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 in order a distinctive declaration of what we believe. This is not a substitute for the Holy Scriptures, but is an exponent of what is conceived to be the fundamental doctrine of the WORD of GOD.
I. GOD: We believe 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 the universe; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the GODHEAD, there are three separate and distinct persons, the FATHER, the SON and HOLY SPIRIT; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Jn. 17:3; Gen. 1:1; Deut. 4:39; Mk. 12:29; Jn. 4:24; Ps. 83:18; Ex. 15:11; 1Pet. 1:16; Rev. 4:11; Mat. 28:19; Eph. 2:18; Jn. 10:30, 15:26; Acts 5:3-4; 1Jn. 5:7; 2Cor. 13:14; Rev. 1:4-5)
II. The Scriptures: We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, or inbreathed; that it is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has GOD for it's author, salvation for it's end, and truth without any mixture of error for it's matter; that it reveals the principles by which GOD will judge all; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true basis of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21; Acts 11:14; Prov. 30;5-6; Jn.17:17; Rom. 2:12; 1 Cor. 4:3-4; Phil. 3:16; 1 Jn 4:1; Eph. 4:3-6; Jude 3-5)
III. Creation: We believe that the Genesis account of creation is to be accepted literally and not figuratively or allegorically; that man was divinely created by a direct act in the image of his maker, and not by or through the process of evolution from the lower species; that all animal and vegetable life was likewise directly created and placed under GOD's inviolable law that they should bring forth only after their own kind. Gen.1:1,21:24-27,2:7; Jn.1:1-; Heb.11:3; Col.1:16; Rom.1:18-20).
IV. The Devil: We believe that the Devil or Satan is a personal evil spirit, formerly a holy angel, from which estate he by transgression fell, drawing a host of angels as their leader, being the prince of the power of the darkness of this world; that he is the enemy of GOD, the tempter and accuser of saints, possessor of the power of death, as allowed by GOD, author of all evil and false religions, the chief power of the present apostasy; and that he is destined however, to final defeat and final destruction in the lake of fire. (Isa. 14:12-27; Ez.28:1`2-19; Job 2:1-7; 1Peter 5:8, Eph.2:2, 2Cor.4:4; Matt. 25:41; 2Cor. 11:13-15; Gen.3:1-6; Rev. 12:9-10)
V. The fall and depravity of man: We believe that man, originally created in the image and after the likeness of GOD, fell from this holy and happy estate by disobedience, in consequence of which disobedience the threatened death was then and there inflicted; and he totally lost all spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and became subject to the power of the devil; that this spiritual death of the natural man has been transmitted to the entire race of man, the man CHRIST JESUS alone excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into this world with a nature which not only possesses no divine life, but is essentially evil and at enmity against GOD. (Gen. 1:27, 3:6-24; Ps.51:5, 53:2-3, 58:1-3; Isa. 53:6; Ezk. 18:20; Acts 4:26; Rom. 1:18, 3:9-18, 5:12&19, 8:7; Gal. 3:10&22, Eph. 2:1-3)
VI. The eternal purpose of Grace in Election: We believe that election is the eternal, personal, and unconditional purpose of GOD, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of GOD's sovereign goodness being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in GOD and active imitation of his free mercy; that it may be ascertained by it's effects in all who truly believe the gospel; that it in regard to oneself demands and deserves the utmost diligence. (2 Tim.1:8-9; Eph. 1:1- 14; 2 Thes. 2:13-14; 1Thes. 1:4-10; Jn. 10:11-30; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:28-31,11:28-29; 1Cor. 4:7, 9:22; Ja. 1:17-18; 1Pet. 1:2, 2:9; 2Pet. 1:10-11; 2Tim. 2:10).
VII. The atonement of CHRIST and the way of salvation: We believe that JESUS of Nazareth was begotten of the HOLY SPIRIT in a miraculous manner, born of a virgin, without human father; that he is therefore both the son of GOD and GOD the son, that he by the appointment of the Father freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by perfect obedience, and by his vicarious death made full atonement for all the sins of all who shall ever believe, together with those who die in infancy, and those who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word; that having risen from the dead he is now enthroned at the right hand of GOD, making intercession for the believers uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, being therefore in every way a suitable, compassionate and all sufficient savior; that the full benefit of which comes by faith in the shed blood of CHRIST alone 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.(Matt. 1:18-21; Jn. 1:1&14,5:17-24,6:37- 40,8:23-24,10:11-30,17:1-5; Acts 4:12,13:48; Rom.1:16, 3:20-22&28, 5:1-21; 1Cor. 1:14-18; Gal.2:16-21; 1Tim. 1:15; Heb. 1:1-3,5:9,9:11-28, 10:9-14&19, Jn. 14:6; Isa. 53).
VIII. The Effectual Call and Regeneration: We believe that only those accountable persons who GOD has elected and predestinated unto salvation does he in his appointed time during this life irresistibly draw and effectually call by his word and spirit out of that state of sin and death in which they were born, to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth, regenerating their hearts, enlightening their minds, renewing their wills, and that no one can enter into the kingdom of GOD without this new birth; that it consists of the implanting of a new nature in us and in a supernatural manner above our comprehension by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT in connection with the WORD of GOD, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life. (2Tim. 1:9; 1 Thes. 1:4-6; 2:12-13; 2Thes 2:13-14; Eph. 2:4-5; Jn. 6:63,3:3-8,1:12-13; Tit.3:5-7; Jas. 1:18; 2Cor 5:17; Eph. 1:17-19,2:10; 1Jn. 5:1; 1Pet.1:23).
IX. Repentance and Faith: We believe that repentance and faith are solemn prerequisites of salvation; that they are inseparable graces wrought in the souls of men by the regenerating work of the HOLY SPIRIT whereby the alien sinner being deeply convinced of guilt, danger, helplessness, and the way of salvation through JESUS CHRIST, does actually repent, turning to GOD from sin, and does actually believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST with true contrition, confession and supplication for mercy, immediately receiving him as both LORD and SAVIOR. (Lk.13:3; Heb.11:6; Acts 20:20-21, 17:29-30,11:18; Eph. 2:8, Lk.18:9-14)
X. The Security of the Believer: We believe that only those who by the grace of GOD, have truly trusted CHRIST having been predestined to both justification and glorification and being born of the spirit, are preserved in perseverance and will never totally nor finally fall away and perish but are kept by the power of GOD through faith unto salvation; that they are thereby made to endure to the end, and that their preserving attachment to CHRIST is the grand mark that distinguishes them from superficial professors. (Jn.3:16 & 36,5:24,6:37- 47,10:27-29; Rom. 8:28-39; Phil.1:6; Heb. 13:5).
XI. Human Responsibility: We believe that all men everywhere are responsible to turn to GOD from their sins but that no accountable person can or will be saved without hearing and receiving the gospel in this life; therefore we hold that the heathen without the gospel are lost and will be judged by the light of conscience in them; that the saved are to share CHRIST with the world in word and in deed through the ministry of a local Baptist church; that we are called with a holy calling to walk not after the flesh but after the spirit; that while good works have nothing to do with saving us, yet they are ordained of GOD for his glory and will certainly follow regeneration, and we will be judged according to our works whether they be good or bad. (Acts 17;29-30; lu.13:1-5; Rom. 1:16-20,2:12- 16,3:23,6:3-23,8:5-14,10:9-17,14:7-12).
XII. The Church: We believe that a New Testament Church is a local, visible assembly of scripturally baptized believers, associated together according to the New Testament pattern, in the faith and fellowship of the word of GOD; observing the ordinances instituted by CHRIST it's only head; governed by his laws alone; that such assembly is the body of CHRIST in it's locality, with which all the regenerated should affiliate, for this is the only kind of true Church, that it's officers of ordination are Pastors (Bishops, Elders) and Deacons, 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, or individual; that it is scriptural for assemblies to co-operate with each other for the furtherance of the Gospel and the doctrine of the Word of GOD, but that each assembly is the sole human judge of the measure and method of it's co- operation; that only sound Baptist assemblies today preserve the New Testament pattern, with the right way of salvation and the right way of baptism; that CHRIST's promise to build HIS Church has been fulfilled in only these kind of assemblies, the first of which he organized during His earthly ministry and gave to it, and others that should descend from it the great commission, therefore, they alone have divine authority.(Mat.16:18,18:15-17,26;26-30; Heb. 2:11; Acts 1:13-26,2:1&41-47,13:1-4; 1Cor.1:1-3,12:13 & 18,12:27-28; Mk.3:13-14, Lk.6:12-13; 1Tim 3:15; 2Cor. 8:1-4; Mat. 28:18-20.
XIII. Baptism: We believe that the only true and proper baptism is that which is immersion in water of the penitent believer on the authority of a true New Testament assembly in the name of the FATHER and the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT, not in order to obtain the remission of sins, but to show forth the gospel, and to picture in most solemn emblem our death to sin and resurrection to walk in newness of life; that it is prerequisite to membership in the assembly and participation in the LORD' Supper; that the ceremonial washing away of sins is only pictorial. (Matt.3:17,28:18-20; Jn. 4:1-4; Acts 2:41,8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-11)
XIV. 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, in which the members of the one assembly observing the ordinance, by the use of unleavened bread and wine, commune not with one another, but with remembrance of their LORD's death till he comes; that the one loaf of the supper points to the unity of the body observing it, which unity is essential to the scriptural observance of the ordinance. (1Cor.11:18-34).
XV. The LORD's Day: We believe that the first day of the week (Sunday) is the LORD's Day; that it is to be kept sacred as a memorial of the resurrection of CHRIST from the dead; that Christians should refrain from unnecessary secular labor and worldly recreation, that they should devoutly use all the means of grace; both public and private, by which they may be drawn closer to GOD and provoked to holier living. (Ps. 118:24; ISA. 58;13-14; Acts 20:7; 1Cor.16:1-2; 2Cor.2:16-17; Heb. 4:3-11,10:24-25; Rev. 1:10).
XVI. Civil Government: We believe that civil government is of divine appointment and arrangement, for the best interests and good order of human society; and that leaders are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in matters opposed to the will of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, who is the only LORD of men's consciences and the Prince of the kings of the earth. (Rom. 13:1-7;Deut.16:18; Jer. 30:21; Mat. 22:21, 23:10,10:28; Ps.2; 1 Pet. 2:13; Acts 5:29; Dan. 3:15-18; Rom. 14:4; Rev. 19:6).
XVII. The Second Coming of CHRIST: We believe that the second coming of the LORD is to be pre-millennial, bodily, visible, and that it will consist of two stages; his appearance in the air and his revelation on the earth; that at the appearance in the air all those who sleep in CHRIST will be raised in glorified bodies and all saints who live and remain on the earth will be transformed and caught up with them in the air; that at his revelation on the earth He will sit on the throne of his glory for the first time, judging all men living on the earth, receiving the righteous unto His kingdom and sending the unrighteous into everlasting fire; that the throne of David is his throne of glory but he is not now sitting there but rather at the right hand of the FATHER; that the two stages of his coming will be separated by a period of time during which the woes depicted in the book of Revelation will be poured out during the reign of the beast, who is the man of sin, the anti-christ; that the world is not now getting better or drawing closer to GOD, nor will it be converted to CHRIST in this dispensation but is fast ripening for judgment; that during the tribulation period on earth, the marriage supper of the Lamb will take place in heaven after which the LORD will return and the fowls of the air will feast on the flesh of those who make war against him; that the devil, who is now walking about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour will then be bound in the bottomless pit, and the saints will reign with CHRIST a thousand years. (Acts 1:9- 11; 1Thes. 4:13-18; 1Cor.15:51-53;Matt25:31-34; Heb. 1:3; Dan. 9:20-27; 2Tim. 3:1-7;Zech.14; Matt24:20-51;Rev.19:20).
XVIII. The Righteous and the Wicked: We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as are regenerate, being justified through faith in JESUS CHRIST and sanctified by the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD, are truly righteous while all those that continue in impenitence and unbelief are wicked in GOD's sight and under his righteous curse; that this distinction holds among all men both in life and after death; that the souls of the righteous do at death pass immediately into the presence of GOD, where there is conscious bliss, to await the first resurrection at which time the soul and glorified body will be reunited and associated forever with the LORD; that the souls of the wicked pass at death into conscious misery to await the judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when the soul and body shall be reunited and cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the LORD. (Ps.1:1-6, Prov.12:5-7, 14:32, Mal.3:18; Matt.10:41, 13:14-16, Lk.16:19-25, Rom.1:16-18, 7:16, 2Cor.5:8, Gal.3:9-11, 2Thess.1:7-8, 2Pet.2:9, 1Jn.3:7-10.)
XIX. The Resurrection and the Judgment: We believe that there will be a resurrection both of the righteous and the wicked; that there will be one thousand years of time intervening between the resurrection of the righteous and that of the wicked; that the dead in CHRIST shall rise first; and at the expiration of the one thousand years the wicked will then be raised; that the judgments of the righteous and the wicked correspond respectively to their resurrections. (Acts 26:8,24:15-21;Jn.5:28-29; 1Cor. 15:51-52, 1Thes.4:13-18; Rev.20:4-6&12-15; 2 Cor.5:10; Ps.58:11;Prov11:18,1Cor 3:8&11-15; Rev.11:18, 22:12, 20:12-15).
XX. 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; that the fitting of the earth for the eternal home of the redeemed will be by a process of purification by fire, or melting; that the finally impenitent and incorrigibly wicked will be cast, both souls and resurrected bodies, into Gehenna, or the lake of fire and brimstone, where they will be punished forever. (Isa. 66:16; Rom.8:20- 22; Heb.1:10-12; 2Pet.1:10-13; Rev.21&22; Ps.9:17; Prov.27:20; Matt.5:29-30,10:28; Lk.12:5; Jude1:6-7, Rev. 20:10).