Confession of Our Common Faith
Adopted February 8, 2007 and Revised September 8, 2011
Confessions in the Baptist tradition declare the church’s faith with conviction, joy and freedom. Baptists historically emphasize the right of individuals to interpret the Scripture as led by the Holy Spirit, the priesthood of the believer, and freedom of religion. However, these do not mean there is an absence of doctrines that we cherish and believe. It is incumbent on believers to clarify the non-negotiables of our faith. The following affirmations by Transformation Ministries are an attempt to articulate such essentials in the midst of a pluralistic religious landscape.
We wish to clarify that salvation is God’s free gift of grace and is received through simple faith in Jesus Christ and repentance of sin. Salvation is not the result of cognitive assent to doctrinal statements.
Confessions do not replace or supplement the Bible and its authority. Nor are they a substitute
for the living, dynamic relationship, which we have in Jesus Christ. This confession attempts only to confirm some of what is central to the faith, and by intent it is silent on less weighty matters. It is our conviction that what is written here represents a consensus of doctrine, which will aid in guarding the deposit of truth, which we believe is revealed in Scripture.
1. That the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is the divinely inspired Word of God, the final and trustworthy authority for faith and practice. It is to be interpreted responsibly under the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the community of faith. The Bible clearly reveals the essentials necessary for salvation and the basics of how to conduct our lives. It is the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. (Deuteronomy 4:1-2; II Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21)
2. That there is only one true and eternal God consisting of three co-equal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; John 4:24; John 14:6-13; Galatians 4:6; 2 Peter 1:17; Psalm 2:7ff; Isaiah 7:14; John 1:1-18; Hebrews 1:8; Psalm 51:11; 1 John 4:13; Acts 5:3,4)
3. That God created humankind in the divine image. Through Adam’s fall all became sinful, lost and condemned. Each human being by deliberate choice participates in sin and is in need of redemption through Christ. (Genesis 1:26-30; Ephesians 2:1-22; Romans 1:19-32, 5:12-21)
4. That Jesus Christ is God’s Son, fully divine and fully human, the eternal and pre-existent Word. By His death Christ made full atonement for our sins, and by his resurrection showed Himself to be the Lord and giver of life to all who believe. (Hebrews 1:1-3, 4:14‑15; John 1:1-3,14)
5. That God offers forgiveness of sin and justification through faith in Christ Jesus apart from works. Such redemption is received by human individuals as God’s gift upon repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. Through Christ the believer becomes a new creation, whose mind and will are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit from loving sin, to loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, and loving all people as we love ourselves. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 2:8-22; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Matthew 22:37-38)
6. That the Church is a community of faith consisting of regenerated believers with Christ as Lord. Such believers claim a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, follow the Lord in believer’s baptism, share in the Lord’s Supper, gather regularly for worship, and covenant for mutual edification and care-giving.
(Matthew 16:15-19; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:30-33; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Ephesians 1:22-23; Hebrews 10:23-25; I Corinthians 6:19)
7. That the Church is called to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and God’s reconciling grace in the power of the Holy Spirit, inviting persons to receive salvation and follow Christ as His disciples. As disciples, we seek justice for all persons and the reform of society. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Galatians 3:26-28; James 1:27, 2:8)
8. That Jesus Christ will return visibly, at which time He will raise the dead and judge all people. Believers will enjoy eternal fellowship with God as they participate in the fullness of His eternal reign, while unbelievers will suffer eternal separation from God. (Matthew 24:29-31, 25:31-46; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Revelations 20:4-6, 11-15)
Declaration of Human Sexuality and the Church
Because we are all wounded and broken people in need of the healing power of God’s grace in Christ Jesus, and being aware of the confusion of voices pertaining to human sexuality, the following statement defines our common understanding for sexual behavior:
Transformation Ministries affirms the Biblical ethic of compassion, love and ministry to all sexually broken persons and the availability of God’s grace to all that repent (Luke 5:30-32; John 8:1-11; I Corinthians 6:11).
We affirm God’s gracious creation intent for both faithful lifelong heterosexual union for married persons and for committed celibate behavior for unmarried persons as the only Biblical options for human sexual conduct. All other sexual unions are clearly identified in Scripture as being sinful and destructive of persons (Genesis 1:27, 2:24; I Thess. 4:3-8; Heb. 13:4).
We affirm that all alternative sexual unions outside of heterosexual marriage including homosexual/bisexual practices, adultery, and fornication are sin. Such conduct calls for repentance and openness to the transforming power of God
(Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Rom. 1:18-32; I Cor. 6:9-10).
Therefore, Transformation Ministries will take leadership in supporting and resourcing church based ministries to sexually broken people including gay/lesbian and bisexual persons which express the grace and love of God, which minister to human needs, and which offer God’s transforming grace to all; and further,
Transformation Ministries will not recognize for ordination or recognize the preexisting license or ordination of any practicing adulterer, fornicator, gay/lesbian/bisexual persons, or any person that affirms endorses and/or celebrates non-Biblical sexual practices such as those stipulated above; and further,
Transformation Ministries will not accept churches into fellowship who ordain or have in ministerial positions practicing adulterers, fornicators, gay/lesbian/bisexual persons or those who affirm, endorse, or celebrate non-Biblical sexual practices such as those stipulated above; and further,
BE IT RESOLVED, that any church affiliated with Transformation Ministries that endorses, celebrates, or affirms adultery, fornication, homosexual and/or bisexual practices, or celebrates non-Biblical sexual practices will be given the opportunity to counsel with the CEO/Mission Lead. Should a church choose to remain in a state of defiance to the Biblical ethic agreed upon by this Ministry, the church will be indicating their desire to sever their relationship with Transformation Ministries and will be notified of this Ministry’s acceptance and affirmation of the choice to end their relationship with Transformation Ministries.