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What We Believe

Clifton Park Baptist Church
Doctrine Statement
 
I. God
 
There is one eternally self-existent God, who alone is the sovereign creator and ruler of heaven and earth. He is infinite in power and holy in nature, purpose and attributes (Gen 1:1; Exod 3:14; Lev 19:2; Ps 90:2, 102:25-27; Isa 6:1-7; Jer 23:23-24; Mal 3:6; Matt 5:48; Acts 17:24-25; 1 John 3:20).
 
While there is one, and only one, God, He exists in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; each executing distinct, but harmonious, functions and each being equal in divine perfection and worthy of all honor, confidence and obedience (Deut 6:4-5; Matt 28:19-20; Mark 12:29; John 14:6-27; Heb 1:1-3).
 
II. Jesus Christ
 
Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the triune God. He was eternally existent in His divinity and voluntarily became incarnate, such that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say divinity and humanity, were united in one Person being completely man and completely God simultaneously and without compromise (Mic 5:2, Matt 1:20-25; John 1:1-18, 10:30; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-20).
 
Jesus suffered a physical death and was resurrected bodily from the dead, whereupon He ascended back to heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes on behalf of believers (John 20:10-18; Acts 2:22-36; Eph 1:20-23; Heb 1:1-5).
 
III. The Holy Spirit
 
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the triune God. Though eternally existent and active in the world since creation, the Holy Spirit began a special ministry on the Day of Pentecost when certain well-defined ministries were commended to Him. These are the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of divine will; enabling the unbeliever to receive the Gospel and regenerating him at the moment of conversion; convicting the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; indwelling and anointing all who are saved, thereby sealing them until the day of redemption; baptizing into the one body of Christ all who are saved; and the continual filling for service of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will (John 3:5, 14:16-17; 16:7-11; 1 Cor 2:9-11, 3:16, 12:3, 13; Eph 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18; 2 Thess 2:7; Titus 3:4-7).
 
The Holy Spirit is the ultimate source of power for acceptable worship and service. To that end, every believer is given at least one spiritual gift, a special ability, by and at the will of the Holy Spirit at conversion, to be used to minister to others and thereby build up the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:7, 11, 14:12).
 
IV.  The Scriptures
 
The Bible is the inspired Word of God; that is God supernaturally superintended over human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error in the original autographs the very Word of God. This Divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all the individual parts of Scripture – historical, poetical, doctrinal and prophetical.  The Bible constitutes the supreme standard by which all human conduct and opinions should be measured (Ps 19:7-11, 119:89, 105, 130, 160; Prov 30:5-6; Matt 5:18; Luke 24:44-45; Rom 15:4; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21).
 
V. Man
 
The Genesis account of creation is literal, and not allegorical or figurative; thus man, meaning both male and female, was created directly and immediately by the willful and directed command of God in order to love and serve Him, and to enjoy relationship with Him. Man was originally created in the image and likeness of God Himself, not as a function of evolution or an evolutionary change of species, and as such both men and women are equally important and valuable to God (Gen 1:26-31, 2:7, 18, 21-25; Ps 8:3-6; Matt 19:4-5; Mark 10:6; Gal 3:27-28; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11).
 
While man, in his original state, was created in the image and likeness of God, he, through the sin of Adam, and as a consequence of that sin, became subject to physical death and was spiritually separated from God, and thereby subject to the power of Satan. This separation from God has been perpetuated throughout all humanity, Christ alone being the exception, such that every child is conceived in iniquity and is a sinner by nature and practice (Ps 51:5; Rom 3:10-19, 23, 5:12-19; Eph 2:1-3; Heb 4:14-15).
 
VI. Sin
 
Sin is the lack of conformity, active or passive, with the moral law of God, either in act, thought, disposition or state. Sin does not have its origin in, and is not caused by God, but has its genesis in Eden with the fall of man, an event from which all man has inherited a sin nature through Adam.  The result of sin for the unbeliever is eternal separation from God. For the believer, sin may lead to chastisement from God or loss of fellowship with God (Gen 3; Ps 51:5; Rom 3:23, 5:12, 6:23, 1 John 1:8, 3:4).   
 
VII. Salvation
 
The Lord Jesus Christ died for all mankind, however only those who believe in this finished work of Christ are justified on the basis of His shed blood, and thereby regenerated and saved to eternal life with Christ. The grace that God extends to those who exhibit faith in the sufficiency of the atoning work of Christ is the only ground of salvation. (Lev 17:11; Isa 53:5, 64:6; Matt 26:28; John 3:3-5, 16; Rom 5:6-9; 1 Cor 15:3; 2 Cor 5:21; Eph 1:7, 2:8; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Titus 3:4-5; 1 Pet 1:17-19).
 
Since the work of salvation from beginning to end is a sovereign work of God and God alone, who chose the believer in Him before the foundation of the world; since the salvation of the believer flows from the free and unchanging love of God the Father; since salvation is rooted in the eternal efficacy of the blood and continual intercession of Jesus Christ, and since the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit abides permanently within a believer from the moment of conversion until the moment of death, the gift of salvation given to the truly regenerate man is eternal and will therefore never perish, spoil or fade (John 5:24, 6:37, 10:27-30; Rom 8; Eph 1:4-5, 4:30; Phil 1:6; 2 Tim 1:12; Heb 7:26-27, 9:11-12; Jude 24).
 
VIII. The Church
 
All who are united to Jesus Christ by faith and profession are members of the church, which is the body and bride of Christ. Jesus Christ is the head of the church. The church has its beginning at Pentecost and will have its end at the rapture. The church is explicitly charged with caring for those who are in need, both within and without its own membership, including widows, orphans and the poor (Matt 16:18; Acts 1:8, 2:42-47; 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 1:20-23, Col 1:18; 3:14-15; 1 Tim 3:14-15; Heb 10:24-25; Jas 1:27).
 
The Ordinances of the Church
 
Baptism and Holy Communion are the two ordinances of the church. Communion, in which the elements serve as a memorial of the broken body and shed blood of Christ, symbolizes the life and proclaims the death of Jesus Christ until He returns. Baptism by immersion represents the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and signifies the believer’s public identification with Christ. Neither baptism nor communion conveys grace upon the participant (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-39; 1 Cor 11:23-34).
 
IX. Angels, Fallen and Unfallen
 
God created an innumerable company of moral, sinless, personal, spiritual beings known as angels. Angels, as messengers of God, are subordinate to and carry out the will of God by ministering in various ways to His children.  They do not act on independent initiative, but are restricted to acting within the limits of God’s permission. This is true even of Satan, who as a result of sinful pride and ambition, was cast out of heaven and became the originator of sin on earth; he is now man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and the accuser of the saints. A great company of angels followed him in his moral fall, some of whom became demons and are active with him in opposing the work of God in the world (Gen 3:1-19; Job 1:6-12; Ps 91:10-12; Isa 14:12-17; Ezek 28:11-19; Eph 6:12; Col 1:16;  Heb 1:1-14, 12:22, 2 Pet 2:4). 
 
X. End Times
 
The return of Christ is imminent.  The blessed hope of His return has vital bearing on the personal life, service and mission of the believer. There will be a bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth, and the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment (Dan 7:14; Zech 14:9-10; 1 Cor 15:51-58; 1 Thess 2:19; 4:13-18; 5:1-11; 2 Tim 4:8; Rev 20).

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    Clifton Park Baptist Church
    8818 Piney Branch Road
    Silver Spring, MD 20903
    301-434-2456
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