Old West Florida Primitive Baptist Association
Monday, May 22, 2017

What We Believe

 

 
 
Articles of Faith – What WE Believe
 
 
ARTICLE I – WE BELIEVE in only one true and living God and the trinity of persons in the God-head, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and yet there are not three, but one. References: Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16, 17; 28:19; John 1:1, 1, 16; II Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 2:9; I Peter 1:2; I John 5:7.
ARTICLE II – WE BELIEVE the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, and the only rule of faith and practice. References: Psalm 119:9-16; II Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 1:19-21.
ARTICLE III – WE BELIEVE in the doctrine of eternal and particular election of a definite number of the human race chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love. References: John 6:37, 7:2, 23:18-19, 15:16; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:24-30, 11:7; I Thessalonians 1:4; Ephesians 1:4; II Timothy 1:9.
ARTICLE IV – WE BELIEVE in a covenant redemption between God the Father and God the Son. References: Genesis 3:15; Psalm 111:9; Romans 5:17; Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:17; Hebrews 9:11-12. 10:5-7.
ARTICLE V – WE BELIEVE in the fall of man and the communication of Adam’s sinful nature to his posterity by ordinary generation and their impotency to recover themselves from the fallen state they are in by nature by their own free will and ability.
References: Jeremiah 13:23; John 6:44; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:8.
ARTICLE VI – WE BELIEVE that all chosen in Christ shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and be effectually called, regenerated and born again. References: Psalm 37:28; John 10:28; Acts 2:39; Romans 8:29-30; Colossians 3:3; II Timothy 1:8-9; Jude 1:1.
ARTICLE VII – WE BELIEVE that sinners thus born again are justified in the sight of God alone by the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to them by faith. References: Romans 3:24, 5:1, II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 3:5.
ARTICLE VIII – WE BELIEVE that faith is the gift of God, and good works the fruit of faith, which justify us in the sight of men and angels as evidence of our gracious state. References: Matthew 5:16; Romans 3:20-24, 5:1, 8:1, James 2:18-19, 22.
ARTICLE IX – WE BELIEVE that all the Saints of God justified by the righteousness of Christ shall preserve in grace, and none of them finally fall away so a to be lost. References: Deuteronomy 32:6; Psalm 12:5-7; John 1:12, 10:27-30; Romans 3:24-25; 3:38-39; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:4; II Timothy 2:19; and I Peter 1:5.
ARTICLE X – WE BELIEVE in general judgement, both of the just and the unjust, and that joys of the righteous shall be eternal and the punishment of the wicked shall be everlasting. References: Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:32-3; John 5:28-29; Revelations 20:11-15.
ARTICLE XI – WE BELIEVE that the visible Church of Christ is a congregation of Baptized Believers in Christ adhering to a special covenant, which recognizes Christ as their only lawgiver and ruler, and His word their exclusive guide in all religious matters. It is complete in itself and independent under Christ of every other church organization. It is alone a religious assembly, selected and called out of the world by the doctrine of the Gospel to worship the true God according to His Word. References: Acts 2:41-42; I Corinthians 1:10-13; Ephesians 4:3-7, 13, 5:23, 27, 32; Colossians 1:18; Revelations 2:7.
ARTICLE XII – WE BELIEVE that the scriptural officers of a church are Pastor and Deacon, whose qualifications and duties are defined in I Timothy, Chapter 3 and Titus, Chapter 1. References: Philippians 1:1; Acts 20:17, 21; Hebrews 13:17.
ARTICLE XIII – WE BELIEVE that Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water by a proper administrator (an ordained Elder) in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.References: Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:12-16; Acts 8:36, 39; Romans 6:3, 4; Colossians 2:12.
ARTICLE XIV – WE BELIEVE that only an ordained Elder has a right to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, such as have been properly baptized, called, and come under the imposition of the presbytery by the authority of the Church of Christ.References: Acts 9:15, 13:1-3, 14:23; Ephesians 4:11-14; Titus 1:5.
ARTICLE XV – WE BELIEVE that only regularly baptized and orderly Church Members have a right to communion at the Lord’s Table. References: Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:17-20; I Corinthians 5:7-11, 11:17-29
ARTICLE XVI – WE BELIEVE in Washing of the Saint’s Feet in an assembly of believers immediately after the Lord’s Supper.References: John 13:2-17; I Timothy 5:9-10; (See also Church Ordinances.).
 
 
 
    The Primitive Baptist Church Covenant
 
For as much as Almighty God by His Grace has been pleased to call us out of darkness into His light, and having been baptized upon a profession of faith in Christ Jesus, and having given ourselves to the Lord and one another, in a Gospel Church way, we do covenant together by the help of God:
1.to be governed and guided by a proper Discipline agreeable to the Word of God
2. to keep up the Discipline of the Church of which we are members in brotherly affection toward each other
3. to watch over one another, and if need be, in the most tender, and affectionate manner, to reprove one another
 
4. to attend our church meetings
 
5. to not absent ourselves from the communion of the Lord’s Supper without a lawful reason
6. to pay the tithe and give offerings for the defraying of the church’s expenses, and for the support of the ministry*
7. to not irregularly depart from the fellowship of the Church, nor to remove to the bounds of distant churches without a regular letter of dismissal and placing it in the Church in which we hold membership.
These things we do covenant and agree to observe and keep sacred in the name of, and by the will of God. Amen.*(II Timothy 3:16-17; Malachi 3:10; Romans 12:10; Galatians 6:1;
                           Hebrews 10:25; I Corinthians 11:26)
 
 
The Primitive Baptist Church Ordinances
 
It is a natural sequence that, being a spiritual organism, the Church of God should have some outward signs or seals of its invisible life, signs or seals distinguishing those who form it from the rest of mankind. Such is the principle and purpose of ordinances of the Primitive Baptist Church of Christ. Church ordinances are defined to be institutions of the Divine Worship.
In this general sense we realize there are three in the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost. These three are one. There are three that bear record in earth—the Spirit, the Blood, the Water—and these three agree in one. (I John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.”) Three that bear witness in the church, viz Baptism, Lord’s Supper, and Washing of the Saints Feet, these three agree in one. (I John 5:8 “And there are three that bear these three agree in one.”) These are the only Christian Ordinances committed to the Church for perpetual observance.
 
Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water by a proper administrator—one who has been baptized by immersion, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:36-39.
Question: What is the meaning of the word “Baptism”?
Answer: The Greek words “Baptizo and Baptisma” are Anglicized, not translated. The word Baptizo means to dip, plunge, immerse, bathe, overwhelm. “Bap” means to strike; “tizo,” to tie over. The minister in baptizing the candidate strikes the water with the candidate and the water ties over the candidate, and overwhelms them in baptism.
 
a.
It was instituted by Christ. Mark 1:4; Matthew 3:13, 16, 17, 28:19-20; Luke 1:16.
b.
Its administration must be by the proper administrator in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Matthew 3:6; Acts 8:33; Romans 6:4; and Colossians 2:12.
c.
It is subjective. Baptism is to be administered to those, and those only, who have truly repented of their sins and been born again and believe in Jesus Christ and who have received the Holy Ghost. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:41; 8:13-36.
d.
It is commemorative. Baptists point back to Christ in His humiliation death, burial and resurrection. This ordinance should keep constantly in the minds of both the candidate and congregation the sacrifice of Him who died for our sins and rose again for our justification. It testifies that He suffered, died and was buried and rose from the dead to perfect the work of redemption. What Christ did and suffered gives to this ordinance its significant force. Romans 6:8; Colossians 11:12; Ephesians 4:5. If the past could be forgotten, this sacred ordinance would lose its oral power.
e.
It is predictive. It predicts the resurrection of the body from the grave when one rises from baptismal waters. Romans 6:4; I Corinthians 15:29.
f.
It is emblematic. The symbolism of the sacred rite teaches the great cardinal doctrine of the gospel. Luke 5:8; I Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 2:21; Titus 3:5; I Peter 3:21.
 
   
  
 
The Holy Communion and the Feet Washing Rites
 
Under the Jewish ceremonial custom, feet washing was practiced. We read of Abraham’s conversation with the three men he saw sitting in his tent door in Genesis 18:4 “let a little water, I pray you be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.” “And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways.” (Genesis 19:2). “And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the men’s feet that were with him.” (Genesis 24:32). “And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. (Genesis 43:24)
“And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. (I Samuel 25:41) “And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house and wash thy feet.” (II Samuel 11:8) “I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?” (Songs of Solomon 5:3)
The above statements from the Old Testament tell about the ceremonial form of feet washing. It was their custom, and those who were active in ceremony at that time were led by God. Primitive Baptists do not perform this service as a Jewish tradition or custom, but as a matter of faith in Christ and in obedience to the example given by Him. We believe that while here on earth in person, He set in order the things belonging to His Church, which things He advises His children to faithfully observe until He comes to gather up His Jewels.
Christ the great Head of the Church, established the rite of the feet washing in the 13 th Chapter of John; therefore, it is an example. He gave a copy, the real pattern and precedent. If ye love me, keep my words. It’s a judgment; a sentence! “If I wash thee not, thou has no part with me.” (John 13:8) It is a command, to order, to direct. “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done.” (John 13:13-14) “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:17)
This ordinance teaches obedience; it teaches submission to authority. “If any man serve me, let him follow me.” Hath the Lord has great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (I Samuel 15:22) “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) It teaches humility that we should at all times be willing to humbly perform a duty enforced upon us by our blessed Master without stopping to inquire what should be the result of the service. He knows best for us. We shall lay aside all pride and show a meek, lowly and loving spirit. It requires true faith in Christ to perform this humble Christian duty to each other.
It is a Church ordinance. Christ instituted the Holy Supper and Feet Washing, and if we love Christ we will follow Him and do whatever He commands us to do. This Sacramental service is not completed until feet washing is performed. In addition to Christ’s statement in giving instruction to the church, the Apostle Paul, in advising as to the character of the widows who shall be taken under special watch care and the support of the church, said in I Timothy 5:9-10: “Let not a widow be taken into the number under three score years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works: if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.”
This shows conclusively that Feet Washing was practiced in the Apostolic or Primitive Church. We note Feet Washing in the New Testament. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with hair. “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” (John 12:3) “… and stood at His feet behind weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and to wipe them with hairs of her head.” (Luke 7:38)
                               
 
  Beliefs
 
 
Christ is its founder: He is the law-giver; the church is only the executive. (Matthew 16:18; Col. 1:18)

The Bible is its only rule of faith and practice: "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in right able righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (Timothy 3:15-17)

Church is its name. "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18; Revelation 22:16)

Congregational is its polity: "All members are equal. But Jesus called them unto Him and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister." (Matthew 20:24-28; 23:5-12)

Only people saved are its members: "In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord." (Ephesians 2:21) "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (I Peter 2:5)

Baptism, the Lord's Supper and the washing of the saints' feet are its ordinances: Immersion by the proper administrator, eating the Lord's Supper and washing the saints' feet immediately after the Lord's Supper are to be adhered to religiously (Matthew 28:19-20; John
13:1-17)

The pastor and the deacon are its scriptural officers: A Baptist then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach, likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre. (I Timothy 3:1-6)

Getting people saved, baptizing them and teaching Christ's principles is its work: Lifting Christ up so people can see Him, people are to repent, believe and be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. They are to be taught to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded us. (Matthew 28:16-20)

Tithes and offerings are its financial plan: "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." (I Corinthians 9:14) "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth the cheerful giver." (II Corinthians 9:7)

Spiritual, not carnal, are its weapons of warfare: "Not by might, nor by power, but by the spirit of God we shall overcome." (II Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:10-12)

Separation of church and state is its independence: "No body or no person on earth shall.