Untitled Sermon (2)
ARTICLES OF FAITH
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.
I. THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one living and true God (; ), an infinite (; ); intelligent (), sovereign () Spirit (), Whose name is JEHOVAH (), the Creator () 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 Godhead there are three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (; ; ; ; ), equal in every Divine perfection (; ; ; ; ; ; PHI. 2:5-6), and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (; ; ).
II. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired (; ; ; ). and is the perfect treasure of heavenly instruction (); that it has God for its Author (; ), salvation for its end (; ; ; ; ; ), and truth without any mixture or error for its 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 (; ; ; ; ).
III. THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE
We believe that the Genesis account of creation is to be accepted literally and not figuratively or allegorically; that God created man in His own image (; ), and not by or through the process of evolution from lower species; that all animals and vegetable life was likewise directly created (; ; ; ) and placed under God's inviolable law that they should bring forth only after their kind ().
IV. THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
We believe that the Devil or Satan is a personal evil spirit (; ), formerly a holy angel (), from which estate he by transgression fell (Isa. 12:27; ), 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 (; ), the possessor of the power of death (), as allowed by God, author of all evil and of all false religions (; ; ), the chief power back of the present apostasy (; ); and that he is destined to final defeat and eternal destruction in the lake of fire ().
V. THE FALL AND DEPRAVITY OF MAN
We believe that man was originally created upright () and finitely perfect (,), but by voluntary transgression he fell from his happy and holy estate () in consequence of which disobedience and threatened death was then and there inflicted (; ); and he totally lost all spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins and becoming subject to the power of the Devil;that sin of Adam was imputed to his entire race (; ), and that the corrupt nature has been transmitted to all his posterity by ordinary generation (; ; ; ; ); and hence every descendant of Adam is by nature a child of wrath (), totally destitute of spiritual life (; ), at enmity with God (), wholly inclined to evil (; ; ) and without strength () or hope () unless saved by Christ () and made alive by the Holy Spirit (,; ; ).
VI. THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD
We believe that election is the eternal (), personal (; ; ), unconditional () purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves lost sinners (; ; ; ); that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end (; ; ; ); that it 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 may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (; ); that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (; ; ); and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (; ; ).
VII. THE WAY OF SALVATION
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit () in a miraculous manner, born of the virgin Mary (; ), without human father (); 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 vicarious death made full atonement for all the sins of all the elect (; ,; ; ; ; , ; ); that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned at the right hand of God in Heaven (; ; ; ); and uniting in His wonderful Person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior (; ; ; ); that the full benefit of which is received by faith alone () in the shed blood of Christ () and that no repentance, no faith, no feeling, no resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to rules and regulations of any church, no baptism, nor any other such thing can in the least way add to the value of the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ ().
VIII. THE GRACE OF REGENERATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again (, ; ; ; ); that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind (; ; ; ; ); that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth (; ; ; ; ; ), so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel (; , ; ; ; ); and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance (; ), faith (; ; ; ; ) and newness of life (; ; ).
IX. THE BLESSINGS OF THE GOSPEL
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to those who believe in Him is salvation; that it includes all the Divine redemptive acts of God on behalf of the elect, such as effectual calling, which is the Divine act of God effectually and irresistibly calling the elect to obtain the salvation which Christ purchased for them by His atonement (); justification, which is the Divine act of God whereby He purchased by the shed blood of Christ (), and by His mighty power, the freedom of the believer from the power and dominion of sin (; ; ; ; ; ); grace, the Divine disposition of God wherein He saves, not upon any merit of their own (. 9-10), but wholly by the work and merit of Christ (; ; ; ); propitiation, the Divine act of God in offering Christ as the sinner's substitute (, ); imputation, the Divine act of God whereby He imputes or counts the righteousness and excellencies of Christ to the believer (; ; ; ); forgiveness, the Divine act of God by which he remits the sins of a believer (; ; ;; ; ); sanctification, the Divine act of God whereby He imparts His holiness to the inner man (; ; ), or newly born one, and sets apart the entire man to the service of God (; ; ; ; ); glorification, the divine act of God whereby that element or part of man which is mortal will be changed into a state and condition of immortality (; ; ; ; ).
X. THE WORK OF MISSIONS
We believe that Jesus Christ gave the New Testament church as an institution. a world-wide and an age-lasting commission in to make disciples of all nations; that the gospel is to be preached to every creature (; ); that all men everywhere are responsible to repent and believe the gospel (), and that no accountable person will be saved without hearing and receiving the gospel (; ; ); that the heathen without the gospel are lost and will be judged by the light of nature and conscience (; ); that it is the duty of every New Testament Baptist church to support missionaries who are sent out by the authority of a local church, who meet the Bible qualifications of a missionary (; ), who furnish a doctrinal statement, and a disclosure of how mission funds are used, as they are directed by the Spirit of God and the majority vote of the whole congregation.
XI. REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God (; I Cor. 12:3:9; ; ); 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 Savior (; ; ; ).
XII. THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
We believe that such only are real believers as 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 that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (; ;6; 2:12-13; ; ; ; ; ).
XIII. THE HARMONY OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL
We believe 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 love of sin (; ; ; ; ); 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 New Testament church (; ,; ; ; ; ;; ).
XIV. THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
We believe that a New Testament church is a local, visible, congregation of scripturally baptized believers (; , ; ;), associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (; ; ); observing the ordinances instituted by Christ () its only Head (;); governed by His laws alone (; ); that such an assembly is the body of Christ in its locality (), with which all the regenerated should affiliate, for this is the only kind of true church in the world today, that its officers of ordination are pastors () and deacons (; ); that each assembly has the absolute right to self-government as led by the Holy Spirit, free from any interference whatsoever from any organization, group, convention, association or individual; that it is scriptural for assemblies to cooperate with each other for the furtherance of the gospel and the doctrines of the Word of God (; ; ; ), but that each church is the sole human judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that only sound New Testament Baptist churches today preserve the essential apostolic faith and practice; that Christ's promise to build His church has been fulfilled in only these kind of churches, the first of which He organized during His earthly ministry (; ) and gave to it, and to others that should descend from it the Great Commission; that these true churches on earth alone possess Divine authority(); therefore, we brand as unscriptural open communion, alien baptism, pulpit affiliation with heretical ministers, mission boards, ecumenicism, unionism, modernism, modern conventionalism and associationism, one-church dictatorship, preacher-dictatorship and all kindred evils arising from these practices.
XV. THE ORDINANCE OF BAPTISM
We believe that Bible baptism is the dipping into water (); ; ) of a penitent believer () by the Divine authority of a true New Testament Baptist church() in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not in order to obtain the remission of sins, but to declare that the believer has already been saved by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ () and to picture in a most solemn emblem His 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's Supper (); that the ceremonial washing of sins is only pictorial(; ); therefore, all valid baptism must be administered by the authority of a true New Testament Baptist church, and any so-called Baptist church which knowingly receives alien immersion is not a Scriptural Baptist Church, and its ordinances are not valid.
XVI. THE LORD'S SUPPER
We believe that the Lord's Supper is not a sacrament, but a solemn symbolic ordinance placed in the church by our Lord (), in which the members of the one church observing the ordinance (, , ), by the use of unleavened bread and wine, commune not with one another, but the Lord (); that it shows forth not their love for one another, but their Lord's death till He comes (); that the one loaf of the supper points to the unity of the body observing it (), which unity is essential to the scriptural observance of the ordinance ().
XVII. THE LORD'S DAY
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day (; ); ); that it is to be kept sacred to religious purposes (; ; ); that Christians should refrain from all secular labor and worldly recreations (); that they should devoutly use all the means of grace, both private and public, by which they may be drawn closer to God and provoked to holier living (), and in preparation for the rest which remains for the people of God ().
XVIII. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment and arrangement, for the best interest and good order of human society (; ; ; ; ; ); and that magistrates are to be prayed for (), conscientiously honored and obeyed (; ; ); except in matters opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (; ; ; ), Who is the only Lord of men's conscience, and the Prince of the kings of earth (; ; , ; ).
XIX. GODLY LIVING
We believe that born-again believers should abstain from all appearance of evil (;); that they are to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world (Titus2:11-13); that they are to be careful to maintain good works (; ); that they are to seek in every possible way to serve Jesus Christ (; ; ) and to walk worthy of their high and heavenly calling (; ; ); that failure to do this will result in chastisement (); and that continued disobedience proves one is a stranger to the saving grace of God (, ; ).
XX THE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (; ; ; ;; ; ); that such 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 (; ; ; ; ; ; ).
XXI. THE RESURRECTIONS
We believe that there will a resurrection both of the righteous and the wicked (; ; ; ); that there will be one thousand years of time intervening between the resurrection of the righteous and of the wicked (); that the dead in Christ shall rise first (; ); and that at the expiration of the one thousand years the wicked will be raised and judged ().
XXII. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe that the second coming of Christ is to be pre-millennial, bodily, visible and that it will consist of two stages: His pre-tribulational appearance in the air and His post-tribulation coming to earth; that at the rapture all those who sleep in Christ will be raised in glorified bodies and all saints who live and remain on the earth will be translated that they should not see death and caught up with them in the air (); that at His coming to earth () He will sit on the throne of His glory for the first time (; ), judging all men then living on the earth (), receiving the righteous into His Kingdom and sending the unrighteous into everlasting fire (); that the throne of David is His throne (; ); that the two stages of His coming will be separated by a seven-years tribulation period (; Revs. 11:1-19) during which the woes depicted in the Book of Revelation will be poured out during the reign of the Antichrist (); that during the tribulation period on earth the judgment seat of Christ and the marriage of the Lamb will take place in Heaven (; ; ; ) after which the Lord Jesus Christ will return with all the saints for the battle of Armageddon (; ); that Satan will be bound a thousand years (), and the saints will reign a thousand years with Christ on earth (; , ; ; ; ; ; ).
XXIII. THE FINAL STATES
We believe that the earth will be redeemed from the curse of sin and fitted as the eternal dwelling place of the people of God (; ; ); that the fitting of the earth for the eternal home of the redeemed will be by a process of purification by fire (); that the finally impenitent and incorrigibly wicked will be cast, both souls and resurrected bodies (; -29), into the lake of fire and brimstone (), where they shall be punished forever ().
Article XXIV Of Human Sexuality
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be pursued outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography is a sinful perversion of God's gift of sex. (; ,; ,; Lev. 18:130; Rom. 1:2629; ; ; ; ) We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter ones gender by surgery or appearance. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (; ; ; ). Note: anyone who can not abide by this article of faith may not be members of Faith Missionary Baptist Church.
Article XXV Of the Sanctity of Human Life:
We believe that human life begins at conception and the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (; ; 139:1416; ; ,; ; 20:1518; )