The Baptist Faith & Message (links to external site)
Doctrinal Distinctives: We are a body of believers that treasures the sovereignty of God over all of life. This is the chief doctrine that allows us to trust God both in salvation and in all of His promises to us who believe. We believe with the Scriptures as affirmed by the Westminster Confession and the Baptist Confession of 1689 that God ordain whatsoever comes to pass, but that this in no manner makes God the author of sin.
God’s sovereign rule is the only truth that allows us to trust that He is able to keep his promises to save and is able to cause all things to work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). This is what gives us full confidence in His great love for us. Because He is sovereign His love cannot fail.
We affirm both the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, but acknowledge that God is the only being who is absolutely free and He freely works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11)…..including our responsible actions.
Though there is great mystery in God’s sovereignty we rest our questions finally in the work of the Cross of Christ where God predetermined and foreknew the death of Christ (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). God planned to kill Jesus (Isaiah 53:10) and man planned to kill Jesus, but God planned first. God also used the responsible actions of men to be part of his predetermined plan. What men meant for evil, God meant for good. (Genesis 50:20).
God saving work is such that man is fully responsible, but God is finally decisive in the choice of salvation. Since man is dead in his sins (Eph. 2:1) his will is now determined to sin at every turn and with every thought. He wants nothing but sin at all times (Genesis 6:5). He does not want to believe upon Christ. Not in a 1000 years. Not even in an eternity of hell. This is why salvation must be all of God and therefore all of grace (Ephesians 2:4-9).
God does not violate the will or force it to believe, rather He resurrects it to new life. He brings to life what has died. He gives a new heart that is able to believe because it now wants to believe.
God uses the message of the gospel which brings Christ to the dead sinner and calls him to live by faith. (Romans 1:16)
THE MESSAGE AND THE CALL OF THE GOSPEL IN 10 BULLET POINTS
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
- The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
- God became a man in the person of Jesus the Son of God (John 1:1-14)
- Christ died in the place of sinful men. He bore their sins and paid the cost of their rebellion. (I Cor. 15:3)
- He was raised up to new life that He might give life to those who believe. (I Cor. 15:4)
- For those who turn from their sins and trust in the death of Christ to pay for them, they will be saved. (Acts 2:38, 16:31)
- Those who believe are those who have been justified by faith alone. (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:20,4:5)
- Christ has suffered God’s wrath for those who believe. (Romans 3:25)
- Christ has given his own righteousness to those who believe. (Philippians 3:9)
- Believers are now united to Christ, and adopted by the Father and loved forever. (Romans 8:10-17, Ephesians 2:4-7, Romans 8:35-39)