Dedicated to genuine Christ-centered worship, concerned for authentic Christian growth, committed to unashamedly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to defending the truths that have been once for all given to the Church.
Dedicated to genuine Christ-centered worship – We recognize that it is God’s intention for the Church to worship Him through the person of Jesus Christ and be empowered by the Holy Spirit. God has redeemed us for His own glory, that we may praise His superabundance of grace toward us in Christ both now and forevermore. This worship must be in accordance with God’s Word and emanate from a heart of love for God that has been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this way we recognize the Gospel-rooted, Christ-centered, and Word-saturated nature of worship. We deny that Christian worship is based on or appeals to popular cultural trends, human felt-needs, or inventions of the human mind but looks to the Bible for that which pleases God and always has within its view the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
Concerned for authentic Christian growth – We recognize that God has tasked His people to both individually, and collectively, become conformed to the image of His Son. Although we will not reach perfection in this life, we can and must grow toward Christlikeness by the power of the Holy Spirit. God, in His grace, has ordained that we as individuals will grow together within the Church. We deny that one can claim to be a Christian while living a life that demonstrates continual disobedience to God’s commands and continually abstains from the fellowship of believers. We recognize that those primary God given means of growth are the preaching and teaching of the Word, the teaching of sound doctrine, the ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), church discipline, and the exercise of the gifts which the Spirit has bestowed upon any individual for the good of the whole.
Committed to unashamedly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ – We recognize that the love of Christ is most supremely manifested in His work which He has wrought on behalf of sinners in His life, death and resurrection; that it is substitutionary, propitiatory, and the only ground by which man may stand before God having wholly rested on Christ’s finished work by faith alone and having turned from his sins. We are compelled by the love that we have experienced and in accordance with God’s commands, to tell others about the love of God in Christ that is revealed in the Gospel and to call them by the authority of the Lord of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ, to repentance and faith in His name. We confess that Jesus Christ is the only hope of mankind to avoid the wrath of God toward sin, and deny that there is salvation in any other name, faith, or religion. We also recognize that we are called to reflect the self-sacrificing love of Christ by caring for the helpless, hurting, and despised of this world.
Defending the truths once for all given to the Church – We recognize that it is within the purpose of each generation to diligently teach and clarify sound doctrine for the building up of the body of Christ and the preparation of the next generation to hold fast to the truth. We refuse to harbor a false unity by avoiding, muddling, or deemphasizing the teaching of doctrine but instead will seek to build unity around the truth and with those who are of the truth, at the cost of being divided from those who are indifferent or opposed to it. We recognize that these truths are summarized in the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message and in those documents from which the Southern Baptist faith has descended, so long as they accord with the Bible’s teaching in their parts.
In recognizing these things we are seeking to summarize the purposes of the Church as defined in God’s Word, and so we recognize the authority of the Word of God over the Church. We not only recognize the Word’s authority to define the Church’s purposes but also its motives and methods. The ways in which we seek to accomplish these purposes must also be in submission to the principles of the Word of God. In this way we denounce any methodology or program which seeks to exalt human ingenuity, methodology, or craft when it is contrary to sound doctrine, no matter what end it purports to produce. To God alone be the glory. Amen.