1. CONCERNING THE BIBLE. We believe the Bible (the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments) to be the verbally-inspired Word of God, written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. It is, therefore, inerrant in the original manuscripts, an infallible, complete, and sufficient guide for belief and behavior, and having been preserved by God through the ages, is our only and final authority.
2. CONCERNING THE TRIUNE GOD. We believe in one God, eternally-existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all having the same attributes and perfections, yet so as there are not three Gods, but One, each having the whole of the divine essence, yet distinct from one another, so that the Persons are not to be confused nor the substance divided. God as to His Being is spirit, self-existent, eternal and invisible; as to His Character is most-holy, righteous, just, merciful and loving; as to His Nature, is all-present, all-powerful, all-knowing, infinite and incomprehensible, sovereignly-ruling the universe He has made according to the good pleasure of His will, for the praise of His glory and the good of His creation.
3. CONCERNING THE SON OF GOD. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is fully God, possessing all of His attributes and perfections. At the appointed time, He became fully man, without ceasing to be God, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, so that the two natures, the human and the divine, while remaining distinct, were inseparably joined in one person.
We believe that, though subject to all temptations that are common to men, He lived a sinless life, perfectly keeping every detail of God’s law without failure, thus fitting Him to be the perfect sacrifice for sinful men. In due time, He yielded Himself up to die on the cross in order to purchase redemption for God’s elect, dying in their place and bearing the punishment for their sins in order that they might receive eternal life. He was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to Scripture. He ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of God the Father as our Intercessor and Advocate, which work He shall continue until He comes again to receive us unto Himself.
4. CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, the third member of the Trinity, and being fully God, He possesses all of His attributes and perfections. Having been sent by God the Father and God the Son to execute their will in relation to man, He is the effective agent in applying to the elect the salvation which was planned by the Father and purchased by the Son.
Thus, the Spirit convicts and regenerates sinners, indwells, seals and sanctifies believers, spiritually baptizing them into the Body of Christ and imparting to them spiritual gifts for the service of their King.
The Spirit who inspired the written Word of God guides us into all truth by illuminating that Word to our minds and hearts, in order that we might know the mind and will of God to obey it.
5. CONCERNING MAN. We believe that man is the direct and immediate creation of God. God created man in His own image, free from sin, or any tendency toward sin, and endowed him with intellect, emotion and will. Furthermore, God made man morally responsible for his actions and gave him opportunity to exercise that moral responsibility by placing before him a test of his obedience to the law of God. Adam and Eve violated that law by eating the forbidden fruit, and thereby fell from that state of innocence in which they were created.
The result of Adam’s sin of disobedience is that he incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death and became subject to the wrath of God. The effect of sin upon Adam was such that he became totally depraved, completely unable and unwilling to remedy his condition, or of choosing or doing that which is pleasing to God.
We believe that Adam was the representative and head of the entire human race, and that when he fell, we fell in him according to Scripture, and thus the guilt of his sin is imputed to all his descendants, and the corruption of his nature is transmitted by birth to them, our Lord Jesus Christ being the sole exception.
From this inherent depravity of nature issue forth sinful thoughts, motives and actions, so that we are sinners both by nature and by choice.
6. CONCERNING THE ELECT OF GOD. We believe that before the foundation of the world the Father chose, apart from any merit or foreseen faith in them, those whom He, according to the good pleasure of His will, purposed to save, and that this people, called “the elect” throughout Scripture, are saved solely on the basis of the merit and work of our Lord Jesus Christ alone, who shed His blood to redeem them from their sins.
Such people are saved, when by God’s sovereign initiative, they are called by the Father into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ, and are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, thereby enabling them to turn from their sins, and place their trust in Christ alone for their salvation. Those thus saved by God’s free grace are empowered by Him to live a holy life, which is the inseparable attendant of true salvation, and will ultimately and without exception enjoy eternal bliss in the presence of God their Maker and Redeemer.
We believe that all men without exception are to be exhorted and commanded to repent and believe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that all are responsible to do so. Furthermore, believers are obligated by divine love and command to make every effort to employ God-ordained means to bring men to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. We reject any attitude or argument that would seek to promote an apathetic or fatalistic spirit in the area of evangelism, obedience, or service as unbiblical and God-dishonoring.
7. CONCERNING THE CHURCH. We believe that the Church is composed of all those who trust in Christ Jesus as their Savior and Lord, and that this universal Church of all believers finds its visible expression in local churches made up of believers from a limited geographical area. We believe that each church is to be self-governing, and self-propagating, and while it may and should cooperate with other churches of like precious faith, it should also be committed to separation from all apostasy and heresy. It shall be directed and ruled by no external authority, but by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, through the Word of God, as it is administered by elders and deacons elected from within each local church. We believe that the ordinances of the Church consist of the Lord’s Supper, which is memorial in nature, and water Baptism, which is by immersion.
8. CONCERNING ETERNAL LIFE & ETERNAL DEATH. We believe that physical death involves the separation of the material body and the immaterial soul. The body sees corruption, but the soul, which neither ceases to exist nor sleeps, in the case of the redeemed, immediately passes into the presence of God, to await in conscious bliss the reuniting with and resurrection of its body at the Return of Christ Jesus; and in the case of the condemned, immediately passes into conscious torment until the resurrection on that Great Day of Judgment in which it will be reunited with the body for both judgment and sentencing, and finally cast into eternal conscious torment in the Lake of Fire.
9. CONCERNING THE RETURN OF OUR LORD JESUS & THE KINGDOM OF GOD REALIZED. We believe in the visible, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ to the earth at the end of this age, to judge the living and the dead with finality, and to usher in the fully-realized Kingdom “of Christ and of God”, the “home of the righteous”, in a universe renewed and forever-free from sin’s terror.
(For a fuller expression of our doctrinal statements with accompanying Scripture verses, see The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689.)
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