Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
Our Beliefs: Luke 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
We believe that there is one, and only one, true and living God; that He is absolute in nature, perfect in attributes, holy in character, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; that He is infinite in wisdom, marvelous in power, and amazing in love; that He is holy, righteous, and true, worthy of all confidence and love; that He unites in Himself the infinite, the eternal, and the Almighty Three -- God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; that the three persons of the Godhead subsist in the same Divine nature, essence and being; and that they are coexistent and coequal in every Divine attribute, each one executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Gen. 1:1; Deut. 4:39; Mark. 12:29; Gen. 17:1; Matt. 5:48; Isa. 6:3; I Chron. 29:11-12; Ps. 103:19; Rom. 11:33-34; Matt. 19:26; Ps. 19:9; Matt. 28:19; I Pet. 1:2-3; I John 5:7; Ex. 3:14; Gen. 1:26; and Tit. 3:3-7.
II. THE DIVINE TRINITY
1. GOD, THE FATHER. We believe that God, the Father, is the first person set forth in the Divine Trinity; that He is almighty, merciful, and just; that He is holy, righteous, and true; that He is eternally existent, glorious in nature, possessing the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence; and that He, in harmony with His Divine office, loves, provides, and protects, thus exercising providential watch-care over the sons of men, and especially a fatherly care over the children of God.
Matt. 28:19; Gen. 17:1; Matt. 19:26; Ps. 19:9; Isa. 6:3; Ps. 100:5; Prov. 15:3; Ps. 139:1-6; Ps. 103:13; Matt. 6:25-30; Matt. 10:29-31; and Matt. 7:11.
2. GOD, THE SON - VIRGIN BORN. We believe that God, the Son, is the second person set forth in the Divine Trinity; that He is Very God of Very God; that He is almighty, merciful, and just; that He is holy, righteous, and true; that He is eternally existent, glorious in nature, possessing the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; that God, the Father, through the Holy Spirit, is actually and eternally His Divine Father, and Mary the Virgin, is actually and innocently His human mother; and that He, in harmony with His Divine office, mediates, seeks, and saves, thus exercising the mediatorial office of redemption
Matt. 28:19; Jn. 1:1-3, 14, and Isa. 9:6; Matt. 28:18; Tit. 3:5-6; Jn. 8:15-16; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 13:8; Phil. 2:6; Jn. 2:24; Matt. 28:20; Lk. 1:35 and 2:7-14; I Tim. 2:5-6; Lk. 19:10; and Jn. 3:16.
3. GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT. We believe that God, the Holy Spirit, is the third person set forth in the Divine Trinity; that He is almighty, merciful, and just; that He is holy, righteous, and true; that He is eternally existent, glorious in nature, possessing the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; that He restrains the world, the flesh and the devil; that He witnesses to the Truth, convicts the lost, extols the Christ, and testifies to the righteous judgment of God; and that He, in harmony with His Divine office, comforts, teaches, testifies, preaches, guides, regenerates, empowers, sanctifies, and anoints, thus exercising the quickening role in the works of saving the lost and supervising role in the life of the saved.
Jn. 14:16-17 and 26; Jn. 15:26; Jn. 16:7-13; Heb. 9:14; I Pet. 4:14; Isa. 40:12-15; I Cor. 2:10-12; Ps. 139:7-12; II Thess. 2:6-7; Jn. 3:6,8; Eph. 1:13-14; Acts 1:8; I Pet. 1:2; and Isa. 61:1.
III. THE DEVIL
We believe that Satan is an actual person, and not an imaginary influence; that he once enjoyed high heavenly honors and glorious heavenly privileges; that he, through pride, ambition, and self-will attempted to betray the Almighty and brought upon his head the judg-ment of God; that he operates today as the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air; that he is a diabolical inventor, an arch-deceiver, and the father of all lies; that he is the greatest enemy, the mightiest tempter, and the most relentless accuser of the saints; but that at Calvary "the seed of the woman (Christ) bruised the serpent's (Satan's) head;" that he is therefore a defeated creature, and that he shall eventually be cast into the lake of fire, the eternal place of punishment, prepared for the devil and his angels.
Job 1:6-12 and Job 2:1-7; Ezek. 28:12-19; Isa. 14:12-27 and Gen. 3:14; II Cor. 4:4 and Eph. 2:2; Matt. 24:11 and II Thess. 2:7-11 and Jn. 8:44; I Pet. 5:8 and Gen. 3:1-6 and Rev. 12:10; Dan. 7:8 and Rev. 13:1-10 and Rev. 19:20; Gen. 3:15; II Cor. 11:13-15; Jn. 14:30; And Eph. 2:2; Rev. 20:10; Matt. 25:41.
IV. THE HOLY BIBLE
We believe that the Holy Bible is a super-natural book; that it is the very Word of God; that it is the full, the final, and the complete revelation of God's will to man; that it has God, the Holy Spirit, for its author and salvation for its end and is truth without any admixture of error for its matter; that it was written by holy men of old under the immediate and direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit; that it is verbally and plenarily inspired and a perfect treasure of holy instruction; and that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us and is, therefore, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.
Ps. 119:89; II Tim. 3:16-17; Rev. 22:18-19; Jn. 17:17; Jn. 3:32-34; II Pet. 1:20-21; I Pet. 1:10-12; Zeph. 1:1; Ps. 19:7-11; Ex. 20:3-17; Ps. 1:2; and Jn. 12:48.
We believe that the Genesis record of creation is literal, and not allegorical or figurative; that God personally created the heaven and the earth; that He miraculously brought forth all original matter out of nothing; that He actually fashioned all organic forms as specific creations subject to limited changes within the species; that He definitely ordained each species to bring forth after its kind; that He finally "formed man out of the dust of the ground", not by any process of evolution but by instant action, and "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became" immediately "a living soul"; that He created man in the image and likeness of God; that His every creative act was complete and perfect in itself; and that not one of His creations was conditioned upon antecedent changes naturally wrought during interminable periods of time. We do not believe in Theistic Evolution, Day age or the Gap Theory. We believe that God created all things in six days and rested on the seventh Day.
Gen. 1:1 Exodus 20:11 and John 1:1-3 and Heb. 11:3; Gen. 1:21, 24-27; 31 and Gen. 2:7; and Col. 1:16-17.
VI. THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man, originally created in holiness and actually associated with God in innocence under His law, did, by voluntary transgression of the Lord's command, fall from the high and happy state in which he was created, and, as a consequence, became a sinner alienated from God and brought upon himself and all mankind just condemnation; and that he is now, by virtue of his fallen nature, utterly void of holiness, positively inclined to evil, and actually condemned to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
Gen. 1:26-27 and Ecc. 7:29; Gen. 2:7; Gen. 3:13-24; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 1:21-23 and 3:10-18; and Rev. 21:8.
VII. THE BLOOD ATONEMENT
We believe that the lost sinner is guilty and already under just condemnation; that he is by nature alien to God and because of sin con-demned to die; that atonement for sin was effected through the mediatorial office of the Son, Who by Divine appointment, freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin; that He, through obedience during His earthly walk, personally honored the Divine Law by keeping it, and through His death on the cross, actually satisfied the penalty of the offended Law by suffering in the sinner's stead; that He, through His obedience and sacrificial death, made full and vicarious atonement for sin; that he died, the just for the unjust, bearing our sins in His body on the tree; and that He, through the shedding of His blood on the cross of Calvary, evidenced eternal provision for cleansing, for pardon, for peace, and for rest. We deny any universal atonement and believe that Christ gave his life for the sheep only.
Isa. 53:6; Rom. 6:7 and Rom. 8:23; I Tim. 2:5-6 and Heb. 2:17 and II Cor. 5:21; Matt. 5:17-18 and I Pet. 2:24; Heb. 10:10-12; I Pet. 3:18; Rev. 1:5; Isa. 55:7; Jn. 14:27; Matt. 11:28; Rom. 3:25; I Jn. 1:7; Eph. 1:7; and Heb. 9:22, 1 Pet. 2:25, Jn 10:11.
VIII. REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are solemn and inseparable prerequisites of salvation; that they are inseparable graces wrought in the heart by the quickening Holy Spirit; and that the alien sinner, being deeply convicted of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come by the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit, and by Him, having his understanding enlightened so that he can see the way of salvation through Christ, does actually repent, turning to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication, and does actually believe, surrendering himself wholeheartedly to the Lord Jesus, immediately receiving Him as personal and all-sufficient Saviour and openly confessing Him before all men.
Acts 20:21; and Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18 and Eph. 2:8 and Jn. 6:44; Jn. 16:8-11; Matt. 3:1-2,8; Acts 3:19; Lk. 13:3; and Lk. 18:9-14; Acts 9:6 and Rom. 10:10.
IX. SALVATION BY GRACE
We believe that grace is elective and saving; that it embraces the personal triune, and redemptive ministry of God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; that it comprehends all of the labors put forth by the Almighty in the interest of perfect righteousness and the salvation of the lost soul; that it encompasses foreknowledge, foreordination, and predestination; that it, and it alone, saves even unto the uttermost all who repent toward God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; and that salvation thus wrought is wholly by grace, "the free gift of God," requiring neither culture nor works in any form to secure it or to keep it.
II Tim. 1:8-9 and Eph.. 1:4, 2:8-9; 2 Thess. 2:13-14,Tit. 3:3-7 and I Pet. 1:2-5; Rom. 8:28-30; Heb. 7:25 and Acts 20:20-21; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 11:6; Rom. 5:20; Isa. 1:18; and Isa. 55:1.
We believe that in order to be saved lost sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration is a re-creative act, far beyond comprehension, wrought in the believer's heart by the direct personal ministry of the Holy Spirit; that it is instantaneous and miraculous, being neither evolutionary nor cultural; that it embraces the Divine acts of cleansing the heart from all inward sins and of pardoning the soul of all outward guilt, in connection with the work of begetting a new creature in Christ Jesus; that the dead sinner is made to live through the new birth, becoming thereby a regenerated spirit, possessing eternal life, the gift of God; that it is the actual impartation of the Divine life, not a mere transformation of the human life; and that the proper evidence of regeneration appears in the holy fruit of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jn. 3:3-5 and 7; II Cor. 5:17; Jn. 3:8 and Jn. 3:16; Jn. 1:12-13; Isa. 1:18 and Tit. 3:5-7; Eph. 2:1, 5 and Rom. 6:23; Jn. 16:8-11; Matt. 7:16-18 and James 2:17-20; Acts 20:21.
We believe that justification is one of the great Gospel blessings secured through Christ for all who trust Him; that it is a legal and Divine decree, declaring the believing sinner just; that it is thus a state of being free from condemnation, including forgiveness for inward sins and pardon for outward sins; that it secures through faith freedom from legal bondage, exemption from the wrath of God, and possession of peace which passes all understanding; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done but solely upon the evidence of faith in God and the Redeemer's blood; and that it brings us into a state of unchanging peace and favor with God and secures every other blessing needful for time and for eternity.
Rom. 3:24-25; Rom. 3:28; Rom. 8:33; Rom. 8:1 and Jn. 5:24 and Rom. 4:3-8; Rom. 6:6; Rom. 5:9; Rom. 5:1 and Phil. 4:7; Rom. 8:31-33; Gen. 15:6; Titus 3:5; and Heb. 10:14.
XII. THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that salvation wrought by grace is everlasting; that the saved soul journeying through the valley of the shadow of death need fear no evil; that the Holy Spirit begotten and born are kept by the power of God; that the believer in Christ Jesus shall not be brought into judgment; that no one lay anything to the charge of God's elect; that they are securely held in both the hand of the Father and the Son; and that the age-old Baptist doctrine, "once in grace always in grace," is heavenly and gloriously true.
Jn. 3:16; Jn. 3:36; Jn. 5:24; Jn. 6; Ps. 23:4; Phil. 1:6 and I Pet. 1:5; Jn. 5:24 and Rom. 8:1; Jn. 10:27-29 and Rom. 8:31-33 and Rom. 8:35-39 and II Tim. 1:12.
We believe that sanctification is a Divine work of grace; that it is not a state of sinless perfection attained through a "second blessing" or through a special "baptism of the Holy Ghost"; that it is an act of grace by which the believer is separated unto God and dedicated unto His righteous purpose; that by it we enter into Divinely appointed privileges and thus become larger partakers of His holiness; that it is a progressive work, begun in regeneration and carried on in the life of every believer by the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God; and that it is nurtured only by Heaven's appointed means, especially by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the saved through his self-examination, obedience, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.
I Thess. 4:3 and 5:23; Rom. 15:16 and Jere. 1:5; Prov. 4:18 and Rom. 8:5; I Tim. 4:5; Lk. 9:23; Matt. 24:42; and Matt. 7:7-11.
XIV. THE LORD'S RETURN PREWRATH RAPTURE
We believe in the classic Prewrath view as taught by our Lord (Matthew 24), in which the coming of Christ, the resurrection of the righteous dead, and the rapture of the Church will occur together at an unknown time during the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. This event will occur after the great tribulation has been cut short by God’s intervention, after the opening of the 6th seal of Revelation, but before God’s wrath is poured out during the Day of the Lord judgments. The Bible is the final authority for correctly understanding God’s prophetic truths.
Job 19:25-26; and Isa. 9:6-7 and Zech. 14:4 and Mal. 4:2; and Lk. 1:31-33 and Matt. 24, 25:31-34; Rev. 19:11-21 and Acts 1:11 and Rev. 1:7; II Pet. 3:10; Rev. 20:4-6; Rev. 19:20 and Rev. 20:1-3; Isa. 9:7; I Cor. 15:25-27; Ps. 2:9 and Rev. 12:5 and 19:15; I Jn. 3:8; and Ps. 72:1-20.
XV. THE RESURRECTION
We believe that Christ Jesus arose bodily from the grave on the first day of the week, which day we now observe as the Lord's Day, a day of worship; that His miraculous emergence from the tomb forecasted a like bodily resurrection for every member of the Adamic race; that the dead in Christ shall rise first and in glorified bodies like His; that they and those that are alive in Christ shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; that the dead in trespasses and sins, or the dead out of Christ, shall rise at the close of the Great Tribulaton; and that they shall reign with Christ for a thousand years and after that the Lost will be brought before the Great White Throne Judgment and there face the Judge of the quick and the dead.
Matt. 28:6; Lk. 24:1-12; I Cor. 15:12-22; I Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:5-6; Rev. 11:26; Dan. 12:2; I Sam. 2:6; Isa. 26:19; Hosea 13:14; and Isa. 25:6-8.
XVI. INDIVIDUAL REWARDS
We believe that rewards and salvation are not one and the same thing. We believe that the Lord shall reward His own; that He Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout; that the death in Christ shall rise first; that a solemn separation shall take place; that the blood-washed and Holy Spirit-begotten shall be caught up to meet Him in the air, and there be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body; and that the place called the New Heaven and the New Earth is ordained the everlasting dwelling place of the children of God. We believe that the wicked are children of the devil; that they are rebels against God; that they reject the free offer of salvation through Christ; that they, as a consequence, are hell bound, being under a death sentence; and that they shall spend eternity in the Lake of Fire which burneth with fire and brimstone where the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet shall ever be.
I Cor. 3:11-15; I Thess. 4:16-18 and Matt. 24:40-41 and 13:47-50; I Cor. 3:8 and Rev. 21:1-8; Jn. 8:44; Rom. 8:7; Jn. 3:18; Rev. 20:10-15; and Rom. 6:23.
XVII. THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. We believe the righteous are they who believe in Christ Jesus, the justified by faith, and the sanctified by the Holy Spirit and the Word; that the righteous are heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ; and that eternal life, the gift of God, is the matchless possession of the just. We believe that the wicked are they who do not believe in Christ Jesus; they are condemned because of unbelief and corrupted by the god of this world; that the unjust spurn the privileges of God's grace, choosing the life of sin and rebellion; and that eternal damnation is the inescapable portion of the unjust.
Mal. 3:16-18 and Jn. 3:6; Rom. 3:22, 24 and 4:3 and 1:17; Rom. 8:1-7; and Rom. 6:23; II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 21:8 and Matt. 23:37 and Prov. 29:1 and Matt. 25:41.
XVIII. THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe that a New Testament church, according to Divine purpose and plan, is a visible, local, organized body; that it is composed of baptized believers associated together by a covenant of faith and fellowship in the Gospel; that New Testament validity flows from strict obedience to essential principles of New Testament law; that the church is a sovereign, independent, democratic, and local body; that its ministry is gloriously blessed with the presence and leadership of the Holy Spirit and the light and revelation of the Written Word; that its work should ever be from within to without and never from without to within; that it is a self-governing body and is the sole judge, under the limitations of the Scriptures, of the measure and method of cooperation; that it is the only ecclesiastical tribunal the Lord has on earth; that its judgment concerning membership, missions, benevolence, cooperative alignments, and support is final; that it was personally founded by Christ Jesus during His ministry on earth; that it is subject to His laws and is the custodian of His ordinances; that the perpetuity of our faith, our doctrine and practices, ordinances and ordinations, has been effected through the Holy Spirit personally planting and preserving local Baptist churches of like faith and order down through the centuries even until now.
Matt. 28:19-20; I Cor. 1:1-3; Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 16:19 and 18:15-17 and Jn. 14:16-17,26; Acts 1:8 and 13:1-4; Matt. 18:17-18; Matt. 16:18-19; Matt. 26:26-29 and Matt. 28:19-20; I Tim. 3:15; Mk. 3:13-14; and Lk. 6:12-13.
We believe that baptism and the Lord's supper are ordinances personally set in the church of the living God by the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that baptism is the burial of a believer in water by the authority and instruction of the local Baptist church; that it symbolizes the death and the burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; that it also typifies the believer's death to sin, the burial of his old nature, and his resurrection unto a new life; and that it is administered in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We believe the Lord's Supper is a memorial act and administered by the authority and instruction of the local Baptist church; that it symbolizes the broken body and the shed blood of the Son of God; that its observance points backward to the crucified Lord on Calvary and forward to the returning Lord in glory. We believe that only fermented wine and unleavened bread are to be used as the elements in the Lords Supper We believe that these ordinances are not sacraments, but are sacred symbols, pointing to the our only Saviour and bidding the sons of men look unto an everlasting fellowship with the King of kings and Lord of Lords when He shall return to take over the reins of all government.
Matt. 26:26-29 and 28:19; Rom. 6:3-5 and Acts 10:47; I Cor. 11:23-24; I Cor. 11:24-25; and I Cor. 11:26.
XX. CHURCH ADMINISTRATION
We believe that the churches of God and the state should be kept completely separate; that civil officers should be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; that diligence should be had in seeking the will of God in all church matters; that missionary endeavor should ever be executed from within the local church to without; that pastors and deacons, the only Divinely appointed church officers, should be duly ordained and brought to understand the sacred duties devolving upon them; that the Lord's Day, the first day of the week, should be honored by both saint and sinner; that Bible teachings should be constantly and consistently fostered by local church bodies; that members should be deliberately and prayerfully voted into the fellowship of the local body; that unruly church members should be prayerfully and Scripturally disciplined by the local church; and that church letters should be granted to sister local churches of the same faith and practice.
Acts 1:8 and 13:1-3; Rom. 13:1-17; Acts 14:23 and Acts 6:1-6; Acts 2:42; Rev. 1:10; Matt. 16:19 and Acts 10:47; Matt. 18:15-17; Acts 15:19-27 and 18:27 and Rom. 16:1-2 and Matt. 28:19-20.
XXII. CHURCH FINANCE
We believe God's plan of finance for the church is tithes and offerings; that the tithe belongs unto the Lord, and it is the obligation and privilege of each Christian to pay his tithe and give his offering unto the Lord through the church; that he is to give of his increase upon the first day of the week; this giving is to be done with a cheerful, willing and systematic spirit; and that such monies will enable the church to foster the commission of our Lord. The church, as custodian of God's monies, will use it wisely.
Lev. 27:30; Matt. 23:23; Mal. 3:10; Prov. 3:9; II Cor. 9:6-8; I Cor. 16:2; I Cor. 9:13-14.
We believe that missions is the sole responsibility of each local New Testament Baptist church; that missionaries are Divinely called and then ordained by the local church; that it is the responsibility of the church to support God-called missionaries and not extra-Scriptural organizations; and that missionaries are to win the lost to Christ, baptize them, and organize churches of like faith and order. The local New Testament church is the only authorized organization to carry out the commission of our Lord.
Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15; Lk. 24:46-49; Jn. 17:18; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:1-4; Rom. 10:13-17.