Of the BMAA as adopted in 1989
There 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).
C. 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
A. 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).
B. 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).
A. 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; Col. 1:16).
B. 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 6).
C. 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. 10:28-31).
Satan 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).
A. 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. 3:24-26).
B. 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).
C. 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).
VII. 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, 13).
All 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).
All 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).
A. 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).
B. 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).
C. 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).
D. 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).
E. 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 Tim. 3:1-13). 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 (Acts 6:1-6).
F. 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).
G. 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).
XI. CIVIL AUTHORITY
Human 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 (Matt. 22:21).
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.
Civil 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 convictions.
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.
XII. LAST THINGS
A. 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. 22:20).
B. 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).
C. 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. 20:11-15).
D. 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).
Hell 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).
NOTE: 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.
1. We 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).
2. We 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, 12-15). We 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.
Statement of Faith
I. THE HOLY BIBLE
We believe the Holy Bible to be the verbally, unqualified, absolute inspired Word of God; composed of 66 books: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, from Genesis through Revelation, We believe the Holy Scriptures are infallible, inerrant, and God-inspired; perfectly preserved for us today. These truths are the only authority for life and faith. These Holy Scriptures are complete and considered a closed book needing no new revelation from God to man. We believe the King James translation of the bible to be the accurate preserved Word of God relevant for the church today. These Scriptures should be interpreted with other Scriptures within itself according to their normal grammatical/historical meaning. (Psalms 12:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
II. THE GODHEAD
We believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; all being one single triune God, each being omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnipresent (present everywhere); all sharing the attributes in nature, in power and exaltation and having the same qualities and excellence. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 14:10 & 26; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
III. The PERSON AND Work of Christ
A. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, being the second Person of the Trinity, is the eternal Son of God who was prophesied to become man while still being God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, that he might reveal God and redeem sinful men; that this same Jesus is our High Priest and only mediator between God and man. (Isaiah. 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-4, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 9:11)
B. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ finished our redemption completely by His death on the cross as an expressive, substitutionary sacrifice – the just for the unjust; the one and only true sacrifice acceptable by God, and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead showing He is God over the living and the dead; that while He suffered He became sin for us and was the perfect sacrifice and that His pure righteousness was imputed to those who have repented of sin and believed on His name. (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-26; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
C. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven after the resurrection, and is highly exalted and sits fully glorified at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Intercessor, Advocate and Representative. (Acts 1:9-10; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2)
IV. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost)
A. We believe the Holy Spirit, being the third Person of the Trinity, reproves the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that His ministry involves regeneration, baptizing new believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Roman 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14)
B. We believe the Holy Spirit is our teacher helping believers to understand and to guide us into all truth; to properly discern and apply Scriptures correctly. We also believe that it is our duty and joy as believers to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 1:17-18; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27)
C. We believe that God gives unique spiritual gifts to all born again believers of His church, so God enables evangelists, pastors, and teachers for preparing the church for ministry. (Romans 12:3-8)
We believe that mankind was created by God in His image and in His likeness yet not being His equal. But Adam, through his sin, passed on to all following generations the nature of sin. Thus, Adam and all of mankind have been alienated from God and are hopeless without Christ. (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1)
We believe salvation is God’s free gift given by His unmerited grace and favor to all who have repented from sin and placed their faith, hope, and trust in Jesus Christ. This same Jesus, being the sacrificed Lamb of God, gave Himself for our sins, whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins; that Jesus Christ was raised on the third day and was victorious over death, sin and hell. (Isaiah 55:7-8; Act 17:30; Romans 4:24-25; Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
VII. The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believer
A. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; Romans 8:1, 38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:4-5)
B. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to sin. (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)
VIII. The Church
A. We believe the Bible describes the church as pictorially being the bride of Christ and likewise this same church as being the body of Christ. We believe all local assemblies are made up of believers and followers of Christ Jesus our Lord. (1 Corinthians 12:12)
B. We believe the Scriptures has left the church with two ordinances that are always to be performed: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
We believe that born-again believers live peculiar lives that are holy and unlike the world’s ways; that we live lives that are not self-indulging, but our joy is service to God and man; that we place no wicked thing before our eyes and create no stumbling block before our fellow brother or neighbor. We avoid the sinful pleasures in hopes of a better reward. (Romans 6:6; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 John 2:15-17
X. The Return of Christ
We believe in that “blessed hope,” the personal, imminent return of Christ, who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return, with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the Nation of Israel. (Psalms 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45; Zechariah 14:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20: 1-6)
Calvary Baptist Church
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expense of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.