The Bible is the final and full authority for everything we believe and practice at Adaton Baptist Church. However, it can be helpful to summarize what we believe the Bible teaches. Below is a summary of Adaton’s doctrinal beliefs. The church subscribes to The Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Please see that document for a fuller articulation of what we believe.
- The Scriptures
The Scriptures are inspired by God and written by men, and they consist of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. The Scriptures are a perfect instrument of divine instruction; they are the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions must be tried. Matthew 5:17-18; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
There is one and only one living and true God. God is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. God created the universe out of nothing. God has always existed in the three persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, yet his existence is totally without division of nature, essence, or being. God is perfect in love, justice, holiness, righteousness, and truthfulness. These attributes have been displayed for mankind in the way he has worked in the world, as revealed in the Scriptures. Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14. God the Father is the originator of every good thing. The Father begat the Son, and from the Father and Son the Spirit proceeds. He reigns with providential care over the universe and everything within it. Jeremiah 10:10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6. God the Son has been revealed to the world in the person of Christ Jesus. He is fully God and fully man, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified, dead, and buried. On the third day he rose again, and he sits on the right hand of God the Father. He is the perfect mediator between God and man, constantly interceding for those in his church. One day he will return to gather his church and judge the world. John 1:1,2, 14; Luke 1:35; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8,24-28; Hebrews 9:24. God the Holy Spirit is the agent for conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Through him man is called to salvation, and through him man is regenerated. He is the illuminator of Scripture and truth, and he bestows gifts upon the church which enable true worship, praise, teaching, preaching, and evangelism. Through his gifts peace-filled, holy living is possible. By his presence he seals believers until the day of final redemption. John 16:8-11; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 5:18.
All men are created in the image of God, precious in his sight, and are therefore to be treated with dignity and respect. However, man has voluntarily sinned and entered into a state of rebellion against God. Man is totally without the ability to do anything that would justify himself, or make himself righteous, before God. Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22; Ephesians 2:1-3
Salvation is the free gift of God to man and which cannot be earned by man. It is available solely through repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ, who made salvation possible through his shed blood on the cross. Salvation, in the fullest sense, is a process which begins with regeneration, then continues through justification, sanctification, and glorification. Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 2:8-10. Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit whereby man is convicted of his sin and responds in faith to Christ’s offer of salvation. Through regeneration, man is able to confess his sins and submit to Christ as Lord and Savior. Colossians 1:21-22. Justification is the act whereby God declares the believer righteous through his repentance and faith in Christ. From a human point of view, regeneration and justification occur simultaneously. The believer is now in a relationship of peace and favor with God. Galatians 3:23-25. Sanctification is the lifelong process of the believer’s growth in spiritual maturity and in his relationship with God through Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in continued conviction of sin and an increased awareness on the part of the believer in the work, purpose, and person of God. Sanctification is actively opposed by Satan, his angels, and the continued presence of the inherent sinfulness of the believer. Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-14. Glorification is the completion of salvation whereby the believer is restored to his intended place in God’s kingdom in his resurrected, imperishable body. 1 Corinthians 15:35-57.
God’s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which he saves sinners. Election is compatible with the ability of mankind to make free, meaningful choices. Election gloriously displays God’s love, justice, and sovereignty. The true number of the elect are known only by God. Romans 5:9-10; Romans 8:28-39. Election is secure; it cannot be lost. Therefore, any believer who has been granted salvation cannot fall away and return to lostness. John 6:38-40.
The invisible church is composed of all the believers throughout the world. The visible church is made up of the many autonomous, local congregations of regenerate believers. Those in the church are associated to one another by covenant in faith and fellowship of the Gospel. The church is to observe the ordinances, be governed by God’s laws, and exercise spiritual gifts, rights, and privileges granted by God. The church should serve to edify and love one another. The church is to practice discipline to protect the church from sin, honor Christ, and protect its witness. The proper offices of the church are pastors, or elders, and deacons. Matthew 18:18-20; Ephesians 5:25-27; Acts 13:1-4; 1 Timothy 2:9-14, 3:1-15.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Christ commanded that his followers observe two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. New believers are commanded by Christ to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is to be administered under the authority of the church. It is a testimony to one’s faith in Christ, symbolic of Christ’s death and resurrection. Matthew 28:18-20. The Lord’s Supper is likewise commanded by Christ. The church is to regularly observe the Lord’s Supper as a reminder of God’s grace in sending his Son to earth to die for our sins. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.
God has ordained that civil authorities be established in the world, and that these authorities serve as the means of administering his justice in the world. Therefore, Christians ought to regularly pray for those in positions of civil authorities so that God’s will might be done through them. The authorities are also to be obeyed in all things, except when the authorities demand obedience in things which are contrary to the will of God. Acts 5:17-31; Romans 12:17-21, 13:1-7.
As man is made in the image of God, only God has power over the conscience and soul of man. Therefore, the church and the civil authorities should be separate. The church should not use the power of the state to accomplish its goals, while the state should refrain from interfering with the affairs of any ecclesiastical group. Instead, the church should pray for peace
in the state, so as to provide an opportunity for the spread of the Gospel, and the state should keep from trying to influence the doctrine or practice of any ecclesiastical group. The church should use only spiritual means to its ends, and never seek to use the power of the state, or any other power, in any attempt to bring the lost to Christ. The state should work to ensure the well-being of all of its citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs. Genesis 1:27; Matthew 22:15-22; Luke 9:51-56.
In his own time and in his own way, God will bring about the end of the earth. Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, the righteous and the wicked. A bodily resurrection of the dead will occur, with the righteous entering heaven, and the wicked going into eternal judgment. 2 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21:11-15.