What We Believe

THE SCRIPTURE

A.  The books of the Old and New Testament are the fully inspired word of God, a perfect treasure of Divine Truth.  (II Tim. 3:16; 

II Pet. 1:21; Psalm 12:6)

 

B.  The Holy Scriptures have been divinely preserved.  

(Isa. 59:21; Jer. 36:20-32; I Pet. 1:23-25)

 

C.  The Holy Scriptures are the final authority in all matters of faith, life, and practice.  (Mark 7:6-9; Acts 17:11, Hebrews 4:12)

 

D.  We, as believers, are responsible to study, know, and believe the Word of God so that we may live a holy life by faith in Jesus.

(Matt. 4:4; John 17:17; Rom. 12:2; Col. 3:16) 

 

THE PERSON AND NATURE OF GOD

A.  God is one and exists eternally in three Persons – the Trinity. 

     (Deut. 6:4; Rom. 3:30; Matt. 28:19)

     1.  The Father is God. (Col. 3:17; I Thess. 1:1; I Pet. 1:1)

     2.  The Son is God.  (Jn. 1:1-2, 14; Jn. 20:28; Acts 20:28;

          compare Revelation 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13)

     3.  The Holy Spirit is God. (Acts 5:3-4; Acts 13:2; 

          Heb. 3:7-11; Heb. 10:15-17)

 

 B.  God has revealed Himself to be:

        1.  Omniscient (Dan. 2:19-23)

        2.  Omnipotent (Gen. 17:1)

        3.  Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-12)

        4.  Holy (I Peter 1:15; Lev. 19:2)

        5.  Just (Rom. 3:21-26)

        6.  Love (I John 4:8)

        7.  True (Josh. 23:14)

        8.  Eternal (Ex. 3:14; Psalm 90:2)

        9.  Unchanging (James 1:17)

      10.  Sovereign (Rev. 6:10)

 

C.  God the Father has chosen God the Son, Jesus Christ, to have the preeminent and central place in the Church, with God the Spirit working in us to make this a reality. (John 15:26; John 16:13-14; Col. 1:15-18; Phil. 2:9-11)

 

D.  We, as believers, are responsible to worship and glorify God in spirit and in truth.  (John 4:24; I Cor. 6:19-20; Psalm 100)

 

JESUS CHRIST

A.  The Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, uniting His Divine and human natures in one undivided person.  (Phil. 2:6-8;  I Tim. 2:5)

 

B.  Jesus was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life.  He yielded Himself to death on the Cross as the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for our sins and those of all people.  (I Cor. 15:3; Luke 1:26-36; Rom. 3:22-26; Heb. 4:15)

 

C.  Jesus was resurrected with a glorified physical body and ascended to the Father, where he is the advocate for all who put faith in Him. (John 20:26-28; I Cor. 15:4-8; I Tim. 2:5)

 

D.  Jesus will return to earth visibly and in glory for His Church.  

(Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev.1:7)

 

E.  We, as believers, are responsible to know Jesus Christ as our Head – of the Universal Church, of the local church, and of each individual believer.  (Eph. 1:22; Eph. 4:15-16; I Pet. 1:1-2)

 

HOLY SPIRIT

 

A.  God the Holy Spirit regenerates with eternal life and personally

indwells every believer who puts his faith in Jesus Christ for salvation from his sin.  (John 3:5-7; Rom. 8:9; Titus 3:5)

 

B.  The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in every believer in Christ at the

instant of salvation.  His indwelling presence is the seal of our salvation.  If anyone does not have the Holy Spirit, he does not belong to Christ.  (I Cor. 12:13; Rom. 8:9)

 

C.  As a church, we acknowledge that believers sincerely hold a variety of views regarding the Baptism, the filling, and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.  Since such views are not essential to Salvation, we are  committed in love to allowing believers within this body to differ in good conscience.  (I Cor. 13)

 

D.  We, as believers, must not quench or grieve the Spirit, and are to be led by, filled with, and walk in the Holy Spirit.  Our experiences will be demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit revealed in our daily living. 

(Gal. 5:16, 18, 22-26; Eph.4:30; Eph. 5:18; I Thess. 5:19)

 

NATURE OF MAN

 

A.  Mankind was created in the image of God, was innocent, was without sin, and was given dominion over the earth.  Man enjoyed fellowship with God and harmony with his environment.  Through individual, personal choice sin was brought into the world; man became a fallen creature.  Consequently, death and all the other results of sin plague men to this day.  (Gen. 1:26, 28, 29; 

Gen. 2:8-16; Rom. 5:12)

 

B.  At the fall of mankind, our first parents experienced immediate

spiritual death (separation from God), and became subject to physical death at an appointed time.  All men since are born spiritually dead, and so are unable to please God in any way (total depravity).  All men are sinners both by nature and by practice.  (Gen. 2:17; Gen. 3:17-19, Rom. 3:10, 23)

 

C.  Man is a personal being, having Spirit, Soul and Body.  

(I Thess. 5:23)

 

D.  Fallen man, though a rational, ethical, moral being, has corrupted the image of God.  Outside of Christ, man’s spirit is dead, his soul is twisted by sin, and his body is decaying.  God’s image, in terms of righteousness and holiness, can be renewed in believers.  When we are made alive in Christ, we can see and think differently, delighting in God and those things God loves.  Our bodies must await resurrection.  We will not experience sinlessness in this life, but we can sin less and less and love more and more.  This is the process of spiritual growth we can undergo as we know and do the will of God.  (Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10; Rom. 7:25b; I Tim. 6:11-12) 

 

E.  Each individual must recognize that he/she is a fallen, wicked,

helpless, and condemned creature before a holy and omnipotent God.  God offers each of us a new life in which we are set free from these things by grace through faith in Jesus’ work on the Cross.  All of God’s dealings with us are motivated from His goodness, graciousness, and love and should provoke the humblest, most thankful response of faith, and glorification towards Him, our great God and Savior.  (Rom. 1:25; 

Rom. 3:9-24; I Tim. 6:11-12)

 

SIN

A.  Sin is anything contrary to the character of God.  God is neither author of nor responsible for sin.  Sin was introduced into the Angelic realm by Satan and into our world by Adam.  Sin is the result of preferring self over God.  (Job 34:10; Jas. 1:13-14; Jn. 8:44; Rom. 5:12)

 

B.  Sin results in death (separation from God).  When Adam sinned all men were counted guilty.  Sin is inherited – we are born spiritually dead and possess a sin nature.  Sin is committed and salvation needed by all men everywhere.  This includes those having no other revelation from God than the outward testimony of creation and the inward testimony of conscience.  (Psalm 51:5; Rom. 1:20; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; James 1:15)

 

C.  Man’s basic responsibility is to face honestly the facts of sin:

    1.   We commit sin because we choose sin.  We cannot blame

          circumstances, God, our own “weaknesses” (preferred

          areas of sin), or being overcome by temptations “just too

          strong” for us to

          handle.  (Psalm 51:2-4; Mark 7:15; I Cor. 10:13; 

          James 1:14, 15) 

    2.  God knows our most secret sins and cannot be deceived.  

         (Psalm 139:1-4; Jer. 17:9-10)

    3.  God has always provided a means to justly forgive sin

         through faith, if we will but openly admit our guilt.  

         (Psalm 51:17; I John 1:9)


SALVATION

A.  Our Lord Jesus Christ died on a cross of shame and humiliation, shedding His blood as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. (John 3:16; Matt. 28:19-20; I John 2:2)

 

B.  Salvation is a free and everlasting gift of God, received and retained entirely apart from works.  Salvation is received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us.  

(John 3:16-17; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-9)

 

C.  There is no other means, way, religion, or name for salvation than by grace by faith in Jesus Christ.  (Jn. 3:18; Jn. 14:6; 

Acts 4:12)

 

D.  One who has received Christ by faith will not be lost.  (Jn. 10:28-29; Rom. 8:38-39; I John 5:13)

 

E.  Every believer is responsible to evangelize the world.  Accomplishing God’s call must occupy a place of highest priority in every Christian’s life.  God’s call includes: unity, Godly living, witnessing, and support of missions (prayer, hospitality, and financial support).  (Matt. 4:19; Matt. 28:19-20; John 13:35;

Rom. 12:13; Col. 4:3-6; Eph. 4:1; III John 5-8)

 

THE CHURCH

 

A.  The New Testament Church is composed of all believers from the day of Pentecost to the rapture.  The Church is the Body of Christ; a person becomes a member when, upon their faith in Christ as Savior, they are baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ.  (Rom.12:5; I Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:13)

 

B.  Within the local church, a group of believers meets together for ministry, edification, fellowship, worship, and teaching. 

(Acts 2:42-47; I Cor. 14:12, 26, 31; Heb. 10:24-25)

 

C.  Dayspring Fellowship belongs to the Southern Baptist Convention, the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, and the Yates Baptist Association.  We hold an historic Baptist position that the local congregation is totally independent of any external, ecclesiastical control.  However, the Church cannot be self-sufficient, but must submit to its Head, the Lord Jesus, for guidance, protection, and power. We hold that the Church is one church regardless of denominational distinction.  (Col. 1:18; 4:15-16; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 5:29-30)

 

CHURCH GOVERNANCE

 

A.  Elders: Scripture sometimes refers to elders as overseers, bishops, and shepherds.  The term pastor is quite descriptive and equivalent in today’s language.  Elders (pastors) are responsible for the spiritual welfare of the believers, and for equipping and guiding them in their service to God.  (Acts 20:28-31; I Tim. 3:1-7; I Tim. 5: 17-18; I Pet. 5:1-3)   Elder responsibilities include:  Leading, Teaching, Equipping, Guarding, Admonishing, and Praying.

 

B.  Deacons:  Deacons serve and help the elders, generally caring for the saints’ temporal welfare, especially in ways that free the elders from these responsibilities.  (Acts 6:1-7; I Tim. 3:8-13)

 

C.  All saints are responsible for doing the work of God.  Leaders among the saints equip the saints for ministry, as well as minister

themselves.  (Eph. 4:11-12)  The responsibilities of the saints

(including elders and deacons) include walking worthily, honoring one another, honoring all men and ministering to one another using our spiritual gift(s).  (Rom. 12:6-9; Gal. 5:13; 

I Thess. 5:12-22; I Peter 4:8-11)

 

CHURCH ORDINANCES

 

A.  Baptism:  Baptism is a symbol of our identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.  Baptism is not a literal washing away of sin and is not required for salvation.  Baptism is an act of obedience to Jesus, proclaiming that one has chosen to turn from sin, and follow after Christ.  The only prerequisite is salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.  As Baptist Christians we believe, teach, and practice immersion as the form of baptism taught in the Scriptures.  We acknowledge that believers sincerely hold a variety of views regarding water baptism.  We honor the conscience of brothers and sisters who hold different views of baptism.  We gladly offer fellowship to all who have Christ as their Savior; however, to formally join Dayspring Fellowship one must be baptized by immersion.  Previous baptism by immersion by any church or denomination fulfills this requirement of membership.  Baptism is an individual act of conscience and so requires conscious choice of the one being baptized.  (Matt. 3:13-17, 

Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:37; I Cor. 1:13-17)

 

B.  Lord’s Supper (Communion):  Communion is the celebration of Jesus’ sacrifice for His church.  He commands us to “Do this in

remembrance of Me,” (Luke 22:19).  Communion symbolizes our

Lord’s sacrifice of His body and blood for us on the cross.  It is a  

symbol only, bestowing no grace, and provides no aid in reaching

heaven.  The bread symbolizes His broken body, the cup, His poured out blood.  Our congregation shares Communion once a

quarter.  (Matt. 26:26-28; I Cor. 11:23-26)

 

THE RETURN OF CHRIST AND FINAL JUDGMENT

 

A.  We believe in the personal, imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall return bodily, at a time only the Father knows.  

(Matt. 24:30-36)

 

B.  Believers who have died are consciously present with the Lord.  At Christ’s return, they will return with him and be reunited with their resurrected and glorified bodies, meeting the Lord in the air.  Then those Christians who are alive at Christ’s return will be instantly transformed and receive glorified bodies, ascending to meet our Savior.  Thus we shall always be with the Lord.  

(Acts 1:11; I Cor.15:42-44; I Thess. 4:13-18)

 

C.  Every human being will be personally held accountable before God in the final judgment at the end of this age.  Unbelievers will be called to account for their unbelief and for their deeds done in the flesh.  Believers will be called to account for their obedience to the Lord and His word and for the fruit which their life in God has produced.  Unbelievers will be separated from God eternally.  Believers’ works will be judged according to their spiritual worth; the quality of each person’s work will be revealed.  (Rev. 20:10-15; I Cor. 3:11-15)

 

SOCIAL ISSUES

 

A.  We believe that God’s will is sovereign, and that rightly applied, God’s truth always produces life and good fruit of every kind.  Thus the Bible is forever our final authority in all issues of public morality and social justice.

B.  While this position often means conflict with the world, we purpose to treat every person with respect and love, no matter what disagreements we may have on particular matters of social behavior or policy.  We will strive to understand the distinction between matters that are absolutely clear in Scripture, and those which are matters of personal conviction.

 C.  We as believers are responsible to know and speak the truth, but also to apply the truth to our own lives and the lives of others.  We are responsible not only to believe correctly, but “to do justice, love, and walk humbly with our God.” (Isaiah 1:15-17, Micah 6:8, Matthew 28:18)