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Articles of Faith

The Nicene Creed, as written in 325 AD at the Council of Nicea and revised at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381, has been affirmed by the Church throughout the ages, and thus serves as a good summary of the biblical and historical Christian faith. This Creed, as explained in our Articles of Faith, shall be affirmed for membership into our particular Christian fellowship.

We believe in one God the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all the worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and on the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; whose kingdom will have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke through the Prophets. And one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Article One: Of the One Triune God

We believe in one God the Father Almighty . . . And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God . . . And in the Holy Spirit.

There is but one living and true God,1 the God revealed to us in the Scriptures. Our communion with God and our comfortable dependence on Him relies on the knowledge that He consists of three distinct Persons,2 of one substance, eternity, and unity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and is thus rightly worshiped in Trinity.3 Although coequal in creation, sovereignty, holiness, wisdom, knowledge, justice, love, grace, mercy, and every other divine attribute and perfection,4 God, as Father, Son, and Spirit, has and continues to execute distinct and harmonious offices in the glorious work of redemption.5 And thus, as Creator and Redeemer, He is due from all humanity highest love, honor, and obedience.6

1Dt. 4:35, 39; 6:4; Ne. 9:6; Mk. 12:29. Cf. Thirty-Nine Articles, I; Anathema I of the Second Council of Constantinople.

2Ge. 1:2-3; Mt. 28:18-19; 2 Co. 13:14. Cf. College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, II; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #25, Baptist Confession of Faith: God and the Holy Trinity.

3Ro. 15:16; Eph. 3:4; Gal. 4:4. Cf. Athanasian Creed; Scottish Confession of Faith, I; College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, II; Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #6.

4Ex. 34:6; Ps. 33:5; Rev. 4:8. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, II; Second Helvetic Confession, III.

52 Th. 2:13; Tit. 3:4; 1 Jn. 4:2. Cf. New Hampshire Baptist Confession, II.

6Ps. 148:13; Col. 2:6; Rev. 15:4. Cf. Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #1; Baptist Faith and Message: God.

Article Two: Of Creation and the Fall

We believe in one God the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible . . . And in one Lord Jesus Christ, . . . by whom all things were made . . . And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life.

It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create out of nothing the heavens and the earth.7 As God did in the beginning, so even now unto all ages He continues to sustain and govern all of creation, according to His wise, holy, eternal, almighty, and ever present providence, in such a way that nothing happens in all the universe without His knowledge and will.8

Human beings, the crowning work of God's creation, were created in the image and likeness of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.9 However, by the sin of Adam, humanity fell from original righteousness and communion with God, thereby bringing physical and spiritual death to all people, and making Adam and his posterity by nature children of wrath, servants of sin, subjects of death and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal.10 This inherited depravity, often called 'original sin', continues to be the root of every kind of sin in us, and is so offensive in the sight of God, our holy Creator, as to justly deserve His wrath and condemnation.11

7Ge. 1:1-2:3; Is. 40:12-28; Ac. 4:24. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, IV; Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #9; Belgic Confession, XII; Apostle’s Creed.

8Job 12:10; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:2. Cf. Belgic Confession, XII, XIII; Westminster Confession of Faith, V; Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #9; Heidelberg Catechism, Questions #26 and #27; Second Helvetic Confession, VI; Scottish Confession of Faith, I; Baptist Confession of Faith: Divine Providence.

9Ge. 1:26-27, 31; Ps. 8:3-8; Jas. 3:9-10. Cf. Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #10; Belgic Confession, XIV; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #6; Baptist Faith and Message, III.

10Ge. 3:1-21; Ps. 51:5-7; Ro. 3:9-18; 5:12-19. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, V; Scottish Confession of Faith, II, III; College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, III; Belgic Confession, XV; Baptist Confession of Faith: The Fall of Man, Sin, and Punishment; Canons of Dort – Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way it Occurs, Article I.

11Ps. 5:4; Eph. 2:1-12, 18; 2 Th. 1:8-9. Cf. Belgic Confession, XV; Thirty-Nine Articles, IX; Second Helvetic Confession, VIII; Council of Orange, Canons 1 and 2; London Baptist Confession of Faith, V; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #7; Canons of Dort – Divine Election and Reprobation, Article I, cf. Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way it Occurs, Article II and III.

Article Three: Of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all the worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man.

In the fullness of time, the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, being fully and eternally God, of one substance and equal with the Father,12 conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary,13 became fully man, yet without sin.14 These two distinct natures, however, were joined together in one Person, without change, separation, or confusion.15 Thus the person and nature of Jesus is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man.16

12Jn. 1:1-5, 14, 18; 10:30, 36-38; 17:19, 21-23; 1 Jn. 2:23; Rev. 22:3.

13Mt. 1:1, 18-25; Lk. 2:4-7; Gal. 4:4.

14Mt. 2:1; Jn. 8:48, 19:30-42; Heb. 4:14-15. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, VIII.; Belgic Confession, XVIII; Second Helvetic Confession, XI; Apostle’s Creed; Baptist Faith and Message: God the Son.

15Mt. 1:18, 23; Ac. 2:22-36; Ro. 1:3-4;. Cf. Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A. D.); Anathema III, VIII, and X of the Second Council of Constantinople, and the Statement of Faith of the Third Council of Constantinople.; The Scottish Confession of Faith, VI.

16Ac. 9:20-22; Gal. 4:3-7; 1 Ti. 2:5. Cf. College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, IV; Belgic Confession, XIX; Athanasian Creed; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #18; Canons of Dort – Christ’s Death and Human Redemption Through It, Article IV.

Article Four: Of the Gospel and the Kingdom

And in one Jesus Christ . . . who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and on the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures . . . whose kingdom will have no end.

For God's glory and by His eternal plan, Jesus Christ, as the second Adam, the Seed of Abraham, and the Son of David, fulfilled the law and promises of God spoken through the prophets.17 This gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ, our Prophet, Priest, and King, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.18 And by His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself which He, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up to God, our Lord Jesus Christ has fully satisfied the justice of God, has procured reconciliation, and has purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven for all those whom the Father has given to Him,19 a people born anew from every tongue, tribe, and nation, who live in humble and holy submission to the lordship of Christ,20 and await the consummation of the kingdom at the return of Christ and the end of the ages.21

17Mt. 5:17-18; Ac. 3:12-26; Gal. 3:16. Cf. Belgic Confession, XXV; Second Helvetic Confession, XIII; New Hampshire Baptist Confession, IV.

18Ac. 10:34-43; Ro. 1:1-5; 1 Co. 15:1-5. Cf. Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #23; Thirty-Nine Articles, II; College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, IV; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #1; Apostle’s Creed.

19Jn. 3:16-17; 2 Co. 5:20-21; Col. 1:19-22; Baptist Confession of Faith: Christ the Mediator.

20Mk. 8:34; Jn. 4:7; Rev. 5:9. Cf. Canons of Dort – Christ’s Death and Human Redemption Through It, Article V and VIII.

212 Th. 4:13-18, 5:8-11; 2 Pe. 3: 10-15; Rev. 22:11-17. Cf. Baptist Faith and Message: The Kingdom.

Article Five: Of Salvation in Christ

And in one Jesus Christ . . . who, for us men and for our salvation . . .

God made known His justice toward His Son, who was charged with our sin, and He poured out His goodness and mercy on us giving to us His Son to die, by a most perfect love, and raising Him to life for our justification, in order that by Him we might receive righteousness, forgiveness, and eternal life.22 By His free and absolute grace, God gives us true knowledge of His gospel wherein He kindles in our hearts an obedience of faith that embraces Jesus Christ alone for salvation, sanctification, perseverance, and glorification.23 To us for whom Christ has obtained eternal redemption, God certainly and effectually applies and communicates this redemption, uniting us to Himself by His Spirit, and revealing to us in the Word and by the Word the mystery of salvation.24

22Jn. 3:16-18; Ro. 4:25; 5:6-11; Col. 1:13; 2:13. Cf. Belgic Confession, XX, XXI; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #37 and #45; Canons of Dort – Christ’s Death and Human Redemption Through It, Article II; Second Helvetic Confession, XV.

23Ro. 6:1-11; 8:28-30; 1 Pe. 1:1-5; 2 Pe. 1:1-11. Cf. Belgic Confession, XXII, XXIII, XXIV; New Hampshire Baptist Confession, VI, VII, and VIII; Baptist Faith and Message: Salvation; Second Helvetic Confession, XIV and XV; Canons of Dort – Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way it Occurs, Article XI and The Perseverance of the Saints, Article III; The Council of Orange, Canons 9, 19.

24Ro. 10:17; Eph. 1:1-14; 3:6-9; 2 Th. 2:13-14. Cf. Baptist Confession of Faith: Christ the Mediator.

Article Six: Of the Holy Spirit

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke through the prophets.

The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.25 As testified in Scripture, the Holy Spirit manifests the active presence of God in the world and in the Church through the creation of the heavens and earth, the inspiration and illumination of Scripture, the exaltation of Christ, the conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment, the effectual calling and regeneration of the saints, the cultivation of holiness, assurance, and comfort, the bestowment of spiritual gifts, and the sealing of the promise of the final redemption.26

Since it is wholly a gift of God to love God, it is right to praise the Spirit, who pours into our hearts the love of the Father and the Son,27 giving us the faith, the will, and the strength to obey the law that is now written on our hearts and to proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.28

25Lk. 1:35; 24:9; Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15; Eph. 4:4-6. Cf. Thirty-Nine Articles, V; Belgic Confession, 11; Apostle’s Creed; Athanasian Creed.

26Jn. 16:8, 14; 1 Co. 6:11; Gal. 5:22; Baptist Faith and Message: The Holy Spirit; Scottish Confession of Faith, XIII.

27Eph. 2:8-10; Php. 3:3; Tit. 3:5. Cf. Council of Orange, Canon 25.

28Jer. 31:33; Heb. 9:14; 1Pe. 2:9-10. Cf. Council of Orange, Canon 6; Belgic Confession, XXV; Canons of Dort – Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way it Occurs, Article XI.

Article Seven: Of the Holy Scriptures

. . . according to the Scriptures . . . And in the Holy Spirit . . . who spoke through the prophets.

Although the works of creation and providence manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, so as to leave men without excuse; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary for salvation.29 Therefore it pleased the Lord, at various times, and in different ways, to reveal Himself, and to declare His Word to His people in order that true knowledge of Him might be preserved and propagated throughout the world, unto the end of the ages.30

The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are given by inspiration of God and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice, thus serving the Church as the supreme and sufficient standard by which Christian union and all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.31

The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for God's own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is clearly recorded in Scripture. Consequently, all the words in Scripture are God's words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture (as rightly understood) is to disbelieve or disobey God.32

Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments. We receive all these books and these only as holy and canonical, for the regulating, founding, and establishing of our faith.

29Ps. 19:1-6; Ac. 14:15-17; 17:24-28; Ro. 1:18-21. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, I; Belgic Confession, II; Second Helvetic Confession, I.

30Pr. 22:19-21; Jer. 36:28; Heb. 1:1-2.

311 Th. 2:13; 2 Ti. 3:14-16; 2 Pe. 1:19-21. Cf. College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, I. Scottish Confession of Faith, XIX; New Hampshire Baptist Confession, I; Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #2.

32Is. 66:2; Jn. 15:20; 2 Pe. 3:2.

Article Eight: Of the One Church

And one Holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism. . .

Out of the whole creation, from the beginning of the world until its end, God has called a people to Himself, whom He adopts for Himself, by the Spirit and the Word, a Church chosen unto eternal life.33 This one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, as it is perceptible to us, is an assembly of visible saints, called and separated from the world, ordered, empowered, and commissioned to worship and glorify God by extending His kingdom to all nations by declaring and demonstrating the reign of Christ, its King and Head.34

The Church, under Christ's rule, consists of those united on the basis of the gospel and the doctrines of the Scripture, not outward liturgical forms, traditional ecclesiastical structures, or any other basis however supposedly beneficial to the unity and perseverance of God's people. Thus, it is neither catholic nor apostolic to decree any teaching as an essential doctrine that is contrary or additional to that which is taught in the Scriptures. The true Church, under the authority of the Word, has and will endure until the end of time, even through many persecutions and evils within and without.35

The primary purpose for the assembling of the local Church, especially on the Lord's Day, is for the mutual sanctification, edification, and perseverance of the elect.36 Thus, the communal worship of any particular Church is biblical only in that it is marked by the proper and continual teaching of the Scripture, administration of the sacraments or ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper, and the sanctity of its members.37

Our good God, mindful of our weakness, has given the Church the sacraments or ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper as visible signs of His internal and eternal promise of sustaining grace.38

Baptism, as ordained by the example and command of our Lord Jesus Christ is a perpetual and personal signification of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.39 The outward element of water is to be used, wherein the person is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.40 Although it be a sin to condemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it, or that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.41

The Lord's Supper was ordained by Jesus Christ as the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of Himself in His death, the sealing all benefits unto true believers, our spiritual nourishment and growth in Him, our further engagement in all the duties which we owe unto Him; and to be a bond and pledge of our communion with Him, and with each other, as members of the mystical body.42 It is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the Church, through partaking of the bread and cup memorialize the death of Christ until He comes again.43

33Rm. 4:16; Eph. 1:3-6; 2:19; Cf. Heidelberg Catechism, Question #54; Second Helvetic Confession, XVII; Baptist Faith and Message: The Church.

34Eph. 4:15; 2 Pe. 2:9-12; Rev. 1:6; 5:10. Cf. London Baptist Confession of Faith, XXXIII.

35Mt. 16:18; 1 Ti. 3:15; Rev. 19:11-16; 21:2-3. Cf. Scottish Confession of Faith, V.

36Col. 1:28; 1 Th. 1:4; 3:2; 4:18; 5:11; Heb. 10:25. Cf. Canons of Dort – Perseverance of the Saints, Article XIV.

37Ac. 2:42; Eph. 5:3; 1 Ti. 4:13. Cf. College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, VIII; Scottish Confession of Faith, XVIII, XXV; Apostle’s Creed.

38Mt. 26:17-30; Ac. 2:38; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #92 and #93; Belgic Confession, XXXIII; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #66; Second Helvetic Confession, IXX.

39Mt. 3:13-17; 21:25-26; Ro. 6:3-8; Gal. 3:26; Col. 2:9-15.

40Mt. 28:19; Ac. 8:36-38; Heb. 10:22. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, XXXVIII: II.

41Mt. 28:19; Ac. 2:38; 8:13; 9:18; 10:2, 4, 22, 31, 45, 47; Rm. 4:9-12. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, XXXVIII: V.

42Mk. 14:22-25; Ac. 2:42, 46; 1 Co. 10:16-17. Cf. Scottish Confession of Faith, XXI; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #75; Second Helvetic Confession, XXI; Westminster Confession of Faith, XXXIX: I.

43Ac. 2:42; Lk. 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26. Cf. Baptist Faith and Message: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Article Nine: Of the Return, Judgment and World to Come

And in one Jesus Christ, . . . [who] ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; whose kingdom will have no end . . . We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

As our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven,44 and now sits on the right hand of the Father, He will soon bodily and visibly return to the world in power and glory as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords,45 and finally triumph over evil by establishing a new heavens and earth, wherein dwells righteousness.46

Upon Christ's return, God has appointed a day where He will judge the world, in all righteousness, by the Lord Jesus Christ.47 Upon that day, all people that have ever lived shall appear before the tribunal of Christ to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive reward or punishment according to what they have done, whether good or evil.48

On this day, the righteous, who know God and are known by Him, will go into everlasting life; while the wicked, who do not know God and have disobeyed the gospel, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.49

44Lk. 24:51; Ac. 1:9; 1 Ti. 3:16. Cf. Scottish Confession of Faith, IX; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #21 and #43.

45Ac. 2:32-33; 5:31; 7:55-56; 2 Pe. 3:10; Rev. 19:11-16. Cf. Belgic Confession, XXXVII.

46Is. 51:6; 2 Pe. 3:7-13; Rev. 21:1-2. Cf. College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, X.

47Jn. 12:48; Ro. 2:5; Heb. 9:27. Cf. The Apostle’s Creed.

48Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:11-15. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, XXXIII; The Athanasian Creed.

49Da. 12:2-3; Jn. 5:28-29; 2 Th.1:9. Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, XXXIII; Belgic Confession, XXXVII; Heidelberg Catechism, Question #11; New Hampshire Baptist Confession, XVIII; College Church in Wheaton, Statement of Faith, IX; Canons of Dort – Christ’s Death and Human Redemption Through It, Article I; The Apostle’s Creed; The Athanasian Creed; Baptist Confession of Faith: The Last Judgment.

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