Articles of Faith of Grace Baptist Church of Smyrna, Delaware
ARTICLE 1 WE BELIEVE in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible and that it is the final authority on faith, salvation and morals. We believe the Authorized Version of 1611 is the preserved word of God in English.We reject the Apocrypha as uninspired and all modern English translations as corruptions of God’s preserved Word. We are a King James Bible church, having taken such a stand due to a very long and considered study of the issue. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
ARTICLE 2 WE BELIEVE there is one living and true God, everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom, holiness and goodness; Creator and Preserver of all things. In the unity of this Godhead, there are three Persons of one substance, of eternal being, and equal in holiness, justice, wisdom, power and dignity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. We are Trinitarians (Matthew 3:16,17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7).
ARTICLE 3 WE BELIEVE that the Son, Who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary; so that two whole and perfect natures, the divine and the human, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and perfect man through the hypostatic union. He lived a perfect and sinless life while on earth and was not able to sin while in a human body. Christ actually and personally suffered, was crucified, died and was buried, to reconcile us to the Father and to make atonement for our sin. (Isaiah 7:14; Galatians 4:4; Colossians 2:9)
ARTICLE 4 WE BELIEVE that Christ did rise from the dead three days after His death and ascended into heaven and there sits at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us as our Great High Priest. (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 20-25; Hebrews 7:25)
ARTICLE 5 WE BELIEVE in the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from both the Father and the Son and is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son and who is very God Himself. He is a separate personality within the Godhead who possesses all attributes of personality. We reject the doctrines espoused by the Charismatic Movement in regard to faith healing, continuing prophecy and continuing revelation and other doctrinal errors regarding the Holy Spirit.
ARTICLE 6 WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ shed His blood for the remission of sins, for the regeneration of sinners and for deliverance from and for final victory over sin, and that this incorruptible blood of Christ is absolutely necessary for salvation. (Romans 3:25)
ARTICLE 7 WE BELIEVE, teach and firmly maintain justification by faith and belief alone without the works of the law. We also believe in the security of the true believer in Christ if he has been truly born again and that he is in no danger of perishing. This is not a license to sin but is rather an incentive toward holy living and service. (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8,9). We also reject baptismal regeneration as a heresy that adds works to grace and that is not supported by Scripture.
ARTICLE 8 WE BELIEVE in one baptism of the Spirit of the believer into the body of Christ at salvation with many subsequent in-fillings of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
ARTICLE 9 WE BELIEVE in the study of the Bible through expository exegesis that will lead to an understanding of the context, interpreting the Scriptures in a literal manner excepting where the passage has an obvious allegorical or figurative meaning.
ARTICLE 10 WE BELIEVE in the premillennial view of prophecy and the two stages of the Second Coming of Christ: first, His coming for the saints in the rapture; second, His coming with the saints to the earth before the millennium. We believe in a yet-future 7-year tribulation period that the Church will not go through and a literal 1000-year millennium where the nation of Israel will enjoy the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant and where Jesus Christ will fulfill the Davidic Covenant in His reign on the earth. We are dispensational premillennialists (Matthew 24:44; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
ARTICLE 11 WE BELIEVE in two churches; first, the local church led by a pastor and assisted by deacons and elders. It is the primary responsibility of pastors to feed the flock and to deepen men in the things of God. We believe in pastor-run churches. The local church, which is a visible and local manifestation of the universal church, carries out a program of evangelization of both saint and sinner as well as maintaining a corporate testimony of Christ before a lost world. It is through the local church that God works in this age and it is the responsibility of all born again, baptized believers to unite with such a local church if a doctrinally sound one exists in their area. Second is the Body of Christ or the universal church that is made up of all truly born-again believers of all ages since Acts 2 which will not meet as a body until it is assembled in heaven. We believe the New Testament Church began on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
ARTICLE 12 WE BELIEVE in the practice of Biblical Separation in two forms: first, in personal separation from sin; and second, in ecclesiastical separation from apostasy and disobedient brethren. We seek to separate ourselves from any other group or movement that is disobedient to the Word of God. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16; 2 Thessalonians 3:6)
ARTICLE 13 WE BELIEVE in two church ordinances: first, baptism, which is to be administered by total immersion in water upon a profession of faith. There is no saving grace in baptism nor does it add to the salvation of the believer, but rather is an identification of the believer with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as test of obedience and of a good conscience before God. We reject pedobaptism and baptism by sprinkling or pouring. Second, the Lord’s Supper. We hold to an ex-substantiation of the Lord’s Supper, believing the <br soft>literal body and blood of Christ to exist outside the elements. (Acts 8:36-38; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
ARTICLE 14 WE BELIEVE the primary responsibility of the Christian is being faithful to the Lord and His Word in all things and to cultivate an ever-deepening relationship with Him. This faithfulness will produce several fruits: witnessing, holy living, prayer and Bible study as well as obedience to the will of God. (1 Corinthians 4:2)
ARTICLE 15 WE BELIEVE in the depravity of man and of his condition as being a sinner by nature, choice and practice. This depravity does not extend to the will our soul, just the spirit, as men who are “dead in trespasses and sins” have the ability and responsibility to choose between salvation and sin. Man must be saved from his sins by the regeneration of the new birth in order to enter heaven and we stress the need of Biblical repentance of the sinner. (Joshua 24:15; Ephesians 2:1)
ARTICLE 16 WE BELIEVE in two future judgments for all men. For the believer, he will stand at the bema seat, otherwise known as the judgment seat of Christ, to give account of the deeds done in and out of the body since the day of his salvation as he will judged according to his stewardship of divine things. The Second judgment is the Great White Throne judgment where the unsaved of all ages will stand to be condemned of sin and be ultimately cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. We hold that the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory to be unscriptural. (Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; Revelation 20:1-10)
ARTICLE 17 WE BELIEVE in the individual priesthood of the believer in that he has the privileges and responsibilities to make intercession before the throne of God on behalf of the saints of God and that he may boldly enter into the heavenly holy of holies for prayer without the aid of any man or organization. Thus, no Christian has any authority to “lord it over” another saint, and this includes the pastoral relationship with his congregation (1 Peter 2:9; 5:3).
ARTICLE 18 WE BELIEVE in the two natures of the believer, in that he possesses his old fallen nature as well as the new divine nature imparted to him at salvation. His will be a lifelong struggle between the two natures for the rest of his life and it is necessary for him to be filled with the Spirit so that he will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. There will be no eradication of the old nature until either death or rapture.
ARTICLE 19 WE BELIEVE in the Biblical account of the creation of Man as recorded in Genesis 1 and oppose the theories of naturalistic and theistic evolution. (John 1:3; Hebrews 11:3)
ARTICLE 20 WE BELIEVE that Satan is literal and personal, that he is the agent of the Fall, that he is the prince of this world, and that he has been judged and shall be eternally punished. (John 16:11; Revelation 20:1-10)
ARTICLE 21 WE recognize the immense amount of spiritual good through Church History by all remnant groups. We seek to fellowship with all true Remnant Pilgrim Fundamentalists with a burden for heart purity and revival, who stand against the Apostasy of our day and whose only desire is to be faithful unto Him in all things.
ARTICLE 22 WE reject both Calvinism and Arminianism as nothing more than flawed, incomplete and uninspired theological systems. We are Biblicists.
ARTICLE 23 WE are not a Protestant church but are a Baptist church. We believe that Baptist churches pre-dated the Reformation, tracing their origins to apostolic times. We remember how Protestants persecuted Baptist peoples in the Reformation era and how they brought many errors from Rome into their churches, such as infant baptism and State-Church establishments.