I. THE WORD OF GOD
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God, verbally inspired by God, and is without error in the original manuscripts. We believe that the Bible is the supreme and final authority in testing all claims about what is true and what is right, and also in testing all matters of saving knowledge, faith and Christian conduct. In matters not addressed by the Bible, what is true and right is to be assessed by criteria consistent with the teaching of Scripture. Psalm 19:7; Mark 13:31; John 8:31, 32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21
II. THE TRIUNE GOD
We believe that God eternally exists in three Persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Though He is Triune, we believe God is without division of nature, essence, or being; and that each Person of the Godhead possesses, and is equal in, every divine perfection. We believe the Persons of the Triune God execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of all things, and that the Triune God alone possesses exhaustive knowledge and so purposes all things according to the counsel of His own will. Genesis 1:1,26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1,3; 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:1-14; 4:5-6.
A. GOD THE FATHER
We believe in God the Father, an infinite Personal Spirit, Who concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity, hears and answers prayer, and Who saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. To Him alone all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, trust, and obedience. We believe that there is one living and true God, the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfections, being infinite in them all. Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 145:3;Matthew 23:9; Luke 10:21, 22; John 1:3; 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 10:31; Colossians 1:16-17; 1 Timothy 1:1, 2, 17; 2:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6
B. JESUS CHRIST
We believe in Jesus Christ, the preexistent only begotten Son of God, being Himself fully God and fully man. We believe that Jesus fulfills scriptures in his life and works. We believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary who remained a virgin until after the birth of Christ. We believe in His sinless life, miracles, and teachings; His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth. We believe that Jesus Christ is the divinely appointed and only Mediator between God and man; the head of the church; the Prophet, Priest, and King and the Sovereign of all creation. Isaiah 53:10-12; Matthew 1:18-25; 20:28; Luke 1:26-38; 24:44-49; John 1:1, 14; 20:28, 30-31; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9, 10; 8:34; 9:5;1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 1:4; 4:10-16; 5:23; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1:1-3; 3:16; 7:25; 9:28; I Peter 2:21-23; Revelation 5:6-14.
C. THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in God the Holy Spirit, eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. We believe the Holy Spirit is a Person, Who instead of glorifying Himself, glorifies the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Apart from the gracious working of the Holy Spirit no one could come to faith in Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, that He faithfully preserves all saints until the end for the glory of God alone, and that He perpetually intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Adoption, the Seal of our Salvation, and the Pledge of our inheritance in Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every person who trusts in Christ, empowering every Christian to make progress in overcoming sin and in becoming more like Jesus Christ in thought, deed, and love for God. John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26-27; John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9, 14-17; 26-27; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 1:13-14.
We believe that God, from eternity, ordains all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events, yet so as not in any way to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of moral beings. Isaiah 46:9-11; Psalm 115:3; Proverbs 16:33; Colossians 1:17;Hebrews 1:3; James 1:13-15.
IV. THE FALL OF HUMANITY
We believe that man was created by God in His own image and for His glory, but that man sinned and fell short of the glory of God, thus incurring physical, spiritual, and eternal death, which is eternal separation from the favor of God in an everlasting hell. Consequently, we believe that all human beings are born with a sinful nature opposed to God and His law, and are sinners by choice, therefore being under God’s just condemnation. Genesis 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:1-7, 19; 6:5, 12; 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9; John 5:24; Romans 3:9-20; 5:12-19; 6:21, 23; 7:13; 8:6-7; 9:22; Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; James 1:14-15; 1 John 3:14; Revelation 21:8.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Psalm 51:7; Matthew 13:44; John 1:13; 3:14, 16; 5:24, 30; 8:12; 17:3; Romans 3:21-26; 6:11; 8:1; I Corinthians 15:1-2; II Corinthians 5:17,19; Philippians 3:7-13; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:12; 3:1-3; Hebrews 3:12-14; 10:39; I John 1:9.
We believe that Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
We believe that regeneration is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit Who gives life to those dead in trespasses and sins, awakening their minds, and renewing their whole nature, so that they practice repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. This divine work produces the desire to love and practice holiness according to the word of God. We believe regeneration is the work of God’s free and special grace alone, yielding in the regenerate an instantaneous and eternal paramount allegiance to Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we believe that the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is not the result of water baptism or any outward ritual. Ezekiel 36:25-26; John 1:13; 3:3, 5-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5:1.
C. REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe repentance and faith are gifts from God, which follow upon God’s gracious drawing of sinners through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Repentance occurs when a person being led by the Holy Spirit is made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, detests and turns from it, humbling himself with godly sorrow and undertakes by the strength which God supplies to walk before Him so as to please Him in all things. Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ, and a clinging to and trusting Christ alone for justification, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life. Saving faith is necessarily accompanied by all other saving graces, leading to a life of holiness, the outcome of which is eternal life. Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 3:8-10; Mark 1:15; John 3:16, 36;5:24; 6:40, 44, 65; Acts 2:37-38; 11:18; 13:38-39; 17:30; 20:21; Romans 2:4-5; 3:21-28; 4:1-5, 17-25; 6:22; 8:1; 10:3-4, 14, 17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 7:10-11; Ephesians 2:8-10;Philippians 1:29; 3:9; Hebrews 11:6; James 2:14-26.
We believe justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God. Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 4; 5:1-2; 10:6-13; Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16-21; 3:6-9
We believe sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life. Romans 6; 7:6, 21-25; 8:9-17; I Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 5:16-26; Philippians 3:13-14; Hebrews 2:9-18; 12:1-3, 14
We believe glorification is the believer’s sharing and participating in the glory of God; it is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed. Romans 8:17-18, 30; Colossians 1:27; 3:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:24; Revelation 21:1-22:5
VI. CHRISTIAN CONDUCT
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well being of others—particularly by communicating to all peoples the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A Christian’s conduct should be blameless before the world, he should be a faithful steward of his possessions, and he should seek through the strength which God supplies, to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ, pressing after a heavenly life in joyful obedience to all Christ’s commands. Ezekiel 36:27; Matthew 5:16, 31-32; 19:1-9; 28:20; John 14:15, 23-24; Romans 1:26-27; 6:1-7:6; 8:3-4, 12-14; 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 4:2; 6:9-10, 18; 10:31; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; 12:21; Galatians 5:13-24; 6:7-10; Ephesians 5:3-6; Hebrews 12:1-2; 13:5; Colossians 1:9-10; 3:17; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; 1 Peter 2:12; 2 Peter 1:3-11; 1 John 2:3-6; 3:16-
VII. THE CHURCH
We believe that the Lord Jesus is head of the Church. We believe in one holy universal Church made up of all who trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We believe that God calls believers to unite in local churches as a means of helping each other preeminently value Christ by praising Him together, growing in our love and knowledge of Him, stirring each other up to love and good deeds, and practicing all other Christian graces all for the glory of God and the joy of the Christian. We believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to those who have been converted for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. The regular officers of a Church are Elders (Pastors), and Deacons. Matthew 28:18-20; John 10:16; Acts 1:8; 2:42; 6:1-7; 15:36, 41; 16:5; 20:17-38; Romans 6:3-4; I Corinthians 11:23-26; 16:1; Galatians 1:1-3;Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 4:11-16; 5:19-21, 23; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 3:16; I Timothy 3; Titus 1; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25; Revelation 1:4-11.
VIII. THE ORDINANCES
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to His churches: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Baptism is in no way salvific, but that Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and our identity with Him in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of church membership. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is in no sense a sacrifice, but was instituted by Christ for His church to commemorate His death, to stimulate faithful obedience to all Christ’s commands, and to be a pledge and renewal of their communion with Him and with other born again believers. We believe that these two ordinances should be administered and observed until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 26:26-29; 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-31; 12:13.
VIV. THE LAST THINGS
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the consummation of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body and the final judgment of all people leading to the eternal joy of the righteous in the Lord’s presence and the endless suffering of the wicked in hell. Matthew 16:27; 25:31-46; Mark 14:62; John 5:28-29; 14:3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 2:6-11; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:12-28; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Revelation 20:4-6,11-15.
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
We believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
We believe that the husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
We believe that children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
XI. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
We believe that God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. We believe that civil government has been ordained of God, thus, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. We believe the church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. We believe the gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.
XII. CHURCH COOPERATION
We believe that local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in an organized fashion. Such cooperation, whether a local association, state convention, or a denomination, exists and functions by the will of the churches, and is voluntary cooperation that may be terminated at any time. This being understood, City of Joy Church is affiliated with the North American Mission Board, Send Network, Pillar Network, Metro New York Baptist Association (MNYBA); the New York Baptist State Convention; and the Southern Baptist Convention. This church may likewise cooperate with interdenominational or nondenominational fellowships on a voluntary independent basis. Acts 15:36, 41; 16:5; I Corinthians 16:1;Galatians 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4, 10-11.