Pastor Ben Fleming
Silver Hills Community Church
Founded in Carson City in 1995
Pastor Ben Fleming and wife Cheryl
What We Believe
We believe in one living, sovereign, and all- glorious God, eternally existing in three infinitely excellent and admirable Persons:
God the Father, fountain of all being; God the Son, eternally begotten, not made, without beginning, being of one essence with the Father; and God the Holy Spirit, proceeding in the full, divine essence, as a Person, eternally from the Father and the Son. Thus each Person in the Godhead is fully and completely God.
We believe that God is supremely joyful in the fellowship of the Trinity, each Person beholding and expressing His eternal and unsurpassed delight in the all-satisfying perfections of the triune God.
The Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture
We believe that the Bible is God’s word. The Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments, is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit. (2Timothy 3:16)
Revelation is God’s self-disclosure. It is God making Himself known to men. God has revealed himself in a limited way in creation. But the Bible is a form of special revelation. The Bible is “special” revelation in the sense that it goes beyond what may be known about God through nature. It is divine in origin, since in the Bible God makes known things which otherwise could never be known.
The Bible is unique because it is God’s revelation recorded in human language. According to II Timothy 3:16-17 the words of Scripture are “God breathed” or inspired. This implies that God is the source or origin of what is recorded in Scripture. God, through the Holy Spirit, used human authors to write what He revealed in the Bible. They were not mere copyists or transcribers. The Holy Spirit guided and controlled the writers of Scripture, who used their own vocabularies and styles but wrote only what the Holy Spirit intended. This is true only of the original manuscripts, not the copies or translations. Although the original manuscripts have been lost to us, God has preserved the biblical text to a remarkable degree.
The Bible is verbally inspired. This means that the words of the Bible, not just the ideas, were inspired. What is more, this is true of not just some, but all the words of the Bible. As a result, the Bible is free from error in what it says. We believe strongly in the factual, verbal, historical inerrancy of the Bible. That is, the Bible, in its original documents, is free from error in what is says about geography, history and science as well as in what it says about God. Its authority extends to all matters about which the Bible speaks. It is the supreme source of our knowledge of God and of the salvation provided through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our indispensable resource for daily living.
Even though the Bible is God’s revelation, it must still be interpreted. Interpretation has to do with our reception and understanding of that which God revealed and recorded. Revelation is a divine act. Interpretation is a human responsibility. Divine inspiration guarantees the truthfulness of God’s word but not the accuracy of our interpretation. The Bible is infallible in all it affirms to be true and therefore absolutely reliable. We, however, may be fallible in our interpretation of the Bible.
The Virgin Birth
We believe that the eternal Son of God took upon Him our nature, being conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary.
The virgin birth is implied in the Old Testament as early as Gen. 3:15, which promised that “the seed of woman” would be the victor over Satan and sin. It is expressly predicted in Isaiah 7:14: “Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (NASB). According to Matt. 1:22-23, this prophecy was fulfilled in Mary. She is called a “virgin” in Luke 1:27. The Greek term parthenos normally referred to an unmarried woman of marriageable age. Mary did not conceive through ordinary means, but through the Holy Spirit. This was God’s miraculous intervention, producing offspring without a human father. No man or angel was involved. Christ, who was God from all eternity, took hold of this human nature thus conceived and joined it to Himself.
What called for the virgin birth? The fundamental need was found in the nature of the human race. Every normal, human birth produces another sinner, just as Adam, as sinner, produced a race of sinners. Our Savior had to be genuinely human and truly sinless in order to be our perfect substitute and pay our penalty of guilt before an infinite God by His death.
This doctrine stands at the heart of the Lord’s person and saving work. Without the virgin birth, there would be no salvation for sinners.
Jesus Christ would be a sinful human being. If the virgin birth did not occur, then the Bible is not true and cannot be trusted. In short, it is an essential part of salvation and of Scripture. We believe and teach the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
The Deity of Jesus Christ
The Bible directly states that Jesus is God in a number of passages. Taken by themselves, these verses provide enough evidence for the church to believe in and teach the deity of Jesus Christ. But the indirect evidence of Scripture is equally compelling.
The names of God are often applied to Jesus. He is called “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father” and “Immanuel” (meaning “God with us”). Elsewhere Jesus is called “The Lord (Jehovah) our Righteousness,” “God,” and “Son of God.”
The Bible ascribes the characteristics of deity to Jesus Christ. He is described as eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and immutable.
Jesus Christ is equal with God the Father. He is worshiped as God. His name is assigned equal standing with God the Father in the church’s baptismal formula and in the apostolic benediction.
Christ performed works which only God can do. He is creator. He is the upholder of all things. He forgives sin. He will raise the dead and execute judgment.
Jesus Christ Himself claimed deity. He taught His disciples to pray in His name. He claimed that He and the Father were one and that He was the Son of God. He claimed that to know Him was to know God, to see Him was to see God, to receive Him was to receive God, to believe Him was to believe in God and to honor Him was to honor God, while to hate Him was to hate God.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our Christian faith. This event, which occurred almost two thousand years ago, is the best attested fact in human history and experience.
The resurrection of Christ was predicted in the Old Testament and by Christ Himself. During the forty days following His resurrection, Jesus showed Himself to be alive from the dead by many infallible proofs. He appeared at various times and places to many people who told others what they had seen.
Christ’s resurrection has been at the heart of the church’s message from the Day of Pentecost to the present. By rising from the dead, Jesus Christ demonstrated that He had cleansed the guilt of our past and is able to help us in our present lives.
His resurrection assures us that our future is safe and secure. Without Christ’s resurrection we would have no salvation from sin, and no hope for our own future resurrection.
The empty tomb is proof of Christ’s deity. It guarantees the future resurrection of believers. The resurrection of Christ also provides believers with spiritual power today. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is evidence that God will one day judge the world in righteousness.
According to the Scriptures, sin must be paid for. When Jesus Christ died, he suffered as a substitute in the place of and on behalf of fallen humanity. Christ’s death made it possible for men and women to be declared righteous, based on their faith in Him.
Christ’s death was not merely a statement against evil or an expression of love, but a payment that satisfied God’s demand. Christ’s death was necessary for several reasons.
First, sin alienates us from God. Those who are controlled by sin cannot please God. Jesus Christ’s death made peace with God possible. Christ came, not just to provide us with a godly example, but to die on our behalf and to bear the cost for sin.
Second, God is holy. God’s holy character requires that sin be punished. Sin makes us the objects of God’s wrath until the penalty of sin is paid. By laying down His own life, Jesus paid the price on our behalf, satisfying God’s demand. This payment was made, not to Satan, but God.
Third, the presence of sin renders us helpless. We cannot save ourselves. We do not have the will or the ability to offer anything acceptable to God on our own behalf. We not only suffer from the guilt and penalty of Adam’s original sin, but also from the effects of our own sinful nature and actions.
God, who is rich in mercy, sent Jesus Christ to die in our place, so that He might be righteous in dealing with sin while at the same time providing His own righteousness to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Christ’s death was more than an attempt to reverse the human course started by Adam; it served as a substitute payment for the trespasses of all mankind.
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
We believe in the second coming of Christ. His return from heaven will be personal, visible and glorious, a blessed hope for which we should constantly watch and pray.
Before He establishes His kingdom on earth, Jesus will come for His Church, an event commonly referred to as the “Rapture”. At that time the dead in Christ will be raised and living Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever. In this resurrection, those who have died in Christ will have their redeemed souls and spirits united with a body similar to Christ’s glorified body. Christians living at the time of this event will not die, but will be changed to be like Christ.
This expectation is a motivation for holy living, as well as a source of comfort. No man knows the day or the hour when this will take place.
After the Rapture of the Church, Christians will be brought before the judgment seat of Christ. He will reward them on the basis of the works they have accomplished. This is not a judgment to determine their salvation but a reward for labor on Christ’s behalf.
The Rapture will also inaugurate a period that the Bible characterizes as the “great day of His wrath,” “the great tribulation” and the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” This time of unprecedented difficulty will affect Israel and all nations. Its purpose will be to prepare Israel for her Messiah.
At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return with the hosts of heaven as well as the Church to establish the Messianic Kingdom on earth. His Kingdom will last for a thousand years. At this Second Coming, the Antichrist will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Satan will be bound for a thousand years. The nations and their representatives will be judged. Israel will be restored to her land, never more to be removed. Christ will reign with firmness and equity. His kingdom will be marked by material and spiritual blessing, since the curse upon the earth will be removed.
The Messianic kingdom will close with apostasy and rebellion. God will crush this uprising in the last battle of the ages and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire. All those who rejected the Word of God will be resurrected. They will be judged by Christ and cast into the lake of fire, the place where they will suffer final and everlasting punishment.
After this judgment there will be a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness is the norm. There will be a new Jerusalem and the everlasting presence of God among all the redeemed.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son and is of the same essence. Yet He is also distinct from them.
Scripture describes the Holy Spirit in personal terms, not as an impersonal force, when it says that He teaches, guides, comforts, and intercedes. He possesses emotions, intellect, and will. The Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and gave counsel to the church at Jerusalem. He was sinned against and lied to.
The Scriptures also attest to the deity of the Holy Spirit. He is spoken of as God and is identified with the title of Jehovah. The Christian who is indwelt by the Spirit is indwelt by God. The Holy Spirit possesses the attributes of deity, such as omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and eternality. He does works only God can do, such as creating, regenerating and sanctifying. He is equally associated with the other members of the Trinity.
The Spirit had a ministry of restraining sin and in the creation of the world. The Holy Spirit today plays a major role in the application of salvation to the individual. It is the Spirit who brings conviction to the unbeliever and causes him to see the truth of the gospel in a clear light. Those who respond to this conviction and place their faith in Jesus Christ receive eternal life and a new nature.
The Holy Spirit unites the believer with Christ and places him in the body of Christ, the church. He also unites the believer with Christ in His death, enabling him to live victoriously over sin. The Holy Spirit controls the believer who yields to God and submits himself to the God’s Word. When these conditions are met, the believer lives in the power of the Spirit and produces the fruit of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit indwells the believer permanently. While the child of God may sin and grieve the Spirit, the Spirit will never leave the true believer. Absence of the Holy Spirit is the mark of the unsaved. The Holy Spirit seals the believer. This ministry guarantees the security of the believer “until the day of redemption.”
The Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts or abilities for service to every believer. Although His restraint of evil in the world today will cease with the rapture, He will continue to be present in the earth. In the tribulation period the Spirit will be involved in salvation and filling. In the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Spirit will be in God’s people and the Spirit will be upon the King.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.