FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH DULUTH ARTICLES OF FAITH
(Further amplification of the following articles may be found in the doctrinal statement of the “Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000.)
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.
There is one and only one living and true God. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes but without any mixture of error, for its matter.
God the Father
God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. 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.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgement. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church.
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. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense, salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.
GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE
It is a glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. All true believers endure to the end.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by the 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.
BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. An act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believers’ death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. 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.
THE LORD’S DAY
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance.
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King.
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.
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.
An adequate system of Christian school is necessary to a complete spiritual program of Christ’s people. In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. 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.
Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.
THE CHRISTIAN AND THE SOCIAL ORDER
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.
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 war.
God alone is Lord of the conscience and He has left it free from doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. Civil government being obtained by God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.