I believe …
The Bible is the inspired, infallible, and only authoritative word of God (often called “inerrancy”).
There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality.
Jesus Christ is God, the living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect Deity and true humanity united in one person forever.
He lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone.
He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died.
He ascended bodily into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own.
Man was originally created in the image of God. He sinned by disobeying God; thus, he was alienated from his Creator. That historical fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation.
Man’s nature is corrupted, and he is thus totally unable to please God. Every man is in need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
The salvation of man is wholly a work of God’s free grace and is not the work, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness or religious ceremony. God imputes His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight.
It is the privilege of all who are born again of the Spirit to be assured of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit, who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word.
The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth, and seals them until the day of redemption. His fullness, power, and control are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith.
Every believer is called to live so in the power of the indwelling Spirit that he will not fulfill the lust of the flesh, but will bear fruit to the glory of God. The Holy Spirit bestows gifts on believers as He chooses. Although all gifts are valid for today, no gift is supreme to make a believer more “spiritual” than those that have not been given that gift.
Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, which is composed of all men, living and dead, who have been joined to Him through saving faith.
God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, for participation in ordinances, for edification through the Scriptures, and for mutual encouragement.
At physical death the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting glory and blessing.
At physical death the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting judgment and condemnation.
Jesus Christ will come again to the earth-personally, visibly, and bodily-to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ commanded all believers to proclaim the gospel throughout the world and to disciple men of every nation. The fulfillment of that Great Commission requires that all worldly and personal ambitions be subordinated to a total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.”
In the past few years, I’ve come to a point of exhaustion in trying to reconcile terminology and splitting definitional hairs that separate various groups of Believers (even Baptists!). I believe we need to agree on some basic essential doctrines and realize that we can agree to disagree on the rest of it and not divide fellowship over such matters. Some great theologian said that we should have …
Unity in the Essentials — Diversity in the Non-Essentials — And Love in all things.
When we take our “in-house” debates and parade them out before the world, we look like absolute morons! Who wants to join up with a group that argues and fights all the time? Let’s put our “Non-Essential” issues behind us. The Kingdom of God is at stake here!
Admittedly, I compiled my Statement of Faith from several sources. Why reinvent the wheel, right? It basically summarizes my core beliefs. I thought about pointing to the Baptist Faith and Message on the Internet, but I found myself asking, “Which version?” I could have gone with the 1925 version which the more recent versions are based on, but then I’m sure somebody would have said, “Well, what about …?” referring to something in the changes made in 1963, 1988, and 2000 versions of the BFM. I also thought about going back to something like the Westminster Confession, Spurgeon’s Catechism, or the 1833 New Hampshire Confession of Faith, but I figured that it might be not just a little deeper than most folks would like to get into in a quick trip to my website. However, if you need a little help going to sleep at night, try this link or if you’re really interested in reading even more, click here.