What We Believe: Articles of Faith
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe the Holy Bible to be that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation which, as originally written, was objectively the very Word of God; that it was written by men supernaturally moved; that it is verbally and plenarily inspired; that it is truth without any admixture of error; and therefore is and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to men; the true centre of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.
II. OF THE TRINITY
1. We believe that there is one, and only one, living, eternal and true God; an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Creator and the Supreme ruler of Heaven and earth inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honour, faith and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, executing distinct and harmonious offices in the work of redemption.
2. We believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God; that He is truly and eternally God, equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit; that for our redemption He took upon himself the nature of unfallen man; that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in a unique and miraculous manner, and was born of Mary, a virgin; that in the one Person of Christ there are two natures, the Divine and the human, each distinct, and indissolubly united; that being tempted in the flesh He lived a sinless life; that He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; that the third day He arose bodily from the tomb and manifested Himself for forty days to His disciples; that in His glorified body He ascended to the Father; that as High Priest He ever lives to make intercession for His own; that according to His promise He will come again in person, visibly, with power and great glory.
3. We believe that 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 creation; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that he bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and in testimony; that He is the agent of regeneration; that He dwells in every believer from the moment of his conversion; that every believer is baptized in the Spirit by Christ; that He fills the believer as control is yielded to Christ; that the evidence of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the life.
III. OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN
We believe that Satan is a person; that he is the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world; that he is man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints; that he is the author of all false religions, the inspirer of all apostasy, and the chief of all the powers of darkness; that he with his principalities is overcome by our appropriation of Christ’s victory on Calvary; that he along with his hosts is destined to final defeat at the hands of God’s Son, and to suffer eternal punishment in a place prepared for him and his angels.
IV. OF THE CREATION
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it 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 man’s creation was not by evolution or change of species or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal life and vegetable life were effected by special creation, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only ”after their kind”.
V. OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Creator, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state; in consequence of which all men are now sinful, and all are sinners not only by constraint but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse; that man in his fallen state is in a condition of total depravity by which is meant his utter incapacity to receive the things of the Spirit of God apart from the quickening grace of the Holy Spirit.
VI. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace; that it is through the mediatorial office of the Son of God, Who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honoured the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and expiatory atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted in the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place bearing the penalty of God’s Holy Law, shedding His precious blood; the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen bodily from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven, and is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and all-sufficient Saviour.
VII. OF ELECTION
We believe that election is the eternal act of God’s sovereign grace by which He chooses, calls, justifies and glorifies sinners; that it is effectuated by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word in drawing sinners to Christ so that their wills are freely brought into compliance with God’s elective purpose; that it excludes all human boasting; that it is demonstrated in believers by their personal faith in Christ, their love to God and their desire for holiness; that it is the ground of the believer’s assurance and promotes humility and service.
VIII. OF THE NEW CREATION
We believe that in order to be saved a sinner must be born again through personal faith in Jesus Christ; that the new birth is a new creation; that it 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 as the gift of God; that such is kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation and shall never perish; that the new birth is brought about in a miraculous manner above man’s comprehension wholly and solely by the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth; that its proper evidence appears in the fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life.
IX. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe that justification is the great blessing by which God accepts, accounts and declares man as righteous; that it includes pardon from the guilt and condemnation of all his sin, the gift of eternal life on principles of divine righteousness; that it is bestowed by grace through faith solely upon the grounds of Christ’s perfect life, and expiatory death whereby the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believing sinner.
X. OF SANCTIFICATION
We believe that sanctification is primarily the believer’s position in Christ by the grace of the new Testament sealed to the believer by the blood of the everlasting covenant whereby he is set apart unto God as the recipient of all heavenly perfections; that it is also a process by which the believer sets himself apart from sin to God in the gradual attaining of moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in his heart and in obedience to the Word of God; that it will culminate in the glorious and eternal state of entire sanctification at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
XI. OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe that the church is a congregation of baptized believers organized according to the New Testament pattern, associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, and observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws, and exercising the rights, and privileges invested in it by His Word; that its officers are pastors (or elders or bishops) and deacons, whose qualifications and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; that the true mission of the church is found in our Lord’s commission, namely: to evangelize, to baptize, and to teach believers to observe all that the Lord commanded; that the church has absolute right of self-government free from any outside interference, and that the one and only superintendent is Christ, acting through the Holy Spirit in harmony with the Word of God; that in all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline or benevolence, the will of the church is final, that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in the furtherance of the Gospel and in contending for the faith, and that each church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its co-operation.
XII. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; that it is the direct command of Christ; that it shows forth the believer’s union with the crucified, buried and risen Christ, and his death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is a condition of church membership and according to the Scriptural order baptism should precede the observance of the Lord’s supper in which members of the church by the use of bread and wine after solemn self-examination are to commemorate together the death of Christ.
XIII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is divinely appointed for the interests and good order of society; that the individual should fulfill faithfully his responsibilities as a good citizen; that magistrates should be conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the revealed will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience; that the church should remain distinct and separate from the state, and that there should be no intrusion of the one into the affairs of the other.
XIV. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is an essential difference in the nature, belief and practice of the righteous and the wicked; that those who through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and set apart by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in God’s esteem, and those who continue in impenitence and unbelief are wicked in His sight and under the curse; that this distinction holds even after death, that the righteous depart to be with Christ, and are in a state of conscious blessedness awaiting the resurrection of the just and the receiving of their glorified bodies; that the wicked depart to Hades where they are in conscious torment until the final resurrection and judgment; at which time the righteous enter into everlasting felicity in Heaven and the wicked into everlasting conscious suffering in Hell.