Beliefs

WHAT WE BELIEVE

At Calvary we stress our unity in PURPOSE, VISION, and ESSENTIAL BELIEFS. In what we call ESSENTIAL BELIEFS we strive for unity, in non- essential beliefs we have liberty, and in all things we show love.

Please understand ... you do not have to agree with these ESSENTIAL BELIEFS in order to attend Calvary. Everyone is welcome. If you disagree with one or more of these ESSENTIAL BELIEFS ... or, even if you don’t believe in God at all ... we want you to know that we still love you and are glad you are here. The ESSENTIAL BELIEFS are simply a theological guideline for those who are wishing to become spiritual leaders at CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH.

As a historically Baptist congregation, we are not a “creedal” church. In other words, we do not impose a humanly written statement of faith on people. We don’t believe that in order to have a genuine relationship with God you must agree with every single point of doctrine. The preface to the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message expresses it like this,

Baptists are a people who profess a living faith. This faith is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ who is "the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." Therefore, the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is Jesus Christ whose will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
A living faith must experience a growing understanding of truth and must be continually interpreted and related to the needs of each new generation.  Throughout their history Baptist bodies, both large and small, have issued statements of faith which comprise a consensus of their beliefs. Such statements have never been regarded as complete, infallible statements of faith, nor as official creeds carrying mandatory authority.

With this understanding of the nature of a statement of faith, Calvary Baptist Church, McAllen, Texas has chosen the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. You can click on the link to view this document or you can see an abbreviated version of it below.

The following are what we call ESSENTIAL BELIEFS:

• God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

• Jesus Christ is God the Son. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

• The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.

• People are made in the image of God, to be like Him in character.  People are the supreme object of God’s creation.  Although in the beginning God created people as agents of good and with a free will, all of us are born with a predisposition to sin.  Every human being as soon as he or she is capable of moral action, sins.  Sin includes both disobedience toward God and the inability to live a perfect life.  Our sin separates us from God, limits our potential, mars our relationship with others, and has eternal consequences.  Sin exists as personal offense and also as systemic evil.   

• Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved.

• Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ by grace (unmerited favor), the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.  Salvation is more than the assurance of going to heaven when we die, although it certainly includes that.  Salvation is also entrance into the kingdom of God, which is life in the realm of God’s rule here on earth.  A true believer will demonstrate God’s grace in his or her life by the way he or she lives the kingdom life.

• People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation.  Eternal life describes both the quantity and the quality of this life God gives to believers.  Eternal life begins at the point of faith and continues forever.  It is life here on earth in God’s kingdom and also in heaven forever.  Those who reject God’s free offer of eternal life are already living under condemnation and will forever live separated from God because of their sin.

 

Revised January 14, 2016 by Julio Guarneri, Lead Pastor