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Statement of Beliefs

THE SCRIPTURES

We believe the Holy Bible was written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and that it is God’s revelation of Himself and His will to mankind. It is sufficient for all purposes, completely true, does not contradict itself, can be trusted, and must be obeyed in order to maintain a living relationship with God. All scripture testifies to Jesus Christ.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

GOD

We believe there is only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal being, the creator, redeemer, sustainer, and ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other virtues. God is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all just. His perfect knowledge includes all things past, present, future, and the future decisions of the masterpiece of His creation, mankind. God is worthy of our highest love, reverence, and obedience. God exists as and reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but each one fully God and unified in one nature.

God the Father
God as Father reigns over His universe, His creatures, and the events of human history according to the purposes of His grace. God is the ultimate Father to those who become His children through faith in His son, Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.

God the Son
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and has coexisted eternally with the Father. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, took human nature upon Himself with its limitations and weaknesses and identified Himself completely with mankind yet lived without sin. He honored God the Father by His obedience, and in His death on the cross in our place, He made possible our redemption from sin and reconciliation between God and mankind. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and now rules with God as mankind’s mediator. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and restore the original perfection of all things. He now dwells in all believers as their living and ever present Lord.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.

God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of God together with God the Father and God the Son. He inspired holy men in biblical times to write the Scriptures and reveals the truth of the Scriptures to believers in every age. He exalts Jesus Christ, convicts mankind of sin, draws unbelievers to the Savior, and empowers salvation, in which He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates righteous character, comforts believers, and distributes the spiritual gifts by which believers serve God through His church. He seals the believer for the day of final redemption. His indwelling of the believer is the guarantee that God will complete His work of transforming the believer to be like Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

MAN

We believe mankind is the unique creation of God, made like Him morally, spiritually, mentally, physically, and relationally. He created them male and female as the crown of His creation, to have fellowship with Him, and to display His glory. Each gender is a part of the perfection of God’s creation, equal in personhood and importance but with different roles. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.

In the beginning, mankind was innocent of sin and was given freedom of choice by God, which they exercised to sin against God. That original sin has plagued the human race ever since. Mankind was tempted by Satan, disobeyed the command of God, and lost his original innocence. As a result, every child inherits a nature inclined toward sin through no fault of its parents. Therefore, as soon as a child is capable of moral action, they become sinners and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring a person into fellowship with God and enable them to fulfill the creative purpose of God. Because God created mankind in His own image and Jesus Christ died for all of mankind, every person of every race has equal dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

SALVATION

We believe that salvation completely and eternally redeems a person and it can only be found through personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Jesus Christ offers salvation freely to anyone who accepts Him as Lord and Savior, who purchased our redemption with His own blood. In its broadest sense, salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.

Regeneration
Also known as the new birth, it is a work of God’s grace in which believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart accomplished by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire person to Him as Lord and Savior.

Justification
God freely, graciously, and fully forgives all sinners who repent and believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.

Sanctification
Beginning at regeneration, sanctification sets the believer apart to God’s purposes. They are enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them through obedience to His Word. Sanctification should continue and increase throughout the believer’s life.

Glorification
This is the culmination of salvation and is the final state of the redeemed.

Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.

GRACE

We believe that it is by God’s grace that He elects, regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with mankind’s free will and includes all the means by which God accomplishes His purposes. Grace is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and reflects His character in ways that are infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

We also believe that true believers endure all of the mortal life’s trials and hardships to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from His grace. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, grieve the Holy Spirit, forfeit spiritual benefits, and damage the reputation of the cause of Christ and bring temporal judgments on themselves; but they will be kept by the power of God through faith for salvation.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.

THE CHURCH

We believe that a New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a self-governing, autonomous, local congregation of baptized believers in the practical sense. They are associated by faith and fellowship centered on the gospel. Each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. They observe the two ordinances of Christ described below, are governed by His laws, and exercise the gifts, rights, and privileges granted to them by His Word. Their primary goal is to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth through corporate worship, equipping members for service, and spreading evangelism and mercy in the world. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Symbolically, the church as the Body of Christ includes all redeemed people throughout the ages from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.

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 their crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It also symbolizes the believer’s death to sin, the burial of their old life, and their resurrection as a new creation in Christ Jesus. Baptism is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead. As a commandment, it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
The Lord’s Supper is also a symbolic act of obedience. By partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine members of the church memorialize the death of their Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.

THE LORD’S DAY

We believe the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day as described in the Scriptures and should be observed regularly. It commemorates Christ’s resurrection from the dead and should include acts of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord’s Day should be consistent with the believer’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

We believe the Kingdom of God includes both His general rule over the universe and His specific rule over all who willfully acknowledge Him as King. It is the realm of salvation into which mankind enters by trusted, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Believers should pray and work so that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full realization of the Kingdom will occur when Jesus Christ returns at the end of this age.

Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.

FINAL JUDGMENT

We believe that God will bring the world to its appropriate end in His own time and in His own way. As He promised, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be assigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.

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 make disciples of all nations. When a person’s spirit is reborn by God’s Holy Spirit, their love for others is also born. Jesus Christ taught and commanded that all believers are responsible for preaching and spreading the gospel to every nation. It is the duty of every believer in Jesus Christ to always try to persuade the lost to accept Christ as Lord by verbal witness, a Christ-like lifestyle, and by other methods consistent with the gospel of Christ.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.

EDUCATION

We believe that Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. All of the most valuable wisdom and knowledge can be found in Jesus Christ. All truth is, therefore, a part of that faith. Spiritual rebirth creates a hunger for knowledge and enables the believer to receive it without limit. Education is equally important as missions and general benevolence and should receive the generous support of the church.

The church is obligated to pursue biblical truth in all spiritual education and objective truth in all secular education. The ultimate responsibility for children's education rests with their parents, whether they choose public, private, or home-based schools.
Every teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.

STEWARDSHIP

We believe that God is the source of all physical and spiritual blessings; we owe Him all that we have and all that we are. The believer is merely a steward of their possessions and is under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and treasures for His glory and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, believers should contribute from what they receive cheerfully, regularly, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the gospel.

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

COOPERATION

We believe that Christ’s people should organize associations to promote cooperation for the purposes of the Kingdom of God, when necessary. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over any church. They are voluntary and advisory, designed to effectively appeal to, combine, and direct the efforts of believers. Church members should cooperate with one another in carrying out missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. Biblical unity among different groups of believers can be achieved when there is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for a common cause. Cooperation between different Christian denominations is desirable when the goal itself is justified and when it does not violate the conscience of a believer or compromise their loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.

Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.

THE CHRISTIAN AND SOCIETY

We believe that all Christians are obligated to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in their own lives and in human society. This can only happen when it is based on the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of love, Christians should oppose all racism, greed, selfishness, and sin including all forms of sexual immorality, adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. Christians should work to provide for the widowed, orphaned, needy, abused, aged, helpless, and the sick. They should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to influence industry, government, and society as a whole with the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends, Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.

PEACE AND WAR

We believe it is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. They should do everything in their power to put an end to war in accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ.

The gospel of our Lord is the only true remedy for the spirit of war. The biggest need in the world is to accept His teachings in all the affairs of mankind and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Believers around the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans 12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

We believe that God alone is Lord of the conscience and He made it free from the doctrines and commandments of mankind that are contrary to or not contained in His Word. Church and state should be separate. The state owes every church protection and freedom to pursue its spiritual mission. No group or denomination should be favored by the state more than any other. God has ordained that it is the duty of believers to render loyal obedience to civil government in everything that is not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not depend on civil power to carry on its work, only God Himself. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. The Christian ideal is a free church in a free state and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God for all men. They have the right to form and propagate opinions about religion without interference by the civil power.

Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.

FAMILY AND MARRIAGE

We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundation of all human society. It is composed only of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage was instituted by God as the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime as a revelation of the union between Christ and His church. Therefore, Athol Baptist Church will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman. Further, the Pastors and staff of Athol Baptist Church shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of Athol Baptist Church shall only host weddings between one man and one woman.

Marriage provides the man and the woman the framework for: intimate companionship, sexual expression according to biblical standards, and procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth to God since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship demonstrates the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband similar to how the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to help him manage the household and nurture the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate God’s pattern for marriage to their children. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them to make choices based on biblical truth through consistent lifestyle examples and loving discipline. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.

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