We are an independent Baptist church. The churches established by the Apostles of Christ were all independent churches, that is, they were free from any outside control or membership in any kind of an organization. The New Testament does not reveal the existence of any synod, conference, association, convention, organized fellowship, or other form of human organization exercising control over the local congregation or even existing apart from a local independent church. Each local church was viewed as a self-governing body.
The Holy Spirit directs each local group of believers (Acts 13:1-2). Such a church cannot be politically pressured because it owns its own property (in contrast to many denominational churches whose property is owned or in some measure controlled by the denomination). As a church, we believe in the verbal inspiration of the 66 books of the Bible in its original writing and that it is without error and it is the sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. We further believe that the Bible reveals God, the fall of man, the way of salvation and God’s plan and purpose in the ages. We believe there is One and only One true and living God, existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three are co-eternal and co-equal from all eternity, each with distinct personalities but with one nature. We believe in the deity and virgin birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, coexistent with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He came to the world, born of a virgin, suffered, died, was buried and rose again bodily and ascended to the right hand of the Father. We believe in the Person and work of the Holy Spirit which includes conviction of sin, regeneration of sinners, and indwelling of the believer.
We believe that salvation is by grace, plus nothing and minus nothing. The conditions to salvation are repentance and faith. We further believe that a soul is saved when Christ is received as personal Savior and Lord and the Holy Spirit imparts eternal life. We believe in the perseverance of the saints and that it is the plan of God for such believers to walk after the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. We believe in the immersion of the believer in water under the authority of a New Testament church to signify His death, burial, and resurrection and the believer’s identification with Him. We do not believe that baptism saves. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. The Lord’s Supper constitutes the other of the only two ordinances of the church. We believe that a New Testament church is a local group of baptized believers, united for His purpose and knowledge and spread of the Word of God, including world-wide missions.
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. (Genesis 1:26-27) 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. (Genesis 2:18-25) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 and Hebrews 13:4.) 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. (Matthew 15:18-20 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Sanctuary Baptist Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Sanctuary Baptist Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Sanctuary Baptist Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matthew 5:16, Philippians 2:14-16, and 1 Thessalonians 5:22.)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21, Romans 10:9-10, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31 and Luke 6:31) 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 Sanctuary Baptist Church.
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalm 139)
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Sanctuary Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our board of directors is Sanctuary Baptist Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
SANCTUARY BAPTIST CHURCH