Doctrine: What We Believe

 Our beliefs are grounded in the Scriptures and adapted from the historic confessions of the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) and the Abstract of Principles (1858) 

 "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..."

1 Timothy 1:15 

1. The Scriptures

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by the inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain, and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)

 

2. God

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 1:17)

 

3. The Trinity

God is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, yet without division of nature, essence, or being. (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

 

4. Providence

God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any way to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures. (Hebrews 1:3; Matthew 10:31-33; Proverbs 16:33)

 

5. Man and Sin

Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. God originally created Man free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his descendants inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors. (Genesis 1:27, 3:4-7; Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3)

 

6. The Mediator

Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law; suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe. We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, and is accomplished through Jesus Christ alone;

 (Matthew 3:17; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; 1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 5:6-11; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:3) 

 

7. Regeneration

Regeneration is a change of heart, done by the Holy Spirit, who gives life to those who are dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone. (John 3:1-8; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3)

 

8. Repentance

Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence of sin, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things. (Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21; 2 Corinthians 7:9)

 

9. Faith

Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Jesus Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is done in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness. (John 1:12, 5:24; Ephesians 2:8-9)

 

10. Justification

Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Jesus Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that He has made; not for anything done in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Jesus Christ alone, they receiving and resting on His righteousness by faith. (Rom. 3:23-24; Rom. 5:1-2; 18, 19; 2 Cor. 5:21)

 

11. Sanctification

Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s Word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of God's strength, in which all believers seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in heartfelt obedience to all of Jesus Christ’s commands. (Jn. 17:17; 2 Thes. 2:13; Heb. 12:14)

 

12. Perseverance of the Saints

Those whom God has accepted in Jesus Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall through neglect and temptation into sin, whereby they grieve the Holy Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they will be renewed again to repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (Jn. 10:28-29; 1 Jn. 2:19; Rom. 8:30)

 

13. The Church

The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to gather together into local churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Elders (Pastors) and Servant Leaders. (Col. 1:18; Mt. 16:18; 18:15-18; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; 1 Pet. 5:1-4)

 

14. Baptism

Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. (Mt. 28:19-20; Rom. 6:3-5; Acts 8:38-39)

 

15. The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship. (Mt. 26:26-27; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-26)

 

16. The Lord’s Day

The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; Col. 2:16; 3:16; Rev 1:10)

 

17. The Resurrection

The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God, the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. (1 Cor 15; Jn. 5:28, 29; Phil. 3:21)

 

18. The Judgment

God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one will receive according to his deeds; the wicked will go into everlasting punishment; the righteous into everlasting life. (Mt. 25:31-46; 1 Cor. 15:35-58; 2 Cor. 5:10).

 

This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Cline Avenue Fellowship Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our elders are Cline Avenue Fellowship Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.