In this series we are talking about Doctrine because Doctrine Matters. What we believe and why we believe it is very important. We have looked at Articles 1 (The Bible) and 2 (God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit) of the Baptist Faith and Message, now we will look at Article 3.
What do we believe about man? Where did man come from and what is his purpose? What is his problem and how can he be redeemed?
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation.
We believe that man was created by God. Man is not the result of random chance or natural processes, as the theory of evolution teaches, but is the special creation of God, made in the image of God. (Gen 1:26-30). God created Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils, the breath of life. We posses a mind, a will and emotions because God does.
He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. (Gen 1:27).
Today there is much confusion about what it means to be a man and a woman. God created Eve to be a complement and a helpmeet to Adam (Gen 2:18-22). Gender is a part of God’s plan for creation and the different sexes (male and female) are by His design.
In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race.
Something very significant happened in what we call “the fall of man.” Originally Adam and Eve were innocent of sin and had complete free will. They had the choice of whether to obey God or not. God commanded them not to eat from one tree in the Garden of Eden. When they chose to disobey God, they fell from that original state and now have mankind has inherited a sin nature and are born into this state of what we call “Total Depravity.” This is why our confession says, “Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin.
All people are now born sinners by nature. It is not as if people are “neutral” in regards to good and evil. All people have a “bent” or a “nature” towards sinning. This is why the confession says, “Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.
There is a distinction in the wording here of “as soon as they are capable of moral action.” The idea of a capacity for moral choices and an understanding of right and wrong.
Because all people are spiritually blinded and sin infects every fibre of their being, the confession says,”Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God.”
Man is unable to save himself. I like the word “enable” in the confession, “only the Grace of God can enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God.” This means that man has an inability when it comes to salvation. The sinfulness of man makes it necessary for the Holy Spirit to break the chains of man’s bondage to his sin nature.
The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man;
Human life is sacred because we are created in God’s image. This is why murder, abortion and euthanasia are all wrong because God is the author of life and no one has the right to determine when that life ends except God. Christ gave his life to pay the penalty that man deserved.
therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
All people have value are worth because we are all created in God’s image. Racism is a sin because there is no race that is better than another. All people have value to God. The Great Commission is the make disciples of “all nations.” Revelation says that in heaven there will be a “great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,.” The cure for racism is the Gospel because Christ died for “all men.” Christ is the hope for the hatred that we see around us today.
This is what we believe. Now, let’s live it for the Glory of God.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.