Baptist Church Ministry Network Statement of Faith
1. The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God; furthermore, we believe that the Holy Scriptures, as originally written, do not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God. The Holy Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. We believe the Holy Scriptures should be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
2. The Godhead
We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons-—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:10, 26)
3. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
A. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8)
B. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
C. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God the Father where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2)
4. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
A. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14)
B. We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)
C. We believe that God is sovereign in the giving of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the local church in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12)
D. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were temporary. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit, and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection; however, we do believe that God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (1 Corinthians 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22)
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively. We believe that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness, and that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind.”
6. The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the entire human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19)
We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for forgiveness of sins and salvation, which is the free gift of God’s grace. Salvation is effected by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and cannot be secured by man’s works or personal merit. Salvation is only appropriated by a person placing his faith in the finished work of Christ. Repentance is a turning toward God and away from sin and is a part of but not separate from believing faith. “The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” and those who receive Jesus Christ by faith are born again, have their sins forgiven, become children of God, are a new creation in Christ, and “are sealed by the Holy spirit unto the day of redemption” being kept by the power of God (Ephesians 1:7;13-14; John 1:12-13; John 14-16; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 1:16; Romans10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 814-17, 31-39; John 10:27-29: Romans 14:6; Acts 26:20; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
8. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination. (Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:47; 1 John 5:2)
9. The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
A. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1; 38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:4-5)
B. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)
10. The Church
A. We believe that a Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being understood to be the citadel and propagator of the Divine and Eternal Grace; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: First, to make individual disciples; Second, to build up the church; Third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Leviticus 27:31; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 6:5-6; 14:23; 15:22-23; 20:17-28; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 6:1-3; 11:2; 12:4, 8-11; 16:1-2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-13)
B. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
C. As a Baptist entity we hold to the following Baptist Distinctives:
We believe in biblical authority in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in the autonomy of the local church – congregational rule.
We believe in the priesthood of all believers.
We believe in two ordinances of the local church – baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe in individual soul liberty.
We believe in a saved and baptized church membership.
We believe in two offices listed in Scripture of the local church – pastor and deacon.
We believe in the separation of church and state.
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations, and to refrain from all immodest appearances. (Romans 12:1-2; 14:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11; Leviticus 19:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
12. The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Psalm 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45; Zechariah 14:4-11; I Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)
13. The Eternal State
A. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13)
B. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6)
C. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15)
14. The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 20:10)
15. Human Sexuality
Since God created mankind into genders distinctly male and female, we believe that the only legitimate marriage is that between a man and a woman. He has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God rejects any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27; 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 17:23 26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16 17; Hebrews 11:3)
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20)