Faith Baptist Church of Sterling

Articles of Faith

(Revised New Hampshire Confession of Faith)

1. Of the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible was written inerrant in its original languages by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction (1); that it has God for its author, salvation for its end (2), and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (3); that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us (4); and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the true center of Christian union (5), and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried (6).

2. Of the True God 

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent, and perfect Spirit and personal being, the Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Ruler of the universe(7); inexpressibly glorious in holiness and all other perfections (8), and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love (9); that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (10); equal in every divine perfection (11), and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (12).

3. Of Creation

We believe in the Genesis account of Creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively (13); that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His likeness and did not evolve from any lower form of life (14); that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth “after their kind.” (15)

4. Of the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker (16); but through the temptation of Satan he voluntarily transgressed and fell from this holy state (17); in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners (18), not by constraint, but choice (19); being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin (20), without defense or excuse (21).

5. Of the Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace (22), through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God (23); who pre-existed (23a) and who by the appointment of the Father, and who by the Holy Spirit was conceived, and born of the virgin Mary, freely took upon him man’s nature, yet without sin (24); honored the divine law by his personal obedience (25), and after a miraculous ministry, by his death made a full atonement for our sins (26); that having risen from the dead bodily, He is now enthroned in heaven (27) to reign in eternal sovereignty 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 Saviour (28).

6. Of Justification
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ (29) secures to such as believe in him is Justification (30); that Justification includes the pardon of sin (31), and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness (22); that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood (33); by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God (34); 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 (35).

7. Of the Freeness of Salvation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel (36); that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith (37); and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel (38); which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation (39).

8. Of Grace in Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again (40); that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind (41); that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth (42), so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel (43); and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life (44).

9. Of 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 (45); whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ (46), we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy (47); 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 Saviour (48).

10. Of God’s Purpose of Grace
We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners (49); that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends as well as embraces all the means in connection with the end (50); that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable (51); that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy (52); that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree (53), that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (54); that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (55); and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (56).
 

11. Of Sanctification
We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness (57); that it is a progressive work (58); that it is begun in regeneration (59); 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 (60).

12. Of the Perseverance of Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end (61); that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors (62); that a special Providence watches over their welfare (63); and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (64).

13. Of 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 (65); that it is holy, just, and good (66); and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin (67); 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 (68).

14. Of a Gospel Church
We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers (69), associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (70); observing the ordinances of Christ (71); governed by his laws (72), and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word (73); seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth (73a), that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons (74), whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

15. Of a Gospel Church and Its Independence and Relationships
We believe that the local visible church of Christ is a voluntary and independent autonomous group of baptized believers (74a); that it is a pure democracy, which organically can join nothing (74b), and that it has the power and right within itself to confess its own faith in accordance with the New Testament (74c); and that each congregation recognizes its own democratic self-containing government as its highest authority for carrying out the will of the Lord Jesus Christ (74d).

16. Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that both Christian baptism and the Lord’s Supper are each a memorial, a symbol, and a prophecy(74e). Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer (75), into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost (76); to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life (77); that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper (78), in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and fruit of the vine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ (79); preceded always by solemn self-examination (80).

17. Of the Lord’s Day
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day and is a Christian institution(81); it is to be kept sacred to religious purposes (82), by abstaining from all unnecessary secular labor and recreation(83), for it commemorates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead(83a); by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private (84) and public (85); and by preparation for that rest that remains for the people of God (86).

18. Of Civil Government and Religious Liberty
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society (87); and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed (88); except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (89) who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth (90); and that the church and state should be separated, the state owing to the church protection and full freedom(91); no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be preferred above another by the state (92); the state should not impose taxes for the support of any religion; a free church in a free state is the Christian ideal(93).

19. Of the Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (94); 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 (95); while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse (96); and this distinction holds among men both in and after death (97).

20. Concerning the Resurrection
We believe the Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus rose from the dead bodily. His grave was emptied of its contents(98); that He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection in many convincing manifestations(99); that He now exists in His glorified body at God’s right hand(100); and that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and a resurrection of the wicked, separated in time(101);  that the bodies of the righteous will conform to the glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ(102).

21. Concerning the Return of the Lord
We believe in the imminent pre-tribulation rapture of the redeemed and the pre-millennial return of the Lord; that the Lord Jesus Christ will rapture His redeemed (103) after which He will personally and visibly return with His saints(104) to establish His millennial kingdom upon earth to reign as King with power and great glory(105) and that at the end of the millennium(106) a solemn separation will take place(107), that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy(108); and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven and hell, on principles of righteousness(109).

22. Separation from Heresy and Apostasy
We believe in total and complete separation from all forms of heresy and ecclesiastical apostasy as taught in the Word of God. We believe the Scripture teaches that we are to: 1. Try them(110); 2. Mark them (111); 3. Rebuke them (112); 4. Have no fellowship with them (113); 5. Withdraw yourself from them (114); 6. Receive them not (115); 7. Have no company with them (116); 8. Reject them (117); and 9. Separate yourself (118).


Notes:

1. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Sam. 23:2; Acts 1:16; 3:21; John 10:35; Luke 16:29-31; Psa. 119:11; Rom. 3:1-2
2. 2 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; Acts 11:14; Rom. 1:16; Mark 16:16; John 5:38-39
3. Prov. 30:5-6; John 17:17; Rev. 22:18-19; Rom. 3:4
4. Rom. 2:12; John 12:47-48; 1 Cor. 4:3-4; Luke 10:10-16; 12:47-48
5. Phil. 3:16; Eph. 4:3-6; Phil. 2:1-2; 1 Cor. 1:10; 1 Pet. 4:11
6. 1 John 4:1; Isa. 8:20; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:6; Jude 3:5; Eph. 6:17; Psa. 119:59-60; Phil. 1:9-11
7. John 4:24; Psa. 147:5; 83:18; Heb. 3:4; Rom. 1:20; Jer. 10:10
8. Exod. 15:11; Isa. 6:3; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Rev. 4:6-8
9. Mark 12:30; Rev. 4:11; Matt. 10:37; Jer. 2:12-13
10. Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7
11. John 10:30; 5:17; 14:23; 17:5, 10; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Phil. 2:5-6
12. Eph. 2:18; 2 Cor. 13:14; Rev. 1:4-5; comp. 2, 7
13. Genesis 1 & 2
14. Genesis 1:26
15. Genesis 1:11-12, 21, 24-25
16. Gen. 1:27, 31; Eccl. 7:29; Acts 16:26; Gen. 2:16
17. Gen. 3:6-24; Rom. 5:12
18. Rom. 5:19; John 3:6; Psa. 51:5; Rom. 5:15-19; 8:7
19. Isa. 53:6; Gen. 6:12; Rom. 3:9-18
20. Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:18, 32; 2:1-16; Gal. 3:10; Matt. 20:15
21. Ezek. 18:19-20; Rom. 1:20; 3:19; Gal. 3:22
22. Eph. 2:5; Matt. 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; Acts 15:11
23. John 3:16; 1:1-14; Heb. 4:14; 12:24
23a. John 8:58
24. Phil. 2:6-7; Heb. 2:9, 14; 2 Cor. 5:21
25. Isa. 42:21; Phil. 2:8; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 3:21
26. Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 4:25; 3:21-26; 1 John 4:10;  2:2; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Heb. 9:13-15
27. Heb. 1:8, 3; 8:1; Col. 3:1-4
28. Heb. 7:25; Col. 2:9; Heb. 2:18; 7:26; Psa. 89:19; Psa. 14
29. John 1:16; Eph. 3:8
30. Acts 13:39; Isa. 3:11-12; Rom. 8:1
31. Rom. 5:9; Zech. 13:1; Matt. 9:6; Acts 10:43
32. Rom. 5:17; Titus 3:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 John 2:25; Rom. 5:21
33. Rom. 4:4-5; 5:21; 6:28; Phil. 3:7-9
34. Rom. 5:19; 3:24-26; 4:23-25; 1 John 2:12
35. Rom. 5:1-3, 11; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Matt. 6:33; 1 Tim. 4:8
36. Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Luke 14:17
37. Rom. 16:26; Mark 1:15; Rom. 1:15-17
38. John 5:40; Matt. 23:37; Rom. 9:32; Prov. 1:24; Acts 13:46
39. John 3:19; Matt. 11:20; Luke 19:27; 2 Thess. 1:8
40. John 3:3, 6-7; 1 Cor. 1:14; Rev. 8:7-9; 21:27
41. 2 Cor. 5:17; Ezek. 36:26; Deut. 30:6; Rom. 2:28-29; 5:5; 1 John 4:7
42. John 3:8; 1:13; James 1:16-18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Phil. 2:13
43. 1 Pet. 1:22-25; 1 John 5:1; Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:9-11
44. Eph. 5:9; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 3:14-21; Matt. 3:8-10; 7:20; 1 John 5:4, 18
45. Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8; 1 John 5:1
46. John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31
47. Luke 18:13; 15:18-21; James 4:7-10; 2 Cor. 7:11; Rom.10:12-13; Psa. 51
48. Rom. 10:9-11; Acts 3:22-23: Heb. 4:14; Psa. 2:6; Heb. 1:8; 8:25; 2 Tim. 1:12
49. 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-14; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; Rom. 11:5-6; John 15:15; 1 John 4:19; Hos. 12:9
50. 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matt. 20:16; Acts 15:14
51. Exod. 33:18-19; Matt. 20:15; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 9:23-24: Jer. 31:3; Rom. 11:28-29; James 1:17-18; 2 Tim. 1:9;
Rom. 11:32-36
52. 1 Cor. 4:7; 1:26-31; Rom. 3:27; 4:16; Col. 3:12; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; 15:10; 1 Pet. 5:10; Acts 1:24; 1 Thess. 2:13;
1 Pet. 2:9; Luke 18:7; John 15:16; Eph. 1:16; 1 Thess. 2:12
53. 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Cor. 9:22; Rom. 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2 Pet. 1:10
54. 1 Thess. 1:4-10
55. Rom. 8:28-30; Isa. 42:16; Rom. 11:29
56. 2 Pet. 1:10-11; Phil. 3:12; Heb. 6:11
57. 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23; 2 Cor. 7:1; 13:9; Eph. 1:4
58. Prov. 4:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 6:1; 2 Pet. 1:5-8; Phil. 3:12-16
59. John 2:29; Rom. 8:5; John 3:6; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:13-14
60. Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 13:5; Luke 11:35; 9:23; Matt. 26:41; Eph. 6:18; 4:30
61. John 8:31; 1 John 2:27-28; 3:9; 5:18
62. 1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matt. 13:20-21; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9
63. Rom. 8:28; Matt. 6:30-33; Jer. 32:40; Psa. 121:3; 91:11-12
64. Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13; Jude 24-25; Heb. 1:14; 2 Kings 6:16; Heb. 13:5; 1 John 4:4
65. Rom. 3:31; Matt. 5:17; Luke 16:17; Rom. 3:20; 4:15
66. Rom. 7:12, 7, 14, 22; Gal. 3:21; Psa. 119
67. Rom. 8:7-8; Josh. 24:19; Jer. 13:23; John 6:44; 5:44
68. Rom. 8:2, 4; 10:4; 1 Tim. 1:5; Heb. 8:10; Jude 20-21; Heb. 12:14; Matt. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 12:28
69. 1 Cor. 1:1-13; Matt. 18:17; Acts 5:11; 8:1; 11:31; 1 Cor. 4:17; 14:23; 3 John 9; 1 Tim. 3:5
70. Acts 2:41-42; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 5:12-13
71. 1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23; Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:6; 2 Cor. 2:7; 1 Cor. 4:17
72. Matt. 28:20; John 14:15; 15:12; 1 John 4:21; John 14:21; 1 Thess. 4.2; 2 John 6; Gal. 6:2; all the Epistles
73. Eph. 4:7; 1 Cor. 14:12; Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 12:14
73a. Matt. 28:20
74. Phil. 1:1; Acts 14:23; 15:22; 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1
74a. Matt. 18:15-18, Matt. 23:8-10, 1 Peter 5:3
74b. Rom. 12:16, 1 Cor. 1:10, Eph. 4:3, Phil. 1:27
74c. 1 Tim. 3:15, Jude 3, Rev. 2 & 3
74d. Matt. 18:15-18, Acts 1:23-26, 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 5:4, 5, 13
74e. Rom. 6:3; Mark 10:38; Rom. 6:4; Gal. 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21; Eph. 4:5; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Cor. 15:12, 22
75. Acts 8:36-39; Matt. 3:5-6; John 3:22-23; 4:1-2; Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:12; 16:32-34; 18:8
76. Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Gal. 3:27-28
77. Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:20-21; Acts 22:16
78. Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts and Epistles
79. 1 Cor. 11:26; Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20
80. 1 Cor. 11:28; 5:1, 8; 10:3-32; 11:17-32; John 6:26-71
81. Acts 20:7; Gen. 2:3; Col. 2:16-17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; 1 Cor. 16:1-2
82. Exod. 20:8; Rev. 1:10; Psa. 118:24
83. Isa. 58:13-14; 56:2-8
83a. Acts 20:7; Mark 16:9; John 20:19
84. Psa. 119:15
85. Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 11:26; 13:44; Lev. 19:30; Exod. 46:3; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2, 3; Psa. 26:8; 87:3
86. Heb. 4:3-11
87. Rom. 13:1-7; Deut. 16:18; 1 Sam. 23:3; Exod. 18:23; Jer.30:21
88. Matt. 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13; 1 Tim. 2:1-8
89. Acts 5:29; Matt. 10:28; Dan. 3:15-18; 6:7-10; Acts 4:18-20
90. Matt. 23:10; Rom. 14:4; Rev. 19:16; Psa. 72:11; Psa. 2; Rom. 14:9-13
91. 1 Tim. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 2:18-21
92. James 4:12
93. 1 Cor. 3:5
94. Mal. 3:18; Prov. 12:26; Isa. 5:20; Gen. 18:23; Jer. 15:19;Acts 10:34- 35; Rom. 6:16
95. Rom. 1:17; 7:6; 1 John 2:29; 3:7; Rom. 6:18, 22; 1 Cor. 11:32; Prov. 11:31; 1 Pet. 4:17-18
96. 1 John 5:19; Gal. 3:10; John 3:36; Isa. 57:21; Psa. 10:4; Isa 55:6-7
97. Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Prov. 10:24; Luke 12:4-5; 9:23- 26; John 12:25-26; Eccl. 3:17;
Matt. 7:13-14
98. Matt. 28:1-8; 1 Cor. 15:1-58; 2 Cor. 5:1-8
99. Matt. 28:6; John 20:9, 20; Acts 1:3, 10:39-41
100. 1 Peter 3:22; Heb. 4:14
101. John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15
102. Phil. 3:21
103. 1 Thess. 4:16-18; John 14:3; 2 Thess. 2:1-10; Rev. 3:10, 4:1
104. Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 3:13, Rev. 1:7
105. Rev. 20:5-7; Rev. 19:11-16
106. Rev. 20:7-15
107. Matt. 13:49, 37-43, 24:30, 31, 25:31-33
108. Matt. 25:31-46; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Peter 2:9; Jude 7; Phil. 3:19; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:10-11;
John 4:36; 2 Cor. 4:18
109. Rom. 3:5-6; Heb. 6:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:5; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:2-16; Rev. 20:11-12; 1 Jn. 2:28, 4:17
110. 1 John 4:1
111. Rom. 16:17
112. Titus 1:13
113. Eph. 5:11
114. 2 Thess. 3:6
115. 2 John 10-11
116. 2 Thess. 3:14
117. Titus 3:10
118. 2 Cor. 6:17