Cornville First Southern Baptist Church
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The Baptist Faith and Message
Adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention

June 14, 2000


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 Savior, 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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