The following is an excerpt from the Baptist Faith and Message.


God

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 revelation.


Salvation

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.


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.


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.


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.


Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.