The Church is an organized body of Christians who have been saved by personal faith in Jesus Christ and were subsequently baptized in The Name of the Father and the Son and The Holy Spirit. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and while recognizing diversity in methods, we are united to proclaim the truth of the Bible; to equip our membership for Christian service, spiritual growth and Christ-like living; and to carry out the Great Commission of taking the Gospel to all the world. We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and as the sole basis for our beliefs and actions. We affirm that personal saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way a person can enter into an eternal heavenly relationship with God. As an affirmation of basic Christian beliefs, and for guidance in the programs and teachings of the Church, the Church affirms “The Baptist Faith and Message,” as amended and reaffirmed in 2000 by the Southern Baptist Convention and further express our beliefs as follows:
God is Triune
There is one and only one living and true God. In the unity of the godhead, there are three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal, and co-eternal. Each possess distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God the Father
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. He reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace.
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and is fully man. He was always with God and is God. He is Savior for the sins of the world having shed His blood and died a substitutionary death on the cross. By His death in our place, He revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, the third day He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over sin, death and the powers of darkness. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all, awaiting His return. He is the Head of His body, the church, and should be worshiped, loved, served, and obeyed by all.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the redeemed. He will lead the church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. Thus bringing unity to the church.
We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. Being given by God, the Scriptures are fully inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. The Scriptures are authoritative and all things should be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Scripture.
God made man — male and female — in His own image, as the crown of creation, that man might glorify Him through enjoying fellowship with Him. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Man is incapable of being restored to fellowship with God apart from the work of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel, His resurrection is the power of the gospel, and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and place their faith in Him. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.
A. 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. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Understanding that we are dead in our sins and are opposed to God, learning of God’s offer of salvation and reconciliation through Christ we respond in repentance and faith. Repentance is a conscious decision that leads to turning from a life of sin and turning to a life of obedience to God. Faith is trusting and accepting the complete work of Jesus Christ and committing to Him as Lord and Savior.
B. Justification: We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the sin debt of all those who are justified. By His penal substitutionary death He bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf. By His perfect obedience He satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. It is by virtue of faith that His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God and is not in consideration of any works of righteousness we have done. The perfect righteousness of Christ imputed to us brings us into a state of peace and favor with God.
C. Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness. Sanctification is a progressive work which begins with regeneration and is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means: especially, the word of God, the community of believers (the church), self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
The church is the body of Christ, which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages. Scripture also emphasizes the importance of an autonomous local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. The local church is called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. Christ who is the head of the church has supplied the local church with those who teach and preach so that all members of the church should be nurtured and equipped for the work of the ministry. In the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world. The church is fulfilling the work of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth while making disciples.
The Lord’s Day
We observe the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day and encourage that it be kept sacred to religious purposes by one’s own devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remains for the people of God.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that scriptural baptism must be: (1) by being completely immersed under the water and (2) after salvation. These two facts set the standard for baptism today. Water baptism is the visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. Baptism has no saving power but is the first act of obedience symbolizing (1) the believer’s faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, (2) the believer’s death to sin and resurrection to walk anew in Christ, and (3) the Christian’s belief that he will die, be buried and that Jesus will resurrect him from the dead.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby believers remember and proclaim the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming. The Lord’s Supper symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body.
The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the righteous judgment of the just and unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan with his hosts and all those outside Christ are finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment; however the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God who makes all things new.