The gospel is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that accomplishes salvation, redemption and justification for all who repent and believe. In his life, Jesus fulfilled the law and accomplished all righteousness on behalf of sinners who have broken God's law at every point. In his death, Jesus atones for our sins, satisfies the wrath of God against us, and obtains forgiveness for all who believe. In his resurrection, Jesus' victory over sin and death is the guarantee of our victory over the same in and through him. Jesus' saving work not only redeems sinners, uniting them to God forever, but also assures us of the future restoration of all creation in the New Heavens and New Earth. This is the gospel, the "good news," that God rescues hell-bound sinners and redeems a fallen world by His grace alone.
We are Gospel-Centered
Paul told the Romans that he was unashamed of the gospel because it was the power of God for salvation to everyone who believed (Romans 1:16). He reminded the Corinthians of the gospel he preached to them which was a matter of first importance (1 Corinthians 15:1-3)
Second Baptist Church is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. Therefore, we affirm in its entirety the Southern Baptist confessional statement contained in The Baptist Faith & Message (2000).
We are Reformed
The word “reformed” also is used most commonly to refer to certain theological distinctives that have marked Reformation believers, particularly those who embrace what have come to be referred to as “the doctrines of grace.”
We are Baptist
Statement of Faith
I. The Scriptures
We teach that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God and equal in all its parts (1 Peter 1:20-21). Every word is verbally inspired and without any error in the original documents (Psalm 19:7; James 1:25; 2 Timothy 3:16). It is literally God breathed out and infallible.
We affirm the belief that in the opening chapters of Genesis teach that God alone created the universe and everything in it out of nothing, and formed His creation in 6 days. He made it very good, without the effects of sin or any imperfection. He created Adam directly from the dust of the earth, not through an evolutionary process, and Eve, directly from the rib of Adam. Mankind has his beginnings within the scope of the biblical genealogies. This was by the cooperative efforts of The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1-2; Colossians 1:16).
We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:3). We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Peter1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matthew 5:18).
We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet, the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.
We teach that there is but one true and living God; the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
III. The Trinity
We teach that God is revealed to us as Father, The Son Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being. We teach that each Member of the Trinity is deserving of worship and obedience.
God The Father: We teach that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36).
God The Son: We teach that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellences, and in these He is coequal and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).
We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
We teach that in the incarnation, the second Person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-8).
We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24).
We teach that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body (Ephesians 5:23). And as a result, has promised to return and gather His bride to Himself (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
We teach that Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), and hence, the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31)
God the Holy Spirit: We teach that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity (Psalm 139:7-10; Romans 15:13; 1Corinthians 2:10-13, 12:4-6, 11; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 9:14).
We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21) and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7).
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. In this respect that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today, and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characterized as normative in the lives of believers (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
We teach that God from eternity, has determined or permitted all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet in such a way as to never be the author or approver of sin, nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.
We teach that election is God’s eternal choice, from before the foundation of the world, of some persons unto everlasting life—not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ. As a result of that choice, they are called, justified and glorified. This in no way negates man’s responsibility to repent and trust Christ as Lord and Savior (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17).
VI. The Fall of Man
We teach that God originally created Man in His own image, and free from sin (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9); but, through the temptation from Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original state of innocence; whereby all mankind inherit a nature corrupt and completely opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors of God's law (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8), Jesus Christ being the only exception who was without sin or a sin nature.
We teach that regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickens (awakens) the dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5), and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness demonstrated by obedience to the Word (1Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone.
We teach that repentance is an evangelical grace of regeneration (Acts 5:31, 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25). It is wrought by the Holy Spirit, and makes a person sensible to the manifold evil of his sin. Further, repentance causes that individual to humble himself because of his sin, and with godly sorrow, utterly detest it, with self-abhorrence, and with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).
We teach that saving faith, like repentance, is an evangelical grace of regeneration and wrought by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8). It is the belief, on God’s authority, of everything revealed in His Word concerning Christ. Upon such belief, it accepts and rests upon Him alone for justification and eternal life.
We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
Those who have been regenerated and justified, are also sanctified (set apart) by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is both positional (instantaneous) and progressive.
We teach that positional sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).
We teach that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23). In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh—but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).
XII. Perseverance and Preservation of the Saints
We teach that those whom God has accepted in His beloved Son, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24); and though they may fall through neglect and temptation into sin whereby they grieve the Spirit, forfeit to some degree their graces and comforts even bringing reproach on the Church and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
XIII. The Church
We teach that the Lord Jesus is the head of The Church (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18), which is composed of all His true disciples (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), and in Him is invested supremely all power for its governance. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into local churches (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1); and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering that order, as well as the discipline and worship that He has appointed. The regular offices of a church are Elders and Deacons.
We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5).
XIV. Spiritual Gifts
We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. He gives gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:7-12), and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
We teach that baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38-42), obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his union with Christ, in his death and resurrection, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God (1 Peter 3:20), to live and walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). It is subsequent to regeneration, faith, and repentance and is in no way salvific.
XVI. The Lord’s Supper
We teach that the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine (or those which closely represent them), and to be observed by His churches until the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice. The elements are representative of His body and His blood. They are designed 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. Nevertheless, it is an actual communion with the risen Christ.
XVII. The Lord’s Day
We teach that the Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. The New Testament pattern is on Sunday, the first day of the week (Luke 24:1; 1 Corinthians 16:2).
XVIII. Liberty of Conscience
We teach that God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men (Romans 14:1-6), which are in anything contrary to His Word, or not contained in it. Civil authorities being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake (Romans 13:1-5).
XIX. The Resurrection
We teach that the bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God (2 Corinthians 5:8)—the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to the judgment (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:13-15). At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised (Revelation 20:11-15).
XX. The Judgment
We teach that God has appointed a Day, when Jesus Christ will return bodily to judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31; John 5:22, 27; Hebrews 9:27), when everyone shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life (Revelation 20:11-15).
XXI. The Statement on Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage, and Sexuality
We teaches that marriage was given by God as part of His common grace, and that it has no meaning other than as He has provided. We teach that marriage is subject to the curse of the Fall, but this curse does not change the definition of marriage established at creation. Believers, living in obedience to the Scripture and under the control of the Holy Spirit, can begin to experience peaceful, productive, and fulfilled marriage as intended by God.
We teach that the marriages of believers are to illustrate the loving relationship of Christ and His church, with the husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church and the wife responding to her husband’s loving leadership as the church responds to Christ.
We teach that as believers’ marriages are to illustrate Christ’s relationship with His church, believers should choose to marry those who share their faith and regenerate life. We teach that the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture.
We teach that marriage is always a public, formal, and officially recognized covenant between a man and a woman. We teach that without such a covenant, which may include a “common law marriage,” where valid in specific cases under pertinent law, prolonged conjugal cohabitation does not establish, and is not equivalent to, marriage. Biblically, such a relationship is fornication, requiring repentance of such behavior. We teach that where no such covenant exists, or can be discerned, between a cohabiting couple, prior to coming to faith in Christ, family units should be preserved to the extent possible and, if otherwise appropriate, solemnization encouraged. We teach that where a valid marriage has been established prior to coming to faith in Christ, the couple should remain married.
We teach that God hates divorce, permitting it only where there has been unrepentant sexual sin or desertion by an unbeliever. We teach that remarriage is permitted to a faithful partner, but only when the divorce was on biblical grounds.
We teach that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We teach that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We teach that any form of sexual immorality: such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender conduct, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, and pornography, in desire or behavior, is sinful and offensive to God. Any attempt to change one's sex, disagreement with one's biological sex, or attempts to live as a member of the opposite sex is also sinful, rebellious, and offensive to God; deserving of His righteous wrath.
We teach that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture or the doctrines of the church. We teach that the faithful proclamation of the Scripture, including the call to repentance, does not constitute hate speech, or hateful and harassing behavior, but is instead a fundamental part of the church’s loving mission to the world.
We teach that God offers redemption and forgiveness to all who confess and forsake their sin, including sexual sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We teach that His forgiveness is total and complete and that God imputes the full righteousness of Christ to the believing sinner. We teach that the forgiven sinner has been cleansed from the guilt of sin, set apart unto God, or made holy, and justified before Him. We teach that any man or woman who has received that forgiveness is “in Christ” and is a “new creation,” able to persevere in and pursue a way of life that pleases the Lord by the power of the Spirit.
Second Baptist Church and its elders are in full support of the document known as the “Nashville Statement” regarding biblical sexuality and as published by the Coalition of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood in 2017: