The Essentials We Believe

Erlanger Baptist Church affirms the Bible as THE inspired Word of God and the basis for our beliefs and actions. The church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963.

The essentials of what we believe are summarized below.

  • God

    God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe.  He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three are co-equal and are one God. 

    Genesis 1:1, 26, 27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; 

    Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14

  • Jesus

    Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is co-equal with the Father. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross.  He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death.  He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

    Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15;

    1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13

  • Holy Spirit

    The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God.  He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ.  He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation.  He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives ever believer a spiritual gift when they are saved.  As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.

    2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8;

    1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25

  • Bible

    The Bible is God’s Word to us.  It was written by human authority under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit.  It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living.  Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.

    2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13;

    Psalm 12:6, 119:105,160;  Proverbs 30:5

  • Human Beings

    People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character.  People are the supreme object of God’s creation.  Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. 

      Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2

  • Salvation

    Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it.  We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works.  Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty.  When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved.  Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

    Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

  • Security of the Believer

    Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it.  Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.  It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.

    John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5  

  • Eternal Life

    People were created to exist forevermore.  We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation.  To be eternally separated from God is Hell.  To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life.  Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.

    John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Cor. 2:7-9

What We Practice

Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions.  Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following practices:   

  • The Bible As Our Sole Authority

    and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”  ~ 2 Timothy 3:15 (NASB)

    Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living.  Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does the Bible say?”  We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization.  The Bible is the basis for all we believe.   

  • The Autonomy of the Local Church

    “He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything.”  ~ Colossians 1:18 (HSCB)

    Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe that each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord.  Its scriptural officers are elders/pastors and deacons.  While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder/pastor is limited to men qualified by Scripture.   

  • The Priesthood of the Believer

    But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” ~1 Peter 2:9 (HCSB) 

    The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation.  We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry.  Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.   

  • The Principle of the Tithe

    “Every tenth of the land’s produce, grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD it is holy to the LORD.”  Leviticus 27:30 (HCSB) 

    At Erlanger Baptist Church, we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s body, the Church, as God commands.  These resources are not simply kept at Erlanger Baptist, but a portion is also used to support ministry and missions around the world. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the biblical starting point of giving. 

  • The Act of Baptism by Immersion

    “Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”  ~ Colossians 2:12 (HCSB)

    We practice believer’s baptism by immersion under water — the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.

  • Spirit-Led Living

    “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”  ~ John 15:5 (HSCB)

    We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us.  So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 5:18).

  • Telling Others About Christ

    “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” ~1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)

    Those born again are to be the light of the world, the city on the hill, the salt of the earth, the aroma of Christ, the witness to the Gospel, the ambassadors of Christ, and a blessing to the nations, and as such, the primary means by which God has chosen to save the lost! It is thus inherent in our salvation that we become obedient to share the good news not only with those who naturally come across our paths, but those we are led to seek out for the sake of the Gospel.