Articles of Faith of the Missionary Baptist Church
1. 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 itís author, salvation for itís end, and truth without any mixture of error for itís 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.
2. We believe that there is one, and only one living and true God. An infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name of 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 personís, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct by harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
3. We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of this Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from the holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners not by constraint by choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation of eternal ruin, without defense of excuse.
4. We believe 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 of our sins; that having risen from the dead, his is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderness sympathies with divine perfection, he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
5. We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification, that justification that included the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemerís blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God, that is brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
6. 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.
7. We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again, that regeneration consist 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 itís proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
8. We believe 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, confessions, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying upon him along as the only and all sufficient Saviour.
9. We believe 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 Godís sovereign goodness, and 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 is the foundation of Christian assurance, and to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
10. We believe that sanctification of the process by which; according to the will of God, we are made partakers of this 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.
11. We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their preserving attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special providence watches over their welfare, and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
12. We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill itís 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.
13. 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 ordinance of Christ; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his work, that itís only Scriptural officers are bishops or pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles of Timothy and Titus.
14. 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 Saviour, with itís 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 Lordís 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.
15. We believe that the first day of the week is the Lordís Day or the Christian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreation by the devout observance of all means of grace both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.
16. We believe 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 Prince of the kings of the earth.
17. We believe 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, 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 discination holds among men, both in and after death.
18. We believe that the end of this world is approaching; that in the last day Christ will descend from Heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to 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.