Baptist Faith & Message 2000
I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man.
It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and
truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and
trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to
the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all
human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to
Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140;
Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46;
John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17;
Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being,
the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all
other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all
things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we
owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature,
essence, or being.
A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the
stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing,
all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith
in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6;
1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew
6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans
8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17;
Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy
Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon
Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with
mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His
substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He
was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who
was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right
hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the
reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to
consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever
Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27;
14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John
1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28;
Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1
Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5;
Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians
4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28;
9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9;
Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the
Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He
convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects
regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ.
He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which
they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His
presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the
stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship,
evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32;
Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12;
24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55;
8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14;
3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1
Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7;
Revelation 1:10; 22:17.
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as
the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's
creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with
freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human
race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his
original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin.
Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under
condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to
fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God
created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every
race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5;
Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25;
8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus
Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer.
In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and
glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new
creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of
sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and
commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.
B. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all
sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of
peace and favor with God.
C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart
to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the
presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue
throughout the regenerate person's life.
D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the
Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke
1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21;
4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23;
8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians
5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians
2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14;
Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11;
Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
V. God's Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies,
and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means
in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is
infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by
His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers
may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their
graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on
themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.;
Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48;
John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans
5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23;
2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19;
Hebrews 11:39-12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of
baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing
the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges
invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each
congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a
congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural
officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church,
the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the
redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30;
16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians
1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14;
3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.
VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried,
and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to
walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the
dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to
the Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through
partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and
anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John
3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29;
VIII. The Lord's Day
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It
commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship
and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be
commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John
4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16;
IX. The Kingdom
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular
kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the
realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ.
Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on
earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of
Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52;
25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3;
18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13;
Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.
X. 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; 24:27,30,36,44; 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; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy
4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14;
Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.
XI. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus
Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy
Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a
spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the
teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all
nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal
witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43;
16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15;
20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1
Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation
Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The
new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of
education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general
benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An
adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's
In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and
academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and
never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by
the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct
purpose for which the school exists.
Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.;
119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.;
28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians
2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to
Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel,
and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him
with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to
them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians
should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and
liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.
Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21;
19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35;
Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15;
Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may
best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no
authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies
designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner.
Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the
missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom.
Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for
common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various
Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such
cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His
Word as revealed in the New Testament.
Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5;
Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.;
4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians
1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.
XV. The Christian and the Social Order
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives
and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the
establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they
are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the
spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and
all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should
work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We
should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from
conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and
society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In
order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any
good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty
to Christ and His truth.
Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8;
Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke
4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12-14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7;
7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians
3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.
XVI. Peace and War
It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In
accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end
The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is
the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application
of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince
Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans 12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19;
Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.
XVII. Religious Liberty
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and
commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state
should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of
its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should
be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty
of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of
God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ
contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose
penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support
of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the
right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and
propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2;
13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17;
XVIII. The Family
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of
persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is
God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man
and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual
expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The
marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as
Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to
lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband
even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as
is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband
and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are
to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children
spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving
discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel
1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4;
13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12;
9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1
Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy
1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.