THE WORD OF GOD We believe that the Bible is the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired, written under the direction of the Holy Spirit.1 We believe it is without error in the original manuscripts and is true and trustworthy in all that it asserts. It has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.2
THE TRINITY We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
GOD THE FATHER We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal spirit,3 perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love.4 We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of each person, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He Saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.5
GOD THE SON We believe in Jesus Christ, existing eternally as God’s Son. In His incarnation He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin,6 led a sinless life, performed miracles and taught with authority. We believe in his substitutionary atoning death,7 bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven,8 perpetual intercession for His people9 and personal visible return to earth.10
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT We believe in the Holy Spirit, who was sent by the Father and Son11 to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement,12 and to regenerate, sanctify and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ.13 We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.14
ANGELS We believe that angels are a distinct order of created spiritual beings; that they can appear in human form; that good angels minister to human beings and serve God as special messengers;15 that Satan, a fallen angel, and his evil angels whom he leads, exercise great but limited evil power in the world, and will suffer final defeat at the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.16
REGENERATION We believe that all people are sinners by nature and by choice and are, therefore, under condemnation.17 We believe that only those who repent of their sins and trust Jesus Christ as Saviour are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.18
THE CHURCH We believe in the universal church, the living spiritual body of which Christ is the Head and all regenerated persons are members.19 We believe in the local church, consisting of a community of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, ministry and fellowship.20 We believe that the mission of the church is to bring the good news of Jesus Christ into our lost world.21
CHRISTIAN CONDUCT We believe that Christians should live for the glory of God and the well-being of others;22 that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions;23 and that they should seek to realize for themselves and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.24
ORDINANCES We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe in Christian Baptism as the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God.25 We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ in order to remember His death.26 We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and celebrated until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM We believe that every person is directly responsible to God.27 While respecting the authority of government we affirm the responsibility of the church to speak into the public forum. In matters of disagreement between Scripture and government, we believe we must obey God.28
LAST THINGS We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom.29 We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgement, the endless suffering of the unbeliever in Hell and the eternal joy of the believer in the presence of God.30
MARRIAGE We believe God’s intention for marriage is expressed in creation and the creation story,31 the Law of Moses,32 the wisdom literature,33 and in the prophetic tradition.34 The Divine establishment of marriage is confirmed by the words of Jesus35 and the New Testament authors.36 Chaste singleness and marriage are both honored as faithful and holy lifestyles ordained by God.37
We believe the Bible teaches marriage to exclusively refer to the divine gift to society whereby a man and a woman are joined together in a lifelong commitment to faithful companionship, extended family connectedness, and in the sovereignty of God – the blessing of children. Our original38 and continued39 creation as solely male and female, who are complementary to one another,40 has significance in revealing aspects of God’s relationship to humanity. The permanence of the marital bond41 mirrors God’s faithfulness,42 just as its monogamy reflects God’s singular devotion to His people43 and His people’s singular devotion to Him.44 Sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation.45
This Marriage Article is simply an effort to make explicit the implicit religious consensus of the Baptist General Conference concerning the meaning of Article One (The Word of God) and Article Eight (Christian Conduct) of our Affirmation of Faith.
1 2 Tim. 3:16; Matt. 5:18; 2 Pet.1:21
2 Tit. 1:2; John 10:35; Rom.3:4
3 John 4:24 affirms God is spirit. Psa.115:3 affirms His sovereignty by declaring “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” Scripture affirms His holiness (Lev.11:44,45; cf. Matt.5:48), as well as His love (Deut. 7:7; Eph.2:4; 1 John 3:1; 4:7-12).
4 Isa.6:1-4; Psa. 115:3; Rom.5:8; Deut. 7:7; Eph.2:4; 1 John 3:1; 4:7-12
5 John 3:16; 14:6
6 Matt. 1:16, 20
7 2 Cor.5:21; Rom.5:8
8 1 Cor. 15:1-58; Acts 1:9-11
10 Acts 1:11; John 14:1-3
11 John 15:26; 16:7; Gal.4:6
12 John 16:8-11
13 Tit.3:5; 1 Cor.6:11; 2 Cor.3:18; Gal. 5:16, 22-23; Rom.8:4; 1 Cor.12:7
15 Heb.1:14; Acts 12:7;27:23-4
16 Jas.4:7; John 8:44; Isa.14:12-20; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:19; Rev. 20:2,10
17 Rom. 3:10-19,23; Eph.4:18; Rom.5:12; 6:23.
18 2 Cor.5:17; Tit. 3:5; Eph.2:1, 4-9.
19 Matt. 16:18; Col.1:18; Eph.1:22-3.
20 1 Cor.1:2; Acts 2:41-2; 8:37-8; Eph.4:11-6; Heb.10:25.
21 Matt.28:19-20; Luke 24:46-7; Acts 1:8; 1 Pet.2:9-10.
22 1 Cor.10:31; 1 Pet.4:11; Eph.1:6,12; Gal.6:10; Heb.13:16.
23 2 Cor.9:8-10; Eph. 5:16
24 Eph.4:16; 2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:29.
25 Matt. 28:19-20; Acts.2:41.
26 1 Cor.11:23-6; Luke 22:19-20.
27 1 Tim.2:5; Heb. 4:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:5
28 1 Pet.2:13 and Rom.13:1-7 urge submission to secular authorities; both church and state are instituted by God, yet for distinct purposes. However, if there is conflict in what is required by the two authorities, then God’s are pre-eminent (Acts 4:19; 5:28-9)
29 Acts 1:11; John 14:3; Luke 24:25-33; 1 Thess. 4:13-18.
30 Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-9; Rev.20:11-15
31 Genesis 2:18-25
32 Exodus 20:14, 17; Deuteronomy 5:18, 21
33 Proverbs 5; Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 17:6; Proverbs 19:13-14; Proverbs 31:10-31; Song of Solomon
34 Malachi 2:14-15
35 Matthew 19:1-9; Mark 10:6-9
36 Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7
37 Matthew 19:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7
38 Genesis 1:27 & 5:2
39 ἀπό as “markers of the extent of time from a point in the past—‘since, from’” in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6
40 Deut. 22:5, 23:1, Genesis 2:7, 18-23, 1 Corinthians 11:11-12
41 Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:7-9
42 Ephesians 5:31-32
43 Ephesians 5:25
44 Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 6:13; Joshua 24:24; Matthew 4:10;
45 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7-8, Matthew 5:27-32; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:24-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 7:1-2, 9; Colossians 3:5; 1 Timothy 1:8-11