Derived primarily from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Abstract of Principles (1858), and some sections of the Second London Baptist Confession (1689) and the Baptist Faith and Message (2000).
SECTION 1. PREAMBLE
We recognize that any statement of faith is a fallible attempt to summarize and systematize an infallible divine revelation. We recognize that the Bible is the Christian’s only authoritative document. However, the Bible’s meaning is often mishandled, distorted, and misinterpreted by men, so that we believe it necessary, not to add to what the Bible teaches, but instead to delineate what we believe the Bible means by what it teaches in several important areas. Thus, this statement of faith is significant because it provides an explanation of our understanding of what Scripture teaches, and thereby provides the doctrinal framework for our curriculum, teaching, and preaching. Furthermore, it is acknowledged that there are contained within this statement doctrines which are essential (e.g. the Deity of Christ, Bodily Resurrection, etc.) and doctrines which are distinctives (e.g. the Sabbath, etc.). Essentials are those doctrines which are universally held by the redeemed. Distinctives are those doctrines in which there has been latitude within historical Christianity.
We do hereby adopt as the basic and formal expression of our faith the Desert Ridge Baptist Church Statement of Faith, derived primarily, but not totally from the Abstract of Principles of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1858), and also from the Second London Baptist Confession (1689) and the Baptist Faith and Message (2000). This document is a summary of things most surely believed among us. We accept the same, not as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby we are to be bound, but as an aid to us in controversy, a confirmation in faith, and a means of edification in righteousness.
Acknowledgment of the DRBC Statement of Faith as our church’s summary of what we believe and teach is required for church membership. While it is acknowledged that members may not fully agree at every point, it is understood that no member will seek to teach against what each statement affirms. Our church submits to the rule of Christ through His appointed Elders. We acknowledge that in the New Testament the terms Pastor, Elder, and Bishop are synonymous. We henceforth choose to use the term Elder in this document. The Elder Board will employ the DRBC Statement of Faith as a guide to help in the determination of orthodoxy (right thinking) and orthopraxy (right living) for members.
SECTION 2. DRBC STATEMENT OF FAITH
1. The Bible. This church affirms that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, commonly known as the Holy Bible, are the Word of God, given by the inspiration of God and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and life.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; Luke 21:33; 24:44-47; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 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.
2. God. This church affirms that there is one and only one God, the Creator, Preserver and Ruler of all things; being in and of Himself perfect in all His attributes; and to Him alone do all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
Psalm 115:3; John 4:24; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15-16;*See also references for The Trinity
3. The Trinity. This church affirms that God has revealed Himself as existing eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; each possessing for themselves distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
A. God the Father—Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 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 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; Hebrews 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17.
B. God the Son–Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 11:27; 16:16; 17:5; 28:19; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; 22:70; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 14:7-11; 17:1-5, 21-22; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 15:28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 3:11; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 7:14-28; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 1 John 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 19:16.
C. God the Holy Spirit–Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Psalms 51:11; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Luke 1:35; John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 5:3; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 12:3-11; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 5:6-8; Revelation 22:17.
4. Providence. This church affirms that God has from eternity decreed and permitted all things that come to pass, and that He perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events so as not to destroy the moral agency or responsibility of intelligent creatures, yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creatures and not from God, Who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.
Psalms 135:6; Proverbs 16:33; Isaiah 46:10-11; 55:10; Lamentations 3:37-38; Matthew 10:29-31; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 1:3.
5. Election. This church affirms that God has, through His eternal choice, elected some persons to everlasting life; not because of foreseen merit or anything owing to their own actions, but rather of His mere mercy in Christ to His eternal glory; and thus those elect are called, justified and glorified according to God’s will.
Genesis 12:1-3; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 24:22,31; 25:34; John 1:12-14; 6:37,44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:2,6, 9, 11-12, 24; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28-39; 9; 11:5-7,26-32; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; Ephesians 1:4-23; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:9; 2:10, 19; Hebrews 12:2; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:9-10; 1 John 2:19.
6. The Fall. This church affirms that God originally created humanity in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, humanity willfully transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteous innocence; and through this fall all of humanity (i.e., each individual at conception, except the Lord Jesus) inherits a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His moral law, and are under the just condemnation of God, and that as soon as any person becomes capable of moral action, they do become willful transgressors.
Genesis 1:26-31; 2: 7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalm 51:3-5; Isaiah 6:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:12, 19; 7:14-25; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22.
7. The Mediator. This church affirms that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and humanity; having taken upon Himself the very nature of a man, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled all the demands of the Law, suffered and died upon the cross, for the salvation of sinners; He was buried, and raised from the dead by the power of God on the third day; He ascended to Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and lives to make intercession for His people; He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the universe.
Isaiah 42:1; 53:10; Matthew 1:22-23; 28:18; Luke 1:33; John 1:14, 18; 3:34; 5:22, 27; 10:15-16; Acts 2:36; 17:31; Romans 5:10; 8:3, 34; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:19, 21; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14-18; 7:25-26; 9:24; 1 Peter 1:19-20; 3:18.
8. Regeneration. This church affirms that regeneration is a change of heart, accomplished solely by the Holy Spirit, who works to change a person’s natural affections and translates them from a state of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life; the Holy Spirit accomplishes regeneration in the elect by the power of the Word of God, proclaimed to sinners, and through regeneration renews the fullness of a person’s humanity, so that they love and practice holiness; it is a work of God’s unmerited and special grace alone, whereby the elect sinner is placed into union with Christ.
Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 1:13; 3:3-8; Acts 10:44; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 2:5, 8-10; Colossians 2:13; James 1:17-18; 1 Peter 1:3, 23.
9. Repentance. This church affirms that repentance is an outward response to the inward-acting grace of regeneration; whereby a person is made aware, by the power of the Holy Spirit, of the reality and seriousness of their sin, and is in that way humbled and brought to a point of confession and genuine rejection of their sin by a willful desire to seek to please God in all things. It is a turn “to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
Psalms 119:128; Isaiah 55:7; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:4, 14-15; Luke 3:8; 5:32; 15:7; 24:47 Acts 11:18; Romans 2:4; 13:12-14; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Peter 3:9.
10. Faith. This church affirms that faith is the belief, founded on God’s authority, of all that is revealed in the Bible concerning Jesus Christ; acceptance and assurance that Jesus Christ alone is the only source of justification and eternal life; it is brought about by the Holy Spirit in connection with regeneration and leads first to repentance and then to the desire for holy living.
The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.
Luke 17:5; John 1:12; 3:16-18; Acts 15:11; 16:31;20:32; Romans 1:17; 3:21-31; 4:16-22;10:14-17; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:8-10; 6:16; Philippians 1:29; Hebrews 6:11-12; 11; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:1.
11. Justification. This church affirms that through Jesus Christ and His sacrificial, substitutionary death on the cross the elect in Christ partake in the gracious acquittal of all their sins, for all time, offered by God, through Christ; in this way the believer is made fully righteous before God by the application of the righteousness of Jesus Christ on their account. As thus defined, this church affirms the doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from meritorious works of the law.
Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:16-17; 3:21-4:25; 5:6-9, 17-19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:16, 21; 3:6-8, 10-11, 24; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 3:8-9; 1 Peter 3:18.
12. Sanctification. This church affirms that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition.
1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2
This church affirms that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ. In this respect, we believe that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh—but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Though eradication of sin is not possible during earthly existence, the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin.
John 17:17, 19; Romans 6; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 7:1; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; 5:23; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 1:5-10; 3:5-9.
13. Perseverance. This church affirms that all those whom God regenerates will persevere, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit; that the elect will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, into which God placed them; though they may fall by means of neglect or temptation into sin and thus grieve the Holy Spirit, impair their relationship with God, bring reproach on themselves and the Church, and receive temporal judgments; yet they will be drawn back to God through repentance, and preserved by the power of God through faith unto everlasting salvation.
John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39;1 Corinthians 1:4-8;11:32; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25; 12:7-11; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24.
This church affirms that references to those who do “fall away,” whose “love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:9-13; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:23-39) are references to men and women who claim that they are in Christ but, in reality, are not. Christ taught that the kingdom of God—the genuine elect of God—will be infiltrated with tares, those who claim—and may even think—that they are in Christ but, in reality, are not. These tares may be members of the local church, having falsely professed faith, but have never been true citizens of the kingdom of God. Therefore, we teach and encourage all who claim the name of Christ to test themselves by the standard of God’s Word regarding personal attitude, behavior, and service to the Lord.
Matthew 7:21-23; 13:1-30, 37-43; John 14:15, 21, 23; 1 Corinthians 10:12; 2 Corinthians 13:5; James 2:14-26; 2 Peter 1:2-10; 1 John 2:19; 3:9.
14. The Church. This church affirms that 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. Scripture describes the duties and responsibilities of Elders and Deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, Elders and Deacons must be men.
This church affirms that the New Testament speaks also of the eternal Body and Bride of Christ, composed of Jews and Gentiles, which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, which will assemble in future glory.
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; 12:22-23; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.
This church affirms that in light of the reality of spiritual union in Christ with all of the redeemed, and the reality of theological unity in the essentials of the faith among all of the redeemed, that the Lord is pleased with interchurch cooperation for the purpose of missions and ministry, as far as division over secondary issues allows. Doctrinal purity must be the standard for practical unity (John 17:17). Thus, this church seeks to serve the Lord in happy cooperation with churches of like faith and practice.
Amos 3:3; John 17:11, 17, 21-32; Acts 15:1-35;1 Corinthians 16; 2 Corinthians 8:16-24; Galatians 2:1;3:28; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 3:11; 2 Timothy 4:9-12, 19-21; Titus 3:12-13; 2 John 9-11; 3 John 5-8; Jude 3.
15. Baptism. This church affirms that Jesus Christ gave baptism to the church, by immersion, as an ordinance, obligatory upon every believer; this ordinance should be administered in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a sign of the baptized individual’s fellowship with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, of remission of sin for that individual and of their surrender to God as they seek to live in newness of life; baptism by immersion is a prerequisite to church membership.
This church affirms that for the purpose of accepting members by statement of faith, DRBC recognizes Believer’s Baptism by immersion in water in a church of like faith and practice, i.e. a church that explicitly teaches the biblical gospel. Thus the evaluation of the baptism of membership candidates will be upon a case-by-case basis. This is always for the purpose of maintaining biblical doctrine in church membership and church ordinances in the context of DRBC, and not necessarily to question the validity of a previous baptism experience for the membership candidate in each case.
Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 3:22-23; 4:1-2; Acts 2:41; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12.
16. The Lord’s Supper. This church affirms that Jesus Christ gave the Lord’s Supper to the church as an ordinance whereby they may remember and celebrate, regularly, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; the ordinance is to be administered with bread and the fruit of the vine and is to be observed until the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to remind Christians of God’s grace, and to be a bond, pledge, and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship.
This church affirms that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial to the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, thus a proclamation of the gospel. It is to be observed regularly.
Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 21; 11:17-34.
17. The Lord’s Day & The Sabbath. This church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and holds congregational meetings, as a matter of preference, not of law, on the first day of the week. In Jesus Christ all believers find their Sabbath rest at all times, according to his fulfillment of the entirety of the Law.
Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-13; 28:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; 16:1-7; Luke 6:1-10; 24:1-7, 21, 33-36; John 20:1, 19-20; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16-17; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.
18. The Priesthood of Believers. This church affirms that every believer, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is called to a priesthood of service and devotion to God, through our great High Priest, Jesus Christ. As priests of God, all believers possess the authority, responsibility, and privilege to proclaim the gospel and to enter God’s presence through prayer.
Romans 12:1; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11; Hebrews 10:19-25; 13:10-16; 1 Peter 2:5-10.
19. Liberty of Conscience. This church affirms that God alone is Lord of the conscience and that he has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are anything contrary to or in excess of his Word; the consciences of believers may be rightly bound by civil authorities in so far as they are under the greater authority of God; additionally believers ought to, out of mutual love, avoid needlessly offending each other’s consciences.
Acts 4:19; Romans 14:1-15:6; 1 Corinthians 8; Galatians 5:13; Colossians 2:16-23; James 4:12.
20. The Intermediate State & the Resurrection. This church affirms that after death all bodies return to dust; the spirits of those who belong to Christ then rest with God (in conscious bliss), and the spirits of the unbelievers are reserved in punitive darkness (in conscious torment) until the judgment; at the last day the bodies of all people, both just and unjust, will be raised.
*See references for The Last Things for inclusion of passages concerning the Resurrection of the dead as many of these go hand in hand.
21. The Last Things. This church affirms the certainty of the future personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth to establish His eternal heavenly Kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal blessedness of the righteous, and the eternal damnation of the wicked.
This church affirms that God has appointed a Day when he will judge the world by Jesus Christ; on that Day, those who trust in Christ will be granted everlasting life and unbelievers will be condemned to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. While each unbeliever will be held accountable for each and every sin committed, each believer, having no condemnation in Christ, will receive rewards based on their service to the Lord during their lifetime.
Ecclesiastes 12:14; Isaiah 2:4; Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 7:21-23; 16:27;19: 27-28; 24:27, 30, 36, 44; 25:31-46; 26:64;Mark 8:38; 9:43-48;Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-31; 17:20-37; 21:25-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:3- 2:12; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:3-13; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 20:1-22:13.