TRUTHS UPON WHICH WE STAND
The following is an abbreviated compilation of the truths that form the foundation for the faith and practice of Grace Fellowship Baptist Church of Springfield, Louisiana. None of these statements replaces or usurps the authority of the Word of God, but are intended to express Biblical truths that are non-negotiable. Every Church appointed leader must be in full agreement with the truths set forth in this statement. A complete statement of faith may be found in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. The order of the following statements were taken from a solid Baptist confessional statement set forth in 1858. Some of the content has been changed from the original copy as seen in J.P. Boyce’s Abstract of Systematic Theology.
I. THE SCRIPTURES
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain, and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience. 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21.
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. Deuteronomy 6:4-5, 1 Corinthians 8:4, 6.
III. THE TRINITY
God is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 John 5:7.
God from eternity, decrees and permits all things that come to pass; and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author or approver of sin, nor to destroy the moral choice and responsibility of intelligent creatures. In His ordinary providence God makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at His pleasure. Psalm 135:6, Isaiah 46:9-11, Acts 2:22-23, Isaiah 55:10-11.
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life—not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ—in consequence of which choice they are called, justified, sanctified and glorified. Ephesians 1:3-6, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
VI. THE FALL OF MAN
God originally created man in his own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors. Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-21, Romans 5:12, 2 Corinthians 11:3.
VII. THE MEDIATOR
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of those sinners the Father gave to Him. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to his Father, at whose right hand He ever liveth to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of His people, and Sovereign of the Universe. 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 7:24-28, 9:24.
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone. Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 3:3-7.
Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbleth himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things. Zechariah 12:10, Acts 11:18, Ezekiel 36:31, 2 Corinthians 7:11.
Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness. Psalm 19:7-10, John 1:12-13, Galatians 2:20, 2 Timothy 1:12.
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith. Romans 3:24, 8:30, 4:5-8, 5:18.
God’s Word and Spirit dwelling in them also sanctify those who have been regenerated. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ’s commands. Romans 6:1-23, John 17:17, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7.
XIII. PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Jeremiah 32:40, John 10:27-29, Philippians 1:6.
XIV. THE CHURCH
A New Testament Church is a company of regenerate persons, baptized on a profession of faith in Christ; united in covenant for worship, instruction, the observance of Christian ordinances, and for such service as the gospel requires; recognizing and accepting Christ as their only Head, His Word as their only and sufficient rule of faith and practice in all matters of conscience and religion, and bishops (elders/pastors) and deacons as their only Scriptural officers. Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Acts 2:41-47.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is to be administered by one properly appointed by the church. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper. Matthew 28:19-20, Romans 6:3-5, Colossians 2:12, Matthew 3:16.
XVI. THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and fruit of the vine, and to be observed by his churches until the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship. 1 Corinthians 11:20-34.
XVII. THE LORD’S DAY
The Lord’s Day is the New Testament expression that identifies the day upon which Christians observe a Sabbath unto God. This day is the day blessed by God and made for His people to step aside from the ordinary labors, business, entertainment and distractions of the other six days in the week in order to devote themselves particularly to exercises of worship and spiritual devotion and to works of mercy. While there are changes in detail from the Old Testament to the New Testament, the spirit of the day remains the same; namely, to find full joy and satisfaction in the Lord of the Sabbath. Isaiah 58:13-14, Revelation 1:10.
XVIII. LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE
God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to his word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. James 4:12, Romans 14:4, Galatians 5:13.
XIX. THE RESURRECTION
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God—the righteous to rest with him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. Daniel 12:2, John 5:28-29, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
XX. THE JUDGMENT
God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds: the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life. Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthian 5:10-11, Revelation 20:11-15.
We also believe and hold to the doctrines set forth in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. We recognize that both of these confessions are no more than the collective thoughts of men expressing their understanding of God's Word. Neither confession in any way supersedes the Word of God.