We believe and affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000; below are a selection of Articles from it. To view the BFM2000 in its entirety, click here.
1. THE SCRIPTURES
The Holy Bible was written by
men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a
perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation
for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.
Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the
principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end
of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by
which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All
Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine
Exodus 24:4; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26;
2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews
1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25
There is one and only one living and true
God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator,
Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and
all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect
knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the
future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love,
reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without
division of nature, essence, or being.
A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His
universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according
to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and
all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through
faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as
Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human
nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with
mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience,
and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the
redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body
and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His
crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of
God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is
effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and
glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now
dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.
Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53:1-12;
Matthew 1:18-23; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He
inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He
enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of
righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects
regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the
Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and
bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals
the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is
the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature
of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship,
evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13
Man is the special creation of God,
made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of
His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s
creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his
Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and
brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man
transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby
his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin.
Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become
transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man
into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God.
The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His
own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every
race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; Ephesians 2:1-22
Salvation involves the redemption
of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord
and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer.
In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification,
sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal
faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
A. Regeneration, or the new birth,
is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ
Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of
sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
Repentance is a genuine turning
from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of
the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.
B. Justification is God’s gracious
and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who
repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a
relationship of peace and favor with God.
C. Sanctification is the
experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to
God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity
through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in
grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.
D. Glorification is the culmination
of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:68-69; Romans 1:16-18; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23
5. GOD'S PURPOSE OF GRACE
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He
regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent
with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with
the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is
infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in
Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of
grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through
neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and
comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on
themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto
Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; Luke 1:68-79; Acts 20:32
6. THE CHURCH
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local
congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and
fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by
His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His
Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation
operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a
congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its
scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are
gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as
qualified by Scripture.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which
includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and
tongue, and people, and nation.
Matthew 16:15-19; Acts
2:41-42,47; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14;
7. BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
Christian baptism is
the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a
crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial
of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ
Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead.
Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church
membership and to the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper is a
symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of
the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and
anticipate His second coming.
Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:3-5;
8. LAST THINGS
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its
appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally
and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will
judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the
place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and
glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven
with the Lord.
Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; John 14:1-3; Revelation 1:18;
9. THE FAMILY
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human
society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood,
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment
for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and
His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework
for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to
biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are
created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to
His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has
the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his
family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her
husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She,
being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the
God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in
managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage
from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for
marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to
lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make
choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32
LifeHouse Church is in partnership with:
The Baptist Convention of Maryland & Delaware (BCMD)
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)
WHY NOT JUST BE AN INDEPENDENT CHURCH?
We are, in essence, an independent church! Every SBC church is completely autonomous. We are not subject to the hierarchical control of any ecclesiastical or denominational body. Each church is self-governed and determines its own affairs. For example:
Every SBC church chooses its own pastor.
Every SBC church owns its own buildings and assets.
Every SBC church determines its own programs and policy.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES IN BEING AFFILIATED WITH THE SBC?
Affiliation with the SBC allows our church to participate in the largest missionary organization in the world. Through the SBC “Cooperative Program” we help support over 7,500 missionaries in 104 countries around the world.