WHAT WE BELIEVE
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
LORD is to be feared, glorified, and enjoyed by those who love Him.
Jesus: He is Messiah, Redeemer, and Lord.
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 made atonemnt for sin. 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
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 sufficient.
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 itself.
Sin: Every human being is a sinner by their birth and choosing.
Sin affects everyone because all
are sinners. Such sin is derived from our first parents Adam and Eve
(original sin). As a result, all mankind is lost in
sin before God and must be saved from their sin by trusting
in Christ alone.
Salvation: Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ
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 by His grace alone. The grace by which
we are saved is through faith; one must believe upon Christ alone to be
elected His people from before the foundation of the world to be holy and
blameless before Him. He did not elect sinners to salvation because He saw in
advance how they would make a wholesome religious decision to follow Christ.
Rather, in the midst of man's depravity He chose some unto salvation, and did
so out of sheer grace, so that no one should boast. The God of the Bible is an
Evangelism: We tell others about Jesus.
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 Supper.
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 of God.
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
The Local Church: The Local
Church meets to worship and proclaim Christ.
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.
Jesus will return in all His glory to separate the sheep believers from unbelievers. Believers are called to live their lives
in eager anticipation of His return. Unbelievers are called upon to repent and
believe the gospel.