Declaration of Faith
The standard of faith held by this church is contained in the Scriptures and formulated in what is commonly known as the “Revised New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith” as adopted by the Minnesota Baptist Association.
Concerning the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible was written inerrant in its original languages by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly 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 shall remain to the end of the age, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
Concerning the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent, perfect Spirit and personal Being the Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Ruler of the Universe, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and all other perfections, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead 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.
Concerning the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created by the special act of God, as recorded in Genesis. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
We believe that the days of creation in Genesis Chapter 1 were solar, that is, twenty-four hour days.
We believe that man was created in a state of holiness, under the law of his Maker, but through the temptation of Satan he voluntarily transgressed and fell from this holy 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.
Concerning the Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; Who pre-existed, and Who by the appointment of the Father, and Who by the Holy Spirit was conceived, and born of the virgin Mary, freely took upon Him man’s nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by His perfect obedience, and after a miraculous ministry, by Ms death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead bodily He is now enthroned in heaven to reign in eternal sovereignty and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and all sufficient Savior and Lord.
We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes 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; by virtue of which 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.
Concerning 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 by his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
Concerning Grace in Regeneration
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 soul; 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.
Concerning Repentance and Faith
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, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as the only and all-sufficient Savior.
Concerning God’s Purpose of Grace
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 as well as embraces all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of Cod’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.
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 in the hearts of believers throughout their earthly life, 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.
We believe that the gift of tongues was among those temporary spiritual gifts bestowed by God upon His churches in apostolic times. When its purpose was completed, the gift ceased. It was never the required outward demonstration of either the baptism or the filling of the Spirit.
Concerning the Preservation of the Saints
We believe that all real believers 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 that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Concerning the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel
We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises 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.
Concerning a Gospel 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; seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth; that its only Scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the epistles to Timothy and Titus.
Concerning a Gospel Church in its Independence and Relationships
We believe that the local visible church of Christ is a voluntary and independent autonomous group of baptized believers; that it is a pure democracy, which organically can join nothing; and that it has the power and right within itself to confess its own faith in accordance with the New Testament; and that each congregation recognizes its own democratic self-containing government as its highest authority for carrying out the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that both Christian Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are each a memorial, a symbol and a prophecy. We believe hat Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the 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 prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation; and a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper; in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and fruit of the vine commemorate together the dying of Christ, preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Concerning the Lord’s Day
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, and is a Christian institution; it is to be kept sacred to spiritual purposes, by abstaining from all unnecessary secular labor and sinful recreations, for it commemorates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead; by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for the rest that remaineth for the people of God.
Concerning Civil Government and Religious Liberty
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests 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 the Prince of the Kings of the earth; and that church and state should be separated, the state owing the church protection and full freedom; no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be preferred above any other by the state, the state should not impose taxes for the support of any form of religion; a free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.
Concerning the State of the Righteous and the Wicked
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, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in His sight; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.
Concerning the Resurrection
We believe the Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus rose from the dead bodily, His grave was emptied of its contents; that He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection in many convincing manifestations; that He now exists in His glorified body at God’s right hand; and that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the wicked, separated in time; that the bodies of he righteous will conform to the glorious spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Concerning the Return of the Lord
We believe that the end of the age is approaching; that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His own is pre-tribulational and premillennial; “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison …” 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 and hell, on principles of righteousness.
Concerning Christian Education
We believe that Christianity is the religion of enlightenment and intelligence; that in Jesus Christ are hidden all he treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and that all sound learning is therefore a part of our Christian heritage; that the new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge; that an adequate system of schools is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ’s church; and that the cause of education among New Testament churches is coordinate with the causes of evangelism, missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches.
Concerning Social Service
We believe that every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ regnant in his own life and in human society; to oppose in the spirit of Christ every form of greed, selfishness, and vice; to provide for he orphaned, the aged, the helpless, and the sick; to support everything that is good and righteous in industry, government and society as a whole for the benefit of men so that all men may life spiritually and righteously before God; and that all means and methods used in social service for the amelioration of society and the establishment of righteousness among men must finally depend on the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus.
Concerning Human Sexuality
We believe that human sexuality is a gift from God to be enjoyed for the advancement and propagation of human life, not its degradation. All powers, capacities and gifts of the human person are given by God and must be exercised with consideration and respect due to self, others, and God. Any and all acts of sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse constitute sin against God, against the church body, against the victim/s, and against the integrity of the offender.
We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. Consequently, we believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance.
We believe that the church, as ordained by Christ, is intended to be a Spirit-guided arena for confronting and confessing human sinfulness; for healing all human brokenness, including the brokenness caused by sexual violations and experienced by victims, by offenders, and by the larger witnessing community.