OUR AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

God

 

There is one living and true God, the Sovereign over all that exists. He is Creator, Ruler, Sustainer, and Redeemer. He is infinite and transcendent, yet personal in nature. The Godhead exists eternally in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – of one essence, having the same attributes, and worthy of the same glory.  Genesis 1:1, 26-27; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 6:1-7; 40:9-31; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:5-6; Hebrews 1:1-4; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 1:5

 

As Father, God is intimately involved in the affairs of humankind, loves and disciplines perfectly, and guides the course of history.  Genesis 12:1-3; 50:19-20; Exodus 3:13-15; 20:1-17; 34:6-7; Psalms 10:16-18; 89:3-4; Proverbs 3:11-12; 2 Chronicles 7:13-14; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Daniel 2:20-22; Matthew 6:25-32; 7:11; Romans 8:15; Ephesians 1:3; Hebrews 12:5-11; James 1:17; 1 Peter 4:10; Revelation 21:1-4; 22:1-5

 

Jesus Christ 

 

Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He is the pre-existent Son of God who was sent by the Father into the world, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, performed many miracles, voluntarily substituted Himself for the sins of humankind by dying on a cross, and in so doing satisfied divine justice. He was raised from the dead and ascended bodily to the right hand of the Father, where He now intercedes for His own. At the appointed time He will come again for the fulfillment of redemption and the consummation of history.  Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; 20:28; John 1:1-5, 14; 10:29-30, 37-38; 14:10-31; 20:28, 30-31; 21:25; Acts 1:9-11; 2:22-24, 29-36; 10:37-43; Romans 1:3-4; 6:9-10; 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:18-20; 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14-15; 7:25; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:21-23; 1 John 5:20

 

Holy Spirit

 

As the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit draws people to Christ for salvation, indwells them from the time of their conversion, and seals them as children of God for the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit enables and empowers us for spiritual growth, emboldens us as witnesses for Christ, and bestows spiritual gifts for service and edification of the Body, that we would fulfill the will of the Father, bearing fruit to the glory of God.  John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26-27; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 4:31; 16:25-32; Romans 8:9, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:16, 22-25; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18

 

The Bible

 

The Bible is God’s Word, written by persons under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and consisting of the sixty-six canonical works of the Old and New Testaments. It is the supreme and final authority for our faith, as well as a fully sufficient guide for Christian faith and practice.  Psalms 119:105, 160; 12:6; Proverbs 30:5; Luke 1:1-4; 24:27, 44; Acts 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Hebrews 4:12

 

People

 

All human beings are created in God’s own image to reflect His glory, enjoying, loving, and obeying Him. However, due to our sin we have become spiritually dead and enslaved to sin, thus marring God’s image in us. Sin and its consequences are both personal and systemic, responsible for individual spiritual brokenness and every societal ill. Human beings, having this nature, are alienated from God, presently under divine condemnation, and destined for everlasting judgment.  Genesis 1:27; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; 59:1-2; John 3:18-20; 7:24; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 3:24; Ephesians 2:1-3

 

Salvation Of Sins

 

God, in His love and mercy, has provided for our salvation, exclusively through the accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Brought about not by our own human efforts or good works, salvation is instead a gift, bestowed by grace through faith. Spiritual rebirth produces a dynamic and living faith, which is empowered by the Holy Spirit and yields spiritual fruit, among which are love, joy, peace, and hope. The promise for all who share in this salvation is abundant and eternal life.  Matthew 1:21; John 3:3, 16; 14:6, 17; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:1, 6-8; 6:23; 8:17-18; 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 2:5-11; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 5:11-12; Revelation 20:15

 

The Church

 

The church, consisting of all the redeemed throughout the ages, is the Body of Christ and manifests the continuing presence of Christ in the world. The local church is a body of baptized believers united in Christ by adoption into God’s family, motivated and empowered to build God’s kingdom locally and throughout the world. We as a local congregation must choose freely with whom we will cooperate in that effort.  Matthew 3:13-17; 28:18-20; John 21:15-17; Acts 1:8; 8:36-40; 15:36, 41; 16:5; Romans 6:3-5; 12:4-8; 14:7-9, 12; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 12:13; 16:1; Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:5, 11-13, 16; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 10:23-25

 

Jesus' Second Coming

 

The return of Jesus Christ and His glorious and victorious consummation of God’s eternal plan are imminent and will include judgment of the living and the dead. Those who are not found in Christ at His return, whether still alive or having already died, will be separated from Him to eternal damnation. Those who are counted as Christ’s own will be rewarded for their faithfulness to him and will live eternally in His presence. Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead is the basis of the sure hope that we have a share with Him in His eternal dwelling.

Daniel 12:2; Matthew 13:49-50; 25:31-46; John 6:40; 11:25-26; 14:1-6; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:12-58; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 5:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 21:1-4; 22:13, 20

OUR BAPTIST DISTINCTIVES

The following convictions are an important part of our history and heritage as a Baptist congregation. We understand that fellow Christians from other faith traditions may hold theological views and engage in ministry practices that differ from these convictions. Nevertheless, these distinctives express the prevailing beliefs and practices of our congregation as a whole and should be respected as such by all who are a part of our church family.

 

Ordinances


Baptism: Historically, Baptists identify baptism as an ordinance, not a sacrament. An ordinance is a religious ceremony that is ordained by God Himself. In contrast, a sacrament is often thought of as a religious ceremony that confers a specific and inevitable experience of grace upon the recipient. Baptism is not necessary for salvation; nevertheless, it is a command of Christ that each of His followers must obey. It is an outward, physical symbol of an inner, spiritual reality as well as a public profession of one’s personal identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We reserve baptism for a person who has already committed his or her life personally to Christ as Savior and Lord. The biblical mode of baptism is by immersion in water. Baptism by immersion is a prerequisite for membership in this congregation.  Matthew 3:13-17, 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 8:12-13, 16:30-33; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12

 

The Lord’s Supper: We regard the Lord’s Supper, also known as Communion, as the only other New Testament ordinance. It is a memorial meal that reminds us of a past event, a present reality and a future hope. As an act of worship utilizing symbols – the two elements representing Christ’s body and blood – it provides an opportunity for deep, personal connection with God and meaningful fellowship with His people. Anyone who is a member of the spiritual and universal Body of Christ is invited to participate in this church’s observance of the Lord’s Supper.  Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 11:23-26

 

The Independence Of The Local Church


Baptists believe in and celebrate the autonomy of the local church to conduct its own ministry free of interference by any ecclesiastical or civil authority. We retain the right to decide for ourselves all matters of faith and governance. Nevertheless, we value the voluntary association of our congregation with any other Christian church as well as with our local, regional and national denominational entities for the accomplishment of joint mission endeavors and as a visible expression of our spiritual unity in the universal Body of Christ.

 

The Separation Of Church And State


We believe in the separation of church and state. Because of our own history of suffering persecution by civil and ecclesiastical authorities, Baptists have long championed the cause of religious freedom. We affirm the God-given right of individuals and faith communities to pursue their respective relationships with God and govern their own affairs free of outside intervention or control. We also affirm the God-given opportunity to influence our community and our government in the pursuit of godly righteousness and justice. Our church does not endorse candidates for public office.  Matthew 22:21; Romans. 13:7; 1Timothy 2:1-2

 

The Priesthood Of All Believers/Soul Competency


As Baptists, we purposely minimize the distinction between clergy and laity, asserting instead that all believers are priests subservient to Christ, our Great High Priest. We can each approach God directly ourselves. We need no human intermediary in order for us to relate meaningfully with our Heavenly Father. It is not for any clergyperson to tell us how we must believe. God alone is Lord of our conscience. Inherent in the truth of the priesthood of the believer is the principle of “soul competency.” Each believer is competent to interpret Scripture as one’s conscience is guided by the Holy Spirit. Likewise, each of us is directly accountable to God for our beliefs and behaviors. Our individual priesthood has another important implication: Our endowment with spiritual gifts makes each of us a minister. As ministers having the right to interpret Scripture for ourselves, we likewise have the duty to help the church discern and carry out God’s will.  John 14:26; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6, 5:10

 

The Value Of Personal Spiritual Disciplines


Along with other Christian traditions, Baptists place high value on the following personal spiritual disciplines. 

Worship Attendance: The Bible teaches that the Christian Sabbath is the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day, or Sunday. Since God would have us cultivate a sense of the holy, a regular habit of worship and spiritual nurture on that day should be the priority of all believers. The appropriateness of one’s activities should be the result of seeking God’s guidance personally.  Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 26:2; Psalm 118:24; Ezekiel 22:8; Mark 2:27; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Colossians 2:16; Hebrews 10:25

 

Devotional Life: The Bible teaches that a growing relationship with God is built in part through the study of God’s Word individually and corporately, as well as the development of a faithful prayer life.  Psalm 119:9-11; John 5:39; Acts 17:11; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 2 Timothy 3:15-17

 

Tithing: The Bible teaches that the faithful return of 10% (the tithe) of one’s income to the Lord’s work is the appropriate beginning standard of financial giving for all believers. Giving additional gifts of love above and beyond the tithe is our privilege.  Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 23:23; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

 

Cultivation of Community: The Bible teaches that all believers should intentionally pursue, promote and protect bonds of spiritual friendship with fellow brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.  John 15:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22, 4:8-10; Hebrews 10:25

 

Witnessing and Compassion: The Bible teaches that all believers have the privilege and responsibility to share the good news of salvation through Christ alone, as well as to engage in acts of compassion and kindness towards others as the Holy Spirit provides opportunity.  Matthew 4:19; 1 Corinthians 5:20: Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 6:18; Hebrews 13:16; 1 Peter 3:15

 

The Sanctity of Human Life and Marriage
We affirm our belief in the sanctity of human life that begins in the womb, the relationship of marriage as the only divinely ordained context for the expression of a sexual relationship, and the sacredness of the marriage relationship itself as being between one man and one woman until terminated by death as the biblical standard.  Genesis 1:27; 2:23-24; 19:1-11; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-16; Mark 10:1-9; Romans 1:24-27; 7:1-23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:7; Hebrews 13:4