OUR BELIEFS IN BRIEF
1. The BIBLE (the Word of God) is the only revelation of God to man, being, thus, the only authorative rule for faith and practice.
2. EVERY PERSON is born in a state of total sinful depravity, being unwilling and unable in his own strength to repair the breach with God because of his sinful rebellion.
3. GOD is sovereign (fully in charge of all things) in creation (God made all things), providence (God governs all things), and salvation (God restores all things caused by the ruin of sin).
4. JESUS CHRIST, the Son of God, willingly died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of His people.
5. SALVATION cannot be merited by our “good works;” it is entirely a gift of God’s free grace. God requires sinners to repent of their sins, and to receive, by faith, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Salvation, because it is wholly of God, cannot be lost by any failure of the true believer, but all true believers will persevere by the power of God in the faith and in a holy lifestyle.
6. At the time of salvation, all Christians are indwelt by the HOLY SPIRIT who regenerates, seals, and baptizes them into the Body of Christ (His church). As the believer lives by the power of the Spirit, he is enabled to live for, love, and serve the Lord in this present evil world.
7. The CHURCH consists of all who are—
• chosen by the Father,
• redeemed by the Son, and
• born again by the Holy Spirit.
The church finds its visible expression in a local assembly of believers, gathered together by the Holy Spirit, to glorify God by—
• observing His ordinances (baptism by dipping, and communion)
• promoting His worship,
• teaching His Word to believers,
• practicing the care and discipline of its members, and
• proclaiming His gospel to the lost.
A Brief Outline of the Distinctive Convictions of
the CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH*
We are REFORMED, holding the five “solas” (onlys) of the Reformation.
A. Sola Scriptura — “Scripture alone.” The Bible is the complete, closed, clear, and final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
B. Solus Christus — “Christ alone.” Jesus Christ is the only hope of eternal salvation.
C. Sola Gratia — “grace alone.” Salvation is the free gift of grace without any reference to humans works or merit.
D. Sola Fide — “faith alone.” We are declared judicially righteous by God through faith alone. Note: This is an imputed, alien righteousness and is perfect.
E. Soli Deo Gloria — “for the glory of God alone.” The goal of creation and redemption is God’s glory.
II. We are CALVINISTIC in our understanding of salvation.
See “Doctrines of Grace”
III. We are PURITAN in our personal and corporate worship.
A. Godliness in Worship — We hold the regulative principle in worship and the Lord’s Day as a Christian Sabbath. Note: The Regulative Principle means that we worship God only as He has specifically instructed us to do so. This is opposed to the normative principle which states that God may be worship by any means not specifically forbidden by Scripture.
B. Godliness in Preaching — We hold to the primacy of expositional preaching with practical application.
C. Godliness in Instruction — We are confessional, clearly stating what we believe the Bible teaches. See our doctrinal statement.
D. Godliness in Family — We believe that parents are to instruct (catechize) and discipline their children in the Lord.
E. Godliness in Behavior — We believe in maintaining a good conscience before God and man.
IV. We are COVENANTAL in our view of redemptive history.
A. Unity of the Bible — We believe that the Bible has but one message.
B. Christ-Centered Interpretation — We believe that Jesus’ person, work and kingdom forms the theme of the Bible.
C. Law/Gospel Distinction — We believe that the Law of God commands and condemns, but only the Gospel saves. Note: We recognize the “three uses of the law.” First, the law serves as a guide to society in promoting civic righteousness. Second, the law makes men sinners and convicts then of their need for salvation in Christ. Third, the law directs Christians in holy living through the power of the Spirit. Law and gospel are in both Old and New Testaments. The gospel is the promise of salvation to God’s elect.
D. One Way of Salvation — We believe that Christ saves all the elect throughout every age, both before and after the cross.
E. Optimistic View of History — We believe that Jesus Christ is now King, ruling over all to bring about God’s eternal purpose in all things. He is visibly coming again soon to rectify human history.
V. We are BAPTIST in our view of church government and polity.
A. Biblical Church Practice — The two ordinances (baptism and the Lord Supper) are for believers only. We also hold to church discipline lovingly exercised. Note: We believe that dipping in water (immersion) is the proper mode of baptism. We reject infant baptism, which is alien to the New Testament.
B. Biblical Church Freedom — the doctrine of separation of church and state is understood to mean that the state is not to intrude into matters of conscience belonging to Christ.
C. Biblical Church Government — We believe that each particular church is gathered and organized according to the mind of Christ with officers and members. The only officers are elders and deacons appointed by Christ and to be chosen and set apart by the local congregation. Note: We recognize no greater authority than the local church.
D. Biblical Church Growth — We believe that the Gospel is to be proclaimed to the whole world, repentance and faith being demanded of all.
E. Biblical Church Ministry — We believe in the priesthood of all believers. The local church is a spiritual family where relationships are to be open and honest. All matters are handled with charity and patience. Only through every-member participation can individuals grow in grace and love.
*By David Charles, Reformed Baptist Fellowship, borrowed and slightly modified by Pastor Jeff Alexander