The Kingdom of God
The gospel of Jesus Christ is quite clear. The content of His gospel message is prominently found in all four gospels. Jesus most succinctly states His gospel message this way, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”(Matthew 4.17; Mark 1.15; Luke 4.43; John 3.3-5) What is more, it is the gospel message that Jesus commands His disciples and His church to share with both neighbor and nation alike. (Matthew 10.7; Luke 10.9)
Indeed, it is possible to have spent the better part of one’s life going to and attending church and never heard such a presentation of the gospel. The gospel, as it is usually communicated, seems to speak almost entirely about the issues of forgiveness of sin for the sake going to Heaven when we die. To be sure and clear, getting ready to die is an important thing…we are all going to be dead eternally longer than we will ever be alive! Even so, there is a now-ness to Jesus central message that hints to us that eternal life is not something that begins when we die…eternal life is much closer than that. Eternal life is life that simply begins and never ends.
At Memorial, we have dedicated ourselves to growing in our understanding of this central message of Jesus as His Spirit and His Word direct and allow. This message of the nearness of God’s Kingdom being near and at-hand is good news of great joy that shall be for all people!
The Glory of God
Everything God does, God does for God’s glory. Everything God allows, God allows for God’s glory. Everything God initiates, God takes that initiative for God’s glory. There is nothing — NOTHING — that God cares about more than God cares about God’s own glory. (Isaiah 48.9-11; Romans 11.36; Ephesians 3.20-21)
At Memorial, when we talk about the glory of God, we are talking about the display and expression of who God is and what God is like. When who God is and what God is like is displayed and expressed, God’s glory is then on display for those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and minds to conceive such Greatness.
In 1 Corinthians 10, the Apostle Paul says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.”This instruction reveals to us that the glory of God is so grand, it can be expressed through actions as mundane as eating a sandwich or drinking a cup of coffee. At Memorial, we have dedicated ourselves to growing in our understanding of this unfathomable command and promise from the Scriptures so that our lives could display with integrity, accuracy, and authenticity the renown of God’s glory.
Joy in God
There is no life more satisfying than life in God. (Psalm 16.11; John 10.10; Ephesians 3.20; Isaiah 61.1-3; 1 John 5.12) These texts, and countless others like them, lead us to believe that the greatest, deepest pleasures the human heart can know are reserved for those who live in God. The term we use at Memorial to articulate the satisfying, pleasing benefits that belong to those who live in God is the term: joy.
Don’t be confused by the term’s giddy veneer. When the Bible uses the term, it associates the term with deep, rugged strength rather than the shallows of staying happy no matter the cost or context. (Nehemiah 8.10; John 15.10-11; Hebrews 12.1-3) Indeed, when God is glorified in us, we are found strong, pleased, satisfied — joyful — IN God. Upon both study and reflection, it is clear that following Jesus is not a miserable life of doing the right thing while detesting and hating it all along. Instead, we find those who follow Jesus and live in God experience joy that is the satisfying, pleasing benefit reserved for those who are His disciples.
At Memorial, we have dedicated ourselves to the all-consuming pursuit of God’s glory and our accompanying joy in God. This pursuit gives God great glory as He imparts to those who follow Him, the joy which makes us strong.
Memorial Baptist Doctrinal Statement
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally inspired word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12,13).
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1,2,14; Luke 1:35). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2). We believe Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1).
The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18).
The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that through Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; man is totally depraved and of himself utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26, 27; Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12.)
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19.)
Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5). We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh (Romans 13:13, 14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15.)
We believe that the church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2.) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 18:22; 20:17; 1 Timothy 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-11). We believe in the autonomy of the local churches, free of any external authority and control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Romans 16:1,4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16; 1 Corinthians 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4). We recognize believer’s baptism and the Lord’s supper as scriptural means of testimony for the church (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.)