||Articles of Faith
Due to the various different religious organizations which profess to take the Bible as their guide as we do, yet differ with us in doctrine, faith, and practice, we feel constrained to set forth a distinctive declaration of what we believe; not as a substitute for the Holy Scriptures, but as exponents of what are conceived to be the fundamental doctines of the
WORD OF GOD.
I. THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10-11), an infinite (Psalms 139:7-12; 147:5); intelligent (Acts 15:18), sovereign (Psalms 115:3) Spirit (John 4:24), Whose name is JEHOVAH (Psalms 83:18), the Creator (Genesis 1:1) and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth (Daniel 4:35; I Chronicles 29:11-12), inexpressibly glorious in holiness (Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; I Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 4:6-8), and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love (Jeremiah 2:12-13; Matthew 10:37; Mark 12:30; Revelation 4:11), that in the unity of the Godhead there are three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; I Corinthians 12:4-6; II Corinthians 13:14; I John 5:7), equal in ever Divine perfection (John 5:17; 10:30; 14:23; 17:5; Act 5:3-4; I Corinthians 2:10-11; Philippians 2:5-6), and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Ephesians 2:18; II Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4-5).
II. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible (KJV) was written by men divinely inspired (II Samuel 23:2; Acts 1:16; Romans 3:1-2; II Peter 1:21), and is the perfect treasure of heavenly instruction (Psalms 19:7); that it has God for its Author (II Timothy 3:16-17; I Thessalonians 2:13), salvation for its end (II Timothy 3:15; Acts 11:14; Romans 1:16; 10:8-10; John 5:38-39; I Peter 1:10-12), and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (Proverbs 30:5-6; John 17:17; Romans 3:4; Revelation 22:18-19); that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us (John 12:47-48; Romans 2:12; James 2:12; Deuteronomy 18:19); and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union (I Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:3-6; Philippians 2:1-2; 3:16; I Peter 4:11), and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried (Acts 17:11; II Corinthians 13:5; I Thessalonians 5:21; I John 4:1; Isaiah 8:20).
III. THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE
We believe that the Genesis account of creation is to be accepted literally and not figuratively or allegorically; that God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7), and not by or through the process of evolution from lower species; that all animals and vegetable life was likewise directly created (Genesis 1:20-25; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16; Romans 1:18-20) and placed under God's inviolable law that they should bring forth only after their kind (Genesis 1:21-24).
IV. THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
We believe that the Devil or Satan is a personal evil spirit (I Corinthians 2:12; Ephesians 2:2), formerly a holy angel (Ezekiel 28:11-19), from which estate he by transgression fell (Isaiah 12:27; I Timothy 3:6), drawing a host of angels as their leader (Job 4:18; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:3-9), being the prince of the power of the darkness of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), that he is the enemy of God (Zechariah 3:1-2; Matthew 13:39), the tempter (Genesis 3:1-6; Matthew 4:3) and accuser of the saints (Job 2:1-7; Revelation 12:10), the possessor of the power of death (Hebrews 2:14-15), as allowed by God, author of all evil and of all false religions (John 8:44; II Corinthians 11:13-15; 4:3-4), the chief power back of the present apostasy (II Thessalonians 2:7; I Timothy 4:1); and that he is destined to final defeat and eternal destruction in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
V. THE FALL AND DEPRAVITY OF MAN
We believe that man was originally created upright (Ecclesiastes 7:29) and finitely perfect (Genesis 1:27,31) but by voluntary transgression he fell from his happy and holy estate (Genesis 3:6-24) in consequence of which disobedience and threatened death was then and there inflicted (Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12); and he totally lost all spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins and becoming subject to the power of the Devil; that sin of Adam was imputed to his entire race (Romans 5:18-19; I Corinthians 15:22), and that the corrupt nature has been transmitted to all his posterity by ordinary generation (Genesis 8:21; Job 14:4; Psalms 51:5; 58:3; Isaiah 48:8); and hence every descendant of Adam is by nature a child of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3), totally destitute of spiritual life (John 5:24; Colossians 2:13), at enmity with God (Romans 8:7), wholly inclined to evil (Job 15:16; Jeremiah 13:23; 17:9) and without strength (Romans 5:6) or hope (Ephesians 2:12) unless saved by Christ (Matthew 1:21) and made alive by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3,5; 6:63; II Corinthians 3:6).
VI. THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD
We believe that election is the eternal (Ephesians 1:4), personal (Deuteronomy 7:6; John 15:16; Acts 9:15), unconditional (II Timothy 1:9) purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves lost sinners (Romans 11:5-6; Ephesians 1:3-14; I John 4:19; I Peter 1:1-2); that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end (Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28-31; II Thessalonians 2:13-14; James 1:17-18); that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable. (Exodus 33:18-19; Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 20:15; Romans 9:22-24; 11:32-36; Ephesians 1:11); that it utterly excludes boasting (Ephesians 2:8-9) and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of His free mercy (I Corinthians 1:26-31; 4:7; I Peter 2:9); that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree (I Corinthians 9:22; II Timothy 2:10); that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (I Thessalonians 1:4-10; Romans 1:16); that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (Isaiah 42:16; Romans 8:28-31; 11:29); and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (Philippians 3:12; Hebrews 6:11; II Peter 1:10-11).
VII. THE WAY OF SALVATION
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) in a miraculous manner, born of the virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25), without human father (Galations 4:4); that He by the appointment of the Father freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin (Hebrews 2:14; 4:15; 7:26; I Peter 2:22), honored the Divine law by perfect obedience (Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17; Romans 3:21; Galations 4:4-5), and by His vicarious death made full atonement for all the sins of all the elect (Matthew 20:28; John 10:11,15; Isaiah 53:1-12; Romans 4:25; I Corinthians 15:1-3; Hebrews 9:12-14, 26; I Peter 3:18); that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned at the right hand of God in Heaven (Hebrews 1:8; Colossians 3:1-4; Romans 8:34; I Peter 3:22); and uniting in His wonderful Person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour (Psalms 89:19; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 2:18; 7:25-26); that the full benefit of which is received by faith alone (Romans 3:20-28) in the shed blood of Christ (Romans 3:24-25) and that no repentance, no faith, no feeling, no resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to rules and regulations of any church, no baptism, nor any other such thing can in the least way add to the value of the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 3:5).
VIII. THE GRACE OR REGENERATION
We believe in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again (John 3:3, 6-7; I Corinthians 2:14; II Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5); that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind (Deuteronomy 30:6; Jeremiah 24:7; Ezekiel 36:26; Galations 5:6; I John 4:7); that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth (Psalms 119:50; Proverbs 1:23; John 17:20; I Corinthians 4:15; James 1:16; I Peter 1:23-25), so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel (Psalms 110:3; John 6:44-45,65; II Corinthians 10:5; Ephesians 1:17-20; I Peter 1:22-25); and that its proper evidence appears in the Holy fruits of repentance (Acts 5:31; II Timothy 2:24-25), faith (John 6:29; Acts 18:27; Philippians 1:29; Colossians 2:12; I Peter 1:21) and newness of life (Romans 6:4; I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Peter 4:1-4).
IX. THE BLESSINGS OF THE GOSPEL
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to those who believe in Him is salvation; that it includes all the Divine redemptive acts of God on behalf of the elect, such as effectual calling, which is the Divine act of God effectually and irresistibly calling the elect to obtain the salvation which Christ purchased for them by His atonement (John 10:26-28); justification, which is the Divine act of God whereby He purchased by the shed blood of Christ (Romans 5:9), and by His mighty power, the freedom of the believer from the power and dominion of sin (Romans 3:24; 4:25; 5:1; 8:30; Acts 13:39; Titus 3:7); grace, the Divine disposition of God wherein He saves, not upon any merit of their own (Ephesians 2:5, 9-10), but wholly by the work and merit of Christ (John 3:16; I Peter 2:24; 3:18; Revelation 7:13-15); propitiation, the Divine act of God in offering Christ as the sinner's substitute (Isaiah 53:4-6, 11-12); imputation, the Divine act of God whereby He imputes or counts the righteousness and excellencies of Christ to the believer (Romans 4:1-13; II Corinthians 5:21; Galations 3:13; I John 3:5); forgiveness, the Divine act of God by which He remits the sins of a believer (Jeremiah 31:34; Luke 24:47; Acts 13:38; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 2:13; Titus 2:14); sanctification, the Divine act of God whereby He imparts His holiness to the inner man (Ephesians 4:24; II Peter 1:4; I John 3:7), or newly born one, and sets apart the entire man to the service of God (Romans 6:1-23; II Corinthians 7:1; I Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:22; II Timothy 2:19-22); glorification, the Divine act of God whereby that element or part of man which is mortal will be changed into a state and condition of immortality (Romans 8:11; I Corinthians 15:35-57; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:4; I John 3:1-2).
X. THE WORK OF MISSIONS
We believe that Jesus Christ gave the New Testament church as an institution a world-wide and an age-lasting commission in Matthew 28:19-20 to make disciples of all nations; that the gospel is to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8); that all men everywhere are responsible to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15), and that no accountable person will be saved without hearing and receiving the gospel (Mark 16:16; John 3:18-36; Romans 1:16); that the heathen without the gospel are lost and will be judged by the light of nature and conscience (Psalms 19:1-4; Romans 2:11-15); that it is the duty of every New Testament Baptist Church to support missionaries who are sent out by the authority of a local church, who meet the Bible qualifications of a missionary (I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9), who furnish a doctrinal statement, and a disclosure of how mission funds are used, as they are directed by the Spirit of God and the majority vote of the whole congregation.
XI. REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God (Acts 11:16-18; I Corinthians 12:3, 9; Galations 5:22; I John 5:1); whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness (Psalms 116:3-5; Isaiah 6:5), and of the way of Salvation by Christ (John 16:8, Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31), we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy (Luke 18:13; II Corinthians 7:11); at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour (Acts 3:22-23; Romans 10:9-11; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25).
XII. THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end (Job 17:9; Matthew 10:22; John 8:31; Revelation 2:10); that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors (Matthew 13:20-21; John 6:66-69; 13:18; I John 2:19); that a special providence watches over their welfare (Psalms 90:1-10; 91:11-12; 121:3; Jeremiah 32:40; Matthew 6:30-33; Romans 8:28); and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (II Kings 6:16; Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13; Hebrews 1:14; 13:5; I Peter 1:3-5; I John 4:4; Jude 24-25).
XIII. THE HARMONY OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL
We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government (Psalms 19:7; Matthew 5:17; Luke 16:17; Romans 3:20,31; 4:1-5); that it is holy, just, and good (Psalms 119; Romans 7:7,12,14,22; Galations 3:21); and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arises entirely from their love of sin (Joshua 24:19; Jeremiah 13:23; John 5:44; 6:44; Romans 8:7-8); to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is one great end of the gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the New Testament Church (Matthew 16:17-18; Romans 8:2,4; 10:4; I Corinthians 12:28; I Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 8:10; 12:14; Jude 20:21).
XIV. THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
We believe that a New Testament Church is a local, visible, congregation of scripturally baptized believers (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41,47; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:5), associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (Acts 2:42; I Corinthians 5:12-13; II Corinthians 8:5); observing the ordinances instituted by Christ (Matthew 28:19-20) its only Head (Ephesians 1:20-23; 5:23); governed by His laws alone (Galations 6:2; James 4:12); that such an assembly is the body of Christ in its locality (I Corinthians 12:27), with which all the regenerated should affiliate, for this is the only kind of true church in the world today, that its officers of ordination are pastors (Ephesians 4:11) and deacons (Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:8-13); that each assembly has the absolute right to self-government as led by the Holy Spirit, free from any interference whatsoever from any organization, group, convention, association or individual; that it is scriptural for assemblies to cooperate with each other for the furtherance of the gospel and the doctrines of the Word of God (Acts 15:1-31; II Corinthians 8:23-24; 11:8-9; Philippians 4:15-16), but that each church is the sole human judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that only sound New Testament Baptist Churches today preserve the essential apostolic faith and practice; that Christ's promise to build His church has been fulfilled in only these kind of churches, the first of which He organized during His earthly ministry (John 1; Matthew 16:18) and gave to it, and to others that should descend from it the Great Commission; that these true churches on earth alone possess Divine authority (Matthew 28:18); therefore, we brand as unscriptural open communion, alien baptism, pulpit affiliation with heretical ministers, mission boards, ecumenicalism, unionism, modernism, modern conventionism and associationism, one-church dictatorship, preacher-dictatorship and all kindred evils arising from these practices.
XV. THE ORDINANCE OF BAPTISM
We believe that Bible baptism is the immersion into water. (Matthew 3:1-17; John 4:1-2; Colossians 2:12) of a penitent believer (Acts 8:36-39) by the Divine authority of a true New Testament Baptist Church (Matthew 28:18-20) in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not in order to obtain the remission of sins, but to declare that the believer has already been saved by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1-11) and to picture in a most solemn emblem His death to sin and resurrection to walk in newness of life; that it is a prerequisite to membership in the church and participation in the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:41-42); that the ceremonial washing of sins is only pictorial (Acts 22:16; I Peter 3:20-21); therefore, all valid baptism must be administered by the authority of a true New Testament Baptist Church, and any so-called baptist church which knowingly receives alien immersion is not a Scriptural Baptist Church, and its ordinances are not valid.
XVI. THE LORD'S SUPPER
We believe that the Lord's Supper is not a sacrament, but a solemn symbolic ordinance placed in the church by our Lord (Matthew 26:26-30), in which the members of the one church observing the ordinance (I Corinthians 11:18,20,22-23), by the use of unleavened bread and wine, commune not with one another, but the Lord (II Corinthians 10:16); that it shows forth not their love for one another, but their Lord's death till He comes (I Corinthians 11:24-26); that the one loaf of the supper points to the unity of the body observing it (I Corinthians 10:17), which unity is essential to the scriptural observance of the ordinance (I Corinthians 11:18-34).
XVII. THE LORD'S DAY
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Revelation 1:10); that is to be kept sacred to religious purposes (Exodus 20:8; Psalms 118:24; Revelation 1:10); that Christians should refrain from all secular labor and worldly recreations (Isaiah 58:13-14); that they should devoutly use all the means of grace, both private and public, by which they may be drawn closer to God and provoked to holier living (Hebrews 10:15), and in preparation for the rest which remains for the people of God (Hebrews 4:3-11).
XVIII. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment and arrangement, for the best interest and good order of human society (Genesis 9:1-7; Exodus 18:23; Deuteronomy 16:18; II Samuel 23:3; Jeremiah 30:21; Romans 13:1-7); and that magistrates are to be prayed for (I Timothy 2:1-3), conscientiously honored and obeyed (Matthew 22:21; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13); except in matters opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (Daniel 3:15-18; Matthew 10:28; Acts 4:18-20; 5:29), who is the only Lord of men's conscience, and the Prince of the kings of earth (Psalms 72:11; Matthew 23:10; Romans 14:4,9-13; Revelation 19:16).
XIX. GODLY LIVING
We believe that born-again believers should abstain from all appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22; II Timothy 2:19); that they are to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world (Titus 2:11-13); that they are to be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8; Ephesians 2:10); that they are to seek in every possible way to serve Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:15; Galations 2:20; I Peter 4:2) and to walk worthy of their high and heavenly calling (Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 3:12-14; Hebrews 3:1); that failure to do this will result in chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-14); and that continued disobedience proves one is a stranger to the saving grace of God (Romans 6:11-12,16-22; I John 3:1-10).
XX. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 12:26; Isaiah 5:20; Jeremiah 15:59; Malachi 3:18; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 6:16); that such as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem (Proverbs 11:31; Romans 1:17; 6:18,22; I Corinthians 11:32; I Peter 4:17-18; I John 3:7); while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse (Psalms 10:4; Isaiah 55:6-7; John 3:36; Galations 3:10; I John 5:19); and this distinction holds among men both in and after death (Proverbs 10:24; 14:32; Ecclesiastes 3:17; Luke 12:4-5; 16:25; John 8:21-24; Revelation 22:11).
XXI. THE RESURRECTIONS
We believe that there will be a resurrection both of the righteous and the wicked (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; 26:8); that there will be one thousand years of time intervening between the resurrection of the righteous and of the wicked (Revelation 20:4-6); that the dead in Christ shall rise first (I Corinthians 15:23; I Thessalonians 4:13-18); and that at the expiration of the one thousand years the wicked will be raised and judged (Revelation 20:4-11).
XXII. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe that the second coming of Christ is to be pre-millennial, bodily, visible and that it will consist of two stages: His pre-tribulational appearance in the air and His post-tribulation coming to earth; that at the rapture all those who sleep in Christ will be raised in glorified bodies and all saints who live and remain on the earth will be translated that they should not see death and caught up with them in the air (I Thessalonians 4:13-18); that at His coming to earth (Matthew 24:29-31) He will sit on the throne of His glory for the first time (Matthew 25:31; Revelation 3:21), judging all men then living on the earth (Isaiah 11:3-4), receiving the righteous into His Kingdom and sending the unrighteous into everlasting fire (Matthew 25:31-46); that the throne of David is His throne (Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33); that the two stages of His coming will be separated by a seven years tribulation period (Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation 11:1-19) during which the woes depicted in the Book of Revelation will be poured out during the reign of the Antichrist (Revelation 6:19); that during the tribulation period on earth the judgment seat of Christ and the marriage of the Lamb will take place in Heaven (Matthew 5:11-12; I Corinthians 3:10-15; II Corinthians 5:9-10; Revelation 19:1-9) after which the Lord Jesus Christ will return with all the saints for the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14-16; 19:11-21); that Satan will be bound a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3), and the saints will reign a thousand years with Christ on earth (Psalms 149:5-9; Daniel 7:18,27; II Timothy 2:12; Revelation 1:5-6; 2:26-27; 5:9-10; 20:4-6).
XXIII. THE FINAL STATES
We believe that the earth will be redeemed from the curse of sin and fitted as the eternal dwelling place of the people of God (Isaiah 66:17; Matthew 5:5; Romans 8:20-22); that the fitting of the earth for the eternal home of the redeemed will be by a process of purification by fire (II Peter 3:7-13); that the finally impenitent and incorrigibly wicked will be cast, both souls and resurrected bodies (Matthew 10:28; Mark 9:42-49), into the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:14-15), where they shall be punished forever (Revelation 14:10-11).