Below is an accurate sketch of our beliefs, borrowed from the 1689 London Baptist Confession (and more directly from our statement of faith at GBC Hartsville).
OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH
I. God. We believe in one (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 45:5-6) eternal (I Tim. 1:17), knowable (Heb. 1:1-2), sovereign God (Dan. 4:34-35). He knows all things (Psa. 139:1-4), and providentially oversees all things (Mt. 10:29-31). He is merciful (Exod. 34:6), and just (Acts 17:31), loving (I Jn. 4:8), and holy (Rev. 4:8), great in power (Ps. 147:5) and good in purpose (Rom. 8:28). His glory is our chief concern (I Cor. 10:31).
II. Trinity. We believe in one God who exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19). All three are uncreated, coeternal, and equal in power, glory, and honor. They are rightly worshiped as the one true God–three in one, and one in three (Rev. 22:13, Acts 5:3-4).
III. Scripture. We believe, that while God has revealed himself in his creation (Ps. 19:1-6, Rom. 1:18-20), he has spoken to us most clearly in his word (Jn. 14:25-26, Deut. 6:6-7). The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are breathed out by God, holy, complete, and entirely without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16, Jn. 10:35, 2 Pet. 1:20-21). The Bible is our final authority in all matters of faith and life, of doctrine and godliness (Mt. 4:4, 2 Pet. 1:3-4).
IV. Creation. We believe God created the entire universe out of nothing (Gen. 1:1, Heb. 11:3). Man and woman were the crown of God’s good creation, being created in his own image (Gen. 1:26-27). As image-bearers, we were created to worship God and reflect him in true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9-10).
V. Fall. We believe that Adam and Eve, our first parents, rebelled against God and plunged themselves and all their offspring into ruin (Gen. 3:1-19). Because of Adam’s sin, we are all guilty sinners (Rom. 5:12-21). We come into the world with a sinful and corrupt nature (Ps. 51:5). We are spiritually dead and at enmity with God (Rom. 8:5-8) until God makes us alive in Christ (Jn. 6:44, Rom. 3:10-18, Eph. 2:1-5). The sinful, fallen nature expresses itself in sinful thoughts, words, actions and attitudes.
VI. Person of Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. We believe he is also the Son of the Living God (Mt. 16:16). He is fully man and fully God (1 Tim. 2:5, Titus 2:13). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20), born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect sinless life (Heb. 4:15), taught the way of God’s kingdom, worked miracles, suffered, died, and (bodily) rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-8). We believe that He ascended into heaven, reigns as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19, Acts 2:33) and lives forever to intercede as our High Priest, Advocate and only Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5).
VII. Work of Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died a shameful death as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice (Isa. 53), the just for the unjust (1 Pet. 3:18), that we might be counted righteous and forgiven of our sins (2 Cor. 5:21). He defeated the devil (Rev. 12:9), removed our guilt (Isa. 53:4-6), and became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), bearing the weight of God’s wrath (1 Jn. 1:8-2:2).
VIII. Salvation. We believe that we are justified (declared righteous before God) through repentance (Acts 2:38, 3:19) and faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone (Gal. 2:16). The only way (Jn. 14:6) to be adopted into God’s family is through union with his Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3-6). We believe that justification includes double imputation: our sins are imputed/credited to Christ and His righteousness is imputed/credited to the believing sinner. This is also know as “the great exchange.”
IX. Holy Spirit. We believe the Holy Spirit, working through the word, supernaturally converts (regenerates) the hearts of God’s people by making alive what was spiritually dead (Titus 3:5 / I Pet. 1:23). This work of regeneration is also known as the new birth and is a work that takes place in every sinner that comes to faith in Christ. The Spirit convicts us of sin (Jn. 16:8-11), leads us to repentance (Eze. 36:26-27), grants the gift of faith, teaches us the things of Christ and point us to Him, causes us to grow in holiness (2 Cor. 3:18), seals us for the day of redemption that we might be assured of our salvation (Eph. 1:13-14), and equips us with spiritual gifts for the building up of the body (I Cor. 12:7).
X. Church. We believe the church is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Eph. 2:11-12 / Rev. 5:9-10). This invisible body, of which Christ Jesus is the head, exists locally, and imperfectly, as the visible church. Jesus Christ has given his church two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Mt. 28:19-20 / I Cor. 11:23-26).
XI. Marks and Mission. We believe God’s people should be marked by Christlikeness (Eph. 5:1-2), prayerfulness (Rom. 12:12), joyful obedience (John 14:15), love of God and love of neighbor (Mt. 22:37-44). We believe the mission of the church is to make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Mt. 28:37-40) . As salt and light (Mt. 5:13-16), we seek to save the lost (I Cor. 9:19-23), love others in word and deed (I Pet. 4:11), work for righteousness and justice (Amos 5:24), and care for the hurting and needy (Jn. 3:16-18).
XII. Last Things. We believe Jesus Christ will return to earth personally, visibly, and bodily as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Acts 1:11). At his appearing the dead shall be raised and the living and the dead will be judged (1 Cor. 15:20-28). The wicked and unbelieving will be consigned to eternal punishment (Rev. 20:10 / Rev. 14:15). Those belonging to Jesus will have eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth and live in ever-increasing joy to the glory of God (Mt. 25:21 / Rev. 21:1-5).