Doctrinal Statement.

Statement of Faith

of

Sovereign Grace Community Church

constructed upon the

London Baptist Confession of 1644

The First London Baptist Confession of Faith was drafted in 1644 through the collaboration of seven Particular (Calvinistic) Baptist congregations in London, England. Although it is less well-known than the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689 that succeeded it, it is noteworthy for being a purely Baptist confession. Conversely, the 1689 Confession represents a Baptist concession to the English Presbyterians and their Westminster Confession for the sake of ecclesiastical and political unity in the period following the Commonwealth in England. That concession amounted to a virtual adoption of the Westminster Confession except in the areas of baptism and church polity. The result is that the historical Covenant Theology of the Westminster Confession is reflected in the 1689 Baptist Confession. In contrast, the First Baptist Confession of 1644 is more keenly aware of the biblical structure of promise/fulfillment in relation to Christ and His redemption and, therefore, emphasizes the fundamental and crucial distinction between the Old and New Covenants in the outworking of redemptive history.

This awareness and Christ-centered perspective lie behind its conspicuous emphasis upon the person, office, and work of Christ as compared with the 1689 Baptist Confession. Whether addressing the New Covenant itself and its basis in the atonement, or the origin, nature, and life of the Church under it, the 1644 London Baptist Confession centers them all in Christ. This is further the reason for the relative brevity and simplicity of this confession. Its concern was not with peripheral issues as much as with the centrality and singular glory of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Like the apostles who proclaimed Him to the world, the First London Baptist Confession affirms Christ’s own assertion that all the Law, Prophets, and Writings testified of Him and, therefore, found their fulfillment in Him. While it is Reformed and baptistic in its doctrine, above all else it exalts the preeminence of Jesus Christ in the Christian faith. The London Baptist Confession of 1644 has stood the test of time, and its doctrines are the cherished doctrines of the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.” Therefore, it is with great humility and gratitude to God that Sovereign Grace Community Church founds its statement of faith upon it.

God, as He is in Himself, cannot be fully comprehended by any but Himself 1, dwelling in that inaccessible light that no eye can attain unto, whom no man has seen, nor can see. There is but 2 one God, one Christ, one Spirit, one Faith, one Baptism; 3 one rule of holiness and obedience for all Saints, at all times, in all places to be observed.

  1. 1 Tim. 6:16
  2. 1 Tim. 2:5; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Cor. 12: 4-6,13; John 14
  3. 1 Tim. 6:3,13,14; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Tim. 3:15
God is 1 self-existent, being neither from another, nor of another, nor by another, nor for another. 2 God is a Spirit, and being eternally self-existent, so He gives 3 being, moving, and preservation to all other things, being in Himself eternal, most holy, every way infinite in 4 greatness, wisdom, power, justice, goodness, truth, etc. In this Godhead, there is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; each one of them one and the same God; and therefore not divided, but distinguished one from another in their persons; the 5 Father being from Himself, the 6 Son of the Father from everlasting, the 7 Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son.

  1. Gen. 1:1; Psa. 90:1-2; Isa. 43:11; 46:9
  2. John 4:24
  3. Exod. 3:14
  4. Rom. 11:36; Acts 17:28
  5. 1 Cor. 8:6
  6. Prov. 8:22-23
  7. John 15:16; Gal. 4:6
The one, triune God has 1 decreed in Himself from everlasting that which pertains to all things, effectually to work and dispose them 2 according to the counsel of His own will, to the glory of His name; in which decree appears His wisdom, constancy, truth, goodness, and faithfulness. 3 Wisdom is that whereby He conceives and plans all things; 4 Constancy is that whereby the decree of God remains always immutable; 5 Truth is that whereby He declares those things according to His nature and decree; Goodness is that whereby all God does and says is consistent with all righteousness and excellence; 6 Faithfulness is that whereby He effects what He has decreed, as He has decreed. And with respect to His creature man, 7 God had in Christ before the foundation of the world, according to the good pleasure of His will, foreordained some men to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of His grace, 8 leaving the rest in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His justice.

  1. Isa. 46:10
  2. Eph. 1:9-11
  3. Isa. 45:1-25; 46:9-13
  4. Num. 23:19-20
  5. Jer. 10:10; Rom. 3:4
  6. Isa. 44:10
  7. Eph. 1:3-7; 2 Tim. 1:9; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:29-30
  8. Jude 4,6; Rom. 9:11-13; Prov. 16:4
1 In the beginning God made all things very good and created man after His own 2 image and likeness, filling him with all physical, moral, and spiritual perfection, free from all sin. 3 But he did not abide long in this honor, but by the 4 subtlety of the Serpent, which Satan used as his instrument – himself with his angels having sinned before and not 5 kept their first estate, but having left their own habitation – first 6 Eve, then Adam, being seduced did knowingly and willingly fall into disobedience and transgression of the commandment of their great Creator.

Because of Adam’s transgression death came upon all men, and reigned over all, so that all since the Fall are conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity, and so are by nature children of wrath, servants of sin, and subjects of 7 mortality and all other calamities resulting from sin in this present age and forever, considered as they are in their fallen state without relation to Christ.

  1. Gen. 1; Col. 1:16; Heb. 11:3; Isa. 45:12
  2. Gen. 1:26; 1 Cor. 15:45-46
  3. Psa. 49:20
  4. Gen. 3:1, 4, 5; 2 Cor. 11:3
  5. 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; John 8:44
  6. Gen. 3:1, 2, 6; 1 Tim. 2:14; Ecc. 7:29; Gal. 3:22
  7. Rom. 5:12, 18, 19; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3
All mankind being thus fallen, and having become altogether dead in sins and trespasses, and subject to the eternal wrath of the great God by transgression; yet the elect, which God has 1 loved with an everlasting love, are 2 redeemed, quickened, and saved, not by themselves, neither by their own works, lest any man should boast in or of himself, but wholly and only by God of 3 His free grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, who by God is made for us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that as it is written, “He that rejoices, let him rejoice in the Lord.”

  1. Jer. 31:2; Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Tim. 1:8-10
  2. Gen 3:15; Eph. 1:3-14, 2:4-9; 1 Thes. 5:9; Acts 13:38
  3. 1 Cor. 5:21; Jer. 9:23, 24
1 This therefore is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. 2 And on the contrary, the Lord will render vengeance in flaming fire to them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. Isa. 49:1-13; Jer. 23:5-6; John 17:3; Heb. 5:9-10
  2. 2 Thes. 1:8; John 3:36, 8:21-24
The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the understanding, worship, and service of God, and all other Christian duties, is not man’s inventions, opinions, devices, laws, constitutions, or traditions, whether written or unwritten, but only the word of God contained in the Canonical Scriptures, namely the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments.

    Mat. 15:9; John 5:39; Col. 2:16-23; 2 Tim. 3:15-17
In this written Word God has plainly revealed all that He has thought needful for us to know, believe, and acknowledge regarding the person, nature, office, and work of Christ, in whom all the divine promises are Yea and Amen to the praise of God.

    Acts 3:22, 23; Heb. 1:1, 2; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Cor. 1:20
With respect to the Lord Jesus, of whom 1 Moses and the Prophets wrote, and whom the Apostles preached, He is the 2 Son of God the Father, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His being, from all eternity “very God of very God,” by whom the Father made the world, and by whom He upholds and governs all the works He has made, both in this age and the age to come.

According to the purpose of God, 3 when the fullness of time came, He was made man of a 4 woman, of the Tribe of 5 Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David, specifically, of Mary that blessed Virgin, by the Holy Spirit coming upon her, and the power of the most High overshadowing her, and was also in 6 all things made like unto us, but without sin.

  1. Gen. 3:15; 22:18; 49:10; Deut. 18:15; Psa. 110; Isa. 53; Jer. 23:1-5, 33:14-26; Ezek. 34:23-31, 37:21-28; Dan. 7:13; 9:24-26; Amos 9:11-15; Zech. 9:9, 12:10; Mat. 5:17; Luke 24:13-44; John 5:39-40
  2. John 1:1-3; Col. 1:1, 15-17, 2:9; Heb. 1:1-3
  3. Gal. 4:4
  4. Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5 with Gen. 49:9-10
  5. Rom. 1:3; 9:5; Mat. 1:16; Luke 3:23, 26; Heb. 2:16
  6. Isa.53:3-5; Phil. 2:8
With respect to His office, 1 Jesus Christ only is made the Mediator of the New Covenant, which is the everlasting covenant of grace between God and man, to 2 be perfectly and fully the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church of God forevermore.

  1. 2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 9:15; John 14:6
  2. Heb. 1:2; 3:1, 2; 7:24; Acts 5:31
Unto this office He was eternally foreordained by the 1 authority of the Father, and with respect to His humanity, was from the womb called and separated, and 2 anointed also most fully and abundantly with all gifts necessary, God having without measure poured the Spirit upon Him.

  1. Prov. 8:23; Isa. 42:6; 49:1,5
  2. Isa. 11:2-5; 61:1-3 with Luke 4:17, 22; John1:14,16; 3:34
In this call the Scripture holds forth two special things to be considered; first, the call to the office; secondly the office itself. First, that 1 none takes this honor but he that is called of God, as was Aaron, so also Christ, it being an action especially of God the Father, whereby a special covenant being made, He ordains His Son to this office: which covenant is, that 2 Christ should be made a sacrifice for sin, that He shall see His seed, and prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand; which calling therefore contains in itself 3 choosing, 4 for-ordaining, 5 sending. Choosing respects the end, foreordaining the means, sending the execution itself, 6 all of mere grace, without any condition foreseen in men.

  1. Heb. 5:4-6
  2. Isa. 53:1-12
  3. Isa. 42:1-13, 49:1-13
  4. 1 Peter 1:20
  5. John 3:16-17, 4:31-34, 5:1-47, 6:35-46, 7:14-29, 8:12-29
  6. John 5:24; 2 Tim. 1:8-10; Heb. 9:1-10-14
This office of Mediator, that is, to be Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church of God, is so proper to Christ, that it can neither in the whole, not in any part thereof, be transferred from Him to any other.

    2 Sam. 7:1-16; Jer. 23:5-6; Ezek. 37:21-28; Dan. 7:1-14; Luke 1:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:8-12; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 7:11-28
This office itself to which Christ was called, is three fold, of 1 a Prophet, of 2 Priest, and of 3 King: this number and order of offices is shown; first by men necessarily and grievously laboring 4 under ignorance, by reason whereof they stand in infinite necessity of the Prophetical office of Christ to relieve them. Secondly, 5 alienation from God, wherein they stand in need of the Priestly office to reconcile them. Thirdly, the 6 utter disability of all men to return to Him, by which they stand in need of the power of Christ in His Kingly office to assist and govern them.

  1. Deut. 18:15 with Acts 3:22-23
  2. Psa. 110; Heb. 3:1; 4:14-15, 5:1-7, 9:1-10:14
  3. Psalm 2, 110; Dan. 7:1-14; John 18:33-37
  4. Isa. 59:1-21; Acts 26:18; Eph. 4:17-19; Col. 1:3
  5. Col. 1:21-22; Eph. 2:11-12
  6. Isa. 59:1-16; John 6:44 ; Eph. 2:1-9
Touching the Prophesy of Christ, it is that whereby He has 1 perfectly revealed the whole will of God out of the bosom of the Father; whatsoever is needful for His servants to know, believe, and obey; and therefore He is called not only a Prophet and a 2 Leader, the 3 Apostle of our profession and the 4 Messenger of the Covenant; but also the very 5 wisdom of God, and the 6 treasures of wisdom and understanding.

  1. John 1:18; 12:49-50; 15; 17:8; Deut. 18:15
  2. Mat. 23:10
  3. Heb. 3:1
  4. Mal. 3:1
  5. 1 Cor. 1:24
  6. Col. 2:3
That He might be such a Prophet who is in every way complete, it was necessary that He should be 1 God, and as well also that He should be man; for unless He was fully God, He could have never perfectly understood the will of God, 2 neither would He have been able to reveal it throughout all ages; and unless He had been man, He could not properly have unfolded it in His 3 own person to man.

  1. Luke 3:23-38; John 1:18, 3:13, 10:24-30, 14:1-9
  2. 1 Cor. 2:11, 16
  3. Acts 3:22 with Deut. 18:15; John 15: 22-24; Heb. 1:1
With respect to His Priesthood, Christ 1 being consecrated by His Father, has appeared once to put away sin by the offering and sacrifice of Himself, and to this end has fully performed and suffered all those things by which God, through the blood of His Cross in an acceptable sacrifice, might reconcile His elect only; 2 and having broken down the partition wall, and therewith finished and removed all the rituals, shadows, and ceremonies, has now entered within the veil, into the Holy of Holies, that is, to the very Heavens, and presence of God, where He forever lives and sits at the right hand of Majesty, appearing before the face of His Father to make intercession for such as come to the Throne of Grace by that new and living way.

And not that only, but 3 also makes His people a spiritual House, a holy Priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Him; neither does the Father accept, or Christ offer to the Father any other worship or worshipers.

  1. John 17:19; Rom. 5:19; Eph. 5:12; Col. 1:20; Heb. 5:7-9; 9:24-28
  2. Rom. 8:34; Eph. 2:11-16; Col. 2:8-17
  3. John 4:23-24; 1 Peter 2:1-6
This Priesthood was not legal, or temporary, but according to the order 1 of Melchizedek; 2 not by a fleshly commandment, but by the power of endless life; 3 not by an order that is weak and lame, but stable and perfect, not for a 4 time, but forever, admitting no successor, but perpetual and proper to Christ alone, and of Him that ever lives. Christ Himself was the Priest, Sacrifice and Altar. He was 5 our High Priest, according to both natures, but He was a sacrifice most properly according to His human nature, 6 where in Scripture it is properly attributed to His body, to His blood. Yet the chief force whereby this sacrifice was made effectual, did depend upon His 7 divine nature, namely, that the Son of God did offer Himself for us: He was the altar properly according to His divine nature, it belonging to the 8 Altar to sacrifice that which is offered upon it, and so it ought to be of greater dignity then the Sacrifice itself.

  1. Heb. 7:14-17
  2. Heb. 7:16
  3. Heb. 7:18-21
  4. Heb. 7:23-25
  5. Heb. 5:1-10, 8:1-6
  6. Mat. 26:27-28; Col. 1:20-21; Heb. 10:10; 1 Peter 1:18-19
  7. Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:1-4
  8. Mat. 23:17; John 17:19; Heb. 9:14; 13:10-15
With respect to His Kingdom, 1 Christ being risen from the dead and ascended into Heaven, has sat down at the right hand of God the Father, having all power in Heaven and earth given unto Him. From there He does spiritually govern His Church, exercising His power 2 over all angels and men, good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of the elect, to the overruling and destruction of His reprobate enemies, 3 communicating and applying the benefits, virtue, and fruit of His Prophecy and Priesthood to His elect.

These consist in: 1) the subduing and taking away of their sins to their justification and adoption as Sons, 2) regeneration, 3) sanctification, 4) preservation and strengthening in all their conflicts against Satan, the World, the Flesh, and the temptations of them, 5) continually dwelling in, governing, and keeping their hearts in faith and filial devotion by His Spirit, which having 4 given it, He never takes it away from them, but by it still produces and nourishes in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all heavenly light in the soul unto final glory and immortality. These promised and effectual works He accomplishes despite the fact that, through our own unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the discernible sight of this light and love may be clouded and overwhelmed for a time. 5 Likewise, He rules over the world and over His enemies, namely Satan and all the vessels of wrath, limiting, using, restraining them by His mighty power, as seems good in His divine wisdom and justice to the execution of His determinate counsel, delivering them up to a reprobate mind, to be kept through their own willful sin and unbelief, in the darkness of unbelief unto judgment.

  1. Mat. 28:18-20; Luke 24:51; John 19:36; Acts 1:11; 5:30-31; Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 15:1-24; Eph. 1:18-23; 1 Peter 3:21-22
  2. Mark 1:27; Heb. 1:14; John 16:7,15
  3. John 5:26-27; Rom. 5:5-7; 14:17; Gal. 5:22,23; John 1:4,13
  4. Job 33:29-30; Psa. 51:10-11; John 13:1; 10:28-29; 14:16-17; Rom. 11:29; 2 Cor. 12:7, 9
  5. Job 1, 2; Rom. 1:21; 2:4-6; 9:17-18; Heb. 2:5-15; 2 Peter 2:1ff
This Kingdom shall be then fully perfected when He shall the second time come in glory to reign among His saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, when He shall vanquish death and put down all rule and authority under His feet, that the glory of the Father may be full and perfectly manifested in His Son, and the glory of the Father and the Son in all His saints.

    John 17:20-26; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; 1 Thes. 4:15-17; 2 Thes. 1:9-10; Heb. 9:28
Christ Jesus by His death did effectually accomplish salvation and reconciliation only for the 1 elect, which were those which 2 God the Father gave Him; and that the Gospel which is to be preached to all men as the ground of faith, is, that 3 Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the ever blessed God, filled with the perfection of all heavenly and spiritual excellencies, and that salvation is only and alone to be had through believing in His name.

  1. John 15:13; Rom. 8:32-34; 5:11; 3:25
  2. Job 17:2 with 6:37
  3. Mat. 16:16; Luke 2:26; John 6:9; 7:3; 20:31; 1 John 5:11
Faith is the 1 gift of God wrought in the hearts of the elect by the Spirit of God, whereby they come to see, know, and believe the truth of the 2 Scriptures, and not only so, but the excellency of them above all other writing and things in the world, as they hold forth the glory of God in His attributes, the excellency of Christ in His nature and offices, and the power of the fullness of the Spirit in His workings and operations; and for that reason are enabled to cast the everlasting well-being of their souls upon this truth thus believed.

  1. Acts 16:11-14; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:29
  2. John 6:63, 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:11-12
Those that have this precious faith wrought in them by the Spirit, can never finally nor totally fall away; and though many storms and floods do arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to move them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon, but shall be kept by the power of God to salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, their names being eternally written in the Lamb’s book of life.

    Isa. 49:1-13-16; Mat. 7:24, 25; John 10:22-29; 13:1; 1 Peter 1:4-6; Rev. 13:8, 17:8
That faith is ordinarily 1 begotten by the preaching of the Gospel, which is the word of Christ, without respect to 2 any power or capacity in men, they being wholly passive in their regeneration. For being spiritually blinded and alienated in sins and trespasses, 3 they are quickened to life and faith in Christ, and are converted by no less power, 4 then that which raised Christ from the dead.

  1. Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21
  2. Rom. 9:16; Eph. 2:1-7
  3. Ezek. 36:16-26, 37:1-14; Rom 6:1-10; Eph. 2:4-6
  4. Rom. 1:16; Eph. 1:18-21; Col 2:12
Nevertheless, the entreaties of the Gospel to the conversion of sinners 1 are absolutely free, no way requiring, as absolutely necessary, any qualifications, preparations, terrors of the Law, or preceding ministry of the Law, but only and alone the naked soul, as a 2 sinner and ungodly to receive Christ as Christ – as crucified, dead, and buried, and risen again, being made 3 a Prince and a Savior for such sinners.

  1. Isa. 55:1-7; John 1:12, 3:14-15, 7:37
  2. 1 Tim. 1:15; Rom. 4:5; 5:8
  3. Acts 5:30-31; 2:36; 1 Cor. 1:22-24
The same power that converts men to faith in Christ secures, sanctifies, and preserves the 1 soul through all duties, temptations, conflicts, and sufferings. Therefore, perpetually and in every respect, whatever a Christian is, he is by 2 grace and by a constant renewed 3 operation from God by His Spirit, without which he cannot perform any pleasing work to God, endure any temptations from Satan, the world, or men, or grow with respect to his salvation.

  1. 2 Cor. 12:9; 1 Peter 1:5
  2. 1 Cor. 15:10; 2 Cor. 4:1-14
  3. John 15:5; Gal. 2:19-20, 3:1-5; Phil. 1:6, 2:12-13
God the Father, and Son, and Spirit, is one with 1 all believers, in their 2 fullness, in 3 relations, 4 as head and members, 5 as house and inhabitants, as 6 husband and wife, one with Him, as 7 light and love, and one with Him in His inheritance, and in all His 8 glory. Furthermore, all believers, by virtue of this union and oneness with God, are the adopted sons of God, and heirs of Christ, co-heirs and joint heirs with Him of the inheritance of all the promises of this life as well as that which is to come.

  1. John 14:10, 20, 17:2; 1 Thes. 1:1
  2. John 1:17; Col. 2:9, 10; 1:19
  3. John 20:17; Heb. 2:11
  4. Eph. 5:30; Col. 1:18
  5. 1Cor. 3:16-17; Eph. 2:22
  6. Isa. 16:5; 2 Cor. 11:3
  7. Gal. 3:26
  8. John 17:24; 1 Pet. 1:3-5
Those who have union with Christ are justified from all their sins, past, 1 present, and to come, by the blood of Christ; which justification we conceive to be a gracious and free 2 pardoning of a guilty, sinful creature, from all sin by God, through the satisfaction that Christ has made by His death; this justification being applied in the manifestation of it through faith.

  1. John 1:7; Rom. 3:23; 2 Cor. 5:19; Heb. 9:11-26, 10:1-14
  2. Acts 13:38, 39; Rom. 3:21-30, 5:1
All believers are a holy and 1 sanctified people, and that sanctification is a spiritual grace of the 2 New Covenant, and effect of the 3 love of God manifested to the soul, whereby the believer is in 4 truth and reality separated, both in soul and body, from all sin and dead works, through the 5 blood of the everlasting Covenant.

Through the power of the new life in that same covenant he also gives himself, according to a heavenly and evangelical orientation in faith and love, to live in submission to all the commands, 6 which Christ as Head and King in this New Covenant has prescribed to him.

  1. 1 Cor. 1:1; 1 Peter 2:9
  2. Eph. 1:4
  3. 1 John 4:16
  4. Rom. 6:1-11; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Eph. 4:17-24, 5:1-8; Col. 3:1-11
  5. 2 Tim. 1:13-14; Heb. 10:19-22
  6. Mat. 28:20; John 15:1-17; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 5:1-17; Col 3:1-11
All believers, through the knowledge of 1 that justification of life given to them by the Father, and brought forth by the blood of Christ, have this as their great privilege of that New 2 Covenant, namely peace with God and reconciliation with Him, whereby they that were far off, have been brought near by 3 that blood, and have (as the Scripture speaks) peace 4 passing all understanding; yes, exceeding great joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by 5 whom we have received the Atonement.

  1. 2 Cor. 5:19
  2. Isa. 49:1-13, 54:1-10; Jer. 31:31-34; Rom. 5:1-2; Col. 1:19-23; Heb. 8:1-13, 10:1-18
  3. Eph. 2:13-14
  4. Phil. 4:7
  5. Rom. 5:1-11
At the same time, all believers in the time of this life are in a continual warfare, combat, and opposition against sin, self, the world, and the Devil, and liable to all manner of afflictions, tribulations, and persecutions, and so shall continue until Christ comes in His Kingdom, being predestined and appointed there unto; and whatsoever the saints, any of them do possess or enjoy of God in this life, is only by faith.

    John 15:18-16:4, 33; Acts 14:19-22; 2 Cor. 10:3; Eph. 6:10-13; Phil. 1:29-30; Rev. 2:9, 10
The only strength by which the saints are enabled to stand against all opposition, and to overcome all afflictions, temptations, persecutions, and trials, is that which is found in Jesus Christ, who is the Captain of their salvation, being made perfect through sufferings, who has engaged His strength to assist them in all their afflictions, and to uphold them under all their temptations, and to preserve them by His power to His everlasting Kingdom.

    John 15:1-5, 16:33; Eph. 3:13-21; Phil. 4:4-13; Heb. 2:9, 10, 12:1-13
Christ has here on earth a spiritual Kingdom, which is the Church that He has purchased and redeemed to Himself as a particular inheritance; which Church, as it is visible to us, is a company of visible 1 saints, 2 called and separated from the world by the Word and the 3 Spirit of God, to the visible profession of the faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being baptized into the faith and joined to the Lord.

And being joined to Him, they are also joined to each other for the building up of one another, 4 and for the practical enjoyment of the 5 ordinances, commanded by Christ their head and King.

  1. 1 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1
  2. Acts 26:18; Rom. 1:1; 2 Cor. 6:17; 1 Thes. 1:9; Titus 3:1-7; Rev. 18:18
  3. Acts 2:37 with Acts 10:37
  4. 1 Cor. 12:1-27; Eph. 4:1-16; Col. 2:18-19; 1 Pet. 2:5
  5. 1 Cor. 11:17-34; Acts 2:37-41; 16:11-34; Mat. 28:19-20
To this Church He has 1 made His promises, and given the signs of His Covenant, presence, love, blessing, and protection: here are the fountains and springs of His heavenly grace continually flowing forth, 2 to which all men of all estates ought to come, that acknowledge Him to be their Prophet, Priest, and King, to be enrolled amongst the servants of His household, to live under His heavenly conduct and government, to lead their lives in His walled sheepfold and watered garden, and to have communion here with the saints, that they may be finally made to be partakers of their inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

  1. Mat. 28:18-20; 2 Cor. 6:18
  2. Isa. 8:16, 45:18-25; Acts 2:41,47, 17:24-31; Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:19; 1 Tim. 2:1-6, 3:14-15
And all His servants are called to present their bodies and souls, and to bring their spiritual gifts God has given them; gifts sovereignly bestowed by Himself in their variety, peculiar place, intended use; the Church being fitly joined and knit together, according to the effectual working of every part, to the edification of itself in love.

    1 Cor. 12:6, 7, 12, 18; Rom. 12:4-6; 1 Peter 4:10; Eph. 4:16; Col. 2:5, 6, 19; 1 Cor. 12:12ff
Being thus joined, every local church has 1 power given them from Christ for their better well-being, to choose for themselves suitable persons to hold the offices of 2 Pastors, Teachers, Elders, and Deacons, being qualified according to the prescriptions in the Word, as those which Christ has appointed in His Testament, for the feeding, governing, serving, and building up of His Church. Furthermore, this power belongs to the local church alone; no other ecclesiastical entity has the authority or right to impose them, either these offices or any other.

  1. Acts 1:2; 6:3; 15:22, 25; 1 Cor. 16:3
  2. Acts 20:17-32; Rom. 12:7, 8; 16:1; 1 Cor. 12:8, 28; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Tit. 1:5-9; Heb. 13:7; 1 Peter 5:1-4
Such ministers, lawfully called by the Church where they are to serve, ought to continue in their calling, according to God’s ordinance, and carefully to feed the flock of Christ committed to them. They should do so as devoted under-shepherds of Christ, with eagerness and humility.

    Heb. 5:4; Acts 4:23; 1 Tim. 4:14; John 10:3, 4; Acts 20:28; Rom. 12:7, 8; Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Pet. 5:1-4
The due support and maintenance of the Church’s ministers should be the free and voluntary communication of the Church, even as according to Christ’s ordinance, those who preach the Gospel are to get their living from the Gospel.

    1 Cor. 9:7,14; Gal. 6:6; Phil. 4:15-16; 1 Thes. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 5:17-18
Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, given by Christ, to be administered only to those persons who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ according to the truths of His gospel as taught in the Holy Scriptures. Baptism symbolizes regeneration through union with Christ and is understood to be an act of obedience to Christ and not a means of salvation.

    Acts 2:37-38, 8:36-38, 10:44-48, 16:25-33, 18:8
The way and manner of the 1 dispensing of this ordinance the Scripture holds out to be dipping or plunging the whole body under water. Because it is a sign, baptism must correspond to the things it signifies, which consists in these: first, the 2 washing of the whole soul in the blood of Christ; secondly, that interest the saints have in 3 the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; thirdly, it provides, together with a 4 confirmation of our faith, that as certainly as the body is buried under water, and rises again, so certainly shall the bodies of the saints be raised by the power of Christ in the day of the resurrection, to reign with Christ.

  1. Mat. 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:38
  2. Heb. 10:22; Rev. 1:5; 7:14
  3. Rom. 6:3-5
  4. 1 Cor. 15:28, 29; 2 Cor. 4:5-14
The persons designed by Christ to dispense this ordinance, the Scriptures hold forth to be a preaching Disciple of Christ. Baptism is nowhere tied to a particular church, officer, or person extraordinarily sent, the commission enjoining the administration of this ordinance being given to them under no other consideration, but as being considered Disciples of the Lord Jesus.

    Mat. 28:16-19; John 4:1-2; Acts 9:17-18, 10:44-48
Christ has likewise given power to His whole church to receive in and cast out, by way of excommunication through biblical discipline, any member; and this power is given to every particular congregation, and not one particular person, either member or officer, but the whole.

    Mat. 18:15-20; Acts 2:47; Rom. 16:2; 1 Cor. 5:4; 2 Cor. 2:6-8
And every particular member of each church, whatever his office, credential, or standing, ought to be subject to this censor and judgment of Christ. Moreover, the church ought with great care, tenderness, and prudent consideration and prayer to proceed against her members, always proceeding with the intent and expectation of repentance and restoration out of a motive of love.

    Mat. 18:12-18; Acts 11:2. 3; 1 Tim. 5:19-21
And as Christ, for the 1 keeping of His Church in holy and orderly communion, places some special men over the Church, who by their office are to govern, oversee, visit, watch; so likewise for the building up of the Church in love He has given 2 authority, and laid duty upon all, to watch over one another.

  1. Mat. 24:25; Acts. 20:27, 28; 1 Thes. 5:14; Heb. 13:17, 24
  2. Mark 13:34, 37; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Thes. 5:11; Heb. 10:23-25, 34-35; 12:15; Jude 3, 20
Such to whom God has given suitable gifts, those gifts being proven out in the Church, may and ought by the appointment of the congregation, according to the proportion of faith, teach and preach publicly the Word of God, for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the Church.

    Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:7, 14:1ff; Eph. 4:7-16; 1 Thes. 5:17-19; 1 Peter 4:10-11
Thus being rightly gathered, established, and constantly proceeding in Christian communion and the obedience of the Gospel of Christ, none ought to separate for faults and corruptions which may and will, as long as the Church consists of men subject to failings, arise among them, even in true constituted churches, until they have in due order sought redress thereof.

    Mat. 18:15-17; Acts 15:12; 1 Cor. 1:10, 5:4-5; Eph. 2:16; 3:15-16; Heb. 10:25; Jude 15; Rev. 2, 3 chapters
And although the universal Church of Christ is comprised of numerous bodies throughout the world, every particular congregation is a distinct and bound community in itself. Nevertheless, they are all to walk by one and the same Rule, namely the Word of God, and by all proper and biblical means to have the counsel and help one of another in all needful affairs of the Church, as members of one body in the common faith under Christ their only Head.

    Mat. 28:20; Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 4:17, 12:1-27, 16:1; Col. 2:19; 1 Tim. 3:15-16, 6:13-14; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Rev. 22:18-19
The civil government is an ordinance of God set up by God for the punishment of evil doers and for the praise of them that do well. Therefore, in all lawful things commanded by them subjection ought to be given by us in the Lord. Further, we are to make supplication and prayer for kings and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a peaceable and quiet life in all godliness and honesty, and that God should be pleased to bring them to salvation.

    Rom. 13:1-4; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; 1 Peter 2:13-17
But if God should withhold or withdraw the civil government’s allowance and furtherance of true Christian faith, 1 yet we must proceed together in Christian communion, not daring to suspend our practice, but to walk in obedience to Christ in the profession and holding forth of this faith before mentioned, even in the midst of all trials and afflictions, not accounting our goods, lands, wives, husbands, children, fathers, mothers, brethren, sisters, yea, and our own lives dear to us, so that we may finish our course with joy. We are to always remember that we ought to 2 obey God rather then men, and standing firmly upon the commandment, commission, and promise of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who as He has power in heaven and earth, so also has promised to be with us to the end of the world. And when we have finished our course and kept the faith, He has promised to give us the crown of righteousness, which is laid up for all those who love and long for His appearing; the One to whom we must give an account of all our actions, no man being able to discharge us of that accounting.

  1. Dan. 3:16,17; 6:7, 10, 22, 23; Acts 2:40, 41; 4:19; 5:28, 29, 41; 20:23; Phil. 1:27-29; 1 Thes. 3:3
  2. Mat. 28:18-20; Rom. 12:1.8; 1 Cor. 14:37; Gal 2:4-5; 1 Tim. 6:13-15; 2 Tim. 4:7-8; Rev. 2:10
And likewise we are to give to all men whatever is their due. Tributes, customs, and all such lawful duties ought willingly to be paid by us and performed; our lands, goods, and lives are to be ordered in proper submission to the civil authorities in the Lord; so the appointed authorities are every way to be acknowledged, honored, and obeyed according to the principles of biblical godliness; not because of wrath only but for conscience sake. And finally, all men are so to be esteemed and regarded as is due and appropriate for their place, age, estate, and condition.

    Mat. 22:21; Rom. 13:5-7; Eph. 5:22-6: 9; Titus 3:1-8; 1 Peter 2:13-17, 3:8-17, 5:5
And thus we desire to give to God that which is God’s, and to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto all men that which belongs to them, endeavoring ourselves to have always a clear conscience void of offense towards God and towards man. And if men take these things that we have said to be heresy, then do we with the Apostle freely confess, that after the way which they call heresy, we worship the God of our Fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets and Apostles, desiring from our souls to disclaim all heresies and opinions which are not after Christ, and to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, as those who know that our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord.

    Mat. 22:21; John 5:28; Acts 24:14-16; 1 Cor. 15:58-59; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1 Tim. 6:3-5
With respect to matters of biblical eschatology, we acknowledge mature liberty among the saints. Issues such as the timing of the rapture of the saints at the return of Christ and the millennial debate between the various positions among premillennialists and non-premillennialists should not be made a test of Christian fellowship in and of themselves. While the truths of Christ’s bodily return, His final judgment of all men, and the establishment of His kingdom in its fullness are undeniable, the conviction regarding other aspects of eschatology is subject to the particular interpretive principles applied to unfulfilled Bible prophecy.

    Mat. 25:13; Mar. 13:32; 1 Cor. 15:20-28; 1Thes. 4:15-17
Thus we desire to give to Christ that which is His, and to all lawful authorities that which is their due, and to owe nothing to any man except the abiding obligation of love; to live quietly and peaceably, as is becoming of the saints, endeavoring in all things to keep a good conscience, and treating every man as we would have him treat us. Thereby walking in the Spirit in the practice of true godliness, we will show ourselves to be a conscientious, quiet, and harmless people who are in no way dangerous or troublesome to men or society, laboring and working with our hands that we may not be chargeable to any, but rather able to give to him that has need, whether friends or enemies, accounting it more excellent to give than to receive. And all these things we purpose to do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Also, we confess that we know but in part, and that we are ignorant of many things which we desire and seek to know; and if any shows us from the Word of God the things we do not see, we shall have cause to be thankful to God and them. But if any man shall impose upon us anything that we do not see to be commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ in His Word, we should in His strength embrace all reproaches and tortures of men, be stripped of all outward comforts, and if it were possible, die a thousand deaths, rather than to do anything against the least tittle of the truth of God that is in Christ Jesus, or against the light of our own consciences. And if any shall call what we have said heresy, then we, with the Apostle, acknowledge that according to the way they call heresy, we worship the God of our Fathers, disclaiming all true heresies because they are against Christ and His gospel. And we are steadfast and immovable, always abounding in Christ’s work, knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain.

2 Corinthians 1:24

Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.

Isaiah 59:18-21

According to their deeds, so He will repay, wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the coastlands He will make recompense. So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun, for He will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives. “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.

“And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”

Revelation 22:14-20

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.