Beliefs

Baptist Beliefs

 

I. 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.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10;   119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18;   22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11;   Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2   Peter 1:19-21.

II. 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.

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; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2;   Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8;   Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John   4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6;   Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6;   12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.

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.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew   1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1;   3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27;   12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24;   7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians   1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5;   Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1   Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3;   4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 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; 5:9-14; 12:10-11;   13:8; 19:16.

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; 139:7ff.; Isaiah   61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12;   Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; 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; 15:28;   16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16;   12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19;   1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John   4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

III. Man

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; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5;   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; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31;   15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

IV. 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.

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; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26;   27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29;   15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans   1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13;   13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20;   Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians   2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12;   Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1   Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.

V. 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 humility.

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 salvation.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7;   Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79;   2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29;   15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15;   11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11;   Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews   11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19;   3:2.

VI. 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; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3;   14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5;   7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians   1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter   5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.

VII. 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.

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.

VIII. The Lord’s Day

The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution   for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead   and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and   private. Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the   Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke   24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians   16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.

IX. The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe   and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King.   Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by   trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to   labor that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full   consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of   this age.

Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23;   12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2;   12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17;   8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter   2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.

X. 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; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46;   26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John   14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2   Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians   4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8;   Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude   14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.

XI. Evangelism and Missions

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church   of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new   birth of man’s spirit by God’s Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others.   Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of   the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings   of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to   all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the   lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by   other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15;   13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John   14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3;   Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews   2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.

XII. Education

Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ   abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is,   therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human   faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education   in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general   benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the   churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete   spiritual program for Christ’s people.

In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic   freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of   human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a   Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus   Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct   purpose for which the school exists.

Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28;   Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes   7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31;   Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2   Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.

XIII. Stewardship

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have   and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole   world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their   possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time,   talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted   to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the   Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly,   systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the   Redeemer’s cause on earth.

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12;   Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts   2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2;   6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter   1:18-19.

XIV. Cooperation

Christ’s people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and   conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom   of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the   churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine,   and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of   New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the   missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ’s   Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and   voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people.   Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the   end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no   violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as   revealed in the New Testament.

Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15;   Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke   10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17;   3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians   1:15-18.

XV. The Christian and the Social   Order

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ   supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the   improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be   truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of   the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of   Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and   vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and   pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused,   the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn   and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.   Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a   whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly   love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all   men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of   love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5;   Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34;   2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14;   1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians   6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27;   2:8.

XVI. Peace and War

It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of   righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should   do all in their power to put an end to war.

The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme   need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men   and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people   throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans   12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.

XVII. Religious Liberty

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the   doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not   contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every   church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In   providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be   favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God,   it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not   contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil   power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means   alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties   for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for   the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the   Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God   on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the   sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts   4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy   2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.

XVIII. 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, or   adoption.

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; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua   24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8;   5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3;   29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32;   18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians   5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus   2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.