Dayton Avenue Baptist Church Constitution
View the updated and approved church constitution.
The Scriptures of the Old and the New testaments were given by inspiration of God, without error in the words of their original writings, and are the only sufficient, certain, and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience. (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21, 1 Corinthians 2:13)
There is only one God who exists eternally as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each one is fully God while perfectly unified without division of nature, essence, or being. (Deuteronomy 6:4, John 1:1, 1 Peter 1:2, Acts 5:3-4)
Person of Jesus Christ
Christ is fully divine and eternal, uncreated and of equal essence with the Father. Yet He is also fully human being born of a virgin, being subject to weariness, temptation, and death as is common to all humanity. In His resurrection he appeared in a glorified body and thus remains fully God and yet fully human as he intercedes on our behalf. (John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:13-20, Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:19)
Substitutionary Atonement of Christ
Christ’s incarnation and crucifixion paid for the sins of the world and made a way for all people to be saved by faith in Himself. Christ lived a sinless, perfect life and died paying the penalty for sin so that humankind can be reconciled to God. Christ’s triumphant resurrection on the third day was a clear demonstration of the sufficiency of the payment and evidence that God’s wrath had been appeased through the sacrifice of His Son. The sins of the world were imputed to Christ so that the righteousness of Christ could be imputed to those who place their faith in his person and work. (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 4:10, 1 Corinthians 15)
All People are Sinful By Nature
Sin is failure to obey the moral law of God in act, attitude or nature. When Adam and Eve sinned, depravity and death marred but did not erase the image of God in humanity. From Adam, guilt was passed on to all subsequent generations so that all of humanity fell under condemnation for violating the law of God (Romans 5:12). In addition, human nature was now polluted being corrupted by sin so that from the moment of birth humankind is tainted by sinful thoughts, desires, and actions (Psalm 51:5). As such, humanity is totally depraved, or in complete bondage to the influence and penalty of sin apart from the gracious intervention of Christ.
Salvation By Grace through Faith
Because we are dead in our sins salvation can only occur because of God’s gracious initiative which began with his election of those who would be saved before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6). In response to God’s effectual call to salvation, an individual accepts the truth of the message and appropriates the salvation made available. Acceptance of God’s offer of salvation includes repentance of sin and faith in the person and work of Christ. This acceptance of God’s gracious offer of salvation is simultaneously an abandonment of all other futile attempts to bridge the chasm between humanity and God through good works or merit of any kind. At that point believers are given forgiveness of sin based upon the sacrifice of Christ and the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them (Romans 5:1-2, Ephesians 2:8-9).
Physical Return of Christ
Christ will return personally and visibly to the earth and the dead will be raised. Christ will serve as the judge and those who are found unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. But those who are found to have the righteousness of Christ will live forever in Heaven with the Lord in their glorified bodies. (John 14:3, 1 Thessolonians 4:16-17).
We believe that Jesus Christ gave two ordinances to the church which we practice according to the instruction provided in the New Testament.
Baptism is a public declaration of one’s obedience to and faith in Jesus Christ and is a visible symbol of salvation depicting the death to sin, new life in Christ, and purpose to live for Christ. Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in Christ and was one of two church ordinances that Christ taught should be practiced by the New Testament church. Baptism is not necessary for salvation nor does it have any saving efficacy whatsoever. This public confession of faith in Christ and declaration of one’s intent to follow Him is a prerequisite to church membership. See How to get to Heaven.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is the second ordinance Christ gave the church to be practiced regularly until his return. The bread and the juice are in no way a sacrifice but are meant to commemorate His death, confirm our faith, renew our fellowship with Him, and restore our fellowship with one another.