What We Believe
ARTICLES OF FAITH
I. 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 will 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.”--2 Tim. 3:16
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 Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
III. 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 the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.“God created man in His own image.”--Gen. 1:27. “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”-Gen. 1:31; Ecclesiastes. 7:29
IV.GOD’S PURPOSE OP 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 an 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.
V. 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 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 sin’s; 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 every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all—sufficient Savior.“By grace ye are saved.” — Eph. 2:5; Matt. 18:11; I John 4:10
VI. OF REGENERATION.
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, 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 change is instantaneous, effected solely by the power of God, in a manner incomprehensible to reason; the evidence of its is found in a changed disposition of mind, the fruits of righteousness, and a newness of life. And without it salvation is impossible.
VII. 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 a 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.
VIII. OF Faith
We believe the Scriptures teach that faith, as 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 a consent of the heart, consisting 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 the believer is brought into vital relations 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.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” —Acts 16; 31.
IX. 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 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.
X. 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 f children, by a new and spiritual birth; spending 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, 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.
XI. 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; 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 exercise and duties.
XII. 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 persevering attachment to Christ is the grand make 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.“And this is the Father’ a will that bath sent me, that of all which He bath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” -John 6:39.
XIII. 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 it 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 the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church.
XIV. A Gospel Church
We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellow ship 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.“Then they that gladly received His word were baptized; and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.” ——Acts 2:41; Acts 5:11; 8:1; 11:31; I Cor. 4:17; I Tim. 3:5
XV. Christian Baptism.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in Christ, into the name of the Father, and 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 to the privileges of a Church relation, and to the Lord’s Supper
“And the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?And Philip said, if thou believest with all they heart thou mayest… And they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” —— Acts 8:36—39; Matt. 3:5, 6
XVI. The Lord’s Supper
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.“And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave unto them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you, this do in remembrance of me Likewise also the cup after super, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”--Luke 22:19, 20; Mark 14:20-26; Matt. 26: 27—30; I Cor. 11: 27-30; I Cor. 10:16.
XVII. ‘The Christian Sabbath
We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor, except works of mercy and necessity, by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.“On the first day of the week, when the disciples came’ together to break bread, Paul preached to them.”——Acts 20:7; Gen. 2:3; Col. 2:16, 17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; I Cor. 16: 1, 2
XVIII. 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 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.