Statement of Faith

STATEMENT OF FAITH & DOCTRINAL POSITIONS

 THE WORD OF GOD We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 2:20, Mark 13:31, John 8:31, John 20:31, Acts 20:32) 


 THE TRINITY We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. (Genesis 1:1,16; John 1:1,3; Matthew 28:19; Romans 1:19-20; Ephesians 4:5,6) 


 GOD THE FATHER We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Luke 10:21,22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1,2; 2:5,6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6) 


 MAN’S CONDITION BEFORE GOD We believe that God originally created humanity, both male and female in his own image and free from sin. We believe that since Adam’s sin, all persons are sinners by nature and by choice and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23, 5:10-12). Through the temptation of Satan, the first man disobeyed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness. As a result of the fall of mankind into sin, all human beings inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to the one true and holy God and His law and are under condemnation. (Romans 3:23) We believe that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God, and became inherently corrupt, utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-19, John 3:36; Romans 3:23, 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8) 


 JESUS CHRIST We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30-31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9,10; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Timothy 3:16) 


 THE HOLY SPIRIT We believe that the Holy Spirit is sent from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. We believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers to be used for the edification of the church body. We will not forbid or pursue any particular gift, but rely upon the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself in the gifting of individuals as He chooses. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7,11; 1 Corinthians 14:39-40, Romans 12:4-8) We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit continue to be active and present in the church today. We believe that Jesus baptizes believers with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit subsequently and continuously fills the believer who surrenders and submits to him (Luke 11:13; John 1:32-33, John 14:16, 15:26, John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26, Ephesians 5:18) 


 SALVATION We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace (Eph. 2:5; Matt. 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; Acts 15:11), through the mediatorial office of the Son of God (John 3:16; 1:1-14; Heb. 4:14; 12:24), who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin (Phil. 2:6-7; Heb. 2:9, 14; 2 Cor. 5:21), honored the divine law by his personal obedience (Isa. 42:21; Phil. 2:8; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 3:21), and by His death made a full atonement for our sins (Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 4:25; 3:21-26; 1 John 4:10; 2:2; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Heb. 9:13-15); that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven (Heb. 1:3,8; 8:1; Col. 3:1-4); and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour (Heb. 7:25; Col. 2:9; Heb. 2:18; 7:26; Psa. 89:19; Psa. 14)  


 JUSTIFICATION We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ (John 1:16; Eph. 3:8) secures to such as believe in Him is justification (Acts 13:39; Isa. 3:11-12; Rom. 8:1); that justification includes the pardon of sin (Rom. 5:9; Zech. 13:1; Matt. 9:6; Acts 10:43), and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness (Rom. 5:17; Titus 3:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 John 2:25; Rom. 5:21); 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 (Rom. 4:4-5; 5:21; 6:28; Phil. 3:7-9); by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God (Rom. 5:19; 3:24-26; 4:23-25; 1 John 2:12); 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 (Rom. 5:1-3, 11; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Matt. 6:33; 1Tim. 4:8).  


 REGENERATION We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and the divine life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine repentance is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10) and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). 


 SANCTIFICATION We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness (1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23; 2 Cor. 7:1; 13:9; Eph. 1:4); that it is a progressive work (Prov. 4:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 6:1; 2 Pet. 1:5-8; Phil. 3:12-16); that it is begun in regeneration (John 2:29; Rom. 8:5; John 3:6; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:13-14); 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, selfexamination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer (Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 13:5, Luke 11:35, 9:23, Matthew 26:41, Ephesians 6:18, 4:30)  


 PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39, 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24) We believe that only true believers endure to the end (John 8:31; 1 John 2:27-28). We believe also that those who persevere in the faith give evidence of being true believers in Christ. (1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matthew 13:20-21; John 6:66-69) 


 THE CHURCH We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church (Acts 14:23, 20:17, Galatians 1:2, Philippians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2), consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on credible profession of faith, associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe the Biblically designated officers of the church are pastor /elders, and deacons. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. (Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25) 


 CHRISTIAN CONDUCT We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellowmen; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-2; John 14:15, 23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:9-10) 


 THE ORDINANCES We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water in the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for the commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18- 20; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) 


 RELIGIOUS LIBERTY We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other. (1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 14:7-9; 12)


 CHURCH COOPERATION We believe that local churches can promote the cause of Christ by cooperating with one another in denominational organization. Such an organization, whether regional or district conference, exists and functions by the will of the churches. Cooperation in a conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. (Acts 15:36,41; 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4,10,11) This church is affiliated with Converge Worldwide (formerly, Baptist General Conference) and Converge Northeast (formerly, Northeast Baptist Conference), and with the Western Connecticut Baptist Association (Southern Baptist Convention), and may likewise cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary basis. 


 THE LAST THINGS We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked. (Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6,11-15)