Sweethaven Baptist Church, Portsmouth, VA
   

Contact Us | 757-484-4067
5000 W. Norfolk Road, Portsmouth, VA | Directions

Doctrinal Statement


FIRST: THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible was written inerrant in its original languages by men divinely inspired, and it is perfect reassurance of heavenly instruction, that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the true center of Christian Union, and the Supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried.
II Timothy 3:16, 17 I Peter 1:10-12 Proverbs 30:5, 6
I John 4:11

SECOND: THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent, perfect spirit and personal being, the Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Ruler of the Universe, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and all other perfections, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
I John 4:24 Exodus 15:11 Mark 12:30
Matthew 28:19 John 10:30 Ephesians 2:18

THIRD: THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation of eternal ruin without defense or excuse.
Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:31 Genesis 3:6-24
Isaiah 53:6 Ezekial 18:19-20 Romans 1:20
Romans 5:19

FOURTH: THE WAY OF SALVATION
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial office of the Son of God, Who by appointment by the Father, freely took upon Himself our nature; that being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin, He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full atonement for our sin; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, and that He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and all-sufficient Saviour.
Ephesians 2:8 John 3:16 Isaiah 53:4-5
Hebrews 7:25 Colossians 2:9 Hebrews 2:38


FIFTH: JUSTIFICATION
We believe that the great Gospel blessing, which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, removal of guilt and the promise of eternal life; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but only through faith in the Redeemer's blood, by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God; that justification brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
John 1:16 Acts 13:39 Romans 5:9
Romans 4:4-5 Romans 5:1-2

SIXTH: THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them upon their cordial penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravate condemnation.
Isaiah 55:1 Romans 16:25-26 John 5:40
John 3:19

SEVENTH: REGENERATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is affected in a manner above comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life.
John 3:3 II Corinthians 5:17 John 3:8
Ephesians 5:9 Galatians 5:16-23 I Peter 1:22-25

EIGHTH: SANTIFICATION
We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, believers are made partakers of His holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means - especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
I Thessalonians 4:3 I John 2:29 Romans 8:5
Philippians 2:12-13

NINTH: THE PERSERVERANCE OF SAINTS
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their preserving attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
John 3:31 I John 2:29 Romans 8:28
Philippians 1:6

TENTH: THE PRESERVATION OF SAINTS
We believe that the security of the believer is sure; that the believer has been indwelt by God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit; that the believer has been sealed unto the day of redemption; that the Father's purpose is to keep us in spite of everything; that God therefore sees the believer as predestinated, justified, and glorified; and thus his eternal destiny is secure.
John 10:28-30 Romans 8:29-30 I Corinthians 6:19
John 13:1 Ephesians 4:30 I John 5:13

ELEVENTH: THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its true mission is found in the Great Commission and that for it to exhibit the success of the church in Acts 1, the people must be in "one accord", dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit. We are opposed to the modern day ecumenical movement and the modern day charismatic movement.
Matthew 18:17 I Corinthians 1:1-13 I Corinthians 11:2
Matthew 28:20 Acts 2:41-42 Acts 2:46

TWELFTH: 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, and Son and Holy Ghost, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life.

We believe that the Lord's Supper, in which the believers of a Gospel church commemorate together the dying love of Christ, is to be preceded always with solemn self-examination.
Acts 8:36-39 John 3:22-23 Matthew 29:19
Acts 2:41-42 I Corinthians 11:26 Romans 6:4

THIRTEENTH: THE LORD'S DAY
We believe that Sunday is the first day of the week and is referred to in the New Testament as the Lord's day, and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes; that believers are to consistently gather themselves together for worship of God and fellowship; that on this day we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
Acts 20:7 Psalm 118:24 Hebrews 4:3-11 Hebrews 10:25

FOURTEENTH: CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; that this is to be followed until such government might attempt to cause believers to violate God's law; in any such case we must obey God rather than man.
Romans 13:1-7 Matthew 22:21 Acts 5:29
Matthew 23:10

FIFTEENTH: THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such as only through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Holy Spirit are truly righteous in God's esteem, which all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in God's sight wicked and under the curse; that this distinction is held among men, both in and after death, with the righteous having everlasting life and blessedness, and the wicked everlasting punishment and condemnation.
Malachi 3:18 Romans 1:17 I John 5:19
Luke 16:25


SIXTEENTH: THE FUTURE
We believe that the end is approaching; that Christ will rapture His own before a great time of tribulation and return to reign for 1,000 years on the earth; after which the lost shall be cast into eternal punishment and the redeemed shall be with the Lord forever.
Acts 1:11 Acts 24:15 Revelation 22:11
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Matthew 24:31-46
I Corinthians 15:15-58

SEVENTEENTH: HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift for sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one's gender by surgery or appearance.

We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman.

Genesis 2:24 Genesis 19:5 Genesis 26:8-9 Leviticus 18:1-30
Romans 1:26 - 29 I Corinthians 5:1; 6:9 I Thessalonians 4:1-8
Hebrews 13:4