baptist-church-in-phoenix

Baptist Distinctives

 

WHY WE ARE BAPTISTS

 

BIBLICAL AUTHORITY- our one, sole authority for faith and practice

 

We believe the Bible is the inspired, authoritative word of God, which reveals His will and our duties, which is able and sufficient for us to know His will and do our duties, and which is the final source of appeal regarding faith and life among His people.   2 Timothy 3:15-17

 

AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH- directly answerable to Lord Jesus Christ

 

We believe that the local church is self-governing under the headship of Jesus Christ and the superintendence of the Holy Spirit. While fellowship with other Like-minded churches is encouraged, the local church is the final authority in such matters, surrendering nothing to any individual or organization's external control.   Revelation 2:1-3:22

 

PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER- able to go directly to God through Jesus

 

We believe every believer is a priest before God, having no mediator except the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer has equal, direct access to the throne of God.   1 Peter 2:5,9

 

TWO ORDINANCES- Baptism by Immersion and the Lord's Table

 

We believe Christ commanded the local church to observe two ordinances. The first ordinance is believer's baptism by immersion. In baptism a believer publicly confesses participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ by faith and is received into the church. The second ordinance is the Lord's Supper or Communion. The church regularly gathers together to call to remembrance the death of Christ as the basis for its union and communion with Christ and one another.   Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

 

INDIVIDUAL SOUL LIBERTY- personal freedom and responsibility before God

 

We believe every believer has personal freedom and responsibility before God. The believer is free from any coercion others might place upon him, yet also responsible for his own actions before God and for treating others in love as he would be treated.   Romans 14:1-12

 

SAVED, REGENERATED MEMBERSHIP- regular assembly of believers in a church

 

We believe that the local church is to have a membership composed of those who have given a credible testimony and confession of faith by believer's baptism. The evidences of regeneration involve the fruits of faith, repentance, and holy living. The evidence of regeneration is manifest in a desire to identify with fellow believers in regular worship, fellowship, and service of a local church.   Acts 2:41-42, Acts 14:23-24, Hebrews 10:24-25

 

TWO OFFICES- Pastor-Elder-Bishop and Deacon

 

We believe Christ has ordained two offices for the local church. The pastors-elders-bishops provide spiritual leadership. They feed and care for the congregation, model experienced spiritual maturity for the congregation, and take oversight of the ministry of the church. The deacons provide service and physical assistance. They serve the needs of the congregation under the direction of the spiritual leadership, relieving them of duties of vital, yet secondary importance.   I Timothy 3:1-7, I Timothy 3:8-13

 

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE- mutually exclusive

 

We believe the Church and the State have been ordained of God, but that each has a mutually exclusive place and purpose. The State exists to provide general safety, order, and peace in society. The Church exists to proclaim the Gospel and to provide instruction in the word of God for itself and society. Though the well-being of society is commonly shared, neither must cross into the place or purpose of the other.   Matthew 22:21

 

 

Church Covenant and Articles of Faith

 

Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into 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, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; 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 sacred devotion; to educate our children in a Christian way; 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 deportment (manner of conduct); to avoid all tattling, back-biting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.

 

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

 

ARTICLES OF FAITH

 

To set forth in order a declaration of those things which are more surely believed among us… that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed, we send forth the commonly believed confession of faith held among us, as follows:

 

I. OF THE SCRIPTURES

 

We believe the whole Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 as the verbally inspired and infallible Word of God.  II Peter 1:20-21

 

II. OF THE TRUE GOD

 

We believe that there is one, and only one living and true God; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.  I Corinthians 8:5-6; Matthew 28:19

 

III. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature.  John 14:26

 

IV. OF THE DEVIL OR SATAN

 

We believe that the Devil, that is Satan; is man's greatest tempter, the enemy of God, the author of all false religions and the chief power back of the present apostasy: destined however to final defeat at the hands of God's Son.  Ephesians 2:2-1; I Thessalonians 3:5; I Peter5:8; II Thessalonians 2:8

 

V. OF THE CREATION

 

We believe the Genesis account of creation; that it is to be accepted literally.  Genesis 1:1-2:25

 

VI. OF THE FALL OF MAN

 

We believe that man was created in innocence, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless state.  Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12

 

VII. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH

 

We believe that Jesus Christ was born of Mary the virgin, and is the Son of God and God the Son.  Isaiah 7:14; Matthew1:18-25

 

VIII. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN

 

We believe that salvation of sinners is wholly by grace.  Ephesians 2:8-10

 

IX. OF THE NEW BIRTH

 

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again. John 3:3-7; John 1:11-13

 

X. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION

 

We believe in God's selecting grace; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his voluntary rejection of Jesus Christ.  Romans 8:29-30

 

XI. OF JUSTIFICATION

 

We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification.  Romans 3:10, 20, 23-25; 5:1

 

XII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH

 

We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, by which the individual receives Christ as their all-sufficient Saviour.  Acts 20:20-21; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 18:13-14; Romans 10:13

 

XIII. OF THE CHURCH

 

We believe that a Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws.  Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; I Corinthians 11:2

 

XIV. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER

 

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost and that it is a pre-requisite to the privileges of a Church relation and to the Lord's Supper.  Matthew 3:5-6, 16-17; 28:19-20

 

XV. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

 

We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.  Psalm 121:1-8; John 8:31-32; John 10:25-30; Romans 8:35-39; I Corinthians 3:11-15; Philippians 1:3-6; Hebrews 1:13-14; I Peter 1:3-5; I John 3:8-10 NOTE: This article is more commonly referred to as "The security of the Believer."

 

XVI. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED

 

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked.  Only those who are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are truly righteous in His sight.  All those who continue in impenitence and unbelief to reject the Lord Jesus Christ, are in His sight wicked.  Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 11:31; Malachi 3:17-18; John 3:17-18; Romans 5:1; Romans 10:1-4, 10-13; I Peter 4:18

 

XVII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT

 

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to by prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the Will of our Lord Jesus Christ; who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of Kings of the earth.  Exodus 18:20-22; Matthew 22:17-21; Acts 4:19-20; 5:28-29; Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-17; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 17:14; 19:11-16

 

XVIII. OF THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS

 

We believe and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value.  Of the resurrection of Christ, we believe that He rose bodily the third day according to the Scriptures.  Matthew 28:5-7; Luke 24:36-43; John 2:19-22; John 20:24-29; I Corinthians 15:3-4

 

We believe that He ascended to the right hand of the throne of God and He alone is our Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God.  Acts 1:9; Hebrews 2:17; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:1-6; 12:1-2

 

We believe Jesus is coming again bodily, personally and visibly.  John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11.  At the first advent of His Second Coming, the dead saints shall be raised first and then the living saints shall be changed.  I Corinthians 15:12-25, 51-57; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 9:28

 

We believe that this advent takes place prior to the seven years of tribulation and the thousand year reign of Christ.  Revelation 3:20-4:1; 20:1-6

 

We believe that after the first advent of Christ's Second Coming, there will follow the seven years of tribulation upon the world.  At the end of this tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to reign for a thousand years in righteousness and peace, until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  Isaiah 9:6-7; Acts 2:29-35; Revelation 2-:1-6

 

XIX. OF MISSIONS

 

The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this commission was given to the Churches.  Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:18; Romans 10:13-15

 

Summing it all up, a Bible Baptist is one who believes in a supernatural Bible; which tells of a supernatural Christ, who had a supernatural birth, who spoke supernatural life, who died a supernatural death, who rose in supernatural splendor, who intercedes as a supernatural High Priest and who will one day return in supernatural glory to establish a supernatural kingdom on the earth.

 

XX. CONCERNING MEMBERSHIP

 

I.            Membership shall consist of the following individuals:

 

A.    Any person professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, giving evidence of personal salvation, may upon baptism be received unto membership.

 

B.     Those coming by letter from another Church of like faith and like order; hence a Baptist Church.

 

C.     Those coming by statement of personal faith and Scriptural Baptism.

 

II.            Membership may be dissolved in the following ways:

 

A.    By letter of dismissal to a Church of like faith and like order: hence a Baptist Church.

 

B.     By dropping from the roll.

 

1.     When a member has been continuously inactive for a period of one year and has not shown any interest in the Church attendance and financial support or has not communicated with the Church in person or in writing, the Clerk shall transfer his or her name to the "Inactive Roll,"
and if a request for their letter is received, it shall be granted; the Clerk being authorized to state the true status of the member to the designated Church.

 

C.     By exclusion:

 

1.     Should any member become an offense to the Church and to its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct, or by persistent breach of covenant vows, the Church may terminate his or her membership, but only after due notice and faithful efforts have been made by the Board of Deacons to bring such member to repentance and amendment.

 

2.     The membership of any person uniting with any other Church shall cease automatically.

 

3.     By death.

 

III.            Restoration of membership:

 

A.    It shall be the policy of the Church to restore fellowship to any excluded member who gives satisfactory evidence of penitence.  II Corinthians 2:6-8

 

IV.            Be it further resolved:

 

A.    That if or when any officer or teacher of this Church decides that he or she cannot accept or support the declared articles of faith and the policy of the Church, that such a person shall declare his or her position by declining to accept office or resigning from the office which they hold, thereby saving the Church and Pastor the unpleasant duty of having to dismiss them when found disqualified.

 

XXI. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING

 

Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the Faith.

 

            II Cor. 8:7, Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

 

We are commanded to bring our gifts into the storehouse (common treasury of the Church) upon the first day of the week.

 

            I Cor. 16:2, Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

 

Under grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe -- Abraham gave a tenth part of all -- Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils -- Hebrews 7:2,4 -- and this was four hundred years before the law, and is confirmed in the New Testament; Jesus said concerning tithe, these ye ought to have done -- Matthew 23:23.

 

We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the Church.

 

            Lev. 27:30, the tithe is the Lord's.  Malachi 3:10, Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 

In the New Testament it was the common treasury of the Church.

 

            Acts 4:34-35, 37, Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

 

And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need…  Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

 

            I Cor. 16:2, Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

 

Under grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe -- Abraham gave a tenth part of all -- Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils -- Hebrews 7:2,4 -- and this was four hundred years before the law, and is confirmed in the New Testament; Jesus said concerning tithe, these ye ought to have done -- Matthew 23:23.

 

We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the Church.

 

            Lev. 27:30, the tithe is the Lord's.  Malachi 3:10, Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 

In the New Testament it was the common treasury of the Church.

 

            Acts 4:34-35, 37, Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need…  Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.