is one living and true God, the creator of the
universe (Exod. 15:11; Isa. 45:11; Jer. 27:5). He is
revealed in the unity of the Godhead as God the
Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who
are equal in every divine perfection (Exod. 15:11;
Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14). A. God the Father is
the supreme ruler of the universe. He providentially
directs the affairs of history according to the
purposes of His grace (Gen. 1; Ps. 19:1; Ps. 104;
Heb. 1:1-3). B. God the Son is the Savior of the
world. Born of the virgin Mary (Matt.1:18; Luke
1:26-35), He declared His deity among men (John
1:14, 18; Matt. 9:6), died on the cross as the only
sacrifice for sin (Phil. 2:6-11), arose bodily from
the grave (Luke 24:6, 7, 24-26; I Cor. 15:3-6), and
ascended back to the Father (Acts 1:9-11; Mark
16:19). He is at the right hand of the Father,
interceding for believers (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25)
until He returns to rapture them from the world
(Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:16-18).
God the Holy Spirit is the manifest presence of
deity. He convicts of sin (John 16:8-11) teaches
spiritual truths according to the written Word (John
16:12-15), permanently indwells believers (Acts
5:32; John 14:16, 17, 20, 23), and confers on every
believer at conversion the ability to render
effective spiritual service (I Peter 4:10, 11).
II. THE SCRIPTURES
The Scriptures are God's inerrant revelation,
complete in the Old and New Testaments, written by
divinely inspired men as they were moved by the Holy
Spirit (II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:21). Those men
wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words
taught by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:13).
The Scriptures provide the standard for the
believer's faith and practice (II Tim. 3:16, 17),
reveal the principles by which God will judge all
(Heb. 4:12; John 12:48), and express the true basis
of Christian fellowship (Gal. 1:8, 9; II John 9-11).
The World--God created all things for His own
pleasure and glory, as revealed in the biblical
account of creation (Gen. 1; Rev. 4:11; John 1:2, 3;
The Angels--God created an innumerable host of
spirit beings called angels. Holy angels worship God
and execute His will; while fallen angels serve
Satan, seeking to hinder God's purposes (Col. 1:16;
Luke 20:35, 36; Matt. 22:29, 30: Ps. 103:20; Jude
Man--God created man in His own image. As the
crowning work of creation, every person is of
dignity and worth and merits the respect of all
other persons (Ps. 8; Gen. 1:27; 2:7; Matt.
is a person rather than a personification of evil
(John 8:44) and he with his demons opposes all that
is true and godly by blinding the world to the
gospel (II Cor. 4:3, 4), tempting saints to do evil
(Eph. 6:11; I Peter 5:8), and warring against the
Son of God (Gen. 3:15; Rev. 20:1-10).
Although man was created in the image of God (Gen.
1:26: 2:17) he fell through sin and that image was
marred (Rom. 5:12; James 3:9). In his unregenerate
state, he is void of spiritual life, is under the
influence of the devil, and lacks any power to save
himself (Eph. 2:1-3; John 1:13). The sin nature has
been transmitted to every member of the human race,
the man Jesus Christ alone being excepted (Rom.
3:23; I Peter 2:22). Because of the sin nature, man
possesses no divine life and is essentially and
unchangeably depraved apart from divine grace (Rom.
3:10-19; Jer. 17:9).
The Meaning of Salvation--Salvation is the gracious
work of God whereby He delivers undeserving sinners
from sin and its results (Matt. 1:21; Eph. 2:8, 9).
In justification He declares righteous all who put
faith in Christ as Savior (Rom. 3:20-22), giving
them freedom from condemnation, peace with God, and
full assurance of future glorification (Rom.
The Way of Salvation--Salvation is based wholly on
the grace of God apart from works (Titus 3:5; Eph.
2:9). Anyone who will exercise repentance toward God
and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved
(Acts 16:30-32; Luke 24:47; Rom. 10:17).
The Provision of Salvation--Christ died for the sins
of the whole world (John 1:29; 3:16; I John 2:1, 2).
Through His blood, atonement is made without respect
of persons (I Tim. 2:4-6). All sinners can be saved
by this gracious provision (Heb. 2:9; John 3:18).
Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom--God's
sovereignty and man's freedom are two inseparable
factors in the salvation experience (Eph. 2:4-6).
The two Bible truths are in no way contradictory,
but they are amazingly complementary in the great
salvation so freely provided. God, in His
sovereignty, purposed, planned and executed
salvation in eternity; while man's freedom enables
him to make a personal choice in time, either to
receive this salvation and be saved, or to reject it
and be damned (Eph. 1:9-12; 1:13, 14; John 1:12,
believers are set apart unto God (Heb. 10:12-14) at
the time of their regeneration (I Cor. 6:11). They
should grow in grace (II Peter 1:5-8) by allowing
the Holy Spirit to apply God's Word to their lives
(I Peter 2:2), conforming them to the principles of
divine righteousness (Rom. 12:1, 2; I Thess. 4:3-7)
and making them partakers of the holiness of God (II
Cor. 7:1; I Peter 1:15, 16).
believers are eternally secure in Jesus Christ (John
10:24-30; Rom. 8:35-39). They are born again (John
3:3-5; I John 5:1; I Peter 1:23), made new creatures
in Christ (II Cor. 5:17; II Peter 1:4), and indwelt
by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; I John 4:4), enabling
their perseverance in good works (Eph. 2:10). A
special providence watches over them (Rom. 8:28; I
Cor. 10:13), and they are kept by the power of God
(Phil. 1:6; 2:12, 13; I Peter 1:3-5; Heb. 13:5).
The Nature of the Church--A New Testament church is
a local congregation (Acts 16:5; I Cor. 4:17) of
baptized believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41) who
are united by covenant in belief of what God has
revealed and in obedience to what He has commanded
(Acts 2:41, 42).
The Autonomy of the Church--She acknowledges Jesus
as her only Head (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18) and the Holy
Bible as her only rule of faith and practice (Isa.
8:20; II Tim. 3:16, 17), governing herself by
democratic principles (Acts 6:1-6; I Cor. 5:1-5)
under the oversight of her pastors (Acts 20:28; Heb.
13:7, 17, 24).
The Perpetuity of the Church--Instituted by Jesus
during His personal ministry on earth (Matt. 16:18;
Mark 3:13-19; John 1:35-51), true churches have
continued to the present and will continue until
Jesus returns (Matt. 16:18; 28:20).
The Ordinances of the Church--Her two ordinances are
baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the
immersion in water of a believer as a confession of
his faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:4)
and is prerequisite to church membership and
participation in the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:41, 42).
The Lord's Supper is the sacred sharing of the bread
of communion and the cup of blessing by the
assembled church (Acts 20:7) as a memorial to the
crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ (Luke
22:19, 20; I Cor.11:23-26). Both ordinances must be
administered by the authority of a New Testament
church (Matt. 28:18-20; I Cor. 11:23-26).
The Officers of the Church--Pastors and deacons are
the permanent officers divinely ordained in a New
Testament church (Phil.1:1). Each church may select
men of her choice to fill those offices under the
leading of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:1-6; 20:17, 18)
according to the divinely given qualifications (I
Pastors (elders, bishops) are authorized to oversee
and teach the churches under the Lordship of Jesus
Christ (Acts 20:28; Heb 13:7, 17, 24; I Peter
5:1-4). Each church is responsible to follow them as
they follow Christ (I Cor. 11:1; I Thess. 1:6; Heb.
13:17) and to provide a livelihood for them that
they might fulfill their ministries (I Tim 5:17, 18;
Phil. 4:15-18). Pastors are equal in the service of
God (Matt. 23:8-12).
Deacons (ministers, servants) are servants of the
churches and assistants to the pastors, particularly
in benevolent ministries. Each church may select her
own deacons according to her needs, and no church is
bound by the act of another church in that selection
The Ministry of the Church--Her mission is
evangelizing sinners by preaching the gospel (Matt.
28:19; Luke 24:45-47), baptizing those who believe
(Acts 2:41; 8:12, 35-38), and maturing them by
instruction (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42) and discipline
(Matt. 18:17, 18; I Cor. 5:1-5).
The Fellowship of the Church--She is free to
associate with true churches in furthering the faith
(II Cor. 11:8; Phil 4:10, 15, 16) but is responsible
to keep herself from those who hold doctrines or
practices contrary to Holy Scripture (Gal. 1:8, 9; I
John 2:19). In association with other churches, each
church is equal and is the sole judge of the measure
and method of her cooperation (Matt. 20:25-28). In
all matters of polity and practice, the will of each
church is final (Matt. 18:18).
government was instituted by God to protect the
innocent and punish the guilty. It is separate from
the church, though both church and state exercise
complementary ministries for the benefit of society
Christians should submit to the authority of the
government under which they live, obeying all laws
which do not contradict the laws of God, respecting
officers of government, paying taxes, rendering
military service, and praying for the welfare of the
nation and its leaders (Rom. 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13,
17; I Tim. 2:1, 2). They should vote, hold office,
and exercise influence to direct the nation after
the principles of Holy Scripture.
authority is not to interfere in matters of
conscience or disturb the institutions of religion
(Acts 4:18-20), but it should preserve for every
citizen the free exercise of his religious
Churches should receive no subsidy from the
government, but they should be exempt from taxation
on property and money used for the common good
through worship, education, or benevolence.
Return--Our risen Lord will return personally in
bodily form to receive His redeemed unto Himself.
His return is imminent (I Thess. 4:13-17; Rev.
Resurrections--After Jesus returns, all of the dead
will be raised bodily, each in his own order: the
righteous dead in "the resurrection of life" and the
wicked dead in "the resurrection of damnation" (John
5:24-29; I Cor. 15:20-28).
Judgments--Prior to the eternal state, God will
judge everyone to confer rewards or to consign to
punishment (Matt. 25:31-46; II Cor. 5:10; Rev.
Eternal States--Heaven is the eternal home of the
redeemed (John 14:1-3) who, in their glorified
bodies (I Cor. 15:51-58), will live in the presence
of God forever (I Thess. 4:17) in ultimate blessing
(Rev. 21, 22).
is the place of eternal punishment and suffering
(Luke 16:19-31) for the devil, his angels (Matt.
25:41), and the unredeemed (Rev. 20:10-15).
The following statements are not to be binding upon
the churches already affiliated with this
association, or to require adoption by churches
petitioning this body for privilege of cooperation,
or to be a test of fellowship between brethren or
churches. However, they do express the preponderance
of opinion among the churches of the Baptist
Missionary Association of America.
believe in the premillennial return of Christ to
earth, after which He shall reign in peace upon the
earth for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6).
believe the Scriptures to teach two resurrections:
the first of the righteous at Christ's coming; the
second of the wicked at the close of the
thousand-year reign (I Thess. 4:13-17; Rev. 20:6,
endorse the New Hampshire Confession of Faith as a
representative compendium of what Baptists have
historically believed through the centuries. This
confession was consulted and provided a pattern and
guide for the formulation of these doctrinal
statements. As there are several versions and
editions, we refer particularly to the edition in J.
E. Cobb's Church Manual third edition, published by
the Baptist Publications Committee of Texarkana, TX.