Our Statement of Faith
Note: Elders (Pastors) and Teachers are required to fully agree with this Statement; members are required only to willingly submit to teaching and preaching consistent with the Statement.
1. The Scriptures
We believe that the Bible is the only infallible, inerrant, authoritative written word of God. We believe it is without error in the original manuscripts and written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct and is the only standard by which all creeds and opinions should be tested. We believe that the inspired Bible consists of the 39 Old Testament books written before or during the time of the prophet Malachi and the 27 New Testament books established at the Synod of Hippo.
(2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Hebrews 4:12; John 20:31; Psalm 119:89; Psalm 19:7; James 1:21; Psalm 12:6; Psalm 18:30; John 10:35; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:32-32)
We believe that there is one living and true God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all. He possesses all knowledge of things that were, things that are, things that will be, and things that could have been. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience that springs from faith. God eternally exists in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – equal and complete in every divine perfection, executing distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
(Genesis 1:1, 25, 26; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19,20; Ephesians 4:5,6, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Isaiah 46:9-10)
3. God the Father
We believe that God the Father, the First Person of the Trinity, orders and arranges all things according to His own purpose and grace. He is the Creator of all things. As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption. As Creator, He should rightly be recognized as Father by all men, but He is the spiritual Father only to believers. He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass. He continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events. In His sovereignty, He is neither the author nor approver of sin, nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures. He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own. He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. He adopts as His own all those who come to Him and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own.
(Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:5-6; Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:3-4; Acts 17:26-29, Ephesians 3:14-15, 1 Corinthians 8:5-6, Psalm 36:7, Psalm 66:5; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 1:11; 1 Chronicles 29:11; Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47; 1 Peter 1:17; Ephesians 1:4-6; John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9)
4. Jesus Christ
We believe that the historical person known as Jesus Christ is God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. God the Father created all things according to His own will, through and for His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation. Jesus Christ is Deity, possessing all divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father. He is fully human. He was born of a virgin and He lived a sinless life. He performed miracles. He atoned fully for sin through His death and shed blood. He was resurrected bodily. He ascended to Heaven and is now at the right hand of the Father. At a time in the future, He will personally and visibly return in power and glory to this earth.(John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2; John 1:1-2; John 10:30-33; 14:9-10; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7; Matthew 1:23; Hebrews 4:15; John 2:11; Luke 1:1-4; Romans 3:23-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Colossians 1:14; 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 10:19; Matthew 28:6, Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 4:18; 8:1; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:10)
5. The Holy Spirit
We believe that God the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, is a divine Person, eternally possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect, emotions, will, eternality, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and truthfulness. In all the divine attributes, He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son. He came from the Father, as promised by Christ, and brings glory to the Father and the Son. His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ, applying the work of Christ to believers, transforming believers into the image of Christ, and distributing spiritual gifts to every believer according to His sovereign good pleasure for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. He indwells, sanctifies, instructs, and empowers believers for service to God. He is the Comforter, the Spirit of Adoption, the Seal of our Salvation and the Guarantor of our inheritance in Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Hebrews 9:14; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:13-14; Romans 15:13; John 16:13; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17; John 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:14; John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22; Acts 5:3; Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:14-17)
We believe that man was created by God in His own image but that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God. As a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice. All are therefore under condemnation. Every person is utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God on his own .
(Genesis. 1:26; 5:2; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:11; Romans 3:9-18; Romans 5:10-12; Ephesians 2:1-2; 1 John 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Revelation 19:2-3, 20; Revelation 20:10, 14-15; Revelation 21:8; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14)
7. Salvation and Regeneration
We believe that salvation of sinful man from death is a sovereign act of God and is entirely by His grace, on the basis of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and the merit of His shed blood. Salvation can in no way be earned by human merit or works. By the power of the Holy Spirit, through the instrumentality of the word of God (the gospel), sinful persons become new creatures, being brought to repentance (forsaking of sin) and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. They are thus delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life .(John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19; John 3:14; John 5:24; John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:2; Romans 10:17; John 7:37-38; John 8:12; John 10:26; Romans 9:22; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; I John 1:9; John 3:16; John 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1)
We believe that Jesus Christ secures full justification for all persons who repent of sin and trust in Him. This justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness. Justification is bestowed without consideration of any works of righteousness which a person has done or will do, but solely by God”s grace, through faith in Christ, by the complete and effective work of Christ on the cross. Christ”s perfect righteousness is freely imputed to all who repent and believe, bringing us into a state of peace and favor with God and securing every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
(Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:21-26; 8:34; 10:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9)
We believe that every believer is sanctified (set apart) for God by justification, is declared perfectly innocent (holy), and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is one of standing with God, and is not dependent upon the believer”s present walk or condition. However, every person who has been saved and who is made a new creature will show outward signs of repentance, including righteous attitudes and conduct. Such “good works” will be experienced to the extent that a believer submits to the word of God. Through obedience to the word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to exhibit increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, living in ways that are increasingly consistent with his sanctified standing and growing more like Jesus Christ.
(Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10; John 17:17, 19; Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23)
10. The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe that each local church, consisting of an assembly of believers in Jesus Christ associated for worship, work and fellowship, represents but one unique and distinct part of that universal church. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the task of proclaiming the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to the world, and of encouraging other members of the local church to love and good works. However, each local church must hold its distinctiveness in humility, for no local church stands apart from the entire Body of Christ.(Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:24-25; Romans 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-20)
11. The Ordinances
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord”s Supper.
A. Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water in the name of the triune God. It sets forth, in a beautiful and solemn way, our faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior, and our death to sin and resurrection to new life. This is done as a symbol and as testimony of the spiritual regeneration that the believer has experienced, and in itself does not produce salvation or regeneration.
B. The Lord”s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death and our continual fellowship with Him. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ .
(Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32)
12. Resurrection and Judgment
We believe that God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world by Jesus Christ. On the day of His choosing, the Lord himself will descend from heaven. The dead in Christ will rise and those in Christ who are left alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Both the Christian and the non-Christian will be resurrected from the dead. The Christian will be resurrected to everlasting blessedness and joy in heaven and the non-Christian will be resurrected to everlasting conscious punishment in hell.
Unless otherwise cited, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ® (ESV ®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Some content produced by Ray Bromley
Copyright 2012 Northwest Baptist Church