God exists in three persons simultaneously; God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these three are the Trinity. All three are distinct persons and yet they do not act independent of the others. The Trinity is worthy of praise and honor both as triune God and as distinct persons of God; and is the sovereign God of the universe.
The bible is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is the source of truth for all of mankind, for all of time. It is both inerrant and infallible in its content and effectiveness in the lives of mankind. The bible is both sufficient and applicable to all of life's issues with regard to the principles found in scripture.
The family was established by God to glorify Him through obedience. Throughout scripture the family is the institution that is responsible for life and spiritual training. The father is the spiritual head of the family, loving his wife as Christ loves the church as its head. The mother is the care giver for the family, honoring her husband just as the church honors Christ. The children are to obey the parents just as the children of God are to follow and obey Him.
The church is God's representative on earth. The church was established by Christ to spread His message of truth, love, hope, and peace to all people. We value the church because they are the children of God, doing His work. The church is a place to grow, learn, and be sent out to help and love others.
We believe that people are created in the image of God, and because this is so, they are capable of many wonderful things. We value ideas, interests, and individuality because these things define who we are. We value culture and all that it encompasses, both individuals and communities.
SCRIPTURE (The Bible)
We believe that the Bible is God's Holy Word. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, being breathed out by God, are the Word of God. Psalm 19:7-11; II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:16-21
We believe that there is only one true and living God who alone is the Eternal Spirit, Personal Creator, Sovereign King, and All-Knowing Judge, being infinite, holy, gracious, unchangeable, and perfect in every way. He is one God who exists as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three distinct persons are co-eternal, the same in essence, and equal in power and glory. Genesis 1:1; Exodus 34:5-8; Psalm 145:3; Isaiah 40:12-31; Matthew 3:16-17; I Peter 1:2-3
We believe that Jesus the Christ is the only eternally existent Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who was sent to earth to be conceived supernaturally, born sinless, to live a perfectly law-fulfilling and sinless life, to die on a cross as a sacrificial substitute in the place of all those who trust in Him, and to bodily rise from the dead on the third day. Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7; Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-18, 8:48-59, 10:3-38, Colossians 1:15-20, 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-4; I Corinthians 8:6, 15:3-6
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Person of God who supernaturally gives understanding of the Bible; changes and softens hearts; awakens people to their sin and their need for cleansing and salvation; gives the ability for faith and repentance to treasure, turn to, and trust in Christ; and lives in and empowers every true believer in Jesus. Ezekiel 36:26-31; Mark 13:11; John 3:5-8, 34, 15:26, 16:7-15; Acts 4:8; Romans 8:5-17, 26-27, 12; I Corinthians 2:4, 9-16, 3:16, 6:18-20 12; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 2:8-10; I Timothy 4a; II Peter 1:21; I John 3:23-24, 5:7-8, 18-20
We believe that God created man in His own image for the express purpose of glorifying and enjoying Him forever. However, by the sin of Adam all mankind fell from intimacy with God and is now born dead in trespasses and sins, wholly incapable and unwilling to come to God apart from the aid of The Holy Spirit, and is under the holy and just wrath of God. We believe that all human beings are dependent upon God for all things. Genesis 1:1, 26-31; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Psalm 51:4; Romans 3:9-23, 5:12, 8:7; John 3:19; Ephesians 2:1-3; Titus 3:3; II Timothy 2
We believe that all people need to be saved because all are sinners and because God is Worthy, Holy, Just. There is salvation ONLY in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. Salvation is by God's Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone. All people are commanded to repent and believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of and salvation from their sin. Salvation comes only as the Spirit of God enables us to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ as the only Lord and Savior. John 6:44-45, 14:6; Acts 2:36-41, 4:12, 10:34-43; Romans 3:9-30, 5:1-11; I Corinthians 15:3-5; Ephesians 2:8-10
JUSTIFICATION - SANCTIFICATION - PERSEVERANCE - GLORIFICATION
JUSTIFICATION - We believe at the moment of salvation we are no longer viewed by God as a sinner but that He now accepts us as sinners made right, cleansed by the blood of Jesus standing justified in Christ. Galatians 2:20; II Thessalonians 5:17; Romans 5:15-17
SANCTIFICATION - We believe that all people who are truly saved grow everyday in knowing and trusting God; becoming more holy like Jesus. John 17:17; Acts 2:36-47; Ephesians 5:26; II Thessalonians 2:13
PERSEVERANCE - We also believe that all true Christians will persevere in their growing and becoming more like Jesus until they die or until Jesus comes back. Romans 8:28-39; John 6:39-40, 10:28-30
GLORIFICATION - We also believe that all true Christians will one day, when Jesus comes back, be transformed in an instant to be like Jesus by His grace and for His glory. Romans 8:28-30; I John 2:28-3:3
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
We believe that fellowship with God is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ, by God's grace, enabled by the Spirit of God. We can have fellowship with Him as we take in His Word; humbly go to Him in Prayer; actively connect with His Church; and gladly submit to Him with faith in every area of life. John 15:1-14; 17:3; I Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 3:7-14; Colossians 3:16-17; I Thessalonians 5:17; I John 1:3
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Genesis 1:26-31; 2:18-25; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; Psalm 78:1-8, 127; Matthew 19:1-9; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:15-6:4; I Peter 3:1-7
- We believe that the bible teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman who were born that way and that they have remained, and will remain, in that state from birth until their death or Jesus returns.
We believe that The Church is the Body and Bride of Jesus Christ. A local church is a living and loving body of people who are openly covenanted to Christ, as His Body, and each other, willingly committing to both the general and specific vision, mission, beliefs, values, and distinctions of that particular church. All true believers should be a part of a local church, under the authority and care of qualified pastors, in order to best use their Spiritual Gifts for the good of the whole Church and the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. Acts 2:38-47; Romans 12; I Corinthians 12; Philippians 2:1-4; Colossians 3:12-15; Hebrews 10:19-25; I John 1:1-4
We believe that baptism is one of two ordinances that the Lord Jesus Christ has given to His Church. We believe that all (and only) true believers in Christ should be baptized after their conversion, though not necessary for salvation, with water by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is a symbolic representation and an open confession of personal faith. Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 3:21-22; Acts 2:38-41, 7:12, 8:35-38; Romans 6:1-11; I Corinthians 1:17
COMMUNION (The Lord’s Supper)
We believe that Jesus Christ personally instituted and has commanded His Church to continue receiving The Lord's Supper as the second of the two Christian ordinances. We believe that receiving Communion in a worthy manner (with humble and faith-filled repentance) is a way for us to remember what Christ has done, and a way for us to proclaim the gospel. Matthew 26:26-30; John 6; I Corinthians 11:23-34
We believe that God teaches us to discipline/correct those covenant members of who are continually sinning unrepentantly by treating them as an unbelieving non-member, which is the prescribed way found in His Word. The goal of church discipline is always restoration of those under church discipline to Christ and the fellowship. Matthew 18:10-35; I Corinthians 5; II Corinthians 2:5-11
THE LORD'S DAY
We believe that ever since creation, God has set apart one day each week to be holy and separate unto the Lord, having modeled this for us Himself by resting on the seventh day. While we are not bound to this day, by giving us the principle of observing the Lord's Day (now Sunday), we believe God has given us a gracious gift and a special opportunity to delight in Him by worshiping God, serving others, and resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-11; John 20:1; Luke 24:1; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10
HEAVEN AND HELL
We believe that everyone has an eternal destiny that they will face. Those who trust in Jesus Christ will spend all of eternity with God in the New Heaven and New Earth. And those who do not put their trust in Him alone will spend all of eternity in Hell. Heaven and Hell are literal places, where people will literally continue on forever in one place or the other. Matthew 25:29-35, 41-46; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 20:11-15, 21:5-8
THE RETURN OF CHRIST
We believe that the Bible promises that Jesus Christ will return one day to gather together His own and to judge those who do not trust in Him. Matthew 24:27-31, 25:31-46; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; II Thessalonians 1:5-10
Distinctives are the natural outworking of our Biblically informed beliefs; the things that naturally flow from our values. We do not hold these to be the sole boundary markers for the Christian faith, but rather, they describe the marks that we believe people most likely use in order to distinguish us from other Christian churches and (more importantly) help them understand practices that are important to us.
- Expository Preaching - We are passionate about preaching the Word of God in such a way as to glorify God by demonstrating our belief in the authority, infallibility, and sufficiency of the Scripture which is foundational and authoritative, and the primary means that the Holy Spirit uses to convict, comfort, challenge, and change us for salvation.
- Pastoral Leadership - We are a pastor-led church, submitting to the authority of Christ according to His Word, for the joyful benefit of the church and the growth of His Kingdom. The office of pastor is filled by men who are qualified, gifted, and called to serve the local church. While the New Testament does not require a multiplicity of pastors, we believe it is prudent for a plurality of pastors to exercise leadership over the local congregation. At Cornerstone our pastors are equal in authority while specializing in function and oversight.
- Baptist Theology - We believe, preach, and live our lives in light of the fact that the Bible clearly and abundantly reveals God as sovereign over all things, by His grace and for His glory. Cornerstone is a congregation of committed Christ followers who have embraced God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ and strive to glorify God in all we do. We are a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Florida Baptist Convention, and the Emerald Coast Church Network. We support and affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
- Missional Living - We believe God has called all Christians to be missionaries wherever they live, work, and participate in society. We strive to be involved in missions, evangelism and ministry in northwest Florida and around the world. It is our goal to reproduce believers through evangelism and missions as well as churches through revitalization and church planting.
- Deacon Servanthood - We believe, the office of Deacon is filled by men who are qualified, gifted, and called to serve the local church. The ministry focus of deacons is servanthood. Cornerstone deacons have two primary ministry objectives: first, to serve the particular needs of our congregation, and second, to provide and maintain unity within fellowship.
- Committed Ministry - As a local church, we are committed to minister to those in our community. The biblical call for the local church is be involved personally, purposefully, and progressively in ministries that capitalize on the gifts of its members and meet the needs of its community. The goal of ministry is to display the love of Christ through sharing and living out the Gospel.
- Corporate Worship - The purpose of our weekly gatherings is to assemble the Body of Christ to openly worship God the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are less committed to a particular style of worship and more committed to the content and manner of our worship. Our commitment is to worship in a manner that honors Jesus Christ; conveying theologically accurate substance while utilizing the best of old and new material.
- Salvation and Discipleship - Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ. In salvation the Holy Spirit indwells a believer, it is at this point that discipleship begins. We believe Discipleship is the intentional process of learning to become more like Christ in all that we do! Since we seek to Glorify God in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit we are committed to a bible based discipleship process.