Following are six brief statements drawn from the Bible which lay out Bridge Church’s core beliefs. For a more comprehensive statement of Southern Baptist doctrine please explore our denomination’s confession of faith “The Baptist Faith & Message” by clicking here.
The Bible – For Bridge Church it all begins and ends with the Bible. Without an objective, authoritative text we would have no firm foundation upon which to build any other beliefs. We believe that while God’s handiwork can be perceived in the created order around us (often called “general revelation”), the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are God’s “special revelation” of Himself and His redemptive purposes given to mankind through the lives and pens of men who wrote under the inspiration of God. The Bible thus serves as the foundation of all true knowledge of God and is the first and final authority for all matters of faith and practice in the lives of all who follow Christ (II Timothy 3:16).
God – From Genesis to Revelation the Bible reveals the triune nature of God who exists in three co-eternal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three Persons of the Godhead are united in perfect harmony of divine essence and purpose. The Father gives the Son as His gift of love to the world (John 3:16), the Son obediently submits to the Father (Philippians 2:8), and the Spirit comes at the will of the Father and Son to dwell within God’s people (John 14:17) and to guide God’s people into all truth (John 16:7-15).
Man/Sin – As the only being created in God’s own image (Genesis 1:26), human beings are designed to worship God and originally lived in a state of perfect fellowship with the Creator. However, in the Garden of Eden our earliest ancestors fell into temptation and chose to disobey God’s command (Genesis 3) and thereby brought upon all of their descendants the curse of original sin (Romans 3:23). Because of original sin all humans from the moment of conception (Psalm 51:5) are in a state of rebellion against God and are incapable of returning to fellowship with Him on their own. In His holiness God detests sin and must judge it, the penalty for which is death (Romans 6:23), and the punishment is eternal separation from God in hell–unless of course He should intervene on our behalf.
Salvation – God has indeed chosen to intervene on behalf of sinners, by sending His perfect, fully divine & fully human Son Jesus to bear for us the penalty of the Father’s wrath toward our sin on the cross. Because God is both just towards sinners and the Justifier of sinners (Romans 3:26), those whom He has called through the gospel message to place faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, receive forgiveness of sin and are reconciled to God having been made into new creatures (II Corinthians 5:17-18).
Mission – Not only has God reconciled and redeemed people for Himself through His only Son, Jesus Christ, but He also sends them on a mission of reconciliation in the world (Matthew 28:19-20) in which we are to call all peoples everywhere to be reconciled to God through faith in Christ (II Corinthians 5:20) and to form indigenous worshiping communities (i.e. local churches). Teaching others (both within and beyond our immediate spheres of influence) how they may know God’s forgiveness is not optional for the followers of Jesus, nor is it a burden of drudgery, but rather a task to be undertaken with joy – there is no higher calling, no grander purpose around which to orient one’s life and priorities!
Eternity – The Bible declares that God has hard-wired every human being to embrace the reality of an eternal existence (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Even though our finite minds cannot fully grasp the concept of eternity it is likewise impossible to imagine simply non-existence. Scripture speaks of but two eternal abodes: 1) hell, which the Bible horrifyingly describes as a “lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15), where those who remain in a state of rebellion against God, who resist and refuse His grace, will dwell in conscious and everlasting torment, separated from God and everyone else, and 2) heaven, where those who repent and are reconciled to God through faith in Christ will dwell forever in a state of perfect joy in the very presence of God and all of the redeemed (Revelation 21:1-4) once God’s mission for them on earth is complete.