What We Believe
(The Bible: 66 Books)
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired by God and is God’s revelation of Himself to Mankind. It is true, trustworthy and without error. It reveals the principles by which God will Judge us. It sets the standards for our behavior and conduct and is a measure by which all opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is the focus of divine revelation.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is a spiritual and personal being who loves us. He is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite, all knowing, all present, and all powerful. We believe God reveals Himself to us in the presence of the Trinity: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, with distinct personalities but without division of nature, essence, or being. God will judge the sins of all men and women.
A. God the Father
God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe. 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 and women.
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He was 100% God and 100% man. He was crucified and died to take the sin of the world upon His shoulders so that we may be forgiven of our sin, reconciled, and restored to fellowship with God the Father. After His death on the cross He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples. He then ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father where He mediates and advocates on our behalf. One day He will return in great power to judge the world.
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God fully divine. He inspired men to write the Holy Bible. He enables men and women to understand God’s truth. He convicts men and women of their sin, righteousness, and judgment.
When a person accepts Jesus as savior the Spirit baptizes every believer into the body of Christ. (Later they are baptized by water.) The Spirit bestows spiritual gifts to the believer. He seals the believer until the final day of judgment.
III. Man (Men and Women)
Man is a special creation of God made in His own image. He created male and female as the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning, man was innocent and free from sin. God gave mankind the freedom of choice and man (Adam and Eve) were tempted by Satan and chose to sin by disobeying God. From that point to this day, mankind has inherited that sin nature. However God provides a way for redemption through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All who believe in Christ and repent of their sin will be forgiven of their sin and will spend eternity with God in Heaven.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ.
Salvation has four parts:
Regeneration is a new spiritual birth (being “born again”). Believers become new creatures in Christ. The change is made when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and we repent. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin towards God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus and a commitment to Him as Savior and Lord of our lives.
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of our sins. We are brought into a relationship of peace and favor with God. We are made right with God.
Sanctification is begun by regeneration by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes and is able to progress towards moral and spiritual maturity through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells inside of each believer. Sanctification is a lifelong process of being set apart for God.
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed (Heaven).
V. God’s Purpose and Grace
Those who are truly sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away. They will never lose their salvation. God will preserve us to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation and impair their graces and comfort and suffer temporary judgment yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
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 ordinances and laws of Christ.
Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through a democratic process. Each member is 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 also speaks of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers of every tribe, tongue, and nation.
VII. Baptism and Lord’s Supper
Christian Baptism is by immersion of a believer in the water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience signifying the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ. It is a prerequisite for the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper, the second of Christ’s Ordinances, is a symbolic act of obedience whereby believers take the bread and cup, memorializing the death of the Redeemer (Christ), and anticipate His return.
VIII. The Lord’s Day
The rest day of the week (Sunday) is the Lord’s Day. It commemorates Christ's Resurrection and should include exercises of worship, spiritual devotion, and prayer.
IX. The Kingdom
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular Kingdom over men who willingly acknowledge Him as King. Believers pray and believe that God’s Kingdom will come to earth.
X. Last Things
God in His own time and own way will appropriately bring the world to an end. The dead will be raised and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous will receive glorified bodies, will receive their reward, and dwell in Heaven forever.
XI. Evangelism and Mission
Every believer is to make disciples of all nations, winning the lost to Christ.
Christian education is necessary to complete spiritual development and maturity of God’s people.
God is the giver of all blessings. The believer should serve God with their time, talents, and material possessions.
Members of the New Testament Church should cooperate with one another and with other churches in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the growth of the Kingdom of God.
For sections XVI. Peace and War, XVII. Religious Liberty, XVIII. The Family, and a complete explanation along with supporting scriptures to all of these statements please see the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Baptist Faith and Message."