To set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us... "that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed," we send forth the commonly believed confession of faith held among Separatist Baptists:
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired: that it has truth for its matter without any admixture of error; that it is and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; and that it is the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
We believe the Authorized (King James) Version Old and New Testaments are the Word of God kept intact for English-speaking peoples by way of God's divine providence and work of preservation; and that the Authorized Version translators were not "inspired", but were merely God's instruments used to preserve His words for English-speaking peoples.
By "Holy Bible" we mean that the collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written and providentially preserved, does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but it is the very Word of God.
By "inspiration" we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost 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.
By "providentially preserved" we mean that God through the ages has, in His divine providence, preserved the very words that He inspired; that the Hebrew Old Testament text, as found in the Traditional Masoretic Text, and the Greek New Testament text as found in the Textus Receptus, are indeed the products of God's providential preservation, and are together the complete, preserved, inerrant Word of God.
Dt 4:2, Ps 12:6-7; Ps 19:7-11; Ps 119:89,105,130,160; Isa 8:20; Isa 40:8; Jer 23:29; Ezk 12:25; Mt 5:17-18; Mt 22:29; Lk 24:44-45; Jn 12:48;Jn 17:17; Jn 20:30-31; Rom 3:4; Rom 15:4; Eph 6:17; II Tim 3:16-17; Heb: 4:12; I Pt 1:23-25; II Pt1:19-21; Rev 22:18-19.
II. OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe 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; and that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct, but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Ex 20:2-3; Ex 15:11; II Sam 7:22; Ps 83:18; Ps 90:2; Ps 147: 5; Isa 40:28; Isa 45:5-6; Jer 10:10; Mt 28:18; Mk 12:30; Jn 1:1-2,14; Jn 4:24; Jn 14:7-11; Jn 17:5; Rom 11:33; I Cor 8:6; I Cor 12:4-6; Phlp 2:5-6; Col 2:9; I Tim 1:17; I Tim 3:16; I Tim 6:13-16; I Jn 5:7; Rev 1:8.
III. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe 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, the Holy Spirit restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, of judgment, and of righteousness; that He is the witness of and guide into all truth; that He shall not speak of nor exalt Himself, but will glorify the Son of God; that the Holy Spirit is the agent in the New Birth; and that He seals, endues, comforts, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer.
Gen 1:1-3; II Chr 7:1-3; Neh 9:20,30; Job 33:4; Ps 139:7; Isa 11:1-2; Isa 59:19; Ezk 36:26-27; Zec 4:6; Mt 12:31; Lk 1:35; Lk 24:49; Jn 3:5-6; Jn 14: 16-17,26; Jn 15:26, Jn 16:7-11,13-14; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:30-32; Acts 6:5; Acts 13:2; Rom 8:9,14-16,26-27; I Cor 3:16; Gal 5:22-23; Eph 3:16; Eph 4:30; I Pt 1:2; I Jn 4:13; Rev 22:17.
IV. OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN
We believe Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, he fell and drew after him a host of angels; that Satan is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of the world; that he is mankind's great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present apostasy; and that he is the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness - destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God's own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Gen 3:14-15; Job 2:2; Isa 14:12-17; Ezk 28:14-19; Zec 3:1; Mt 4:1-11; Mt 13:19,38-39; Mat 25:41; Jn 8:44; Jn 13:2; Jn 14:30; II Cor 4:3-4; II Cor 11:13-15; Eph 2:2; Eph 6:11-12; I Ths 3:5; II Ths 2:7-10; Heb 2:14; I Pt 5:8; II Pt 2:4; I Jn 2:22; I Jn 4:3; II Jn 7; Jude 6; Rev 9:11; Rev 12:7-10; Rev 20:1-3,7-10.
V. OF CREATION
We believe the Genesis account of creation; that the Genesis creation record 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 by God's own handiwork, in the space of six, twenty-four hour days, were all things created that are in heaven and that are in the earth, visible and invisible; that creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; and that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God's established law was that they should bring forth only after their kind.
Gen 1:1-30; Gen 2:21-23; Gen 5:1-2; Ex 20:11; I Chr 16:26; Neh 9:6; Job 12:7-9; Job 38:4-11; Ps 8:3-6; Ps 19:1; Ps 100:3; Ps 102:25; Prov 30:4; Isa 42:5; Isa 45:11-12,18; Jer 10:12; Jer 32:17; Jn 1:1-3; Acts 4:24; Acts 17:24-26; Rom 1:20; Col 1:16-17; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11; Rev 10:5-6.
VI. OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe man was created in innocennce under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state; and that by the sin of one man all men are now sinners, not by constraint, but by choice, and therefore all are under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
Gen 3:1-13, 16-24; Job 15:16; Ps14:2-3; Ps 51:5; Prov 20:9; Eccl 7:20; Isa 53:6; Jer 16:12; Jer 17:9; Ezk 18:4; Mt 7:21-23; Mt 23:28; Rom 1: 18-20, 28-32; Rom 2:1; Rom 3:10-19, 23; Rom 5:12; I Cor 15:21-22; Gal 3:22; Eph 2:1-3; I Tim 2:13-14; Jms 1:13-15.
VII. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe Jesus Christ, Who was preexistent in the Godhead from eternity-past, was made flesh when He was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner: born of a virgin woman, Mary, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman; and that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, both the Son of God and God the Son.
Gen 3:15; Ps 2:7; Isa 7:14; Isa 9:6-7; Mt 1:18-25; Mt 16:16; Mk 1:1; Lk 1:30-35; Jn 1:1-2, 14; Jn 8:58; Jn 12:45; Jn 17:5; Rom 8:3; I Cor 15:47; Gal 4:4; Phlp 2:5-8; Col 2:9; I Tim 3:16; Heb 5:5; Heb 7:3; II Pt 1:1-18; I Jn 4:2; I Jn 5:9,20.
VIII. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself the nature of man yet without sin, Who honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and Who by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind, providing redemption through His blood; that without the shedding of blood of Jesus Christ, that cleanseth man from all sin, was presented in heaven, was sprinkled on the true mercy seat, and was accepted by God the Father as the atonement for the sins of the whole world, only becoming efficacious through man's individual repentance, confession, and faith; that Christ's atonement consisted not in setting man 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 the sins of man in His own body on the tree; and that after having given Himself for man, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour, and having, in turn, risen from the dead, Christ Jesus is now seated on the right hand of God, becoming in every way a suitable, a compassionate, and an all sufficient Saviour.
Isa 53:4-7, 10-12; Lk 19:10; Jn 3:16-17; Acts 15:11; Rom 3:24-25; Rom 5:6-8; I Cor15:3; II Cor 5:15, 21; Gal 1:4; Eph 5:2; Phlp 2:7-8; Tit 2:14; Heb 1:3; Heb 2:14-17; Heb 7:25; Heb 8:1-2; Heb 9:12-15, 22-26; Heb 10:10-12; I Pt 1:18-19; I Pt 2:24; I Pt 3:18; I Jn 2:1-2; I Jn 3:5; Rev 1:5.
IX. OF THE RESURRECTION
We believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead bodily the third day, according to the Scriptures; that the Lord's resurrection was attested to by many infallible proofs; and that forty days thereafter, He physically ascended back to heaven assuming His place as man's Advocate with the Father; the faithful High Priest Who ever liveth to make intercession for mankind.
Mt 16:21; Mt 28:1-15; Mk 16: 1-13, 19; Lk 24:1-51; Jn 2:19; Jn 20:1-20, 24-29; Acts 2:22-27, 29-33; Acts 3:14-15; Acts 4:33; Acts 10:39-41; Acts 13:29-31; Acts 17:2-3, 31; Acts 26:22-23; Rom 1:4; Rom 6:9-10; Rom 8:34; Rom 10:9; I Cor 15:3-8; II Cor 4:14; Eph 1:20; Phlp 3:10-11; II Tim 2:8; I Pt 3:21-22; Rev 1:18.
X. OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe sinners must be born again in order to be saved; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that the new birth 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 man's comprehension, and is not by culture, nor 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 man's voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that proper evidence of the new birth appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.
Jer 17:7-8; Jn 1:12-13; Jn 3:3, 6-7; Jn 5:24; Jn 6:63; Rom 3:24; Rom 5:15; Rom 8:11, 32; I Cor 6:9-11; II Cor 5:17-19; II Cor 9:15; Gal 2:20; Gal 4:29; Gal 5: 22-24; Gal 6:15; Eph 2:1, 5-8, 15; Eph 4:24; Eph 5:9-10; Col 2:13; Col 3:1, 9-10; II Tim 2:1; Tit 3:5; Jms 1:18; I Pt 1:23; II Pt 1:4; I Jn 2:29; I Jn 3:8-10; I Jn 4:7; I Jn 5:1, 4, 10-12, 18, 21.
XI. 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 men to accept salvation by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel, a rejection which involves the sinner in an aggravated condemnation.
Isa 55:1; Ezk 33:11; Mt 11:28; Lk 11:10; Jn 3:14-20, 36; Jn 4:10; Jn 6:37; Jn 15:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:20-21; Acts 10:34-35; Acts 17:29-31; Rom 5:18; Rom 6:23; Rom 8:29-30; Rom 10:12-13; Eph 2:7-9; Tit 1:1-2; II Pt 3:9; Rev 3:20; Rev. 22:17.
XII. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe 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; and the justification and its benefits are bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which man has done, but rather, God's righteousness is imputed to man solely through faith in the Redeemer's vicarious shed blood.
Gen 15:6; Job 9:20; Ps 40:2; Isa 53:11; Hbk 2:4; Lk 16:15; Jn 5:24; Acts 13:39; Rom 1:17; Rom 2:13; Rom 3:24-28; Rom 4:1-9, 23-25; Rom 5:1, 8; Rom 8:1; I Cor 6:11; Gal 2:16; Gal 3:8-11, 24; Phlp 3:9; Tit 3:5-7; Heb 10:38; Heb 11:4; Rev 1:5-6.
XIII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in the soul of man by the quickening Holy Spirit of God; that being deeply convicted of his own guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, man must turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy, while at the same time heartily believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, openly confessing Him as the only true and all-sufficient Saviour.
Ps 34:18; Ps 51:1-4; Prov 28:13; Isa 55:6-7; Isa 66:7; Ezk 18:31; Joel 2:12-13; Mk 1:14-15; Mk 6:12; Lk 12:8 Lk 13:3; Lk 18:13-14; Acts 2:37-38; Acts 3:19; Acts 8:22-23; Acts 17:29-30; Acts 20:21; Acts 26:18-20; Rom 10:9-11; II Cor 7:10; I Jn 1:8-9.
XIV. OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE SAINTS
We believe all the Redeemed are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, and are, therefore, secure in Christ; and that eternal security is synonymous to eternal life, and is a work of God which insures that the gift of salvation, once received, cannot be lost by any true believer.
Ps 31:23; Ps 37:28; Ps 121:3; Prov 2:8; Isa 46:4; Mt 7: 24-25; Jn 3:16; Jn 5:24; Jn 10:27-29; Jn 17:11; Rom 4:21; Rom 8:15-16, 33-39; II Cor 1:21-22; II Cor 5:5; Eph 1:13-14; Phlp 1:6; II tim 1:12; II Tim 4:18; I Pt 1:3-5; I Jn 2:19, 25; I Jn 3:2; I Jn 4:13; I Jn 5:11-13; Jude 24.
XV. OF THE RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe Jesus Christ will physically return to the earth in like manner as He was seen to go into heaven: bodily, personally and visibly; that His Second Coming will be preceded by a chronology of Last Days' events - literal events, beginning with a pre-tribulational, pre-millennial calling out of all the redeemed: the Rapture; that the Rapture will terminate the dispensation of the New Testament Church, and will induce the time of Jacob's Trouble: a seven-year Tribulation Period and reign of antichrist; that the Tribulation will culminate with Armageddon: the final terrible event in world history when the Lord Jesus, with heaven's host, returns victoriously making the kingdoms of the world to become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; that upon the Second Coming of Christ, the Lord shall reign in righteousness on the earth for one thousand years, climaxing with the final condemnation of Satan and the last judgment of Revelation Chapter Twenty; and that, eternally thereafter, the Lord Jesus Christ shall reign for ever and ever.
Gen 18:25; Isa 11:4-10; Jer 23:5-6; Jer 30:6-10; Dan 7:23-27; Dan 9:24; Dan 12:1; Zech 14:9-11; Mt 24:3-31, 36-51; Mt 25:31-33; Mt 26:64; Jn 5:22; Jn 14:2-4; Acts 1:9-11; I Cor 15:22-26, 48-54; Phlp 3:20-21; I Ths 4:15-17; I Ths 5:1-9; II Tim 4:1; Iti 2:13; Heb 9:28; Heb 10:37; II Pt 3:10-13; Jude 14-15; Rev 1:17; Rev 16:16; Rev 20:1-15; Rev 22:20.
XVI. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only such as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in His esteem, and that all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in God's sight wicked and under the curse; and that among men both in and after death there exists this great eternal distinction: the everlasting bliss of the saved, and the everlasting, conscious suffering of the lost.
Gen 18:23,25; Ps 11:5-7; Prov 10:6-7, 10; Prov 11:31; Prov 14:32; Mal 4:1-2; Mt 7:13-14; Mt 13:38, 47-48; Mt 25:32-34, 41; Lk 16:25; Jn 3:18-21, 36; Jn 12:25; Rom 1:17-18; Rom 2:9-11; Rom 5:18; Rom 6:16-18; Rom 7:5-6; I Cor 6:9-11; I Cor 15:22; Gal 3:10-11; II Pt 3:7; I Jn 2:29; I Jn 3:7-10; I Jn 5:10-12, 18-19.
XVII. OF SEPARATION
We believe one distinguishing mark of biblical Christianity is a separation from worldly conduct, interests, philosophies, and unions; that separation from the worldly unto the godly should be maintained in two primary realms: the personal and the ecclesiastical; that personal separation is the believer's responsibility to live circumspectly: denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; and that ecclesiastical separation is a vigilant adherence to holiness in all matters related to the church.
Ezra 10:11-12; Ps 1:1; Prov 4:14; Prov 13:20; Prov 24:1; Isa 52:11; Ezek 44:23; Amos 3:3; Mt 5:13,16; Jn 15:19; Acts 2:40; Rom 8:1; I Cor 6:19-20; II Cor 5:17; II Cor 6:14-18; Gal 5:16; Eph 5:11, 13-15; I Ths 4:3-5; I Ths 5:22; II Ths 3:6; Tit 2:11-12; Jms 4:4, 8; I Pt 2:11-12; I Pt 4:1-4; I Jn 2:6, 15-16.
XVIII. OF THE CHURCH
We believe the New Testament church is a local, visible, autonomous assembly only; that Jesus Christ established His Church during His earthly ministry, prior to the events of Acts Chapter Two and the Day of Pentecost; that a Baptist church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being the citadel and propagator of the divine and eternal grace; that the church alone is authorized to administer and observe the ordinances of Christ; that all church members, ministries, and polities are to be subject to the Lordship of Christ, exercising the gifts, rights,disciplines, and privileges vested in them by His Word; and the church officers are pastors or 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, to make individual disciples; second, to baptize believers and add them to the church; and third, to teach and instruct as Christ commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order.
We believe the church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only superintendent of the church is Jesus Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for churches to cooperate 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 cooperation with others; and that in all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the church is final.
Mt 16:18-19; Mt 18:15-18; Mt 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42, 46-47; Acts 6:2-6; Acts 11:25-26; Acts 20:17-21, 27-28; Rom 16:1-5; I Cor 3:9-11; I Cor 6:1-3; I Cor 11:2; I Cor 12:12-27; I Cor16:15-19; II Cor 1:1; II Cor 8:23-24; Eph 1:22-23; Eph 3:8-11, 21; Eph 4:11-12; Eph 5:23-27; Col 1:18; I Tim 3:1-15; I Pt 5:1-4.
XIX. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S TABLE
We believe baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by and under the authority of a New Testament Baptist church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem one's faith in and identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effects: death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that baptism is requisite to the place and privileges of a church membership and to the Lord's Table in which, after solemn self-examination, and by the use of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine,the members only of a given Baptist church are to commemorate together the sacrificial love of Christ.
Mt 3:5-8, 13-17; Mt 26:26-29; Mt 28:18-19; Mk 13:34; Lk 22:19-20; Jn 3:22-23; Acts 18:8; Rom 6:3-5; I Cor 10:21; I Cor 11:2, 23-29; I Cor 12:12-13; Eph 4:4-5; Col 2:12; I Pt 3:21.
XX. OF MISSIONS
We believe Missions, the endeavor to reach all the world with the gospel, is a charge to, and the responsibility of the church; that the church is debtor to those who have never heard the gospel; that the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the gospel to be preached at home and abroad -- to the uttermost part of the earth; and that the magnitude of the Great Commission constrains autonomous New Testament Baptist churches to cooperate together for the accomplishment of the task.
Ps 96:3; Prov 11:30; Isa 6:8; Dan 12:3; Mt 9:36-38; Mt 24:14; Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:45-47; Jn 4:35-38; Jn 20:21; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:1-4; Acts 16: -10; Rom 1:14-16; Rom 9:22-26; Rom 10:13-15; II Cor 5:18-20; II Cor 10:13-16; Phlp 4:14-18; II Pt 3:9; Rev 14:6.
XXI. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
We believe God's program for financing the execution of His Great Commission is the program by which every believer gives tithes and offerings to God in and through the New Testament storehouse: His Church; that the institution of tithing predates and is separate from the Law; and that cheerful, obedient, sacrificial giving presents for God opportunities to manifest His grace and His inexhaustible bounty of blessings.
Lev 27:30, 32; I Chrn 29:3; II Chrn 31:10; Prov 3:9-10; Prov11:25; Mal 3:8-11; Mt 6:1-4; Mt 23:23; Lk 6:38; Acts 4:33-35, 37; Acts 11:29-30; Acts 20:35; I Cor 4:2; I Cor 16:2; II Cor 8:1-9; II Cor 9:6-7; I Tim 6:17-18; Heb 7:1-2, 4; Heb 13:16.
XXII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe civil govenment is ordained of God for the interest and good order of society; that government's purpose is to punish evil doers and to support and defend the righteous; that believers are commanded to conscientiously honor, obey, and pray for all that are in authority, that men may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty; that civil government has no jurisdiction in respect to the free exercise of the church; and that civil disobedience is justified only in things opposed to Divine Law, which is supreme, and to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Ex 22:28; II Sam 23:3 II Chrn 19:6; Ps 72:11; Prov 16:12-15; Prov 19:12; Prov 24:21; Prov 29:2; Eccl 8:2; Isa 10:1; Dan 2:21; Mt 17:24-27; Mt 22:21; Acts 4:19-20; Acts 5:29; Rom 13:1-7; Eph 6:5-9; Phlp 210-11; Col 3:22-25; Col 4:1; I Tim 2:1-4; I Tim 6:1-2; Tit 3:1; I Pt 2:13-14, 17-18.