People who attend our church come from all different experiences and backgrounds. Some come from a variety of denominational backgrounds and other churches while yet others come with no church or religious background at all. Suddenly, they find themselves at a Baptist church. What does that mean? Many have identified the Baptist church by its common stereotypes, but we can assure you that the Petrey family is not your stereotypical church. We are unique. We believe church should be fun and exciting, yet without compromising the truth of God’s Word, the Bible. We are a Christian, evangelical church—a church whose primary purpose is to share the good news of Jesus Christ. We are also a Baptist church. Listed below you will find a summary of the essential beliefs that we believe all Christians must share and the Baptist beliefs that make us distinct from other denominations.
ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN BELIEFS
There is one God. He is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He eternally exists in three personalities: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and one. He is perfect in His many attributes of holiness, love, power, knowledge, justice and mercy.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22 | 2 Corinthians 13:14 | 1 Peter 1:2 | Matthew 28:19 | Psalm 90:2
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is the divine helper, assistant, counselor and instructor. He is present in the world to make man aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17 | Acts 1:8 | Ephesians 1:13; 5:18 | John 16:7-13; 14:16-27 | 1 Corinthians 2:12; 3:16 | Galatians 5:25
Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We receive this gift through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance means turning away from our sin and turning toward Christ. Faith means trusting in Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sins. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, His perfect obedience is credited to us so that God sees us as the righteousness of Christ. Every person who truly is saved is eternally secure in the Lord Jesus Christ and will spend eternity in heaven, while those who die in their sins will spend eternity in Hell separated from God.
Romans 6:23 | Titus 3:5 | John 14:6; 1:12 | Galatians 3:26 | Ephesians 2:8-9 | Romans 5:1
God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ. If you have made a genuine commitment of faith in Jesus, you cannot lose your salvation. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. God’s grace and power enable us to persevere in faith until the end.
John 10:29 | Ephesians 2:1-10 | 1 Peter 1:3-5 | Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14 | 2 Timothy 1:12
LORD’S SUPPER /COMMUNION
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the church. It was instituted when the Lord had the Passover meal before His crucifixion. We observe the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s atonement for our sins. It is a proclamation of His death and an assurance of His second coming. We ask only those who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ to participate in the Lord’s Supper. The elements of bread and grape juice are used as symbols of Christ’s body that was broken and His blood that was shed in payment for our sins.
1 Corinthians 1:21-32 | 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 | Matthew 26:29
We believe in the local autonomy of the church. Each church has the right to manage its affairs with no central authority except that of Christ Himself. Freedom does not rule out cooperation. We are a cooperating church with the Southern Baptist Convention. This means that we cooperate with other Baptist churches in pooling and sharing money for the support of missionaries and ministries at home and around the world. This plan is called the Cooperative Program.
Jesus Christ is God’s Son. He is co-equal with the Father. He is both God and man. He was born of a virgin. He lived a sinless, human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of His people by dying on a cross. He died to become a substitutionary atonement for the sins of His people. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Matthew 1:22-23 | Romans 1:3-4 | Hebrews 4:14-15 | Isaiah 9:6 | Acts 1:9-11 | John 1:1-5; 14:10-30, 14:16-17
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. The Bible is inspired by God and is the truth without any mixture of error. It is the sole authority for life.
2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16 | 2 Peter 1:20-21 | Psalm 119:105, 160; 12:6 | Proverbs 30:5
Humans are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. As the supreme object of God’s creation, we were designed for dignity. However, Adam’s sin catapulted the creation into a fallen state and plunged all his descendants into depravity. Thus, all of us are marred by rebellion and disobedience, which is called “sin,” toward God. Sin separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27 | Psalm 8:3-6 | Romans 3:23 | Isaiah 53:6a; 59:1-2
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16 | Romans 6:23 | Revelation 20:15
Baptism is a picture and an illustration—a symbolic act. Baptism by immersion best illustrates the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf and our subsequent faith in Him. It is not necessary for salvation but is an act of obedience and is strongly associated with salvation, as it best demonstrates our new identity with Jesus Christ.
We believe in believer’s baptism. A person must first exercise faith in Jesus Christ, believing that He died for their sins, was buried and rose from the dead. An infant or person who does not understand God’s plan of salvation cannot make that kind of commitment. The Scriptural order is belief first, followed by baptism. Baptism is limited to those who have personally believed in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Mark 1:9-11 | Matthew 28:18-20 | Mark 16:15-16 Acts 8:12 | Matthew 3:13-17 | Colossians 2:12
ACCESS TO GOD
Each person is able to come to God for himself or herself. There is no need for a third party to tell a person how to pray, how to interpret Scriptures or how to vote in church. All believers are ministers of God. Therefore, the evangelical church does not have a distinctive class of priests. All members are made “priests unto God” by the death of Christ. There is only one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:5-6 | Ephesians 4:11-12 | 1 Timothy 2:5 | Romans 12:1 | 1 Peter 2:5