The Holy Scriptures

I believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The 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. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. I believe that God’s Word has been divinely preserved in the English language and commonly known as the Authorized King James Version. Therefore the Authorized King James Version shall be the official and only translation used by my family. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21).

The Godhead

I believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfection’s. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; John 14:10 & 26).

The Person and Work of Christ

I 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; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14:2; II Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8).

I 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; I Peter 1:3-5, 2:24; Ephesians 1:17).

I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as my High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; Romans 8:34; I John 2:1-2).

The Person of the Holy Spirit

I believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgment; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14).

I 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; I John 2:20 & 27).

I believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:7-12).

I believe the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were temporary. I believe that speaking in tongues was never the common necessary sign of the filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of my salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (I Corinthians 1:22, 13:8, 14:21-22; James 5:15).

The Helpless Sin-Nature of Man

I believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is spiritually helpless, 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).

Salvation

I believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of my sins (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10; I Peter 1:18-19). This free gift of salvation is fully available to all who will receive it by faith. I reject the notion that only the “elect” may be saved, or that God has chosen who can and cannot be saved. Salvation is available to “whosoever will” receive it. I believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above my comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.

I believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which I have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness is imputed unto me.

I believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations. When I was deeply convicted of my guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, I turned to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as my only and all-sufficient Saviour (John 3:3; II Corinthians 5:17 & 19; I John 5:1: Luke 5:27; John 3:6-7; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; John 1:12-13; Ephesians 5:9; Acts 13:39; Romans 8:1; Romans 5:9; Romans 5:1; Titus 3:5-7; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Romans 4:1-3; Hebrews 10:38; Acts 20:21; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:37-38; Luke 18:13; Romans 10:13; Luke 12:8; Romans 10:9-11).

Eternal Security

I 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; I Cor.1: 4-8; I Peter 1:4-5).

I 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).

The Church

I believe that the Scriptures teach that a Baptist Church is a local, visible, assembly of baptized believers associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only Scriptural offices are pastors (elders, bishops), and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the New Testament; that the true mission of each church is found in the Great Commission, first to make individual disciples, second, to build up the church by baptizing those believers, third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded; that this order cannot be reversed; that each church has the absolute right of self government, free from interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only head of each church is Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for churches of like faith and order to co-operate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel, but that every church is sole and only judge of the measure and method of its co-operation; that in all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline, and benevolence, the free will of each church is final (Acts 2:41-42 & 47, 5:11; I Corinthians 4:17, 5:5,11; 11:2 & 23; II Corinthians 8:5, 23-24; I Timothy 3:5,15; II Thessalonians 3:7; Romans 16:17-20; Matthew 18:15-20; 28:19-20; John 14:15; 15:10; I John 4:21; I Thessalonians 4:2; II John 6; Philippians 1:1; Acts 14:23, 15:22-23, 20:17-28; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Ephesians 1:22,23, 4:11; I Corinthians 12:4,8-11; Acts 6:5-6; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23-24; I Peter 5:1-4; Jude 3-4; I Corinthians 5:11-13, 6:1-3).

I believe that the establishment and continuance of churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Matthew 16:18; Acts 13:1-3, 14:27, 20:17, 28-32; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).

I recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural and only ordinances of the church.

Scriptural Baptism

I believe the Scriptures teach that baptism is the immersion in water of the believer in Christ, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, performed with the church’s authority; to show forth the solemn and beautiful emblem of one’s faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership; that infants are God’s little ones, whether children of Christian or non-Christian parents, and are safe in Christ until an age of moral accountability is reached, thus making any thoughts of “infant baptism” unnecessary. A true church will only receive or recognize baptism administered by other Baptist churches of like faith and practice. A true church will therefore not recognize for membership any baptism administered by a church that is not a Baptist church of like faith and practice. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41, 8:12,13,26-39, 18:7-11; Colossians 2:12).

The Lord's Supper

I believe the Scriptures teach that the Lord’s Supper is a provision of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, as symbols of Christ’s body and shed blood; partaken of by the members of a church, in commemoration of the suffering and death of their Lord, and in hopeful anticipation of His return. A church as defined in Scripture will practice only what is commonly called “closed” or “restricted” Lord’s Supper. Thus, only those members of that church, in good standing, may partake of the supper. (Matthew 26:27-30; Mark 14:20-26; Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 10:16, 11:2 & 17-34).

Separation

I believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded of God (Romans 12:1-2, 14:13; II Corinthians 7:1; II Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11).

The Second Advent of Christ

I believe in that “blessed hope,” the personal, imminent return of Christ who will rapture all believers 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, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6).

The Eternal State

I 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).

I 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; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23, 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6).

I 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; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15).

Human Sexuality

I believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. I believe that any form of homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Genesis 2:24, 19:5 & 13, 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1, 6-9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4).

I believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23).

I 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 a church (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15, 3:4-5 & 12).

Divorce and Remarriage

I believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in a church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; I Timothy 3:2 & 12; Titus 1:6).

Abortion

I believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. I reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies may be acceptable even in cases of rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5, 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24, 49:1 & 5; Jeremiah 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

Lawsuits Between Believers

I believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against churches or fellow members to resolve personal disputes. I believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. (See “The Church” above). I do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32).

Giving

I believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to Him, is obligated to support his church financially. I believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. I believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17).

The Personality of Satan

I 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).

The Creation

I believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. I reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11).

Civil Government

I believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 2:13-14).

Missions

I 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, I must use all available means to go to all who have not heard the message of salvation, both at home and abroad. I am not to wait for them to come to me. Further, I believe the Great Commission outlines God’s plan for missions, which are three fold: Evangelism, Baptism and Discipleship. The most biblical form of missions is the carrying out of all three aspects of the commission by the planting and establishing of local, New Testament, Baptist churches (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-47; John 20:21).