“…contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3, ESV)
You’ve probably heard people talk about their faith, and in most instances, they were describing an action. In other words, they used it as a verb, “You gotta have faith, you just have to believe.”
But sometimes faith is a noun, like right there in Jude’s command, where it represents an entire system of religious belief, all of our theology and practice.
One of the reasons a group of believers (a church) is so important is that we are the ones who are supposed to do exactly what Jude commands. Namely, we regularly gather together to remind ourselves what we believe about who God is, what he has done for us and the world through his Son, and what he is doing to bring that work about by the power and activity of his Holy Spirit.
In other words, we contend for the faith that was delivered to us.
If you’d like to know a bit of what that looks like in practice, check out the Living on Mission page.
And if you’d like a seriously stout description of our Baptist beliefs, you should order the little volume (just 65 pages), A Faith to Confess: The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. But for a brief statement of our faith, just swipe through the thirteen points below.
Statement of Faith
The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.
God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide.
We believe that man was created by God in His own image; that he sinned and therefore incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent and forsake sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures, are delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life.
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that the Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for the commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus.
We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any political or ecclesiastical authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
We believe that the local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denomination organization. Such an organization, whether a regional or district conference, exists and functions by the will of the churches. Cooperation in a conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time.
The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked.
The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We believe that the teaching of God in the Bible is clear and that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: marriage is a covenant for life between one biological man and one biological woman, entered into for companionship, sexual unity, procreation and to display the love Christ has for his Church.
Statement on Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.