COVENANT & ARTICLES OF FAITH

"Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ."

"We engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations."

"We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, back-biting, and excessive anger. To abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior."

"We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer, to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

"We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will soon as possible unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word."

By the adoption of the following articles of faith:

ARTICLES OF FAITH

OF

FAITH BAPTIST CHURCH

 

ARTICLE I

THE SCRIPTURES

 

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for it's author, salvation for it's end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.

We insist that the King James Translation of the Bible be used in the Sunday School and from the pulpit and in all other meetings associated with this church.

 

ARTICLE II

THE GODHEAD

 

The Godhead externally exists in three persons...Father, Son and Holy Spirit..these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections.

 

A. God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in his attitude toward all men.

 

B. God the Son

The Lord Jesus Christ externally exists as God. His incarnation was by means of the Virgin Birth. We believe in his death on the cross as the substitionary atonement for sin and in his literal bodily resurrection from the dead. His present ministry is one of intercession in Heaven. We believe in his personal return first to receive the church unto himself, and second for his millennial reign on earth.

 

C. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

 

ARTICLE III

MAN

Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation; but by voluntary transgression fell from the holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint by choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.

 

ARTICLE IV

SALVATION

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense, salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.

A. Regeneration

Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

B. Sanctification

Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purpose, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

C. Glorification

Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

 

ARTICLE V

THE CHURCH

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.

The church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.

The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all the redeemed of all the ages.

 

ARTICLE VI

THE ORDINANCES

Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming. It should be preceded always by solemn self-examination.

 

ARTICLE VII

THE LORD'S DAY

The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, and by refraining from worldly amusements, and resting from secular employment, work of necessity and mercy only being excepted.

 

ARTICLE VIII

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

Church and state should be separate. A free church is a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its end.

 

ARTICLE IX

THE FUTURE OF MAN

We believe that the unbeliever will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment in the eternal lake of Fire. The believer in his resurrected and glorified body will receive his rewards and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

 

ARTICLE X

EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS

We believe that we are debtors to all men and have the responsibility of giving them the gospel. Jesus left us the command that we should all be witnesses for him by life and word. We believe we must support by prayer and financial aid those who go out under sound missionary agencies to represent us in other parts of the world.

By the choice of the name Faith Baptist Church, and by the choice of such officers as may now seem advisable. Be it further resolved that all who are received into membership in Faith Baptist Church within sixty days from this date shall be considered charter members.

Resolved also that immediately upon full recognition by the Council the Faith Baptist Church will seek membership in the Holston Association of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and will request to be placed under the watchcare of the Association until such time as full membership shall be granted. It is our further intention to participate in the financial program of the Association.

Resolved finally that these resolutions by all parties hereto and be spread in full upon the minute book of the church.

Dated the 23rd day of March 1969.