What We Believe
Lawndale holds to the Baptist Faith & Message, 2000 edition. The following statements are consistent with that document, but more importantly, consistent with Scripture:
God is the transcendent and intimate Creator of the universe. He is one and exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal, co-existent, co-eternal and are one God.
(Gen. 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Ps. 90-:2; Mat. 28:19; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Cor. 13:14)
God the Father sent God the Son on a rescue mission to provide salvation. Through Christ, He adopts us into His family and gives us the privileges of sonship: access to Him through prayer, an inheritance, ongoing care, provision, and security. He gives life and is to be respected and obeyed.
(Matt 6:5-34; 7:11; Jn 1:12; 3:16; Eph 1:3-14; 1 Peter 1:13-21)
Jesus Christ is the Son of God (possessing the same nature). The fullness of God dwells in Him (Col. 1:19). Jesus lived a sinless life and paid for our sins through his sacrificial death on the cross. He rose from the dead after three days proving his divinity and demonstrating the everlasting life promised to all who trust him for their salvation. One day he will return to earth and live in eternal fellowship with those who have received him as their Savior.
(Col. 1:19, 2:9; Heb. 1:3; Isa. 9:6; Mat. 1:22, 23; Jn. 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 1:3,4; 1 Cor. 15:3,4; 1 Tim. 6:14,15; Titus 2:13; Heb. 4:14,15)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is not an impersonal force, but rather, a relational counselor, comforter, and teacher who indwells all believers. He enables us to navigate a path in life that corresponds to God’s will.
(2 Cor. 3:17; Jn. 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:12, 3:16; Eph. 1:13; Gal. 5:25; Phil. 2:13; Eph. 1:13; 5:18)
The Bible is God’s written, inerrant Word. The Bible is God-breathed, meaning the Holy Spirit guided the authors who wrote it. The Bible is the lens through which we view the world. Its teachings are the final say regarding the decisions we make. We encourage everyone to read and study the Bible daily and to learn to apply what it says to their lives.
(Ps. 12:6, 119:105,160; Prov. 30:5; 2 Tim. 1:13, 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)
People are the most valued of God’s creation because they are created in the image of God. All people are part of the human race that is traced back to Adam and Eve. Therefore, we strongly condemn prejudice of any kind but particularly as it relates to ethnicity. Although humans are not perfect, our ability to relate and exist in mind, body, and spirit as morally responsible beings separates us from all other creatures. Although every person has the potential for good, all of us are more inclined to please ourselves and to settle for our standards instead of pleasing God by living according to His standards. This inclination is called “sin.” It is what alienates us from God and is the cause of evil, suffering, and prejudice in this life.
(Gen. 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isa. 53:6a, 59:1, 2; Rom. 3:23, 6:23)
God created the family and designed it. He intended for marriage to be between one man and one woman for a lifetime. Marriage is meant to point to the relationship between Christ and the church, affirming roles for men and women. Parents are the primary disciple-makers of their children. Grandparents support and help in that work. And the church partners with families for the spiritual development of the next generation
(Gen 2-3; Deut 4:9; 6:4-9; Matt 19:3-9; Eph 5:22-33; 6:1-4).
The church is the bride of Christ and is being prepared for His return. It is to be understood in two ways. 1) The Universal Church includes all those who are in God’s family across the ages and across the globe. 2) The Local Church is one group of believers in a particular location. The Local Church gathers regularly to worship God together as a family, to mutually encourage each other, and to be equipped to do God’s work in all the places he leads. The church is to follow God’s Word, be united, and reach all generations and ethnicities. One day the Universal Church will be gathered to be with the Lord forever.
God created people to know Him, enjoy Him, and glorify Him. Since all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we need a Savior. Jesus came, lived the life we couldn't, and died the death we deserved. Anyone who places their faith in Jesus' death and resurrection and confesses Jesus is Lord can be saved. Those who are genuinely saved begin a process of growth in Christlikeness.
(Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 8:28-39; 10:9; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:17; Gal. 4:19)
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
(Jn. 3:16, 2:25, 5:11-13; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:15; Mat. 1:8, 2:44,46)