Statement of Doctrine
Recognizing that the Bible is the very Word of the Living God to man, and understanding the priority of knowing and obeying its truths, Cornerstone Baptist Church is deeply committed to study with diligence and teaching with authority the Word of God. Thus, the central ministry of Cornerstone Baptist Church is the continuous imparting of the Scripture to the people of God that they may know God and serve Him in worship and ministry.
As a church, we have come to convictions regarding the major theological truths of the Bible. This Statement of Doctrine presents those major truths. These are the primary doctrines of the Christian faith and reflect the heart of the teaching here at Cornerstone.
Concerning The Holy Scriptures
We teach that the Bible is the written revelation of God, and the sixty-six books of the Bible thus constitute the plenary Word by the Holy Spirit [I Cor. 2:7-14; II Peter 1:20, 21].
We teach that the Word of God is an objective [Ex. 17:14], propositional revelation [I Thess. 2:13], verbally inspired in every word [11 Tim. 3:16], in the original documents absolutely inerrant [Isa. 30:8], infallible, and God breathed.
We teach that it constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice [Matt.5:18; 24:34; John 10:35; 16:12, 13; 17:17; II Tim. 3:15-17; II Peter 3:15, 16; Heb. 4:12].
We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation; and it is to be found as one diligently applies the grammatical, historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit [John 7:17; 16:12-15; I Cor 2:7-15; I John 2:20].
We teach that there is but one living and true God [Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5-7; I Cor 8:4], an infinite, intelligent Spirit [John 4:24], perfect in all His attributes, one in essence but eternally existing, and subsistent in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit [Matt. 28:19; Ps. 139:8; II Cor. 13:14] each equally deserving same worship, and obedience [Acts 17:24-29; I Cor 8:6; Rev. 19:10].
God the Father
The first person of the trinity who orders and disposes all things according to his own purpose and grace [Ps. 145:8, 9; I Cor. 8:6]. As the absolute and highest ruler in the universe, he is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption [Ps. 103:19; Job 1:6; Rom. 11:33]. He is the creator of all things [Gen. 1]. His fatherhood denotes a spiritual relationship, first of all within the Trinity; and secondly, within mankind, creatively in relation to all men but spiritually only in relation to believers. He has decreed for his own glory all things that come to pass and continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events [I Chron. 29:11]. This he does so as in no way to be the author and approver of sin [John 8:38-44] nor to abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures [I Peter 1:17]. He saves from sin all who come to him through Jesus Christ, and he relates himself to his own as their Father [Luke 3:38; John 1:12, 18; Heb. 12:5-9].
God the Son
The second person of the Trinity possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these he is coequal with the Father; and he is consubstantial and coeternal with him [John 10:27-30; John 14:9].
We teach that in the incarnation he surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In his incarnation, Christ’s divine nature united with a true nature in an indissoluble union, and so he became the God-man [Phil 2:5-8]. He represents the fusion of humanity and deity into an indivisible oneness [Col. 2:9; I John 5:20; Jude 25].
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born [Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:25], that he was God incarnate and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over Gods kingdom [Ps. 2:7-9; lsa. 9:6; Heb 7:26; I Peter 1:19; 2:22; John 1:29].
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross, that his death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive [I Peter 2:24; Rom. 3:25; 5:8].
We teach that, upon the basis of the efficacy of his death, the merit of his shed blood, the believing sinner is freed from punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin, declared righteous, given eternal life, and admitted to the family of God [John 10:15; II Cor. 5:14, 15; I Peter 2:24; 3:18; Rom. 3:25; 5:8].
We teach that our justification is made sure by his literal, physical resurrection from the dead, that he is now ascended to the right hand of the Father where he is now ministering as our Advocate and High Priest [Matt. 28:6; Acts 2:30, 31; Heb 7:25; 9:24; Rom. 4:25]. His bodily resurrection is the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers [I Cor. 15:20, 23; John 5:28, 29].
We teach that he will return to receive the Church, which is his body, unto himself at the Rapture, and, returning with his Church in glory, will establish his kingdom in its millennial manifestation [Acts 1:9-11; I Thess. 4:13-18: Rev. 20].
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind [John 5:22, 23].
God the Holy Spirit
He is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the divine excellencies, and that in these he is coequal with the Father and the Son, and is consubstantial with them (Acts 5:3, 4].
We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to the world of men. The work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when he came from the Father, as promised by Christ, [John 14:16, 17; 15:26] to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is his church [I Cor. 12:13]. The broad scope of his divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, and transforming believers into Christ likeness [John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; II Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:22].
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ [I Cor. 12:13], indwelling, sanctifying, instructing. empowering for service, and sealing them unto the day of redemption [John 16:8-11; II Cor. 3:6; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13].
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles into all truth, as they submitted to God’s revelation in Scripture. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from salvation on, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with the Spirit [John 16:13; Rom 8:9; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27].
We teach that the Holy Spirit alone administers spiritual gifts to the church, not to glorify himself or the gifts by ostentatious displays, but to glorify Christ and implement his work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith [John 16:13, 14; Acts 1:8; I Cor. 12:4-11; II Cor 3:18].
We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all his gifts for the perfecting of the saints today; and that speaking in tongues [unlearned languages] and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established [I Cor. 12:4-11; II Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7-12; Heb. 2:1-4; I Thess. 5:11].
We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in his image and likeness, free of sin [Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15-25], that the purpose of man’s creation was with the divine intention that he should glorify God, enjoy his fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish his purpose for man in the world [Gen. 1:26-30; Isa. 43:7; Col.1:16; Rev 4:11].
We teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will of God, he lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God, inherently corrupt, and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God, apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, he is hopelessly lost, apart from the salvation, which is in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ [Gen. 2:16, 17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Rom. 3:23, 6:23; I Cor. 2:14; Eph 2:1-3; I Tim. 2:13, 14; I John 1:8].
We teach that all men were in the loins of Adam, and that the consequence of that sin has been transmitted [imputed] to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the exception. All men thus are sinners by divine declaration, by nature, and by choice [Ps. 14:1-3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12; James 2:10].
We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace, through the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of his shed blood; not on the basis of human merit, or works [John 1:12; Eph. 1:7, 2:8-10; I Peter 1:18, 19]. Salvation is a free gift sufficiently available to all humanity [Rom. 6:23; 10:13; I John 2:2], but effectively appropriated only after hearing the gospel and yielding to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit [Rom. 10:9, 10, 17; John 6:44].
We teach that justification before God is an act of God by which he declares righteous those who believe in Christ [Rom.8:33]. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man [Rom. 3:20], and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ [Col. 2:14; I Peter 3:18], and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us [Rom.4:6; l Cor. 1:30; II Cor. 5:21 ].
We teach that every believer is “set apart” [sanctified] onto God by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer is therefore declared to be holy and identified as a saint [Acts. 20:32; I Cor. 1:2, 30, 6:11; II Thess. 2:13; I Peter 1:2; Heb. 2:11, 3:1, 10:10, 14, 13:12].
We teach that there is, by the work of the Holy spirit, an experiential sanctification, by which the state of the believer is progressively brought closer to the standing the believer enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ [John 17:17, 19; Rom. 6:1-22; I Thess. 4:3, 4; 5:23].
In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a conflict – the new creation in Christ is set against the flesh – but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over it [Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22, 24; Col. 3:9, 10; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9; Phil. 3:12].
We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by Gods power and are thus secure in Christ forever [John 5:24; 6:37-50; 10:27, 30; 17:15, 20; Rom. 5:9, 10; 8:1, 31-39; I Cor. 1:4-8; Eph 4:30; Heb. 7:25; 13:5; I Peter 1:5; Jude 1, 24].
We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality [Rom. 6:15-22; 13:13, 14; Gal. 5:13, 25, 26; Titus 2:11-15].
We teach that the doctrine of separation from sin is clearly evident throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase [II Cor. 6:14-7:1; II Tim. 3:1-5].
We teach that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord and that separation from all religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of God [Rom. 12:1, 2; 14:13; II Cor. 6:14-7:11; II Tim. 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; I Cor. 5:9-13].
We teach that believers should be separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ [Lev. 19:2; John 15:1-5; I Thess. 2:11, 12; Heb. 12:1, 2].
Concerning the Church
We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body – the Church [I Cor. 12:12, 13], of which Christ is the Head [Eph. 1:22; 4:14; Col. 1:18], and which is his espoused Bride [II Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:23-32; Rev. 19:7, 8].
We teach that the formation of this Body began on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:1-21, 38-47], and will be completed at the coming of Christ for his own in the Rapture [I Thess. 4:13-18].
We teach that the church is, then, a unique spiritual organism [Matt. 16:18] made up of all born again believers in this present age [Eph 2:11-22, 3:1-6]. The Church is distinct from Israel [I Cor. 10:32], a mystery not revealed until this age [Eph. 3:1-6, 5:32].
We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures [Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; I Thess. 1:1; II Thess. 1:1], that the members of this one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies [I Cor. 11:18-20; Heb. 10:25].
We teach that the one. the supreme authority for the church is Christ [I Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:18], and that the order, discipline, and worship are appointed through His sovereignty. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and leading the assembly are elders, also called bishops, pastors and pastor-teachers [Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11], and deacons who must fit biblical qualifications [I Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9: I Peter 5:1-5].
We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations [Titus 1:5]. It is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. However, each local church as a congregation and through its elders and deacons is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation as well as on all matters of membership, policy. discipline. benevolence, and government [Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; I Cor. 5:4-7, 13; I Peter 5:1-4].
We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God [Eph. 3:21] by building itself up in the faith [Eph. 4:13-16], by instruction of the Word [II Tim. 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17], by fellowship [Acts 2:42; I John 1:3], by keeping the ordinances [Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42], and by advancing and communicating the Gospel to the entire world [Matt. 28:19; Acts. 1:8; 2:42]
We teach the accomplishment of God’s purpose in the world and for the accomplishment of that purpose he has given the Church spiritual gifts. First, he gave gifted men for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry [Eph. 4:7-12], and he also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ [Rom.12:5-8; I Cor. 12:4-31; I Peter 4:10, 11]. At the moment of spiritual birth every believer receives such a gift or gifts [I Cor. 12:4-13]. These gifts are sovereignty bestowed and cannot be sought [I Cor. 12:11]. It is essential that every believer discovers, develops, and employs his spiritual gift or gifts for the edification of the Body and the accomplishment of the work of Christ in the world [Rom. 12:3-8; I Peter 4:10, 11].
We teach that there were two kinds of gifts: temporary confirming gifts and permanent edifying gifts. With the New Testament revelation at last complete, the confirming gifts are no longer a necessary [I Cor. 13:8-12] criteria for evaluating the validity of a man and his message, since they can be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers [I Cor. 13:13, 14; Col. 2:18; Rev. 13:13, 14].
We teach that the temporary confirming gifts – healing. speaking in tongues [unlearned languages], interpretation, and the working of sign miracles – gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established [I Cor. 13:8-10; II Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3, 4; Acts 19:11, 12 with I Cor. 12:1-31] until the eternal state [I Cor. 13:8-12].
We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today, but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith on the part of every believer, and will answer in accordance with his own perfect will, for the sick, suffering, and afflicted [Luke 18:1-6; John 5:7; II Cor. 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; I John 5:14, 15].
We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the Local Church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper [Acts 2:38-42]. Baptism [by immersion] is the testimony of a believer, showing forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, and our union with him in death to sin, and resurrection to a new life [Rom. 6:1-11; Acts 8:36-39]. It is also a sign of identification with the visible body of Christ, his local church [Acts 2:41, 42].
We teach that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of his death until he comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination [I Cor. 11:23-38]. We also teach that while Christ’s flesh and blood is not present actually, the Lord’s Supper is an actual communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with his people [I Cor. 10:16].
We teach that angels are created beings, and therefore are not to be worshipped, although they are a higher order of creation than man, created to serve God and to worship him [Luke 2:9-14; Heb. 1:6, 7, 14; 2:6, 7; Rev. 5:11; Rev. 19:10, 22:9].
We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his creator, involving numerous angels in his fall [Job 1:6, 7; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19], and introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve [Gen. 3:1-15]. We teach that he is the prince of this world who was defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ [Rom. 16:20], and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire [Job 1:6, 7; Isa. 14:12-17; Rev. 20:10].
Concerning Last Things
We teach that physical death involves no loss of consciousness [Rev. 6:9-11; Matt. 10:28], that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ [Luke 23:43; Phil. 1:23], that there is a separation of soul and body [II Cor. 5:8], and that such separation will continue until the first resurrection [Rev. 20:4-6], when spirit, soul, and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord [I Thess. 4:16, 17; Phil. 3:21; I Cor. 15:35-44, 50-54]. Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ [II Cor. 5:8].
We teach the bodily resurrection of all men [Dan. 12:2; Rev. 20:11-15; John 5:28, 29], the saved to eternal life [Rom. 8:10, 11, 19-23; II Cor. 4:14; John 5:29], and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment [Dan. 12:2; John 5:29; Rev. 20:6, 13-15].
We teach that the souls of the unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades [Job 3:13-19; Luke 16:19-26], where they are kept under punishment until the second resurrection when the soul and a resurrection body are united [John 5:28, 29]. They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment [Rev. 20:11-15] and shall be cast into the lake of fire [Matt. 25:41-46] cut off from the life of God forever [II Thess. 1:7-9; Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:41-46].
Rapture of the Church
We teach the personal bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ [I Thess. 4:16; Titus 2:11-13], to translate his church from this earth [John 14:1-3; I Cor. 15:51-53; I Thess. 4:15, 5:11], and to reward them according to their works [Rom. 14:10-12; I Cor. 3:11-15; II Cor. 5:10], that this period includes the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy [Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24:15-31, 25:31-46].
We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world over a period of seven years [The Tribulation Period], [Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27, 12:1; II Thess. 2:7-12; Rev. 16:1-21]. These judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth [Matt. 24:15-31; II Thess. 2:7-12; I Tim. 6:14], at which time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged [Rev. 20:4-6; Dan. 12:2, 3; Rev. 6:9-11].
Second Coming and the Millennial Reign
We teach that, after the Tribulation Period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David [Matt. 25:31; Acts 1:10, 11; 2:29, 30], and establish his Messianic Kingdom for a thousand years on the earth [Rev. 20:1-7].
We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel [Deut. 30:1-10; Ezek. 37:21-28; Zech. 8:1-17], to restore them to the Land which they forfeited through disobedience [Deut. 28:15-68; 30:1-10], with the result that Israel was temporarily set aside [Matt. 21:43; Rom. 11:1-26], but who will once again be awakened through repentance [Jer. 31:31-34; Rom. 11:25-29], to enter into the land of blessing [Rev. 20:4-6]. This time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life [lsa. 11:1-16; 65:17-25; Ezek. 36:33-38], and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan [Rev. 20:7].
Judgment of the Lost
We teach that following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign, Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city [Rev. 20:9], at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven. Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone [Rev. 20:10], whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men [John 5:22], will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment. At this time the unsaved will receive their judgment [Rom. 14:10-13], and they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment [Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:11-15].
We teach that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan. and the judgment of unbelievers, the saved will enter the eternal state [Rev. 22:14] of glory with God; that the elements of this earth are to be “dissolved” [II Peter 3:10] and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells [Eph. 5:5; Rev. 20:15; Rev. 21, 22]; that the heavenly city that comes down out of heaven is to be the dwelling place of the saints where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another [Rev. 21:2; John 17:3; Eph. 2:11-16; Rev. 21, 22].
This doctrinal statement is the conviction of Cornerstone Baptist Church and we express appreciation to Grace Community Church, former congregations of Cornerstone, the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. and Calvary Baptist Church in helping us to clearly set forth our convictions.