Independent – Sovereign Grace – Missionary – Pretribulation – Premillennial – Landmark
A Declaration of Faith and Church Covenant
Due to the various different religious organizations which profess to take the Bible as their guide as we do, yet differ with us in doctrine, faith, and practice, we feel constrained to set forth a distinctive declaration of what we believe; not as a substitute for the Holy Scriptures, but as exponents of what are conceived to be the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God.
A CONFESSION FOR INDEPENDENT BAPTISTS
Declaration of Faith
We believe that all Scripture was given by verbal inspiration of God and is free from error or contradiction. We accept the Bible (THE KING JAMES VERSION) as the only authority, in fact, in doctrine, and in all things. (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 10:35).
We believe that there is one and only one true and living God, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. In the trinity of the Godhead, there are three eternal distinctions that are revealed to us under the figure of persons. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That these are equal in every divine perfection, executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of Redemption, being worthy of precisely the same honor, worship, and obedience. (Isaiah 46:9-10; Jeremiah 10:10-12; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Matthew 3:16-17).
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
We believe that God is an absolute sovereign. Having mercy on whom He will and hardening whom He will, doing according to His will of purpose in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth working all things after the counsel of His own will, efficiently causing all good and wisely and holily permitting all evil that comes to pass for reasons known fully to Himself only and over ruling it for His own glory and the good of the redeemed. That God’s will of purpose, comprehending all things in relation to the whole, is accomplished infallibly and cannot be prevented, hindered, or delayed in the least by men, devils, or impersonal forces. (Daniel 4:35; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 9:8-18; 1 Chronicles 29:11).
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine personality, equal with God the Father, and God the Son. That He is the agent of God in the new birth, that He comes into the heart in regeneration there to dwell continuously, sealing, witnessing, counseling, teaching, guiding, comforting and sanctifying that the believer, therefore, is not to pray or seek for the Holy Spirit but to surrender to Him so as to be filled with Him. (1 John 5:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 3:5; John 6:63; Ephesians 1:13; John 16:7-13).
We believe that the Devil or Satan is a personal evil spirit, formerly a holy angel, from which estate he by transgression fell, drawing a host of angels as their leader, being the prince of the power of the darkness of this world. That he is the enemy of God, the tempter and accuser of the saints, possessor of the power of death. Author of all evil and of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy, and that he is destined, however, to final defect and eternal destruction in the lake of fire. (1 John 4:1-6; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ephesians 2:2-3; Revelation 12:10; Hebrews 2:14; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 20:10).
We believe that the spiritual death of the natural man, or total corruption of human nature has been transmitted to the entire race of man, the man Christ Jesus alone excepted, and hence that every child of Adam is born into this world with a nature which not only possesses no divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably evil, being at enmity against God, and incapable of being brought into subjection to the Law of God by any process whatsoever. (Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 1:5-6; John 3:27; Mark 7:21-22; Romans 3:9-18; Isaiah 64:6-8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Jeremiah 13:23; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:12).
CHRIST AND HIS MEDIATORIAL WORK
We believe that Jesus of Nazareth was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary a virgin, without human father, that He is therefore both the Son of God and God the Son, that He by the appointment of the Father freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by perfect obedience, and by His substitutionary death mad full atonement for all the sins of all who shall ever believe, together with all who die in infancy and idiocy, that having risen from the dead. He is now enthroned at the right hand of God, making intercession for believers, uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, being therefore in every way a suitable compassionate, and all sufficient Saviour. (Luke 1:26-35; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:13-15).
THE EFFECTUAL CALL
We believe that those and only those accountable persons whom God has elected and predestinated to salvation, He does in His appointed and accepted time, in this life effectually call by His preached word and spirit out of that state of sin and death in which they were born, to salvation through the sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth, regenerating their hearts, enlightening their minds, renewing their wills, thus drawing them and giving them to Christ in repentance and faith. (Romans 9:11-15; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 10:14; John 6:37; Acts 2:39; Acts 2:47; John 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Ephesians 1:11).
THE CONDITION OF THE HEATHEN
We believe that no accountable person can be saved without hearing and receiving the gospel in this life, therefore, we hold that the heathen without the gospel is lost and will be judged by the light of conscience which is given to every accountable person. (Acts 4:12; Romans 1:20; Romans 10:14-15; 1 Corinthians 1:21).
THE NEW BIRTH
We believe that because of human depravity, involving spiritual death, no one can enter into the kingdom of God either here of hereafter without the new birth. (John 3:3-7).
THE WAY OF SALVATION BY REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ, apart from works or any efforts of man and is brought about by the Holy Spirit working in the heart of a sinner by producing repentance and faith. (Ephesians 2:5-10; Acts 20:21; Acts 2:37-38; Romans 2:4).
We believe that through the resurrection of Christ, God reckons all born again believers in Christ to be sinless in the sight of God by the righteousness of Christ being imputed to them, making them not pardoned sinners but justified saints, sinless and perfect, and worth of endless life in His eternal presence. (Romans 4:25; Romans 5:19; Romans 3:24-28; Acts 10:43).
We believe that sanctification belongs to all who have been regenerated, that it is both instantaneous and progressive, that instantaneous sanctification consists of our being objectively separated form the world of unbelievers and set apart or consecrated to God while at the same time are made holy in the eyes of the law and a new life is established in the soul, that this phase of sanctification is accomplished in regeneration and admits of no degrees being possessed fully and absolutely by all the saved, that progressive sanctification is begun in regeneration and is carried on by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, wherein, by the use of the appointed means especially the word of God, self examination, self-denial, watchfulness, prayer, and practice of Godly exercises and duties, we are subjectively separated from the world to live unto God. Sanctification is only relative and never issues in sinless perfection in this life. (Jude 1; Proverbs 4:18; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Luke 9:23; 2 Peter 1:5-8).
THE TWO NATURES OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that regeneration is the implantation of a new life and not the eradication or reformation of the old nature, that the old nature remains in the believer to the end of his earthly existence and is in constant conflict with the new nature, so that the believer is never free from the presence of sin in this life and never able to obey fully the word of God. (Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:21-25; 2 Peter 1:4).
THE CHRISTIAN WALK
We believe that we are called with a holy calling to walk, not after the flesh, but after the spirit, and so to live in the spirit that we should not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, but the flesh, being still in us to the end of our earthly pilgrimage, needs to be kept in subjection to Christ or it will surely manifest its presence to the dishonor of His name. (1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 6:11-13; Luke 9:23).
We believe that while good works have nothing to do with our salvation yet they are ordained of God for His glory and will certainly follow regeneration, that it is our duty to engage in them under the leadership of the spirit and the instruction of the word of God, that our eternal rewards in the presence of God is dependent upon them. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Daniel 12:3; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; John 15:1-7).
THE PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS
We believe that those who are truly saved, having been predestinated to both justification and glorification and being born of the spirit will never fall away and perish, but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, that they are thereby made to endure to the end, not in such a way as to impair their responsibility to conduct themselves as a child of God, yet unconditionally and eternally saved by the grace of God, for Christ sake. (Genesis 32:30; Proverbs 2:8; John 10:27-29; Philippians 1:6; Jude 1).
We believe that baptism is immersion in water of a penitent believer on the authority of a New Testament church in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Ghost) not in order to obtain the remission of sins, but to show forth in most solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to walk in newness of life, that it is a prerequisite to membership in the church and participation in the Lord Supper. (Romans 6:4; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 28:19; Matthew 3:13-17; Ephesians 4:5; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Peter 3:20-21).
THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is one of the two Ordinances of the church. Of which the members of the local church, by the use of unleavened bread and wine show their Lord’s death till He comes. We further believe this is restricted to the members of the local assembly, (CLOSED LORD’S SUPPER). (1 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Acts 2:42).
We believe that a New Testament church on earth is a body of baptized believers, voluntarily associated together in the faith and fellowship of the word of god. Observing the ordinances instituted by Christ, governed by Him as its only head, and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges vested in it by Christ, that the mission of the church is clearly set forth in the great commission. That each church has the absolute right of self government, free from any interference whatsoever from any organization, group, or individual, and that Christ founded the first one of these and gave to it and to others that should descend from it the great commission. That this chain has been unbroken down through the ages and will continue unbroken until Jesus comes, and is today known as a New Testament Baptist Church, that they and they alone have the divine authority to administer baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Acts 1:14-15; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 16:18; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Corinthians 12:25-28).
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ is coming again to receive all who are in Him by the new birth, that those who have died in Christ and are yet in the grave will be resurrected at His appearance in the air and that those living born again believers in Christ, after this resurrection, will undergo a miraculous change from mortal corruptible bodies to immortal incorruptible bodies and together with the resurrected saints, will go to meet the Lord in the air, that these believers will be taken into heaven visibly and literally in these new bodies that after approximately seven years, during which seven years the anti-christ is revealed on earth and the wrath of God as described in the book of revelation is evidence in the earth, Christ will come back to the earth to set up His personal reign over the whole earth. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Philippians 3:20-21; Acts 1:9-11).
We believe that Christ will reign over the entire earth for a period of one thousand years. That the resurrected and glorified saints will reign with Him. That this is not figurative in any sense but actually this same earth on which we are now living, that Satan will be bound and in a bottomless pit during this millennium, that Israel will be converted and restored to their own land and Christ Himself will sit upon the throne of David during the entire world. (Revelation 20; Isaiah 65:25; Isaiah 11:6-9).
RESURRECTION OF THE UNJUST
We believe that the resurrection of the unjust will occur at the close of the Millennium reign of Christ, that this is the resurrection of the Great White Throne Judgment, and that this is the first and only resurrection of the wicked, that all wicked along with Satan, Death, Hell, and the grave will be cast into the lake of fire. Not for annihilation, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. (Revelation 20:5-15; Psalms 9:16-20; John 5:28-29; Luke 16:19-28; Psalms 1:5; Mark 9:43-44).
THE LORD’S DAY
We believe that the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day, is not the Old testament Sabbath nor the New Testament Sabbath, but a day in which the apostles and members of the early church were actively engaged n the work of the Lord and a day in which they assembled to worship Him. (John 20:19; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Acts 20:7-8).
Having been led, as we are assured, by the Holy Spirit 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 the Son, and 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 leadership of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge and holiness, to further its prosperity and spirituality, to sustain its worship services, ordinances, doctrines and discipline, to support with our tithes and offerings the ministry and the expenses of this church, and the spreading of the Gospel unto all nations.
We also engage to pray secretly in our homes, to educate our children in the truth of God’s Word, to seek prayerfully the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances, faithful in our obligations, and to be zealous in our efforts to spread the Gospel of our Saviour.
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 be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and to be mindful of the teaching of our Saviour.
Moreover, we engage that, when we shall choose to withdraw our membership from this church, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church of the same faith and order where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
We will in failure of any of the above cheerfully answer to our brethren or this assembly when enquired of.
And may the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that Great Shepherd of the Sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do His will, working in us that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.