What We Believe
Emmanuel Baptist Church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and therefore we adhere to the convictions as outlined in The Baptist Faith and Message. Typically membership in a Southern Baptist Church is a matter of receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and experiencing beleiver's baptism by immersion. Following is a summary of what our beliefs are as a Southern Baptist Church, for a more detailed look at the Baptist Faith and Message click here.
I. The Word of God
We believe that the Christian Scripture, both the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts. Therefore, we believe that the Bible is the only sufficient, certain, and authoritative rule of saving knowledge, faith, and practice.
Ps 19:7; John 8:31-32; Acts 20:32; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21.
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, the creator and sustainer of all things visible and invisible, infinite in holiness and all His 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. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in divine perfection and without division of nature, essence, or being, yet executing distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption. To God we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.
Gen 1:1, 26; Deut 6:4; Matt 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1, 3; 4:24; 2 Cor 13:14; Col 1:16-17; 1 Tim 1:17.
A. God the Father
We believe that God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that God concerns himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to him through Jesus Christ.
Gen 1:1, 26; Ex 34:6; Isa 43:3; 46:9-10; John 3:16; Eph 1:11.
B. God the Son: Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father. In his incarnation, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, being fully God and fully man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law. He then suffered and died upon the cross as a substitute and sacrifice for sinners. He was buried, yet rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, having a glorified body yet appearing to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where He ever lives to make intercession for his people. He will return again, visibly and bodily, in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. Jesus Christ is the only Mediator; He is the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church; and He is the Sovereign of the Universe.
Isa 53:4-6; Matt 1:18-25; John 1:1; 20:11-21:14; Acts 1:9-11; Rom 1:3-4; 8:34 1 Cor 15:4; 2 Cor 5:21; Col 1:15-20; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 7:25, 9:28; 1 Pet 2:21-23.
C. God the Holy Spirit
We believe that 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 Savior, and effects regeneration. He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 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.
Gen 1:2; Ps 139:7-9; Joel 2:28-32; Ezek 36:27; John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Cor 2:10-14; 6:19; 12:3-13; Gal 4:6; Eph 1:13-14;4:30; 5:18; 2 Tim 3:16; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Rev 22:17.
III. God's Creation of All Things
We believe that God created the universe, and everything in it, out of nothing, by his Word. Having no deficiency in His nature, nor moved by any incompleteness in Himself, God was pleased in creation to display His glory for the everlasting joy of the redeemed, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Gen 1:1; Ex 3:13-14; Ps 24:1-2; 50:9-15; Isa 35:10; 43:7; Matt 25:23; Acts 17:25; Heb 1:2; 11:3; 1 John 1:1-3; Rev 5:9; 7:9-10
IV. The Fall of Man
We believe that God created man in His own image, free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, Adam transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature wholly corrupt and opposed to God and his law. As a result, mankind is under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.
Gen 1:26-27; 2:25; 3:1-7; Rom 5:12-19; Eph 2:1-3.
We believe that salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes election, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
Matthew 1:21; 27:22-28:6; John 3:16; Rom 1:16-17; Eph 2:18-22.
A. Election. 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 humility.
Genesis 12:1-3; Deut 7:6-8; Rom 8:29-39; 9:6-29; 10:12-15; 11:5-7, 26-36; 1 Cor 1:18-31; Eph 1:3-14; 1 Thess 1:4-5; 2 Thess 2:13-14; 1 Peter 2:9-10.
B. Regeneration. 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.
Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:26-27; John 1:11-13; 3:1-8; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:1-10; Titus 3:4-7; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:3.
C. Repentance and Faith. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the substitute for personal sin and the commitment of the whole person to Him as Lord and Savior for the entire life.
Mark 1:15; Acts 3:19; 10:43; 26:20; Rom 3:21-28; 10:4-13; Gal 2:19-21; 3:1-9; Eph 2:8-9.
D. Justification. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. This declaration of righteousness is based on the satisfaction of God's just wrath that Christ has made, not for anything wrought in or done by the recipients of this grace. It is secured on account of Christ's righteous life, his death, and his resurrection, and it brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.
Luke 18:9-14; Rom 3:21-5:21; 8:30-34; Gal 3:10-26.
E. Sanctification. 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 continues throughout the regenerate person's life.
John 17:17; Rom 5:1-5; 6:1-23; 1 Cor 1:30; 1 Thess 4:3-8; 2 Thess 2:13; Heb 10:14; 13:12.
F. Glorification. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final, blessed, and abiding state of the redeemed. All true believers endure to the end. Believers may, for a time, fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the cause of Christ, and produce temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto their full and final salvation.
John 14:1-6; Rom 8:18-30; 1 Cor 15:12-58; 2 Cor 4:16-5:5; 2 Timothy 1:12; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 13; 1 John 3:1-3; Jude 24:-25; Rev 21:1-22:5.
VI. The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We also believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. The church's scriptural officers are elders and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
Matt 16:18-19; Acts 2:41-42; 6:3-6; 14:23, 27; 20:28; 1 Cor 1:2; 3:16; Col 1:18; 1 Tim 2:12; 3:1-15; Eph 1:22-23; 2:19-22; Heb 10:23-25; 1 Pet 5:1-4.
VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that 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 Savior, as well as 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 church membership.
Matt 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; 8:35-38; 16:30-33; Romans 6:3-5; Col 2:12.
We believe that the Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby believers in Jesus Christ, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:23-26.
We believe that God created marriage in the beginning, as a blessing for both man and woman, before any sin or rebellion entered the world, and that he created marriage to be between one man and one woman, who enter into a covenant relationship, compliment one another, serve one another, and sanctify one another for as long as they both shall live. Accordingly, we reject any attempt to redefine marriage as a union between people of the same sex or as between more than one man and one woman.
Gen 1:27-28; 2:15-24; Lev 18:22; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 7:14.
IX. Eternal Punishment
We believe that those who do not repent of their sins and do not accept God's salvation through Jesus Christ will face eternal, conscious, and agonizing punishment in hell. We believe hell is a real place reserved for the punishment of the unredeemed and that it is a place where the wrath of God is experienced forever. We believe that the eternal punishment of the wicked is part of God's justice and that the intensity and the length of the punishment reflect the exalted nature of God that has been rebelled against by human sinners.
Matt 3:10; 10:28; 13:36-43, 47-50; 25:31-46; John 3:36; 5:25-29; Rom 2:5, 8; Eph 5:5-6; 2 Thess 1:9; 2:10-12; Rev 20:11-15.
X. The Last Things
We believe that God, in his own time and in his own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to his promise, we believe in the personal, visible, and bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the fulfillment of his kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the creation of a new heavens and new earth, the final judgment, the eternal happiness of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked. Accordingly, the knowledge of these things should inspire great fear in the heart of the wicked and glorious hope in the heart of the righteous.
Matt 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor 15:20-28; Phil 3:20; Thess 4:13-5:11; 2 Thess 1:7-10; 2 Tim 4:1; Titus 2:11-14; Heb 9:27-28; James 5:7-8; 2 Pet 3:4-10; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14-16; Rev 3:11; 20:1-22:11.