Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who they are. Copies are available at Southern Baptist churches. The topics here provide only a brief, partial summary. The Full Texton the issue discussed is also available.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience. Deuteronomy 8:32, Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:15-17
There is but one 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. God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures. God is revealed to us as Father, Son (Jesus Christ, God incarnate) and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.Genesis 1:1 & 26, Psalm 19:1, 1 John 5:6-8
God originally created man in His own image, male and female, and free from sin; but through the temptation of Satan, man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.Jeremiah 17:5, Romans 1:21-32, Ephesians 2:1-3
Salvation comes by grace alone through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no salvation apart from personal repentance of sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It results in justification through the grace of election, calling, regeneration, and spiritual adoption. Salvation continues in sanctification and will culminate in the perseverance and glorification of all saints when Christ returns. The Holy Spirit regenerates and draws sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, at which moment they become new creations in Christ, forever delivered from condemnation and gifted with eternal life.
Genesis 3:15, Matthew 1:21, Romans 8:1
The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which he has appointed. The regular offices of a Church are Pastors or Elders, and Deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor or elder is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.Matthew 16:15-19, 1 Corinthians 1:2 & 3:16, Ephesians 1:22-23
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participate in the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is no sense a sacrifice, but is 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.
Matthew 26:26-30, Acts 2:41-42, Romans 6:3-5
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.Mark 16:1-7, Acts 20:7, Revelation 1:10
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 sent to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment, while the righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. Matthew 16:27, Acts 1:11, Revelation 22:10-13
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations and to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort.
Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Romans 10:13-15
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions.
Leviticus 27:30, Acts 20:35, 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Christ’s people should organize associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God, such organizations have no authority over one another or the churches. Cooperation is desirable between the various denominations when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and/or the Scriptures.Exodus 18:17-21, Acts 2, 1 Corinthians 12
Every Christians is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society, while in the spirit of Christ opposing racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography.Micah 6:8, 1 Corinthians 11:1, James 1:27
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal. Matthew 22:21, Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 2:16-17
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the unity of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The husband and wife, both made in God’s image, are of equal worth before God. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord.Genesis 1:27 & 2:24, Psalm 139:13-16, Ephesians 6:1-4