FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of NECEDAH, WI
ARTICLES OF FAITH
- INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE
We believe that the Bible, in the original writings, consisting of sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, was given by divine inspiration and is the Word of God. (II Tim. 3:16-17, II Peter 1:19-21; I Thess 2:13); that it reveals man’s state by nature and presents the only means of his salvation (Rom 3:10-12; Acts 4:12); that it constitutes the only perfect rule and final authority in all matters pertaining to Christian faith and practice (Acts 17:11; Isa 8:20); and that it sets forth the principles by which man will be judged (Rom 2:1-3).
- BELIEF IN GOD
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19; I John 5:7). God the Father:
a. God the Father: We believe in God the Father, creator and sustainer of all things visible and invisible, who is true holiness, eternal power, infinite love, perfect justice, absolute truth, the Alpha and Omega, the “I AM THAT I AM” (Gen 1:1; Ex 3:14; 20:2-3; Lev 19:2; Rom 1:20; 3:26; Titus 1:2; I John 4:8-9; Rev 22:13).
b. God the Son: We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His bodily ascension to the right hand of the Father, where He ever liveth to make intercession for His saints, in His premillennial coming for His saints and in His return to earth to reign in power and glory (Mt 1:18, 22-23; 28:6; John 1:14; Heb 4:15; 7:25; Acts 1:9, 10, 11; 10:38; I Pet 1:19; I Thess 4:13-18; Zech 14:4-9).
c. God the Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person who moved holy men of God to write the Scriptures, who convicts of sin, who quickens in the new birth, who baptizes the believer into the body of Christ at salvation, who seals and is the earnest of our inheritance, and who indwells the believer with power for holy living and service (Jo 14:16-17; 16:8-9; Rom 8:11; Eph 1:13,14; I Cor 12:13; II Pet 1:21)
- MAN: HIS CREATION, FALL, AND NEED OF REDEMPTION
We believe that man was created by an immediate act of God in His own image as given in the Genesis account and not by process of evolution; that through disobedience to God, lost his first estate and has inherited a depraved nature and thereby became a sinner in need of a Saviour, and that since that time all men are born sinners, spiritually dead, alienated from God, and stand in need of personal redemption that is in the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Gen 1:26-27; 3:1-24; Ps 51:5; Rom 3:23, 24; 5:9,12; Eph 2:1; 4:18; Col 1:14, 21; 2:13; Heb 9:12).
- BLOOD ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace; that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, shedding His blood on the cross as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who repent and believe in Him, receiving Him by faith as personal Saviour, are thereby justified on the ground of His shed blood (Eph 1:7; 2:8-9, Rom 4:4-5; 5:9; , I Cor 5:7; 15:3; Is 53:6; Acts 10:43; 13:38, 39; 17:30; John 1:12; Col 2:6).
- PERSONAL NEW BIRTH
We believe that in order to be saved, all men being sinners, must be born again. We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again by the Holy Spirit. We believe that this new birth is instantaneous, not a process; and that it is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We believe that in the new birth God justifies the believer and writes his name in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer with power for holy living and service. We further believe that every believer stands as a priest before God (Rom 3:10,23; 8:33; John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; 16:7-8; Rev 1:6; 13:8; 17:8; 21:27; I Cor 6:19-20; II Cor 5:17; Acts 16:30-34; I Pet 1:23; 2:5; Tit. 3:5-7; Gal 5:22-23).
We believe that justification is a judicial act of God by which He imparts to the born-again believer complete pardon of sins, the gift of eternal life, and imputes to the believer His own righteousness. We believe that justification is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which the believer has done, but solely because of his faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 3:21, 22, 25; 4:5-8; 5:9; Acts 13:38-39; John 5:24; 6:47; Phil 3:8-9; Titus 3:5; Eph 2:8-9).
- THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RIGTHEOUS (SAVED) AND THE WICKED (UNSAVED)
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. We believe the righteous to be those who have been born of the Spirit of God through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and the wicked to be those who have never been born of the Spirit of God. We believe that the righteous are assured of eternal life with the Lord Jesus Christ whereas the wicked are destined to everlasting, conscious suffering in a real and literal hell, eternally separated from God (Ps 1; Mal 3:18; Is 48:22; 57:21; John 3:3, 5, 18; Rom 8:9; I John 5:11-13; Rev 20:15; Mk 9:43-49; Lk 16:19-31).
We believe in the reality of Satan, a living personality who is the unholy prince of this world, the author of all powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire (Mt 4:1-3; II Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; Rev 20:10).
- THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that all who are truly born again are eternally secure since they have been saved by believing on the power of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, and are kept by the power of God unto salvation, and can never be lost (I John 5:1, 13; Acts 16:31; John 10:28, 29; Rom 8:31-39; 10:9-10, 13; Eph 1:13; II Cor 1:22; I Pet 1:3-5).
- THE CHURCH
We believe that the true church is the body of Christ, a living organism made up of born-again believers, including those who have gone to be with the Lord; and that this spiritual body is made manifest through the local church, a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures (Acts 2:41, 42, 45, 47; I Cor 11:2; Eph 1:22-23; 4:11-13; 5:30; Col 1:18; II Tim 3:17; I Thess 4:13-16).
11. THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
We believe that Christ as the Head of the church commanded two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
a. Baptism: We believe that baptism as taught in the Scriptures is by immersion, is not necessary for salvation, and yet is the privilege and duty of every child of God to follow the Lord in baptism as an open confession of his identification with Christ in His death burial, and resurrection (Mk 1:9; Lk 23:39-43; John 3:23; Acts 8:38, 39; 10:47, 48; Rom 6:3-5).
b. The Lord’s Supper: We believe that the Lord’s Supper is to be observed by born-again believers in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ, that its observance shows forth His death till He comes, and should always be preceded by self-examination (Mt 26:26-29; Lk 22:19, 20; I Cor 11:22-32).
12. ATTITUDE TOWARD CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is ordained of God for the punishment of evildoers, and for the protection of the good (Rom 13:1-7). We therefore consider it our duty to pray for rulers and magistrates (I Tim 2:1-3), and to be submissive and obedient to their authority, except in things opposed to the will of God (Tit 3:1; I Pet 2:13, 14; Acts 4:19; 5:29; Mt 22:17-21). We also believe in the separation of church and state.
13. THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His bodily ascension into Heaven where He now is at the right hand of God as our High Priest, Mediator, Intercessor, and Advocate (Mt 28:5-7; Mk 16:5-7; Lk 24:36-40, 50, 51; John 20:27; Acts 1:9; Heb 1:3; 8:1; 9:15; Rom 8:34; I John 2:1).
14. CHRIST’S SECOND COMING
We believe in the personal, visible, premillennial and imminent return of Christ (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:10-11; Mk 13:34-37). This will be accomplished in two stages: FIRST, the Rapture—Christ’s coming for His saints—when Christ will descend into the air to catch away His waiting bride, the church (I Thess 4:14-18; I Cor 15; Rev 3:10-11). SECOND, the Revelation—Christ’s descending with His saints (Jude 14; Rom 8:19-23; Col 3:4; Rev 19:14) to establish the long-promised kingdom and to reign upon the earth for a thousand years (Dan 7:13-14; Lk 1:32-33; Rev 5:9-10; 20:4-6). Between these two stages the Great Tribulation judgments are visited upon the apostate and rebellious world (Mt 24:21; II Thess 1:3-10; Rev 6:15-17).
15. HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe God has commanded that no sexual intimacy be engaged in outside of the marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 2:24; 19:5,13; 26:8-10; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4). We believe the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman as husband and wife (Gen 2:24). We believe that man and woman are spiritually equal in position before God (Gal 3:28), but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church (Col 3:18). The husband is to be the leader of the home (I Cor 11:3; I Tim 3:4-5) and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (1 Tim 2:8-15; 3:4-16).
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion, therefore, constitutes the taking of human life. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
17. DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
We believe God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. We believe that God’s legal guidelines for divorce were reluctant and given only because of man’s sinful nature. Although divorce and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, we believe Scripture prohibits them from holding the offices of Pastor or Deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor 7:10; 1 Tim 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).