These Articles of Faith are not intended to add anything to the simple conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, nor do we regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. We affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
Section 1. Of the Scriptures:
We believe that the Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.
Section 2. Of the True God:
- We believe that there is only one living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love.
- We believe that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious purposes in the great work of redemption.
- We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; that He died for our sins and was raised for our justification; that He is true God and true man and is the only sufficient mediator between God and man, through whom every soul may have direct access to God.
- We believe in the personality of the Holy Spirit and that His ministry is to reveal Christ to men in the regeneration and sanctification of their souls and in the understanding application of Christian truth.
Section 3. Of the Fall of Man:
We believe that man was created without sin, but through voluntary transgressions became sinful; therefore, all mankind are now sinners. Man is by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God.
Section 4. Of the Way of Salvation:
We believe that the salvation of sinners is only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who by His death made a full atonement for our sins.
Section 5. Of Justification:
We believe that justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life. It is bestowed solely through faith in the Redeemer's death, burial, and resurrection.
Section 6. Of the Freeness of Salvation:
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; and that nothing prevents the salvation of any sinner on earth except his/her own voluntary refusal to accept Jesus Christ as Teacher, Savior, and Lord.
Section 7. Of the Grace in Regeneration:
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.
Section 8. Of Repentance and Faith:
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 Savior.
Section 9. Of God's Purpose of Grace:
Election (God choosing man) is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, 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 a 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.
Section 10. Of Sanctification:
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 perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the saved person's life.
Section 11. Of Stewardship:
We believe that God is the source of blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual indebtedness to the whole world, a holy Trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these are entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.
Section 12. Of the Harmony of the Law and Gospel:
We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of moral government; that it is holy, just, and good.
Section 13. Of a New Testament Church:
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. It observes the two ordinances of Christ, Baptism and Lord's Supper, is committed to His teachings, exercises the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeks to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. This church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Its scriptural officers are Pastors and deacons.
Section 14. Of Baptism:
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 Savior, 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/her faith in the final resurrection of the dead.
Section 15. Of the Lord's Supper:
The Lord's Supper/Communion is a symbolic act of obedience whereby believers, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorializing the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming. It also is a proclamation of the gospel through biblically ordained visible illustrations. By declaring the gospel message, it is also a means of grace to the believer and unbeliever.
Section 16. Of the Lord's Day:
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day (Sunday). It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship, spiritual devotion, and for works of necessity and mercy.
Section 17. Civil Government:
We believe that civil government is a divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society, and that our civil leaders should be a matter of grave concern and prayer to every Christian. We further believe in the complete separation of the Church and State.
Section 18. Of Last Things:
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; 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 in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in the Kingdom of God.
Section 19. The Institution of the Family:
- God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
- Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
- The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
- Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.