"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." Acts 2:42
What makes Arlington Baptist Church unique is that we’re ordinary. We are ordinary people (fallen and flawed), and we practice the ordinary means of grace (we give attention to God’s Word, prayer, and fellowship). That we’re ordinary makes us extraordinary. Arlington Baptist Church is committed to God’s Word and committed to loving one another in practical ways.
We love Arlington County and the people of Arlington. Arlington is a burgeoning county that attracts highly educated, highly motivated individuals. These folks bring a host of benefits to the county; however, a large percentage of them are emblematic of a growing trend among young intellectuals: they don’t view Christianity, God, or the church as providing any relevance to their lives.
Commonly unspoken questions include:
- "How does Christianity make any sense to a thinking individual who grounds their position in reason and evidence, rather than blind faith?"
- "How, in an age that values empirical reason and the right for every person to express their authentic self, does God or the Bible fit into the picture?"
- "I find plenty of meaning in my relationships and experiences, and I am doing just fine in my career. What do I need Jesus for?"
Furthermore, in the hustle and bustle of Arlington, it’s difficult to find many people slowing down long enough to even consider and discuss the “big questions” in life. (What is the nature and purpose of human beings? Do I really know how to obtain deep satisfaction in life?) This is particularly true of the younger generation, who are occupied with forming their identity and launching off into their careers.
God has planted our church in Arlington County and called us to reach this population with the love and transforming power of Jesus Christ. We are excited to share with them the incredible resources Jesus offers for understanding, facing, and enjoying life. Most of all, we are eager to speak the good news of what God has done in Jesus Christ to reconcile sinners to himself for his glory and our joy. We long to see God bring himself glory by making his grace known here in Arlington, Virginia and beyond. We pray that God would be pleased to use our congregation to that end, until the end.
We subscribe to a Baptist confession of faith, the 1853 New Hampshire Confession of Faith, and affirm historic Baptist beliefs. While being a Baptist church can have lots of stereotypes attached with it, we trust you’ll find we are a Bible-teaching, Gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered, Christ-exalting, God-glorifying church.
We are congregationally-governed under God's authoritative Word and practice the two ordinances that God has instituted: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Since baptism is the public declaration that one has received God's grace, we believe God's Word teaches that baptism is only for people who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins and hope of eternal life.
Doctrinal distinctives of a Baptist church include the following:
Biblical Authority (2 Tim. 3:16–17; 2 Pet. 1:20–21)
Autonomy of the Local Church (Matt. 18:15–17; Col. 1:18; Acts 20:28)
Priesthood of All Believers (1 Pet. 2:5–9; 1 Tim. 2:5)
Two Ordinances: Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:23ff)
Individual Soul Liberty (Rom. 14:5–12; 2 Cor. 5:10)
Saved and Baptized Church Membership (Acts 2:41, 44, 47; 1 Cor. 12:12; 2 Cor. 6:4)
Two Offices: Pastors and Deacons (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1–13; Tit. 1:5–7)
Separation of Church and State (Matt. 22:21; Acts 5:29; Rom. 13:1–17; 1 Cor. 6:1–3)
We're a church devoted to seeing God transform lives by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe the gospel informs, shapes, and fuels all that we do, from worship to children's ministry to missions.
Historically, the essential marks of a church have been:
- the proper preaching of God’s Word [proclaim the gospel],
- the proper administration of the ordinances [portray the gospel], and
- the proper exercise of restorative church discipline [protect the gospel].
These marks are what distinguish a church from a group of Christians. But at its most basic level, the church is its members. There is no church apart from church members.
In relationship to the kingdom of God, the church acts as a sort of embassy for the government of the King. It is an outpost of the kingdom of God surrounded by the kingdom of darkness. And just as the embassy of a nation is meant, at least in part, to showcase the life of that nation to the surrounding people, so the church is meant to manifest the life of the kingdom of God to the world around it.
At Arlington Baptist Church, we’re all about Jesus Christ. We gather each week to sing to him, to pray in his name, and to receive his Word as we read it and hear it preached. He is rescuing sinners the world over, and we are an outpost of his kingdom.
God, through the gracious work of the Holy Spirit, uses the Bible to call out his people and build his church. In other words, God uses his authoritative Word to save people by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Then, he joins those people to one another in a covenant community called the church. We are one with other Christians throughout the world and throughout the ages, yet we gather as a particular congregation. Together, we are God's family, God's flock, the body and bride of Christ, who serve as his ambassadors in our neighborhoods and to the nations.
To learn more about why we exist and how we got here, read our mission and history.