First Baptist Church of Morris
Statement of Faith
ARTICLE III. DOCTRINAL POSITION
SECTION I. STATEMENT OF FAITH
A. The Holy Scriptures. We believe the Holy Scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testaments only, to be the plenarily, verbally inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original manuscripts, authoritative, infallible and God-breathed; and that they are the only supreme and ultimate authority for faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matt. 5:18; 1 Cor. 2:10-13).
B. The Godhead. We believe in one triune God, existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternal in being, identical in essence, equal in power and glory and having the same divine attributes and perfections; yet exercising them in varied offices (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 14:7-12; John 16:7, 2 Cor. 13:14).
C. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
1. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man(Matt. 1:18-20; John 1:1,2,14,18; Luke 1:35).
2. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who received Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21).
3. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ and that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed to us by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead; in His bodily ascension into heaven; and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Intercessor (Matt. 28:5,6; 1 Cor. 15:12-19; Acts 1:9; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:23-25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1,2).
4. We believe in "that blessed hope" which is the personal, visible pretribulational, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Thess. 4:14-17; Tit. 2:13; 1 John 3:2-3).
D. The Personality of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son and of the same substance and nature; that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment; bears witness to the truth; is the agent of the new birth; and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer; that He baptizes them into the Body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon each one, and fills for service those yielded to Him. We believe that certain of the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church, such as apostleship, prophecy, and tongues, were temporary, were needed only in the infancy of the church and are not to be expected today. We believe that the Holy Spirit testifies concerning Jesus Christ and never leads any person, at any time, contrary to the teaching of the Bible (John 3:8; 14:16; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 5:1-4; 1 Cor. 12:4-13; 13:8-11; Eph. 4:30; 5:18).
E. The Total Depravity of Man. We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the race fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; and that all mankind have inherited a sinful nature, become willful sinners with the first expression of personal choice, are totally unable to regain their former position, and are without excuse before God(Gen. 1:26; 3:1-24; Rom 3:23; 5:12; 1:20; Eph. 2:1-6,12).
F. Salvation, Regeneration, Eternal Security of the Believer.
1. We believe that salvation is a gift of God brought to men by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of sins. Salvation is solely through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins and, being a free gift, is not earned by any good works whatsoever, and all those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are regenerated and become sons of God (Eph. 1:7; 2:8-9; John 1:12; 3:5-7).
2. We believe that the scriptures teach that regeneration, or the new birth, is that change in the soul by the Holy Spirit by which a new nature and spiritual life, not before possessed, are imparted and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus; and without it salvation is impossible (John 3:2-6; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Pet. 1:23; Titus 3:5)
3. We believe that the salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration. This security is guaranteed to each believer by the fact that the life received is eternal life, by the keeping power of God, by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, and by the interceding ministry of Christ (John 5:24; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1,29,30,38,39; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25).
1. We believe that immediate, positional sanctification is that act of God whereby believers are, at the time of regeneration, eternally set apart as belonging to Him by redemption, thereby being placed in the family of God as children, joint heirs with Jesus Christ (1 John 3:1; Rom. 8:14-17; 1 Cor. 1:2; Heb. 10:10-14).
2. We believe that progressive sanctification is the process by which, according to God's will, we are made partakers of His holiness; that it is progressive; that it is begun in regeneration; that it progresses if the believer is yielded to the Holy Spirit's control; that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, self-examination, watchfulness and prayer (1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23; Prov. 4:18; 1 John 2:29; Phil. 2:12-13; Eph 6:18; John 17:17).
3. We believe that ultimate sanctification will be the portion of every believer when finally in the presence of the Lord, complete and entire, with soul and spirit united in the resurrected body free from every trace or effect of sin and rebellion (` John 3:2; 1 Cor. 15:52-54; Eph. 4:30; 5:27; Phil. 3:20-21).
H. Separation. We believe in the Biblical doctrine of separation which encompasses three things: (1) the separation of the local Church from all affiliation and fellowship with those who deny the verities of the "faith once delivered to the saints;" (2) the separation of the individual believer from all worldly practices that may dishonor the Savior; and (3) the separation of Church and state (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Rom. 12:1,2; 14:13; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11; 2 Cor. 6:11-7:1).
I. The Eternal State. We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; but, that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery unto the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body are reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:11-15; Rev. 14:9-14; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
J. The Church. We believe in the Church - a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the Head (Matt. 16:16-18; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27).
We believe that each local church is a visible expression of the Body of Christ and is a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ, immersed upon a credible confession of faith, and associated together by covenant for worship, evangelism, and observance of the ordinances, and fellowship. We believe that the local church is the center of God's program for this age, and that every Christian is bound by Scripture to give his unhindered cooperation to the program of His local church (Acts 2:41-47; 20:17; 1 Tim. 3:1-16; Titus 1:5-11; 1 Cor. 3:10-17; 5:1-5; 11:2).
K. The Church's Ordinances. We believe that the Lord Jesus instituted two ordinances, baptism and the Lord's Supper, to be observed by all believers until His return.
We believe that baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in Christ, into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to show forth by solemn and beautiful symbolism, the believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and that it is a Scriptural prerequisite to church membership (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:36; Rom. 6:3-5; I Pet. 3:21; Acts 2:38-41).
We believe that the Lord's Supper is partaking of bread and the fruit of the vine, as symbols of Christ's body and blood, commemorating His suffering and death for us and our continual benefit therefrom; that participation should be limited to those who have united to the local church by baptism and testimony; or to those who are baptized members of churches of like faith and practice, and that participation should be preceded by careful self-examination (1 Cor. 11:23-32; 5:1-5; Matt. 18:15-17).
L. The Great Commission. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned the Church to take the Gospel to the world, and that evangelism at home and abroad should be primary in the program of the local church (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
M. The Responsibility of Believers. We believe that all believers should seek to walk by the Spirit, not bringing reproach upon their Lord and Savior, exercising Christian liberty regulated by love, separated from worldly pleasure and practices, separated from organization association with apostate groups (Rom. 12:1,2; Gal. 6:16; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 1 Cor. 8:1-13).
We believe that it is the responsibility of all believers to witness by life and by word to the truths of the Holy Scriptures and to assure responsibility for the propagation of the gospel to all the world (Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:19,20).
We believe that it is the responsibility of all believers to remember the work of the local church and its extension ministries in prayer, to support it with their tithes and offerings as the Lord prospers them, to participate in all the regular services of the Church as the Lord enables, and to voluntarily submit to the watchcare and the discipline of the local church (1 Cor. 16:2; Heb. 10:19-25; 13:17-18).
N. Creation. We believe that God created the heavens and the earth, including all life, "Each after its own kind," by direct act in six (6) twenty-four (24) hour days, and not by any process of evolution (Gen. 1 & 2; Col. 1:16,17; John 1:3).
O. Last Things. We believe in the imminent return of Christ to take those in Christ to heaven. Following this shall be a period of tribulation upon all the earth. At the end of this time of tribulation, Jesus Christ shall come back to earth in power and glory with His church to establish the promised Davidic kingdom. He shall reign for one thousand years, during which time peace and righteousness will cover the earth, Satan shall be bound and Israel shall be established in her own land. At the end of this glorious reign Satan shall shall be loosed and will lead a rebellion against Christ, but shall be forever banished to the lake of fire. The wicked dead shall be judged at the Great White Throne, and shall be condemned to everlasting conscious punishment in hell. The righteous shall enjoy the eternal conscious blessedness of presence with the Lord. (John 14:3; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-15; 1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:51-57; 1 John 3:1-3).
SECTION II. DECLARATION OF POSITION
We believe ourselves to be Baptistic rather than Inter-denominational, Conservative rather than Liberal in Doctrine, Dispensational rather than Covenant in Theology, Fundamental rather than New Evangelical in Outreach, Autonomous rather than ecclesiastical in church government, Separated rather than Worldly in Christian Living, Local Church centered rather than Ecumenical in Polity, and Pre-tribulational and Pre-millenial rather than Post-tribulational and Amillenial in Eschatology.