Redeemer Baptist Church Statement of Faith
The most important issue for any community of faith is content, the body of truth that the community affirms. This is reflected in the fact that Christian churches have historically supplemented their commitment to Scripture with creeds, or statements of faith. At Redeemer Church, we are an evangelical, Baptist church holding traditional Baptist beliefs.
While no man-made creed or statement of faith has the perfection of the Bible, we believe these convictions to be most clearly set forth in the 1689, or Second London Baptist Confession of Faith. This is a document that has stood the test of time, both in England and in America where it was known as the Philadelphia Confession. With the addition of two paragraphs – one emphasizing missions and the other speaking to the importance of singing in corporate worship – this document has also been widely used in an edition known as the Charleston Confession.
In one of these two forms, this document was the confessional statement of the church or the association of every one of 293 delegates who gathered in 1845 to organize the Southern Baptist Convention. While there are several excellent modern versions of both of these documents, we recommend the version updated by Charles Spurgeon in 1855. This is currently available online here or from our church.
Additionally, due to the length and, sometimes, archaic language of this confession, we also feel it worthwhile to set forth a summary of the most important doctrines as follows:
We believe the Bible is the singular, unique written revelation of God to man (John 17:17). It is true, infallible, inerrant, and God-breathed (Prov. 30:5, 2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible, and it alone, is the final authority in life, morality, faith, worship, and Christian obedience (1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:3, 19-21).
We believe in the one true God as revealed in the Scripture, one in essence, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are equal in perfection, power, glory, and deity (Mat. 28:18-19; John 1:1-4; John 20:28, 2Cor. 13:14). He is the Creator and Preserver of, and Sovereign over, all creation and creatures (Acts 17:28, Dan. 4:35). He deserves the highest love, reverence, and obedience (Acts 17:30). He is both the just and righteous Judge who will punish all evil in his appointed time (Eccl. 12:14, Ex. 34:7), and the merciful Savior of sinners who repent in faith (Isa. 45:22, Jn. 1:12).
We believe man is created in the image of God with a rational nature, intellect, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility (Gen. 1:26, Rom. 3:19, 2Cor. 5:10). However, this image is marred, so all men are sinners by constitution and choice (Jer. 13:23; 17:9-10; Rom. 3:10-19, 23). Consequently, all people are alienated from God, hostile toward him, and justly deserve his wrath and damnation (Ezek. 18:4). People are unable to alter this condition by their own deeds or effort (Jer. 13:23).
We believe salvation is wholly of faith by the grace of God trusting in the death of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Even faith and repentance are gifts of his mercy and grace (Eph. 2:8-9, Acts 11:18), wrought in sinner’s hearts by the Holy Spirit (John 6:63,16:8-11). Justification, being forgiven of all sin by God, comes only through faith, trusting in God’s promises of grace through Christ (Acts 20:21). Such saving faith is always accompanied by godly repentance, turning from sin, (Acts 3:19) and turning to good works (1John 3:9, Rom. 6:18).
We believe Jesus Christ, God the Son, fully man and fully divine, is the God-appointed Mediator between God and man (1Tim. 2:5). We believe that Jesus died as a substitute, fully bearing the sin of his people, thereby satisfying the Justice of God and obtaining forgiveness and eternal life for his own (1Pet. 2:24). He was treated as though he lived our lives of sin and we are treated as though we have lived his life of perfect righteousness (1Cor. 1:30). We believe in his virgin birth, perfect life, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, ascension, and future return as taught in the Scriptures. Only through the personal exercise of godly faith in him may we receive the benefit of his mediation, which is salvation (John 3:18).
We believe every true Christian is sanctified, or “set apart for God,” and may, therefore be legitimately identified as a saint (Ps. 97:10, 1Cor. 1:2). This sanctification is both positional and progressive. We are fully justified (declared righteous) and reconciled to God the moment of salvation (Rom. 8:1). This is positional sanctification, but the true Christian will also show a newness of life in progressive sanctification, longing for and manifesting a degree of practical righteousness (Eph. 2:10).
We believe no person is ever saved without a personal decision to embrace the truths of Scripture, repent, and live a life of godliness based on faith (John 3:16, 7:37). As God now commands all men everywhere now to repent (Acts 17:30), and as they cannot repent unless they hear the gospel (Rom. 10:14), believers are to be actively involved in carrying the gospel to all people, both near and far (Matt. 28:18-20).
We believe election is the act of God, before the foundation of the world, by which he chooses those whom he graciously saves (Eph. 1:4). This is not based on any merit, action, or choice foreseen by God on their part (Rom. 9:16), and in no way compromises anyone’s personal free will, or decision to receive or reject the gospel. This is a profound mystery to be treated with an exceeding degree of humility.
The Lord Jesus is the Head of the true church, composed of all true believers of all time (Col. 1:18). Living believers are to associate themselves in a local congregation under the leadership, ministry, and authority of elders and deacons in order to obey the commands of Scripture for the purposes of mutual sanctification and to encourage one another in love and good works (Heb. 10:24-25, 13:17).
Jesus has commanded two ordinances in his church: baptism, which is a sign of our fellowship in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; and the Lord’s Supper, which commemorates his suffering and sacrifice on our behalf (Matt. 28:19, Luke 22:19). Both ordinances are mandatory for all believers.
God alone is the Lord of the conscience, and to Him belong all ultimate allegiance, obedience, and accountability (Acts 4:19-20). We are to obey civil government and other legitimate authorities insofar as they do not order us to transgress the commands of Scripture (Rom. 13:1-7).
Marriage is an institution of God in which one man and woman are joined for life for the purposes of procreation and the promotion of godliness in parents and progeny (Gen. 1:22, 1Cor. 6:18). Parents are responsible to raise their children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
The Eternal State
We believe in the future physical resurrection and final judgment of all men; the saved to everlasting blessing in the eternal Kingdom of God to come, and the damned to eternal, conscious torment in hell (John 5:28-29, Dan. 12:2).
We adhere to the London Baptist Confession, which you may read here.