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)
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 (Matthew 3: 16,17; 1 John 5.7). 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 return bodily and visibly to earth. (Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21–23; John 20:30–31; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6–8; 6:9–10; Hebrews 7:25; 9:28; 1 Timothy 3:16)
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 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; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6–7)
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 the first 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 the 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 to 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 1:19–32; 3:10–18, 23; 1 Corinthians 1:21–31; Ephesians 2:1–22; 5:21–6:3; Colossians 1:21–22; 3:9–11)
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; Romans 8:28-39; 2 Corinthians 5:17–20; 1 John 3:2)
A church is an autonomous, local congregation of baptized believers operating under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The congregation is to be committed to the teachings of Scripture, exercising gifts for the work of service and enjoying common fellowship and unity in Christ. Every church member has the responsibility to give faithfully of his or her time, talents and material possessions. The church is to obey the Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations by both local evangelism and global missions. (1 Timothy 3:1–12; Galatians 6:1–2; Matthew 18:15–17; 2 Corinthians 8–9; Philippians 4:10–19; Matthew 28:16–20; John 20:21–23)
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 4:16,17; Mark 14:22-25; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34). Church discipline is to be exercised according to scriptural principles (Matthew 18:15-20).
There are two scriptural offices: Elder and Deacon. The Elders are charged with 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 in caring for church members. (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Peter 5:1-3)
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; Revelation)
Open Door is a church that partners with the Southern Baptist Convention. Visit: http://www.sbc.net for news and additional information.