Our Statement of Faith

 

The Scriptures

The Bible is God’s self-revelation to humanity and was written by individuals through divine inspiration.  Because God is the ultimate author of Scripture, the Bible is free from error and totally true and trustworthy.  The central purpose of Scripture is to show God’s saving purposes in Christ. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)

 

God

There is one, and only one, living and true God.  This God eternally exists as one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of human history.  He is all-powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; Psalm 19:1-3; John 4:24)

 

Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son and himself God, in his humanity was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  Born of the virgin Mary, he lived a sinless life, died as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and rose bodily from the dead on the third day.  He ascended into heaven, where he intercedes for His people as an eternal high priest and from where he will bodily and visibly return to earth. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28, 30-31; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9-10; 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 7:24-25; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:21-25)

 

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine.  He proceeds from the Father and the Son to regenerate and indwell believers and to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and the judgment.  He cultivates Christian character, grants spiritual gifts, and constitutes the church as God’s family, the body of Christ.  The Holy Spirit also sanctifies believers and seals them for the final day of redemption.  (John 4:24; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7)

 

Humanity

Humanity is the special creation of God, made in His image for His glory, as both male and female.  Therefore every person possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.  The first man and woman were created innocent of sin, but rebelled against God and thus introduced sin into the human race.  Ever since, people are born with a sinful nature.  Only God’s grace in Christ can restore people to a right relationship with God.

 

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society.  Marriage is uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.  The husband is to be the head of the wife, which entails loving nurture and spiritual leadership.  The wife is to respect her husband and submit to him willingly as unto the Lord.  Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing from the Lord.  They are to obey their parents in the Lord.  Parents are to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  The Bible opposes all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography.  (Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5-7, 15-25; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-18, 23; Ephesians 2:1-22; 5:21-6:3; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11)

 

Salvation

Salvation is offered to all people and comes by grace alone through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It entails justification through spiritual adoption and regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.  There is no salvation apart from personal repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Those God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:4-10; Romans 3:23-24, 8:28-39; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; 1 John 3:2)

 

The Church

A church is an autonomous, local congregation of baptized believers operating under the Headship and Lordship of Jesus Christ.  The congregation is to be committed to the teachings and study of Scripture, enjoying common fellowship and unity in Christ, praying as taught by Christ, and ministering to the world through evangelism, missions, and care for those in need.  As Christ’s body, the church will care for and equip members to share the Gospel with the lost world.  (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Acts 2:42; John 17:20-21; Matthew 6:9-13; James 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27)

 

Baptism and The Lord’s Supper

There are two ordinances instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  Baptism is the immersion of the believer in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, signifying a believer’s death to sin and resurrection to new life as a result of faith in and obedience toward the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord’s Supper is to be observed regularly to remember the Lord’s sacrificial death for His people and to anticipate His return (Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 14:22-25; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34).

 

Church Discipline

Church discipline is to be exercised according to scriptural principles (Matthew 18:15-20).

 

Church Leadership

There are two scriptural offices: Elder and Deacon.  The Elders are charged with the overall spiritual responsibility of the church before God.  Deacons are chosen from the congregation and are to function as servants to the church, assisting the Elders by ministering to the needs of church members, so that the Elders might spend time in the Word and prayer. (Acts 6:1-7; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Peter 5:1-3)

 

Last Things

In His own time and way, God will bring the world to its appropriate end.  Jesus Christ will return to the earth bodily and visibly in glory; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all people in righteousness.  The unrighteous will be consigned to hell, the place of eternal punishment.  The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and forever dwell in heaven with the Lord. (Matthew 24 and parallels; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, 35-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1-3; Revelation)

 

Little River Baptist Fellowship Affirmation of Faith

In affirming the above statement of faith, we pledge to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to respond to His gracious provision of salvation in Jesus Christ with faith, love and obedience.  Individually and jointly, we want to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness rather than pursue our own self-interest.  We pledge to make every effort to live in a manner worthy of our calling, to be exemplary in our conduct, to treat one another with love, respect, and forgiveness, and to unite in regular worship, biblical teaching, fellowship, prayer, observance of the ordinances, and where necessary, church discipline.  We pledge to pursue greater personal holiness, to conduct our families according to the pattern laid out in Scripture, and to reach out to unbelievers with love and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We pledge also to submit willingly to the leaders of the church as unto the Lord, to contribute and participate in the various ministries of the church, and to await eagerly the return of our blessed Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Colossians 4:1; Acts 2:42; Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 5:21-6:3; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Matthew 24 and parallels)