Article II… Our Basic Doctrinal  Positioning  (“ What We Believe”) 

 

Below is a combination of excerpts from the Baptist Statement of Faith coupled with excerpts of teachings of the Doctrines of Grace.  This is intended to give the reader a general overview of the basic tenets of our faith, that are taught and nurtured at Main Street Baptist Church.

 

 

 

 

I. The Scriptures

 

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is 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. The Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. 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. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

 

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

 

II. God

 

There is one and only one living and true God.  The very essence of God’s being is Spirit. God  is Sovereign. That simply means that He can do what He wants to do; when He wants to do it; to whom He want to do it and how he want to do it. God is self-existent, self-sufficient, unlimited, infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, for He is eternal. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God of the Bible, reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personhood attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. In other words, the one God is three personed, existing all at the same time and enjoying a personal relation with each other. God’s New Testament name is Father, Son, and Holy spirit. (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2). This three-in-oneness concept of God distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. The term “ Trinity” is used to describe this three-in-oneness, though the term is not in the bible.

 

 

 

A. God - the Father

 

God, as Father, ( first person of the “Trinity”) 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. In redemption, the father foreordained the work of redemption of the Son as Savior of an elect group out of every nation, tribe, and tongue as recipients of grace, whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.   God is Father in truth to those who become children of God in Sovereign choice through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all his creation, but particularly so to His elect and adopted children.

 

Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 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; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17-20; 1 John 5:7.

 

 

B. God - the Son

 

Christ ( the second person of the “Trinity”) 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. He became the God-man, fully God and fully man. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross.  He completed His mission to redeem all of the elect of God. 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, the God-man. In His 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.

 

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 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; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 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; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.

 

 

C. God- the Holy Spirit

 

The Holy Spirit, ( the third person of the “ Trinity”) is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. 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 indwelling- presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers his church, the body of believers,  in worship, evangelism, and service.

 

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 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; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

 

 

III. Man

 

First of all, man was created by God. He is not, therefore, the evolutionary product of blind chance. Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. Scripture teaches that God created them, male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man (Adam, who is the federal head of the human race) 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 inherited a fallen nature in a fallen environment, captive in the bondage of sin. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill 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, from our human perspective,  every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

 

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

 

IV. The Doctrines of Grace

Total Depravity


Because of the fall, man is unable, in his own natural condition, to come to a  saving knowledge of God. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature; therefore, he will not--indeed he cannot--choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ--it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to in order to effect salvation,  but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation--it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

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Genesis 2:15-17, Romans 5:12, Psalm 51:5, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Romans 3:10-18, Jeremiah 17:9, John 6:44, Ephesians 2:1-10

Unconditional Election


God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected, He brings,  through the power of the Holy Spirit to a willing submission to Christ. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.


Romans 9:10-21, Ephesians 1:4-11, Ephesians 2:4-10, Romans 8:29-30, Acts 11:18, Acts 13:48


Limited Atonement


Christ's redeeming work was intended to save God’s elect and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary atonement for the penalty of sin in the place of elect sinners whose names are written in Book of Life from the foundation of the world. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which united them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died.

 
Matthew 1:21, Romans 5:12-21, Romans 3:21-26, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:5-6, Philippians 1:6, John 10:11-30, John 17:6-12, Romans 8:28-30, John 6:44, Acts 20:28

 


Irresistible Grace


God has ordained that the gospel must be preached. The human vessel does not know whom God has elected for salvation, so the gospel is to be preached to everyone. In His sovereignty, God,  through the power of the gospel and the workings of the Holy Spirit, extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The general summons (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the effectual call  cannot be rejected, and it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.


John 3:16, Matthew 22:14, Acts 17:29-31, Matthew 23:37-39, John 6:44, Romans 8:28-30, John 1:12-13, John 3:1-8, Ephesians 2:8-10

 


Perseverance of the Saints


All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.


John 3:16, John 6:35-40, John 6:44, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 2:12-13, Jude 24-25, Ephesians 1:13-14, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 8:35-39

 

 

V. The Church

 

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers. So the Main Street Baptist Church is an autonomous body of believers. A church is not simply a conglomerate or assembly of people. It is an assembly of people who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The first church was made of those “that gladly received His word” ( Acts 2:41), those “that believe” ( Acts 2:44) and those “  who are saved”

( Acts 2:47).  In Paul’s writings to the churches he addressed them as “ the called of Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:6), “them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus” and who “ call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:2) He calls them “ saints” ( 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph 1:1), “ the faithful brethren in Christ” ( Col 1:2). All of these expressions indicate that the churches were made up of people who believed in Jesus Christ as Savior and  Lord. This is our creed at Main Street Baptist Church. Additionally, the church is a spiritual organism, not merely an organization. This implies that as a church we march to the beat of a different drummer. Our methods, practices, and policies will in many cases differ from the norms of our worldly society.   

 

Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord and to each other as brothers and sisters. If one looks with spiritual eyes one can see the essence of the “cross” in the fiber of the very intent of the church, vertically and horizontally.

 

The scriptural officers of the church are Pastors / Elders and Deacons. At Main Street Baptist Church we hold to this biblical teaching.

 

 

VI. 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 Savior, 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 / her faith in the final resurrection of the dead.

 

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. This is commanded by our Lord to do this in remembrance of Him.

 

Matthew 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; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.

 

 

VII. The Lord's Day

 

Every day is a day that the Lord has made in which we can and should honor and worship God.  However, following New Testament teaching, the time set up as the day that the local body assembles for the purpose of corporate worship is the first day of the week.  It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with christian conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

 

Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 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; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.

 

VIII. Last Things

 

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, and according to the sequence given in scripture, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly and in glory.   According to God’s Sovereign order, the dead will be raised; the righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever with the Lord; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment.

 

Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 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; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.

 

 

IX. Evangelism and Missions

 

Firstly, the church has a mission to the world. Here the church’s primary mission is the proclamation of the gospel in evangelism as dictated by the Great Commission ( Matt 28:19-20) Secondly, the church has a mission to itself. This mission is that of edification of one another.  It refers to the building and developing the members in the life and faith ( Eph. 4:16; 1 Cor. 14:26). Every individual member has a responsibility or part to play in edifying the whole body. This is done through, teaching,  exhorting, encouraging and comforting one another. This concept is clearly pointed to in our Church Vision in Article I.

 

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. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

 

 

X. Education

 

Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Each church should have an adequate system of Christian education so as to effectively complete spiritual nurturing for Christ's people. Main Street Baptist Church has many avenues for education for all age groups such as: Sunday School (all ages), Tuesday Church Bible Studies (noon and pm), Brotherhood, Women’s  Missionary Circles,  and Youth  and Childrens’ Meetings.

 

Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.

 

 

XI. The Christian and the Social Order

 

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives 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 Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose all things which oppose the Word of God.

 

XII. The Family

 

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons 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. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

 

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. There is an ordained order with roles as defined by God. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

 

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

 

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

 

XIII.  Biblical Stewardship

 

God works by plans.  He has a plan for everything.  He had a plan when He made the universe.  He had a plan when He created man, and He had a plan for the human family on the earth.  He had a plan of salvation and a plan for the work of His church.  He had a plan also for the financing of the great program that He gave His church to do.

 

God gives only one plan of church finance in the Bible, and that is tithes and sacrificial offerings from His people.  The tithe is the tenth, meaning that God’s people are to bring a tenth of their incomes to the Lord and his work.  Offerings are the amounts that are given above the tenth.  This is the plan that God teaches in His Word, and it is the one scriptural plan that will work as the people of God trust Him and are obedient.

 

 

 

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