To seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10)
This Statement of Faith is grounded in Holy Scripture and is written as a benefit to those who are considering fellowship with Jasper County Baptist Church. We have attempted to make it clear and concise to all who read it, that they may have an understanding of the powerful motivation to gratitude, service, and love that is behind this body of believers.
The Scripture of the Old and New Testaments was given by inspiration of God, contains the complete and eternal message of God to man, and is the only infallible and inerrant source of faith, guide of wisdom, and revelation of love for believers in Christ.
It is also the means through which unbelievers are convicted, through the power of the Holy Spirit, of their need of Jesus Christ as Savior.
There is one living and true God, revealed in nature as the Creator, Preserver, and Righteous Governor of the universe. In scripture we see that the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit make up the Godhead, yet as one God infinitely wise and good, who alone is worthy of our supreme love and worship. (Romans 1:18-20) (1John 5:7) (Psalms 19:1-14)
Manís knowledge of Godís nature is limited to what God has chosen to reveal to man. He has revealed that He delights in loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, which are infinite in depth, ultimate in perfection, unrestrained in expression, and utterly complete in application, and that He strives to re-create these things in the nature and character of those who are quickened, or made alive, by the Spirit of God through His salvation, which He has authored, and provides freely through Jesus Christ. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Jesus Christ the Son
Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh; in His divine nature truly God and in His human nature truly man. He is the Mediator between God and man, once crucified for the sins of the world; He is now risen and glorified and is our ever-present Savior and Lord. He is the virgin born, sinless, eternally begotten Son of God. (Hebrews 7:25)
It is Christ who makes Godís grace possible. His payment for our sins opens the door for the Father to show His love to all mankind by offering them eternal life through Christ. The Cross of Christ is the central point of all history. It is all the glory of God seen in a moment of time. Salvation by grace is the glory of God in that the concept of grace had itís origin in God alone. No man or devil, in all their intelligence and creativity, had ever discovered the concept of grace, so were unable to copy it due to their complete lack of awareness thereof. Even today, the one and only religion that offers salvation by faith through grace, and grace alone, is true Bible Christianity. (Hebrews 12:2) (Romans 16:25) (1 Corinthians 2:7-8) (Ephesians 3:9) (Galatians 6:14)
The Holy Spirit
The Scriptures assign to the Holy Spirit all the attributes of God. He is personal and indwells every believer. He is the Teacher, Reprover, Guide, Comforter, Sanctifier, and the Seal of our Redemption. (John 14:26) (Ephesians 1:13) (Ephesians 4:30) (John 16:7-8) (1 Corinthians 6:11)
The Word of God is Godís testimony of Himself, without which, faith would be impossible. God in His infinite love and wisdom, while requiring faith from mankind, tells us specifically in His Word what He requires us to believe. If we would truly know anything about God, and truly know God, we must choose to believe Godís testimony of Himself. (Romans 10:17) (Proverbs 22:19-21)
Believing what God tells us about ourselves is as much faith as believing what He tells us about Himself. Sin is the transgression of Godís righteous Law, and has resulted in the universal impossibility of mankind to achieve a state of holiness, righteousness, innocence, or purity before his Holy Creator. (Isaiah 64:6-7) (Romans 3:10) (Romans 3:23)
Holiness is normal to God while sin is normal to man. However, to God sin is not just abnormal, but wholly abominable. Holiness existed from eternity while sin is of short duration, and will be destroyed forever when death and hell are cast into the lake of fire. Sin is unimaginatively abhorrent to our Holy God. (Revelation 20:14) (Revelation 21:8)
Sin is the cause of spiritual death which is absolute and complete separation from God. Unless a man is forgiven and born again (made alive or quickened) by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, this death (separation) will become absolute and will continue beyond the grave as everlasting torment, with no hope of relief. (Romans 6:23) (John 3:16)
Salvation is the deliverance of the believer from everlasting torment through the death of Christ; having received the judgment of our sin on the cross of Calvary, which shedding of blood effects the atonement of the sins of the world. It is offered freely to all who will repent of dead works (attempting to establish our own worthiness by our own good deeds) and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Salvation by grace is the work of God and is not aided by good works, good intentions, or any other means man can invent. Grace and works are incompatible and all attempts at good works by men in order to win eternal life are incompatible with the will of God in salvation. (Hebrews 6:1) (Matthew 7:21-23) (Romans 11:6) (John 6:28-29) (John 6:37-40)
Free Will of Man
God has given man a free will to choose. He chooses his path in life and may choose or reject the saving grace of God. The believer in Christ, after having chosen the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, must still choose on a regular basis to serve, to fellowship, to love, and to grow in grace. (Jude 20-21) He will be convicted by the Holy Spirit and chastened by the Father for the choices he makes. He will also suffer the consequences of his own actions, even to the point of losing his freedom, but will not lose his free will, nor will he lose eternal life. (1Corinthians 3:12-15)
All believers in Christ are saved by grace through faith and kept by the power of God through faith. Perseverance is the sustaining grace of God that assures the true believerís continued act of faith in Christ as His Savior, supplying the confidence and consolation necessary for the believer to turn his attention from fear of eternal judgment for his sin to victory over his sins as he grows in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:5) (John 10:27-29)
The Scriptures teach the resurrection of all men. The saved go to Heaven as soon as they die but do not receive their resurrected bodies until Christ returns for His Church at the rapture. They will then stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive the rewards that Christ has promised those who labor with Him. After ruling and reigning with Him for a thousand years they will enjoy eternity with Christ in the new heaven and new Earth. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Those who die without Christ will immediately begin an eternity of everlasting punishment in the literal fires of Hell. They will be resurrected for the Great White Throne Judgment where they will be judged for their sin and cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death, for all of eternity. (Revelation 20:5-15)
Heaven is a definite place reserved for the saved. It is indescribably beautiful and is the eternal dwelling place of all who have been born again of the Spirit. (John 14:1-3)
Hell is a terrible, inescapable and eternal reality for all who die without being born again of the Spirit through faith in Christ. (Luke 12:5) (Revelation 21:8)
Baptism is the immersion of new believers in water representing outwardly what has taken place inwardly. It pictures how the believer benefits spiritually from identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. We follow the scriptural pattern of baptizing only those who have professed faith in Christ as their Saviour. (Acts 8:35-37)
The Lord's Supper
Also known as Communion, The Lordís Supper is a picture of Christís self sacrifice and atonement for our sins. It pictures that His broken body and shed blood were given by Him in death to give us life. The broken bread represents His broken body and the fruit of the vine represents His shed blood. When we partake of the Lordís Supper physically we picture the necessity of our partaking of Christ spiritually in order to partake of eternal life. (1 Corinthians 11:23-27)
We use unfermented grape juice and unleavened bread to show the purity of our Lord's sacrifice for us.
The Occupation of the Believer
It is the privilege of every believer to walk in close fellowship with God. The intimacy that man can have with God is only limited by manís lack of desire to seek His presence. It is also the responsibility and awesome privilege of man to partner with God in bringing others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, ďYe are the light of the worldĒ. This light is the testimony of the Christian expressed by his words and seen in his works. (Matthew 5:14) (John 15:4-5)