Statement of Faith
This Statement of Faith is an edited and abridged survey of the basic beliefs mentioned in the Baptist Faith and Message.
Scripture was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It has God for its author; salvation for its end and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
God is defined as one living and true God. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature or essence of being.
God reigns in providential care of the universe and He is personal Father to those who become children through faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the eternal Son of God who became incarnate, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He honored God and man through a sinless life, and His sacrificial life and death provides for the opportune redemption of mankind from sin’s penalty.
The Holy Spirit
As Spirit, God exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. The Spirit indwells every believer at the moment of salvation, and enlightens and empowers the surrendered believer.
God created man in the image of God, as God’s crowning act of creation. Man chose to sin and introduced sin’s consequences to mankind and creation at large. The value of mankind is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every created person possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christlike love.
Salvation redeems the entire human being, and is offered freely to any who accept Jesus Christ as Savior. The sacrifice of Jesus secures the opportunity of salvation.
God’s grace is the catalyst for salvation. God’s grace initiates the conviction of sin and enables the believer to establish and maintain the relationship with God through Christ until the return of Christ.
The church is both local and universal. A local church is made up of baptized believers who worship and fellowship for the purpose of serving Christ in co-mission. The universal church is composed of all the redeemed of all the ages.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are recognized as the two ordinances of the local church.
Believer’s Baptism symbolizes the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and also testifies of the believer’s death to sin and resurrection to new life in Christ that salvation has brought.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper memorializes the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and celebrates the surety of his Second Coming.
The Lord’s Day
Sunday, the first day of the week, commemorates the resurrection of Christ and it is set apart for worship and celebration.
Evangelism and Missions
Evangelism and Missions are the heartbeat of our co-mission with Christ. First Baptist seeks to challenge people to discover and live a Christ-centered life.
Last things refers to the timing in which God will bring creation to an appropriate transition. Christ will return and mankind will be judged. God will regard those who are in Christ and the rest will be separated from God’s presence for eternity.
Education in and through the church is held accountable to faithful interpretation of the pre-eminence of Christ, a responsible stewardship of the authoritative scriptures.
Stewardship is acknowledging that all is created by God and belongs to God and that we are indebted to manage all we have been given for God’s honor and glory.
Cooperation for unity of purpose within diversity of practice is a Southern Baptist distinctive. Every ministry of the local church seeks to complement our shared mission and to honor the church at large.
The Christian and Social Order
The church should seek to be Christ-centered in the midst of community. The life of each church member should remain free of selfish ambition.
The state owes every church protection and full freedom in pursuit of its spiritual ends. There is to be a free church in a free state.
The family is ordained by God. Marriage is the covenant commitment of one man and one woman for a lifetime. Husbands and wives are equal, created in God’s image. The marital relationship should reflect the biblical model of God’s relationship with His people. As children are conceived they are to be considered a blessing and heritage from the Lord.
The Southern Baptist Convention
Each Southern Baptist Church is locally autonomous (independent) and chooses to join in association with other SBC churches for the sake of advancing missions. Instead of each church adopting individual missionaries as their exclusive investment in mission action, SBC churches give in cooperation to fund a number of mission ventures. A “Southern Baptist Convention” exists to discuss and determine how these funds are invested.
Southern Baptist Churches
Southern Baptist Churches value the doctrine referred to as “The Priesthood of the Believer.” This infers that each member of the universal church is privileged to direct access to God through a singular “High Priest,” Jesus Christ. This also carries the responsibility of the individual to study and interpret scripture under the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit to determine correct interpretation and application of biblical truth.