Riverside Baptist Church -- Articles of Faith
We believe that the Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, was written by men divinely and supernaturally inspired and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried, and that it has been preserved for English speaking people in the King James 1611 version of the Bible. The King James 1611 Version of the Bible shall be the official and only English translation used by the church.
By "The Holy Bible" we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.
By "Inspiration" we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
The True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God and infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil one until Godís purpose is fulfilled; that He convinces of sin, of judgement and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that he seals, endues, guides, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer.
The Devil, or Satan
We believe that the Devil was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be manís greatest tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the anti-christ, and the author of all the powers of darknessĖdestined; however, to final defeat at the hands of Godís own Son, and to the judgement of an eternal justice in hell, a place of torment prepared for him and his angels.
We believe that in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in Godís own image and after his likeness, that manís creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and Godís established law was that they should bring forth only "after their kind".
The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice,; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
The Virgin Birth
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost, in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever, or can ever be, born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God, the Son.
The Atonement for Sin
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by appointment of the father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarous atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinnerís place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead. He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient savior.
Grace in the New Creation
We believe that to be saved, sinners must born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process, that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sin is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentence and faith and newness of life.
The Freeness of Salvation
We believe in Godís electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and an obedient faith; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures in such as believe in Him is Justification, that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemerís blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.
Repentance and Faith
We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.
We believe that a Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being understood to be the citadel and propagator of the Divine and Eternal Grace; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by his Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission; first to make individual disciples; second, to build up the church; third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded.
We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline and of benevolence, the will of the church is final.
Baptism and the Lordís Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lordís Supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.
The Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure to the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.
The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked, 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 esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse, and this distinction holds among men both in and after their death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
The Resurrection and Return of Christ and Related Events
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily "The third day according to the Scriptures," that He alone is our "merciful and faithful high priest in things that pertain to God," "that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven"-bodily, personally and visibly; that "the dead in Christ will rise first," that the living saints "shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump," "that the Lord God shall give unto Him throne of His father David;" and that "Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet."
The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this commission was given to the churches.
The Grace of Giving
Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the faith. In the new testament it was the common treasury of the church.
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged outside of a one-man, one-woman marriage. We believe that any form of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, bestiality, incest and pornography are sinful perversions of Godís gift of sex.
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well being of the mother are acceptable.
Lawsuits Between Church Members
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other church members or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe that the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christianís insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice of slander.
Music in the Church
We believe that music must be directly related to our understanding of the holiness of God. Our praise and worship of God through music, consisting of hymns and spiritual songs, must therefore be acceptable to a Holy God and must not be tainted nor polluted with any of the characteristics of carnal, worldly music which appeal to and stimulate carnal reactions. We therefore reject the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) movement.