There is one and only one living and true God. God is Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in grace, holiness, and all other perfections. The purpose of the church is to bring glory to God!
The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
'In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.' - Genesis 1:1
'And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.' - John 1:14
'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.' - Acts 1:8
We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and is the record of Gods revelation of Himself to man. The Bible is true, reliable, and authoritative. The Scripture is the standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The Scriptures point to Jesus Christ and He is the criterion by which the Bible is interpreted.
'All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,' - 2 Timothy 3:16
Man and woman are created by the special act of God, in God's own image. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. We rebelled against God, choosing idolatrous self-worship rather than true worship of the Creator. Man became twisted by sin, inheriting from our ancestors a nature and an environment bent toward sin. Only God's grace can restore a person to relationship with God. Humans are characterized by both dignity and depravity. Depravity refers to our fallen, sinful nature. Human dignity is rooted in our being created as God's image bearers.
'So God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.' - Genesis 1:27
'There is none righteous, no note one.' - Romans 3:10
Gospel means good news. Jesus came announcing the good news that God reigns. He offers forgiveness, salvation, freedom, transformation, and eternal life to those who REPENT (turn to Him) and BELIEVE (place their confidence in Him). Jesus offers eternal life starting now. He came to set captives free!
'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel.' -Mark 1:15
Humanity responded to Jesus' life and message in much the same way we had responded to God since the beginning. We rejected and crucified him. When all hope seemed lost forever, JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD! 40 days later he ascended into heaven. As Christians we identify with Jesus in his death and resurrection through faith.
'For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.' -1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Salvation is the rescue and redemption offered by God, rooted in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Salvation is offered by God's grace and received through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. A person is saved when they respond to God's grace by repenting (turning) from sin and believing (placing their confidence in) Jesus Christ. Salvation stems from God's grace, not human works. Salvation results in good works that point to God's glorious grace.
'For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ' - Ephesians 2:8-10
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing baptism and the Lord's Supper, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth, making disciples.
This church is an autonomous body, operating through congregational governance under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation members are equally responsible. The local church commits to regularly gathering for worship, teaching, prayer, and encouragement.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
'He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."' - Matthew 16:15-18
'And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[d]came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.' - Acts 2:42-47
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The Kingdom of God is the realm of God's active and good rule and reign. God's kingdom is where God reigns and where things happen according to His will. His kingdom is both 'already and not yet.' The Kingdom has been brought near by Jesus and will be fully consummated at the return of Christ. Christians are called to pray, 'your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven' (Matthew 6:9).
'Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.' - Matthew 6:33
'For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.' - Romans 14:17
'The kingdom of God is at hand.' - Mark 1:15
'And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”' - Matthew 28:18-20
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment and separation from God. Those made righteous by Christ in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in the New Creation with the Lord.
'Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” - Revelation 21:1-5
*Adapted from The Baptist Faith and Message*