As a preamble of this statement of faith, we want to make it clear that we preach and teach the Doctrines of Grace, sometimes called the five points of Calvinism. By this we mean, we believe in the total inability of man to save himself or aid in that purpose. We further believe the saved are elected to salvation unconditionally. Sinners are saved by the particular, substitutionary, sacrificial death of Christ at Calvary. These saved sinners are brought to faith in Christ by His irresistible Spirit and are preserved to the end.
We further believe in the doctrines rediscovered in the Reformation– that our faith is in Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Sola Gratia (grace alone), Sola Fide (faith alone), Solus Christus (Christ alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be glory).
We, as a local Baptist Church, are of the Historic Baptist and Calvinistic perspective of the early Baptists. We stand in agreement with the London Baptist Confession of 1646, the earliest known Baptist Confession, and in general agreement with the first American Baptist Confession called the Philadelphia Baptist Confession of 1742. We further avow this historic Baptist position in the following contemporary statement written in 1994 and adopted in January of 1995. We avow these statements of faith, but our final spiritual authority is always the Bible itself.
STATEMENT OF DOCTRINE
I. The Scriptures
We believe that the Bible, made up of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, is the only infallible rule in all matters of faith and practice.
We do acknowledge that the light of nature in the work of creation and God’s providential dealings with man are sufficient to leave a man inexcusable for his sin but not sufficient for his salvation.
Since the Bible contains all things necessary for glorifying God, man’s salvation, faith, and life, nothing is to be added to or subtracted from it at any time by any means.
The Bible is the supreme judge in all controversies of religion.
II. The Doctrine of God
We believe that the Lord our God is that Spirit that is one living and true God; whose essence cannot be comprehend by any but Himself.
He is the Creator, creating out of no pre-existing material all things, and sustainer of all things. ”In Him we live and move and have our being.: He is immortal, invisible, all-wise, immutable, eternal, all-powerful. He is holy in all and pure in love and wrath.
Although God is one God, He is yet three in that one essence– the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is undivided in essence and yet distinct within the Godhead.
This God is sovereign over all, a “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
III. The Doctrine of Man
We believe that man was created upright possessing the likeness of God, and as all of the original creation, was “good,” filled with all necessary perfection of nature with immense intellectual powers and in fellowship with God. Man fell from this lofty position by willful transgression of th eLaw of God in eating of the forbidden fruit thereby incurring immediate spiritual and eventual physical death upon himself and his posterity as a rule. Now all of Adam’s posterity are born with Adam’s fallen nature, and are therefore, deprived of communion with God, and are the children of wrath, and the servants of sin unless and until set free in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Because of this fall, no man, unaided by the Spirit of God, can or does desire an approach to God. Even after regeneration, men are not wholly delivered from “this body of sin” until we leave this life.
IV. The Doctrine of Salvation
We believe, because he is a sinner by nature and by choice, man is under the wrath of God and the sentence of the second death. Man, being in such a state, is incapable of securing his own salvation. He is, therefore, completely at the mercy of God. God, gracious and loving, determined to save His elect people from their sins by His free and sovereign grace in Jesus Christ.
From eternity God has had a plan to be just and yet the Justifier of His elect people by the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross. Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant, securing for His people eternal life.
The Holy Spirit of God, because of Christ’s redemptive work, quickens the elect, bringing them infallibly to faith in Christ– faith being the ordained, necessary means in the salvation of God’s people.
V. The Doctrine of Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Trinity. He is both God the Son and the Son of God. Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary of the seed of Abraham and David with a perfect human and divine nature without confusion.
It pleased God in His eternal purpose to make Christ the Mediator fo the New Covenant, the one true mediator between God and man. He holds the offices of prophet, priest, and king on behalf of His people. He is Head and Savior of His Church, which He purchased with His own blood. He is heir of all things and judge of the world. By Him and Him alone all that so that he rwill be saved must be saved.
VI. The Doctrine of Regeneration (Being Born Again)
We believe that regeneration is the work of God the Holy Spirit, by which He quickens (makes alive) a person to spiritual life, illuminating the Holy Scriptures to that person so that he repents of his sins and believes on Christ to the saving of his soul. Regeneration, therefore, precedes repentance and faith, but is never exclusive of them. Those regenerated are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal life.
VII. The Doctrine of Sanctification (The State of Purity or Holiness)
We believe that sanctification is both legally accomplished for God’s people by Christ once and for all, and progressively accomplished by the Holy Spirit as He makes us more and more like Christ. Christ-likeness and personal holiness are one and the same thing. Those who are God’s elect people are to be ever engaged in the work of mortifying indwelling sin, while they strive to be more like Christ. The Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the believer to the accomplishing of this work of sanctification, which will be completed in glorification.
VIII. The Doctrine of Security
We believe that those who are God’s people are so by grace in divine election. They have been made acceptable by Christ’s work and, therefore, will never totally or finally fall away but will be kept to the end. Though God’s people often fail, are tempted, and grieve the Holy Spirit and thus incur temporal judgment upon themselves and bring reproach upon God and His Church, yet they shall be renewed again to repentance and faith to the salvation of their soul. Those who professed Christ and yet fall away were never truly Christ’s from the first.
IX. The Doctrine of the Church
We believe the Church is universal in nature as well as local. The Church is universal in that it is the called-out body that God has chosen, Christ has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has called. It is, therefore, all of God’s people throughout time from every locality. The Church is local in that all those called-out saints are commanded to assemble together under the teaching of the Word for mutual edification. The Church’s Builder, Head, and Savior is Christ. Christ rules over His Church as the Word is preached and properly applied. Christ gifts His Church with Pastors, sometimes called Elders or Bishops, to feed His people by preaching the Word of God. Those who preach the Gospel are to be enabled of the Church to live of the Gospel as God provides. God has also given to the Church Deacons who are God’s servants of the Church, who are called to relieve the Pastors of all temporal hindrances in the Church that keep the Pastors from prayer and study of the Word.
We believe baptism is an ordinance commanded by God and exemplified by Christ and is obligatory on all true believers. The mode of baptism is immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as a sign of the believer’s participation and identification in the death and resurrection of Christ to a new life in Christ. Baptism is necessary to Church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper. Since all clear examples of New Testament baptism are of intelligent, confessing believers, only mature believers are baptized.
XI. The Lord’s Supper
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper out of the Passover elements of unleavened bread and wine. The Supper is a perpetual reminder and proclamation of Christ’s own sacrificial and substitutionary death on behalf of His people and of that people’s communion with one another in that death. The Supper is a Church ordinance. To partake of this remembrance in an unworthy manner because of improper self examination is to incur the possibility of temporal judgment upon one’s self.
The Lord’s Supper is in no sense a re-sacrifice of Christ nor does it have saving merit. It is a remembrance of the one and all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ.
XII. The Doctrine of Christian Liberty
We believe the Gospel of Christ is truly liberating. The liberty that Christ has purchased for believers by His death is freedom from the guilt of sin and its just condemnation under the law, the dominion of sin, and, ultimately, even the presence of sin. Christians are also free from the yoke of the ceremonies of the law that were shadows and types of Christ and His work. We are free to worship and serve God in the Spirit, and live for His glory.
Christian liberty has nothing to do with freedom from responsibility to the holy character of God reflected in His law or freedom in anywise to sin.
XIII. Invested Authority
We believe God has given authority to three earthly institutions to which He has commanded obedience. These institutions are the family, human government, and the Church. Each of these institutions has a disctinct area of responsibility. When family, government, and the Church are functioning properly, all disobedience merits punishment. However, when any of these institutions is in conflict with God’s Word, the Christian is obligated to obey God rather than man.
XIV. The Priesthoold of All Believers
We believe int he priesthood of all believers because of the successful priesthood of Christ. Christ, having sanctified Himself, has appeared once to put away sin by the offering of Himself a sacrifice for the sin of His people. He entered within the veil into the presence of His people. He makes His people a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spritual sacrifice.
XV. The Doctrine of Resurrection
We believe that the bodies of saved and unsaved men after death return to the dust; but their spirit to God. The spirits of the righteous are brought into perfect perfect holiness and happiness with Christ and are right with God, waiting the redemption of the body, which will be conformed to the glorious body of the resurrected Christ. The spirits of the wicked are cast into hell, waiting the resurrection of their bodies of dishonor to final sentencing in judgment separated eternally from the presence of God and all good. A unique group of believers alive at Christ’s coming will be transformed to the glorified body without death. They are the exception, not the rule.