Articles of Faith of PBC

ARTICLES OF FAITH OF

Plymouth Baptist Church

ARTICLE 1:  THE SCRIPTURES

We believe that the Bible as originally written was verbally inspired by God and the product of Spirit-controlled men and, therefore, is truth without any mixture of error.  The Bible is God’s completed written revelation and consists of sixty-six books.  We reject the view of “translational inspiration” and recognize the value of modern Bible translations which faithfully communicate the message of the original manuscripts.  We believe the Bible is the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried.

2 Timothy 3:16-17;  2 Peter 1:19-21;  John 17:17;  Matthew 5:18;  Psalm 19:7-11

ARTICLE 2:  THE TRUE GOD

We believe there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite Spirit, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth.  He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love.  In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  They are equal in every divine attribute, executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

Exodus 20:2-3;  Deuteronomy 6:4;  John 4:24;  Genesis 1:1;  Revelation 4:11;  Matthew 28:19

ARTICLE 3: JESUS CHRIST

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Triune God.  He is both the Son of God and God the Son.  He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner and born of the virgin Mary, partaking of full humanity without diminishing His deity.

Jesus Christ is God’s spotless Lamb.  By the appointment of the Father, He freely took upon Himself our nature without sin and honored the divine law by His personal obedience.  His shed blood eternally satisfied the wrath and demands of a holy God.  He died as a substitute for sinful man, the Just for the unjust; redeemed man from bondage to sin; and provided for the sinner’s eternal acceptance by God.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus on the third day is a historical reality and an essential of our faith.  Now enthroned in heaven, our Savior presently intercedes for believers, exercising His role as the perfect, compassionate, and all-sufficient High Priest.  He will return for the saints of this age to preserve them from the outpouring of God’s wrath in the end times.

Matthew 16:16;  John 1:1,14,18;  Luke 1:31-35;  John 1:29;  Hebrews 4:15;  Romans 5:19;1 John 2:2;  1 Peter 3:18;  Ephesians 1:7;  2 Corinthians 5:18-19;  1 Corinthians 15:17-20; Revelation 3:21;  1 Timothy 2:5;  Hebrews 7:24-25;  1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:16-17

ARTICLE 4:  THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal in essence with God the Father and God the Son.  He exercises a distinct role within the Godhead.  The Spirit was active in the creation of the world; He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; He is the agent in the new birth; He seals, empowers, guides, teaches, sanctifies, assures, and helps the believer.  The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to each believer who makes up the body of Christ in this age.  These gifts are designed to be employed in service primarily within the context of the local church.

The miraculous gifts of the New Testament era (e.g., healing and tongues) were closely connected with the communication of the truth found in the New Testament.  Because the written Word is now complete, we reject the teaching of the modern charismatic movement that advocates a continuing occurrence of the miraculous gifts.

Acts 5:3-4;  Matthew 28:19;  Genesis 1:1-3;  2 Thessalonians 2:3-8;  John 16:7-11;  John 16:13;  Titus 3:5;  Ephesians 1:13;  Acts 1:8;  1 John 2:20;  2 Corinthians 2:13;  Romans 8:16;  1 Corinthians 12:7-11;  1 Peter 4:10;  2 Corinthians 12:12;  Hebrews 2:4;  Revelation 22:18-19;  1 Corinthians 13:8

ARTICLE 5:  ANGELS

We believe in the existence of angels.  Angels are immortal spirit beings.  They were created sinless and have personality, intelligence and power.  Angels may be grouped into two categories:  holy and evil.  The holy angels maintained their holy standing by not following Satan in his rebellion against God.  They serve and worship God, carry out His will, and minister to Christians.  Evil angels (demons) are those who sinned by participating in the rebellion of Satan.  They oppose God’s purposes and seek to disrupt the spiritual lives of Christians.

We believe in the existence of Satan.  He was created holy but fell because of the sin of pride.  He has personality and great power; is the author of sin; and is the enemy of God and Christians.  He is the prince of demons and the ruler of this age.  Satan and his demons are limited by God in their activity and were defeated by Christ’s death and resurrection.  Satan will be cast down to earth during the tribulation, bound in the abyss during the millennium, loosed for a final rebellion, and finally cast into the lake of fire.  There he and his demons will suffer eternal punishment.

Luke 20:36;  Hebrews 1:14;  Genesis 1:31;  2 Peter 2:11;  Psalm 103:20;  Daniel 12:1;  Hebrews 1:14;  2 Peter 2:4;  Daniel 10:13;  Ephesians 6:11-12;  1 Timothy 3:6;  Jude 9; 1 John 3:8;  Genesis 3:1-5;  1 Peter 5:8;  Matthew 12:24;  2 Corinthians 4:4;  Job 2:6; John 16:11;  Revelation 12:7;  Revelation 20:2-3, 7-10

ARTICLE 6:  CREATION

We believe that Genesis teaches creation of the universe by God in six literal days and totally apart from any process of evolution.  Man was created directly by God on the sixth day.

Genesis 1:1-2:3;  Genesis 1:26-27;  Exodus 20:11

ARTICLE 7:  MAN

We believe that man was created in innocence under the rule of his Creator but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and privileged state.  Conse-quently, all individuals are now sinners, not only by constraint but by choice; and are therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.

Because man is created in the image of God, we uphold the sanctity of human life and oppose the social evils of abortion, infanticide, suicide, and euthanasia.  We recognize the bio-medical advancements of our generation with regard to procreation and the extension of life.  The value of these scientific procedures, however, is always to be subject to the moral authority of the Word of God.

Genesis 3:6;  Romans 5:12-19;  Romans 1:18-20;  Genesis 1:26-27;  Exodus 20:13

ARTICLE 8: SALVATION

We believe salvation is the deliverance from the guilt and penalty of sin.  Salvation is available only through the finished work of Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.  It cannot in any way be earned by an individual.

The beginning of salvation is the new birth in which an individual who is spiritually dead is given spiritual life.  The new birth occurs when the individual places his or her faith in Christ and what He has done.  Evidence of the new birth in an individual consists of change that demonstrates repentance and newness of life.  The Scriptures communicate several important realities associated with this doctrine:

Election:  The sovereign choice of God in bringing certain individuals to salvation without regarding their personal merit.  These individuals are known as the “elect.”

Calling:  The work of God by which He invites all individuals to be saved.   While all are called, only those whom God has chosen will respond.

Regeneration:  The impartation of spiritual life to the spiritually dead.  This occurs at the new birth.

Repentance:  A change of mind, emotion, and will; away from sin and toward God.

Saving Faith:  The knowledge of, assent to, and unreserved trust in the accomplished work of Christ as revealed in Scripture.

Justification:  The judicial act of God by which He declares the sinner to be righteous and treats him/her as such.

Adoption:  The judicial act of God by which the believer is made a child of God and given all the rights and privileges of that childhood.

Union with Christ:  The inseparable bond between the believer and Christ which results when the Holy Spirit judicially places the believer into the spiritual body of Christ.  This placement is known as “Spirit baptism.”

Sanctification:  The believer’s separation from sin and unto God.  Sanctification has three important aspects:

(1)        Positional:  The believer stands before God in a position of righteousness.

(2)        Progressive:  The believer, through understanding God’s Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit and through spiritual effort, becomes more like Christ in holiness of life.

(3)        Final:  The believer will be completely sanctified at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This aspect is also known as glorification.

Security:  The act of the Father, the Son and the Spirit in which the believer is kept for all eternity.  Once received, God’s gift of salvation can never be taken away.

Perseverance:  The continuance/perseverance of every true believer in good works.  Those who are truly born again will not deny the faith in an ongoing manner.

Romans 6:23;  1 Corinthians 15:3-4;  Ephesians 2:8-9;  John 3:3;  2 Corinthians 5:17;  Ephesians 2:10;  Ephesians 1:4-5;  John 6:44, 65;  Romans 8:30;  Matthew 3:8;  Acts 2:38;  John 3:16;  Acts 16:31;  Ephesians 2:1-5;  Titus 3:5;  Romans 5:9;  Galatians 2:16:  Romans 8:15-17;  1 Corinthians 12:13;  1 Corinthians 6:11;  2 Corinthians 3:18;  1 Thessalonians 3:13;  1 John 3:1-3;  John 10:27-30;  1 Peter 1:4-5;  2 Timothy 2:19

ARTICLE 9:  ETERNAL DESTINY

We believe in the everlasting conscious blessedness of the saved as they dwell in the presence of God in heaven.  We believe in the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost who are confirmed in their wickedness because of their rejection of Christ.  The Bible speaks of a literal, eternal hell in which the wicked will be bound forever.

John 14:1-3;  Revelation 21:1-22:5;  Revelation 20:10-15;  Luke 16:19-31

ARTICLE 10:  THE LOCAL CHURCH

We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel;  observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His commands; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested to them by His Word.  The two scriptural offices of the church are elder (also called “pastor, overseer” and “shepherd” in NT) and deacon, the qualifications and duties of which are clearly defined in the Scriptures.

We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful proclamation of Christ to all men as it has opportunity.  We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only Head is Christ through the Holy Spirit;  that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and the furtherance of the gospel; and that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation.  On all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline and benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
We believe that the two ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth in solemn and beautiful symbol his/her faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior.  Moreover, baptism pictures the believer’s death to sin and resurrection to a new life.  It is a prerequisite to the privileges of a local church membership.  The Lord’s Supper that was instituted by Christ is the symbolic reminder and proclamation of His death until He comes.  The obedient believer’s participation in this ordinance should be preceded always by solemn self-examination.

Act 2:41-42;  Ephesians 1:22-23;  Ephesians 4:11;  1 Corinthians 12:12-27;  Philippians 1:1;   1 Timothy 3:1-13;  Matthew 18:15-17;  1 Corinthians 5:4-5;  Acts 5:29;  Colossians 1:18;  Matthew 28:19;  Acts 2:41;  Romans 6:4-6;  Matthew 26:26-29;  1 Corinthians 11:23-32

ARTICLE 11:  CIVIL GOVERNMENT

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society.  Authorities are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.

Romans 13:1-7;  Matthew 22:21;  1 Timothy 2:1-2

ARTICLE 12:  FUTURE EVENTS

We believe that Christ will return for (“rapture”) the saints of this age at a time known only to God.  This coming is imminent and will take place prior to the outpouring of God’s wrath in the seven-year period known as the tribulation.  Specific events that either accompany or follow the rapture include the resur-rection of church-age saints, the judgment seat of Christ, and the marriage of the Lamb.

Following the seven-year tribulation period, Jesus Christ will return with the raptured saints to defeat the Antichrist and his armies and to institute God’s kingdom on earth.  This literal reign of Christ (the millennium) will encompass 1,000 years.  Events connected with this second coming of Christ include Armageddon, the resurrection of the righteous dead, the binding of Satan, the loosing of Satan and his deception of many.

Following the 1,000-year reign of Christ, the Bible speaks of the destruction of the present heavens and earth, the great white throne judgment, the new heaven and new earth, and the eternal state.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17;  1 Thessalonians 1:10;  1 Corinthians 3:13-15;  2 Corinthians 5:10;  Revelation 19:7;  Daniel 9:27;  Matthew 24:4-31;  Revelation 19:11-21;  Revelation 20:1-9; 2 Peter 3:10-13;  Revelation 20:11-15;  Revelation 21:1-22:5

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