THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE 2000
God: The LORD does not
share His glory with another. He is deserving of all praise and admiration. He
is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He does what He pleases, as He
pleases, whenever He pleases. The LORD is to be feared, glorified, and enjoyed
by those who love Him.
Jesus: He is Messiah, Redeemer,
Jesus is the Son of God, co-existent and co-equal with God the
Father. He came from heaven to live among sinners. He was obedient to God's Law
in every way. He had no sin. Jesus died on the cross where He atoned for the
sins of God's children. He was physically resurrected by the Father three days
after His death (Sunday) and ascended into heaven 40 days after His
resurrection. He currently rules and reigns over all things.
Holy Spirit: He convicts people
of sin, converts sinners to Christ, and illuminates the elect to truth.
The Holy Spirit is God. He is co-existent and co-equal with God
the Father and God the Son. He leads His people into all truth. He is to be
yielded to in all things. The Holy Spirit empowers believers to live a life of
service to God and grants joy in living. Evidence of Holy Spirit indwelling
consists of, but not limited to, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, open to reason, full of
mercy, impartiality, purity and sincerity.
The Bible: The Bible is inspired, without error, and
The Bible is the Word of God and can be trusted. It was written
in ancient languages, primarily Greek and Hebrew. The Bible has been translated
into numerous languages for everyday people to read. Some of the best
translations are the ESV, NASB, KJV, or NIV. Such translations are incredibly
accurate to the original languages. Because the Bible is inspired by God we
must not preach/teach the mere opinions of man, but rather the Word of God.
Believers need no earthly analytical tools such as critical theory to assist in
the Bible's interpretation or application. The Word of God is sufficient in
Sin: Every human being is a
sinner by their birth and choosing.
Sin affects everyone because all are sinners. People are not
sinners because they sin, rather people sin because they are sinners. Such sin
is derived from our first parents Adam and Eve (original sin). Mankind is
totally depraved because of sin. This is not to suggest the imago Dei is worthless
before God but rather all mankind is lost in sin before God. As a result,
mankind must be saved from their sin by trusting in Christ alone.
Salvation: Salvation is by grace
alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for God's glory alone.
Man's greatest need is to be reconciled to God. The problem is
mankind cannot save themselves. Nothing we do will satisfy the justice of God -
not our good works, good behavior, or benevolence. God saves His people by His
free grace alone. The grace by which we are saved is through faith; one must
believe upon Christ alone to be saved.
Evangelism: We tell others about
Believers are called to go and make disciples. The only way
people will hear of Christ is when someone tells them. Evangelism is not an
option. There is a heaven to be gained and a hell to be shunned. Should anyone
go to hell may they leap over our bodies in doing so. We must invite all people
to come to Christ and be saved.
Ordinances: Baptism and the Lord's
Baptism is very important. Every believer should be baptized.
Baptism conveys the glorious gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of
Christ. While some have attempted to use isolated verses to teach salvation by
baptism, one does not need to look far to see that only the blood of Jesus can
save sinners, a message clearly preached by the apostles. Baptism has been
defined as an outward expression of an inward change. Every believer, unless
providentially hindered, should be baptized. Standing in the water symbolically
proclaims death to self. In being placed under the water one is symbolically
proclaiming being buried with Christ. In being brought up out of the water the
individual is symbolically proclaiming they have been raised with Christ.
The Lord's Supper is sacred. In partaking of the Supper we
remember the depth of God's mercy in sending His Son to save His own. In
partaking of the Supper we are proclaiming the gospel - That Jesus died in our
place on the cross. The Lord's Supper is also a reminder that we will one day
have kingdom fellowship with the Lord Jesus. By no means are the elements the
actual blood and body of Christ. Rather, in the Lord's Supper we recognize the
Lord Jesus to be present among us.
The Church: The Church is the redeemed
God's Church is holy. Jesus loves the Bride (the church) and
ultimately died for her. The church was purchased by the blood of Christ. The
church gathers together to worship the triune God. The church evangelizes the
lost and seeks to live as lights in a dark world. The church consists of God's
people all throughout the ages. There is one church.
The Local Church: The Local Church meets to worship and proclaim
The local church is the place where God's people gather to
fellowship in singing, giving, partaking of the Lord's Supper, observing the
ordinance of Baptism, and sit under Biblical preaching. The Local Church
scatters to represent Christ everywhere they go, walking in wisdom toward
outsiders. The Local Church is comprised of confessing believers in the Lord
Jesus and are under the authority of Biblically qualified church Elders.
Members of the local church seek to walk together in unity by considering one
another. Believers should seek to join with, and serve alongside, a
Christ-honoring local church.
Second Coming of Christ: Jesus
will return someday.
At the sound of the trumpet Jesus Christ will return in all His
glory. At this time He will separate the sheep (believers) from the goats
(unbelievers). Believers are called to live their lives in eager anticipation
of His return. Unbelievers are called upon to repent and believe the
THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE 2000
Having received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives
under the leadership and direction of His Holy Spirit and having been baptized
as symbolic of the physical death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as
well as the spiritual death, burial, and resurrection of the believer, we do
hereby enter into covenant with one another and with God as one body in Jesus
Under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God, our intent is to
manifest Christian love toward one another, to work together for the progress
of this church in holiness, knowledge and comfort and to promote its prosperity
Moreover, we agree to sustain its worship, ordinances,
discipline and doctrines and to contribute joyfully and consistently to the support
of the ministry, the church’s expenses, benevolence, and the spread of the
Gospel of Christ to all nations.
We will also strive to maintain family and private devotions, to
religiously educate our children in biblical precepts, to seek to win our
kindred and acquaintances to faith in Jesus Christ, to walk in the Spirit of
Jesus Christ as an example before others, and to avoid any behavior that might
be a stumbling block for others.
We further agree that it is the privilege and responsibility of members
to honor, esteem and love the pastor and staff as our spiritual leaders, to
pray for them constantly and to manifest a tender regard for their reputation.
We will also remember one another in prayer, help each other in
our speech and be slow to take offense but ever ready to be reconciled,
remembering the rules of the Savior that in order to receive forgiveness, we
must be willing to forgive.
We also agree that if we leave from this place we will, as soon
as possible, unite with some other church where God’s Word is faithfully taught