ARTICLE I - THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men controlled by the Holy Spirit; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, 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.
By “The Holy Bible”, we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written, does not merely 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 inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
ARTICLE II – THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an 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.
ARTICLE III – THE SON OF GOD JESUS CHRIST
We believe Jesus Christ is the only eternal son of God, co-existent with the Father and with the Holy Spirit; He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; He died a substitutionary and redeeming death by the shedding of His blood; He rose bodily from the dead after three days in the grave; He ascended to the throne of God where during the church age He is the saints great high priest; He will return prior to the tribulation period where His saints will be caught up to meet Him in the air and return with Him to Heaven; He will return to this earth prior to the millennium in power and great glory to establish His kingdom.
ARTICLE IV – 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 God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment, 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, baptizes, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer. And that the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance) is the evidence of His indwelling rather than the speaking in tongues and other spectacular demonstrations. The sign – revelatory gifts (tongues, healing, prophesy) of the Holy Spirit have fulfilled their purpose and are not applicable to the work of the Holy Spirit today.
ARTICLE V – SANCTIFICATION
We believe that sanctification has a two-fold meaning: that of setting apart of things, days, or persons specifically for God; and the believer at the time of His regeneration is so set apart by God the Father; the progressive work of the Holy Spirit whereby the believer, obedient to the Word of God experiences the power of the Christ for holiness of life and victory over the old nature, which work will be completed when the believer stand in Christ’s presence.
ARTICLE VI – THE DEVIL OR SATAN
We believe that Satan once was 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 man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present apostasy; the Lord of the Antichrist, and the author of all powers of darkness-destined however to final defeat at the hands of God’s son, and judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
ARTICLE VII – THE CREATION
We believe 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 God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s 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 God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind.”
We believe that all human life is sacred and that from the moment of conception the unborn child is a living human being, created in the image of God, and must be valued and protected both before and after birth; that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person in His image as male or female and that rejection of one’s genetic sex is a rejection of the authority and goodness of God.
We believe that marriage is a sacred institution created by God and that the only legitimate marriage sanctioned by God is the joining of one genetic male with one genetic female in a single, exclusive union; that God intends and commands sexual intimacy to only occur between a genetic male and a genetic female who are married to each other.
ARTICLE VIII – THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of His Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
ARTICLE IX – 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 the 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 vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by 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.
ARTICLE X – GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be 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 in sins 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 the 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 repentance and faith and newness of life.
ARTICLE XI – THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all through the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith, and that 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.
ARTICLE XII – JUSTIFICATION
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to 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 Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.
ARTICLE XIII – REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our soul 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.
ARTICLE XIV – THE CHURCH
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of immersed believers associated by a 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 scripturally designated officers are pastors (elders) and deacons, 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 baptize them; 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 only superintendent is Christ, throughout the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true church to co-operate 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 and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
ARTICLE XV – BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian Baptism is the believer’s immersion in water; into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; 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 in scriptural order it (baptism) precedes the privileges of church membership and is the public recognition of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial service in which the elements of bread and wine remind us of the love of God in Christ Jesus, “Who spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all,” that this ordinance is to be observed in anticipation of His coming and preceded always by solemn self-examination.
ARTICLE XVI – THE PERSEVERANCE AND PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto 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.
ARTICLE XVII – THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is 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 death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
ARTICLE XVIII – CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human 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.
ARTICLE XIX – THE RESURRECTION, RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in: The bodily resurrection, the ascension, the high priesthood, the second coming, the resurrection of the righteous dead, the change of the living in Christ, the throne of David, and His reign on earth. Note: The FBC constitution states that we also believe in the pre-tribulation rapture and the pre-millennial return of our Lord.
First Baptist Church of Middleville is a member of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.