With a firm conviction that we are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, believing that we can best serve Him and advance His Kingdom by proceeding in an orderly manner consistent with the accepted beliefs and practices of the Southern Baptist Faith and Message, and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of this church and the freedom of action of the body with respect to its relation to other churches of the same faith, we do declare and establish these doctrines.
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to interpreted is Jesus Christ.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being; the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but with division of nature.
Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan, man transgressed the command of God and fell from his original innocence, whereby posterity inherits a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they became transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense, salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
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 the two ordinances of Christ (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.
The church is an autonomous body, operated through democratic process under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such congregation members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.
EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are, we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth.
God as ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is comprise of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to Biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race
BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 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.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby Christians, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
THE LORD’S DAY
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observation. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private.
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. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.