Articles of Faith
FAITH BAPTIST CHURCH OF GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS
DECLARATION OF THE ARTICLES OF FAITH
ARTICLE I - OF THE SCRIPTURE:
We believe that the Holy Bible is the supernaturally inspired Word of God;1 that has truth without any admixture of error for its matter;2 and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man;3 the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.4
By "the Holy Bible", we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation which, as originally written, does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God.5 The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them,6 therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,7 that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.8 We endorse the use of the King James Version today.
By "inspiration", we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,9 in such a definite way that their writings were verbally and plenarily inspired, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be.
1II Timothy 3:16,17. 2Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 30:5,6; John 17:17. 3Psalm 119:89; Revelation 22:19. 4Psalm 119:105,130; John 5:39; Acts 11:16; 15:15. 5Luke 24:25-27,44,45; John 5:45-47; Acts 28:25. 6Acts 17:11,12. 7I Corinthians 14:9-12,19. 8Romans 15:4. 9II Peter 1:19-21.
ARTICLE II - OF THE TRUE GOD:
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God,1 an infinite,2 eternal,3 intelligent Spirit,4 the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth,5 inexpressively glorious in holiness,6 and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love;7 that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,8 equal in every divine perfection,9 and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.10
1Jeremiah 10:10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6. 2Psalm 147:5; 1 Timothy 1:17. 3Psalm 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17. 4John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 2:10,11. 5Genesis 17:1; Psalm 83:18; Romans 11:33. 6Exodus 15:11; Psalm 96:9; 108:7. 7Exodus 20:2,3; Mark 12:30; Revelation 4:11. 8Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 17:5; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7. 9Acts 5:3,4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Philippians 2:5,6. 10Ephesians 1:2-13; 2:18.
ARTICLE III - OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature;1 that He was active in the creation;2 that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment;3 that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony;4 that He is the agent in the new birth;5 that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.6
1Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:2. 2Genesis 1:1-3. 3John 16:8-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:7. 4Acts 5:30-32; Romans 8:16. 5John 3:5,6. 6Luke 24:49; John 1:33; 14:16,17,26; 15:26,27; 16:13; Acts 11:16; Romans 8:14,26,27; Ephesians 1:13,14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
ARTICLE IV - OF SATAN:
We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels;1 that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world.2 We hold him to be man’s great tempter,3 the enemy of God and His Christ,4 the accuser of the saints,5 the lord of the antichrist, and the leader of all the powers of darkness6 - destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.7
1Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4. 2Luke 22:3,4; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9. 32 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 1 Peter 5:8. 4Matthew 4:1-3. 5Revelation 12:10. 61 John 2:22; 2 John 7. 7Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:1-3,10.
ARTICLE V - OF THE CREATION:
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally and not allegorically or figuratively; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through intermediate periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was created directly, and God’s established law was they should bring forth only “after their kind”.1
1Genesis 1:1-31; 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; John 1:3; Acts 17:23-26; Hebrews 11:3.
ARTICLE VI - OF THE FALL OF MAN:
We believe that mankind was created in a state of holiness under the law of His Maker, but by the voluntary transgression of one man (Adam) all were made sinners, being plunged into a state of total depravity, void of any holiness or goodness before the Holy God offended, and under just condemnation without any defense or excuse.1
1Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 1:20; 3:10-19; 5:12,19; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17,18; Galatians 3:22.
ARTICLE VII - OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH:
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son.1
1Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4.
ARTICLE VIII - OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN:
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace;1 through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God,2 who by the appointment of the Father,3 freely took upon Himself the nature of those the Father gave Him to redeem, yet without sin;4 honored the divine law by His personal obedience,5 and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for the sins of all those for whom He died;6 that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place,7 the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree;8 that, having risen from the dead,9 He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior.10
1Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24. 21 Timothy 2:5. 3John 3:16; 1 John 4:10. 4Philippians 2:7,8; Hebrews 2:14,16,17; 4:15. 5Matthew 5:17. 6Matthew 18:11; John 10:11; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 John 2:2. 7John 10:18; Galatians 1:4. 8Isaiah 53:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18. 91 Corinthians 15:20. 10Hebrews 7:25.
ARTICLE IX - OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION:
We believe that the salvation to which we have been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world is received by regenerated sinners;1 that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus;2 that it is instantaneous and not a process;3 that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made alive in Jesus Christ and receives eternal life, the free gift of God;4 that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel;5 that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.6
12 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 1:4; John 3:3. 22 Corinthians 5:17. 32 Corinthians 4:6; Acts 9:4-11. 4Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13. 5John 1:12,13; 3:6-8. 6Romans 6:4; 1 John 5:1.
ARTICLE X - OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION:
We believe in God’s electing grace;1 that the blessings of salvation are freely bestowed on all who believe the gospel;2 that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith;3 and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.4
1Romans 8:29,30; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2. 2Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 11:28; John 6:37; Romans 10:13; Revelation 22:17. 3Isaiah 55:6-7; Acts 2:38. 4John 3:18,36; 5:40.
ARTICLE XI - OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH:
We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God;1 thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and 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 and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.2
1Acts 20:21; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38. 2Psalm 51:1,7; Isaiah 55:6,7; Luke 12:8; 18:13; Romans 10:1-11,13.
ARTICLE XII - OF JUSTIFICATION:
We believe that the greatest gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification;1 that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the accounting and accepting of our persons as righteous;2 that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but for Christ’s sake alone, by imputing His active obedience unto the whole law and passive obedience in His death for our whole and sole righteousness, We receive and rest on Him and His righteousness by faith, which faith we have not of ourselves, it is the gift of God;3 that while God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect , and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins and rise again for their justification,4 nevertheless, they are not justified personally and experientially until the Holy Spirit doth in due time actually apply Christ unto them. Faith is the means of receiving the blessings of justification.5
1Isaiah 53:11; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:9. 2Romans 4:5-8; 5:16-19. 3Titus 3:5-7; Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 3:24; 8:32,33; 2 Corinthians 5:21. 4Galatians 3:8; Romans 4:25. 5Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:21,22; Acts 13:39
ARTICLE XIII - OF THE CHURCH:
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of 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;1 that its officers of ordination are pastor-elder-bishop and deacon whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures;2 we believe the true mission of the church is found in the great commission; first to make individual disciples; second, to baptize these disciples; third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded.3 We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government; free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the method and measure of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.4
1Acts 2:41,42; 6:1-4; 14:23; 15:22; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 12:27 & context; Philippians 1:1. 2Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9. 3Matthew 28:19,20; Ephesians 4:11-16. 4Acts 14:26,27; 15:2-4,22,41; 16:4,5; Ephesians 1:22; 1 Peter 5:1-4.
ARTICLE XIV - OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER:
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer1 in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit;2 that it is administered under the authority of the local church;3 that it is to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life;4 that it is a prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord’s Supper,5 in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and unfermented wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ, preceded always by solemn self-examination.6
1Matthew 3:5-6; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:41; 8:36-39; 16:31-33. 2Matthew 28:19,20. 3Those who baptized in the N.T. were sent out from a church. There are no baptisms isolated from a N.T. church after Christ commissioned the first church of Jerusalem (Matthew 28:19,20). 4Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:20,21. 5Acts 2:41,42; 1 Corinthians 10:16,17; 11:20-22,33. 61 Corinthians 11:23-34.
ARTICLE XV - OF THE PERSEVERENCE OF THE SAINTS:
We believe 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;1 that a special providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.2
1John 8:31; 14:23,24; Hebrews 6:4-9; 10:38,39; 1 John 2:3,27-29; 5:18. 2Romans 8:28,37-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24,25.
ARTICLE XVI - OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED:
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that those only who through faith in Jesus Christ are justified and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem;1 while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse,2 and this distinction holds among men both in and after death in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.3
1Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 12:26; Malachi 3:18; Romans 1:17; 7:6; 1 Peter 4:18; Galatians 3:10,11. 2Galatians 3:10; John 3:36; Isaiah 55:6,7; 1 John 5:19. 3Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matthew 7:13,14; 25:34; Romans 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.
ARTICLE XVII - OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT:
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good of human society;1 that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed;2 except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ; who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.3
1Deuteronomy 16:18; Romans 13:1-7. 2Matthew 22:21; 1 Timothy 2:1,2; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13,14. 3Acts 5:29; Daniel 3:15-18; Matthew 23:10; Romans 14:14; Revelation 19:16.
ARTICLE XVIII - OF THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS:
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at face and full value, Of the resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily the third day according to the Scriptures1 and ascended to the right hand of the throne of God;2 that He alone is our merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God;3 that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven - bodily, personally and visibly;4 that the dead in Christ shall rise first; that the living saints shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.5
1Luke 24:39; John 20:26-29; 1 Corinthians 15:4-8. 2Philippians 2:9,10; Acts 2:31-36. 31 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:14,15; 5:9,10. 4Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16. 51 Corinthians 15:23,51,52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17.
ARTICLE XIX - OF MISSIONS:
The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable.1 In that the Apostles, to whom the missionary command was given, are called the foundation of the church;2 and in that the first New Testament Church was established in Jerusalem made up of the Apostles and other converts;3 and in that this church carried out the commission of our Lord;4 we understand the commission of our Lord to be to the church. It is our purpose to follow as closely as possible the pattern for missions set forth in the book of Acts.
1Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; Romans 10:13-15. 2Ephesians 2:20. 3Acts 1:13-15 with 2:41. 4Acts 8:1,5 (note Philip was a member of the Jerusalem church, being one of the “seven” chosen in ch.6), 12; 11:19-24; 13:1-3, etc.
ARTICLE XX - OF THE GRACE OF GIVING:
Scriptural giving is one of the fundamental principles of the Christian life.1 Tithing was established before the law of Moses. Abraham tithed to Melchisedec 400 years before the law.2 Such tithing is never negated in the New Testament, but rather substantiated by our Lord.3 We are commanded to lay up in store to ourselves on the first day of the week.4 Elsewhere in the context of the New Testament Church, we see the practice of liberal and cheerful giving commended and encouraged.5 The promise of blessing is given to those who follow the Scriptural principle of giving.6
12 Corinthians 8:1-7; Leviticus 27:30. 2Hebrews 7:2-4. 3Matthew 23:23. 41 Corinthians 16:1,2. 52 Corinthians 9:7; Acts 4:34-37. 6Malachi 3:10; Proverbs 3:9,10; Luke 6:38; Philippians 4:19.