The purpose of this class is to help potential members understand the core beliefs of Berkeley Baptist Church. Please understand that BBC is not made up of perfect people who have all the answers. We are imperfect people forgiven by a perfect Savior, Jesus Christ. The membership of BBC is composed of all sorts of people, from long time Christians who are well versed and grounded in Scripture to long time Christians who are still struggling to understand the basic principles of faith to new believers who are very much “babes in Christ.” It is our prayer that as you seek to walk with Christ in a deeper relationship, BBC will help you discover the centrality of the Gospel in all things as well as a humility of love for one another, not letting secondary or tertiary issues divide the peace of the body.
A REAFFIRMATION OF GOSPEL LIVING
The Gospel is the good news that Jesus saves sinners through His death, resurrection, and on-going intercession through the Holy Spirit. This truth is the foundation and fuel for the life of all Christians. We believe we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This truth is the hope and happiness of the true Church, including BBC. It is the source of our regeneration, justification, sanctification, and ultimate glorification.
A. Grace Alone…
B. Faith Alone…
C. Christ Alone…
D. Our Response…
OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH
The BBC statement (articles) of faith is an exhaustive summarization of the essential doctrines we believe are necessary to Christian living and the life of this church. While there are Christians who may disagree with portions of our statements, especially those from other denominational backgrounds, in order to be a member of BBC, we require people to adhere to these beliefs. The New Members Class will read through this entire SOF and offer opportunities for comment after each section.
In the affirmation of our faith, we believe that Christianity is supernatural in its origin and history. Therefore many of the truths stated in our articles of faith can only be understood by faith. Although our faith is also based upon reason, it is through faith that we come to understand "the deep things of God.” By faith in Christ, we are brought into a living relationship to God through a divine encounter with God in human experience.
Furthermore may it be stated:
- That these statements of faith are intended for the general instruction and guidance of our own people concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us. They are not intended to add anything to the simple conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
- That we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. Future Baptists are free to revise their statements of faith any time they deem it wise and necessary.
- That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.
- That we profess a living faith, and this faith is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ Who is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Therefore, He is our sole authority for faith and practice Whose will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
- And that a living faith must experience a growing understanding of truth and must be continually interpreted and related to the needs of each new generation.
As Baptists, we emphasize the soul’s competency before God, freedom in religion, and the priesthood of the believer.
It is the purpose of this statement of faith to set forth certain teachings which we believe.
Finally, Berkeley Baptist Church adheres to The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention on June 14, 2000. The BFM, 2000 is found in Appendix III.
As affirmed in the Baptist Faith and Message and in various text of the Bible, men and women are created equal in the sight of God yet they have been assigned different roles in marriage, family life, and the church. We believe, according to Scripture, that the husband is called to be the head of the wife and the wife is called to be his helper. When we unpack the deep theology behind this statement, we see that it is a heavy calling on both the husband and the wife. This is why marriage should not be entered into lightly. Spouses are called to fulfill their roles with mutual humility, love, tenderness, patience, all the while strengthened by the Holy Spirit. The deeper we delve into these roles, the more we see Christ and the Church in them as well.
The love of a husband is to be sacrificial, just as Christ loves the Church, His bride (Eph. 5:25). He is never to be domineering or harsh, but to treat his wife as the fellow heir of God's grace that she is (1 Peter 3:7). We do not condone or endorse any form of abuse among our members, even in the home setting. If abuse become apparent, we (BBC leadership) will take every means necessary, including working with the police, the courts, and Child Protective Services, to address any instances of abuse. This is directed towards husbands and wives.
The love of a wife is in her acts of submission to her husband’s headship over herself and the family, just as the Church submits to Christ (Eph. 5:22-24). She is to show respect to her husband and honor him in all things. The Biblical call to submission is in no way a demeaning role, but one that is viewed in the likeness of God’s Trinitarian nature (1 Cor. 11:3), Jesus’ submission to the Father (John 5:19) and as the Church’s submission to Christ (Eph. 5:24).
In the church, we believe that men and women are called to serve along side each other in love, unity, fervency, and mutual upbuilding. We affirm that Bible permits women to serve in any area of the church except Pastor/Elder (1 Tim. 3:1-7). Furthermore, women may not serve in any capacity where they would be exercising spiritual authority over men (1 Tim. 2:8-15). This does not apply to male children.
While we recognize that convictions about these Scriptures and this point of view vary, we ask that all members of BBC affirm the Biblical pattern of male headship both at home and in the church.
- Spiritual Gifts
We believe the Holy Spirit gifts the Christian as He wills to minister for the glory of God and serve in the church (1 Cor. 12). This must be done in a spirit of love and for the edification of the Body and furtherance of the Gospel. We do not believe there is any Scriptural evidence that states that the Holy Spirit has ceased working in a specific way (ex. tongues), though we recognize that Scripture also provides “qualifiers” for certain gifts.
We exercise great caution in what some refer to as “sign” or “word” gifts. We believe that God is free to do as He wills, but that His normal way of guiding His people is through His Son, by the Spirit, and according to His Word as revealed in Scripture. If you believe that you have received a “word from God,” you should talk with the Pastor or an elder immediately. However, understand that such pronouncements will be judged based on God’s word and if something is found to be contrary to God’s word, God’s word stands authoritative!
There are a variety of beliefs concerning how God will bring creation to a conclusion. Our official position on “Last Things” is found in the Baptist Faith and Message, 2000. While many of this congregation believe in a Pre-trib and rapture theory, we do not require members to hold to any particular view. We only expect you to adhere to our Statement of Faith as the BFM, 2000 addresses it.