Having, as we trust, been brought by divine grace to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to give up ourselves to Him, and having been baptized upon our profession of that common faith in Christ, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, relying on the aid of God alone, solemnly and joyfully enter into a covenant with each other as one body in Christ and members one of another.
We will work and pray together for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace among our mutual fellowship.
We will walk together in brotherly love, as becomes the members of a Christian Church; exercise an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other and faithfully admonish and entreat one another as occasion may require.
We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect to pray for one another.
We will endeavor to bring up those under our care, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and by a pure and loving example to seek the salvation of our family and friends.
We will rejoice at each other's happiness and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear one another's burdens and sorrows.
We will seek, by Divine aid, to live in accordance with the righteousness of Christ; to demonstrate a testimony for Christ in this present evil world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts; we will in our watchfulness and loving care for one another hold each other accountable to walk in a new and holy life according to the rule of Christ.
We will work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines as declared by our statement of faith.
We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We will, if we move from this place, as soon as possible, unite with some other church of like faith where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.
Statement of Faith
The following points of faith are fully agreed upon by the membership of the Bible Baptist Church and are necessary points of doctrine for continuance of service in any office of the church.
Of the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible, as originally written and preserved by God through faithful transmission, is verbally inspired (II Timothy 3:16-17) and the product of Spirit-moved men (II Peter 1:19-21), and therefore is true without error (John 17:17). We believe the sixty-six books of the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the sole standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions, shall be tried (Jude 1:3). We believe that the canon of Scriptures is complete and closed; no new revelation is presently being received in this age (Heb. 1:1-3).
Of the Godhead
We believe that there is only one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; I Timothy 2:5), infinite in every excellence. We believe that, in the unity of the Godhead, there are three distinct persons -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These persons are one in substance and equal in every divine perfection (Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 28:19), and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of creation (Genesis 1:1) and redemption (John 3:16).
Father: We believe in God the Father, one distinct person of the Godhead. The Son has voluntarily elected to do the will of the Father in dependence upon the Spirit. He is the Father of creation (Malachi 2:10), Israel (Exodus 4:22), Jesus Christ (John 20:17, not a relationship of derivation or inferiority), and of believers (Romans 8:15-16).
Son: We believe that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity is co-equal with God the Father, and all the attributes of God are manifest in Him (John 1:1). When the fullness of time came, Christ became incarnate by a supernatural conception and virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) for the purpose of becoming "the sacrifice for sin". By His vicarious death He made possible a reconciliation of depraved man with a holy and just God (Hebrews 10:12). We further believe that He physically died and arose from the grave. Upon completing His post-resurrection ministry, He ascended on high where He is presently interceding for the believers (Hebrews 7:25), and shall subsequently return for the believers (I Thessalonians 4:15-17) and set up His earthly kingdom (Luke 1:33).
Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person (John 16:13), equal with the Father and Son and of the same substance and nature; that He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (II Corinthians 13:14), bears witness to the truth (John 14:16), is the Agent of the New Birth (John 3:6), and that He seals, endues with gifts (I Corinthians 12:7), guides, teaches, witnesses with, sanctifies, and helps the believer, indwelling every true child of God at the moment of the new birth (Romans 8:14-27, Ephesians 1:13).
Angels are created (Colossians 1:16; Psalm 148:5) spirit-beings of various rank and order. This company of everlasting beings are great in intelligence and strength, but are fully subject to God in all things and in no way equal to the eternal God in any attribute. They were created holy and good (Genesis 1:31), but due to sin some fell from their holy state and are now confirmed in wickedness (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28). Those who were preserved in their integrity are God's messengers (Hebrews 1:14), whereas the fallen angels execute Satan's desires in hindering God's work and afflicting God's people.
We believe in the distinct personality of Satan (Matthew 4:1-3), that he is the unholy god of this age (II Corinthians 4:4), author of all powers of darkness and sin, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Revelations 20:10).
Of the Creation
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1-2), including all life (Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3), "each after its own kind" (Genesis 1:24), by direct acts of His own will and for His own pleasure (Psalm 33:6, Revelation 4:11). We believe that the account of creation given in Scriptures is a true and historical account of the beginning of all things.
We believe that man, in the person of the first Adam, was created in innocence, but by voluntary transgression fell into sin (Genesis 3), thus plunging the whole race into condemnation (Romans 5:12) and total depravity (Ephesians 2:1-3), in consequence of which all men are born sinners and are directed by their sin natures to willful acts of sin. Thus, man, having knowledge of their sin and the manifestation of the power of God, is without excuse before God (Romans 1:18-2:1). Apart from God's work of grace all men would be on their way to eternal torment (Revelation 20:15). God enables men to receive the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, they are then passed from death to eternal life forever secure in Heaven (John 10:28- 29; Romans 8:29-39).
We believe salvation comes through the gospel alone (Romans 1:16, 17). The gospel is the death of Christ on behalf of sinners in accordance with the Scriptures, the burial of Christ, the bodily resurrection of Christ from the grave, and Christ being seen by witnesses (I Corinthians 15:1-10). We believe that this alone is the true gospel and the finished work of Christ. We believe that nothing can be added to the gospel by way of human merit to effect salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
We believe that the only escape from the condemnation of sin is through the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ, when He voluntarily took upon Himself a human body and nature, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15), and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement sufficient for all sin (I John 2:2), that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust (I Peter 3:18).
We believe that in order to be saved sinners must be born again (John 3:3), that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and receives eternal life, the free gift of God (John 3:16; Romans 3:24), and is eternally secure in Christ (John 6:37, 10:28). The new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:8).
Of the Church
We believe that the true spiritual church is a New Testament institution unknown to the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 16:18); established by Jesus Christ, Who is its sole Head (Ephesians 1:22-23); revealed through the holy apostles; empowered and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8); His "body" for service (I Corinthians 12:13-28); and His "bride" for glory (Ephesians 5:25-32).
We believe that the church is local and visible by nature (Acts 13:1, Galatians 1:1, Revelations 2:1, etc.). Each individual church is autonomous and independent under the headship of Christ. We believe that members of the church are those who have given testimony of the new birth, have been scripturally baptized, and have willingly entered into the church covenant in agreement with the statement of faith. Any individual seeking membership from previous Christian experience may be received by letter from a church of like faith or by examination by the elders of previous Christian experience. The elders may then present that person to the church for membership, who will be accepted by the church unless any in the church may offer sound biblical objection to such.
We believe that there are two church ordinances: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water and is properly called "Believer's Baptism" (Acts 8:36-39). It sets forth in a beautiful and solemn way our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with the effects of that faith in our lives as it produces death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:3-5). Baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of church relation (Acts 2:41). The elders of the church are responsible to examine candidates regarding their faith prior to baptism and may barring any biblical objection offered by the church baptize a candidate and by doing so recieve them into the membership. The Lord's Supper is the commemoration of our Lord's death until He comes and our continual fellowship with Him. It should be preceded by scriptural baptism and careful self-examination by all who take it (I Corinthians 11:23-32). It is the duty of the church and the responsibility of the eldership to withhold the supper from any that are subject of church discipline and have remained unrepentant (I Corinthians 5).
We believe that the officers of the church are elders and deacons (I Timothy 3, Titus 1, Philippians 1:1). We believe that the elders together provide spiritual leadership and oversight of the church (I Peter 5:1-3, I Timothy 3 & 5, Titus 1). Any person bearing the title of pastor serves as such from the office of elder. The elders are tasked with working together to determine the spiritual direction of the church, being subject one to another. They are ordained to their office by existing elders through consent of the whole church. They exercise the authority of leadership in the church under the rule of the New Testament and seek consent of the whole church before executing any decision that fundamentally alters the status of the church. Deacons are servants of the church that work with the elders to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of the church (Acts 6, I Timothy 3). It is the responsibility of the whole church to ensure fidelity in the eldership and deaconship. Any member, after following the command of our Lord to go to their brother (Matthew 18:15-17), and before two or three witnesses (I Timothy 5:19), may call for the whole church to bring an elder or deacon to judgment before the church. Any decision to discipline an elder or deacon may not be done by majority vote but must require unity in the church as evident by three fourths vote.
We believe that the church belongs to Christ. Christ Jesus entrusts all assets used by the church to them. Therefore, the elders are accountable to Christ to use all these assets for the glory of Christ in accordance with the New Testament. The elders are responsible to judge according to the Scriptures the use of all assets available to the church.
We believe that when necessary in accordance with Matthew 18 and I Corinthians 5, the elders are responsible to enact church discipline. Church discipline is mandated to be enacted by Christ and is not subject to any popular vote of the church. Any decision to enact church discipline is made by the judgment of the elders and announced openly to the church. The members are yet responsible to ensure the elders are faithfully fulfilling these duties and if unbiblical or malicious intent is found in the exercise of discipline, the church as a whole may call such decisions into questions. See section D above.
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use available means to go to the lost and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20).
Of Last Things
We believe in the bodily (Acts 1:4), personal (John 14:3) return of Jesus Christ to this earth (Acts 1:8, Revelation 19:11-20); that He will come with and for His church at the close of the age to judge the nations (Matthew 25:31-46). This is the blessed hope of all believers (Titus 2:13).
We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead (I Corinthians 15:12-58), that believers who die in Jesus will be raised at the coming of Christ for His church and caught up with transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:13-18), and that the wicked dead will be raised and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne of judgment to receive their final judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
We believe that the saints will forever be consciously with Christ in the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21 & 22). We believe those who do not know Christ will consciously and eternally suffer in Hell as just judgment for their sins in what is known as the second death (Revelation 20:11-16, 21:8, II Thessalonians 1).
Of Civil Government
We believe that the civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society (Romans 13:1), and does not have authority over the conscience of men before God. There is an absolute constraint of the government to the civil realm, not interfering or influencing in the spiritual realm of the Church. The believer is to see that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed (Matthew 22:21), except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 5:29; 4:19-20), who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the King of all kings.
Of Marriage and Sexuality
We believe that God created male and female in the image of God with complimentary roles that perfect one another (Genesis 1:27). We believe that marriage, as God ordained, has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman spiritually and physically, in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Matthew 19:4-6). We believe that our physical bodies as created by God exist as having truth and purpose given by God, and God's design for the marriage of men and women is a life giving relationship, which alone ensures the health of future generations. Men and women are uniquely designed to display the glory of God in the gospel through marriage. God created marriage (Genesis 2:18-25), and Paul tells us that when we embrace biblical headship and submission, we help to illustrate the gospel. As husbands and wives together pursue the gospel of Christ, they personally pursue Christlikeness (Ephesians 5:22-33). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman, within the confines of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:2). We believe that all forms sexual immorality that occur outside of biblical marriage are sinful and offensive to God, as well as are all desires to confuse God's divine purposes in sexuality (Genesis 1:27, 31; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Hebrews 13:4).