First Baptist Church, Union MO
Friday, May 26, 2017
Where Christ is Exalted!

Baptist Faith and Message

The Baptist Faith and Message

I. The Scriptures................................................................................................................ 2

II. God............................................................................................................................... 2

A. God the Father............................................................................................................ 2

B. God the Son ................................................................................................................ 2

C. God the Holy Spirit .................................................................................................... 3

III. Man............................................................................................................................. 4

IV. Salvation...................................................................................................................... 4

V. God's Purpose of Grace ............................................................................................... 5

VI. The Church ................................................................................................................. 5

VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper............................................................................... 6

VIII. The Lord's Day ........................................................................................................ 6

IX. The Kingdom .............................................................................................................. 7

X. Last Things ................................................................................................................... 7

XI. Evangelism and Missions ........................................................................................... 7

XII. Education................................................................................................................... 8

XIII. Stewardship.............................................................................................................. 8

XIV. Cooperation.............................................................................................................. 9

XV. The Christian and the Social Order ........................................................................ 9

XVI. Peace and War....................................................................................................... 10

XVII. Religious Liberty .................................................................................................. 10

XVIII. The Family .......................................................................................................... 11

I. 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.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10;

119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18;

22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans

15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

II. God

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal

Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in

holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect

knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions

of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The

eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct

personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

A. God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow

of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful,

all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children

of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy

6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10;

17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-

8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6;

Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.

B. God the Son

Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of

the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of

God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying

Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His

personal obedience, and in His substitutionary 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 where He is the One

Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation 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.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29;

11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70;

24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5,

21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-

21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21;

8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians

1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews

1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-

9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.

C. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the

Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ.

He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour,

and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into

the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the

spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the

day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring

the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the

believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-

32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19;

11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31;

5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27;

1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18;

1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2

Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

III. Man

Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and

female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the

goodness of God's 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 transgressed the

command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a

nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of

moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of

God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative

purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man

in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race

possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5;

Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19;

6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22;

Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

IV. Salvation

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who

accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal

redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration,

justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal

faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become

new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through

conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the

Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus

Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

B. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness

of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a

relationship of peace and favor with God.

C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set

apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity

through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace

should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state

of the redeemed.

Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke

1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts

2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.;

5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20;

15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-

22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2

Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-

26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.

V. God's Purpose of Grace

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies,

sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and

comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's

sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting

and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and

sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to

the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve

the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and

temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through

faith unto salvation.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.;

Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-

48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32;

Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28;

Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2

Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1

John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.

VI. The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation

of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel;

observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights,

and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the

ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through

democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and

accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both

men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men

as qualified by Scripture.

The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of

the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and

nation.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-

30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12;

Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1

Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.

VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the

Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a

crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life,

and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his

faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to

the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church,

through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the

Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20;

John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians

10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.

VIII. The Lord's Day

The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular

observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include

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.

Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36;

John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians

2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.

IX. The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His

particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the

Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike

commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may

come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the

return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52;

25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42;

John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28;

Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9;

5:10; 11:15; 21-22.

X. Last Things

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end.

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 consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous

in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in

Heaven with the Lord.

Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark

8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11;

17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10;

Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2

Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28;

James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.

XI. Evangelism and Missions

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord

Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by

God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all

rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly

commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the

preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek

constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle,

and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-

43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-

8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15;

Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1

Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.

XII. Education

Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the

treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our

Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for

knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate

with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these

the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is

necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.

In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and

academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always

limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or

seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the

Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.;

119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2;

7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians

4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3;

James 1:5; 3:17.

XIII. Stewardship

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; and should

recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others.

According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully,

regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the

Redeemer's cause on earth.

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-

4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11;

17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2

Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

XIV. Cooperation

Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such 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 over the churches. They are

voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our

people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should

cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and

benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom. Christian unity in the New

Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by

various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian

denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation

involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as

revealed in the New Testament.

Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5;

Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14;

2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9;

Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.

XV. The Christian and the Social Order

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own

lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and

the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only

when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in

Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed,

selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery,

homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the

needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the

unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.

Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under

the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote

these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good

cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty

to Christ and His truth.

Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8;

Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21;

Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-

10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-

17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.

XVI. Peace and War

It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In

accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put

an end to war.

The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the

world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the

practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should

pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans 12:18-19; 13:1-7;

14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.

XVII. Religious Liberty

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and

commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church

and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom

in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group

or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being

ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things

not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power

to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the

pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any

kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free

church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and

unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate

opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans

6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter

2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.

XVIII. The Family

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is

composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a

lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to

provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate

companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the

means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's

image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is

to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to

provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the

servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of

Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the

God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing

the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord.

Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to

teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent

lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children

are to honor and obey their parents.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1

Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20;

6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31;

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark

10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians

3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.

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