We Believe

A Summary of Baptist Sentiments

Prepared by


        Since "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17), we accept the Holy Bible as the infallible, verbally inspired word of God -- regarding it as an all-sufficient guide in faith and practice, (2 Tim. 3:15-17).
        In this library of 66 books, written by some 40 different writers, over a period of some 1,500 years, God has unveiled His eternal purpose and clearly enunciated the principles whereby men are prepared for fellowship with Himself, and by which all will ultimately be judged, (John 12:47-48).


        There is ONE true God Who, as regards His works, manifests Himself in three distinct personalities: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  1. As "the Father", He is the great intelligence who purposes and wills, (Matt. 28:19; Jn. 15:26).

  2. As "the Son", He is the great pattern and accomplisher of works -- having created the heavens and the earth, and "upholding them by the word of His power", (John 1:2; Col. 1:15-17).

  3. As "the Holy Spirit", He is universally present -- personally directing and performing His will and purposes, (John 4:24; Psa. 147:5; Romans l:20).

        Equal in every divine perfection (John. 10:30, Father, Son and Holy Spirit execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of redemption, (Eph. 2:18; 2 Cor. 13:14).
        God is absolutely sovereign -- rightfully doing as He pleases (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; John. 10:35). The scriptures, however, reveal His pleasure to act CONDITIONALLY toward men -- accomodating His actions to the response of their hearts toward His benevolent care, (Jer. 18:7-10).


        We believe in the biblical account of creation, which is consistent with every known fact of modern science. No earthly creature has "evolved" from a lower order, or come into being by accident. The same God Who created all things in six days actively governs the whole of His creation, (Psa. 104:6-23; Dan. 5:23; Jn. 1:1-3; Acts 17:25; Col. 1:17).


        Created in righteousness and true holiness, man was placed under the law of his Maker, (Gen. 1:21, 27; Eccl. 7:29). By voluntary transgression the first human pair fell from the holy and happy state of innocence -- imposing upon all their offspring a nature (inclination) to sin, (Gen. 3:6-24; Rom. 5:12; Psa. 51:5; Rom. 3:23). Thus, the sum-total of mankind are, by nature, TOTALLY DEPRAVED -- in the sense that we are inclined to evil and devoid of any positive righteousness, (Rom. 7:21-23; Mark 7:20-23). Thus, we stand justly "condemned already" to eternal ruin -without any defence or excuse, (Jn. 3:l8; Rom. 1:l8-2l; 2:1-16; Eph. 2:1-3; Ezek. l8:19-20; Rom. 3:19).


        Sensing the tragedy of human rebellion, whereby fellowship was broken between God and man, the Son of God, in unfathomable love, has condescended to take upon Himself the nature of humanity that He might restore the divine image in man and bestow upon us the very nature of deity, (Jn. 1:1-14; 10:34-35; 2 Pet. 1:4). Born of the virgin Mary (Lk. 1:34-35), Jesus was truly HUMAN. In fact, He was the ONLY man who ever lived the life that God intended man to live -- a life of TOTAL DEPENDENCE on His heavenly Father. He came in the "express image" of God -- living a sinless life and manifesting every divine perfection, (Heb. 1:3).
        Having finished the work the Father sent Him to accomplish, Jesus Christ voluntarily laid down His life as a vicarious (substitutionary) sacrifice for human sin, (Jn. 10:17-18; 1 Tim. 2:6). Raised from the dead, and exalted to the right hand of the throne of God, the Son of Man now sits as the sole mediator between God and man -- Himself MAN -- as our advocate with the Father, (Rom. 1:3; Acts 2:32-33); He is the High Priest over the "house of God" (the church), and the scriptures urge His believing people to draw near to His throne of grace with boldness -- knowing that He cares and is able to sympathize with our need, (Heb. 10:21; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 4:14-16).


        We believe that SALVATION, as set forth in the scriptures, embraces the whole scope of God's purpose and grace to deliver unworthy men from the destruction of certain and eternal death UNTO the bliss, privileges, glory and honor of the perfect REST of His coming Kingdom -- ruling as co-heirs with Christ in the inheritance of the earth. Salvation is wholly of grace, through the exercise of a faith that is divorced from any "fleshly work", but which inevitably "works by love", (Eph. 2:8-10; Gal. 5:6).
        On the basis of his first trust in Jesus a person IS SAVED (delivered, loosed) from the guilt and penalty of past sin and becomes the possessor of a new life that is both REAL and ENDURING. Thus, the true believer HAS BEEN SAVED.
        As the saved man yields his life to the true mastery of Jesus Christ, through whose resurrection-life he experiences daily triumph over the power of sin, salvation may be regarded as a CONTINUING PROCESS -- in the sense that one's LIFE is so acceptable to God that it reaps eternal dividends, (Matt. 6:19-21; l6:24-27; 2 Pet. 1:5-11). Only when one is freed from the very PRESENCE of sin, and changed into the glorious likeness of His dear Lord, will the experience of salvation be complete -- that which Paul described as being "in Christ Jesus with eternal glory", (Phil. 3:20-21; 2 Tim, 2:10).


        We believe in the eternal security of all that is truly abandoned (entrusted, committed), in faith, to Jesus Christ. Since there is no merit in man (Titus 3:5), it is God who takes the initiative in salvation -- satisfying His own sense of justice and changing the sinner. The condemned sinner can only yield himself into the hands of God and trust Him fully, (2 Tim. 1:12). So trusting in the Lord, he will NEVER COME INTO CONDEMNATION (Heb. 7:24-25; 1 Jn. 2:1-2; Rom. 8:35-39; Jn. 5:24), for the very righteousness of God is reckoned to him, (Rom. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:21).


        We believe that Jesus Christ is the Founder, Head, Lawgiver and Sustainer of the only church (institution) that He recognizes, approvingly, in the world today. From material prepared by His forerunner, John the Baptist, Jesus personally called out specific disciples to follow Him designating them as His "little flock", the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world", (Matt. 4:l8-22; 5:13-16; Luke 12:32).
        By definition, we recognize a New Testament church as: "a called-out body of scripturally baptized believers (always a local body), covenanted together for mutual edification and the carrying out of the three-fold task set forth in the Great Commission" which He gave before His ascension to the Father's right hand. The task committed to the church is that of: 1) Making disciples; 2) Baptizing disciples; and 3) Teaching those baptized disciples how to be "disciples indeed", (Matt. 28:18-20; John 8:31-32).
        Independent, though ever subject to the lordship of her Living Head, each local assembly is a dwelling-place of God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:22) sent by Christ to: direct, comfort, teach, reprove, exhort and administer His perfect will among His people.
        We deplore the careless, presumptuous application of so many new covenant promises to those who have never identified themselves with the Christ through baptism and a walk of faith-obedience, (Rom. 6:1-13). To the church (institution) is made many "exceeding great and precious promises", (2 Pet. 1:3-1l). Experience of promised blessings require diligence to DO God's will. To lay claim to those promises while living outside the sphere of covenant fellowship may only be regarded as an attempt at SPIRITUAL THIEVERY!!
        We regard church membership as a PRIVILEGE, not a right. While one's faith in God is his own personal consideration, his WALK, as a part of the body of Christ, is a matter that concerns the whole body. In the church one must "walk worthy" of his "high calling in Christ Jesus". This requires lowliness, meekness, forbearance and love, (Eph. 4:1-3). When fellow-body-members can actually "esteem others better than themselves" the unity of the Spirit will be preserved. But, failure to do this will lead to confusion, discord, schism and every sort of evil: requiring DISCIPLINE -- the last resort of which will require the body to sever its fellowship with the offending member, (2 Thes. 3:6, 14; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; Matt. 18:15-18).
        Being the only ecclesiastical tribunal the Lord has on earth (Matt. 16:19), His church is a self-governing body and is the sole judge, under the limitations of the Scriptures, as to its measure and methods of labor. Each congregation is such a tribunal, where Christ Himself presides - having ratified in heaven what is done on earth. The majority governs in each assembly, but we seek, by brotherly discussion and prayer, mingled with love and forbearance, to secure perfect unanimity, according to the will of God. We recognize no church officers other than pastors and deacons.
        The perpetuity of our faith, doctrines, practices and ordinances has been effected by the Holy Spirit's personally planting and preserving local congregations of like faith and order for the past nineteen centuries, (Matt. l6:l8; 28:20).
        Our heritage is not that of a mere sectarian "name" that may be proudly traced through the ages. Rather, it is charactrized by holy living and a "trail of blood" willingly shed by our forefathers rather than repudiate or compromise the principles set forth by Christ and His apostles. Never assuming a name for themselves, the true people of God have ever been willing to accept the designations applied to them by their enemies. Thus, the principles for which true Baptists stand today may be traced back to the days of our Lord through such historical appellations as: ana-Baptists, Waldenses, Albigenses, Paulicians, Donatists, Petro-Brussians, Montanists, Novatianists and a host of lesser known followers of Jesus -- whose love for the Lord and His word surpassed their love for their own lives.


        Within the church our Lord has set two (and only two) symbolic, pictorial ordinances: baptism and the Lord's Supper.
        BAPTISM is the immersion of a believer in water, by the authority of a local New Testament assembly. It declares one's death to sin (crucifixion with Christ), and his resurrection (in Christ) to walk in a new way of life in which "Christ is ALL" (Matt. 3:5-6; Acts 8:26-29; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12).
        We emphatically deny that our Lord, or His apostles, ever urged ANY believer to SEEK a so-called "baptism of the Holy Spirit" -- there being but "ONE baptism" commanded and practiced in the New Testament order, and that WATER BAPTISM, (Eph. 4:5; John 1:33; Matt. 3:13-17).
        The LORD'S SUPPER, involving the partaking of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine by a LOCAL church, looks back to the suffering and death of Christ in our stead; it points forward to His second coming, (Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:23-26, 28). Requiring the exercise of discipline over the lives of those who participate in its observance, one may scripturally participate in this ordinance ONLY in the local church where he is a member in good standing, (1 Cor. 5:11-13; 11:17-20; 2 Thes. 3:6, 14-15). Such as disregard these divinely -- appointed restrictions, governing the Lord's table, eat and drink damnation to themselves -- not discerning the Lord's body, (1 Cor. 11:29).
        Apart from a local New Testament church NO group, or individual, has any scriptural right or authority to administer EITHER of these symbolic ordinances.


        We believe that Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, and suffered the death of crucifixion as our substitute, was raised BODILY from the grave and ascended BODILY into heaven -- being seated today at the right hand of the Father to make intercession for us, (Matt. 28:6; Acts 1:3; 1 Cor. 15; Heb. 7:26; 1 John 2:1-2).
        In harmony with the testimony of faith, manifested in our observance of the symbolic ordinances, we expect to share in the experience and glory of His resurrection as freely as we have entered into the experience of His death, (Phil. 3:19-20). Aware of the Father's purpose to bring "many sons unto glory", we now enter joyfully into His sufferings that we may rightfully anticipate a share in the glory that is yet to come, (Heb. 2:9-10; Rom. 8:16-18).
        We recognize the promise of "a better resurrection", for such as walk in the obedience of faith -- involving the highest quality of life in the coming Kingdom of God. Paul desired it, but laid no claim to having "attained" the full assurance of its possession (Heb. 13:35; Phil. 3:8-14).


        Purposed from eternity-past, prepared "from the foundation of the world", and assured by covenant and promise in the Holy Scriptures, the Kingdom of God (identical with the "Kingdom of Christ", "the Kingdom of His Dear Son", etc.) will soon be established on this earth. Jesus Christ (the "Son of Man" ), the One anointed by the Most High to rule with a rod of iron, will return to the earth as King. He will overthrow and depose all usurpers, ascending to the throne of His ancient father David, and RULE, in righteousness and glory, from Mt. Zion, in Jerusalem.
        The return of Christ will bring an end to a period of Great Tribulation which has come through the manifestation and despotic rule of the antichrist, the man of sin and son of perdition, (Matt. 24:29-31; 2 Thes. 2:1-8). Coming " in the clouds", Jesus is portrayed as riding a white war-horse -- leading a glorified army in triumph over antichrist and a world that has gone mad in willing subjection to his deceptive schemes, (Rev. 19:11-21).
        During the first 1,000 years of Jesus' reign (sometimes referred to as "the millennium") He will JUDGE the earth in righteousness -- wielding a " rod of iron " and subduing all things to the perfect will of God. When Satan is loosed for " a little season " (only to rebel and lead others in rebellion against the Lord), He will be quickly subdued and placed forever beyond the possibility of interference with God's glorious reign over all.
        Of His kingdom there shall be " no end ". God, in the full radiance of divine glory, will make His dwelling among His joyful, loving and worshipping people forevermore, (Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 22: 3-5).
        Life with Christ, in His kingdom, will be the final abode of those who trust Him in life and walk before Him in the obedience of faith.


        Such as continue their rebellion against Christ until death, or until He comes again, will receive their final judgment at the end of the Millennium, (Rev. 20:11-15).
        These will NOT be judged to determine whether they are "lost" or "saved"; apart from faith in Jesus ALL MEN are CONDEMNED ALREADY, (John 3:18, 36). This judgment will be "according to the deeds in the body" and will determine the DEGREE of torment one is to suffer (in the body) eternally in the lake of fire for his rejection (refusal to trust) of the Saviour. This is designated "the judgment Seat of Christ" (2 Cor. 5:10), where believers will be judged for reward (though, in reality, Christ sits on this same seat of judgment throughout the millennium), and 2) "the Judgment of Nations" (Matt. 25:31-46), where living men are judged at the Lord's return to determine their positions in, and relationship to, the Kingdom of God.


        With the Psalmist, we need to realize that our "times" are in God's hands. The few short days of our present earthly sojourn are a time of probation -- after which comes death and the judgment, (Heb. 9:27).
        By many and varied witnesses (His creation, His Spirit, His word, His Son and His people) God pleads with men: "PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD!" To delay for a single moment runs the risk of being TOO LATE.
        Adequate preparation necessitates a genuine heart-repentance toward God (an acknowledgement that one is as bad and as desperately in need of divine grace as God's word has declared him to be), and FAITH in Jesus Christ -- both as TRUST in His saving power, and as willing SUBMISSION to His rightful lordship over one's life. This will include a persevering watchfulness in view of the soon and certain return of the Lord from heaven, (Acts 20:21; Luke 21:36; Hebrews 3:12-14).


        We believe in free association with other churches for fellowship and the fulfilling of those mutual obligations imposed by the Great Commission. And, we believe it IMPERATIVE, in these last days of apostasy, that all who share a common love for Christ, and the church purchased by His blood, dispense with all envy, jealousy, malice and petty rivalries -- being knit together by such a bond of brotherly love as is demonstrated in a mutuality of respect, Christian courtesy, concern and love for each other as will demonstrate to the world around us that we are DISCIPLES INDEED!!