At the core of our theology, we hold to this simple truth: Jesus in our place.
What is the Gospel? Literally this word means “good news” in the Biblical text, but what is this news that is so good? To answer that question, we have to start with who we are as humans. Have you ever had a bad thought? Maybe the inclination to be angry or do something wrong? As Christians, we believe that no one is good, not one. Mankind is inherently sinful; we inherited this “sin nature” from our parents, and they from their parents, and so on. We also daily commit sins by missing the mark of righteousness. Defined simply…sin is missing the mark of God’s standard for “good”. Sounds like bad news, not good news right?
By ourselves, we could never actually hit the mark of righteousness, we’re doomed to be sinful for the rest of our lives. Perfection demands perfection, and the punishment for sin is death. BUT, in order to make us good in God’s eyes, to save us from death, He made a way. God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to be born as a baby, live a SINLESS life (he always hit the mark), and to WILLINGLY SACRIFICE HIMSELF on a Cross (the worst punishment imaginable created by the Romans), bearing the weight of all our sins on himself. He satisfied God’s wrath against sin by dying for us. Still sound like bad news? The story doesn’t end there.
Three days after Jesus was sacrificed on a Cross, according to the testimony of eye witnesses, he ROSE FROM THE GRAVE! Jesus defeated death and sin, sacrificing himself as the propitiation of our wrongdoing, our missing the mark, thereby making us righteous in the eyes of God. We can now call ourselves children of God, forgiven and free from sin. THIS IS THE GOOD NEWS, THE GOSPEL!
Jesus took the punishment we deserved so that we could be right with God.
We believe that there is only one true and living God. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfect. In his sovereignty, His knowledge extends to the past, present, and future. We believe that the eternal, triune (three in one) God reveals himself to us as God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit, without division of nature, essence, or being.
We believe that the Bible, God’s holy Word was written by men, inspired by the Holy Spirit. We trust in the Bible completely and believe that it is inerrant and infallible. It testifies to Christ and the redeeming work he accomplished. We believe that it is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.
We are saved only by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, not by any work that any of us could perform, and not by any goodness found in ourselves. This salvation comes by recognizing our own sinfulness (through conviction of the Holy Spirit), repenting (turning away from that sinfulness), believing that Christ is the only way we can be saved, and confessing that truth to others. We are then made right with God, measuring up to his perfect standard, only because of Jesus’s righteousness. Throughout our lives, we grow closer to Jesus and are made more like him through the power of the Holy Spirit in a process called sanctification. Finally, the culmination of our lives as Christians is glorification when our earthly existence ends and our heavenly lives begin in eternity.
We believe in baptism by immersion, that this act of obedience in faith is an outward expression of an inward change, and symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We die to ourselves, are buried (submersed in water), and raised to new life in Christ. Our redemption is found only in Christ’s sacrifice for us and our belief and confession in that truth, not in the act of baptism or the water itself.
See the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) for a more expanded detail on beliefs held by our church.