STATEMENT OF FAITH

Adapted from the 1853 New Hampshire Confession of Faith

The Scriptures

We believe divinely inspired people wrote the Holy Bible, and it is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction. God is its author, salvation is its purpose, and truth, without any mixture of error, is its content. Scripture reveals the principles by which God will judge us. Therefore, it is now and will be to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard for evaluating all conduct, creeds, and opinions be tried.

 

2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Tim 3:15; Prov 30:5-6; Rom 2:12; 1 John 4:1

 

The True God

We believe there is one and only one living and true God—an infinite, intelligent Spirit. His name is the LORD, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and is worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are equal in every divine perfection, and they carry out distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

 

John 4:24; Ps 83:18; Heb 3:4; Rom 1:20; Jer 10:10; Ex 15:11; Ps 147:5; Isa 6:3; 1 Pet 1:15-16; Rev 4:6-8; Mark 12:30; Rev 4:11; Matt 10:37; Jer 2:12-13; Matt 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Cor 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7; John 10:30; John 5:17; John 14:23; John 17:5, 10; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor 2:10-11; Phil 2:5-6; Eph 2:18; 2 Cor 13:14; Rev 1:4-5

The Fall of Man

We believe humanity is the unique and special creation of God, made in His own image.

God created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. The gift of marriage consists of the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime, and this gift models the way God relates to His people. God created the human race in holiness under his law. By voluntary transgression, however, humanity fell from that holy and happy state. As a result, all people are now sinners, not by external compulsion but by choice. By nature, they entirely lack the holiness that is required by the law of God and are actively inclined to evil. Therefore, they are under just condemnation to a sentence of eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.

 

Gen 1:27; Gen 1:31; Eccl 7:29; Acts 17:26-29; Gen 2:16-17; Gen 3:6-24; Rom 5:12; Rom 5:15-19; Ps 51:5; Rom 8:7; Isa 53:6; Gen 6:12; Rom 3:9-18; Eph 2:1-3; Rom 1:18, 32; Rom 2:1-16; Gal 3:10; Matt 20:15; Ezek 18:19-20; Rom 1:20; Rom 3:19; Gal 3:2 

Of the Way of Salvation

We believe the salvation of God's people is entirely by grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. By the appointment of the Father, he freely took upon himself our nature but without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience and made a full atonement for our sins by his substitutionary death, satisfying God's wrath. He rose from the dead and is now enthroned in heaven. Jesus, the Son, unites in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections and, as such, is qualified in every way to be a suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Savior.

 

Eph 2:3; Matt 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor 3:5-7; Acts 15:11; John 3:16; John 1:1-14; Heb 4:14; Heb 12:24; Phil 2:9, 14; 2 Cor 5:21; Isa 42:21; Phil 2:8; Gal 4:4-5; Rom 3:21; Isa 53:4-5; Matt 20:28; Rom 4:25; Rom 3:21-26; 1 John 2:3; 1 Cor 15:1-3; Heb 9:13-15; Heb 1:8; Heb 1:3; Col 3:1-4; Heb 7:25; Col 2:18; Heb 7:26; Ps 89:19; Ps 34:1-22

Justification

We believe the glorious gospel blessing that Christ secures to those who believe in Him is justification. Justification includes the pardon of sin, righteous standing before God and his people, and the promise of eternal life founded on principles of righteousness. It is not given because of any works of righteousness we have done but only through faith in the Redeemer's blood. By virtue of this faith, Christ's perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God. Justification immediately brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God and secures every other blessing we need for time and eternity.

 

John 1:16; Eph 3:8; Acts 13:39; Isa 53:11-12; Rom 5:1-2; Rom 5:9; Zech 13:1; Matt 9:6; Acts 10:43; Rom 5:17; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Pet 3:7; 1 John 2:25; Rom 5:21; Rom 4:4-5; Rom 6:23; Phil 3:7-9; Rom 5:19; Rom 3:24-26; Rom 4:23-25; 1 John 2:12; Rom 5:3; Rom 5:11; 1 Cor 1:30-31; Matt 6:33; 1 Tim 4:8

The Freeness of Salvation

We believe the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel. It is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a heartfelt, penitent, and obedient faith. Preventing this salvation is every sinner's inherent depravity and rejection of the Gospel, a refusal that aggravates a sinner's condemnation.

 

Isa 55:1; Rev 22:17; Rom 16:25-26; Mark 1:15; Rom 1:15-17; John 5:40; Matt 23:37; Rom 9:32; Prov 1:24; Acts 13:46; John 3:19; Matt 11:20; Luke 10:27; 2 Thess 1:8

Grace in Regeneration

We believe sinners must be regenerated or born again to be saved. Regeneration consists of God's gift of a holy inclination to the mind. It is accomplished in a way that is beyond our comprehension. It is carried out by the Holy Spirit's power using divine truth to obtain our voluntary obedience to the Gospel. The proper evidence of regeneration appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life.

John 3:3; John 3:6-7; 1 Cor 3:14; Rev 14:3; Rev 21:27; 2 Cor 5:17; Ezek 36:26; Deut 30:6; Rom 2:28-29; Rom 5:5; 1 John 4:7; John 3:8; John 1:13; Jas 1:16-18; 1 Cor 1:30; Phil 2:13; 1 Pet 1:22-25; 1 John 5:1; Eph 4:20-24; Col 3:9-11; Eph 5:9; Rom 8:9; Gal 5:16-23; Eph 3:14-21; Matt 3:8-10; Matt 7:20; 1 John 5:4, 18; Eph 2:1-10

Repentance and Faith

We believe repentance and faith are sacred duties as well as inseparable graces. They are produced in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God, who convinces us of our guilt, danger, helplessness, and the way of salvation by Christ. And they consist of turning to God with genuine sorrow, confession, and a petition for mercy, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ heartily as Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.

Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Eph 2:8; 1 John 5:1; John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; Acts 16:30-31; Luke 18:13; Luke 15:18-21; Jas 4:7-10; 2 Cor 7:11; 1 Cor 10:12-13; Ps 51:1-19; Rom 10:9-11; Acts 3:22-23; Heb 4:14; Ps 2:6; Heb 1:8; Heb 7:25; 2 Tim 1:12

God's Purpose in Grace

We believe election is God's eternal purpose according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners. Election is entirely consistent with human free agency and includes all the means necessary to achieve God's purpose. It is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, which is infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable. Election completely rules out boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and the active imitation of his free mercy. It encourages the highest possible exercise of human responsibility. The election of individuals to life may be confirmed by its effects in everyone who truly believes in the Gospel. Election is the foundation of Christian assurance, and confirming our election deserves our greatest diligence.

2 Tim 1:8-9; Eph 1:3-14; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Rom 11:5-6; John 15;16; 1 John 4:19; 2 Thess 2:13-14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matt 20:16; Acts 15:14; Ex 33:18-19; Matt 20:15; Eph 1:11; Rom 9:23-24; Jer 31:3; Rom 11:28-29; Jas 1:17-18; 2 Tim 1:9; Rom 11:32-36; 1 Cor 1:26-31; Rom 3:27; Rom 4:16; Col 3:12; 1 Cor 3:5-7; 1 Cor 15:10; 1 Pet 5:10; Acts 1:24; 1 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 2:9; Luke 18:7; John 15:16; 1 Thess 2:12; 2 Tim 2:10; 1 Cor 9:22; Rom 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 1 Thess 1:4-10; Isa 42:16; Rom 11:29; 2 Pet 1:10-11; Phil 3:12; Heb 6:11


Sanctification

We believe sanctification is the process by which we are made partakers of God's holiness, according to his purpose. Sanctification is a progressive work. It begins in regeneration and continues in believers' hearts by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and by God's appointed means. These means include the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, prayer, and the oversight and fellowship of other Christians.

1 Thess 4:3; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Cor 7:1; 2 Cor 13:10; Phil 3:12-16; 1 John 2:29; Rom 8:5; Eph 1:4; Prov 4:18; 2 Cor 3:18; Heb 6:1; 2 Pet 1:5-8; John 3:6; Phil 1:9-11; Eph 1:13-14; Phil 2:12-13; Eph 4:11-12; 1 Pet 2:2; 2 Pet 3:18; 2 Cor 13:5; Luke 11:35; Luke 9:23; Matt 26:41; Eph 6:18; Eph 4:30

The Perseverance of the Saints

We believe all genuine believers endure to the end. Their persevering obedience to Christ and attachment to his people are the primary marks distinguishing them from superficial professors. A special providence watches over their welfare, and the power of God keeps them through faith to salvation.

John 8:31; 1 John 2:27-28; 1 John 3:9; 1 John 5:18; 1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matt 13:20-21; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9; Rom 8:28; Matt 6:30-33; Jer 32:40; Ps 121:3; Ps 91:11-12; Phil 1:6; Phil 2:13; Jude 24:25; Heb1:14; 2 Kgs 6:16; Heb 13:5; 1 John 4:4

The Harmony of the Law and the Gospel

We believe the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral governance. It is holy, just, and useful. Fallen human beings are unable to fulfill the precepts of the law, which the Scriptures attribute entirely to their love of sin. The Gospel's chief purpose is to deliver people from this love and restore them through a mediator to sincere obedience to the holy law. The visible church's means of grace share this great purpose.

Rom 3:31; Matt 5:17; Luke 16:17; Rom 3:20; Rom 4:15; Rom 7:12; Rom 7:7, 14-22; Gal 3:21; Ps 119:1-176; Rom 8:7-8; Josh 24:19; Jer 13:23; John 6:44; John 5:44; Rom 8:2-4; Rom 10:4; 1 Tim 1:5; Heb 8:10; Jude 20-21 

 

A Gospel Church

We believe a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, joined together by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel. A visible church observes the ordinances of Christ, submits to his laws, and exercises the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his word. The church's only scriptural officers are elders (also called overseers or pastors) and deacons, whose qualifications and duties are defined in the epistles to Timothy and Titus.

1 Cor 1:1-3; Matt 18:17; Acts 5:11; Acts 8:1; Acts 11:21-23; 1 Cor 4:17; 1 Cor 14:23; 1 Tim 3:5; Acts 2:41-42; 2 Cor 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor 5:12-13; 1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 3:6; Rom 16:17-20; 1 Cor 11:23-24; Matt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:6; 2 Cor 2:17; 1 Cor 4:17; Matt 28:20; John 14:15; John 15:12; 1 John 4:21; John 14:21; 1 Thess 4:2; 2 John 6; Gal 6:2; Eph 4:7; 1 Cor 14:12; Phil 1:1; Acts 14:23; Acts 15:22; 1 Tim 3; Titus 1

Baptism & the Lord's Supper

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a solemn and beautiful emblem that declares our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior as well as our union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and the Lord's Supper. We likewise believe that the Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby the church members, following earnest self-examination, use bread and the cup in a sacred manner to commemorate together the dying love of Christ. The ordinances belong to the gathered church, marking believers from unbelievers and making the church visible on earth.

Acts 8:36-39; Matt 3:5-6; John 3:22-23; John 4:12; Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12; Acts 16:32-34; Acts 18:8; Acts 10:47-48; Gal 3:26-28; Rom 6:4; Col 2:12; 1 Pet 3:20-21; Acts 22:16; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor 11:26; Matt 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor 11:28; 1 Cor 5:1-8; 1 Cor 11:17-32; John 6:26


The Lord's Day

We believe 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 points to the rest that awaits the people of God. It should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:7; Gen 2:3; Col 2:16-17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; 1 Cor 16:1-2; Ex 20:8; Rev 1:10; Ps 118:15, 24; Isa 58:13-14; Isa 56:2-8; Heb 10:24-25; Acts 11:26; Acts 13:44; Lev 19:30; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2-3; Ps 26:8; Ps 87:3; Heb 4:3-11 

The Civil Government

We believe civil government exists by divine appointment for the benefit and good order of human society. Government officials are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed. The principle exception is for matters contrary to our Lord Jesus Christ's will, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the earth's kings.

Rom 13:1-7; Deut 16:18; 2 Sam 23:3; Ex 18:23; Jer 30:21; Matt 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet 2:13; 1 Tim 2:1-4; Acts 5:29; Matt 28:1-20; Dan 3:15-18; Dan 6:7-10; Acts 4:18-20; Matt 23:10; Rom 14:4; Rev 19:16; Ps 72:11; Ps 2:1-12; Rom 14:9-13

The Righteous & the Wicked

We believe there is a radical and fundamental difference between the righteous and the wicked. Only those who are justified by faith in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in his judgment. In contrast, all those who continue in impenitence and unbelief are wicked in his sight and under the curse. This distinction among people holds both at death and afterward.

Mal 3:18; Prov 12:26; Isa 5:20; Gen 18:23; Jer 15:19; Acts 10:34-35; Rom 6:16; Rom 1:17; Rom 7:6; 1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:7; Rom 6:18;22; 1 Cor 11:32; Prov 11:31; 1 Pet 4:17- 18; 1 John 5:19; Gal 3:10; John 3:36; Isa 57:21; Ps 10:4; Isa 55:6-7; Prov 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Prov 10:24; Luke 12:4-5; Luke 9:23-26; Eccl 3:17; Matt 7:13-14

The World to Come

We believe the end of the world is approaching. On the last day, Christ will descend from heaven and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution. A public separation will then occur. The wicked will be justly assigned to endless punishment and the righteous to everlasting joy. This judgment will determine forever on principles of righteousness, the final state of people in heaven or hell.

1 Pet 4:7; 1 Cor 7:29-31; Heb 1:10-12; Matt 24:35; 1 John 2:17; Matt 28:20; Matt 13:39-40; 2 Pet 3:3-13; Acts 1:11; Rev 1:7; Heb 9:28; Acts 3:21; 1 Thess 4:13-18; 1 Thess 5:1-11; Acts 24:15; 1 Cor 15:12-58; Luke 14:14; Dan 12:2; John 5:28-29; John 6:40; John 11:25-26; 2 Tim 1:10; Acts 10:42; Matt 13:49; Matt 13:37-43; Matt 24:30-31; Matt 25:31-46; Rev 22:11; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Pet 2:9; Jude 7; Phil 3:19; Rom 6:23; 2 Cor 5:10-11; John 4:36; 2 Cor 4:18; Rom 3:5-6; 2 Thess 1:6-12; Heb 6:1-2; 1 Cor 4:5; Acts 17:31; Rom 2:2-16; Rev 20:11-12; 1 John 2:28; 1 John 4:17; 2 Pet 3:11-12