The Baptist Faith and Message
Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who they are. Copies are available at Southern Baptist churches. The topics here provide only a brief, partial summary. The full text on the issue discussed is also available.
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE:
1. ABOUT SCRIPTURE
We believe the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God, without any error, the all sufficient authority in matters of faith, doctrine, and Christian living.
2. ABOUT GOD
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Further we believe that God has revealed Himself as these three Persons through His Word, the Bible.
3. ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
We believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and that He is the true God and man. He died on the cross for our sins, He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and is now our High Priest and Advocate.
4. ABOUT MAN
We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin, and is therefore lost. Only through regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit can man’s salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
5. ABOUT SALVATION
We believe that eternal salvation is the free gift of God, entirely apart from man’s works, and is possessed by any and all who have faith in and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
6. ABOUT CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
We believe in a regenerated church membership; that is, persons who come to understand their need for Jesus Christ and, of their own free will, trusted Him as their personal Lord and Savior.
7. ABOUT BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that baptism is by immersion and the Lord’s Supper is a memorial to His suffering and death on the cross. These are ordinances to be observed by the church in its present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means for man’s salvation.
8. ABOUT THE RETURN OF CHRIST
We believe in the personal, bodily, imminent, and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ and that His Second Coming inspires believers for dynamic and zealous life and service for Him, while waiting for His return
9. ABOUT THE RESURRECTION, HEAVEN, AND HELL
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the everlasting blessed of the saved in Heaven, and the everlasting punishment and separation from God of the unsaved in Hell.
10. ABOUT THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe in the autonomy of the local church. The church shall manage is own affairs and shall not be subject to any other religious body or organization.