OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH
WHAT WE BELIEVE
In essential beliefs, we have unity
“There is one body and one spirit…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6 (NIV)
In non-essential beliefs, we have liberty.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls…So then each of us will give an account of himself to God…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourselves and God.” Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22 (NIV)
In all our beliefs, we show love.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love. I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a (NIV)
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three-in-oneness: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. One essence revealed in three entities. (Genesis 1:1, 26-27; Genesis 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19, 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
About Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13)
About the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 14:16-17; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:25)
About the Bible.
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 12:6; Psalm 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5)
About human beings.
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. They are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23)
Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement of good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into His life by faith. (John 1:12; John 14:6; Romans 5:1; Romans 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5)
About eternal security.
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” your salvation. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security. (John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation through Christ. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. (John 3:16; John 14:2-3; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15)
OUR LIFE-STYLE STATEMENT
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:
Bible as our sole authority.
“And how from infancy you have known the holy Scripture, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15 (NIV)
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is, “What does the Bible say?” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
Autonomy of each local church.
“And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.” Colossians 1:18 (NIV)
Christ is the recognized Head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
Priesthood of every believer.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
“And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father…” Revelation 1:6 (NIV)
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.” Leviticus 27:30 (NIV)
At Calvary Baptist, we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s Body, the church, as God commands. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard of giving.
“Having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12 (NIV)
We believe baptism by immersion best represents Christ’s death and resurrection as well as the spiritual change that has occurred in our lives.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 5:18)
Telling others about Christ.
“…always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who ask you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those whom God brings us into contact. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.