What We Believe
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), located in Louisville, Kentucky, is the oldest of the six seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). When the original charter of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was adopted in 1858, it contained the below statement as their Abstract of Principles and continues today. Calvary Baptist Church is committed to these biblical, historical beliefs by our founding seminary.
1. The Scriptures: The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God and are the only sufficient, certain, and authoritative rule for all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
2. God: There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfection and being infinite in them all; to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
3. The Trinity: God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each with distinct attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
4. Providence: God from eternity decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events in order not to in any way approve of sin or destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.
5. Election: Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life — not because of merit seen in them, but by His mercy through Christ — in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.
6. The Fall of Man: God originally created man in His own image, free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan man transgressed against the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness. (Whereby man’s posterity inherits a corrupt nature, wholly opposed to God and His Law, and is under condemnation. As soon as man is capable of moral action he becomes an actual transgressor).
7. The Mediator: Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed Mediator between God and man. He took Himself a human nature, yet totally without sin, and perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, arose on the third day and ascended into heaven to be at the right hand of His Father, where He now resides making intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator; the Prophet; Priest; King of the Church; and, Sovereign of the Universe.
8. Regeneration: Regeneration is a change of heart which is wrought by the Holy Spirit who quickens the dead in trespasses and sins, spiritually and savingly enlightening their minds in order to understand the Word of God; renewing their whole nature in order that they might love and practice holiness. This is the work of God’s free and special grace alone.
9. Repentance: Repentance is evangelical grace wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made aware of the manifold evil of sin, humbles himself in Godly sorrow and endeavors to walk with God in order to please Him in all things.
10. Faith: Saving faith is the belief, by God’s authority in whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ and accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification, sanctification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, accompanied by all other saving graces and leads to a life of holiness.
11. Justification: Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal from all sins of those sinners who believe in Christ through His sanctification of their sins. This is not by anything wrought in man or done by him, but solely through the obedience and sanctification of Christ. Man’s receiving and resting in Him and His righteousness is by faith.
12. Sanctification: Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Sanctification progresses through Divine strength which all saints seek to obtain by pressing after a heavenly life through obedience to all Christ’s commands.
13. Perseverance of the Saints: Those God has accepted and sanctified by His Spirit will never totally or finally fall away from the State of Grace, but shall certainly persevere until the end. Although man may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, thereby grieving the Spirit which impairs their graces and comforts, bringing reproach on the church and temporal judgments on themselves, man shall be renewed again unto repentance and kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
14. The Church: The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Church which is composed of all His true disciples. In Him is vested supremely all power for the governing of the Church. In accordance with His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves with particular societies or churches to which He has given authority to administer order, discipline and worship as He has appointed. Regular officers of a church body are Bishops, Elders (Pastors), and Deacons.
15. Baptism: Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus which is obligatory upon every believer who shall be immersed in water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of the remission of sins and of his giving himself up to God to live and walk in a newness of life. This ordinance shall be a prerequisite to church membership.
16. The Lord’s Supper: Observance of the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ to be administered with the elements of unleavened bread and unfermented wine. Such observance shall continue until the end of the World. This is in no sense a sacrifice but designed to commemorate His death with the intent of confirming the faith as a bond, pledge and renewal of the Believer’s communion with him and their church fellowship.
17. The Lord’s Day: The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance and shall be employed in the exercise of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private.
18. Liberty of Conscience: God alone is Lord of the conscience. He has left us free from the doctrines and commandments of man. Civil servants being ordained by God, are subject to all lawful things commanded by man and man is to yield to such commandments in the Lord, not in wrath, but for conscience sake.
19. The Resurrection: After death the bodies of men return to dust; the spirits of righteous men return immediately to God to rest with Him. The wicked man shall be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
20. The Judgment: God has appointed a day wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ and when everyone shall receive glory according to their deeds. The wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment. The righteous shall enter into everlasting life.
21. 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, 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; 5:1 ff; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 ff; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7 ff; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1 to 22:13)