Valley Baptist Church
Friday, August 23, 2019
Making disciples that change their world.

What We Believe

     Baptists are of course, part of the larger family of Christian churches and as such hold to the basic beliefs which make Christianity unique in the world of religions.  For example:                                                         
     There is only one God who alone created all there is, sustains that creation and works to bring all creation (especially mankind) back into proper relationship with Him. God has shown Himself as Father,Son and Holy Spirit.
     Jesus is God's one and only Son, is both fully human and fully God, lived a perfect life as an example to us, died a sacrificial death as a penalty for man's sin, rose from the dead, and reigns as Lord of all creation.
     Jesus will return to earth again to bring an end to all that is evil and judge mankind.  The person of the Holy Spirit moves in the world to convince mankind of it's lost condition and lives within each believer to guide him and mold his character to be more like Christ.
     There are other beliefs, that while not held exclusively by Baptists,are held dearly by them and often set them apart from other faith groups.  Some of those beliefs can be illustrated this way:

Biblical Authority - All religions have some source of ultimate truth and authority.  For Baptists, that source resides solely in the Bible.  Only the Bible can claim to be "God inspired" (II Timothy 3:16) and as such, it is the standard for both our faith and our practice. 

Autonomy of the Local Church - While many denominations have a heirarchy of authority that leads up to a pope, prophet or president, for Baptists Jesus exercises His Lordship directly over each congregation. (Colossians 1:18).  Therefore, each Baptist church runs its own life under the direct leadership of Christ.

Priesthood of the Believer - Each believer in Christ has the priviledge of direct access to God without the intervention of any other person except God's Son, Jesus (I Peter 2:9).  This priviledge is also a responsibility to serve as a priest to others in ministry and witness.

Testimony - Baptists fall into the general category called "evangelicals" in that they hold that a right relationship with God begins with a moment of repentance and faith in Christ (ie, being born again, John 3:3) and that each believer is to tell others the good news (ie, evangelize, Mark 16:15).

Immersion Baptism for Believers - Baptism (the Biblical word means "to plunge under") is a picture of the death and resurrection experience of both Jesus and the believer (Romans 6:4).  As such, pouring or sprinkling water doesn't quite portray the whole picture.  Baptists don't baptized infants because the little ones have yet to decide for themselves their relationship with Christ.  We do, however, dedicate our children to God.

Security of the Believer - If salvation is an act of God's grace activated by our faith (Ephesians 2:8), then our relationship with God is secure for all eternity.  It is God's grace, not our self-effort that sustains us in the hard times.  But it is possible for a believer to "backslide" in his relationship with God (Jeremiah 49:4).

Tithe -
This Biblical principle of giving to the Lord 10% of our income (Malachi 3:10) is the primary way Baptist churches fund their on-going ministries.  If God calls His people to a ministry endeavor, he will provide for that need through them.  Therefore, it is most unusual to see a BINGO sign in front of a Baptist church!