not an option (Ps. 96:9).


 Worship is not about what pleases man, but rather what pleases God, since the focus is on giving Him the glory due to His name in all activities of life (I Cor. 10:31). Our view of worship will certainly affect our practical theology including our musical choices in our personal and corporate worship. Worship involves obedience, humble submission, praise, prayer, and pleasure toward the object of our worship, God. In Christ’s lengthiest statement on how He wants believers to worship Him, He explains that “God is spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24). Simply put, believers must worship God with their whole beings and according to His Word!


 Elements of Music: There are four basic elements of music; pitch, volume, duration and distinct color. God created these basic elements, but man organizes them, takes them in proportion, and unites them together resulting into a musical composition. Music reflects the composer’s view of God as well as his cultural influence and upbringing. Furthermore, one’s compositional and performance styles reflect what is in the inner man (Matt. 12:34; Prov. 4:21).

 Personal/Corporate Musical Choices: We believe that all music has an innate morality (i.e. good or evil) (I Sam. 16:23; II Kgs. 3:15; Exod. 32:17-19). There are two primary responses of man: the natural responses which are innate and the conditional responses which are learned with cultural influences. There are three different levels that must be considered in making personal and corporate musical choices. These three levels are: 1. Determining whether the particular piece is morally right or wrong (I Thess. 5:21) 2. Determining whether or not the piece is appropriate, which includes consideration of the intended outcome and of the given setting in that particular culture (2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Sam.6:2-7) 3. Determining whether or not a particular piece is expedient in that particular context and given situation (I Cor. 6:12; Phil. 4:5). In applying these principles, it is our desire to maintain a higher standard of holiness in order to be above reproach and not to be the cause for offense (Rom. 14).


 Application in Musical Choices: Since the primary purpose of the local church ministry is to worship and please God in all things, music should be used to enhance and compliment this overall purpose rather than to detract from it. Furthermore, corporate worship in music must be emphasized while individual worship in music should be done carefully with the sole purpose of glorifying God rather than promoting self. The Bible teaches that psalms (Scripture-based songs), hymns (Theological based songs), and spiritual songs (songs of testimony) are to be used in corporate worship (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19). The music of each selection must reflect and draw attention to the text. The text and music of each selection should be theologically based, spiritually edifying, worshipful, and Christ-exalting (Phil. 4:8; Col. 1:15-17; Isa. 6:3-8). God clearly commands us to “learn not the way of the heathen…” (Jer. 10:2), “…to henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk…” (Eph. 4:17), and to “…be not conformed to this world…” (Rom. 12:2). This includes not using the world’s music or any of its performance or music styles in our worship (I Pet. 1:15-16; II Cor. 6:17). Because of this, we abstain from using the music of and musical styles from our current popular culture (I Jn. 2:15). God’s Word must be the believer’s final authority in their musical choices regardless of a popularity of certain individuals or groups (Jn. 4:24). Believers should use great discernment in their musical selections and must examine each piece’s content and association carefully with Scripture (I Thess. 5:21).