From the time of the Apostles to today, Christians have laid out doctrine (beliefs) in brief, definitive statements. As those who know God, we believe it necessary to set forth in a concise fashion the cornerstone truths of our church as guided by Scripture. Our Statement of Faith summarizes essential Christian beliefs, shows unity in Christ, and guards the church from error.
All who join EBC are required to affirm the EBC Statement of Faith, the revised New Hampshire Confession of Faith from 1853. This statement registers our belief in historic Christianity, evangelical Christianity, believer’s baptism, and congregational polity. Once we as members agree to the statement, we are responsible for believing and living in accordance with it.
ARTICLE I – 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 centre of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
ARTICLE II – 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 Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
ARTICLE III – 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 defence or excuse.
ARTICLE IV – 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 dead he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to he a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour.
ARTICLE V – OF JUSTIFICATION.
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ1 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.
ARTICLE VI – 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.
ARTICLE VII – 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 and faith and newness of life.
ARTICLE VIII – 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 Saviour.
ARTICLE IX – 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.
ARTICLE X – 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 continued use of the appointed means,—-especially, the word of God, self examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.
ARTICLE XI – 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 that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
ARTICLE XII – 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 which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfil 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 hoIy Law, is one great end of the gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.
ARTICLE XIII – 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 and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles [e.g., elders] within the church are restricted to men.
ARTICLE XIV – 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 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.
ARTICLE XV – OF THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.
ARTICLE XVI – OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that government officials 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.
ARTICLE XVII – 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.
ARTICLE XVIII – 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.
ARTICLE XIX – OF MARRIAGE
Marriage is to be between one man and one woman, and is designed by God to join them till death.; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, the preventing of uncleanness, It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent; yet it is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord; and therefore such as profess the true religion, should not marry with infidels, or idolaters; neither should such as are godly, be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresy. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity, forbidden in the Word; nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful, by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.
The proposed confession of faith is a slightly edited version of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith. The edits are as indicated below.
Article II – Of the True God
1) “Jehovah” has been changed to “Yahweh” to reflect the very name of God as revealed in the Old Testament
Article XIII – Of a Gospel Church
1) “Bishops or pastors and deacons” has been edited to “elders and deacons”. In the New Testament, elder, bishop, and pastor are synonyms. In addition, we believe that the Epistles of Titus and Timothy permit only men, and not women, to serve in the Scriptural office of elder.
2) The last statement in this article has been adopted from Danvers Statement. That is: “In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles [e.g., elders] within the church are restricted to men.” This is because, as Emmanuel Baptist Church, we wish to affirm the broader truths captured by the Danvers Statement.
Article XV – Of the Christian Sabbath
1) The clause “by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations” has been redacted.
Article XVI – Of Civil Governments
1) The term “magistrates” has been changed to “government officials” to better convey meaning in today’s context.
Article XIX – Of Marriage
1) This article, “Of Marriage” is not in the original New Hampshire Confession of Faith. It has been adopted from the London Baptist Confession of Faith with a slight edit. The phrase “and is designed by God to join them till death” has been inserted for clarity.