What We Believe

What We Believe

Baptist Faith & Message

  • I. The Scriptures
    The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man.
    It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and
    truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and
    trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to
    the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all
    human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to
    Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
    Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16;
    40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17;
    Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter
    1:19-21.
    II. God
    There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being,
    the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all
    other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all
    things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we
    owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as
    Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature,
    essence, or being.
    A. God the Father
    God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the
    stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing,
    all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith
    in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
    Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles
    29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark
    1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6;
    Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.
    B. God the Son
  • Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy
    Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon
    Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with
    mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His
    substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He
    was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who
    was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right
    hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the
    reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to
    consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever
    present Lord.
    Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27;
    14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29;
    10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56;
    9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2
    Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians
    1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14
    28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation
    1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
    C. God the Holy Spirit
    The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the
    Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He
    convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects
    regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ.
    He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which
    they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His
    presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the
    stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship,
    evangelism, and service.
    Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18;
    3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16
    17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6;
    Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14;
    4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1
    John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.
    III. Man
    Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as
    the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s
    creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with
    freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human
    race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his
    original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin.
  • Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under
    condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to
    fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God
    created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every
    race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
    Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew
    16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21
    31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
    IV. Salvation
    Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus
    Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer.
    In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and
    glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
    A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new
    creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of
    sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and
    commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.
    B. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all
    sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of
    peace and favor with God.
    C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart
    to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the
    presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue
    throughout the regenerate person’s life.
    D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the
    redeemed.
    Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32;
    John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31;
    20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1
    Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians
    1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy
    1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6
    2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
    V. God’s Purpose of Grace
  • Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies,
    and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means
    in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is
    infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by
    His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers
    may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their
    graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on
    themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
    Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19;
    21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44
    45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1
    Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14;
    2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:3912:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
    VI. The Church
    A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of
    baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing
    the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges
    invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each
    congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a
    congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural
    officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church,
    the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
    The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the
    redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
    Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28;
    Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22
    32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4;
    Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.
    VII. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
    Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and
    the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried,
    and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to
    walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the
    dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to
    the Lord’s Supper.