As a constituent of the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT Narrabeen Baptist Church accepts the doctrinal basis of the Union, as set out below:
5. DOCTRINAL BASIS
5.1 – THE NATURE AND UNITY OF THE GODHEAD
There is one God Who is eternal personal Spirit. He is infinite in power, wisdom, holiness and love. He is Triune in essential being and revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
5.2 – THE DEITY AND HUMANITY OF CHRIST
Jesus Christ as the second Person of the Godhead is eternally one with God the Father of whose person and glory He is the accurate expression. To become man He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures, the nature of God and the nature of man, were united in one person: truly God and truly man.
5.3 – THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity is eternally one with the Father and the Son yet He is sent by Them to achieve the Divine purpose in the world and in the Church.
5.4 – THE DIVINE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
The Scriptures, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, are the infallible and inerrant Word of God. They were written by holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit and have supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
5.5 – THE SINFULNESS OF MAN
Man was made in the image of God and for fellowship with Him. By transgression of God’s command, he fell from fellowship with God and his nature was corrupted. As a consequence, all men are spiritually dead under Satan’s dominion and control and subject to God’s wrath and condemnation. Therefore apart from God’s grace, man is helpless and hopeless.
5.6 – CHRIST’S ATONEMENT FOR THE SIN OF MAN
In order to redeem mankind from the guilt, penalty and power of sin. Jesus Christ became man and died a sacrificial death as our representative substitute. By His resurrection, God’s acceptance of His atoning death was demonstrated. This atonement is sufficient for the whole world but effective only in those who receive it. The sinner is justified and reconciled to God, not through any personal merit but solely on the basis of God’s gracious gift of salvation in Jesus Christ received through faith.
5.7 – THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN SALVATION
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the acceptance of God’s provision of salvation. The Holy Spirit convinces sinners of their sinfulness, leads them to personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and so brings them to spiritual birth as God’s children and to fellowship in Christ. Working within the life of believers the Holy Spirit makes real the presence of Christ, witnesses to their relationship with God leads into all truth, bestows gifts for effective service and produces graces for holy living.
5.8 – THE CHURCH
The Church is the body of people whom God has separated from the world through faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. All regenerate persons are members of the universal Church of God which takes local form wherever groups of believers unite for worship, fellowship and service in accordance with scriptural principles. All believers are called to a priestly ministry in the offering of spiritual sacrifices and sent into the world to be witnesses. God calls individuals to positions of oversight and leadership or to special ministries. The Church recognises such by ordaining pastors, commissioning missionaries, appointing deacons and other leaders, following New Testament practice.
5.9 – THE BAPTISM OF BELIEVERS ONLY BY IMMERSION
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a public declaration of a person’s faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In accordance with New Testament Scripture it should be administered only by total immersion which symbolises the believers identification with Christ in death, burial and resurrection, the remission of sins and the believer’s dedication of himself to God to live and walk in newness of life.
5.10 – THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ, instituted by Him to be celebrated with the elements of bread and wine by believers in Christ until the end of the age. It commemorates and declares our thanks for the Lord’s substitutionary death. The celebration of the ordinance expresses our fellowship with and in the Lord Jesus Christ as members of the Body of which He is the Head.
5.11 – THE RETURN OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
At the end of this age, according to His promise Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in His glory to the earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom of God awaits His return.
5.12 – THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
At the end of the age, there is to be a resurrection both of the righteous and the unrighteous. After death the bodies of men return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God – the righteous to be with Him and the unrighteous to be reserved for the judgement.
5.13 – REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS IN A FUTURE STATE
God has appointed a day of final judgment for the world. At that time Jesus Christ will judge every man and each will receive reward or punishment according to his righteousness. Those judged righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment.
6. PRINCIPLES AND IDEALS OF THE BAPTIST FAITH
6.1 – CHILD DEDICATION
Baptists approve of the presentation of children to God by parents, if thereby they solemnly undertake to train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in the home and in the Church.
6.2 – THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CONVERSION
6.2.1 - Baptists preach the gospel of the Father’s love and the message of the Cross, as the Way of Life to all. Conversion is acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord through the work of the Holy Spirit. Conversion also involves a repentance or turning away from previous ungodly practices or sin.
6.2.2 - This acceptance of Christ is a personal and deliberate act, involving the assent of the mind, the decision of the will and the love of the heart.
6.2.3 - The avowal of allegiance to Christ implies a constant endeavour to live a life worthy of, and well-pleasing to Him in all things.
6.3 – THE CHURCH – A SPIRITUAL SOCIETY
Baptists hold that the Church, as established by the Lord Jesus Christ, consists of persons who have personally accepted Him as Saviour and Lord, and pledged themselves to discipleship and service in the Kingdom of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
6.4 – THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST IN THE CHURCH
6.4.1 - Baptists hold and teach that Jesus Christ alone is the Head of the Church.
6.4.2 - He is the sole authority in all matters of faith and conduct, in the life both of the Church and the individual.
This involves liberty of thought and conscience, and the rights of the believer and the Church, freed from any ecclesiastical or other external authority, to interpret His mind under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
6.5 – THE STANDARD OF BELIEF
6.5.1 - Believing that the voice of the Church is subordinate to the voice of Christ and that the mind of the Master is the standard of Christian belief.
6.5.2 - Baptists claim the personal privilege, and accept the Christian responsibility of interpreting God’s Word under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
6.6 – THE MINISTRY OF LEADERSHIP
6.6.1 - In adopting the principle of congregational government, each Member having equal rights and responsibilities, the Baptist Church is largely dependent on the reality and vigour of the spiritual life of its individual Members.
6.6.2 - This spiritual life is generated by the understanding and inspiration of Christ’s teaching, and by the creation and maintenance of a spiritual atmosphere, in which all that is unworthy dies, and in which Christian life becomes healthy and vital.
6.6.3 - The Baptist Minister accepts his office from the Lord of the Church and he is a servant of the Church. He is required to give constant attention to the service of Christ in His Church, engaged in the Ministry of the Word and in prayer and to seek the welfare of men’s souls as those who must give account to the Lord. He is the spiritual leader in the life and ministry of the Church and is accountable to the Church through the Church Council.
6.6.4 - Associated with the Ministerial Team, as defined in Rule 2.6.3, in the spiritual oversight of the Church are men and women chosen for their Christian gifts and graces, who are called to be examples to the Members of the Church, in conduct, zeal, self denial and generosity. Deacons and Elders are appointed as spiritual leaders to work in cooperation with the Ministerial Team and Church members.
6.6.5 - The Church Quarterly General Meeting is the seat of authority in the management of Church business.
6.7 – THE CHRISTIAN SIGNIFICANCE OF BAPTISM
6.7.1 - Christian Baptism, by which is meant the immersion of believers as instituted by our Lord, is a personal, public confession of the believer’s identification with Christ, and also a blessing to the Christian.
6.7.2 - Baptism is an outward act which symbolises, but does not effect regeneration, and salvation is not dependent on it.
6.7.3 - Baptism is a privilege and a personal responsibility, and is a help to believers in reminding them of their spiritual union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
6.8 – THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
6.8.1 - The Lord’s Supper is a service of spiritual fellowship whereby, through remembrance of His life and death all believers may experience the reality and influence of His presence.
6.8.2 - It is an opportunity of entering into close fellowship with the Lord where there is a re-kindling of love and a consecration of life to His service.
6.9 – THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM
Baptists recognise their responsibility to strive for the establishment of the kingdom of God in the world and teach that Membership in the Church implies service and sacrifice. This involves stewardship of time, talents and money which aims at being worthy of the Son of God who loved and served mankind, even unto death.
6.10 – THE PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS
This simply means that no one individual by virtue of his office alone attains a higher spiritual standard than any of his fellows. We are all spiritual equals in Christ. There is no special order of priests who stand between God and man. Even the administration of ordinances (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) can if necessary, be administered by other than the minister. Therefore the ministry is the responsibility of the whole fellowship.