ARTICLES OF FAITH & PRACTICE
A Baptist is one who believes in a supernatural Bible, which tells of a supernatural Christ, Who had a supernatural birth, Who spoke supernatural words, Who performed supernatural miracles, Who lived a supernatural life, Who died a supernatural death, Who rose in supernatural splendor, Who intercedes as a supernatural priest and Who will one day return in supernatural glory to establish His supernatural kingdom on the earth.
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
(a)By “The Holy Bible” we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.
(b)By “inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
Ps. 19:7-11; 119:89, 105, 130, 160; Prov. 30:5-6; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:31; 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:39, 45-47; 12:48; 17:17; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Rom. 3:4; 15:4; Eph. 6:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:23; 2 Pet. :19-21; Rev. 22:19.
THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, and infinite, intelligent Spirit, 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 Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Gen. 17:1; Ex. 15:11; 20:2-3; Ps. 83:18; 90:2; 147:5; Jer. 10:10; Matt. 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 4:24; 10:30; 15:26; 17:5; Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; 8:6; 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 2:18; 4:6; Phil. 2:5-6; 1 Tim. 1:17; 1 John 5:7; Rev. 4:11.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth: that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer.
Gen. 1:1-3; Matt. 3:11; 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35; 3:16; 24:49; John 1:33; 3:5-6; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26-27; 16:8-11, 13; Acts 5:30-32; 11:16; Rom. 8:14, 16, 26-27; Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Thess. 2:7, 13; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:2.
We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present apostasy; the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness – destined however to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels. Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:14-17; Matt. 4:1-3; 13:39; 25:41; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 22:3-4; John 14:30; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Eph. 2:2; 1 Thess. 3:5; 2 Thess. 2:8-11; 1 Pet. 5:8; 2 Pet. 2:4; 1 John 2:22; 3:8; 4:3; 2 John 7; Jude 6; Rev. 12:7-10; 13:13-14; 19:11, 16, 20; 20:1-3, 10.
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind.”
Gen. 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27; 2:21-23; Ex. 20:11; Neh. 9:6; Jer. 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 17:23-26; Rom. 1:20; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 11:3; Rev. 10:6.
THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Gen. 3:1-6, 24; Ezek. 18:19-20; Rom. 1:18, 20, 28, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19; Gal. 3:22; Eph. 2:1,3.
THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost, 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 Son of Man.
Gen. 3:15; Ps. 2:7; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; 1 Cor. 15:47; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 5:20.
THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him human nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Saviour.
Isa. 53:4-7, 11-12; Matt. 18:11; John 3:16; 10:18; Acts 15:11; Rom.3:24;-25; 1 Cor. 15:3, 20; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal.1:4; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 2:7-8; Heb. 2:14; 7:25; 9:12-15; 12:2; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.
GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that is proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
Luke 5:27; John 1:12-13; 3:3, 6-7; Acts 2:41; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17, 19; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 2:1; 5:9; Col. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 John 5:1.
THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God’s grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and an obedient faith; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent sin nature and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
Isa. 55:1, 6-7; Matt. 11:28; John 3:15-16, 18, 36; 5:40; 6:37; Acts 2:38; Rom. 8:29-30; 10:13; 1 Cor. 15:10; Eph. 2:4-5; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 1 Tim. 1:15; Titus 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 22:17.
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.
Isa. 53:11; Hab. 2:4; Zech. 13:1; Acts 13:39; Rom. 1:17; 4:1-8; 5:1, 9; 8:1; Gal. 3:11; Tit. 3:5-7; Heb. 10:38.
REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Saviour.
Ps. 51:1-4, 7; Isa. 55:6-7; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8; 18:13; Acts 2:37-38; 20:21; Rom. 10:9-11, 13.
We believe that a Baptist Church is a congregation of saved, baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being understood to be the citadel and propagator of the Divine and Eternal Grace; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: First, to make individual disciples; Second, to build up the church; Third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the Head of the church is Christ; 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 every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
Lev. 27:32; Mal. 3:10; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 6:5-6; 14:23; 15:22-23; 20:17-18; 1 Cor. 5:11-13; 6:1-3; 11:2; 12:4, 8-11; 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8:23-24; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:11; 5:23-24; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; Jude 3-4.
BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord’s supper; in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Matt. 3:6, 16; 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Col. 2:12.
We believe each and every person who is truly born again is kept eternally by God the Father unto the day of redemption with no possibility of losing his salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the privilege of all that are born again to be assured of their salvation from the very day that they take Christ to be their Savior. This assurance is founded totally upon the testimony in God’s written Word.
John 5:24; 10:27-29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 10:22; 1 John 5:13.
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 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 under the curse, and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
Gen. 18:23; Prov. 11:31; 14:32; Mal. 3:18; Matt. 7:13-14; 25:34, 41; Luke 9:26; 16:25; John 8:21; 12:25; Acts 10:34-35; Rom. 1:17-18; 6:16-18, 23; 7:6; 1 Cor. 15:22; Gal. 3:10; 1 Pet. 1:18; 1 John 2:29; 5:19.
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the Word of God.
Ex. 18:21-22; 2 Sam. 23:3; Ps. 72:11; Dan. 3:17-18; Matt. 10:28; 22:21; 23:10; Acts 4:19-20; 23:5; Rom. 13:7; Phil. 2:10-11; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-14, 17.
THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily “The third day according to the Scriptures;” that He alone is our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God;” “that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” – bodily, personally and visible; that the “dead in Christ shall rise first,” that the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump;” “that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David;” and that “Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.” P
s. 72:8; Isa. 11:4-5; Matt. 24:27, 42; 28:6-7; Mark 16:6, 19; Luke 1:32; 24:2-7, 39, 51; John 14:3; 20:27; Acts 1:9, 11; 1 Cor. 15:4, 25, 42-44, 51-53; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:1, 6; 2:17; 5:9-10; 9:28; 12:2; 1 John 2:1; Rev. 3:21; 20:1-4, 6.
The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given not only to the church, but to every Christian.
Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; Rom. 10:13-15.
THE GRACE OF GIVING
Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the faith. We are commanded to bring our tithes and offerings into the storehouse (in the New Testament it was the common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week. Lev. 27:30; Mal. 3:10; Matt. 23:23; Acts 4:34-35, 37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:7; Hebrews 7:2, 4.
(a)We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a 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; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4
(b)We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman.
Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23
(a)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 the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church.
Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12
(b)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; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; I Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
We believe that God hates divorce and intends for marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon.
Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable.
Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44
We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers and those who oppose us. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions.
Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18
LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.
1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32