While we are in agreement with many statements of faith such as The Baptist Faith and Message, this modified version of The Abstract of Principles best encapsulates our doctrinal beliefs.
(This is a lengthy read…you may want to grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a bit.)
- THE SCRIPTURES
The Bible consisting of the Old and New Testaments was given by inspiration of God, and is the only sufficient and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
There is but one God who is the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things. He is infinite and perfect in all His attributes. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. He alone reigns sovereign over His creation and does all things according to the pleasure and wisdom of His good counsel (1 Corinthians 8:4, 6; Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 1:17).
God is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being (1 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
God from eternity decrees or permits all things that come to pass. He perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events. He does this in a manner in which He is not the author or approver of sin neither destroys the will and responsibility of intelligent creatures (Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:11; Daniel 4:34-35).
- THE FALL OF MAN
God created man in His own image. Man was originally free from sin but through the temptation of Satan he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness. As a consequence, his posterity inherits a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law. Men are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become actual transgressors. From this inherited depravity mankind is totally disposed to all evil and is in opposition to all that is good (Genesis 3:12-13; Romans 5:12-21; Romans 3:10-19; Ephesians 2:1-3).
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life—not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ—in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified (John 6:37, 39; Ephesians 1:4, 9, 11; Romans 8:30; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
- CHRIST THE MEDIATOR
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God. He is the One Mediator partaking of the nature of God and of man and in whose Person is the reconciliation between God and the redeemed. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord (Isaiah 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; John 1:1-3; Romans 3:23-26; 1 Peter 3:22).
This regeneration also known as an “effectual call” is of God’s free and special grace alone. It is not from anything foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature. Man is the subject of regeneration and is totally passive since he is dead in sins and trespasses. Thus, re-generation is the making alive the sinner’s dead spirit. A sinner is not able to repent and believe until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit. Conveyed within the call is the enabling needed by man to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered (John 3:3, 5; 6:44-45; Ephesians 2:1, 5; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:9).
Repentance involves a renouncing of self-control and gladly welcomes God’s control. Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein the Holy Spirit makes a person sensible of the terrible evil of his sin. By it he humbles himself in brokenness for his sinfulness and crimes against God. It is a godly sorrow over sin and detestation of it so that the repentant experiences a resolve to walk before God so as to please Him in all things (Acts 11:18; 2 Corinthians 7:10-11; Luke 19:8; Matthew 3:2).
Saving faith is the trusting of God’s authority that whatever He has said is the most judicial, wisest, and best. Also, faith is a trusting and treasuring what is revealed in God’s Word concerning Christ and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is created in the heart by the Holy Spirit and is accompanied by all other saving graces, which leads to a life of holiness (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:9, 14, 17; John 1:12).
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal from all sin for those sinners who believe in Christ through the satisfaction that Christ has made. Therefore, it is the declaring the sinner to be righteous not for anything done in them or by them, but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ. Justification is a twofold process. First, it involves God’s gracious removal of sin from the sinner’s account. This account is what the sinner owes to God’s justice as payment for his sin. Second, it involves the imputing of righteousness to the account of the sinner. This unconditional acceptance (justification) is received by resting in Christ and His righteousness by faith. Justification is not the infusing of righteousness into sinners, but the pardoning of their sins and thereby accounting and accepting them as righteous (Romans 3:24; 4:5-8; 8:30; Ephesians 1:7).
They who have been converted by grace are also sanctified instantaneously and progressively by the same grace. The dominion of the old man of sin is destroyed and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified. The child of God is more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces so that it may be said of him that he practices holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.
This sanctification is throughout the whole man yet imperfect in this life. There still abides some remnants of corruption in every part of the saint from which arises a continual and irreconcilable war between the flesh and the Spirit. In which war, the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part overcomes. And so the saints grow in grace perfecting holiness in the fear of God. They pursue a heavenly life in evangelical obedience to all the commands, which Christ as Head and King prescribes in His Word (Romans 6:5; Acts 20:32; John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23; Ephesians 3:16-19; 1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 12:14).
Those whom God has saved will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace but shall persevere to the end. Although they may fall through neglect and temptation into sin, they shall be renewed again unto repentance and be kept by the power of God through faith. Perseverance of the saint by no means removes the wrongness of such failures since the believer does grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts unto salvation, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves (John 10:28-29; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:30; Hebrews 6:17; 1 John 3:9; Jude 24).
- THE CHURCH
The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples. In Him is supremely invested all power for its government. Therefore, the government of the church is a monarchy with Christ as its King. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches. Each of these churches He has instructed in His Word all that is necessary for administering the churches order, discipline, and worship. The regular officers of a Church are Elders and Deacons (Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 12:23; Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 2:41-42; Philippians 1:1).
Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be a sign of fellowship with Him in his death and resurrection. It is symbolic of our being engrafted into him as well as the remission of sins. Lastly, it is emblematic of a believer’s new life. As Christ was raised to walk in newness of life so is the child of God to so walk.
The timing of baptism should be after one has believed unto salvation since those who profess faith and repentance towards God are the only proper subjects of this ordinance. The element to be used in this ordinance is water wherein the party is to be immersed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Immersion, or dipping of the person in water is necessary to the proper administration of this ordinance (Acts 2:41; Mark 16:16; Matthew 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:38).
- 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. It is to be observed by His churches until He returns. It is not in any sense a sacrifice or the re-crucifying of Christ. Its purpose it to commemorate His death and symbolic of our union with Him and with fellow believers (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Matthew 26:26-28).
The bodies of the saints after death return to dust, but their spirits go immediately to God. There is a day appointed by God and known only to Him when He will raise the righteous bodily from the grave. This is the blessed hope of all saints. The souls of the wicked dead are cast into the torments of hell and their bodies also return to dust until the resurrection to final judgment (Job 19:25-27; Matthew 24:31; John 6:39; 2 Corinthians 4:14).
- THE JUDGMENT
God has appointed a day when He will judge the world by Jesus Christ. Everyone will receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment and the righteous into everlasting life (Acts 17:31; John 5:22, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:3; Revelation 20:12-13).
- MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Oak Grove Baptist Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Oak Grove Baptist Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe 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 nor the doctrines of Oak Grove Baptist Church (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:16; 15:18-20; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31; Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 18; 7:2-5; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Hebrews 13:4).