DECLARATION OF FAITH
We do hereby adopt as the fullest expression of our faith, the First London Baptist Confession of 1646 along with an Appendix by Benjamin Cox. These documents are the most excellent epitome of things most surely believed among us. We accept the same, not as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby we are fettered, but as assistance to us in controversy, a confirmation of our faith, and a means of edification and righteousness. Here, the members of our church will have a Body of Divinity in small compass, will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within them.
As a summary of, and addenda to, the foregoing confession of Faith, we do hereby adopt the following:
1. The Scriptures:
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfection, and being infinite to them all. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
3. The Trinity:
God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God, from Eternity, decrees or permits things that come to pass and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events, yet so as not in any wise to be the Author or approver of sin, nor to destroy the responsibility of intelligent creatures.
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto eternal life, not because of foreseen merit in them, but because of His mercy in Christ. As a result of this choice they are predestinated, called, justified, and glorified.
6. 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 state of holiness and righteousness, whereby his descendants inherit a corrupt nature and are wholly opposed to God and His law, and are under condemnation.
7. 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 and arose again the third day and ascended to the 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.
Regeneration is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickens the dead in trespasses and sin, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God and renewing their whole nature so that they may love and practice holiness. It is the work of God’s free and special grace alone.
Repentance is a gospel grace, by means of which the Holy Spirit causes a person to feel the manifold evils of sin, and by faith in Christ, to humble himself on account of sin. This humiliation is characterized by a godly sorrow, a detestation of sin and self abhorrence. It is also accompanied by prayer for pardon and a purpose to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.
Saving faith is the belief on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; receiving and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is produced in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all saving graces and leads to a life of holiness.
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners who believe in Christ, from all sin, and imputing to them righteousness. This is done for Christ’s sake alone and not for anything wrought in them or done by them. This righteousness, reckoned to them, is not through faith nor any other obedience to the gospel, but Christ’s obedience alone. (His active obedience to the divine law and passive obedience rendered in His death).
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s Word and Spirit working in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of divine strength, which all Christians seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cheerful and willing obedience to the commands of Christ.
13. Perseverance of the Saints:
Those whom God has accepted in Christ the Beloved, and effectually called and sanctified by the Spirit, can never totally nor finally fall away from a state of grace, but shall certainly persevere in grace to the end and be eternally saved. Though they may fall into sin because of neglect and temptation, and may continue in sin for a time, thereby grieving the Spirit, bringing reproach upon the church and temporal judgment on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again through repentance and kept by the power of God unto salvation.
14. The Church:
The Lord Jesus Christ 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 assemblies or churches which He has given the necessary authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a church are bishops or elders, and deacons.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ and obligatory upon every believer. It consists in immersion in water upon profession of faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is administered in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a sign of the believer’s fellowship in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, of the remission of his sin and of his giving himself to God to live and walk in newness of life. It is a prerequisite to church membership.
16. 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 Church until He returns. It is in no sense a sacrifice or a means of having one’s sins cleansed, but it was designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other Christian graces, and is to be a bond, pledge, and renewal of their communion with Him and their church fellowship.
17. Liberty of Conscience:
God alone is the Lord of conscience and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any way contrary to His Word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates are ordained of God and we are to be subject to these in all lawful things in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’s sake.
The bodies of all mankind after death return to dust, with the righteous spirits returning immediately to God to rest with Him, and the wicked to being reserved under darkness until the judgment. The bodies of all dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
19. The Judgment:
God has appointed a day wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when everyone shall receive his reward in accordance with what they have done in this earthly life, whether good or evil. The wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, the righteous into everlasting peace.
20. Evangelism and Missions:
It is the duty of every Christian man and woman, and the duty of every church of Christ, to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Missionary efforts on the part of all rest upon the spiritual necessity of the regenerate life. It is also expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teaching of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God, by personal effort and by all other methods sanctioned by the Word of God, to constantly encourage people to seek the Lord and His salvation.
21. Return of Christ:
We believe in the personal and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ.