Del Ray Baptist Church – Statement of Faith 2018
Our Statement of Faith 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 beliefs we deem as essential to membership of this local body and faithfulness to our Lord. We joyfully stand alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the ages in affirming the Apostles’ Creed (2nd Century) and the Nicene Creed (325 and 381), and also believe that the London Confession (1689), the New Hampshire Confession (1833), and the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) provide helpful expositions of God’s Word.
In summary, we believe that God, the originator of all things, gave us the Scriptures as our perfect guide. People were created to worship God, but have sinned against Him and so justly deserve His punishment. But God demonstrated His love for humanity in freely offering us Salvation, which is rooted in God’s Grace and made possible through the perfect life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Salvation 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 the believer’s Sanctification and ensures the Perseverance of Believers to the end. Believers are united in the Church, which is made visible in local bodies of believers that faithfully preach God’s Word and 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.
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; Psalm 86:8-10; Isaiah 6:3, 44:6–8, 45:5-25, 46:9; Jeremiah 10:6-10; Micah 7:18; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 3:13-17, 28:18-20; John 10:30, 14:6, 17:3, 17:11, 17:20-21; 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, 4:32; 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. In His incarnation, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and was called Jesus. He took upon Himself human nature, becoming fully man while remaining fully God. He 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 between God and those who believe. He will soon return to judge sinners and to receive all those who have trusted in Him.
Matthew 1:18-25, 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, to convict them of their sin, to give them new life in Christ, and to seal them until the day of redemption.
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-27; John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7-14; Acts 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 by men. We affirm that the Bible is totally sufficient and trustworthy, completely free from error in the original manuscripts, 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, 3:15-16; 1 John 4:1
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. Gender is both a wonderful gift and an unchangeable part of God’s design, and it does not exist apart from the God-appointed link with biological sex.
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 while all people retain the image of God, possess a conscience, and are capable of doing relative moral good, which is non-meritorious for salvation—they are sinners by nature and totally 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 in hell, without defense or excuse.
Genesis 1:26-27, 3:1-19; 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
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 a New Covenant between God and humanity, the promised Messiah and Savior of the world. He is both fully God and fully man. At His incarnation, He 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 Lord over all and High Priest for those who come to God through Him. In His death, He made full atonement for our sins and became our sacrificial substitute, absorbing the full wrath of God, forgiving our 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.
The gracious gift of salvation produces a clear distinction between the righteous and the wicked. Those who trust in Christ are pleasing in God’s sight because He has imputed Christ’s righteousness to them, while 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, 5:8-10, 6:23, 10:9-10; 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
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’s 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
We believe that justification is God’s declaration of righteousness upon those who repent of their sins and believe in Christ. By faith, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to them, and they stand fully forgiven of their sins. 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 all who believe in Jesus 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. 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, grants us remorse for our transgressions, and reveals that we are hopelessly condemned apart from Christ. We affirm that salvation comes only to those who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that all true believers will trust in Him alone as their all-sufficient Savior. Faith and repentance mark a believer’s life from the moment of conversion until Christ calls us to be with Him.
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
We believe that sanctification refers to God’s work of setting apart a believer for His use. Progressive sanctification is the ongoing process of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. It 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.
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. Believers may fall into sin by succumbing to temptation, thereby grieving the Holy Spirit, impairing their fellowship with Christ, bringing reproach on His name, and incurring God’s loving discipline; yet they will be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 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 church is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation throughout all the ages. This body of believers is made visible in local churches marked by the faithful preaching of God’s word and faithful administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The church is governed by the word of God, which teaches that Christ is the head of the church; that elders are qualified men given to oversee the church as pastors; that deacons are to serve the church; and that the congregation, comprised of all members, has the responsibility to affirm members, defend doctrine, and carry out discipline when required by Scripture. Members of local churches are commanded to assemble regularly, promote Christ-honoring unity, and live for the glory of 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. It is likewise the duty of every believer to constantly seek to lead the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christ-honoring lifestyle, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.
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; Romans 16:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 5:4-5, 5:12-13, 11:25-26; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; Ephesians 3:10, 4:1-2, 4:11-12, 5:22-23; 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 4:13, 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 10:19-25, 13:7, 13:17; 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 should be done by immersion, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the 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 Jesus. Baptism is performed once, upon one’s profession of faith, and is required for church membership.
The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Jesus’ dying love through the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine, and is a response to the command of Christ. This time of remembrance and anticipation of His second coming should be taken by believers 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 administered regularly by 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
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. God Himself has established marriage as the uniting of one man and one woman in an exclusive 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 but complementary 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 respect and graciously submit herself to her husband as the church willingly submits to Christ. God structured marriage in this way so that it would reflect the Gospel and bring glory to Himself by revealing the joyful, permanent union between Jesus and His bride, the church.
We believe that God has established marriage as His intended channel for human sexual expression and procreation, and that God calls all unmarried people to celibacy and to devotion to Himself. The Bible teaches that departures from God’s design for human sexuality, including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, and other forms of sexual immorality as defined by Scripture, are sinful. God offers forgiveness and restoration for sin through His Son Jesus Christ, and Christians should always act in the spirit of love toward all people, without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
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. All people have a weighty responsibility not to cause children to sin.
Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-25, 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 18:21-22; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalm 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, 22:15, 23:13-14, 24:3, 29:15, 29:17, 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-6, 19:3-9; Mark 9:42, 10:6-12; Luke 17:1-2; John 8:2-11; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 7:1-40; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8, 5:14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Revelation 19:6-9, 21:9-11
14. Civil Government
We believe that civil government is divinely appointed by God and is responsible before Him for executing justice and promoting the good order of society, and that officials are to be prayed for and given the honor owed them. These officials are to be obeyed in accordance with law 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, raise the dead from the grave, and bring all people 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 in Christ 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