"I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment." - 1 Corinthians 1:10.
The church is commanded to be unified. Rather than take a minimalist approach to doctrinal unity, which we believe leads to superficial unity, we believe that the more we can agree on, the more united we are. Therefore, we have a maximalist approach to our doctrinal statements. We have two sections that follow. The first is a brief summary of what all of our members are expected to believe. The second is a thorough explanation of what we teach and is agreed upon by pastoral leadership. While it's not required to believe everything we believe and teach to participate in our ministry, it is required that members submit to these teachings while under our ministry without contradiction or division.
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF WHAT WE BELIEVE:
The Purpose of God During Our Age
We believe that the Church is at the center of God's purpose for this age and that God's wisdom will be displayed to the entire universe through the Church to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 3:1-13)
We believe that Christ's central purpose is building His Church, and ultimately His kingdom; and nothing can stand in His way, even Satan and all his forces. (Matthew 16:13-20)
We believe that the Church is the pillar and support of the truth and that this truth was delivered once and for all through the Apostles and that this deposit of truth ought to be preserved in all churches. (1 Timothy 3:14-16; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 3:10, 11, 15; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13; 2 Peter 3:1-2; Jude 3, 17)
THE GREAT COMMISSION
We believe in the perpetual command of the Great Commission to take the gospel to the world.
We believe that Christ's strategy for building His Church can be clearly identified in the book of Acts as a multiplication of churches—communities of Christians committed to maturing in Christ and to furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:1-4; 14:19-23; 20:28-32; 1 Timothy 3:14-16; Titus 1:5-9)
The Gospel Proclaimed by the Apostles:
The Kerygma (Greek for "Proclamation")
THE GOSPEL FULFILLED
We believe that this gospel, proclaimed by the Apostles, can be summarized as follows:
This gospel was prophesied beforehand in the Scriptures as part of God's unfolding plan to bless the families of the earth through the seed of Abraham and the seed of David. It was given in the form of a New Covenant, promising forgiveness of sins, and placing God's Spirit within man.
This gospel was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, the King of Kings, born of the Holy Spirit. He came in the flesh, lived a sinless life, died, was buried and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
This Jesus will come again to judge the earth and set up the kingdom of God for all time. After abolishing all rule and authority, He will reign forever and ever.
Those who hear this message and believe will receive forgiveness of sins. They will be given the Spirit of God as a pledge of their inheritance, as they eagerly await the Savior who will return for them. (Acts 2:14-22; 3:11-26; 10:23-48; Acts 9:1-43; 26:1-32; Acts 17:16-34; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11)
GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe that there is only one gospel of Jesus Christ. Each individual who places His faith in the person and work of Christ alone for forgiveness of his sins is at that moment forgiven of his sins once and for all time, is permanently a child of God, and is part of Christ's Church. (Ephesians 1:1-14; 2:1-10; Colossians 1:9-14; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Romans 5 and 8)
We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is made up of those who have accepted the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who have responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ need to be baptized, signifying their identification with Jesus and with His believing community, His Church. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 10:44-48; Romans 6:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
We believe that once one has identified with Christ and His Church through baptism, special care should be exercised to see that the baptized believer becomes a vital, functioning member of a body of Christ—a local church. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 10:44-48; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
We believe that each believer should celebrate the Lord's Supper regularly with the church. This will serve as a way of remembering his identity with Christ, as one whose sins are forgiven and in a covenant relationship, and as a way of remembering his identity with Christ's body, the Church, as one who is to live in fellowship with the church. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)
The Apostles Doctrine:
The Didache (Greek for "The Teaching")
We believe that God revealed His plan for the churches in the epistles, and that the Apostles expected the churches to follow their instructions. (Ephesians 3:1-13; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6; 1 Timothy 3:14-16; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 2:2; 3:9-10; Jude 3, 17)
We believe that this teaching can be summarized as follows:
Each believer is instructed to lay aside his old life, renew His mind in the teaching, and conform his new life to the will of God. (Ephesians 4:22-24; Romans 12:1-2)
A set of virtues, which are only possible through God's resources, are to characterize each believer. (Galatians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:12; 2 Peter 1:1-11)
Individual households must be ordered properly, consistent with God's created design for man and for the Church. (Ephesians 5:22-6:9; Colossians 3:18-4:1; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
God's household, the church—the pillar and support of the truth—must be properly ordered according to sound doctrine received from the Apostles, especially Paul. (1 Timothy 3:14-16; Titus 1:5-2:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6; Ephesians 3:1-13; Colossians 1:24-29)
Each believer must be committed to do his part, both generally in one-another ministry and specifically in the use of his gifts in the building up of the church. (Romans 12:3-16; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
A pattern of relationships within the church must be observed—characterized by love, brotherhood, mutual acceptance and respect—in which each is to diligently pursue unity in the bond of peace. (Romans 12:9-15; 14:1-7; Philippians 1:27-2:4; Ephesians 4:1-6)
A pattern of relationships in the world must be observed—characterized by respect for government, employers, and other authorities, and love and good deeds toward neighbors and those in need. (Romans 13:1-7; Titus 2:14; 3:1,14)
Individuals must lead responsible and sober lives—working hard, providing for their own, making the most of the time (because the days are evil), and keeping on the alert for Satan and his strategies in their lives. (Ephesians 5:1-22; 6:10-18; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Peter 5:6-11)
We believe that all matters concerning the life and beliefs of the churches are to be settled by the Word of God. Though the churches are to be guarded and protected by elders and men gifted as pastors and teachers, all are subject to the authority of the biblical text. (1 Timothy 4:1-16; 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:14-15; 3:16; 4:1-4; Titus 1:5-16; 2:1, 15; 2 Peter 3:14-18; Jude 3, 17)
A THOROUGH EXPLANATION OF WHAT WE TEACH:
Historically, Baptists have been, and thankfully many still are, a confessional people. Yes, they are supremely a people of the Book, the Holy Scriptures. But confessions have been central to their experience of the Christian life.
Of the many confessions of faith that Baptist have produced—and they have produced a goodly number—none has been more influential than the Second London Confession, popularly known as The 1689 Confession.
CONTEMPORARY AND SOCIAL ISSUES:
We ascribe to The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.
Creation and Evolution
We believe God created the universe in six twenty-four hour days and that before He created the universe, nothing except God existed (Genesis 1; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16).
God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11).
We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 4:6).
The Lord changes lives and accomplishes His purposes directly through reading and applying the Scriptures, meditating on the truths of the Scriptures, and prayer. The Lord also uses those who minister His Word as they encourage, exhort, admonish, edify, implore, reprove, rebuke, and console others toward godliness. God needs no new or unique insight into the human condition in order to change lives, regardless of whether that insight is gained through psychology or some other tool of human origin. Problems that are approached by integrating the Scriptures with psychological theories tend to deceive individuals into diminishing the God of the Scriptures and into believing that He has not provided and cannot provide sufficient truth, insight, and wisdom that will change their lives (Colossians 2:8-10).
When psychology and other social sciences step beyond observing human behavior and seek to explain the causes of human behavior, they enter spiritual territory. Only the God of the Scriptures can explain causes and offer solutions that lead to godliness and a fruitful, joyful life. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He changes us as we discipline ourselves through obedience to the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 1:5-11).
Each Christian’s passion should be to become more like Christ and fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord with the entire heart, soul, mind, and strength (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2, Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37-38).
The Christian who learns and applies the Word becomes mature and, in turn, can help others mature (2 Timothy 2:2).
Women In Ministry
Covenant Baptist Church affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.
Homosexuality and Transgenderism
While we love and respect all people, we do not affirm everyone's beliefs and behaviors. Homosexuality and transgenderism, like all sins are redeemable by the grace of God in Christ and it is our desire to help people to be delivered from their sin, whatever it may be, and to walk in the freedom Christ provides. As an official statement of Covenant Baptist Church, we ascribe to the Nashville Statement of A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality.
We are unapologetically pro-life from conception to natural death. We advocate for the total abolishment of every form of abortion everywhere. While abortion is a grave sin, we lovingly seek to help those who've been guilty or effected by abortion to experience the redemption, forgiveness and sanctification that comes through the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We also seek to passionately support women who are in difficult circumstances as well as striving to support adoption and orphan ministries.