The IBC Statement of Faith is intended as information to the churches, and serves as a guide to the various Ministry Teams and other entities of the IBC. It does not take the place of the Bible, which is our standard for faith and practice. This statement of faith is the same statement adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, USA, in 1963.
We do not view our Statement of Faith as a creed or a statement of beliefs to which our people are forced to subscribe, but rather an “orderly statement of beliefs generally held by Baptists.” We have no creed, but enjoy a remarkable unity. Our unity is a living faith and an abiding message.
The following words from the Introduction to the 1925 Statement of Faith of the SBC, summarize our view of the nature and function of this statement of faith:
1. That they constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
2. That we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. As in the past so in the future Baptist should hold themselves free to revise their statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.
3. That any group of Baptists, large or small, have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.
4. That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.
5. That they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life.
“Baptists emphasize the soul’s competency before God, freedom in religion, and the priesthood of every believer. However, this emphasis should not be interpreted to mean that there is an absence of certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been and are now closely identified.” (Quoted by Herschel Hobbs in his explanatory book, The Baptist Faith and Message, 1971.) The following statement of faith sets forth certain teachings which we believe.