We believe all 66 books of the Bible originated from God. He revealed His words to mankind through human authors, using their unique personalities to express exactly what He desired to tell mankind. As a result, the Bible is God’s absolute, timeless truth about who God is and how we ought to view and live life. There are no other words or writings inspired by God in this way.
God In Three Persons
There is one and only one living and true God. He is intelligent spiritual and personal. Being the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver and Ruler of the universe. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit with distinct personal attributes but without division of nature, essence or being.
God the Father
God as Father is the Giver and Sustainer of life, the seen and unseen. He is all loving, all just, all wise and all powerful. He is the true God and the One who judges righteously and test the heart and mind. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ; however, He is fatherly toward all men.
God the Son
God as Son is the perfect representation for the Father in human form. He is fully human and fully divine. He is equal with God the Father but humbled himself by taking on the form of a servant and became obedient to a death on a cross. He knew that only through the shedding of His blood would the sinless Lamb of God be able to secure forgiveness and remission of sins. He arose on the third day following His death as He declared and now lives and reigns with the Father in glory awaiting His final triumphant return. He lives in all believers as the living, ever present Lord.
God the Holy Spirit
God as Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and unrighteousness, works in the life of each believer to produce godly character qualities and demonstrates Himself, in the life of the church, through special abilities given to each believer to carry out the work of the church. He is Comforter, Teacher, Wisdom and Counselor.
Man was created by a special work of God, in His image and is the finest of the creation – God said, “It is very good!” Man was created innocent but with a free choice whereby he sinned against God and fell from his original state. Because Christ died for all, every person is worthy of respect in Christian love.
Salvation is the gift of God for all humanity and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. It was obtained by the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross. He shed His own blood for our sin that we might be rightly related to God.
Grace is the unmerited favor of God and shows us His goodness. All who have accepted Christ and are set apart will never fall from grace but will endure the end. Believers may sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, but they will be kept by the power of God.
When one becomes a believer, he is free from sin’s penalty of death but not from sin’s power. A battle rages within the believer between the carnal and spiritual natures. When the believer confesses sin, Christ forgives and cleanses from sin. Sinning grieves the Holy Spirit, brings shame on the cause of Christ, hinders a believer’s relationship with God and others and causes the believer to endure the consequences of sin.
The church is a group of believers brought together by the Spirit of God to carry out the Great Commandment by practicing the Great Commission and observing the two ordinances of the church – baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Each church is an autonomous body operating under the leadership of Christ as the Head of the Church.
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change that has occurred in the life of the believer. It is an identification with Christ by picturing his death, burial and resurrection. It is the first commandment a Christian is given for the Lord Jesus.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is an opportunity for personal examination and reflection as we observe the “Lord’s death until He comes.” The bread and cup are symbols of His body and blood which were broken and spilled out for our salvation and is done in “remembrance” of Him until He comes again.
We must see worship from two sides – adoration and service. Worship could be defined as pure adoration, the redeemed person contemplating and praising God in His holy perfection. Reverential adoration and committed service are both prominent expressions of the biblical concept of worship. True worship involves a willingness to serve in genuine service to God and must be accompanied by a sense of reverence and adoration.
Ministering as a disciple calls for us to know the will of God and to know our own interests, resources and skills. Such knowledge can be helped by human tests and analysis, but it is basically a spiritual knowledge revealed by God, the Creator, and Giver of personal skills. Many Christians are in spiritual poverty, unaware of the potential that God has given them. They are unaware of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that they have. Their gifts lie like unwrapped presents, unused and neglected. Their potential for Christian ministry is squandered. The needs of our world are too great for us to allow any spiritual gift to be wasted. You unwrap your gifts and dedicate them and yourselves to the ministries God has for you.
Oak Park Baptist Church voluntarily associates with the Baptist Missionary Association.