Atlantic Baptist Church
Saturday, October 20, 2018

What We Believe

About the Scriptures

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.


About God the Father

There is only one true and living God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being: the Creator of all things, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinitely holy and perfect. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. He is eternal, loving, just, merciful, mighty, and unchanging. He reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all-powerful, all-loving, and all-wise. He is Father to those who become His children through faith in Jesus Christ, and He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.


About God the Son

Christ is the eternal Son of God, pre-existing with God the Father before His birth in Bethlehem. In His incarnation, He was supernaturally conceived of 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, identifying Himself completely with mankind, yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures and appeared in His glorified body to His disciples, who recognized Him as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where He is the one Mediator between God and man. 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.


About God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a divine person in the Godhead, equal with God the Father and God the Son. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures, and through illumination, enables men to understand the truth. He exalts Christ and convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He indwells and seals the believer at the point of initial salvation and fills and empowers the believer to live a holy and fruitful life. Through His power, the believer is sealed unto the day of final redemption. He comforts believers and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. We believe the evidence of the fullness or control of the Holy Spirit is manifested in the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23. We do not accept the teaching that any of the sign gifts are to be sought as evidence of the Holy Spirit's fullness. We believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place at the time of salvation and is not separate from salvation.


About Man

Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning, man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice, man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan, man disobeyed the command of God and fell from his original innocence and thereby incurred not only physical death for all mankind to follow, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. All human beings are born with a sinful nature and are in need of redemption, which can only be obtained through the grace of God by faith in the shed blood of Christ.


About Salvation

Salvation is not obtained through good works; it is the gift of God, offered freely to all who, by faith, accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, trusting in His shed blood to secure pardon and eternal redemption. Salvation involves repentance, which is a genuine turning away from sin toward God. It involves justification, which is God's gracious and full acquittal of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. It involves sanctification, by which the believer is set apart for God's purposes and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It involves glorification, which is the final culmination of salvation and is the final and blessed state of the redeemed. Salvation is a present reality, and the believer can have assurance of salvation and can enjoy the life of salvation. All who have have been truly born again will be saved forever and cannot lose their salvation.


About Heaven

Heaven is a literal, beautiful, and perfect place prepared by God for those who have placed their faith in His dear Son. The most wonderful thing about heaven is the presence of the Lord Himself. Everyone who receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will live forever in a resurrected and glorified body in heaven.


About Hell

Hell is also a literal place prepared by God for Satan and his angels. Every person who dies without accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will spend eternity in this place of everlasting punishment. It is a place of eternal suffering: physical, mental, and spiritual.


About Satan

Satan is a real person. He was created in perfection and originally lived in heaven, but was cast out of heaven with the host of angels whom he led in a rebellion against God. Satan is wholly depraved, powerful, and deceptive. He is the temporary ruler of this world, the head of a vast network of evil spirits who work ceaselessly for the destruction of all that is godly. It is Satan's aim to keep unsaved people lost and to divide, deceive, and devour individual Christians and New Testament churches. We believe Satan keeps a close watch on believers and stands ready to tempt them at their vulnerable points. Christ defeated Satan at the cross at Calvary; through His power and blood, believers have authority over Satan. Satan and his followers are doomed to be cast into the lake of fire at the end of the age.


About the Christian Life

It is the believer's highest privilege to live for Christ in this world. Christ indwells us by His Holy Spirit, giving us His power and enabling us to be all that God requires. The Christian life is a constant struggle between the flesh and the spirit, but we possess supernatural armor to protect us in this spiritual warfare. It is a life of faith and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and separation from the ways of the world. As long as we live in obedience to the commands of God, we will experience spiritual growth and become more and more conformed to the image of Christ. As we live by the promises of God, we will abound in fruitfulness and the fruit of the Spirit will be manifested in the way we live and witness to others. We believe that witnessing and sharing our faith is a normal and necessary expression of the Christian life. The Christian should always be careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising his or her loyalty to Christ and His truth.


About the Local Church

The church was purchased with Christ's own blood and is God's instrument in the present age. All Christians should belong to and be active in a local New Testament church, the church being a body of scripturally baptized believers in whom Jesus Christ lives and over whom He lords. The church body is to live under the direction and discipline of the Word of God, united in the Holy Spirit for the purpose of evangelizing the lost, edifying the saints, and glorifying the Lord. We believe in the separation of church and state and the priesthood of the believer. Christ is the head of the church with the pastor serving as the spiritual leader (under-shepherd) of the body.


About Baptism and the Lord's Supper

We believe baptism by immersion is the only scriptural mode. Baptism does not save a person, but it is an act of obedience to the command of Christ. It symbolizes the believer's faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and is a testimony to the world of the believer's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism identifies a believer with Jesus Christ and the people of God.


The Lord's Supper is an act of obedience that portrays Christ's body broken for our sins and His blood shed for our redemption. It is not a saving ordinance, but a symbolic one, a memorial to our Redeemer's death. We believe that every baptized believer should partake of the Lord's Supper as an act of worship, remembrance, gratitude, and praise to Jesus Christ for what He has done for us.


 About Giving

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; we owe all we have to Him. Christians are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions, and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for God's glory and to help others. We believe every Christian should give at least ten percent of his/her income to the Lord through the local church. Furthermore, the tithe should be a starting point from which the Christian should give additionally as directed by the Holy Spirit. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute their means cheerfully, regularly, proportionately, and liberally as an act of dedication to Jesus Christ and in order to fulfill the Great Commission.


About World Evangelism

It is the duty and privilege of every believer to do all that is possible to make the gospel available to as many people as possible. Missionary effort begins at home, then spreads to the community, the city, the state, the nation, and the world. It is the personal duty of every child of God to constantly seek to win the lost to Christ. It is the corporate duty of the church to direct its energies to getting the gospel to all the world in fulfillment of the Great Commission.