What We Believe
The word Gospel simply means Good News. The Good News is that:
The one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him. In his great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust in him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.
(Mark Dever in The Gospel and Personal Evangelism)
OUR STATEMENT OF BELIEFS
- We believe that the Bible is God’s revelation of himself through men moved by the Holy Spirit, and is our certain, sufficient, and authoritative guide in religion. (New Hampshire Confession of Faith, 1830)
- We believe in a regenerated church membership and that the conversion experience is a prerequisite to church membership.
- We believe in the New Testament practice of baptism by immersion. In the New Testament the candidate was taken to the water, not the water brought to the candidate; the candidate was placed in the water, not the water put on the candidate; so we believe in immersion only as answering Christ’s command of baptism and symbolizing the heart of the gospel message – death, burial, resurrection.
- We believe in the New Testament order of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. New Testament Christians were baptized before taking the Lord’s Supper.
- We believe in the right of each member of the church to a voice in its government, plans, and discipline.
- We believe in the freedom of the individual conscience; in the voluntary principle, not the coercive principle, in religion.
- We believe in the total independence and separation of church and state. We believe that it both the right and responsibility of every Baptist to co-operate with fellow Christians of every church, especially those of like faith and order.
- We believe in the obligation of redeemed people to share with the world the gospel mes sage and that this is best carried out through the tithe and the Cooperative Program of our convention as well as through personal witness of our own salvation experience.
- We believe in the Savior’s command of love and do understand the need for love to all people, regardless of race, color, creed, or social position.
ARTICLES OF FAITH
I. Of the Scriptures
We believe that the 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 shall be tried.
II. Of God
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
III. The Trinity
God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
IV. Of Providence
God from eternity decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.
V. Of Election
Election is God’s internal choice of some persons unto everlasting life not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.
VI. Of the Fall of Man
God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.
VII. Of the Mediator
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, rose again the third day, and ascended to His father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.
VIII. Of Regeneration
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickens the dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone.
IX. Of Repentance
Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with Godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk with God so as to please Him in all things.
X. Of Faith
Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification, sanctification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.
XI. Of Justification
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them; or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith.
XII. Of Sanctification
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God’s Word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all of Christ’s commands.
XIII. Of Perseverance of the Saints
Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally or finally fail away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin. whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet shall they be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
XIV. Of the Church
The Lord Jesus is the head of the church, which is composed of all his true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches he has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which he has appointed. The regular officers of a church are pastors and deacons.
XV. Of Baptism
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is a prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper.
XVI. Of The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by His churches until the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship.
XVII. Of The Lord’s Day
The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.
XVIII. Of Liberty of Conscience
God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to his word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
XIX. Of The Resurrection
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God -the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
XX. Of The Judgment
God has appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when everyone shall receive according to his deeds: the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment; the righteous into everlasting life