We are in agreement with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message and the Doctrinal Statement of the Gospel Coalition. We are members in the Gospel Coalition Network and participate with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia.
Our Doctrinal Statement
I. The Doctrine of Revelation and the Scriptures
God has revealed himself to man in two ways: general revelation and special revelation. General revelation is found in nature (Acts 14:15-17; Rom. 1:19-20), history and conscience (Rom. 2:14-16) and is addressed to all men (Acts 17:26-27). As a result of general revelation, all men know of the existence of God and they are left without excuse (Rom. 1:18-23). However, while general revelation conveys some knowledge of God, it is insufficient for salvation since it conveys no knowledge of Christ as the only way of salvation. The purpose of general revelation is to lead man to seek a fuller revelation of God and His plan of salvation (Acts 17:26-27).
Special revelation includes miraculous events (Ex. 14:13, 31; I Kings 18:24, 38-39; Jn. 5:36; 20:30-31; Acts 2:22; 14:3), personal communion (Gen. 5:21-24; 6:13; 12:1-3; Num. 12:6-8; Mk. 9:7; Acts 8:29; 9:4-6; 18:9), prophecy (Heb. 1:1; II Pet. 1:21), the incarnation of Christ (Mt. 1:23; Jn. 1:1, 14; Heb. 1:1-3) and the Scriptures (II Tim. 3:16).
All of the Bible’s sixty-six books are inspired by God (II Tim. 3:16). In the process of inspiration, the Spirit of God (Zech. 7:12), worked with providentially prepared men (Jer. 1:5; Gal. 1:15; Ps. 139) in such a way that they composed and recorded without error God’s revelation to man (II Pet. 1:21; I Cor. 2:13). Some passages of Scripture were given by divine dictation (Ex. 4:12; 19:3-6; Rev. 14:13) while others are eyewitness reports of events (I Jn. 1:1-3; II Pet. 1:16), reports of personal encounters with God (Ex. 24:1-11; Is. 6:1-5; Gal. 1:16) or the result of research (Lk. 1:1-4), but all Scripture is God-breathed and authoritative (II Tim. 3:16; Rom. 15:4).
Inspiration is both verbal and plenary. Not only were the thoughts and ideas inspired by God, but the very words which were used to communicate these ideas were inspired (Jn. 10:34-35; Mt. 5:18; Gal. 3:16; I Cor. 2:13). Not only were the passages which pertain to salvation inspired, but every passage was inspired (II Tim. 3:16). Therefore, Scripture in the original manuscripts was totally without error and the authority of Scripture is the authority of God Himself since He is its author.
Jesus authenticated the Old Testament by His many references to it (Mt. 4:4, 6, 10; Mk. 12:26; Lk. 24:27, 44; Jn. 5:39). He likewise claimed the same authority for His own words (Mt. 24:35) which He passed on to His disciples (Jn. 14:25-26; 17:8). The New Testament writers thus had authority conferred to them by the Lord and consequently claimed it for their writings (I Cor. 14:37; I Tim. 5:18; II Pet. 3:16).
Therefore, the canonical writings of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God and constitute the only and inerrant rule of faith and Christian life and the only touchstone by which every doctrine, every tradition and every religious and ecclesiastical system, as well as every method of Christian action, are to be tested.
II. The Doctrine of God
All men know of the existence of God through general revelation (Rom. 1:18-23). Through special revelation, God has communicated to man that He is spirit (Jn. 4:24), that He is living (Ps. 42:2), and that He is a person (Gen. 1:26-27). God is far above man who was made in His own image (Is. 55:9). God is one, not many (Deut. 6:4; I Tim. 2:5). There are no other gods beside God (Is. 43:10; I Cor. 8:4-6).
The attributes of God are both metaphysical and moral in nature. God’s metaphysical attributes are: aseity or self-existence (Ex. 3:14; Jn. 5:26; Acts 17:25); immutability (Mal. 3:6); omniscience (Ps. 147:5; I Jn. 3:20); omnipotence (Gen. 18:14; Mt. 19:26); omnipresence (Ps. 139:7; Jer. 23:24); and eternality (Ps. 90:2; 102:12). Those attributes which God shares with His creatures to a certain extent are: holiness (Ps. 99:1-9; I Pet. 1:16); love (Rom. 5:8; I Jn. 4:8); justice (Deut. 32:4; Rom. 3:25-26); mercy (Eph. 2:4) and righteousness (Ps. 92:15;116:5).
Although God is one in essence, He has revealed Himself to us as three distinct persons (Mt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14). The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God without division of nature, essence, or being. God is not three individual Gods (tritheism), three functions of God (Modalism), or hierarchy of persons (subordinationism).
The Bible nowhere explicitly states the doctrine of the trinity, yet the evidence for it is conclusive. The Father is recognized as God (Jn. 6:27; Rom. 1:7; Eph. 4:6; I Pet. 1:2). Jesus, the Son, is God (Jn. 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:3, 8-12). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; Heb. 3:7-9).
III. The Doctrine of Christ
The person of Jesus Christ exists eternally, even before the creation of the universe which He brought into existence (Ps. 102:25-27; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2; 2:10; 13:8). Jesus Christ Himself is God incarnate—the God-man (Mt. 1:23; 16:16; 26: 63-64; Jn. 1:1; 3:13; 5:18; 8:58; 10:33, 36; 20:28, 30-31; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6-10; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:2-3, 8-12; Rev. 2:8; 21:6; 22:13). He is the only Savior of mankind (Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9).
Although Christ is always fully God in all ways, He became also fully human (Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 2:6-17). He was conceived in the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38, thus He did not inherit sin from the lineage of fallen mankind (Heb. 4:15). Neither did He ever commit an act of sin, but He remained perfectly sinless (II Cor. 5:21). Therefore, Jesus Christ is fully deity, fully human—two natures in one person.
It was absolutely necessary for Jesus to voluntarily become human and die to fulfil God’s eternal plan of salvation (Mt. 16:21; Jn. 10:14-18; I Pet. 1:19-20). He died as a substitute for sinful men. He died in our place as the true Passover lamb (Ex. 12; I Cor. 5:7), and was the true sin-offering (Is. 53:10; II Cor. 5:21), of which the ones in the Old Testament were but types (Lev. 6:24-30; Heb. 10:14).
Jesus’ death fully satisfied the wrath of a holy and just God. His death was a penal satisfaction. It propitiated God, averting His wrath and enabling Him to receive into His family those who place their faith in the One who satisfied Him (Is. 53:5-6; Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:5; II Cor. 5:21).
The death of Christ was the price God paid to redeem men from slavery to sin. It was the highest price possible and it secured the greatest benefit possible for man. By the payment of the blood of Christ, men are truly freed from the power of Satan and sin (Mt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45; Jn. 8:34-36; Eph. 1:7; Rev. 5:9). The death of Christ also provided for the reconciliation of man and God (Rom. 5:10-11; II Cor. 5:18-20; Col. 1:20-22).
The physical resurrection of Christ gives the believer historical, verified evidence for his own eventual physical resurrection (Acts 17:31; Rom. 8:9-11; I Cor. 15:4-6, 12-19). Also, Jesus’ resurrection proves His deity (Rom. 1:4). Jesus is now at the right hand of God as the intercessor or advocate for all believers (Acts 7:55-56; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20; Heb. 7:25; I Jn. 2:1). He providentially sustains all things as their ultimate Lord or head, especially of the Church (I Cor. 11:3; Eph. 4:15-16; Col. 1:17-20; 2:10; Heb. 1:3). He shall someday, at an hour unknown, return victoriously to reign in His kingdom (Mt. 24:44; 25:34; Acts 3:24; II Thess. 1:10; II Tim. 4:1; II Pet. 3:10-13).
IV. The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the godhead, is fully God (Acts 5:3-4; Heb. 3:7-9). He was involved in the creation of the universe (Gen. 1:2). He was integral in the conception of Christ in the virgin Mary (Mt. 1:18, 20). He was sent by Christ as "another counselor" at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) to sustain the Church during Jesus’ physical absence during the inter-advental period (Jn. 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15). He inspired the Scriptures (II Pet. 1:21). Through illumination, He enables men to know the truth (I Cor. 2:12). He exalts Christ (Jn. 16:14). He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn. 16:8-11). He is the agent of regeneration (Jn. 3:5-6; Titus 3:5). He baptizes believers into the body of Christ at the point of conversion (Mt. 3:11; I Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:26-28). The Holy Spirit witnesses with the believer’s spirit to assure him that he is a child of God and eternally belongs to Christ (Rom. 8:16-17; Gal. 4:6-7). He seals the believer and is a guarantee of his ultimate redemption (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30). He is involved in the santification of believers (II Thess. 2:13). The believer should continually be filled with the Spirit by dying to the old, fleshly self and yielding to Him (Rom. 6:11-14; 8:13; Gal. 3:2-3; Eph. 5:18). The Spirit empowers the believer for evangelism and service (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit bestows spiritual gifts upon believers for the purpose of spiritual service and edification of others (I Cor. 12:4-7, 7:31; 14:5, 15-20).
Although the spiritual gifts are vital to the effectual ministry of the individual believer as well as the Church. (Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:7, 18-28; Eph. 4:11-13), the fruit of the Spirit is more important in terms of building up the character of the believer into Christ like maturity (II Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5:22-23).
V. The Doctrine of Man
The first man, Adam, was created by the special act of God and was the crowning work of His creation (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7). This creative activity was separate and distinct from any other work of God and was not conditioned upon antecedent changes in previously created forms of life. Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27) and ontologically free-willed (Gen. 2:16). This freedom was accompanied by certain creature responsibilities of procreation, dominion, labor, and marriage (Gen. 1:28; 2:15, 24).
Adam sinned by disobeying God and as a result, all of his descendants are born spiritually dead (Gen. 2:17; 3:1-7; Rom. 5:12, 16). Therefore, all men are born with a sin nature (Gen. 6:5; Ps. 14:1-3; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-19; 8:6-8; Eph. 2:1-3).
Because of this inward sinful nature, all men commit outward acts of sin (I Kings 8:42; Ps. 143:2; Rom. 3:10-20, 23; I Jn. 1:8, 10). This sinful nature has affected the totality of man’s being. His mind is darkened and is unable to understand spiritual truths (Rom. 8:7-8; I Cor. 2:14; II Cor. 4:4). His will is not free but is bound to sin as a slave to his master (Rom. 6:16-18; I Pet. 1:2-3; II Pet. 2:19). His desires and affections are only for those things which are sinful and ultimately harmful to him (Jn. 3:19; Eph. 2:3; Titus 3:3). Sin has so affected man that he is unable to free himself apart from Christ (Job 14:4, 14; Jer. 13:23; Jn. 6:44; Rom. 5:6). As a result, men experience spiritual death which is separation from the life of God (Rom. 5:12-14, 15, 17; 6:23; I Cor. 15:22; Jn. 5:24; Eph. 4:18), and all men fall under the condemnation of God (Rom. 5:16-18).
VI. The Doctrine of Salvation
The triune God alone is Savior (Is. 45:21; Titus 3:4-6). It is only by His unmerited grace that man can be saved (Eph. 2:4-9; Titus 3:5). According to God’s sovereignty, He chose Jesus Christ as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the universe (I Pet. 1:19-20; Rev. 13:8). There is no other possible means of salvation for fallen mankind than the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross (Acts 4:12; I Cor. 1:21-24; Heb. 5:8-10; 9:12, 15).
God loves man so much that He provided Christ as the way for salvation (Jn. 3:16). This was accomplished legally since Jesus acted as a sacrificial substitute, taking on Himself the sins of men and giving to men in return the legal status of His righteousness (Is. 53:5-10; II Cor. 5:21; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 5:2; Heb. 9:28; I Pet. 3:18; I Jn. 4:10; Rev. 1:5). This justification is available to all men but is only appropriated by those who have faith in Christ’s work (Mk. 16:16; Jn. 1:29; Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:25-28: 4:24; II Cor. 5:14, 19; II Thess. 2:13; I Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:11; James 2:24; I Pet. 3:18; I Jn. 2:2).
Upon regeneration, one becomes a new creature (II Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15). The believer is no longer a slave to Satan and sin, but is free in Christ and is indwelt by the Holy spirit (Rom. 7:5-6; 8:5-10). The believer is sanctified, a process in which he is set apart for service to God (I Pet 1:2; Ps. 4:3; II Tim. 2:21). This process of growth is progressive and continues throughout the Christian’s life making him more and more like the Savior (I Cor. 1:30; II Cor. 7:1; Heb. 6:1; 10:14; II Pet.. 3:18).
The salvation and sanctification of all believers will be fully achieved in a state of glorification when Christ Himself returns in glory (Rom. 8:18-30; Eph. 1:18). The physical resurrection of Christ is itself the guarantee of the physical resurrection of believers (Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 15:13-22). If one is truly a believer justified by the blood of Christ, he will persevere and cannot lose his salvation, for God has made Him eternally secure (Jn. 5:24; 10:28; 17:11; I Cor. 6:19-20; Heb. 7:25; I Jn. 5:13).
VII. The Doctrine of the Church
The New Testament uses the word "church" in two ways. First, it refers to local bodies of baptized believers (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15; Acts 8:1; 13:1; 14:27; I Cor. 1:2; 4:17; 7:17; 11:16; 16:19; 14:33). Second, the New Testament refers to the church as the mystical body of Christ composed of all the redeemed in Christ—past, present, and future (Eph. 3:10, 21; 4:4; Heb. 12:23).
The church is made up of those people who have been chosen by God (II Thess. 2:13-14), set apart in Christ (I Cor. 1:2), called by God to a special relationship with Himself (I Cor. 1:9; Eph. 4:4-6), reconciled to God (Col. 1:18-23), accepted the message of the Gospel (Acts 2:36, 41), entered into a special relationship with God in Christ by the trusting acceptance and recognition of what God has done and promised in Christ (Eph. 2:8-22), and have been baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:13; Acts 10:43-48; Eph. 1:13-14).
The offices of the local church are only two in number. In the New Testament, the first office is referred to by the three words elder, overseer, and pastor. Each of these words reflects a different aspect of the one office. This office is primarily concerned with administrative, pastoral, and instructional duties (Acts 20:17, 28; I Pet. 2:25; 5:2ff; Titus 1:5, 7; Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:1-7). The second office in the local church is that of deacon. This office primarily concerned with the material ministries of the church so as to relieve the pastor of burdens which could distract him from his ministry of spiritual oversight (Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:8-13; Acts 6:1-6).
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only two ordinances of the church (Mt. 28:19; Lk 22:19-20). Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19). It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is also a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead (Acts 2:41-42; 16:31-33; Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12).
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby believers, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming (Lk. 22:19-20; I Cor. 10:17; 11:24-26).
Even though each local church is autonomous, it should seek to fellowship and cooperate with other local churches (II Cor. 3:1; I Cor. 16:1-3; Acts 15:1-35).
VIII. The Doctrine of Angels
God created a great number of angels, personal spiritual beings, some of whom rebelled against Him under the leadership of Lucifer, who gained the title of Satan (Neh. 9:6; Is. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Col. 1:16). All of these fallen angels lost their original holiness and became corrupt in nature and conduct (Mt. 10:1; Eph. 6:11-12; Rev. 12:9). Some of them were cast into hell and are held there until the day of judgment (II Pet. 2:4). Others are left free and engage in definite opposition to the work of God (Rev. 12:7-9; Dan. 10:12, 13, 20, 21; Jude 9). "Demons" is another name for fallen angels (Deut. 37:17; Ps. 106:37; Lk. 4:33-37; Acts 19:13). All fallen angels will be judged to eternal punishment (Mt. 25:41; II Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 20:10, 14-15).
Some angels are not fallen; they serve as ministering spirits of God (Lk 15:10; Heb. 1:14). As spirits, they are invisible, immortal and are more powerful and intelligent than man (II Kings 19:35; Ps. 8:4-5; 103:20; II Sam. 14:20; Lk. 20:36; Acts 5:19). The holy angels are beautiful (Dan. 10:5-6; Mt. 28:2-3; Rev. 10:1), intelligent (II Sam. 14:20), powerful (Ps. 103:20; II Thess. 1:7; II Pet. 2:11), swift (Dan. 9:20-23), holy (Lk. 9:26; Acts 10:22; Rev. 14:10), and obedient (Ps. 103:20). All are commissioned to praise God (Ps. 148:2) and act as servants of men (Heb. 1:14). They function according to the ministries of guidance (Lk. 2:10-12); Acts 8:26; 10:3-7), protection (Ex. 14:19; 23:20; Ps. 91:11; Is. 63:9; Dan. 6:22), comfort (Mt 4:11; Lk. 22:43; Acts 27:23-24), deliverance (Ps. 34:7; Acts 5:19; 12:7), and judgment (Gen. 19:1, 13; II Sam. 24:15-16; II Kings 19:35; II Thess. 1:7-9).
IX. The Doctrine of Last Things
At physical death, the spirits of believers go to be with the Lord in a conscious, heavenly state and the spirits of unbelievers go at death to a place of conscious torment (Lk. 16:19-26; 20:37-38; 23:42-43; II Cor. 5:1, 8; Phil. 1:23-24). The bodies of all people will be resurrected either to eternal life or to eternal torment in hell (I Cor. 15:42-44, 54; Dan. 12:2; Jn. 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Rev. 20:13-15).
The kingdom of Christ is already present in this age in a dynamic sense (Mt. 12:28; Lk. 11:20; 17:20-21). Men are able to enter into this kingdom by the means of the new birth (Jn. 3:3-7). At the point of regeneration, men are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God in which they can experience in this present age the power of God’s rule in their lives (Col. 1:13).
However, there is a future aspect of the kingdom which is not realized throughout the earth in this present age (Lk. 22:14-16, 18). This future aspect of the kingdom can further be divided into two distinct periods. First, there will be a one-thousand-year reign of Christ upon this earth (Rev. 20:4). Second, there will follow an eternal state in the new heavens and new earth (II Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).
The millennial kingdom will not be brought about by the Christianization of the world (Mt. 24:37-39; II Tim. 3:1-5; II Pet. 3:3-4), but will be brought about by the personal and visible return of Christ to the earth (Zech. 14:1-11; Rom. 11:25-26; Rev. 19:11-20:7). He will return when the fullness of the Gentiles has been brought into the kingdom (Rom. 11:25-26). When He returns, He will be accompanied by the armies of heaven (Rev. 19:11-18) and He will engage in a battle against the beast and his army of the rebellious of the earth (Rev. 19:19). He will conquer the ungodly army (Rev. 19:20-21) and will have Satan bound, cast, and sealed in the abyss (Rev. 20:1-3). Then the martyrs of the tribulation will be resurrected (Rev. 20:4) and they, together with all those who have been redeemed by Christ, will reign with Him upon the earth for a literal one-thousand years (Mt. 19:28; Lk. 22:28-30; II Tim. 2:11-12; Rev. 5:10; 20:4). During this millennial kingdom, Satan will be bound in such a way that he will no longer be able to deceive the nations (Rev. 20:3) as he does in this present age (Lk. 22:3; Acts 5:3; II Cor. 4:3-4; 11:14; Eph. 2:2; I Thess. 2:18; II Tim. 2:26; I Pet. 5:8), all of nature will exist in perfect harmony (Is. 11:6-9), the entire world will know God (Is. 11:9) and all will accept His rightful rule (Ps. 22:7). Even though animal sacrifice will not be offered (Heb. 9:28-10:14) during this aspect of the kingdom, there will be distinct Jewish characteristics in its institutional character. Jesus will rule as the Davidic successor, the Messianic King (Lk. 1:32-33), the twelve disciples will rule over the twelve tribes of Israel (Lk. 22:28-30) and Israel will be restored and accepted by God and will bring great blessings to the world (Rom. 11:11-12, 15, 25-27; Micah 3:8-4:4).
This millennial kingdom will be followed by the resurrection of the dead for final judgment (Rev. 20:13-14), the final judgment of Satan (Rev. 20:10), and the eternal state of the new heavens and the new earth (Rev. 21:1).
Before the millennium, the earth will experience a seven-year period called the tribulation. All believers will be raptured immediately before the tribulation begins (Rev. 3:10; II Thess. 2:1-4). Christ will appear, the dead will rise first and then those who are alive will be caught up to meet Him in the air (I Thess. 4:16-17).
The tribulation is the fulfillment of Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:24-27; Mt. 24:15; Dan. 7:25; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14, 13:5). Like the other sixty-nine weeks which were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming (Dan. 9:25), the seventieth week will be a literal seven-year period. During this week, the Antichrist will confirm a covenant and will break it after the first three and one-half years (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15). The tribulation will be a time of great persecution by the Antichrist and his followers upon the people of God (II Thess. 2:1-4; Mt. 24:15; Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Rev. 13:1-10). It will also be a time during which God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth in an unprecedented way (Rev. 6:12-17; 15:1-7; 19:15). This wrath of God upon the ungodly men of the earth will reach its climax in the return of Christ in devastating judgment (Rev. 19:11-21) following which will be His one-thousand-year reign upon the earth.