Our statement of Beliefs
These beliefs are at the heart of all we say and do at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church. We've included references from the Bible if you would like to study the Biblical basis for these beliefs
I. We believe in the historic Christian faith, reflected in these statements:
We believe that God is the loving Creator of all that exists, both seen and unseen. God is eternal and completely good, knowing all things, having all power and majesty. God exists as the Trinity, in three persons, yet one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God passionately desires relationship with us and towards this end continually invites us into relationship of faith, friendship, learning, and service.
About Jesus Christ
We believe that God expressed himself in human form through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified for the sins of us all, was buried, rose again from the dead, and ascended to heaven.
About the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, sent from God to live inside all who believe in Jesus Christ, teaches, comforts, and empowers us, giving each follower diverse gifts, fostering unity, interdependence, productivity, Christ-like character, and love among Christians.
Romans 5:5 and Romans 8
1 Corinthians 12-14
About the Bible
We believe that the Bible is God's Word, and that God speaks to us in the Bible, and that is our privilege to seek to understand God's message and apply it responsibly to our lives. The Bible is our standard in all we say and do. God's unchangeable Biblical message ought to be presented in relevant and contemporary ways, free of religious jargon and understandable to the people of our community.
We believe that all people are created with dignity and value in the image of God, to live in a vital relationship with God. However, through our sin (failing to live by God's moral standards), as well as our fallen condition as sinners, we break our intended relationship with God and we experience the destructive consequences of that broken relationship, spiritually and socially, in this life and beyond. However, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from those consequences and to restore our broken relationships with God and others, through Christ's death on the cross, a perfect act of redemption for each of us. Salvation comes to people on the basis of God's grace through their faith in Jesus alone. They receive the free gift of forgiveness and are spiritually reborn through repenting of their sin and believing in Jesus Christ. Good works and a holy life, although totally unable to save anyone, are the natural product of repentant believing people.
II. We believe in teamwork
We work together according to our God given gifts and talents, in order to fulfill and carry out our function in the Body of Christ. We seek to exercise and respond to leadership in a Scriptural manner, and to work in partnership with one another.
III. We believe in responsible financial stewardship
We encourage people to handle their finances discreetly, honorably, and responsibly, and to practice regular and generous giving.
IV. We believe in community
We express our strong value of community by seeking to reach out and connect with a diversity of people. We want to be personal and caring in a world that is increasingly fragmented and impersonal. We are not afraid to be vulnerable, human, and honest with each other. We believe our spirituality fulfills rather than denies our humanity, and we believe this approach strengthens community.
V. We believe in unity among Christians
Mount Pisgah recognizes diversity among Christians in nonessential areas. We do not press for uniformity in these areas, but rather encourage people to search the Scriptures, seeking balance, mutual understanding, humility and love. Additionally, we seek to respect one another's differences without a quarrelsome, arrogant or divisive spirit, and to return continually to the great commandment, to love God and one another.
- Membership counts me in on a great mission.
- Membership commits me to a community of mutually committed people.
- Membership helps the community keep expectations clear.
- Membership affirms that we hold similar values and beliefs.
- Membership helps us deal with financial, as well as other physical and spiritual issues directly, discreetly, and up front.
- Members understand their role and use their gifts, talents, and abilities.
- Membership counts you in as a host to newcomers.
I. We are all in need of God's free grace.
a. We are sinners, and therefore we sin (Ephesians 2:1-3)
b. As sinners, we deserve death (Romans 6:23)
II. God does not leave us without hope in our sinful condition. He has done something to rescue
a. Christ came to die for us as our substitute (Romans 5:6-8)
b. God did this because He loves us (John 3:16)
III. God is more than ready to offer us freedom and forgiveness, as well as a brand new life through a
relationship with Him.
a. We must be honest about our condition and admit that there is nothing we can "do" to save
b. Once we are honest about our need for God's grace, the Bible tells us what to do
IV. Have YOU made this decision in your life?
Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"
What does "baptizing" mean? Baptism is a ritual or practice involving water to identify someone as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, it's easy to get distracted by a lot of theological controversies when the subject of baptism comes up. Let's not get distracted by the mode of baptism (should we immerse in, pour, or sprinkle the water?) or the timing of baptism (should infants be baptized in anticipation of their eventual commitment to become disciples, or should only people be baptized who are old enough to make their own meaningful commitment?). Let's rather focus on the meaning of baptism.
What's the Meaning of Baptism?
Baptism is rich in meaning. Baptism suggests cleansing. When you are a disciple, you understand that you are are cleansed by Christ. You understand that Christ died in your place on the cross, paying for your sins, fully forgiving you for all your wrongs. You are cleansed from guilt, and you are becoming a cleaner, healthier, more whole person.
Baptism suggests an ending and a new beginning. Immersion especially dramatizes this: a person is buried under the water, signifying the end of his or her old "BC" (before Christ) life, and then rises up out of the water, signifying the beginning of his or her new life as a disciple.
Baptism indicates a new identity. Let's use an analogy. When a woman gets married, she accepts and wears a ring, which is a symbol of her vow and commitment. The ring isn't what makes her married, and it isn't what makes her love her husband. The commitment is what makes her married, and the relationship is what makes her love her husband. But she wears he ring as a symbol of her identity as a woman in commitment and relationship to her husband.
Baptism suggests that a person has similarly entered into a relationship and commitment to Jesus Christ. It says, "Our relationship has progressed from a casual acquaintance or friendship to a deep, lifelong commitment."
Like a Wedding Ring
Not only that, but through baptism, like wearing a wedding ring, a person is going public. He is saying. "I'm not ashamed of this commitment. I want to be publicly identified as a person of commitment."
In a marriage, the ring is often associated with taking on a new name, which suggests a new identity.
That's why the words in bold below are so important:
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
A New Identity
Baptism means that you now identity with God as you Father, with Jesus as God's Son, with the Holy Spirit as God not only "up there" but also God "in here". God alive and present in your own heart, your own life. It means you aren't ashamed of this new identity. It means you are going public with your commitment.
Let's take some time for self-assessment:
How would you describe your relationship with God, using the marriage analogy?
a) We're not even acquaintances
b) We've never met
c) We're casual acquaintances
d) I acknowledge God's existence
e) We're "dating"
f) I'm considering becoming more committed
g) We're committed and I have accepted God's invitation to come into a close, meaningful, intense, and loving relationship.
Baptism Makes a Statement
If you are committed to learn from Jesus how to live life to the fullest, and if you are committed to help others learn to live that way too, and if you have accepted God's invitation into a lifelong relationship as wall as accepted this new identity as a disciple, then you should be baptized to demonstrate that commitment. By being baptized, you'll be saying, "I am a disciple, and I am committed to the mission of helping others become disciples too."
Personal Response and Member Affirmation Form
I. Salvation and Baptism
a. Do you feel confident that if you died today, you would be with God in heaven?
___ Yes: Why?
___ No: Why?
___ Yes, with some reservations. What are they?
b. Have you ever been baptized since becoming a believer?
___Yes: Where and when?
___ If no, would you like to be baptized as a declaration that you have indeed received God's free gift of grace and surrendered your life to God?
�III. Member Affirmation
Statement of commitment: I hereby affirm that I have listened to the membership class and am willing to commit myself to the mission, vision, values and beliefs of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church. I am committed to live in and by God's grace, to grow as a follower of Jesus, to practice regular giving, as well as use my gifts to serve others as God leads. I now desire to be received as a member.
I also authorize the church to store and use the information I have provided below.
Signature of Prospective member Date
Last Name __________________________________________
First Name __________________________________________
Phone (Home) _______________________
Email address ______________________________________
Marital Status ________________________________
If married, spouses' name _________________________________________________
I am joining by:
- __ Declaration of faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior
- __ Statement from another church
- (Church name:_____________________________
- __ By letter from _________________________________________