Statement of Beliefs
Articles of Faith of the Gethsemane Baptist Church
Of the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible was (a) written by men supernaturally inspired; (b) that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and (c) therefore it is and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.
- By “The Holy Bible” we mean that collection of sixty- six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which as originally written, does not contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very word of God.
- 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, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
- Further, we beleive that God inspired the original autographs verbally; that he preserved these writings down through the ages and that the Kings James Version is the preserved, infallible Word of God for English speaking people.
Of the True God
We believe that there is (a) one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; (b) inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; (c) that is the unity of the God-Head there are three persons, the Father the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Of the Devil, or Satan
We believe that Satan was once (a) holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and (b) drew after him a host of angels; that he is now (c) the malignant prince of power of the air, and the unholy God to this world, (d) We hold him to be man’s greatest tempter, (e) the enemy of God and his Christ; (f) the accuser of the saints, (g) the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; (h) the Lord of the anti-christ, and (i) the author of all the powers of darkness – destined however (j)to final defeat at the hands of God’s Son, and of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Of the Creation
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and (a) that it is to be accepted literally and not allegorically or figuratively; (b) that man was created directly in God’s own image and after his own likeness; (c) that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; (d) that all animals and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was they should bring forth only “after their own kind.”
The Fall of Man
We believe (a) that man was created in innocence under the law of his maker, but (b) by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, (c) in consequence of which, all mankind was now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice; and (d) therefore under just condemnation without defense of excuse.
Of the Atonement for sin
We believe (a) that salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; (b) 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 and vicarious atonement of our sins; (c) that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a myrter, but was through voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place the just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearings our sins in His own body on the tree; (d) that , having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderers sympathies with divine perfection, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-suffering Savior.
Of the Virgin Birth
We believe (a) that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; (b) born of Mary, a virgin, as no other was ever born or can be born of women, and (c) that He is both Son of God, and God the Son.
Of Grace in the New Creation
We believe (a) that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again: (b) that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; (c) that it is instantaneous and not a process; (d) that in the new birth the on dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; (e) 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; (f) that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
The Freeness of Salvation
We believe (a) in God’s electing grace; (b) that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; (c) that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and (d) that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; (e) which rejection involves him in aggravated condemnation.
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secured to such as believe in Him is justification; (a) that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; (b) that it is bestowed not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s Blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.
Of Repentance and Faith
We believe that Repentance and Faith are (a) solemn obligations, and (b) also inseparable graces, (c) wrought in our souls by the quickening spirit of God; (d) thereby, being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn 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.
Of the Church
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers; (a) associating with a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; (b) observing the ordinances of Christ; (c) governed by His laws; and; (d) exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His word; (e) that its officers of ordination are pastors, and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; (f) we believe the true mission of the church is found in the great commission; first to make individual disciples; second, to build up the church; third, to teach and instruct, as He commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; (g) 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 head is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; (h) that it is Scriptural for the 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 membership, policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence the will of the local church is final.
Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is (a) the immersion in water of a believer; (b) in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church; (c) 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; (d) that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord’s Supper; (e) in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; (f) preceded always by solemn self-examination.
The Perseverance of the Saints
We believe (a) that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; (b) that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark with distinguishes them from superficial professors; (c) that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and (d) that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.
Of the Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that (a) there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; (b) that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; (c) while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His slight wicked, and under the curse; (d) 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.
Of Civil Government
We believe that civil government is (a) of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; (b) that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; (c) except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ; (d) who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming prince of the kings of earth.
Of the Resurrection, Return of Christ and Related Events
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures at their face value concerning the bodily resurrection, and ascension, and present High Priesthood, of Jesus Christ; and in His personal, visible, return, according to His promise; and in the full and final establishment of His Kingdom upon earth.