The Articles of Faith are also located in section 3 of our Constitution and By-laws.
Articles of Faith
1. The Word of God
We believe the Scripture is self-authenticating. Its authority does not depend upon the testimony of any man or church, but entirely upon God, its author, who is truth itself. It is to be received because it is the Word of God. The heavenliness of its content, the efficacy of its doctrine, the majesty of its style, the agreement between all of its parts from first to last, the fact that throughout it gives glory to God, the full revelation it gives of the only way of salvation declare emphatically that it is the Word of God. However, we recognize that apart from the Holy Spirit’s inward work of bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts, we would not be persuaded of its infallible truth and divine authority.
We believe that the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments was written by men moved by the Holy Spirit and is a perfect treasure of divine 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 will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All scripture is testimony to Christ, who is himself the focus of divine revelation.
(Psalm 19:7-10, 119:1-9; John 1:1-5, 14:6, 16:13-15; II Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 12:1-2; II Peter 1:19-21)
2. The Triune God
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection and execute distinct and harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
(Genesis 1:1, 26-27; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19-20; Ephesians 4:4-6)
a. God the Father
We believe God as Father reigns with providential care over His creation and the flow and stream of history according to the purposes of His grace. He is sovereign over all the affairs of men and nations. He is the ineffably holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise Creator.
(Genesis 2:7; Exodus 3:14, 6:2-8, 15:11, 20:1-7; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4, 32:6; I Chronicles 29:10-12; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15, 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10, 17:13; Matthew 6:9, 7:11, 23:9, 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24, 5:26, 14:6-13, 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; I Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; I Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6, 12:9; I Peter 1:17)
b. God the Son – Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth.
(Matthew 1:18-25, 20:28; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1, 20:28-31; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8, 6:9-10, 9:5; II Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:15; I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 7:25, 9:28; I Peter 2:21-24)
c. God the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe, at regeneration, the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.
(John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26-27, 16:7-14; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26)
We believe that God from all eternity in order to display the full extent of His glory for the eternal and ever-increasing enjoyment of all who love Him, did by the most wise and holy counsel of His will, freely and unchangeably ordain and foreknow whatever comes to pass. We believe that God upholds and governs all things, from galaxies to subatomic particles, from forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons, all in accord with His eternal all-wise purposes to glorify Himself. In so doing, He never sins. Though God ordains that sin should be, He remains holy and blameless. God does permit sin, but always for His own good purposes. In so doing, He does not Himself commit sin, nor does He ever condemn a person unjustly. Thus His
ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.
(Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 9:7, 37:5-13, 38:1-41; Psalm 33:10-11, 135:6-7; Proverbs 20:24; Isaiah 40:26, 45:7, 46:10-11; Daniel 4:34-36; Matthew 10:29-31; Romans 3:19, 8:28, 11:36; Ephesians 1:6,11-12,14, 3:11; Colossians 1:16-17; James 1:13; Revelation 17:16-17)
We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies 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.
(Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2; I Samuel 8:4-7, 19-22; John 1:12-13, 6:44-45, 65, 10:27-29, 15:16, 17:6,12; Romans 8:28-29, 9:11-18, 11:5-7, 26-36; I Corinthians 1:1-2, 26-29; Ephesians 1:4-23; I Thessalonians 1:4; II Thessalonians 2:13-14; II Timothy 1:9, 2:10,19; I Peter 1:1-5, 2:6-10; II Peter 1:10; II John 1; Revelation 5:9, 7:9)
5. Mankind and the Fall
The entire world is a revelation of God, a mirror of his virtues and perfections; every creature is in his own way and according to his own measure an embodiment of a divine thought. But among all creatures only man is made in the image of God, the highest and richest revelation of God, and therefore the head and crown of the entire creation, the Lord’s own glory. Mankind being made in the image of God means that man possess similar attributes of God and represents God. At creation God granted humanity eternal souls, the ability to make moral choices, dominion over the earth, the privilege to be in relationship with one another and the command to propagate the human race. In his providence, we believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female as a reflection of his glory. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Consequently, gender is not a social construct. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. God’s purpose for mankind in creation was perfect and consistent with the thought and character of the creator.
Therefore, we believe that man was created in 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, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
(Genesis 1:26-31, 2:16-23, 3:12-13, 5:1-2, 6:5; Job 14:4; Psalm 8:3-8, 139:13-14; Jeremiah 1:5, 17:9; Matthew 19:4; Romans 3:10-19, 23, 5:12-14; I Corinthians 11:3, 15:21-22; II Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 2:1-3, 5:23-32; Titus 1:15; Hebrews 2:14-15)
6. The Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace exclusively 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 every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
(Psalm 2:6; Isaiah 42:1, 53:10; Matthew 1:21-23; John 1:14, 14:6; Acts 3:22, 17:31; Romans 3:24, 5:6-21, 8:3,30, 9:5; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:8-9; Philippians 2:5-11; I Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 1:2, 2:14,16-17, 4:15, 5:5-10;I Peter 1:19-20, 2:21-24)
We believe 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; and by virtue of that 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.
(Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4; John 1:12; Romans 3:24-30, 4:5-8, 5:15-19, 8:30; I Corinthians 1:30-31; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10; Philippians 3:8)
8. 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, but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
(Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-7; Joel 2:32; Matthew 11:28-30, 28:19-20; John 3:16, 36, 6:37; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-13; Revelation 22:17)
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the heart; 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.
(Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:3,7-8; Colossians 3:1-11; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; I Peter 1:3,22-23)
10. Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are God’s good gifts that follow regeneration. They are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, effected 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.
(II Samuel 12:13-14; Psalm 51:17; Jeremiah 4:1-4; Hosea 6:1-6, 10:12; Luke 24:47; John 16:8-11; Acts 3:17-26; Romans 10:9-13, 17; II Corinthians 7:10-12; Timothy 1:13; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 1:1-4, 4:14-16)
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. Sanctification means that we are free from the performance of religious works and thus free to live unto and upon Christ in obedience to His word by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(John 17:17; Acts 20:32; Romans 5 – 8; I Corinthians 1:2; II Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 3:16; I Thessalonians 4:3-8; Hebrews 10:10, 14, 12:14)
12. The Perseverance of the 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 superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
(John 10:28-29; Romans 5:9-10; II Timothy 2:8-13,19; I Peter 1:5-9; II Peter 1:3-11; I John 2:19)
13. The Local 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 scriptural offices are Pastors and Elders, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the New Testament. Likewise, scripture allows the church to call Deacons to serve in leadership of a specific function as needed.
(Matthew 16:18, 18:15-18; Acts 2:41-47, 5:13-14, 6:1-7, 14:23, 20:17; Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1:2; I Timothy 3:1-13, 4:14; Titus1:5-9; Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:1-4)
14. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe 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 Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of a church membership. We believe that the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of bread and the cup, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination. It is to be celebrated by the regenerated person regularly as a means of proclaiming the gospel until the Lord returns.
(Matthew 3:16, 26:26-28, 28:19-20; Mark 1:1-11; John 3:23; Acts 2:37-41, 8:38-39; Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 10:16-17, 21, 11:23-28; Colossians 2:12)
15. The Lord’s Day
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private.
(Exodus 20:1-8; Nehemiah 8:1-18; Matthew 4:10, 12:1-13, 28:19; John 4:21; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16-19; I Timothy 4:13; Hebrews 10:25; Revelation 1:1)
16. Civil Government and Religious Liberty
We believe God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men that are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to the church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government, is ordained of God. It is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
(Matthew 22:17-21; Romans 13:1-7; I Timothy 2:1-3; I Peter 2:17)
17. The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and wicked. Those only who are justified through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit are truly righteous in His sight. Those who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and are under condemnation, consigned to hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The distinction between the righteous and the wicked holds in and after death, and will be made manifest at the judgment when final and everlasting awards are made to all men.
(Matthew 25:32-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 23:39-43; Romans 9:22-23; II Corinthians 5:1, 6, 8; I Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 20:11-15)
18. The Return of the Lord
The New Testament teaches in many places the visible and personal return of Jesus to the earth. “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” (Acts 1: 11b). The time of His coming is not revealed. “Of that day and hour knoweth no one, no, not the angels in heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). It is the duty of all believers to live in readiness for His coming and by diligence in good works to make manifest to all men the reality and power of their hope in Christ.
(Matthew 24:36-51; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 21:27-28; Acts 1:6-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; II Peter 3:10-12)
19. The Family
God had 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. It 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.
(Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-25, 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; Psalms 51:5, 78:1-8, 127:1-5, 128:1-6, 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 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32, 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 1:18-32; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; I Timothy 5:8,14; II Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7)
20. Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Providence Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our council of elders is the church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
(Ephesians 4:11-16, I Timothy 3:2, 5:17; II Timothy 2:1-2; Hebrews 13:7, I Peter 5:1-4)
NOTES: See also the Cambridge Declaration of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (1996), the Baptist Confession of 1689, and the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978).