We are a Reformed Baptist church in Bayside, Wisconsin. What does it mean to be Reformed? As a church, we cherish the heritage of the Protestant Reformation and the recovery of the gospel that the Lord brought to His church during that time. The key truths that were rediscovered in Scripture during the Reformation can be summarized in five Latin phrases:
· Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone, not any teaching or tradition of man, is our final authority for everything we believe and do as a church, as well as for every area of life, because it is the inspired and eternal word of God.
· Sola Gratia – God’s grace alone is the reason for our salvation, and we have done nothing to earn it by any effort, decision, or act of will on our part. God’s grace is His unmerited kindness, freely shown to sinners who deserve only His judgment.
· Sola Fide – Faith alone is how we receive God’s salvation and how a holy God declares us righteous in His sight, not because of any works we do, but on the basis of Christ’s finished work in His death and resurrection.
· Solus Christus – Christ alone saves us as the only Mediator between a holy God and sinful man, who fully accomplished our complete and eternal salvation in His perfect life, atoning death in place of sinners, and victorious resurrection. No man can come to the Father except through the Son, Jesus Christ.
· Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone belongs all the glory for our salvation, because He is the God who saves sinners by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, entirely apart from any contribution from us.
By using the name “Baptist” to describe our beliefs, we are stating our conviction that only professing believers should be baptized and become members of the local church, following the teaching given to us in Scripture. We are convinced of this because of the progression in the Bible from the Old to New Covenants, the clear commands of Jesus, and the example of the apostles and early church. Baptism is an outward, visible sign that a believer is united to Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection and now desires to live as a follower of Jesus by obeying His commands and humbly submitting to His Lordship in their life. Baptism should occur only after someone understands that they have experienced conversion, that they have been raised from spiritual death to life, and now want their lives to belong to Christ alone as His disciple. The risen Lord gave this final command to His church: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).