Except where the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message contradicts or conflicts with the principles stated below, the church adopts as its Doctrinal Statement of Faith, and incorporates herein as if stated verbatim, the confessional statement of “The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention. Where the principles stated below conflict with or are incompatible with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, the principles below shall control, govern and take precedence over the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.
Further, we ascribe to the following principles:
The Scriptures: The Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament were given by the inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and practice.
God: There is but one God; the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things. He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.
The Trinity: God is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
Providence: God from eternity decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any way to author or approve of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.
Election: The elect are those who God knew before the foundation of the world would be called to salvation and, therefore, were also foreknown by Him alone to be predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ.
Sovereignty of God and Free Will of Man: God is completely sovereign in all things and He has given mankind the ability to accept or reject His offering of grace. This apparent contradiction is of God and is not fully understandable to us on this side of heaven. God has given specific instructions to His church to present the message of salvation and grace to all people that they may accept or reject His offering.
The Fall of Man: God originally created man in His own image and free from sin. But through the temptation of Satan, man transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit nature is corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, and is under condemnation, and therefore, as soon as all persons are capable of moral action, they become actual transgressors.
The Mediator: Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, was born of a virgin, and is the divinely appointed Mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest, King, Head of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.
Salvation: Salvation is a change of heart brought about by the Holy Spirit, who brings to life those who were dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually to understand the Word of God; and renews their whole nature so that they love and practice holiness. It is the work of God’s free and special grace alone and is offered freely to whosoever believes in Him.
Repentance: Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being convicted and made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin by the Holy Spirit, humbles himself for it, has a godly sorrow and detestation and abhorrence of it, and turns from sin with a purpose and endeavor to walk with God so as to please Him in all things.
Faith: Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ is true and accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life. Faith is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.
Justification: Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners who believe in Christ, being justified from all sin through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them, but on account of the obedience and finished work of Christ, and receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.
Sanctification: Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s Word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of divine strength which all saints seek to obtain while pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ’s commands.
Perseverance of the Saints: Those whom God has accepted in the Beloved Christ and sanctified by His Spirit will never totally or finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end, and through they may sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and bring temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
The Church: The Lord Jesus Christ is Head of the Church which is composed of His true disciples, and in Him is vested all power for its government. According to His commandments, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies of churches. The Lord Jesus has given to each of these churches the needed authority for administrating order, discipline, and worship which He has appointed.
Baptism: Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit as a sign of his fellowship with the death and the resurrection of Christ, of the remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God to live and walk in newness of life. It is a prerequisite to church fellowship and participating in the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ to be administered with the elements of bread and fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His churches until He comes again. The Lord’s Supper is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces given Christians, and to be a bond, pledge, and renewal of their communion with Him and of their church fellowship.
The Lord’s Day: The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for the regular observance of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. It is a time for resting from worldly employments and amusements. Works of necessity and mercy are accepted.
Liberty and Conscience: God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word and not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be yielded to by us in the Lord, not only to escape wrath, but also for conscience sake.
The Resurrection: The bodies of men, after death, return to dust but their spirits return immediately to God. The righteous rest with Him, but the wicked are reserved under darkness until the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
The Judgment: God has appointed a day when He will judge the world by His Son, Jesus Christ, when everyone shall receive according to his deeds. The wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.