Articles of Faith

 


 I. THE SCRIPTURES.

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely 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 true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.


 II. THE TRUE GOD.

We believe the Scriptures teach that there is one and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, 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.


 III. JESUS CHRIST.

We believe Christ Is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the Divine Law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of man, and in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission.


  IV. THE HOLY SPIRIT.

We believe 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 Saviour, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His Church. He seals believers unto the day of 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. He now dwells in all believers.


 V. THE FALL OF MAN.

We believe the Scriptures teach that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgressions fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but 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.


 VI. GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE.

We believe the Scriptures teach that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of HIS free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe in the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.


 VII. SALVATION.

We believe that the Scriptures teach 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 atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour. We believe 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 cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.


 VIII. REGENERATION.

We believe the Scriptures teach that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind that is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith, and newness of life.


 IX. REPENTANCE AND FAITH.

We believe the Scriptures teach that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced 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 as our prophet, priest and king, and relying on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour.


 X. JUSTIFICATION.

We believe the Scriptures teach 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 promise 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; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.


 XI. SANCTIFICATION.

We believe the Scriptures teach that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of HIS holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.


 XII. PERSEVERANCE OF CHRIST / PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS.

We believe the Scriptures teach 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 they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.


 XIII. THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arises entirely from their love to sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church.


 XIV. THE CHURCH.

We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the 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 only scriptural officers are Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons whose Qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.


 XV. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER.

We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, 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 Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.


 XVI. THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath, and is to kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations, by the devout observance of all means of grace, both private and public, and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.


 XVII. THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER

We believe that through Jesus Christ’s death, we have equal access to God The Father. There is no hierarchy; for this access is direct and immediate.


 XVIII. CIVIL GOVERNMENT.

We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interest and good order of human society; and 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 Prince of the earth.


 XIX. RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED.

We believe the Scriptures teach 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 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.


 XX. ETERNAL SECURITY AND ASSURANCE OF SALVATION.

We believe that eternal security is a question of fact, while assurance is a matter of what one believes about one’s salvation or personal confidence in it. Lack of assurance is based on a misunderstanding of the work of salvation which is a gift of God, from Christ, and is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit In the believer. Because eternal security is inseparable from Him, it is as eternal as He is eternal. Assurance comes to the believer by belief in the Word, by habit and practice, or obedience to the Word, by the knowledge that the attainment of Salvation involves the believer’s sincere belief and the believer’s act of will, by the knowledge that God is faithful, and by thorough understanding of the Doctrine of Salvation. Eternal Security is a fact because it is a work of the Father, Holy Spirit, and of Christ through His substitutionary and atoning death and His resurrection already as well as His present intercession and advocacy in Heaven.


 XXI. THE WORLD TO COME.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave for final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.





BY LAWS



MEMBERSHIP

This shall be a sovereign and democratic Baptist Church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this Church. Membership shall not be denied to any person on the basis of race, color, sex or social status.


(A). MODES FOR ADMISSION - Any person may offer Himself as a candidate for membership in this church. All such candidates shall be presented to the church at any regular church service in one of the following ways:


 1.  By Baptism - A Candidate who receives Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith; who professes Him publicly at any worship service; who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord, shall be received for Baptism and for membership in this Church.

 2.  By Letter - Members often remove from the vicinity of the Church with which they have united. It then becomes their duty, and should be their desire, to unite with a Church of the same faith near their new home, where they can conveniently work and worship. Such Candidates may produce or this Church may obtain, a Letter of Dismission from their Home Church.

 3.  By Experience - this Church recognizes that sometimes people who have been baptized, but for some reason, are no longer members in good standing in their home Church, may desire to unite with this Church. It shall be the policy of this Church that when no Letter of their Christian Experience is obtainable, upon giving an account of their conversion and Christian Life, they shall be received as members of this Church.

  After Receiving the Right Hand of Fellowship, each member shall be entitled to the full membership privileges and responsibilities of this Church.



(B). MODES OF DISMISSION - Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:

(1) death, (2) dismission to another Baptist Church, (3) exclusion by action of this Church.


(C). DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN MEMBERS - No member shall be allowed to bring any charge of a personal nature against the Pastor or a fellow Member without first following the biblical prescription found in Matthew Chapter Eighteen (18), Verses Fifteen through Seventeen (15-17) which reads as follows:

 “Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But, if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”


(D). CHURCH DISCIPLINE:

 1.  It shall be the policy of The Solid Rock Community Baptist Church to emphasize to its members, that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The Pastor, Deacons, and Church Staff Members, are available for counsel and guidance.

 2.  Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a hindrance to the general welfare of the church, then every reasonable measure will be taken by the Pastor and by the Deacons to resolve the problem. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance. But, finding that the welfare of the Church will best be served by the exclusion of the member, the Church may take this action by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a meeting called for this purpose. The Church may proceed to declare the said membership to be suspended. Redemption, rather than punishment, should be the guideline which governs the attitude of one member towards another.

 3.  Any person whose membership has been suspended or terminated, may upon his/her request, be restored to membership by a vote of the Church body upon evidence of his/her repentance and reformation. Such evidence must first be presented to the Pastor and the Deacons upon whose recommendation the Church shall rely.


E. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES - God’s Word tells us in Malachi 3:7-12a, “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed:.......”
 
As we look at the financial responsibilities of members of God’s Church, we must give consideration to the three steps to Christian Stewardship:

 1. Percentage Giving - regularized giving of a definite percentage of income at a level less than 10 percent.

 2. Tithing - the biblical concept of regularized giving of income at a level of 10 percent.

 3.  Proportionate Giving - regularized giving of income at a level in excess of 10 percent and in proportion to what is considered one’s blessing.

In Terms of Financial Christian Stewardship, tithing places on top of the giving ladder because it is based solely on God’s Word. Scriptural References: (Genesis 28:23; Leviticus 27:30-32; and Malachi 3:7-10).




 ORDINANCES

What Is an Ordinance? We believe an Ordinance is a ceremony which the Lord has prescribed and commanded the Church to observe. We believe there are only two ordinances: Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. We further believe that these ordinances, although of Divine origin and significance, do not of themselves, impart Divine Grace or Christian character to those who receive them. Baptism precedes the Lord’s Supper. Christ was baptized by John the Baptist at the beginning of His earthly ministry and He initiated the Lord’s Supper at the end of His earthly ministry. He told His disciples to follow His example.


 BAPTISM

Most scholars agree that immersion was the mode of baptism acknowledged by Jesus and followed by the early Church for several centuries. Baptizo, the Greek word for baptize, means to immerse or dip in water. The Scriptures bear out this definition. “And Jesus when he was baptized went up straightway out of the water” (Matthew 3:16). The baptism of the eunuch by Philip also confirms the idea of immersion. “And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip” (Acts 8:38-39). Only in later centuries did the practice of sprinkling develop as a matter of convenience.

Baptism Is A Symbolic Act which pictures Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. A new Christian, as he is immersed, follows Christ’s example in symbolizing his own death to sin, burial, and resurrection to a new life as a believer. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

This Church Shall Follow The Scripture And Shall Administer The Ordinances of The Church In The Following Manner:

  • Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
  
  • Baptism shall be administered by the Pastor or whomever the church shall authorize. The Deacons shall assist in the preparation for, and observance of, baptism.
  
  • A person professing Christ and failing to be baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the Pastor and/or Deacons. If negative interest is ascertained, his\her name shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism.


 LORD’S SUPPER

The Lord’s Supper is a time for each Christian to remember Christ. Jesus set the example for this memorial meal as He met with His followers prior to His crucifixion. The Scripture records: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:26-28).

Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Some religious groups view the Lord’s Supper as a sacrament that has saving qualities. They believe, that the bread and wine are magically changed into the actual body and blood of Christ. We believe this is a memorial meal and the bread and wine “represents” the body and blood of our Lord and Savior. As we carry out this Ordinance, we are to remember Christ’s love for man, His broken body and His shed blood. Thus we follow Christ’s command, “This do in remembrance of Me.” This meal is a solemn time of self-examination and celebration by all who have been saved by grace.