OUR HOPE - THE GOSPEL
At the heart of the Bible is the message of the Gospel. This is the message that all of the Old Testament points to and all of the New Testament proclaims. This is the message on which Christians throughout the centuries have staked their lives. And this is the message that continues to ring out today, as God declares how sinners may be saved from His judgment through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Our prayer is that you might not only come to understand the Gospel, but also come to see what it means for your life.
What is the message of the Gospel?
OUR BELIEFS - STATEMENT OF FAITH
The most important thing when looking for a church is knowing what they believe. This is why Statements of Faith are helpful. They express what a church believes Scripture teaches. They’re not meant to be exhaustive or replace God’s Word, but simply focus on what beliefs are essential for us to be Christians and for us to be a church.
All who join Franconia Baptist Church are required to affirm the following Statement of Faith, which reveals us to be a historically Christian, evangelical, and Baptist church. This statement outlines the hope that we have for being accepted by God. Our prayer is that our lives would reflect this hope.
We affirm the statements of the Baptist Faith and Message, as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention on June 14, 2000, as a general statement of our faith, and we adopt the following specific doctrinal positions of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833).
Section 1. Of 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 should be tried.
Section 2. Of the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Yahweh, 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 Spirit; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Section 3. Of the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression 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.
Section 4. Of the Way of Salvation
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 atonement for our sins; that having risen from the death, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all- sufficient Savior.
Section 5. Of Justification
We believe that the great gospel blessing that 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 that 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.
Section 6. Of the Freeness of Salvation
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 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.
Section 7. Of Grace in Regeneration
We believe 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 it 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, faith, and newness of life.
Section 8. Of Repentance and Faith
We believe 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 Savior.
Section 9. Of God's Purpose of Grace
We believe 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 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.
Section 10. Of Sanctification
We believe 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; and 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.
Section 11. Of the Perseverance of 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 they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Section 12. Of the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel
We believe 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 that the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of 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.
Section 13. Of a Gospel Church
We believe 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 Elders or Pastors, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
Section 14. Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit; 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 Lord's Supper, in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and the cup, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Section 15. Of The Lord's Day
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day; and is to be kept sacred for religious purposes by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remains for the people of God.
Section 16. Of Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests 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 kings of the earth.
Section 17. Of 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 death.
Section 18. Of the World to Come
We believe 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 to 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.
OUR CHURCH COVENANT
Having, as we trust, been brought by divine grace to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and to give up ourselves to Him, and having been baptized upon our profession of faith, in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, we do now, relying on His gracious aid, solemnly and joyfully renew our covenant with each other.
We will aim to glorify and enjoy the God of our salvation, from whom and through whom and to whom are all things. To Him be glory forever.
We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We will walk together in brotherly love, as becomes the members of a Christian Church, exercising an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully admonishing and entreating one another as occasion may require.
We will show perfect courtesy towards all, speaking the truth in love to one another, and avoiding quarrels, gossip, and slander.
We will be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God in Christ has forgiven us.
We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect to pray for ourselves and others.
We will endeavor to bring up such as may at any time be under our care, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and by a pure and loving example to seek the salvation of our family and friends.
We will rejoice at each other’s happiness and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other’s burdens and sorrows.
We will seek, by divine aid, to live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and remembering that, as we have been voluntarily buried by baptism and raised again from the symbolic grave, so there is on us a special obligation now to lead a new and holy life by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
We will work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines.
We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We will, when we move from this place, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.
Revised by the membership on October 22, 2017.