Statement of Faith
Our Statements of what we believe
As a church, we have adopted the affirmation of Faith, the following specific Baptist beliefs and creeds of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada.
We affirm wholeheartedly the revelation of God as given in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and confess the faith therein set forth. We here explicitly assert the doctrines which we regard as crucial to the understanding and proclamation of the Gospel and to practical Christian living:
- The sovereignty, love, and grace of God, the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit in creation, providence, revelation, redemption and final judgment.
- The divine inspiration of Holy Scripture and its entire trustworthiness andsupreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
- The value of each human being as created by God. The universal sinfulness of humankind since the fall, which alienates all from God and subjects all to condemnation.
- The full deity and humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, whose substitutionary sacrifice is the sole ground of redemption from the guilt, penalty and power of sin.
- The justification of the sinner by the grace of God through faith alone in Christ crucified and risen from the dead.
- The illuminating, regenerating, indwelling and sanctifying work of God, the Holy Spirit, in the believer.
- The church as set forth in the New Testament and understood historically by the Baptist community.
- The expectation of the personal, visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ, our participation in the resurrection, and the hope of eternal life.
I. Specific Baptist Beliefs
Baptists share a common faith with all Christians, yet there are some beliefs that set us apart from other denominations. Here are some key beliefs:
Priesthood of All Believers – Loved by God, and made in His image, each of us has the opportunity to meet directly and personally with God. As we are all equal before Him, we have the right and responsibility to participate in Christ’s body, the Church, and to minister to each other as a ‘priesthood of all believers’. We have ordained ministers who perform those functions, such as marriages, that are reserved for licensed clergy by law or tradition.
Sacraments – We believe there are two sacraments: baptism and communion.
Baptism – We each come to faith in God through a free, personal decision; therefore, we practice the baptism of believers. For this reason, we do not practice infant baptism, reserving baptism for adults and young people mature enough to make a fully conscious and committed decision. Following Biblical example and modeling the life, death and resurrection of Christ, we baptize by full immersion.
Communion – On a regular basis (weekly to monthly) we remember the saving death and resurrection of Jesus by participating in the sacrament of communion, sharing in Christ’s body and blood through bread and wine.
Congregational Governance – We follow a congregational form of government in which believers come together as a priesthood of believers under the Lordship of Christ, the authority of the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to determine God’s will for us. We avoid the top-down hierarchy often associated with other denominations. Locally autonomous churches make their own decisions but participate in the larger body of Christ by associating with the denomination and its shared ministries and by entering into annual covenantal agreements with the denomination.
Separation of Church and State – The church and the civil government have distinct, separate roles that should not infringe on each other. Where they have shared interests and values, they recognize and reinforce each other. Ordination of Women – We have been ordaining women for leadership in church ministry since 1959.
Marriage – We affirm that the biblical pattern of marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. Sexual Behavior – Any sexual behavior outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage is not biblically affirmed.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the *holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one *holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
- holy catholic means universal church of Jesus Christ
III. Our Statements of covenants
CHURCH CONVENANTS (from Shiloh Baptist Church Constitution):
Having been led, as we believe, by the spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into the Covenant with one another, as of one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love and To Strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness and evangelism; To Promote its spirituality in sustaining its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine; To Contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, its work against sin and injustice in the world, To Relieve the poor, and spread the Gospel throughout all nations.
We agree to promote family worship and maintain private devotions; To Educate our children in the teaching and practice of our faith; To Seek the salvation of the kindred and acquaintances, To Walk faithfully in our engagements, and be exemplary in our deportment; To Avoid all vain and malicious conversation, slander, and displays of undue annoyance, To Practice temperance in all things, and be zealous in all our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Saviour.
We covenant to watch over one another in brotherly love to: Remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress; Cultivate the graces of sympathy of heart and courtesy of speech; Be slow to take offence and quick to forgive; Mindful of the rules of our Saviour that we are to do so daily.
And finally, we agree that when we are removed from this place, we will speedily seek opportunity to unite with some other church, in whose fellowship we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principle of God’s work.