Articles of Faith
1. The Scriptures.
We believe that the Holy 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 it s 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 should be tried.
Scripture References: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 3:15; Proverbs 30:5-6; Romans 2:12; St. John 12:47-48; Philippians 3:16; 1 John 4:1; Isaiah 8:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Corinthians 13:5
2. The True God.
We believe the Scriptures teach that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of a all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead 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.
Scripture References: St. John 4:24; Psalm 147:5; Psalm 83:18; Exodus 15:11; St. Mark 12:30; Revelation 4:11; St. Matthew 28:19; St. John 15:26; St. John 10:30; Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 13:14
3. The Fall of Man.
We believe the Scriptures teach that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:27,31; Genesis 3:6-24; Romans 5:19; Isaiah 53:6; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 1:18; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:20; Romans 3:19
4. The Way of Salvation.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who according to the will of the Father, assumed our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and all-sufficient Saviour.
Scripture References: Ephesians 2:18; St. John 3:16; Philippians 2:6-7; Isaiah 42:21; Isaiah 53:4-5; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 7:25; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 2:18
5. Of Justification.
We believe the Scriptures teach 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 promise 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; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
Scripture References: 1 John 1:16; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:9; Romans 5:17; Romans 4:4-5; Romans 5:19; Romans 5:1-3,11
6. The Freeness Of Salvation.
We believe that the Scriptures teach 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 cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
Scripture References: Isaiah 53:1; Romans 16:25-26; St. John 5:40; St. John 3:19
We believe the Scriptures teach that regeneration, or the new birth, is that change wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit, by which a new nature and a spiritual life, not before possessed, a re imparted, and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus; a holy disposition is given to the mind, the will subdued, the dominion of sin broken, and the affections changed from a love of sin and self, to a love of holiness and God; the change is instantaneous, effected solely by the power of God, in a manner incomprehensible to reason; the evidence of it is found in a changed disposition of mind, the fruits of righteousness, and a newness of life. And without it salvation is impossible.
Scripture References: St. John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; St. John 3:8; St. John 1:13; James 1:16-18; 1 Peter 1:22-25; 1 John 5:1; Ephesians 5:19
8. Repentance and Faith.
We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced 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 as our prophet, priest and king, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour.
Scripture References: St. Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Ephesians 2:8; 1 John 5:1; St. John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; St. Luke 18:13; Romans 10:9-11
9. God's Purpose of Grace.
We believe the Scriptures teach that election is the eternal purpose God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end that is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
Scripture References: 2 Timothy 1:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Exodus 33:18-19; St. Matthew 20:15; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10; Romans 8:28-31; 2 Peter 1:10-11
We believe the Scriptures teach that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means-especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer; and in the practice of all godly exercise and duties.
Scripture References: 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Proverbs 4:18; 1 John 2:29; Romans 8:5; Philippians 2:12-13
11. The Perseverance of the Saints.
We believe the Scriptures teach that such as are truly regenerate, being born of the Spirit, will not utterly fall away and finally perish, but will endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Scripture References: St. John 8:31; 1 John 2:19; Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:6
12. The Law and the Gospel.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their sinful nature; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the invisible Church.
Scripture References: Romans 3:31; Romans 7:12; Romans 8:7-8; Romans 8:2-4
13. A Gospel Church.
We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privilege s invested in them by his word; that its only scriptural offices are bishops or pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 1:1-13; Acts 2:41-42; 2 Corinthians 8:5; 1 Corinthians 11:2; St. Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Philippians 1:27; Philippians 1:1
14. Baptism and The Lord's Supper.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in Christ, in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect, in our death to sin an d resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privilege 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.
Scripture References: Acts 8:36-39; St. Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 11:26; 1 Corinthians 11:28
15. The Christian Sabbath.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor, except works of mercy and necessity, by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.
Scripture References: Acts 20:7; Exodus 20:8; Revelation 1:10; Psalm 118:24; Isaiah 58:13-14; Psalm 118:15; Hebrews 10:24-25; Hebrews 4:3-11
16. Civil Government.
We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interest and good order of human society; and 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 Prince of the kings of the earth. But that civil rulers have no rights of control over, or of interference with, religious matters.
Scripture References: Romans 13:1-7; St. Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; St. Matthew 10:28; St. Matthew 23:10; Romans 14:4; Revelation 19:16
17. Righteous and Wicked.
We believe the Scriptures teach 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 this life and after death.
Scripture References: Malachi 3:18; Romans 1:17; Romans 7:6; 1 John 2:29; 1 John 5:19; Galatians 3:10; Proverbs 14:32; St. Luke 16:25-26
18. The World to Come.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead fro m the grave for final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless sorrow, and the righteous to endless joy; and this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.
Scripture References: 1 Peter 4:7; Acts 1:11; Acts 24:15; St. Matthew 13:49; St. Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 22:11; Romans 3:5-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12
HAVING BEEN LED, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, 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, disciplines, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses 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 devotions; 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 sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
WE FURTHER ENGAGE to watch over each other 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 Savior, 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.
AND NOW UNTO HIM, who brought again from the dead, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, be Power and Glory forever. Amen.