I. THE SCRIPTURES1
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.
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 has always, and will always, exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal relations, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
GOD THE FATHER
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and all wise. He is, from eternity, the Father of the Son, and through his redemptive plan becomes Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
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 atoned for the sin of all who will believe. 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.
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. 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.
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, which cannot be separated from biological sex, is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. Therefore, rejection of one's biological sex constitutes a rejection of God's design for one's good. 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 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. Any sexual activity outside of the bond of marriage as defined above is to be regarded as sinful.
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 all born from Adam inherit an utterly sinful nature. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sanctity of human life is evident in the fact that God created man in His own image; therefore, every person of every race and age (from conception to death) possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is applied to all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, 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.
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 Savior.
Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. It includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life, which are not bestowed, because of any righteous works which the believer has done but solely through faith by which Christ’s perfect righteousness is freely imputed to the believer by God. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.
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.
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed. At the point of glorification, being achieved only after this life, the believer will be perfectly righteous, like his Lord. Thus, he will dwell with his Creator and Lord for all eternity.
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. Those who profess faith but do not persevere, thereby show themselves to be unregenerate.
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. Its scriptural officers are elders and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder 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.
VII. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Christian baptism, being the believer’s profession of faith, is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's cleansing from sin and death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is to be done by immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and it should be done by immersion. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the cup, remember the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
VIII. 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.
1The following is from The Baptist Faith and Message (2000). However, because the former Statement of Faith adopted by the church was The New Hampshire Baptist Confession (1833), only the categories corresponding to that statement are included in the above. In addition, though some statements from The Baptist Faith and Message have been changed or removed, this does not necessarily reflect disagreement with the intent of such statements but was done at times so as to avoid confusion. Scriptural support regarding each statement may be found in Appendix 3 of the Constitution of the Cornerstone Community Church.