Cornerstone Baptist Church

Statement of Faith

 

Preamble

The members of Cornerstone Baptist Church confess the following teachings as a summary of what the church preaches and believes. Members are expected to be in substantial agreement with these teachings, and officers are expected to believe and uphold these teachings.

Scripture references offered in each section are for study guidance only. They are not part of the actual statement, and they are not meant to represent the complete Scriptural evidence for the statements we confess.

Foundational Theology

God

There is only one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, visible and invisible. He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. To Him all people owe the highest love, praise, reverence and obedience.  Deut. 6.4; 1 Tim 1.17; Psalm 90.2; Isa 6.3

The Trinity

The one God eternally exists as three persons, revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of the one divine nature. In creation and salvation, each person of the Trinity undertakes unique roles. Matt 3.16-17; 2 Cor 13.14; John 1.1; John 15.26; Gal 4.6

Creation

God is the Creator of all things, including mankind. He made us in his own image, and we are put into his creation to reflect his glory and to rule over his created kingdom. The literal first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were sinless and righteous in the Garden of Eden before they rebelled and disobeyed. Male and female were part of God's original purpose, as were the institutions of work, of dominion over the creation, and of marriage and procreation.  Genesis 1-2

Providence

God is immortal and eternal. He sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace. His perfect and exhaustive foreknowledge of all things flows from his ruling authority and decree which sovereignly orders all things. But God’s providence also ensures that his will is done in such a way that sinful acts proceed from those that commit them, and not from God, who is holy and righteous. Eph 1.11; Dan 4.34-35; Matt 10.29-31; Psa 33.11; Acts 2.23; Rom 9.6-24

Revelation And The Scriptures

God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. God has also inspired the words of the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. These writings alone constitute the Word of God, which is authoritative and without error in the original writings, and is complete, sufficient, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks.  Psa 19; John 1.14-18; Heb 1.1-2; 2 Tim 3.15-16; 2 Pet 1.19-21; Matt 5.18; Matt 22.29; John 10.35

The Fall of Man

Although God created man in his own image and free from sin, Adam transgressed the command of God, succumbing to temptation by Satan, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness. By God's righteous judgment, Adam's descendants inherit a nature corrupt and opposed to God and his law, and are therefore under condemnation. Gen 3; Rom 5.12-21; 1 Cor 2.14; Psa 51.5; Eph 2.3

Election

God, from all eternity, graciously chose some persons for himself out of sinful humanity. This was not because of foreseen merit in them, but was only because of his mercy in Christ. God set his love upon his elect and foreknew them. Presently, he effectually calls them by means of the gospel, justifies them by the righteousness of Christ, and will glorify them in his eternal kingdom.  Eph 1.4,11; 2 Thess 2.13-14; Rom 8.29-30; Rom 11.5

Jesus Christ the Savior

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. In his divine nature, he was in the beginning with God the Father and the Holy Spirit; in fact, all creation is said to have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  In the end, at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. John 1.1-18; Col 1.15-20, Phil 2.9-11; 1 Tim 2.5

Even though he had all riches and all glory in heaven, by the eternal plan of the Trinity, God the Son willingly took the poverty of humanity in order to bestow God’s riches on his people. He was conceived miraculously as a human baby by the Holy Spirit, in the virgin Mary, and forever after that he is the God-Man, having one person in two natures, fully God and fully man. Phil 2.5-8; Matt 1.18-25; Luke 1.26-38; John 1.4; Heb 2.14-16

Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, he perfectly fulfilled God's law in his life. He preached the Gospel; healed the sick; raised the dead; rebuked the wind and waves; and taught the ways of the kingdom of God. Having fulfilled all righteousness, he was condemned as a criminal, even though he committed no crime. He suffered and died on the cross, in fulfillment of Scripture, for the salvation of God’s elect. Heb 2.14-18; Isa 53; Luke 24.25-27; 1 Cor 15.3

By his sacrifice, Christ bore in our place the punishment due us for our sins, thereby making a full satisfaction of God’s justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, and by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. John 1.29; 2 Cor 5.21; Heb 7.26-28

Christ was buried, and rose again the third day, appeared to his disciples for 40 days, and then ascended to his Father, at whose right hand he ever 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. Matthew 28; Luke 24; Acts 1.1-11; Heb 7.25, 28

Regeneration

Regeneration, being born again, is a change of heart, worked by the Holy Spirit, who enlightens the minds of sinners spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, makes them alive, and renews their whole nature, so that they repent, believe in Christ, and begin to love and practice holiness. This rebirth is a work of God's free and special grace alone.  John 3.5-8; 1 Pet 1.3; Titus 3.4-7; Eph 2.4-7

Saving Faith

Saving faith, which includes repentance, is turning away from sin and self-righteousness and turning towards Christ: trusting the word of the gospel of Christ; and accepting, trusting, and resting on him alone for forgiveness of sins and eternal life. It is worked in the heart by the Holy Spirit, is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness. Mark 1.15; 1 Thess 1.9-10; Acts 11.18; Acts 13.48; Acts 14.15; Acts 16.14,30-31; Rom 4.5

Justification

Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made. It is not on account of anything worked in them or done by them, but is on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, in his death for sins and his resurrection from the dead.  Rom 3.21-31; Gal 2.15-16

Sanctification

Those who have been born again and justified by God through faith in Jesus Christ are also sanctified, by God's word and Spirit dwelling in them. Though they will never be completely free from indwelling sin in this life, all believers are called to pursue holiness, through obedience to the commands of Christ, in response to the saving grace of God. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all believers seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in heartfelt obedience to all Christ's commands. 2 Cor 3.16-18; 2 Cor 5.17; Gal 2.20; Heb 12.14; 2 Pet 1.3-11

Perseverance of the Saints

Those whom God has justified in Christ and sanctified by his Spirit will never totally or finally fall away from the state of grace, but will persevere to the end. They may, through neglect and temptation, fall into sin, by which they will grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and bring temporal judgments on themselves. But all God's people will continually be renewed again to repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith to salvation.  Heb 6.9; John 10.27-30; John 6.37; Rom 8.29-30, 33-39

The Second Coming of Christ and the Resurrection

The Lord Jesus Christ will personally, physically, and gloriously return with his holy angels. He will then exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. The just and the unjust will both be raised—the unjust to judgment and eternal punishment in hell, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, with all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished.  Mark 13.24-27; Mark 14.62; Acts 1.11; Matt 25.31-46; Rev 20.11-21.8

Church Life and Christian Obedience

The Church

The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all his true disciples. In Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to his commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into churches. To each of these churches he has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which he has appointed. The regular officers of a Church are bishops or elders, and deacons.  Eph 1.22-23; Eph 4.11-16; Acts 6.1-6; Acts 14.23; Phil 1.1; 1 Tim 3.1-13; Titus 1.5-9

Baptism

Baptism is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, obligatory upon every believer, in which they are immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of their fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of the remission of their sins, and of their giving themselves up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is a prerequisite to church membership.  Matt 28.19; Acts 2.38-41; Acts 8.36-39; Acts 10.44-48; Romans 6.1-11

The Lord's Supper

The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by his churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice. Rather, it serves to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship.  Luke 22.14-20; Matt 26.26-29; 1 Cor 11.23-26

Public Worship

Christians are commanded not to forsake the assembling of themselves together. The Christian church, from its beginning, has assembled on the first day of the week, the Lord's Day, the day of Jesus' resurrection, for public worship, singing, exhortation and teaching, the breaking of bread, and prayer.   Heb 10.24-25; 1 Cor 16.2; Acts 20.7; Acts 2.42

Governing Authorities

Christians are to submit to the governing authorities, knowing that they are ordained by God. They may also serve in government and in the military. Yet, they are only to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” If there is a conflict between the government and God’s law, Christians are to obey God rather than men. Rom 13.1-7; 1 Pet 2.13-17; Matt 22.21; Luke 3.14.

The Institution of Marriage

Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women. In addition, male-female marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church.

God allows sexual union only in the context of marriage. According to God's Word, marriage is the union of one man and one woman, until death parts them. Neither Cornerstone Baptist Church as an institution, nor its officers, will ever participate in or recognize any other so-called marriage. The Lord Jesus allows divorce only in the occasion of adultery or when a Christian is abandoned by an unbelieving spouse.   Matt 19.4-6; Gen 2.18-25; Eph 5.3-5, 22-33; Rom 1.26-27; 1 Cor 6.9-11

Male and Female Roles

In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles, which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church. The husband exercises headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submits to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments. Eph 5.22-33; Col 3.18-19; 1 Cor 14.33-40; 1 Tim 2.8-15

Obedience to God

Following through with repentance and faith on a daily basis, believing Christians are to obey God's Word and to pursue the fruits of the Holy Spirit, especially to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves.  Deut 6.4-9; Gal 5.16-26; Rom 12.1-2

For Further Reading

The following documents are confessions of faith which the elders of Cornerstone Baptist Church perceive to be faithful expositions of the traditions we seek to uphold, and we provide them here for further reading. None of the following documents is confessionally binding on Cornerstone Baptist Church, but they offer expositions of sound doctrine and are profitable for reading and study.

·       Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement

·       Together For The Gospel statement of Affirmations and Denials

·       Statement(s) of Faith of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis

·       New City Catechism of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

·       Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

·       Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

·       Abstract of Principles of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This document was the statement of faith of Cornerstone Baptist Church from its founding until 2017.