James River Baptist accepts the Bible as its sole authority in matters of faith and practice. Our doctrinal beliefs are based on our understanding of Biblical truth, and agree with the spirit of The Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention.
We believe in one God, the Giver of Life and the Creator of the universe. God has always existed as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are equal and are one God. God is an all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present spiritual being.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Hebrews 11:3; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Acts 17:24-28
- God the Father
We believe that God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise.
Matthew 5:48, Matthew 6:9, Luke 10:21 and 1 Corinthians 8:6
- God the Son - Jesus
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal divine Son of God. He chose voluntarily to be made in human likeness and was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus is God's ultimate solution to the brokenness of humanity. Although He lived a sinless life, He allowed Himself to be executed by crucifixion. His death paid the penalty for the sin and rebellion of mankind against God. Three days later, He came back to life. He appeared to many witnesses for the next forty days, and He ascended into heaven where He now serves as the Mediator between God and man.
John 14:6; Romans 1:1-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-22
- God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. The Holy Spirit inspired people to write the Bible. Through illumination He enables people to understand its truth. He convicts us of sin, calls us to salvation and gives us the power to grow more Christlike in behavior. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church.
John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, 16:7-11, Romans 8:9-11, 16, Ephesians 1:13-14 and Acts 1:8
We believe men and women are created in the image of God. The person is made up of a spiritual nature and a physical body and is wholly dependent upon God. The primary purpose of humanity is to glorify God and enjoy a relationship with Him. Unfortunately, all men and women rebel against God's standards and deserve the separation from Him that sin brings. Reconciliation with God is only available by His grace for salvation and new life.
Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 23; Mark 12:29-30; Romans 3:23-24
We recognize our inability to re-establish a relationship with God on our own. God, in His mercy, has reached out to us and provided a solution to the problem of our brokenness caused by sin. We are invited back into a relationship with God by placing our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Those accepting Christ in faith should repent (turn away from) of their sins, confess their faith in Him, and be baptized into Christ. God's promise is that everyone who places their faith in Jesus Christ will receive the forgiveness of their sins and the free gift of eternal life.
Acts 2:38; Romans 1:16-17; 3:22-23; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:16-17
We believe that the church represents Jesus to the world. The Bible describes the church as a living organism (a body), with Jesus as our Leader (our Head). Every Christ-follower plays a unique role in contributing to the growth and maturity of the body. God has chosen to use the church to reconcile a lost world to Himself through Jesus Christ. For the church to move in God's direction, it is essential that Christ-followers gather together to worship God and celebrate His activity among them as well as to be equipped, built up and encouraged through teaching, prayer and communion. As the church grows in maturity and unity, Jesus gets attention and His mission is advanced.
Acts 2:42-47; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:18
We believe that God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of God’s cause on earth.
Nehemiah 8:1-8; Matthew 5:2; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:3-5
Evangelism and Missions
We believe it is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
Genesis 12:1-3; Matthew 9:37-38; Luke10:1-18; Acts 8:26-40; Revelation 22:17
We believe in the present reign of Christ in heaven and over the heart, and that the Kingdom of God will be made complete when Christ comes to earth again to establish His eternal rule. When Jesus returns, He will stand as judge of both the living and the dead. Those who belong to Jesus will spend eternity in His presence, which the Scriptures describe as Heaven; while those who choose to live apart from Him in this life will spend eternity outside of His presence; which is described as hell. God’s heart, expressed clearly in Scripture, is that all of humanity would come to know Him by embracing his grace offered freely in Christ.
Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:1-4; 1 Timothy 2:3