Foundations of Our Baptist Faith

 

The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. ascribes to these Articles of Faith.
 
I. THE SCRIPTURES.

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 shall be tried.

II. THE TRUE GOD.

We believe the Scriptures teach 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; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the

Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing

distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

III. THE FALL OF MAN.

We believe the Scriptures teach that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his

Maker; but by voluntary transgressions 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, positively inclined to

evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.

IV. THE WAY OF SALVATION.

We believe that the Scriptures teach 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 by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from

the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the

tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a

suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour.

V. JUSTIFICATION.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to

such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes 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

faith in the Redeemer's blood; 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.

VI. THE FREENESS OF SALVATION.

We believe that the Scriptures teach 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 cordial, penitent and

obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth,

but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection

involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

VII. REGENERATION

We believe that the Scriptures teach that in order to be saved, sinners must be

regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the

mind that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension 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 appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith,

and newness of life.

VIII. REPENTANCE AND FAITH

We believe the Scriptures teach 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 Saviour.

IX. GOD'S PURPOSE OF GRACE.

We believe the Scriptures teach that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to

which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners; that being perfectly

consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with

the end; that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely

free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes

humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it

encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its

effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian

assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the

utmost diligence.

X. SANCTIFICATION.

We believe the Scriptures teach 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.

XI. PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS.

We believe the Scriptures teach that such only are real believers as endure to the end;

that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them

from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and

they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

XII. THE LAW AND GOSPEL.

We believe the Scriptures teach 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, arise 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.

XIII. A GOSPEL CHURCH.

We believe the Scriptures teach 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 scriptural officers are

Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons whose Qualifications, claims and duties are defined in

the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

XIV. BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER.

We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a

believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; 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; 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.

XV. THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or

Christian Sabbath, and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all

secular labor and sinful recreations, by the devout observance of all the means of

grace, both private and public, and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the

people of God.

XVI. CIVIL GOVERNMENT.

We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the

interest 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.

XVII. RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED.

We believe the Scriptures teach 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 death.

XVIII. THE WORLD TO COME.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last

day, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave for 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 principles of

righteousness.

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