Here at Shady Shores Baptist Church we believe…

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.

II. God

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 present Lord.

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.

III. Man

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.

IV. Salvation

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 redeemed.

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; Colossians 2:12.

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; Revelation 1:10.

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 this age.

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   Christ.

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 22:17.

XII. Education

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 people.

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.

XIII. Stewardship

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.

XIV. Cooperation

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 to war.

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   of Peace.

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; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.

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.