Written on 08/06/2015
FAITH AND DOCTRINE
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the members, congregation, and community, it is imperative that all members and associate members, all staff (paid and unpaid) of the church, should abide by and agree to this Tenets of Faith and Doctrine, and conduct themselves accordingly.
This Church accepts the Scriptures as the revealed Will of God, the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice. We believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is our message to the world: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
(1 Cor. 15:3-4 NKJV). Therefore, for the purpose of maintaining general unity, we adopt these Tenets of Faith and Doctrine.
Section 1. The Scriptures Inspired:
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man, that it is verbally, plenary, and inerrantly inspired; authoritative, and without error in its original manuscripts. It is the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and is superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason. (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Heb. 4:12).
Section 2. The One True Godhead:
We believe that the triune Godhead is comprised of three (3) separate and distinct personalities, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, who are eternally self-existent, self-revealed and function as one entity. Jesus Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh, is the second member of the Godhead, co-equal and co-eternal with The Father and The Holy Spirit. (Deut.6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 14:10; 2 Cor. 13:14).
Section 3. Man, His Fall, and Redemption:
We believe that Man was created good and upright, for God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;” (Genesis 1:26a NKJV). But, man, by voluntary transgression, fell and his only hope of having this alienation removed and redemption is through faith, trusting in Jesus Christ the Son of God alone for salvation, which is made possible by His death and resurrection. (Genesis 1:26-31, 3:1-7; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12-21; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19).
Section 4. The Salvation of Man:
The redemption of man: We believe that man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, substitutionary death, and shed blood on the cross provides for our redemption. His bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, present ministry of intercession for us, and His soon and certain return to earth in power and glory provide the evidence that these affirmations are true. He is the only “True God and Eternal Life” (1 John 5:20b NKJV); by which, we are saved, being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. “For by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8 NKJV). "But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:8-10 NKJV). (Matt. 1:18-24; John 1:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Phil. 2:5-8; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24).
The evidence of salvation: We believe that the inward evidence to the believer of his salvation, is the direct witness of the Spirit. The outward evidence to all men is a life in pursuit of righteousness and true holiness. "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." (1 John 3:23 NKJV). (Rom. 8:16).
Faith and works: We believe that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and not by human works. However, our works will be examined by fire determining our rewards or loss in eternity. (Rom. 10:9-10; II Cor. 5:10; Eph. 2:10; 1 Cor. 3:9-17).
The present work of the Holy Spirit: We believe that the miracle of the new birth in unbelievers is performed through the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit. He enables believers to live godly lives by illuminating, regenerating, indwelling, baptizing, sealing and giving special unique spiritual gifts. (Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13-18; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:7-12).
Section 5. The Church:
The organization: We believe that the church is the body of Christ, composed of all who are saved from Pentecost to the Rapture, immersed into one body. The Church is the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her Great Commission, and serves as the espoused Bride of Christ. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, which are written in Heaven. (Eph. 1:22; 2:19-22; Heb. 12:23; Matt. 28:18-20).
The ordinances: We believe that the local church is an autonomous company of baptized believers who meet regularly to worship God by making disciples of all nations through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. It involves itself in the regular observance of the following ordinances:
Baptism in water: The ordinance of baptism symbolizes burial with Christ and is to be observed as commanded in the Scriptures by all who repent, and in their hearts believe in Christ as Savior and Lord. In so doing, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ, and have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Rom. 6:4).
The Lord's Supper: The ordinance of Communion symbolizes His body offered and blood shed on our behalf. “And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor. 11:24-25 NKJV). To all who eat this bread and drink this cup, you show the Lord’s death until He comes. Jesus is coming again to gather all His Saints to Heaven. (I Cor. 15:51-52; I Thess. 4:16-17; II Thess. 2:1).
Section 6. The Christian Life:
Personal ethics: We recognize that in Christ we have individual soul liberty; however, we also have the right to refuse to allow anything in our life that may control us. For a man is slave to whatever controls him. We seek to please the Lord and not others, but we are also called not to cause another to stumble, taking into consideration the doubts and fears of others. The Scriptures teach us that our bodies are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in us. Our bodies do not belong to us for God has bought us with a great price. So then, we are not to be under the influence of anything that may harm us, our walk with God, or our testimony before others. However, we are to be under the influence (filled with) of the Holy Spirit, allowing us to use every part of our body to give glory back to God, because He owns it. (I Cor. 6:19: 2 Peter 2:19; I Cor. 6:12; Rom. 15:2-3; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; Rom. 5:18).Eph. 5:21-6:4; Heb. 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
Therefore: We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accordance with Scripture nor the doctrines of the church.
We also believe that no one should be compelled to embrace any religion, doctrine, or belief against his or her own will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to their own conscience or express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions.
Taken From Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of
Burlington Flats Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Burlington Flats
A Nonprofit Corporation