DECLARATION OF FAITH
People’s Baptist Church Greenville, North Carolina
I. Of the Scriptures
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 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 world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. II Timothy 3:15-17; Proverbs 30:5,6; Romans 2:12; Philippians 3:16; I John 4:1.
II. Of the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is 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 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. John 4:24; Exodus 15:11; Mark 12:30; Matthew 28:19, John 10:30; Ephesians 2:18.
III. Of the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker, but, by voluntary transgressing, fell from that holy and happy 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 law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse. Genesis 1 :27; Genesis 3:6-24; Romans 5:19; Isaiah 53:6; Ephesians 2:1-3; Ezekiel 18:19,20.
IV. Of 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 by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin by means of the Virgin Birth, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death, made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven; and uniting in His wonderful person the most tender sympathies with divine perfection, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and all sufficient Savior. Ephesians 2:8; John 3:16; Philippians 2:6,7; Isaiah 42:21; 53:4,5; Hebrews 1:8; 7:25.
V. Of Justification
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the 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. John 1:16; Acts 13:39; Romans 4:4,5; 5:1,2,9, 17, 19.
VI. Of 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 but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. Isaiah 55:1; Romans 16:25; John 3:19; 5:40.
VII. Of 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 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 its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. John 3:3,8 II Corinthians 5:17; I Peter 1:22-25; Ephesians 5:9
VIII. Of Repentance of 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 by 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 our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior. Mark 1:15; John 16:8; Luke 18:13; Romans 10:9-11.
IX. Of 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 all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God’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 effect 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. II Timothy 1:8,9; 2:10; II Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Exodus 33:18, 19; I Corinthians 4:7; I Thessalonians 4-10; Romans 8:28-31; II Peter 1:10,11.
X. Of Sanctification
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 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. I Thessalonians 4:3; Proverbs 4:18; I John 2:29; Philippians 2:12,13.
XI. Eternality of Salvation
We believe the believer is secure in his eternal salvation as he is kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. John 10:27-28, I John 5:12-13, Hebrews 5:9.
XII. Of the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel
We believe 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 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. Romans 7:12; 8:2-4, 7,8.
XIII. Of a Gospel Church
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of regenerated, baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith a 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; 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. I Corinthians 1:1-13; 11:2; Acts 2:41-42; Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 4:7; Philippians 1:1.
XIV. Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
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 savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privilege of a church relation; and to the Lord’s 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 and His return; preceded always by solemn self-examination. We believe that these two ordinances constitute the ordinances of the Church. Acts 2:42; 8:36; Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4; I Corinthians 11:26, 28.
XV. Of the Lord’s Day
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s day, and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreation; 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. Acts 20:7; Exodus 20:8; Psalm 118:15; Hebrews 4:3-11; 10:24, 25.
XVI. Of Civil Government
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 earth. Romans 13:1-7; Matthew 22:21; 23:10; Acts 5:29.
XVII. Of the Resurrection and Return of Christ and Related Events
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their full and face value. Of the resurrection of Christ, we believe that Christ arose bodily “the third day according to the scriptures;” that “He ascended to the right hand of the throne of God;” that He alone is our “merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God.” We believe in the Premillenial Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; the rapture of the Church, Christ will come in the air for His saints; and to the earth with His saints. We believe that Jesus Christ will reign on this earth a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet. Matthew 28:6-7; Luke 24:39; I Corinthians 15:4; 42-52; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 5:910.
XVIII. Of Missions
The command to give the Gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission is given to the churches and all Christians. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:6; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15.
XIX. Of Satan
We believe that Satan is a spirit being, more powerful than man, yet subject to God, and that he was created without sin, yet chose to rebel against God and is now the enemy of God.
We believe that he and all who are in rebellion against God and have not accepted Christ as Savior will be cast into the lake of fire to burn in unquenchable fire for eternity.
We believe in the conscious, eternal punishment of the unregenerated and the conscious, eternal bliss of the Saved. Isaiah 14:12-16; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 20:1015.
XX. Of the Grace of Giving
Scriptural giving is fundamental to one’s growth in faith. “Therefore, as ye abound in everything; in faith, utterance, knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also” II Corinthians 8:7. “Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” I Corinthians 16:2. Under grace we give, and do not pay, the tithes.. .”Abraham Gave the tenth of the spoils” Hebrews 7:2,4. This was four hundred years before the Law. The tithe (or tenth) is confirmed in the New Testament. Jesus said concerning the tithe, “These ought ye to have done” Matthew 23:23; Leviticus 27:30. “The tithe is the Lord’s.” Malachi 3:10; Acts 4:34,35,37.
XXI. Human Sexuality
1. 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. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30, Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
2. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman.
(Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:12; I Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)