1963 BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE
It is the purpose of this statement of
faith and message to set forth certain teachings which we believe.
I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired
and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect
treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for
its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It
reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and
will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union,
and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and
religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is
to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
Ex. 24:4; Deut. 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh. 8:34; Psalms
19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isa. 34:16; 40:8; Jer. 15:16; 36; Matt.
5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts
2:16ff.; 17:11; Rom. 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 4:12; 1
Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is
an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer,
Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and
all other perfections. To him we owe the highest love, reverence, and
obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of
nature, essence, or being.
1. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His
universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history
according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving,
and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God
through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in his attitude toward all
Gen. 1:1; 2:7; Ex. 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.;
Levit. 22:2; Deut. 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chron. 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isa.
43:3,15; 64:8; Jer. 10:10; 17:13; Matt. 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark
1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Rom. 8:14-15; 1 Cor.
8:6; Gal. 4:6; Ephes. 4:6; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:6; 12:9; 1
Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.
2. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation
as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the
virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking
upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying
Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine
law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross He made
provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the
dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person
who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is
now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator,
partaking of the nature of God and of man, and in whose Person is
effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power
and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission.
He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.
Gen. 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isa. 7:14;
53; Matt. 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27;
28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John
1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5,
21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Rom. 1:3-4;
3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2
Cor. 5:19-21; 8:9; Gal. 4:4-5; Ephes. 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Phil. 2:5-11;
Col. 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14;
Heb. 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter
2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Rev.
1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
3. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired
holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables
men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of
righteousness and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects
regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and
bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church.
He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in
the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the
fulness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the
believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Gen. 1:2; Judg. 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11;
139:7ff.; Isa. 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matt. 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32;
28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John
4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3;
7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Rom.
8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Cor. 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11; Gal. 4:6; Ephes.
1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19; 1 Tim. 3:16; 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:14; 3:16;
Heb. 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Rev. 1:10; 22:17.
Man was created by the special act of God, in His own
image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning man
was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of
choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into
the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the
command of God, and fell from his original innocence; whereby his
posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, and
as soon as they are capable of moral action become transgressors and are
under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy
fellowship and enable man to fulfil the creative purpose of God. The
sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in
His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every man
possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Gen. 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1;
8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isa. 6:5; Jer. 17:5; Matt. 16:26; Acts 17:26-31;
Rom. 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Cor.
1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Eph. 2:1-22; Col. 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man,
and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour,
who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In
its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and
1. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work
of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus.
It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of
sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in
the Lord Jesus Christ.
Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of
grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the
acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to
Him as Lord and Saviour. Justification is God's gracious and full
acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent
and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a
relationship of peace and favor with God.
2. Sanctification is the experience, beginning
in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes,
and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through
the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in
grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.
3. Glorification is the culmination of
salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Gen. 3:15; Ex. 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matt. 1:21; 4:17;
16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36;
5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31;
17:30-31; 20:32; Rom. 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23;
8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2
Cor. 5:17-20; Gal. 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephes. 1:7; 2:8-22;
4:11-16; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Tim.
1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James
2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Rev. 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
V. God's Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to
which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is
consistent with the free agency of man and comprehends all the means in
connection with the end. It is a glorious display of God's sovereign
goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes
boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God
has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall
away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers
may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve
the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the
cause of Christ, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be
kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-8; 1 Sam. 8:4-7,19-22; Isa.
5:1-7; Jer. 31:31ff.; Matt. 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke
1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24;
6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Rom. 5:9-10;
8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Cor. 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephes. 1:4-23;
2:1-10; 3:1-11; Col. 1:12-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:12; 2:10,19;
Heb. 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a
local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the
faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of
Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and
privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the
gospel to the ends of the earth.
This church is an autonomous body, operating through
democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a
congregation, members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers
are pastors and deacons.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the
body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
Matt. 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47;
5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor.
1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephes. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21;
5:22-32; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Rev.
VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in
water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an
act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified,
buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of
the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ
Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the
dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of
church membership and to the Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience
whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the
fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate
His second coming.
Matt. 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11;
14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39;
16:30-33; Acts 20;7; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Col. 2:12.
VIII. The Lord's Day
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a
Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the
resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises
of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, and by
refraining from worldly amusements, and resting from secular
employments, work of necessity and mercy only being excepted.
Ex. 20:8-11; Matt. 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28;
16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.
16:1-2; Col. 2:16; 3:16; Rev. 1:10.
IX. The Kingdom
The kingdom of God includes both His general
sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who
willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the kingdom is the realm
of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to
Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the kingdom may
come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the
kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
Gen. 1:1; Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 23:5-6; Matt. 3:2;
4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke
4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7;
17:22-31; Rom. 5:17; 8:19; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Col. 1:13; Heb. 11:10,16;
12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Rev. 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.
X. Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring
the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ
will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will
be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The
unrighteous will be consigned to hell, the place of everlasting
punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will
receive their reward and will dwell forever in heaven with the Lord.
Isa. 2:4; 11:9; Matt. 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28;
24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48;
16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Rom. 14:10;
1 Cor. 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 1:5; 3:4; 1
Thess. 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thess. 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1,8;
Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2;
Jude 14; Rev. 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.
XI. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of
Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make
disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy
Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part
of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and
is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. It is
the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to
Christ by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the
gospel of Christ.
Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-6; Isa. 6:1-8; Matt.
9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30,37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke
10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2;
8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Rom. 10:13-15; Ephes. 3:1-11; 1 Thess. 1:8; 2
Tim. 4:5; Heb. 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Rev. 22:17.
The cause of education in the kingdom of Christ is
co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence and
should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An
adequate system of Christian schools is necessary to a complete
spiritual program for Christ's people.
In Christian education there should be a proper
balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in
any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never
absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or
seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the
authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for
which the school exists.
Deut. 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Neh. 8:1-8;
Job. 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Prov. 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11;
15:14; Eccl. 7:19; Matt. 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Cor.
1:18-31; Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 4:8; Col. 2:3,8-9; 1 Tim. 1:3-7; 2 Tim.
2:15; 3:14-17; Heb. 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and
spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a
spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the
gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are
therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and
material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to
them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to
the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully,
regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the
advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.
Gen. 14:20; Lev. 27:30-32; Deut. 8:18; Mal.
3:8-12; Matt. 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42;
16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Rom. 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1
Cor. 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9; 12:15; Phil. 4:10-19; 1
Christ's people should, as occasion requires,
organize such associations and conventions as may best secure
co-operation for the great objects of the kingdom of God. Such
organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches.
They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and
direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members
of New Testament churches should co-operate with one another in carrying
forward the missionary, educational, and benevelent ministries for the
extension of Christ's kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament
sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary co-operation for common ends by
various groups of Christ's people. Co-operation is desirable between the
various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself
justified, and when such co-operation involves no violation of
conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and his Word as revealed
in the New Testament.
Ex. 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judg. 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4;
2:68-69; 5:14-15; Neh. 4; 8:1-5; Matt. 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10;
28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3;
15:1-35; 1 Cor. 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Cor. 8-9; Gal. 1:6-10; Eph.
4:1-16; Phil. 1:15-18.
XV. The Christian and the Social Order
Every Christian is under obligation to seek to make
the will of Christ supreme in his own life and in human society. Means
and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of
righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when
they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving
grace of God in Christ Jesus. The Christian should oppose in the spirit
of Christ every form of greed, selfishness, and vice. He should work to
provide for the orphaned, the needy, the aged, the helpless, and the
sick. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and
society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness,
truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians
should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause,
always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising
their loyalty to Christ and his truth.
Ex. 20:3-17; Lev. 6:2-5; Deut. 10:12; 27:17; Psalm
101:5; Micah 6:8; Zech. 8:16; Matt. 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark
1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12;
17:15; Rom. 12-14; 1 Cor. 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Gal.
3:26-28; Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:12-17; 1 Thess. 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27;
XVI. Peace and War
It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all
men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and
teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to
The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of
our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His
teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical
application of His law of love.
Isa. 2:4; Matt. 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke
22:36,38; Rom. 12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Heb.12:14; James 4:1-2.
XVII. Religious Liberty
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left
it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to
His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate.
The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the
pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no
ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more
than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of
Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary
to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil
power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual
means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to
impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no
right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free
church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the
right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men and
the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion
without interference by the civil power.
Gen. 1:27; 2:7; Matt. 6:6-7; 24:16:26; 22:21; John
8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Rom. 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Gal. 5:1,13; Phil. 3:20; 1 Tim.
2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.
Learn more about Southern
Home to FSBC