STATEMENT OF FAITH

Miller Avenue Baptist Church, Mill Valley, California

We adhere to The Apostles’ Creed. The only variation is we use “Christian” in place of “Catholic.” 

   THE APOSTLES CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. 

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. 

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. 

He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. 

On the third day He rose again. 

He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 

He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

 The following statements of faith will follow the outline of the Apostles’ Creed, with some additional doctrines interspersed in the process where appropriate.

INTRODUCTION

Our doctrines are derived from the material we find in the Bible. Our Bible is Genesis to Revelation, excluding the Apocrypha. We believe the Bible is inspired by God throughout. No specific translation is inspired over and against any other, however, the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts produced by the biblical authors are the documents to be considered especially and wholly inspired. We accept and use any translation of the Bible excluding those that have been developed by groups that are designed to support and protect cultic viewpoints. Approved doctrines are those that are simply and clearly evident in the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (these three sections that comprise the Hebrew Old Testament), the Gospels (in the words and deeds of Jesus), and in the testimony of the early church (Acts, the letters of Paul, John, Peter, James, Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation).

THE DOCTRINE OF GOD

God, without beginning and end, sovereign Lord of all, creator of all that exists, created out of nothing all that is. He is at once above or transcendent over the creation but also intimately involved with it. We have no view as to dates and methods of the creating and are tolerant of various views. God is absolutely holy and righteous. No unrighteousness can come into His presence; rather He exists apart from all sin and iniquity. He is all knowing, where the past, present, and future and always before Him. He exists outside of time and space and is all-powerful over it. He is all-present throughout His creation, but distinct from it. God is a trinity; He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which is His essential nature. This is a great mystery, but the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are of the same nature. God created humankind in His image, which is male and female. There is then in the completeness of God all that is male and female

THE DOCTRINE OF JESUS CHRIST

Jesus, the eternal Son of the Father, is fully God and fully man at once. He is the great I Am. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one of God, who was sent forth from the Father to suffer and to die. Jesus is Emmanuel, God in the flesh, the one prophesied to bear upon Himself, as the perfect Passover lamb or sacrifice, the sin of all who are called to trust in the only Savior. Jesus died for sin in accordance with the Scripture, was buried, and on the third day, Sunday, did rise bodily from the grave. He appeared over the course of 40 days to His disciples, and others, showing He indeed had risen from the dead. In the course of the appearances, He commissioned His followers to wait for the empowering of the Holy Spirit so that they might bear witness to Him, beginning in Jerusalem, to the whole world. Jesus completely satisfied the just demands of the Father. Unforgiven sin results in eternal death; Jesus took all our sin upon Himself, dying in our place and for us, shedding His own blood, thus providing the means for the forgiveness of our sin. His own life was the ransom price for our redemption. He experienced the separation, and resulting hell, that the believer would have had to experience, forever. He was buried on Friday, and rose from the dead Sunday morning. Forty days after the crucifixion Jesus ascended into heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, that place of power and authority. He is the Mediator between God and man. Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, Lord of all, will one day personally and visibly return to earth to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will be eternal and complete. We adhere to no specific viewpoint as to the end of the age, accept all, and so will have someone in the congregation who will be correct--but we will not know which. We believe Jesus could return at any time. We are to watch and wait, with joyful anticipation, for His second advent. The church in the world is to carry on with the commission to evangelize the world and practice holiness for His glory.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is God, is personal as the use of the personal masculine pronoun “He” indicates. He is eternal, working in both the believer and the church to glorify Jesus Christ and to accomplish the purpose of the Father. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts people of sin and who also reveals Jesus Christ to those who seek Him. The Holy Spirit accomplishes conversion, makes effectual the cleansing blood of Jesus in the life of the repentant sinner, and indwells the believer so that the believer actually becomes a temple of God. The Holy Spirit “seals” the believer, imputes righteousness into the believer, and may empower the believer to be a witness or proclaimer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit empowers the witness for Jesus and empowers the message to the hearers. The Holy Spirit may give gifts to believers, and to the church, thus empowering their ministry. The Holy Spirit prays for the believer in a way that is beyond ordinary human capacity.

THE DOCTRINE OF HUMANKIND

All humans are created in the image of God, are responsible to Him, and will be judged by Him. All humans have a sinful nature, and are condemned by virtue of their own sin. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; none are righteous. Creation is real and tangible, not illusionary. Humans are actual, corporal beings, are born once, and will physically die once. Humans, individual and unique, are loved by the Creator God. God does not need humans, their existence, or their worship, but each human is loved by God and not for anything the human has and can do. God desires to be reconciled with His creation, and in His Son, has provided the means this can be accomplished. Each human is commanded to repent of sin and trust in Jesus for salvation.

THE DOCTRINE OF CONVERSION

Salvation is by grace alone, through faith. No human can do anything to secure salvation; rather it is a complete gift in every way. Therefore, there is no cause for boasting on the part of the believer. The Holy Spirit works repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. A sinner repents and believes--these are gifts of the Holy Spirit. A person, however, may reject the witness of the Holy Spirit and remain in a lost condition. Conversion is based on God’s sovereign election, which was in place before the foundation of the world. Though the individual Christian is yet growing in sanctification, that is, he or she is yet a sinner and not perfect, the believer is secure in salvation and nothing is able to change that. The believer at once is held safe by God’s power and continues to be obedient to the Lord Jesus.

THE DOCTRINE OF DEATH AND RESURRECTION

Unless the believer is alive at the second coming of Jesus at the end of the age, he or she will die. He or she will be raised from the dead and will forever be in the presence of God. Death has lost its horror for the believer because of the forgiveness of all sin and the assurance of life everlasting. Death for the believer is not to be feared as those do who have no hope. There is no second chance after death. Death and hell for the non-believer is permanent. There is no reincarnation or absorption into any divine consciousness or entity. The grave is not the end for anyone; rather, all will be raised from the dead, believer in Jesus and non-believer alike. The believer will not fear judgment because Jesus has already taken that judgment upon Himself on the cross. The non-believer will stand empty, and without hope, before the judgment of God. The believer will enjoy God forever.

THE WORK OF THE CHURCH

The Church is the redeemed of the Lord, an invisible, living organism not to be identified with any earthly institution. This is the universal Church, and there are the individual, local churches. These may consist of two or more believers. The church will be identified by worship of the triune God, fellowship, the celebration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, prayer, good works, and evangelism. The preaching of the Good news of Jesus, the Gospel, will be at the forefront of the work of the church and will have the primacy in the economy of the church. The church will have spiritual leadership, pastor/teacher, and there may be prophets and evangelists, deacons and elders. The style of leadership may vary or be mixed in terms of its authority structure. The great work of the church is to bring praise and glory to the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory in the Church to the end of the age.

HOME