Ever wonder what it is I believe?

From time to time, I’m asked what I truly believe with regards to faith and religion. I’ve made it clear by a history of posts on the subject of faith, but these aren’t always easy to find for folks with whom I’ve had little history.

My church recently ratified a new church constitution (which will be posted at some point in the near future) whose drafting I had a rather large hand in producing. One of the things included is a statement of faith…a segment typically restricted to “we subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message of 1925/1963/2000 (usually 1963)” and that’s it.

One of my favorite ministries, The Berean Call, had a magnificent statement of faith that I…appropriated for our usage, save for expansion of biblical references to each point.

What follows is the listing in full. Totally FYI. As a matter of note, “We” refers to the membership of the church.

We affirm the Holy Bible as the only basis for our beliefs. Although it is not binding, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message is accepted by this Church as a general statement of our faith.

  1. We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons-Father, Son and Holy Spirit-and that He created everything out of nothing for His own pleasure and purpose.

    1 John 5:7 – For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    Matthew 28:19 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Genesis 1:1, 31 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

  2. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God and the supreme and final authority over all our beliefs. The Scriptures have given everything pertaining to life and godliness, including the means to salvation from the penalty of sin and instruction in righteousness for present sanctification and victorious living to the glory of God. It is to be interpreted by the Holy Spirit to each individual believer.

    2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    2 Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    John 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
    Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Psalm 119:9,89 – Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
    Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

  3. We believe that man was created in the image of God, and when he sinned the race incurred both physical and spiritual death; thus man became alienated from God and incapable of remedying his sinful condition by his own means.

    Genesis 1:26,27 – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    Psalm 51:5 – Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    Romans 5:12 – Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
    Ephesians 4:18,19 – Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
    Ephesians 2:8,9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

  4. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was begotten of the Father through the Holy Spirit, was born of the Virgin Mary, and is true man without ceasing to be God.

    Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
    Matthew 1:21-23 – And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
    John 8:58 – Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
    Luke 1:35 – And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
    Hebrews 4:15 – For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

  5. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless and perfect life that fully pleased His Father; that He died for our sins on the cross, bearing the judgment demanded by God’s Holy Justice against sin, thus making it possible for God to remain Just and at the same time to justify those who believe in Jesus.

    Hebrews 4:15 – For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    Mark 1:11 – And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
    Mark 15:37 – And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
    Hebrews 9:22 – And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
    Romans 5:8-10 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

  6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, never to die again, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He intercedes as High Priest and Advocate on behalf of all who believe in Him.

    Luke 24:5-7 – And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
    Ephesians 1:20 – Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
    Hebrews 4:14-16 – Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we
    may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

  7. We believe that those who, by faith alone and through no merit of their own, receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior are miraculously born again of the Holy Spirit and become, as children of God, partakers of His divine nature and of eternal life.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    1 Peter 1:23 – Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
    Galatians 4:4-7 – But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
    Romans 8:17 – And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

  8. We believe that the Holy Spirit baptizes all true believers into the one true Church, His Body, and that He indwells them eternally, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, and empowers them for service and holy living.

    1 Corinthians 12:13 – For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
    Acts 2:4 – And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
    Hebrews 2:4 – God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
    1 Corinthians 7:7 – For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

  9. We believe that two ordinances, neither of which is essential to salvation, are to be observed in obedience to our Lord by all believers until Christ’s return: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    Romans 6:3,4 – Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    I Corinthians 11:23-28 – For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

  10. We believe that at death the souls of the redeemed pass immediately into Christ’s presence, to remain there until the resurrection of the body at Christ’s return for the Church. We also believe that at death the souls of the lost go to Hell, where they remain until they are brought before Christ at the Great White Throne final judgment to be judged according to their works and cast into the Lake of Fire, there to remain eternally.

    John 14:3 – And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
    Luke 23:42-43 – And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
    John 10:28 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    Acts 7:59 – And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
    Luke 16:22,23 – And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    John 5:22 – For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
    Revelation 20:11-15 – And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

  11. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the redeemed at the pre-millennial return of Christ for His Church, when the souls and spirits of those who have died will be reunited with their bodies, now immortal, and that believers who are alive at that time, their bodies likewise transformed into immortality, will be caught up together with them to meet Christ in the air, ever to be with Him.

    1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

  12. We believe in the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ to rescue Israel at Armageddon and to establish His millennial kingdom, reigning over this earth from His father David’s throne in Jerusalem, and that His redeemed will reign with Him in resurrected bodies for 1,000 years.

    Revelation 16:16, 19:11-16 – And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
    Luke 1:32-33 – He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Scott

This on-again, off-again, would-be commentator proves that attitudes are contagious, and that some can even kill. To this end, every written word is weighed carefully to ensure the precise delivery of the author's intent while inflicting blunt force trauma to the psyche of the reader.

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