Del Ray Baptist Church – Statement of Faith 2012

Introduction

Our Statement of Faith is a document that puts forth a concise and clear declaration of what we believe as a church based on God’s revelation to us in the Scriptures. This document is not an exhaustive explanation of our beliefs, but it highlights and summarizes issues we deem as essential to membership of this local body and faithfulness to our Lord.

In summary we believe that God, the originator of all things, gave us the Scriptures, as our perfect guide, and that People, who were created to worship God have sinned against him, but have been offered Salvation which is rooted in God’s Grace which includes the simultaneous gifts of Regeneration and Justification that are linked necessarily to the response of Repentance and Faith. God’s work of salvation continues on in Sanctification and the Perseverance of Believers. Believers are united in the Church, which is to faithfully administer the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. As Christians we recognize God’s design in the Family and our responsibility to the Civil Government. Our final hope looks toward the World to Come, which we pray will arrive soon.

1.  God

We believe that there is only one living and true God. He is the eternal, infinite Creator and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. He is merciful, just, and loving and governs all things according to His sovereign will for His glory. He alone is inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and is worthy of all honor, confidence, obedience and love.

We believe that the one true God eternally exists as three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; each is fully God and equally possesses all the perfections of deity while executing their distinct and harmonious roles in the great work of redemption.

Exodus 20:3-4; Deuteronomy 4:35, 4:39, 6:4–5, 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:2; 1 Kings 8:23; Psalms 86:8–10; Isaiah 6:3; 44:6–8, 45:5-25, 46:9; Jer. 10:6-10; Micah 7:18; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:6, 17:3; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians  8:4–6; 2 Corinthians 3:17, 13:14; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians 1:3-14, 4:5-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 1:17, 2:5; James 2:19; 1 John 5:20; Jude 25; Revelation 4:11

We believe that God the Father is fully divine and sovereignly reigns over creation. He is the source of all life and the one to whom the eternal kingdom belongs. He is the author of every event that occurs in both time and eternity. He foreknows, chooses and predestines people according to His glorious plan of redemption. The Father draws sinners to believe in His Son through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Father forgives their sin and adopts them as His children, thus giving them peace with Him.

Matthew 5:16, 6:5-14, 7:11, 18:35, 24:36, 28:19; John 3:16, 5:22-26, 6:37-40, 6:44; 8:16, 10:10 27-29; 15:8, 16:23, 17:1-8; Acts 1:7, 10:37; Romans 5:1, 6:4, 8:15, 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 8:6, 15:24; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:3-12; 4:6, 32; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; Hebrews 12:6-10, 13:15-20; 1 Peter 1:2, 1:17, 1 John 1:9, 3:22, 4:14; 2 John 1:4

We believe that God the Son is fully divine and has eternally existed with the same glory as the Father. He was born as a man named Jesus who lived a sinless life, died as a substitute for sinners, and rose from the dead as the Lord and Savior of all those who believe. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God the Father and serves as the mediator of those who believe. He will soon return to judge sinners and to receive all those who have trusted in Him.

Matthew 1:25, 4:1, 8:18-27, 11:19, 16:21, 26:42, 28:18-20; Mark 4:38, 5:1-15, 10:45, 15:39; Luke 1:34-35, 9:12-22, 22:70, 24:36-43; John 1:1-18, 3:16, 4:6, 5:18-21, 8:58, 10:30, 11:27-35, 14:28, 19:28, 20:28-31; Acts 1:11, 20:28; Romans 1:4, 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-19, 2:9; Titus 1:3-4, 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-2:3, 2:17, 4:12-14; 1 Peter 2:21; 2 Peter 1:1, 2:20, 3:18; 1 John 2:2, 4:2-3, 4:9, 4:15, 5:20; 2 John 7; Revelation 1:5, 2:18, 3:14, 19:11-16

We believe that God the Holy Spirit is the eternal Spirit who shares in the fullness of deity along with the Father and the Son. He is the Spirit of truth sent by God the Father and Jesus Christ to carry out the eternal plan of redemption among God’s people. His primary ministry is to exalt and glorify Jesus by applying the Gospel to sinners’ hearts, convict them of their sin, give them new life in Christ, and seal them until the day of redemption.

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-27; John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7-14; Act 7:51, 10:19, 11:12, 13:2, 15:28, 16:6, 21:11; Romans 8:16, 8:27, 15:30; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14, , 12:7-11; 2 Corinthians 3:1-6, 3:17-18, 13:14; Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Hebrews 10:29

2.  The Scriptures

We believe that the Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments, was authored by God and, through divine inspiration, written down by men. We affirm that the Bible is totally sufficient and trustworthy, completely free from error, and reveals the principles by which God will judge us. It includes within it the only way of salvation, and has as its ultimate fulfillment Jesus the Christ. The Bible will remain to the end of the world the supreme standard and final authority by which all matters of life and doctrine should be tested.

Psalm 119; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 40:8; Luke 24:25–47; John 5:39; Romans 2:12; Philippians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2, 4:12-13; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 John 4:1

3. People

We believe that God created people in His own image and because of this all people have inherent value. We believe that God created people male and female as the crowning jewel of His creation. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were created with innocence, but voluntarily rebelled against God and brought sin into the world. As a result, all people are born as sinners, inheriting the condemnation of our first parents, Adam and Eve.

We believe that we are sinners by nature, utterly void of the holiness required by God and completely inclined to evil. As a result, we do not worship God as He requires according to His holy Law, but instead choose to worship idols and unworthy things. All people are, apart from God’s grace, unable to turn to God and are under just condemnation to eternal punishment, without defense or excuse.

Genesis 1:26-27, 3:1–6; Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 64:6; Hosea 6:7; Romans 1:18, 2:14, 3:10-18, 5:12–21, 6:16-17,  8:7-10; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22, 15:45–50; Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:18; Titus 3:3

4.  Salvation

We believe that the salvation of sinners is only by the grace of God through the work of Jesus Christ, who is the mediator of the New Covenant, the promised Messiah and Savior of the world. He is fully God and fully man, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught the way of God’s kingdom, worked miracles, suffered, died on a cross, rose from the dead and is now enthroned in heaven as High Priest and Lord over all. In His death, He made full atonement for our sins and became our sacrificial substitute, absorbing the full wrath of God, forgiving sins, and adopting into the family of God any who repent of their sin and believe in Him. This message of salvation is known as the Gospel.

We believe that salvation is made free to all who believe in Christ, and that it is the immediate duty of all to receive Him by a penitent and obedient faith. We believe that the power of the Gospel is sufficient to save even the greatest sinner and that all people everywhere are commanded to repent and believe upon Jesus. Those who reject Jesus and His Gospel do so voluntarily and will receive eternal condemnation for their decision.
The gracious gift of salvation makes a clear distinction between the righteous and the wicked. Those who trust in Christ are pleasing in God’s sight and those who continue in unbelief are wicked in His sight and remain under His wrath, destined to judgment for eternity in Hell.

Isaiah 53:4-5, 55:1; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 4:17, 11:20-24; Mark 1:15; Luke 19:10; John 1:1-14, 3:16-21, 5:40, 6:29; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 4:12, 13:46, 15:11, 17:30; Romans 1:16-17, 3:21-26, 4:25; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, 15:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:1-8, 4:14, 7:25, 9:13-15, 12:25-29; 1 John 3:23, 4:10; Revelation 22:17

5. God’s Grace

We believe that in God’s eternal purpose, He graciously chose some people before the foundation of the world to be regenerated and saved through the work of His Son Jesus Christ. This choosing, otherwise known as election, was not based on any good they would do, but only on His sovereign mercy and pleasure. God’s electing grace does not diminish people’s accountability before God and is perfectly consistent with man’s responsibility to believe in Christ. This grace of God exhibits His love, compassion, goodness, wisdom, holiness, power, and unchangeable character. This grace also extinguishes boasting, grants assurance, cultivates humility, promotes love, encourages prayer, fuels evangelism, and solidifies trust in God to keep those who are His.

Exodus 33:18-19; Deuteronomy 7:7-8; Jeremiah 31:3; Luke 10:22; John 1:12-13, 6:37-44, 10:16; 15:16; Acts 2:22-23, 4:27-28, 13:48, 15:14, 16:14, 18:12; Romans 3:27, 4:16, 8:28-9:24, 11:5-6, 11:28-36; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, 3:5-7, 9:22, 15:10; Galatians 1:15-16; Ephesians 1:1-2:10; Philippians 1:6, 3:12; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10, 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:8-9, 2:10; Hebrews 6:11; 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:10-11; 1 John 4:19; Revelation 13:8

6.  Regeneration

We believe that in order to be saved, a sinner must be regenerated, or born again. Regeneration is a work of God’s grace whereby the Holy Spirit gives new spiritual life and replaces our rebellious heart with a heart that delights in obeying God and responding to Him by repentance and faith.

This new birth occurs when the Holy Spirit of God applies the divine truth of the Gospel to a sinner’s heart, resulting in our voluntary obedience to God through faith in Jesus Christ. The new birth is evidenced by spiritual fruits of repentance, faith, and a newness of life that seeks to please God. We believe that only God can give us this new spiritual life and bring us into the blessings of the New Covenant. In this New Covenant, we receive forgiveness of sins, God’s Law written on our hearts, and the indwelling presence of God’ Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27; John 1:12-13, 3:3-7; Acts 10:44; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13; James 1:17-18; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29, 3:9-10, 4:7, 5:1-4, 5:18

7.  Justification

We believe that justification is God’s declaration that those who believe in Christ are righteous in His sight because He has fully forgiven them of their sin and imputed Christ’s righteousness to them. We affirm that justification is given freely by God, not in consideration of anything we have done, but solely through faith in Christ and His finished work. This justification brings us into peace and favor with God, and secures our eternal destiny with Him.

Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 53:11-12; Matthew 9:6; John 1:16; Acts 10:43; Romans 3:20-28, 4:1-5:21, 6:23, 8:30-34; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 2:15-17, 3:24; Philippians 3:7-9; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:12, 25

8.  Repentance And Faith

We believe that repentance and faith are the right and required response of sinners to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are the inseparable acts of turning away from sin and turning to God through Christ alone for salvation. This response to the Gospel is brought about by the Holy Spirit who graciously convicts us of our sin, convinces us of our unrighteousness, and reveals that we are hopelessly condemned apart from Christ. We affirm that the Holy Spirit assures us that Christ is the only way of salvation and therefore we turn to God with sincere remorse for our sin and certain hope for mercy. We affirm that salvation comes to those who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that all true believers will trust in Him alone as their only and all-sufficient Savior.

Isaiah 55:1-7; Matthew 11:28-30; Mark 1:15; Luke 15:18-21, 24:46-47; John 1:12, 3:16, 6:37, 7:37, 16:8; Acts 2:37-38, 3:19-23, 11:18; 16:30-31, 17:30, 20:21; Romans 2:4, 10:9-11, 10:17; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 4:14, 6:1, 7:25

9.  Sanctification

We believe that sanctification is the process by which God frees believers from slavery to sin and makes them more like Christ in their lives. This is a progressive work that begins in regeneration and is carried on in the hearts and lives of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit until they see Christ. While this growth in holiness is a gift of grace, it also requires a believer to actively, intentionally, and persistently fight sin through means such as prayer, reading and hearing God’s word, and the mutual edification of Christian community. Faith and repentance are necessary responses to Christ that mark a believer’s life from the moment of conversion until Christ calls us to be with Him.

John 17:17; Romans 6:5-6, 6:11-19; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 7:1; Galatians 2:20, 5:16-24; Ephesians 4:20-24; Philippians 3:13-14; Colossians 3:5-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 4:14, 10:24-25, 12:1, 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15; 1 John 3:9; Revelation 3:19

10.  The Perseverance of Believers

We believe that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power, and that they will, by His grace, persevere in active trust and obedience to Christ until they see Him face to face. The grand mark of those who receive salvation is that they have an enduring attachment to Christ as their Lord and Savior. This enduring faith of believers distinguishes them from those who renounce Christ and prove not to be His. A persevering faith is evidence of God’s election and love which gives sure hope of eternal life with Christ.

Matthew 5:13, 24:13; John 6:38-40, 8:31, 10:27-29, 15:6; Romans 8:30, 11:22; 1 Corinthians 9:27, 10:12, 15:1; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:22-23; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 2:12; Hebrews 1:14, 3:12-14, 4:11, 6:12, 9:15; 1 Peter 1:4-5; 2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 2:19; 2 John 1:9; Jude 20; Revelation 2-3, 14:12, 21:7.

11. The Church

We believe that the invisible church is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation throughout all the ages. It is made visible in the assembly of believers in local churches, which are marked by the right preaching of God’s word and right administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The church is governed by the word of God, which teaches that elders are given to oversee the church as pastors, that deacons are to serve the church, and that the congregation, comprised of all members, have the responsibility to defend doctrine and execute discipline when required by Scripture. We affirm that members of local churches are commanded to assemble regularly, promote Christ-honoring unity, and live lives that bring honor and glory to God. The mission of the church is to be a corporate display of God’s glory to the world by preaching the gospel and making disciples.

Matthew 5:16, 16:19, 18:15-20, 28:18-20; John 1:12, 13:34-35, 17:20-24; Acts 6:1-6, 11:26, 14:23, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 5:4-5, 12-13; 11:25-26; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; Ephesians 3:10, 4:1-2, 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 4:13, 5:17, 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 10:19-25, 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-5; Revelation 5:9

12.  Baptism and The Lord’s Supper

We believe that Baptism in water is the delightful duty of all believers upon their profession of faith. Baptism is to be done by immersion, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit; to show forth our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior in a solemn and beautiful symbol. Baptism symbolizes our death to sin and resurrection to a new life and is a response to the command of Christ. Baptism is performed once, upon one’s profession of faith, and is required for church membership.

The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s dying love through the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine. This time of remembrance should be taken by baptized believers and members in good standing with a Gospel-preaching local church who prepare for the meal with self-examination to ensure holiness before God and unity with the church. The Lord’s Supper is performed regularly at the discretion of each local church.

Matthew 3:13-17, 26:26-29, 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-42, 8:36-38, 16:32-33; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:11-12

13.  Family

We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of society. Families are composed of people related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. Husband and wife are both made in God’s image and have equal value before God; while at the same time possessing distinct roles in the marriage. The husband is to gently lead and sacrificially love his wife as Christ loved the church and the wife is to graciously submit herself to her husband as the church willingly submits to Christ.

We believe that children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and inheritance from the Lord. Parents are to patiently lead their children in the ways of Christ by intentional instruction, gracious discipline, and consistent example based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents for the glory of God and their ultimate good.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7

14.  Civil Government

We believe that civil government is divinely appointed by God for the interests and good order of society, and that officials are to be prayed for and rightfully honored. These officials are to be obeyed except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and Ruler over the kings of the earth.

2 Samuel 23:3-4; Psalm 2:2-6; Mark 12:13-17; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-3; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Revelation 19:16

15.  The World to Come

We believe that the end of the world is approaching quickly. On that last day Christ will descend from heaven and raise the dead from the grave to final judgment. At that time, there will be a solemn separation during which the wicked will be judged and sentenced to endless conscious punishment in hell, and the righteous rewarded with endless conscious joy in the new heavens and new earth. This judgment will fix forever the final state of people in heaven or hell based upon God’s unchanging and unchallengeable principles of righteousness. Those belonging to Jesus will have eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth and live in everlasting joy to the glory of God.

Daniel 12:2; Matthew 13:36-50, 24:31-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 14:14; John 3:36, 4:36, 5:28-29, 6:40, 11:23-27; Acts 1:11, 3:21, 10:42, 17:31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12; Revelation 20:1-22:21