The Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. All scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
Exodus 24:4; Psalms 119:11; Isaiah 34:16; Matthew 5:17-18; John 5:39; Acts 2:16; Romans 15:4; Hebrews 1:1-2; 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. 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, and is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3; 64:8; Matthew 6:9ff; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 17:1-8; Romans 8:14-15; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.
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 through the Holy Spirit as the living and ever present Lord.
Genesis 18:1; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18, 29; 2-:1-20, 28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 16:15-16, 28; Romans 1:3-4; 8:1-3, 34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 15:1-8, 24-28; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 9:12-15,24-28; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
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 Savior, 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 spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Psalms 51:11; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; John 4:24; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17, 39; 10:44; 13:2; Romans 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13 Revelation 1:10; 22:17.
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. Men and women, therefore, now possess a nature inclined towards sin. As soon as human beings are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God, freely given to man through faith in Jesus Christ, can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill His creative purposes. Every person of every race was created in God’s image, and therefore possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:6, 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18, 29; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
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. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. This is initiated and carried out by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the believer freely responds in repentance toward God and faith in Jesus. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who freely repent and believe in Christ. Sanctification is the process, beginning at regeneration, whereby a believer progresses towards moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:2-21, 36; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 30; 6:19-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
V. 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 Savior, 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 the believer’s faith in the final physical resurrection of the dead. 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.
Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28; 19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.
Lifeway Fellowship is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and we agree with the
Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the SBC in June of 2000. You can read the BF&M at www.sbc.net.
We strongly support the inerrancy of the Scriptures and the Cooperative Program method of missions support.