Our Beliefs

ARTICLE 2 – STATEMENT OF FAITH AND COVENANT

SECTION 2.01—STATEMENT OF FAITH

The following comprise the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.

  1. The Holy Bible. We believe the Holy Bible of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and
    complete inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed and, therefore,
    are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the
    complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their
    normal grammatical-historical meaning, and all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by
    the pastor (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
  2. Dispensationalism (religious system). We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural sense reveal divinely determined dispensations, or rules of life, which define man’s responsibilities. These guidelines are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered obligations by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three facets of the religious system are—the law, the church, and the kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6)
  3. The Godhead. We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy
    Spirit—each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same
    attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 14:10, 26; 2 Cor. 13:14)
  4. The Person and Work of Christ.
    1. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8)
    2. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
    3. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2)
  5. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
    1. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ at the point of confession, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14)
    2. We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)
    3. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12)
  6. The Total Depravity of Man. We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God; but that
    in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally
    depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12;
    6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19)
  7. Salvation. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal
    faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins.
    We believe that all sins, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, are forgivable. (Matt. 12:31-32; John 1:12;
    Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:9)
  8. The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.
    1. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1; 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5)
    2. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)
  9. The Church
    1. We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again baptized persons. (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27)
    2. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)
    3. We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control. (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4)
    4. We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-38; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)

    We believe that when a person who receives Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith; and who
    indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord, shall be received by baptism. Baptism shall be by
    immersion in water; shall be administered by the pastor or whomever the pastor shall authorize; and
    shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service except by unusual
    circumstances as determined by the pastor. (Matthew 3:11, 13; 28: 19; Acts 2:41; 8:36-37; 19:5; Titus
    3:5; Romans 6:3)
    We believe that The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby baptized believers,
    through partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine, commemorate the death of Jesus Christ and
    anticipate His second coming. (Matthew 26: 17-30; Mark 14: 12-26; Luke 22:7-22; 1 Corinthians
    11:17-34)

  10. Separation. While we are commanded to engage the world with the Gospel of Christ, we believe that all
    the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. God commands
    His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, and practices, and to
    refrain from all immodest and immoderate appearances (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:14-
    7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11)
  11. The Second Advent of Christ. We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ,
    where Christ will personally and visibly return for His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom
    which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:13-
    18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)
  12. The Eternal State.
    1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13)
    2. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the second resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6)
    3. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)
  13. The Personality of Satan. We believe that Satan is the chief of demons, the author of sin and the cause of
    the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally
    punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10)
  14. Creation. We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject the
    Evolutionary Theory, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories
    of origin. (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11)
  15. Civil Government. We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic
    institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the State. Every person is subject to these authorities, but
    all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given
    each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding
    that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the State are equal
    and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom. 13:1-7;
    Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)
  16. Human Sexuality.
    1. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
    2. We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)
  17. Family Relationships
    1. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
    2. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)
  18. Divorce and Remarriage. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage
    to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds
    of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service
    in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, their consideration for the offices of pastor
    or deacon are contingent upon their circumstantial history. (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1
    Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
  19. Abortion. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human
    being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder.
    We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection,
    birth or population control, or the physical or mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps.
    51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
  20. Euthanasia. We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the
    intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus we believe
    that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering
    constitutes a murder which is contrary to the will of God. (Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Matt. 5:21; Acts 17:28)
  21. Love. We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also
    toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to
    deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of
    strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or
    obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for
    any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35;
    Rom. 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)
  22. Lawsuits Between Believers. We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits
    against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the
    resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a
    Christian may seek compensation for injuries and damages from another Christian’s insurance company as
    long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32)
  23. Missions. We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all
    nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group
    who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to
    all nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21;
    Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20)
  24. Giving. We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is
    obligated to financially support his local church. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis
    for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the
    support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian
    relinquishes individual rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen.
    14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John
    3:17)

SECTION 2.02—AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH

This Statement of Faith (Section 2.01), nor the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message of the Southern Baptist Convention
which this Church endorses, does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of
all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching
of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete
agreement with the Statement of Faith.

SECTION 2.03 RELATIONSHIPS

The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no
other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are
common among Baptist churches. In so far as is practical, this church will cooperate as a member in good standing
with the Santa Rosa Baptist Association, Florida Baptist Convention, and Southern Baptist Convention.

SECTION 2.04 – CHURCH COVENANT

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, and on
the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we do now,
in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into a covenant with one another as one
body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement
of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship,
ordinances, disciplines, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the
expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of
our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our
engagements and exemplary in our behavior and manners; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our
Savior.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one
another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be
slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savoir to secure it without
delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other
church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.