WHAT BAPTISTS BELIEVE
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
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.
By "The Holy Bible" we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, which, in the KJV does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but Is the very Word of God.
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.
II Tim. 3:16-17; Ii Peter 1:19-21; Acts 1:16; Acts 28:25; Psalms 119:160; Psalms 119:105; Psalms 119:130; Luke 24:25-27; John 17:17; Luke 24:44-45; Psalms 119:89; Proverbs 30:5-6; Romans 3:4; I Peter 1:2-3; Revelation 22:19; John 12:48; Isaiah 8:20; Ephesians 6:17; Romans 15:4; Luke 16:31; Psalms 19:7-11; John 5:45-47; John 5:39.
II. OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an 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 God-head 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.
Exodus 20:2-3; Genesis 17:1; I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; John 4:24; Psalms 147:5; Psalms83:18; Psalms 90:2; Jeremiah 10:10; Exodus 15:11; Revelation 4:11; I Timothy 1:17; Romans 11:33; Mark 12:30; Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; I Corinthians 12:4-6; I John 5:7; John 10:30; John 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; I Corinthians 2:10-11; Philippians 2:5-6; Ephesians 2:18;
II Corinthians 13:14.
III. OF 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.
John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19, Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Genesis 1:1-3; II Thessalonians 2:7; John 16:8-11; John 15:26-27; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-6; Ephesians 1:13-14; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8 Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; John 16:13; John 14:26; Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16; II Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:2; Romans 8:26-27.
IV. OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN
We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through price and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; the 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 and His Christ, the power back to the present apostasy; the lord of the anti-christ, and the author of all the powers of darknessdestined however to be finally defeated at the hands of God's Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Revelation 12:9; Jude 6; II Peter 2:4; Ephesians 2:2; John 14:30; I Thessalonians 3:5; Matthew 4:1-3; I Peter 5:8; Zechariah 1:3; I John 3:8; Matthew 13:25;Matthew 37:39; Luke 22:3-4; Revelation 12:10; II Corinthians 11:13-15; Mark 13:21-22; I John 4:3; II John 7:1; I John 2:22; Revelation 13:13-14; II Thessalonians 2:8-11; Revelation 19:11; Revelation 16:20; Revelation 12:7-9; Revelation 30:1-3; Matthew 25:41.
V. OF THE CREATION
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 they should bring forth only "after their kind."
Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Acts 4:24; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3; Revelations 10:6; Romans 1:20; Acts 17:23-26; Jeremiah 10:12; Nehemiah 9:6; Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:21-23; Genesis 1:11; Genesis 1:24.
VI. OF 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 by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12; Romans 5:19; Romans 3:10-19; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 1:18; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:32; Romans 1:20; Romans 1:28; Galatians 3:22.
VII. OF 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 born the Son of God, and God, the Son.
Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; Mark 1:1; John 1:14; Psalms 2:7; Galatians 4:4; I John 5:20; I Corinthians 15:47.
VIII. OF 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 the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our 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 now 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.
Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; Romans 3:25; I John 4:10; I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21; John 10:18; Philippians 2:8; Galatians 1:4; I Peter 2:24; I Peter 3:18; Isaiah 53:11; Hebrews 12:2; I Corinthians 15:20; Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 9:12-15; Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:2.
IX. OF 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 its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
John 3:3; II Corinthians 5:17; Luke 5:27; I John 5:1; John 3:6-7; Acts 2:41; Acts 16:30-33; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; II Corinthians e5:19; Colossians 2:13; John 3:8; John 1:12-13; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9.
X. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God's electing 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 obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but their own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
I Thessalonians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; I Peter 1:2; Titus 1:1; Romans 8:29-30; Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Romans 10:13; John 6:37; Isaiah 55:6; Acts 2:38; Isaiah 55:7; John 3:15-16; I Timothy 1:15; I Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4-5; John 5:40; John 3:18; John 3:36.
XI. OF JUSTIFICATION
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.
Acts 13:39; Isa. 53:11; Zech. 13:1; Rom. 8:1; Rom. 5:9; Rom 5:1; Titus 3:5-7; Rom. 1:17; Heb. 2:4; Gal. 3:11 Rom. 4:1-8; Heb. 10:38.
XII. OF 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 Saviour.
Acts 20:21; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:37-38; Luke 18:13; Rom. 10:13; Psa. 51:1-4; Psa. 51:7; Isa 55:6-7; Luke 12:8; Rom. 10:9-11.
XIII. OF THE CHURCH
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of 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 is officers of ordination and pastors, elders and deacons, 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, 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 one and only superintendent is Christ through Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to co-operate 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 co-operation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
Acts 2:41; Acts 2:42; I Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 4:11; I Cor. 12:4; 8-11; Acts 14:23; Acts 6:5-6 Acts. 15:23; Acts 20:17-28; I Tim 3:1-7; I Tim. 3:8-13; Matt. 28:19-20; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23-24; I Pet. 5:1-4; Acts 15:22; Jude 3-4; II Cor. 8:23-24; I Cor. 16:1; Mark 3:10; Lev. 27:32; I Cor. 16:2; I Cor. 6:1-3; I Cor. 5:11-13.
XIV. OF 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, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem of our faith I the crucified, buried and risen Saviour, symbolic of 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 bread and wine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Acts 8:36-39; Matt. 3:6; John 3:23; Rom. 6:4-5; Matt. 3:16; Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Acts 2:41-42; Matt 28:19-20; I Cor. 11:23-28.
XV. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
We believe that a believer's persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.
John 8:31-32; Col. 1:21,23; I John 2:19; Matt. 13:19-21; Rom. 8:34; Matt. 6:30; Psa. 121:3; Heb. 1:14; I Peter 1:5; Phil. 1:6; John 10:28; John 10:29 John 16:8; Rom. 35-39.
XVI. OF 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.
Mal. 3:18; Gen. 18:23; Rom. 6:17-18; Prov. 11:31; I Pet. 4:18; Rom. 1:17; I Cor. 15:22; Acts 10:34-35; I John 2:29; I John 3:7; Rom. 6:16; I John 5:19; Gal. 3:10; Rom. 7:6; Rom. 6:23; Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matt. 25:34,41; John 8:21; Luke 9:26; John 12:25; Matt. 7:13-14.
XVII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interest and good order of human society; 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 coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Rom. 13:7; II Sam. 23:3; Ex. 18:21; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13, 14; I Peter 2:17; Acts 5:29; Acts 4:19-20; Dan. 3:17-18; Matt. 10:28; Matt. 23:10; Rev. 10:6; Phil. 2:10-11; Psa. 72:11.
XVIII. OF 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 scripture;" that He ascended "to the right hand of the throne of God;" that He alone is our "merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God;"" That "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air;" after which "This same Jesus which was taken up from you into heaven shall come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."bodily, personally and visibly. "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".
Matt. 28:6-7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; I Cor. 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2, 4-6; Acts 1:9; Acts 1:11; Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 8:1; Heb. 12:2; 8:6: I Tim 2:5; I John 2:1; Heb. 2:17; Heb. 5:9-10; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; I Thes. 4:16; Matt. 24:27; Matt. 25:13; James 5:8; Matt. 24:42; Heb. 9:28; I Thess 4:16; I Cor. 15:42-44; I Cor. 15:52; I Cor. 15:51-53; I Thess. 4:17; Phil. 3:20-21; Luke 1:32; Isa. 9:6-7; Acts 2:20-30; I Cor. 15:25; Isa. 32:1; Isa. 11:4-5; Psa. 72:8; Rev. 20:1-4; Rev. 20:6.
XIX. OF MISSIONS
The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given to the churches.
Matt. 28:18-20 : "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Mark 16:15, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
John 20:21, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Rom. 10:13, 14,15, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
XX. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the Faith.
II Cor. 8:7, "Therefore as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also."
We are commanded to bring our gifts into the storehouse (Common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week.
I Cor. 16:2, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gathering when I come."
Under grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe "Abraham gave a tenth part of all" "Abraham GAVE the tenth of the spoils." Heb. 7:4 before the law, and is confirmed in the New Testament; Jesus said concerning the tithe, "These ought ye to have done"-- Matt. 23:23.
We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the church.
Lev. 27:30, The tithe is the Lord's and this was four hundred years.
Mal. 3:10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
In the New Testament it was the common treasury of the church.
Acts 4:34, 35, 37, "And brought the prices of the things that were sold, and lad them down at the apostles' feet. Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
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.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; 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 use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to win souls to Christ.
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 Saviour 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 the principles of God's Word.