The Doctrinal Statement of Belief of the
Baptist Missionary Association Of America
  1. God:
  2. The Scriptures
    • A: The Scriptures are God’s inerrant revelation, complete in the Old and New Testaments, written by divinely inspired men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit [II Timothy 3:16;II Peter 1:21]. Those men wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Holy Spirit [I Corinthians 2:13].
    • B: The Scriptures provide the standard for the believer’s faith and practice [II Timothy 3:16, 17], reveal the principles by which God will judge all [Hebrews 4:12; John 12:48], and express the true basis of Christian fellowship [Galatians 1:8, 9; II John 9-11].
  3. Creation
  4. Satan
  5. Depravity
    • Although man was created in the image of God [Genesis 1:26; 2:17], he fell through sin and the image is marred [Romans 5:12; James 3:9]. In his unregenerate state, he is void of spiritual life, is under the influence of the devil, and lacks any power to save himself [Ephesians 2:1-3; John 1:13]. The sin nature has been transmitted to every member of the human race, the man Jesus Christ alone being excepted [Romans 3:23; I Peter 2:22]. Because of the sin nature, man possesses no divine life and is essentially and unchangeably depraved apart from divine grace [Romans 3:10-19; Jeremiah 17:9].
  6. Salvation
    • A: The Meaning of Salvation – Salvation is the gracious work of God whereby He delivers undeserving sinners from sin and its results [Matthew 1:21; Ephesians 2:8, 9]. In justification He declares righteous all who put faith in Christ as Savior [Romans 3:20-22], giving them freedom from condemnation, peace with God, and full assurance of future glorification [Romans 3:24-26].
    • B: The Way of Salvation – Salvation is based wholly on the grace of God apart from works [Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:9]. Anyone who will exercise repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved [Acts 16:30-32; Luke 24:47; Romans 10:17].
    • C: The Provision of Salvation – Christ died for the sins of the whole world [John 1:29;3:16; I John 2:1, 2]. Through His blood, atonement is made without respect of persons [I Timothy 2:4-6]. All sinners can be saved by this gracious provision [Hebrews 2:9; John 3:18].
  7. Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom
    • Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom – God’s sovereignty and man’s freedom are two inseparable factors in the salvation experience [Ephesians 2:4-6]. The two Bible truths are in no way contradictory, but they are amazingly complementary in the salvation so freely provided. God in His sovereignty purposed, planned, and executed salvation in eternity while man’s freedom enables him to make a personal choice in time, either to receive this salvation and be saved, or to reject it and be damned [Ephesians 1:9-14; John 1:12, 13]
  8. Sanctification
  9. Security
  10. Church
    • A: The Nature of the Church-A New Testament church is a local congregation (Acts 16:5;I Cor. 4:17) of baptized believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41) who are united by covenant in belief of what God has revealed and in obedience to what He has commanded (Acts 2:41, 42).
    • B: The Autonomy of the Church – She acknowledges Jesus as her only Head (Eph. 5:23;Col. 1:18) and the Holy Bible as her only rule of faith and practice (Isa. 8:20; II Tim. 3:16,17), governing herself by democratic principles (Acts 6:1-6; I Cor. 5:1-5) under the oversight of her pastors (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24).
    • C: The Perpetuity of the Church – Instituted by Jesus during His personal ministry on earth (Matt. 16:18; Mark 3:13-19; John 1:35-51), true churches have continued to the present and will continue until Jesus returns (Matt. 16:18; 28:20).
    • D: The Ordinances of the Church – Her two ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer as a confession of his faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:4) and is prerequisite to church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41, 42). The Lord’s Supper is the sacred sharing of the bread of communion and the cup of blessing by the assembled church (Acts 20:7) as a memorial to the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ (Luke 22:19, 20; I Cor. 11:23-26). Both ordinances must be administered by the authority of a New Testament church (Matt. 28:18-20; I Cor. 11:23-26).
    • E: The Officers of the Church – Pastors and deacons are the permanent officers divinely ordained in a New Testament church (Phil. 1:1). Each church may select men of her choice to fill those offices under the leading of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:1-6; 20:17, 18) according to the divinely given qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-13).
      Pastors (elders, bishops) are authorized to oversee and teach the churches under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28; Heb 13:7, 17, 24; I Peter 5:1-4). Each church is responsible to follow them as they follow Christ (I Cor. 11:1; I Thess. 1:6; Heb. 13:17) and to provide a livelihood for them that they might fulfill their ministries (I Tim 5:17, 18;Phil. 4:15-18). Pastors are equal in the service of God (Matt. 23:8-12).
      Deacons (ministers, servants) are servants of the churches and assistants to the pastors, particularly in benevolent ministries. Each church may select her own deacons according to her needs, and no church is bound by the act of another church in that selection (Acts 6:1-6).
    • F: The Ministry of the Church – Her mission is evangelizing sinners by preaching the gospel (Matt. 28:19; Luke 24:45-47), baptizing those who believe (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 35-38), and maturing them by instruction (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42) and discipline (Matt. 18:17, 18; I Cor. 5:1-5).
    • G: The Fellowship of the Church – She is free to associate with true churches in furthering the faith (II Cor. 11:8; Phil 4:10, 15, 16) but is responsible to keep herself from those who hold doctrines or practices contrary to Holy Scripture (Gal. 1:8, 9; I John 2:19). In association with other churches, each church is equal and is the sole judge of the measure and method of her cooperation (Matt. 20:25-28). In all matters of polity and practice, the will of each church is final (Matt. 18:18).
  11. Civil Authority
    • Human government was instituted by God to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. It is separate from the church, though both church and state exercise complementary ministries for the benefit of society (Matt. 22:21).
      Christians should submit to the authority of the government under which they live, obeying all laws which do not contradict the laws of God, respecting officers of government, paying taxes, rendering military service, and praying for the welfare of the nation and its leaders (Rom. 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13, 17; I Tim. 2:1, 2). They should vote, hold office, and exercise influence to direct the nation after the principles of Holy Scripture.
      Civil authority is not to interfere in matters of conscience or disturb the institutions of religion (Acts 4:18-20), but it should preserve for every citizen the free exercise of his religious convictions.
      Churches should receive no subsidy from the government, but they should be exempt from taxation on property and money used for the common good through worship, education, or benevolence.
  12. Last Things
    • A: Return – Our risen Lord will return personally in bodily form to receive His redeemed unto Himself. His return is imminent (I Thess. 4:13-17; Rev. 22:20).
    • B: Resurrections – After Jesus returns, all of the dead will be raised bodily, each in his own order: the righteous dead in “the resurrection of life” and the wicked dead in “the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:24-29; I Cor. 15:20-28)
    • C: Judgments – Prior to the eternal state, God will judge everyone to confer rewards or to consign to punishment (Matt. 25:31-46; II Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-15).
    • D: Eternal States – Heaven is the eternal home of the redeemed (John 14:1-3) who, in their glorified bodies (I Cor. 15:51-58), will live in the presence of God forever (I Thess. 4:17) in ultimate blessing (Rev. 21, 22). Hell is the place of eternal punishment and suffering (Luke 16:19-31) for the devil, his angels (Matt. 25:41), and the unredeemed (Rev. 20:10-15).