Confession of Faith
Of the NEW TESTAMENT ASSOCIATION OF
INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCHES.
At the formation of the New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches, in the Beth Eden Baptist Church of Denver, Colorado, May 28, 1965, a brief doctrinal statement was adopted for one year, and the report of the Committee on the Confession of Faith, Dr. Felix Runquist, Chairman, was returned to the Committee for further improvement. At the first annual meeting in the Eagledale Baptist Church of Indianapolis, Indiana, the Confession of Faith as presented by the Committee was adopted provisionally. At the second annual meeting of the Association, recommendations were adopted from a Confession of Faith Committee, Dr. Warren Vanhetloo, Chairman, and the following statement of faith was thus permanently adopted as Article III of the Constitution of the New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches.
I. Concerning the Scriptures
We believe that the Bible, sixty-six books in the Old and New Testament, is without error in its original writing (Prov. 30:5, 6; John 17:17, Rev. 22:18,19); its author was God (II Pet. 1:19-21; Acts 3:21; Jude 3; Heb. 1:1-3), using Spirit-guided men (II Pet. 1:19-21; II Sam. 23:2; Acts 1:16; I Cor. 2:13,14), being thereby verbally and plenarily inspired (II Tim. 3:16, Matt. 5:18; Gal. 3:16); it is the sole authority for faith and practice (II Tim. 3:15; Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 10:6-12; Eph. 6:17; I Tim 5:18; II Tim. 3:17; II Pet. 3:15, 16; John 10:35; Acts 17:11; I John 4:1).
II. Concerning the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God (Deut. 6:4, 5; Jer. 10:10), an infinite, eternal self-existing, perfect Spirit (John 4:24; James 1:17; Hab. 1:12); He is a personal Being, the creator and upholder of the universe (Heb. 3:4; Ps. 139:1-16); in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; Matt. 3:16, 17; II Cor. 13:14; Ps. 2:2; Isa. 48:16 ; Isa. 63:10); equal in essence and in every divine perfection (John 10:30; John 17:5; Phil. 2:5,6; I Cor. 8:6), but having distinct work (John 3:16; John 15:26).
III. Concerning Creation
We believe in the Genesis account of Creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively (Gen. 1:1-2:25; Heb. 11:3; John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17; Ps. 33:6-9; Neh. 9:6; Rev. 4:11), that the six days of creation in Genesis chapter one were solar, that is twenty-four hour days (Ex. 20:11; 31:17); that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God’s established law is that they bring forth only “after their kind” (Gen. 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25), that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness and did not evolve from any lower form of life (Gen. 1:26).
IV. Concerning the Fall of Man
We believe that man, although created without sin (Gen. 1:27, 31; Eccl. 7:29; Gen. 2:16, 17), by on transgression fell (Gen. 3:6, 7; Rom. 5:12, 19), so that all mankind are now sinners by state, disposition and act (Eph. 2:2, 3 Isa. 53:6; Ps. 52:5; Rom 9-18, 23; Rom. 5:15-19; Rom. 8:7; John 3:6; Gal. 3:22), justly under condemnation (John 3:18; Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 1:20, 32; 2:1-16, 3:19; Gal. 3:10; James 2:10).
V. Concerning the Way of Salvation
We believe that the only way of salvation for sinners is by grace (Eph. 2:8; I John 4:10; Acts 15:11; John 14:6; Acts 4:12) made possibly by the substitutionary death of the Son of God (John 3:16; Isa. 53:4, 5; Matt 18:11; Heb. 2:9, 14; Matt 20:28; Rom. 3:25, 26; I Cor. 15:3; Heb. 9:14, 15; II Cor. 5:14, 15), Who, though eternally God (John 8:58; Phil. 2:6, 7; John 1:1, 14, 17:5), was born of the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:20-25; Luke 1:30-35; Isa. 7:14; Gal. 4:4, 5), assumed human nature, yet without sin, and lived a perfect, sinless life (II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 5:8, 9; Phil. 2:8), shed His precious blood on the cross (Eph. 1:7; I Pet. 1:19), arose bodily from the grave (Matt. 28:1-10, Mark 16:6; Luke 24:6, 7; John 20:9; Rom. 4:25; I Cor. 15:4-8), and ascended to reign on high (Acts 1:9; Heb. 1:3, 4:14, 7:25, 8:1; Rom. 8:34).
VI. Concerning the Blessings of Salvation
The blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel (Rev. 22:17; Lk. 14:17; Isa. 55:1; John 10:9); it is the duty of all to accept them by penitent and obedient faith (Rom. 16:26; Mark 1:15; Acts 17:30; 20:21); nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner except his own voluntary refusal to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (John 5:40; Prov. 1:24; I Tim. 2:4). We believe that all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified, their sin is pardoned (Acts 13:39; Rom. 5:9; Rom. 5:1, 2; Isa. 53:11, 12; Rom. 8:1; Zech. 13:1; Acts 10:43; Titus 3:7; I John 2:12), and the perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed to them (II Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:17, 19; Phil. 3:9; Rom. 3:24-26, 4:22-25; I Cor. 1:30); that they are regenerated or born again, and are given spiritual life (John 3:3-8; I Pet. 1:23; I Cor. 2:14; Ezek. 36:26; Rom. 5:5; Col. 3:10; Rom. 8:9), manifesting repentance and faith (Acts 3:19; Rom. 10:9-13; Ps. 51:3-7; Rom. 1:17; Acts 16:31, 17:30, 20:21; Lk. 18:13; II Cor. 7:11; Heb. 11:6); and that such true believers grow in grace (II Pet. 3:18; I Pet. 2:2; Col. 3:1,2, 8-17 Rom. 6:22; Eph. 4:24; Gal 5:16, 22-25; Phil. 2:12, 13) and shall persevere to the end (John 8:31; Phil 1:6; John 6:37, 39; I John 2:19; John 10;27-29; Jude 24, 25, II Cor. 13:5).
VII. Concerning Sanctification
We believe that sanctification is presented in three phases in Scripture: that believers have been made partakers of Christ’s holiness (Heb. 10:10; I Cor. 1:30, 6:11), that they are being progressively sanctified (John 17:17; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 4:15, 5:26, 27; I. Thes. 4:3; Rom. 1:17; II Cor. 3:18), and that they will be completely sanctified at His glorification (Col. 3:4; Phil 3:21; Prov. 4:18; Phil. 2:12, 13; Eph. 1:4; II Pet. 1:5-8; I John 3:2); that there is no complete eradication of the old nature in progressive sanctification (Phil. 3:12-16; Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:18-25), and that speaking in tongues is not a sign of either regeneration or sanctification, nor is the New Testament gift of tongues in existence today, but has ceased (Acts 2:8, 10:46; I Cor. 13:8, 12:11,30, 14:19).
VIII. Concerning the Local Church
We believe that a local, visible church (Matt. 18:17; Acts 5:11, 8:1) is a congregation of baptized believers (Acts 2:41, 42) associated together by a common faith and fellowship in the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ (Matt. 28:19, 20; I Cor. 11:23, 24; Heb. 10:25) and governed by His Word (II Tim. 3:15, 16); seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth: and its only Scriptural officers are bishops (or pastors) and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus (I Tim. 3:1-16; Titus 1:5-9).
IX. Concerning A Gospel Church in Its Independence and Relationships
We believe that the local visible church of Christ is a voluntary and independent autonomous group of baptized believers (Matt. 18:15-18; I Cor. 5:4, 5, 13); that it is a pure democracy, which organically can join nothing; and that it has the power and right within itself to confess its own faith in accordance with the New Testament (I Tim. 3:15; Jude 3; Rev. 2 and 3); and that each congregation recognizes its own democratic self-containing government as its highest authority for carrying out the will of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 18:15-18; Acts 6:3-5; I Cor. 5:4, 5, 13; I Tim. 3:15).
X. Concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that both Christian baptism and the Lord’s Supper are each a memorial, a symbol and a prophecy (Rom. 6:3, 4; I Pet. 3:21). We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer (Acts 8:36-39; John 3:22, 23, 4:1,2; Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:23, 8:12; 16:32-34; 18:8), in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19); to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful figure, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; I Pet. 3:20, 21; Acts 22:16); that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership; and a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41, 42; Matt 28:19-20), in which the members of the church by the use of bread and fruit of the vine commemorate together the death of Christ (I Cor. 11:26; Matt 26:26-29); preceded always by solemn self-examination( I Cor. 11:28; 5:1, 8, 11:17-32).
XI. Concerning the Lord’s Day
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, and is a Christian institution (Acts 20:7; Col 2:16, 17; John 20:19; I Cor. 16:1, 2); it is to be kept sacred to spiritual purposes by abstaining from all unnecessary secular labor and recreation, for it commemorates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead (Acts 20:7; Mark 16:9; John 20:19); by the devout observance of all the means of growing in grace both private , and public (Heb. 10:24, 25); and by predicting the rest that remaineth for the people of God (Heb. 4:3-11).
XII. Concerning Civil Government and Religious Liberty
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society (Rom. 13:1-7); and that civil authorities are to be prayed for conscientiously, honored and obeyed (Matt. 22:21; Titus 3:1; I Pet. 2:13, 14; I Tim. 2:1-3); except only in the things opposed to the Word of God, which reveals the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 5:29; Acts 4:18-20), Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth (Matt. 23:10; Ps. 2; Ps. 72:11; Rom. 4:9-13); and that church and state should be separate, the state owing the church protection and full freedom (I Tim. 2:1, 2); no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be preferred above another by the state (James 4:12); that the state should not impose taxes for the support of any form of religion; a free church in a free state is the Christian ideal (Matt. 22:21).
XIII. Concerning the State of the Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (Mal. 3:18); that such only as through faith are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus , and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His sight (Rom. 1:17); while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked (John 3:18), and under condemnation, and that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and a resurrection of the unrighteous (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 7:13, 14; Lk. 9:23-26).
XIV. Concerning Future Events
We believe the Scriptures teach that at death the spirit and soul of the believer pass instantly into the presence of Christ and remain in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body when Christ (II Cor. 5:8) comes for His own (I. Cor. 15:51-57); the blessed hope of the believer is the imminent, personal, pre-tribulation, premillennial appearance of Christ to rapture the church (Titus 2:13; I Thes. 4:14-17), His bride; His righteous judgments will then be poured out on an unbelieving world during the Tribulation (the seventieth week of Daniel), the last half of which is the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21); the climax of this fearful era will be the physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth in great glory to introduce the Davidic kingdom (Rev. 19:11-16); Israel will be saved and restored as a nation (Rom. 11:26, 27); Satan will be bound and the curse will be lifted from the physical creation (Rev. 20:2, 3); following the Millennium, the Great White Throne judgment will occur, at which time the bodies and souls of the wicked shall be reunited and cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
XV. Concerning Heresy and Apostasy
We believe in total and complete separation as taught in the Word of God from all forms of heresy and ecclesiastical apostasy. We believe the Scripture teaches that we are to: 1. Try them (I John 4:1). 2. Mark them (Rom. 16:17). 3. Rebuke them (Titus 1:13). 4. Have no fellowship (Eph. 5:11). 5. Withdraw ourselves (II Thes. 3:6). 6. Receive them not (II John 10, 11). 7. Have no company with them (II Thes. 3:14). 8. Reject them (Titus 3:10). 9. Separate ourselves (II Cor. 6:17).