Church Covenant (adopted October, 1873)
Having been brought, as we trust, by Divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ, and to give up ourselves wholly to Him; we do now solemnly and joyfully covenant with each other, To Walk Together In Him With Brotherly Love, to His glory as our common Lord; and, adopting for the purposes set forth in the above Preamble & Resolution, a Declaration of Principles, hereto subjoined, We do in the Strength of Christ engage.
That according to the Will of God the Creator of all things, the Redeemer of our Souls, who is King in Zion, we will exercise a mutual care, as members one of another, to promote the growth of the whole body in Christian knowledge, holiness, and comfort.
To this end, and to secure this object, we will uphold the public worship of God and the Ordinances of His house; and hold constant communion with each other therein; that we will cheerfully contribute of our property for the support of the poor, for the maintenance of a faithful ministry of the Gospel among us, and for sending the word of life to destitute regions and heathen lands.
That we not omit closet and family religion at home; nor allow ourselves in the too common neglect of the great duty of religiously training up our children, & those under our care, for the service of Christ& the enjoyment of heaven.
That in all our intercourse with our fellow men, whether in business or in social enjoyment, we will be “careful to maintain good works,” endeavoring to “be blameless & harmless, the Sons of God without rebuke”; ever remembering that as Christians, we are the “light of the World,” and “the salt of the earth.”
That we will ever strive not to suffer upon our brother, but will exhort & admonish one another with charity to walk as we have Christ for an example.
And, “may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do His will; working in us that which is well pleasing in his sight, Through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever & ever. Amen”
Declaration of Principles (adopted October, 1873)
We as Baptists maintain the Word of God to be the only rule of our faith and practice, and this Declaration of Principles is adopted that our distinguishing religious sentiment of our true position may be known and understood.
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, absolutely true, and alone authoritative in all matters of doctrine and duty of faith and practice. Ref. – II Tim. 3:16,17.
We believe that there is but one living and true God, the Creator and Preserver of all things, possessed of awful attributes, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises; and that in this Divine Being there are three persons the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and that these three are one. Ref. – Deut. 6:4; Gen. 1:1; Jno. 4:24; Rev. 19:6; Psa. 89:7; Rom. 11:33; Deut. 32:4; Exod. 34:6; Malachi 3:6; Exod. 15:11; Psa. 90:2….. I Jno. 5:7; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; Jno. 15:26.
We believe that God is the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, and that He rules all things after the Counsels of His own will. Ref. – Psa. 103:19; Eph. 1:11.
We believe that God created all things—the world and all that it contains, and that He formed man of the dust of the Earth, made him in His own image and in a state of perfect innocence and happiness. Ref. – Gen. 1-1:27; Eccles. 7:29.
And that He sustains and preserves, all and singular, the universe He created. Ref. – Heb. 1:3; Matt. 10:29-30,31; Prov. 16:33; Psa. 127:1; Gen. 1:20; Rom. 8:28.
We believe that our first parents by a willful act of disobedience in the garden of Eden, through the temptation of Satan, fell from their state of innocence and glory in which they were created, lost the favor of God, were brought under the curse of the law, and made themselves liable to the penalty of temporal, spiritual and eternal death. Ref. – Gen. 2:16,17; Gen. 3:12,13.
And that in consequence of the Original disobedience of our first parents, all their descendents are born with a corrupt and depraved nature, which leads to sin, and consequently to condemnation and death; and they must without the intervention of Sovereign Grace, be forever banished from the presence of God and the glory of His power. Ref. – Rom. 5:12; Rom. 3:23; Psa. 51:5; Psa. 53:3; Ezk. 38:4.
We believe that although mankind is by nature lost and ruined, God on account of His great Love wherewith He hath loved the world, hath provided for their Salvation; and in the perfect obedience, death and resurrection of Christ, mankind has the grounds; and by the operation of faith, the means of Salvation. Ref. – Jno. 3:16; Gal. 4:4,5; I Pet. 1:18,19; Acts 4:12; I Tim. 2:5; Phil. 2:6,7; Jno. 1:14; Col. 2:9; I Tim. 3:16.
We believe that from before the foundation of the World, God in the Sovereignty of His grace and love, chose and predestinated unto eternal life, those who in the covenant of redemption were given to His Son. Ref. Eph. 1:4,5; II Tim. 1:9; I Pet. 1:2; Rom. 8:29.
And that, whom he did pre-destinate them He also called—with an holy calling; that the purpose of God according to election, might stand not of works but of Him that calleth. Ref. Rom. 8:30; II Tim. 1:9; Rom. 9:11; Psa. 110:3.
We believe that Salvation is freely offered to all, and that none but those who willfully reject it, are excluded from its benefits. Ref. Isa. 55:1; Ezk. 33:2; Rev. 22:17; Jno. 5:40.
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to those who believe in Him is Justification. That Justification is an act of god by which the pardoned sinner, on account of the merits and sufferings of Christ, is fully acquitted of all sin. Ref. Rom. 5:1; Acts 13:39; Rom 5:19; Rom. 8:1; Rom 4:4,5; Gal. 3:2.
And that justification is not only the obliteration of our sin, but also of our adoption by God as his dear children. Ref. Rom 8:15; Eph. 1:5; I Jno. 3:2.
We believe that unless we be Regenerated or born again we cannot see the Kingdom of God; and that Regeneration consists in having a new heart, inclined to hate sin, and love and practice holiness; that regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God; and that the evidence of it appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life. Ref. Jno. 3:3; Titus 3:5; II Cor. 5:17; Jno. 1:13; Eph. 5:9; Rom. 8:9.
We believe that unless we repent we shall all perish; that Repentance is Sorrow for Sin, accompanied by a determination, with the help of God, to Sin no longer; and that this Repentance is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit. Ref. II Cor. 5:10; Luke 13:3; Acts 7:30.
We believe that it is through Faith that we are Saved, and that Faith consists in that exercise of the heart, the understanding and the Will fully consenting thereto,–by which the Sinner joyfully receives the truth as it is in Jesus: and rests upon him for pardon, Sanctification, and Eternal life. Ref. Eph. 2:8; Rom. 5:1; Rom. 10:4; Rom. 10:10; II Thess. 2:13; Jno. 3:39.
We believe that though Salvation is alone by Grace, Good Works are necessary also unto eternal life, not that Good Works make us Christians, but that they prove us so to be. They give evidence of a living faith and consequently of our adoption. Ref. Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:14; Titus 3:8; James 2:18-20; Matt. 7:10.
We believe that the Holy Spirit carries on in the heart of the Regenerated, a work of Sanctification, by which they are strengthened in Spiritual graces, and in the practice of holiness. Ref. Jno. 17:7; II Thess. 2:13; Matt. 5:43; I Thess. 5:23; II Cor. 7:1.
We believe that those who are Regenerated by the Holy Spirit will never be lost; for they are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto Salvation. Ref. Phil. 1:6; II Tim. 2:19; Jno. 10:28; I Jno. 2:19; Rom 8:38,39.
We believe that mankind are free to choose or to reject Salvation, and that those who choose it, will ascribe all the glory to God, while those who reject it will be alone responsible for the consequences of their guilt. Ref. Jno 5:40; Joshua 24:15; Ezek. 8:31; Phillip. 2:12,13.
We believe that the Christian Church is a body of believers associated together for the service of God; independent in spiritual matters of all bodies or classes of men, and owning Christ to be alone its Head and Lawgiver. Ref. Matt 18:17.
We believe that there are but two classes of Officers in the Church of Christ—viz. 1st Ministers, or Bishops or Elders, whose chief duty is to preach the Gospel. And 2nd Deacons, who manage the Secular affairs of the Church. Ref. Acts 6:24; I Tim. 3:13.
We believe that Christ gave to his Church but two Ordinances—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the profession of faith in Christ, and of devotion to his Service. It is the immersion of a believer in Water, into the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Ref. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:36,37; Acts 8:12; Acts 18:8; I Pet. 3:21.
The Lord’s Supper is the eating of bread and drinking of wine by baptized members of the Church, in commemoration of the Love, the Sufferings and the death of our Divine Redeemer. Ref. Matt 26:26-28; I Cor. 11:24-26.
We believe that there will be a Resurrection from the dead of all Mankind. Some of whom shall arise to Everlasting life and some to Shame and Everlasting contempt. Ref. Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2; Jno. 5:28,29; I Cor 15:20, 52; Acts 24:15.
And that there will be a final Judgement, by Christ, the Judge, in which every man shall have rendered to him according to the deeds done in the body. Ref. Heb. 9:27; Acts 8:31; Matt 25.31,32; Rev. 20:12; Eccles. 12:14.
We believe that after the Judgement, the Righteous will be received into Heaven where they shall dwell with God in glory, immortality and light. Ref. Jno. 14:2,3; Matt. 25:34; II Pet. 1:11; Col. 3:4; Rev. 7:15-17.
But the Wicked will be driven away forever into the Lake that burns with fire and brimstone where, burning forever yet unconsumed; dying perpetually yet never dead, they will suffer the punishment due their sins. Ref. Matt 25:41, 46; Psa. 9:17; II Thess. 1:9; Rev. 20:15 and 21:8.