Statement of Faith
(Based on The New Hampshire Confession, 1833)
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 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.
THE TRUE GOD
We believe 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 all possible honor, confidence, and love; revealed under the personal and relative distinctions of 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.
THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in a state of 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, wholly given to the gratification of the world, of Satan, and of their own sinful passions, therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
THE WAY OF SALVATION
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the Mediatorial Offices of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and made atonement for our sins by His death; being risen from the 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 an all-sufficient Savior.
We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ of His fullness bestows on such as believe in Him, is Justification; that Justification consists in 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 His own redemption and righteousness, 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.
THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe 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 a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth except his own inherent depravity and voluntary refusal to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ which refusal will subject him to an aggravated condemnation.
GRACE IN REGENERATION
We believe that in order to be saved, we must be regenerated or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; and is effected in a manner above our comprehension or calculation, 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 is found in the holy fruit which we bring forth to the glory of God.
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; 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.
GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE
By the decree of God, some men are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glorious grace. This act of election is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness toward sinners, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable. Those sinners that are predestinated to life, God, according to His eternal and immutable purpose and the good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His free grace and love; without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto. God’s gracious act of election is perfectly consistent with the free agency of man and includes the foreordained means of preaching the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit wherefore they who are elected are effectually called unto faith in Christ, justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation. No others are redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. This doctrine utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, and trust in God while also serving as the foundation of Christian assurance; and to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
We believe 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; and 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.
THE PERSEVERANCE OF 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 mere professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
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 visible Church.
A GOSPEL CHURCH
We believe 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 privileges invested in them by His word; that its only proper officers are Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, and Son, and Spirit, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its purifying power; that it is prerequisite to the privileges 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.
THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a day to be regularly observed and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Actions performed on the Lord’s Day are to be governed by the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scripture and in harmony with the convictions of the corporate local church.
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests 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.
THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe 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 and after their death.
THE WORLD TO COME
We believe that the end of this world is approaching: that at the last day, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principle of righteousness.
THE FAMILY AND SEXUALITY
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The ultimate purpose of marriage is to glorify God and manifest God's power, wisdom, and beauty in the earth. It is impossible for two persons of the same gender to be married. This type of union is averse to God's Word and does not constitute a true marriage.
Marriage is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Heterosexuality is God's revealed will for humankind. A chaste and faithful expression of this orientation (whether in singleness or in marriage) is the ideal to which God calls all people.
A homosexual orientation is a result of the fall of humanity into a sinful condition that pervades every person. Whatever biological or familial roots of homosexuality may be discovered, these do not sanction or excuse homosexual behavior, though they would deepen one's compassion and patience for those who are struggling to be free from sexual temptations. Any attempt to change one's gender or any disagreement with one’s biological gender is sinful and offensive to God.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 18:1-30; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalm 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15, 17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:19-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; 1 Timothy 5:8, 14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7