Here at Ridgedale our beliefs are seen in the vision for our church: Encounter Christ, Equip Disciples, and Engage the Nations. We also know doctrine and beliefs can sometimes be overwhelming. That understood, we want to provide a concise articulation of the doctrinal convictions to which we adhere to at Ridgedale Baptist Church.
We are steadfast in our commitment to historical Christian orthodoxy. As a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, we also affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Below is a summation of our core doctrinal convictions.
God Is Triune
There is one God who is infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love; existing in three co-existent, co-equal, and co-eternal Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God the Father
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His Word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. He is the sovereign sustainer of all His creation. In His unfathomable grace, He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for mankind’s redemption. His intention for all creation, in particular man, is to live in fellowship with Himself.
Jesus Christ is the only Son of God. He is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He is fully God and fully man. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world. He is now at God’s right hand interceding for His people and rules as Lord over all. He will one day return again. He is the head of His body, the Church.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is 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, and to lead them to trust in His divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells within the believer. He is the active agent in our sanctification, providing the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.
The Bible is the written Word of God and is the essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. It is inspired by God; therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. The Bible is authoritative, providing guidance for all Christian life, practice, and doctrine.
God made man – male and female – in His own image. Tempted by Satan, however, man rebelled against God and is subject to divine wrath. Apart from a special work of grace, he is incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive, extending to the mind, will, and affections. Fallen, sinful people are lost and without hope apart the salvation that comes from Christ alone.
The gospel is the good news that God is reconciling sinners to himself in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus, being perfect, lived a sinless life. He lived the life we were meant to live. He then willingly died a horrific death, the death we deserve to die, offering his life as a substitutionary sacrifice to God. His death satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace.
Salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by repentance and personal faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ alone. Those who are truly redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union 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 literal places of eternal existence.
The Church is a spiritual organism made up of redeemed humanity. The Church is more than somewhere we go or something we do, it is something we are. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church and believers are members of His Body. The establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament. It is within the local church, God’s people are to be nurtured, encouraged, and equipped for the work of the ministry. The Church is sent to bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ.
The ordinance of Baptism is for individuals who confess belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In obedience to Christ’s command and as a public testimony, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism serves as a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ. It signifies a former way of life being put to death and a person’s release from the mastery of sin.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on the believer’s behalf. We partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of self-examination. In observing the Lord’s Supper, we remember the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body, and look forward to his return.