What We Believe

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." - A.W. Tozer

Core Beliefs

The following are the core beliefs of Garrett Memorial Baptist Church based on the foundational truths taught in the Bible. All of our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows out of these biblical doctrines.


There is one living and true God, the creator of the universe. He is revealed in the unity of the Godhead as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who are equal in every divine perfection.

God the Father is the supreme ruler of the universe. He providentially directs the affairs of history according to the purposes of His grace.

God the Son is the Savior of the world, born of the virgin Mary, born without sin.  He is fully man, fully God.  He declared His deity among men, died on the cross as the only sacrifice for sin, arose bodily from the grave, and ascended back to the Father. He is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for believers until He returns to rapture them from the world.

God the Holy Spirit is the manifest presence of deity. He convicts of sin, teaches spiritual truths according to the written Word, permanently indwells believers, and confers on every believer at conversion the ability to render effective spiritual service.

The Scriptures

The Scriptures are God’s inerrant revelation, complete in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, written by divinely inspired (God-breathed) men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Those men wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Holy Spirit.

The original manuscripts were perfect—inerrant and infallible,  meaning they were without error and are dependable.

The Scriptures provide the standard for the believer’s faith and practice, reveal the principles by which God will judge all, and express the true basis of Christian fellowship.


The World
God created all things for His own pleasure and glory, as revealed in the biblical account of creation.

The Angels
God created an innumerable host of spirit beings called angels. Holy angels worship God and execute His will; while fallen angels serve Satan, seeking to hinder God’s purposes.

Satan is a person rather than a personification of evil, and he with his demons opposes all that is true and godly by blinding the world to the gospel, tempting saints to do evil, and warring against the Son of God.

God created man in His own image. As the crowning work of creation, every person is of dignity and worth and merits the respect of all other persons.

The Fall

Although man was created in the image of God, he fell through sin and that image was marred. In his unregenerate state, he is spiritually dead, is under the influence of the devil, and lacks any power to save himself. The sin nature has been transmitted to every member of the human race, the man Jesus Christ alone being excepted. Because of the sin nature, man possesses no divine life and is essentially and unchangeably depraved apart from divine grace.


The Meaning of Salvation
Salvation is the gracious work of Godwhereby He reconciles unto Himself undeserving sinners from sin and its results, through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the act of justification He declares righteous all who put faith in Christ as Savior, giving them freedom from condemnation, peace with God, and full assurance of future glorification. He does this, not because of anything in the creature, but because of His own intention and will.

The Way of Salvation
Salvation is based wholly on the grace of God apart from works. Anyone who will exercise repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. We are justified by faith in Christ. When we trust in Christ, God attaches us to the work that Christ has done on the cross on our behalf. We are not saved by a work of faith, but by the work of Christ. Faith is the instrument of salvation; Christ is the power of salvation. God takes our sin and puts it on Christ, punishing Him for the sins we commit. Our justification is not a change within ourselves as sinners, but is a declaration of “not guilty” over the life of a sinner. As a result, a believer is at the same time both a saint and sinner. It is a once and for all declaration of our right standing before God.

The Provision of Salvation
Through His blood, atonement is made without respect of persons. Any sinner can be saved by this gracious provision.

The Purpose of Salvation
God’s ultimate purpose in salvation is to honor and glorify Himself. He does this by defeating sin and death through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, thereby reconciling the creation to Himself and all those who repent and trust in Christ.  

The Evidence of Salvation
True saving faith will be accompanied by an appropriate feeling of guilt for sin and a desire to please Christ by turning from sin toward God. Saving faith will also include a love for God, and not just a love for the benefits of having faith in Christ. Saving faith and repentance will only be authenticated by a person’s conformity to the image of Christ by displaying the fruit of the Spirit. Works are a necessary fruit of salvation, but are not the ground of salvation, since believers are saved by grace alone.


All believers are set apart unto God at the time of their regeneration. They should grow in grace by allowing the Holy spirit to apply God’s Word to their lives, conforming them to the principles of divine righteousness and making them partakers of the holiness of God. Though justification causes no inward change in the life of the believer (it is only a legal declaration of righteousness), sanctification does. Sanctification is the process whereby God begins to make those who are justified by faith in Christ to be conformed to the image of Christ. Perseverance in faith is evidence of salvation, not because the believer is left to his own power to become sanctified, but because Christ now lives in him. The believer will most certainly begin and complete the process of sanctification.  Everyone who is justified will also be sanctified. Although he may fall away for a time and grieve God the Holy Spirit, the believer will certainly return. If he does not return, he proves to have never been a part of the family of God.  From the overall perspective of the believer’s life, he will see a progressive change in himself towards Christ-likeness. The overall direction in life will be God-ward.

Eternal Security

All believers are eternally secure in Jesus Christ. They are born again, made new creatures in Christ, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, assuring their perseverance in good works. A special providence watches over them, and they are kept by the power of God.
Salvation is not only a declaration of righteousness, and not merely God’s work in believers’ lives through the Holy Spirit to conform then into the image of Christ, but it is also the promise of ultimate salvation when they will no longer struggle with sin but will be rid of the sinful nature and made perfect. The culmination of salvation will result in glorified bodies in heaven with the Lord where believers will know and see and savor God in Christ for all eternity.

The Church

The Nature of the Church
A New Testament Church is a local congregation of baptized believers in Jesus Christ who are united by covenant in belief of what God has revealed and in obedience to what He has commanded.

The Autonomy of the Church
She acknowledges Jesus as her only Head and the Holy Bible as her only rule of faith and practice, governing herself by congregational rule under the oversight of her pastors.

The Perpetuity of the Church
Instituted by Jesus during His personal ministry on earth, true churches have continued to the present and will continue until Jesus returns.

The Ordinances of the Church
Her two ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer as a confession of his faith in Jesus Christ, demonstrating his death to self and being raised to walk in the newness of life in Christ, and is a  prerequisite to church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper is the sacred sharing of the bread of communion and the cup of blessing by the assembled church as a memorial to the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. Both ordinances must be administered by the authority of a New Testament church.

The Officers of the Church
Pastors(Elders) and deacons are the permanent officers divinely ordained in a New Testament church. Each church may select men of her choice to fill those offices under the leading of the Holy Spirit according to the divinely given qualifications. Pastors (Elders) are authorized to oversee and teach the churches under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Each church is responsible to follow them as they follow Christ and to provide a livelihood for them that they might fulfill their ministries. Pastors are equal in the service of God. Deacons (ministers, servants) are servants of the churches and assistants to the pastors, particularly in benevolent ministries. Each church may select her own deacons according to her needs, and no church is bound by the act of another church in that selection.

The Ministry of the Church
Her mission is evangelizing sinners by preaching the gospel, baptizing those who believe, and maturing them by instruction and discipline.

 The Fellowship of the Church
She is free to associate with true churches in furthering the faith but is responsible to keep herself from those who hold doctrines or practices contrary to Holy Scripture. In association with other churches, each church is equal and is the sole judge of the measure and method of her cooperation. In all matters of polity and practice, the will of each church is final.

Civil Authority

Human government was instituted by God to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. It is separate from the church, though both church and state exercise complementary ministries for the benefit of society.

Christians should submit to the authority of the government under which they live, obeying all laws which do not contradict the laws of God, respecting officers of government, paying taxes, rendering military service, and praying for the welfare of the nation and its leaders. They should vote, hold office, and exercise influence to direct the nation after the principles of Holy Scripture.

Civil authority is not to interfere in matters of conscience or disturb the institutions of religion, but it should preserve for every citizen the free exercise of his religious convictions.

Churches should receive no subsidy from the government, but they should be exempt from taxation on property and money used for the common good through worship, education, or benevolence.

Last Things

Christ's Return
Our risen Lord will return personally in bodily form to receive His redeemed unto Himself. His return is imminent.

After Jesus returns, all of the dead will be raised bodily, each in his own order: the righteous dead in “the resurrection of life” and the wicked dead in “the resurrection of damnation”.

Prior to the eternal state, God will judge everyone to confer rewards or to consign to punishment.

Eternal States
 Heaven is the eternal home of the redeemed, who, in their glorified bodies, will live in the presence of God forever in ultimate blessing. Hell is the place of eternal punishment and suffering for the devil, his angels, and the unredeemed.

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