Throughout the history of the New Testament Church, believers have often expressed their fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith in short, definitive statements.
At Cedar Street, we too believe it is both right and necessary to clearly express our convictions of these cornerstone truths as revealed in Scripture. Therefore, below is an overview of our essential beliefs as a congregation:
I) The Baptist Faith & Message (2000)
First, as a fully cooperating Southern Baptist church, we affirm all 28 articles of The Baptist Faith & Message (2000) and have adopted them in our bylaws as our official statement of faith. Here is a link to the full description of this statement:
(BAPTIST FAITH & MESSAGE)
II) The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978)
Second, as a church that rests fully on the truth and authority of the Bible as God’s Holy Word, we also affirm all articles of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978) as adopted by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI). Here is a pdf that includes a complete description of the entire statement: (ICBI Document).
The following is a short statement from the ICBI of five main points that highlight what is expressed throughout the document:
A Short Statement from the ICBI
1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.
2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.
3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.
5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.
III) A Final Summary
Based on the truths reflected in the Baptist Faith & Message (2000), below is a final summary of key concepts that we affirm, along with corresponding Scripture references to support these convictions:
1. The Bible
-We believe the Bible is God’s written revelation of Himself to mankind divinely delivered through human authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are therefore supremely authoritative, completely trustworthy, and fully sufficient as the eternal Word of the Living God.
(Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalm 19:7-11; 119:11,89,105; Isaiah 40:8;
2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
-We believe God is the one, true, living, and eternal Creator of the universe who reveals Himself to us as the triune Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without any division of nature, essence, or being.
(Genesis 1:1-2; Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; 1 Corinthians 8:6;
2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2)
3. Jesus Christ
-We believe Jesus Christ is both fully human and fully divine as the Son of God who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death on the Cross as a substitute for mankind, was bodily resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will one day return in glory to judge all men and rule an eternal kingdom.
(John 1:1-18, 10:30; Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Colossians 1:15-20; 2:9)
-We believe mankind is the crown work of God’s creation as male and female human beings made in His image who are worthy of love, dignity, and respect regardless of age, race, gender, or class. However, all human beings are also sinful by nature and by choice for willfully disobeying God’s will and distorting His image. Therefore, all human beings have inherited both physical and spiritual death and are in need of redemption.
(Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-20,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25;
1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11)
-We believe eternal salvation is a gift of God’s grace that is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through repentance and faith. This saving faith is based solely on the finished work of Christ who through His life, death, and resurrection atoned for the penalty of sin and earned a perfect status of righteousness and justification before God for all who are reborn through believing in Him and surrendering to His Lordship. All truly redeemed believers are secured in Christ forever and will persevere to the end.
(Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:21; John 1:11-14, 3:3-21; Acts 2:21, 4:12; Romans 3:23-25; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:8-9)
6. The Church
-We believe the Church is the spiritual body of Jesus Christ which includes all redeemed believers of all the ages from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation who are united in faith through the Holy Spirit. As a locally autonomous congregation of believers, we are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, operate under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes, observe the two ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and seek to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth before Christ’s return.
(Matthew 16:15-19, 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 2:19-22; Colossians 1:18)
7. The World to Come
-We believe God will bring the current world to its appropriate end in His own time and way. At that time, known only by the Father, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth and will judge both the saved and the unsaved. Those who placed their faith in Christ will receive a glorified body and dwell forever with the Lord in the New Heavens and the New Earth. Those who have not placed their faith in Christ will spend eternity separated from the Lord in Hell, the place of everlasting punishment.
(Isaiah 65:17; Matthew 16:27; 24:3-51; Luke 12:40; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11, 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Hebrews 9:27-28; 2 Peter 3:7-13; Revelation 20:1-22:13)