Our Beliefs

Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith and Message.  It serves as a guide to understanding who they are. Copies are available at Southern Baptist churches.  The topics here provide only a brief, partial summary.  The full text on the issue discussed is also available.

 

Statement of Faith & Affirmation for membership

God the Father: (Trinity) He is the Lover of our souls. He is YHWH! El Elyon! He is God Most High!

I believe God, the Father, is the chief figurehead of the Triune God, distinct in person but same in essence, attributes, and nature; revealed differently (more immanently) in advancing dispensations (Heb. 1:1-3). I believe that all three of the triune God have been given scriptural roles for the creation of heaven and earth, the visible and invisible, sustaining that creation, and involvement in making, saving, and judging mankind.

Jesus Christ: (Trinity) He is the physical manifestation of the reality of God’s existence, miraculous power, and great love for us!

I believe that scripture teaches us that Jesus is God, the Son, distinct in personhood but same essence, attributes, and nature of the Triune Godhead. He is the physical manifestation of God (John 1:1-18, Heb. 1:1-3, Col. 1:15, 2:9). I believe that, although equal, he humbled himself in subjection to the Father in the work of salvation (Phil. 2:6-8). His distinct work is to glorify the Father through his willingness to become a man, to suffer the reality of mankind in all our humanity (tempted, desirous of physical needs, et al yet sinless); that he is the only sacrificial Lamb sufficient to pay the sin debt of all mankind; that his work on the Cross: covers that sin in his blood, takes the power and penalty of sin off of repentant man, and he imputes his righteous requirements of the Law into regenerate man (Romans 8:3-5).

The Holy Spirit: (Trinity) if we reject God in all three manifestations to get our attention we are eternally lost (Unpardonable Sin)!

I believe that the Holy Spirit is a person and not an active force of God. He has all of the divine attributes of the Triune Godhead; he is the same in nature but is distinct in his activity with mankind. He is the source of revelation (written and prophetic 2 Peter 1:12-21); he regenerates, sanctifies, gifts, illumes, counsels, teaches, intercedes, and indwells saved mankind; he convicts and judges saved/ unsaved mankind of sin (John 14-16; Romans 8:1-17), and points all towards Jesus (brings glory to Jesus)

He is the final manifestation of God (moving from up there- out there the Voice of God, to becoming one of us, to indwelling us)

The Virgin Birth:

There are two physical / historical occasions that bear witness to the Deity of Christ: the Resurrection and the Incarnation. Both are just as miraculous and literally necessary for Christianity to be true. I believe them to be so. (Isa.7:14; Mt.1:18-23)

Satan:

I believe that Satan is real, he is a created being, a fallen angel who rebelled against God in heaven, led 1/3 of the heavenly hosts in that rebellion, has assumed power and dominion of the earth (Adam gave it away), is our enemy, accuser, tempter, & destroyer. He is a roaring lion roaming to and fro seeking to steal, kill, and destroy us (1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10, & Job 1:7). He is the originator of sin and pride. He is defeated but not yet detained.

Salvation:

I hold to the five great “SOLAS” of the Reformation: Faith Alone ~ Grace Alone ~ Jesus Alone ~ Scripture Alone ~ God Alone ~ only by faith(Eph. 2:8, Jam.2:26, Rom. 1:17), only by God’s grace(Eph. 2:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:3-9; Rom. 9:16), only by Jesus’ sacrifice(Acts 4:12, John 1:29, 11:25, 14:6), revealed through the Word alone(Rom. 1:17,10:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17), for the glory of God ~ alone(Isa.42:8, Rev. 1:6, 15:3-4). ). I believe there is a God ingredient (invisible) and a man ingredient (visible) to salvation but man cannot save himself! Only God does the regeneration, also called the new birth. But if we combine all of the “do this and you will be saved” one can see a process in salvation. I believe that we are called to: hear, believe, repent, confess, baptism, live newness of life, & finish well. Our ability to follow this plan shows (visibly) that we are indeed regenerated (invisibly) and therefore secure in our salvation and free to grow in our love relationship with God. Matt. 3:8 & Romans 8:3.

Mankind:

I believe that mankind was created in the image of God as the pinnacle of His creation (Gen. 1:26-28). We uniquely bear the image in our elements of intellect, emotion, and will; but more so in our ability to reason, to make moral judgments, and to comprehend the transcendent. Men and women are created with equal value, worth and ability but holds different positions as image-bearers. The Fall of Man was put on Adam and not Eve, even though she sinned first…because man has the dominant role. She was deceived but he chose to disobey. I believe we are all heirs to that fallen nature and broken relationship with our Maker (Romans 5). I believe in the free will of man and that given our sinful nature we will always rebel against God (Romans 6 & 7). Even the regenerate man is still burdened with that sin nature and must daily choose to put to death the old man and learn to walk in submission and surrender to the Holy Spirit (who is not a cowboy but waits for our yielded obedience to His leading) and that mankind can still freely choose apostasy (Heb. 6:4-6; John 3:6, Romans 8).

Marriage, Gender, Sexuality: Manhood and womanhood are greatly debated in America today and in the fight for “equal rights” the falsehoods of egalitarianism, sameness, and identity are being promoted, blurred and crossed. We believe and affirm that men and women are indeed equal in value, ability, wisdom, and worth but they are different in function, role, and office. Both genders of Manhood and Womanhood are necessary for the image of God to be fully displayed in His creation of humanity (Genesis 1:27). Therefore gender matters, how one is born matters, marriage between only a man and a woman matters because all of these serve the primary purpose of displaying the image of our Creator.

For God’s Image to be fully manifested in mankind we believe and affirm that how one is born determines ones sexual identity. We believe and affirm that marriage also displays an image of God and the Salvation Story in that the man is the image of God in his masculinity and headship and that the wife is the image of Christ’s submission to the Father and her femininity that quality needed for the fullness of God to be bore out in Humanity.

The Bible:

I believe in the inerrancy and inspiration of the Holy Bible (Scriptures). The Bible is the 66 books of the Old & New Testament; and is the unique God-breathed revelation of our Maker and is our final authority in faith and practice for life, home, church, and society. (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1; Romans 13-14 respectively)

The Church:

I believe the invisible, universal church (creeds call catholic) consist of all true regenerate believers and followers of Jesus Christ, regardless of denominational divisions. Called the Body (and Bride) of Christ, we are autonomous and are commissioned to bear witness of the truth claims of the Biblical worldview; to evangelize the lost, and to edify the saved.

Water Baptism: Essential yet not Salvific

I believe that immersion is the only public declaration[1], pledge of allegiance, scriptural response, and first step in obedience to the Gospel Preached (Mat. 3:15, 28:18-20, Mk. 16:16). I do not believe in baptismal regeneration, or that baptism is salvific or effectual[2]. I believe it is the pledge of a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21), an outward display of an inward working (Romans 6:1-4, Acts 2:37-39). Baptism is a response to the Gospel, it is not the Gospel and when misused (while essential, overemphasized) it gives a false assurance of salvation and produces an impotent (merely professing) church and (if unrepentant) a wet heathen (Mt. 3:8).

Communion: Emphasis on the manner not the mode

Along with baptism, communion is one of the two ordinances instituted by Christ for the church and both are pictures of our union with Him and also with one another. I do not believe that it is effectual in granting grace[3] but is instead a reminder of that Grace given. I believe in the benefit of a weekly practice modeled in the NT[4], it is the Lord’s Table and therefore open to all professing believers. (John 6:53-58; 1 Corinth. 10:16-17; 11:23-29)

Giving and Stewardship: We will invest in those that are invested with us

I believe the NT practice of giving (not tithing) is for meeting the needs of the body, supporting the work of the Gospel locally and globally, and giving to the poor; it should not be compulsorily yet we are all called to not be greedy for money but generous in giving. (Acts 2:45, 6:1; 1 Corinth. 16:2; 2 Corinth. 8:5, 12; 1 Tim. 5:18, 6:5; James 2:16; Mal. 3:8-10)

Heaven/ Hell:

I believe that Heaven and Hell are real (literal, actual) places of eternal existence and people were created to exist for eternity and will either exist eternally separated from God by sin in Hell, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation in Heaven. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally with Him is Heaven.

(John 3:16; 3:36; 5:24, 28-30; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 25:46)

 

 

 
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