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THE ARTICLES OF FAITH

Statements Of Our Basic Baptist Beliefs As Found In The Bible

1. The Scriptures 2. The True God 3. The Fall of Man
4. God's Purpose of Grace 5. The Way of Salvation 6. Of Repentance
7. Of Faith 8. Of Regeneration 9. Of Justification
10. Of Sanctification 11. Of Glorification 12. Of Adoption
13. The Perseverance of Saints 14. The Law and the Gospel 15. The Gospel Church

16. Christian Baptism (Ordinance of the Church)

17. The Lord's Supper (Ordinance of the Church)

18. The Christian Sabbath

  19. Civil Government  

          

WHY WE ARE BAPTIST

A BAPTIST CHURCH

CHURCH COVENANT

1.    THE SCRIPTURES

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction, that it has God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter, that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian Union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.

 

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (Romans 3:1-2; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:21)

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2.    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 Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalms 2:7; Isaiah 42:1; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Acts 5:3-4: I Corinthians 12:3-7; I John 5:20)

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3.    THE FALL OF MAN

We believe the Scriptures teach that Man was created in holiness under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse. (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3:6-24; Romans 3:23; 5:12-14)

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4.    GOD'S PURPOSE OF GRACE

We believe the Scriptures teach that election is the eternal 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 encourages the use of means in the highest degree, that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence. (Ephesians 2:8-9; II Thessalonians 2:13-14; II Timothy 1:8-9)

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5.    THE WAY OF SALVATION

We believe the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the Mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who according to the Father, assumed our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in His wonderful person, a tender, compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior. (Matthew 18:11; John 14:1-6; Ephesians 2:8)

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6.    OF REPENTANCE

We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance is a personal act, prompted by the Spirit; and consists in a Godly sorrow for sin, as offensive to God and ruinous to the soul, that it is accompanied with great humiliation in view of one's sin and guilt, together with prayer for pardon also by sincere hatred of sin, and persistent turning away from, and abandonment of, all that is evil and unholy. Since none are sinless in this life, repentance needs to be often repeated. (Matthew 3:1-2; Mark 1:15; Acts 3:19)

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7.    OF FAITH

We believe the Scriptures teach that faith, an evangelical grace wrought by the 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 consent of the heart, mainly of belief and trust; the testimony of God is implicitly accepted and believed as true, while Christ is unreservedly trusted for salvation; by it is the believer brought into vital relation with God, freely justified, and lives as seeing Him who is invisible. Faith cannot save, but it reveals Christ to the soul as a willing and sufficient Savior, and commits the heart and life to Him. (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:4; II Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:6)

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8.    OF REGENERATION

We believe the Scriptures teach the 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, the will subdued, the dominion of sin broken, and the affections changed from a love of sin and self, to a love of Holiness and God, the enhancement is instantaneous, effected solely by the power of God, in a manner incomprehensible to reason; the evidence of it is found in a changed disposition of mind, the fruits of righteousness and a newness of life. And without it, salvation is impossible. (John 3:3; I Peter 1:23)

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9.    OF JUSTIFICATION

We believe the Scriptures teach 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 promise of eternal life on the 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; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity. (Romans 3:28; 5:8-9; Galatians 2:16)

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10.    OF SANCTIFICATION

We believe the Scriptures teach that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means, especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer; and in the practice of all Godly exercises and duties. (I Thessalonians 4:3; I Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 10:10-14)

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11.    OF GLORIFICATION

The state of being of the believer upon Christ's return (position after death). (I Corinthians 15:51-53)

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12.    OF ADOPTION

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 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, privileges and promises of children, and if children, then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, to the heritage of the saints on earth, and an inheritance reserved in heaven for them. (Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 3:26; 4:5-7; Hebrews 12:7)

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13.    THE PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS

We believe the Scriptures teach that such as are truly regenerate, being born of the Spirit, will not utterly fall away and finally perish, but will endure unto the end; that their preserving attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (John 6:39; I John 2:19)

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14.    THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL

We believe the Scriptures teach that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their sinful nature; 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 visible church. (Romans 1:16; 3:31; 7:8; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 3:19)

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15.    THE GOSPEL CHURCH

We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by the covenant in the 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 only scriptural officers are bishops or pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. (Acts 2:42; 20:17-28; I Timothy 3:1-4, 8-13)

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16.    CHRISTIAN BAPTISM - ORDINANCE OF THE CHURCH

We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in Christ, in the name of the Father, and the Son and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite of a Church relation, and to the Lord's Supper. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:36-37)

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17.    THE LORD'S SUPPER - ORDINANCE OF THE CHURCH

We believe the Scriptures teach that the Lord's Supper is a provision of bread and wine, as symbols of Christ's body and blood, partaken of by the members of the Church, in commemoration of the suffering and death of their Lord; showing their faith and participation in the merits of His sacrifice, and their hope of eternal life through His resurrection from the dead; its observance to be preceded by faithful self examination. (Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 10:16; 11:23-26)

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18.    THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH

We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day; and is to be sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor, except works of mercy and necessity, by devout observance of the Means of Grace, both private and public, and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God. (John 20:1; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2)

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19.    CIVIL GOVERNMENT

We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates 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 the Prince of the kings of the earth. But that civil rulers have no rights of control over, or of interference with religious matters (Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1)

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WHY WE ARE BAPTIST

We are Baptist first because Baptists believe the whole Bible and accept nothing but the Bible as their guide in matters of faith and practice

(Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 6:46; II Timothy 3:15-17).

 

We are Baptist because Baptists believe in One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism (Ephesians 4:5).

 

We are Baptist because Baptists believe that salvation is wholly of God (John 1:12-13), that we are saved by grace and not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9), and the two conditions of salvation are Repentance and Faith (Luke 13:3; John 3:15-16).

 

We are Baptist because Baptists believe in regenerated membership.

(John 3:3, Acts 2:41-47).

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We are Baptist because the Baptist Church has a Spiritual Head and Founder - Christ is its only head and He has founded only one church

(Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:18).

 

We are Baptist because Christ, the head of the church, the only begotten Son of God, both accepted and requested baptism at the hand of John the Baptist, a preacher (Matthew 3:13-15) who was prepared in Heaven (Luke 1:44) for his sublime task, and sent from God (John 1:6).

 

We are Baptist because Baptists promote the rights of the individual; first, we may seek God for ourselves (Acts 17:27); second, everyone must repent for himself (Romans 14:11-12).

 

We are Baptist because Baptists believe in the theocracy and democracy of the church, the sovereignty of God, and the equality of each member

(Colossians 1:18, Matthew 20:24; 23:5-8).

 

Baptist ministers (whether called Pastor or Bishop) are equal in rank and are never to exercise authority over one another (Mark 10:42-44); never to be called master or father (Pope). (Matthew 23:8-12)

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We are Baptist because Baptists accept as church ordinances only those things ordered by Jesus Christ which symbolize the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, namely - Baptism and the Lord's Supper

(Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 11:23-25).

The Scriptural quotation, "Let a man examine himself and so let him eat ... " is addressed to the church and has no reference to non-Christians or non-church members (I Corinthians 11:28).

 

Baptists believe that the Salvation of God is eternal.

(John 3:14-18; John 10:27-29; Romans 8:1, 33-39).

 

We are Baptist because Baptists believe in the second coming of Christ

(Acts 1:11); the immortality of the human soul (Genesis 2:7; I Corinthians 15:53-55); the resurrection of the body (I Corinthians 15:44); the final judgment of a just God (Matthew 25:41-46); and the never ending punishment of the sinner and the eternal bliss of the Saints (Matthew 25:34-46).

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A BAPTIST CHURCH

Baptist Churches must be cut from the pattern of New Testament churches, as set forth in the principles and policies of the Scriptures in doctrinal character and life.  The Great Commission provides the program, purpose, task and principles of Baptist churches (Matthew 28:19-20).

A Baptist Church is a body of regenerated (born again) persons, immersed on profession of faith in Christ; united in covenant for worship, instruction, the observance of Christian ordinances, and for such service as the gospel requires.

A Baptist Church recognizes and accepts Christ as their supreme Lord and Lawgiver, and takes His Word as their only sufficient rule of faith and practice in all matters of conscience and religion.

Since we are saved by faith in Christ and baptized in His name, we are governed by His law, observing His ordinances and walking in fellowship with Him (Acts 2:41-42; I Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:27).

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THE CHURCH COVENANT

The church covenant is a voluntary agreement by members of a Baptist church whereby they promise to conduct their lives in such a way as to glorify God and promote the ongoing in His church.  Every member should study it carefully, refer to it often and seek to live by it.  It clearly outlines the obligations of church membership.  The form of the covenant widely used in Baptist churches is as follows:

HAVING been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, the angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

(SALVATION AND BAPTISM)

 

WE engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances; discipline, and doctrines, to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expense of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

(DUTIES TO THE CHURCH)

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WE also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings; faithful in our engagements and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior. 

(PERSONAL LIVING)

 

WE further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

 

WE moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and principles of God's Word.

(FELLOWSHIP WITH FELLOW CHRISTIANS)

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The Earth is the Lord's!"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein." (Psalms 24:1)