Meet the Pastor
April 14, 2017
There is one living and true God, the creator of the universe (Exod. 15:11; Isa. 45:11; Jer. 27:5). He is revealed in the unity of the Godhead as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who are equal in every divine perfection (Exod. 15:11; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).
God the Father is the supreme ruler of the universe. He providentially directs the affairs of history according to the purposes of His grace (Gen. 1; Ps. 19:1; Ps. 104; Heb. 1:1-3).
Satan is a person rather than a personification of evil (John 8:44), and he with his demons opposes all that is true and godly by blinding the world to the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3, 4), tempting saints to do evil (Eph. 6:11; 1 Peter 5:8), and warring against the Son of God (Gen. 3:15; Rev. 20:1-10).
Although man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26; 2:17), he fell through sin, and that image was marred (Rom. 5:12; James 3:9). In his unregenerate state, he is void of spiritual life, is under the influence of the devil, and lacks any power to save himself (Eph. 2:1-3; John 1:13). The sin nature has been transmitted to every member of the human race; the man Jesus Christ alone being excepted (Rom. 3:23; 1 Peter 2:22). Because of the sin nature, man possesses no divine life and is essentially and unchangeably depraved apart from divine grace (Rom. 3:10-19; Jer. 17:9).
All believers are set apart unto God (Heb. 10:12-14) at the time of their regeneration (1 Cor. 6:11). They should grow in grace (2 Peter 1:5-8) by allowing the Holy Spirit to apply God’s Word to their lives (1 Peter 2:2), conforming them to the principles of divine righteousness (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 Thess. 4:3-7) and making them partakers of the holiness of God (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Peter 1:15, 16).
All believers are eternally secure in Jesus Christ (John 10:24-30; Rom. 8:35-39). They are born again (John 3:3-5; 1 John 5:1; 1 Peter 1:23), made new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5;17; 2 Peter 1:4), and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1 John 4:4), assuring their perseverance in good works (Eph. 2:10). A special providence watches over them (Rom. 8:28; I Cor. 10:13), and they are kept by the power of God (Phil. 1:6; 2:12, 13; I Peter 1:3-5; Heb. 13:5).
Human government was instituted by God to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. It is separate from the church, though both church and state exercise complementary ministries for the benefit of society (Matt. 22:21).
Christians should submit to the authority of the government under which they live, obeying all laws which do not contradict the laws of God, respecting officers of government, paying taxes, rendering military service, and praying for the welfare of the nation and its leaders (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13, 17; 1 Tim. 2:1, 2). They should vote, hold office, and exercise influence to direct the nation after the principles of Holy Scripture.
Civil authority is not to interfere in matters of conscience or disturb the institutions of religion (Acts 4:18-20), but it should preserve for every citizen the free exercise of his religious convictions.
Churches should receive no subsidy from the government, but they should be exempt from taxation on property and money used for the common good through worship, education, or benevolence.
Note: The following statements are not to be binding upon the churches already affiliated with this association, or to require adoption by churches petitioning this body for privilege of cooperation, or to be a test of fellowship between brethren or churches. However, they do express the preponderance of opinion among the churches of the Baptist Missionary Association of America.
We endorse the New Hampshire Confession of Faith as a representative compendium of what Baptists have historically believed through the centuries. This confession was consulted and provided a pattern and guide for the formulation of these doctrinal statements. As there are several versions and editions, we refer particularly to the edition in J.E. Cobb’s Church Manual, third edition, published by the Baptist Publications Committee of Little Rock, Arkansas.