Here’s a link to Bethlehem Baptist Church’s statement on their beliefs on the Five Points of Calvinism (led by Pastor John Piper). I would say that this is consistent with what we believe. It is thorough enough (though not exhaustive) to communicate the sense of what we mean by the term Calvinism and the Doctrines of Grace.
Also, here’s a link to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith (our church’s confession).
Our Statement of Faith is not intended to totally define our boundaries of fellowship, because there will be some Christians who will certainly differ with some of what is set forth here but are still welcome to fellowship with us. Our basis for fellowship is the presence of a biblical confession of and to the lordship of Jesus Christ, coupled with the absence of a sinful, scandalous lifestyle.
Our Statement of Faith does represent the doctrinal understanding of the membership of our church, and the teaching and preaching at our church will reflect this understanding.
The Apostles’ Creed
We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord. Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was born of a virgin, Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, was buried, and on the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From heaven he shall come to earth again to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, one holy Christian church, the communion of all true saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the gift of everlasting life.
The sole basis for our belief is the Bible, God’s infallible, written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it was written without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts. (Note: We do not adhere to only one particular translation of the Scriptures.) The Bible is the supreme and final authority in all maters on which it speaks. It is the final Word from God to man and there is no new revelation being given to men which supersedes, contradicts, adds to, or detracts from the recognized canon. (Psalm 19:7; Isaiah 40:8; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We affirm the following basic Bible teachings:
- There is one true God, eternally existing in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each of whom possesses all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality.
- Jesus Christ is God, the Living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect deity and true humanity united in one Person forever.
- He lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone.
- He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died.
- He ascended bodily into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own.
- Man was originally created in the image of God. He sinned by disobeying God; thus he was alienated from his Creator. That historic fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation.
- Man’s nature is corrupted, and he is thus totally unable to please God. Every man is in need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
- The salvation of man is wholly a work of God’s free grace and is not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness or religious ceremony. God imputes His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight.
- It is the privilege of all who are born again of the Spirit to be assured of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit, who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word.
- The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth and seals them until the day of redemption. His fullness, power and control are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith.
- There is only one “baptism” in the Holy Spirit, accomplished at salvation, whereby the believer is identified with Christ and is permanently and completely indwelt by His Spirit. There is no second act of grace or special anointing for releasing gifts or revelation.
- Every believer is called to live so in the power of the indwelling Spirit that he will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God.
- Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His body which is composed of all men, living and dead, who have been joined to Him through saving faith.
- God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, for participation in ordinances, for edification through the Scriptures, for mutual encouragement and for being equipped for service.
- It is the will of our Lord that believers publicly affirm their commitment to Him and their identity with His people through obedience to His command to be baptized by immersion in water. This sacrament has no bearing on salvation, but is a logical consequence of it as an act of obedience.
- At physical death the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting glory and blessing.
- At physical death the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting judgment and condemnation.
- Jesus Christ will come again to earth – personally, visibly and bodily – to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
- The Lord Jesus Christ commanded all believers to proclaim the gospel throughout the world and to disciple men of every nation. Fulfilling of this Great Commission requires that all worldly and personal ambitions be subordinated to a total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.”
Comments are welcome.