Our Articles of Faith
Reposing our faith wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, believing in the teachings and practices of Baptists, and in those great, distinctive principles for which they have ever stood; we therefore, band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and adopt for our statement of faith the following articles:
I. THE SCRIPTURES
We believe the Scriptures are God's written revelation to man; it is fully inspired in every word (not just thoughts), absolutely inerrant in the original writing, infallible and God-breathed in its content. The Holy Spirit super-intended the human authors in such a way that through their personalities and styles, all sixty six books are the very Words of God and therefore reveals the principles by which God expects man to live. God will preserve it unto the end of the world as the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried. It is the authoritative rule for faith and practice.
2Tim.3:16-17; 2Pet.1:21; 2Sam.23:2; Acts 1:16, 3:21; John 10:35; Luke 16:29-31; Psa.119:3; Rom.3:1-2; Prov.30:5-6; John 17:17; Rev.22:18-19; Rom.3:4; 2:12; John 12:47-48.
II. THE TRUE GOD
We believe the Scriptures teach that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love. That in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; equal in every Divine perfection and executing distinct, yet harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
John 4:24; Psa.147:5; 83:18; Heb.3:4; Rom.1:20; Jer.10:10; Exo.15:11; Isa.6:31; 1Peter 1:15-16; Rev.4:6-8; 4:11; Mark 12:30; Matt.28:19
III. THE FALL OF MAN
We believe the Scriptures teach that man was created directly by God in innocence, free from sin and under moral responsibility to God; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state and brought spiritual and physical death into the world; consequently, all mankind are by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and are now sinners, not by constraint, but by choice; and are therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
Gen.1:27,31; Eccl.7:29; Acts 17:26; Gen.2:16; 3:6-24; Rom.5:12, 15-19; Isa.53:6; Rom.3:9-18; Eph.2:3; Rom.1:18, 32; 2:1-16; Gal.3;10; Ezek.18:19-20; Rom.1:20, 3:10; Gal.3:22.
IV. THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe the Scriptures teach that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born, or can ever be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son.
Gen.3:15; Isa.7:14; Matt.1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14
We believe the Scriptures teach that election is the eternal purpose of God by which he displays His sovereign goodness in the salvation of sinners. It utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, and trust in God’s mercy; it encourages diligence to add virtue to your faith and is the foundation of Christian assurances.
2Tim.1:8-9; 2Thes.2:13-14; 2Tim.2:10; Rom.8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2Pet.1:5-10; 1Thes.1:4; Rom.8:30; Isa.42:16; Rom.11:29; Rom.9:9-23
VI. THE WAY OF SALVATION
We believe the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the shed blood and mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who, according to the will of the Father, assumed our nature, yet without sin; honored the Divine Law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, 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 Savior.
Eph.2:5; Matt.18:11; 1Jn.4:10; 1Cor.3:5-7; Acts 15:11; John 3:16; 1:1-14; Heb.4:14; 12:24; Phil.2:6-7; Heb.2:9, 14; 2Cor.5:21; Isa.53:4-5; Heb.7:25; col.2:9; Heb.2:18; 7:26.
We believe the Scriptures teach that regeneration, or the New Birth, is that change wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit, by which a new nature and a spiritual life not before possessed, are imparted, and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus. A holy disposition is given to the mind and heart, and the affections changed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God; the change is instantaneous, effected solely by the power of God, in a manner incomprehensible to reason; the evidence of it is found in a new life that produces the fruits of righteousness. There is no salvation without regeneration.
John 3:3, 6; 1Pet.1:23; Jam.1:18; 2Cor.5:17; 1Jn.2;29; Eph.4:24; Col.2:13; Rom.6;13; Col.1:13; John 1:13; 1Cor.6:11
We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance is a change of mind and attitude prompted by the Holy Spirit, which consists in a Godly sorrow for sin as offensive to God and ruinous to the soul; this change is with great humility of guilt and causes one to turn from sin unto the Savior. It's long term characteristic is a sincere hatred of sin and a persistent turning away from, and abandonment of, all that is evil and unholy.
Matt.3:1-2; 4:17; Mark 1:5; Acts 3:19; 17:30; 20:21; 2Cor.7:10; Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31; Rom.2:5; Isa.55:7
We believe that the Scriptures teach that faith is a work of grace wrought by the Holy Spirit, is the medium through which Christ is received by the soul as its sacrifice and Savior. It is an assent of the mind and a consent of the heart, consisting mainly of belief and trust; that testimony of God is accepted and believed as true, while Christ is unreservedly trusted for salvation; by it the believer is brought into vital relationship with God; freely justified; and lives as seeking Him who is invisible. Faith is the key by which one commits his heart and life unto the Lord.
Acts 16:31; Rom.10:4; 5:1; Heb.11:1, 6; Rom.1:17; Jam.2:23; Jer. 17:7; Psa.125:1; 34:22; 2Cor.5:7; Rom.3:22; 10:10.
We believe the Scriptures teach that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God and brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures us every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
John 1:16; Eph.3:8; Acts 13:39; Rom.8:1; 5:9; Matt.9:6; Acts 10:43; Rom.4:25; 5:1-2; 1Cor.1:30-31; 1Tim.4:8.
We believe the Scriptures teach that adoption is a gracious act by which the Father, for the sake of Christ, accepts believers to the estate and condition of children, by a new and spiritual birth; sending the Spirit of adoption into their hearts, whereby they become members of the family of God, and entitled to all the rights and privileges and promises of children; and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, to the heritage of the saints on earth, and inheritance reserved in Heaven for them.
Rom.8:14-16; Gal.3:26; 4:6-7; Eph.1:5; 1Jn.3:1; Gal.4:5; Heb.12:7; 1Pet.2:9
We believe the Scriptures teach that sanctification is primarily the progressive work of God’s Spirit by which we are made partakers of His Holiness. It begins in regeneration and continues to the end of one’s earthly life. It is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, but it only happens through God’s appointed means—the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, prayer, and the practice of all other godly exercises and duties.
1Thes.4:9, 5:23; 2Cor.7:1; 13:8; Eph.1:4; Prov.4:18; 2Cor.3:18; Heb.6:1; 2Pet.1:5-8; Phil.2:12-13; Eph.4:11; 1Pet.2:2; 2Pet.3:19; 2Cor.13:5; 1Tim.4:7.
XIII. THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
We believe the Scriptures teach that such as are truly regenerate, being born of the Holy Spirit, will not utterly fall away and finally perish, but will endure unto the end. Their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors. God watches over their welfare and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto final salvation.
John 6:39; 1Jn.2:27-28; 3:9; 5:18; 2:19; John 13:18; 6:66-69; Rom.8:28; Matt.6:30-33; Phil.1:6; 2:12-13; Jude 24-25; Heb.1:14; 13:5; John 10:27-28.
XIV. THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe the Scriptures teach that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We further believe the terms pastor/bishop/elder to be synonymous, that they all refer to one office but by their definitions speak of the various functions of that one office.
We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity, and the building up and edifying of the saints. The local church should be the focal point for sending forth missionaries, both home and abroad. It also has the absolute right of self government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Head is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith, and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the church is final.
We also believe giving to be a fundamental part of one's faith and is used to support the ministry of the local church. Tithes and offerings should be given upon the first day of the week.
Acts 1:8, 2:41, 5:11; 8:1; 1Cor.4:17; 1Tim.3:5; 2Cor.8:5; Acts 2:47; 1Cor.11:2; 2Ths.3:7; Rom.16:17-20; 1Cor.11:23; Matt.18:15-20; 1Cor.5:5; Matt.28:20; John 14:15, 15:10; 1John 4:21; 1Ths.4:2; 2Jn.6; Phil.1:1; Acts 14:23; 15:22; 1Tim.3; Tit.1; Matt.28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; Rom.10:13-15. 1Cor.16:2; Heb.7:2,4; Mal.3:10; Lev.27:30; Mt.23:23; Acts 20:17-28; I Peter 5:1-4
XV. BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is a public testimony that one has believed in Christ who died for sins and rose again; it also shows a willingness to publicly identify oneself with Him who saves from sin, and finally it pictures one’s spiritual union with Christ in His death to sin and resurrection to new life (i.e. Spirit baptism into the body of Christ).
It is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and the Lord's Supper. And since baptism is a church ordinance, it ought to be administered under the authority of a local church. We also believe that it is the prerogative of the church to either accept or reject the validity of the baptism of those desiring membership.
We believe the Lord's Supper is the commemoration, by the use of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine (grape juice), of the undying love of Christ until He comes again and is to be preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Acts 8:36-39; Matt.3:6; John 3:23; Rom.6:4-5; Matt.3:16; 28:19; Rom.6:3-5; Col.2:12; Acts 2:41-42; Matt.19-20; 1Cor.11:23-28.
XVI. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of Divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society; and that authorities are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and Prince of the kings of the earth. It is not to control or interfere with religious matters.
Rom.13:1-7; 1Pet.2:13; Matt.22:21; Tit.3:1; 1Tim.2:1-8; Acts 5:29; Matt.10:38; Dan.3:15-18; 6-7; 10; Acts 4:18-20; Matt.23:10; Rom.14:4; Rev.19:16; Psa.72:11; 2.
XVII. THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe the Scriptures teach that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only 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; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are, in His sight, wicked and remain under the curse of sin; and this distinction holds among men both in this life and after death.
Mal.3:18; Isa.5:20; Gen.18:23; Jer.15:19; Acts 10:34-35; Rom.6:16; 1:17; 1Jn.2:29; 3:7; Rom.6:18, 22; 1Cor.11:32; 1Jn.5:19; Gal.3:10; John 3:36; Isa.57:21; Psa.10:4; Isa.55:6-7; Prov.14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Luke 12:4-5; Luke 11:23-26; John 12:25-26; Mt.7:13-14.
XVIII. SATAN OR THE DEVIL
We believe the Scriptures teach the personality of Satan; that he is a created being who fell from an exalted position in God's Kingdom through pride; that he is the unholy god of the world system of this age and the author of evil and leader of all the powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire.
Isa.14:12-15; Ezek.28:11-15; Matt.4:1-3; 2Cor.4:4; Rev.20:10
XIX. THE RETURN OF CHRIST AND THE RESURRECTION
We believe the Scriptures teach the bodily, personal, premillennial return of Jesus Christ; that He will come before the seven-year tribulation period to catch away His church, coming only into the air, and that He will come with His church at the close of the tribulation to judge the living nations and to set up His Kingdom on earth.
1Thes.4:13-18; Matt.25:31-46; Rev.19:11-21
We also believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead. Believers who die before Jesus' return (whose bodies rest in the grave, but whose souls are immediately present with the Lord) will be raised at the coming of Christ for His church and caught up with transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air.
The wicked dead will be raised at the close of the millennial kingdom and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne of Judgment to receive their final doom to be cast both body and soul into the Lake of Fire for a conscious existence of pain for all eternity.
John 5:21-30; 2Cor.5:6-9; 1Thes.4:16; Rev.7:9-17; 20:11-15; Matt.10:28; Luke 16:19-31.
XX. HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance.
Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8, 9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29;
I Cor. 5:1; I Cor. 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4
We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; I Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22, 23
XXI. FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and in the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastor and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church.
Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; I Tim. 2:8-15; I Tim. 3:4, 5, 12
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction.
Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; Prov. 22:15; Prov. 23:13, 14; Mark 10:6-12; I Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; Eph. 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4 I Pet. 3:1-7
XXII. AUTHORITY OF THE ARTICLES OF FAITH
The Articles of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Articles of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Articles of Faith.