It has been the historic practice of believers throughout the centuries to record articles of faith or creeds as they search the Scriptures. These statements consist of overarching truths seen throughout Scripture, and serve as guides for us as we venture through life. The create a framework through which we process all that is.
All who are desiring to join in fellowship with First Baptist Church of Silvis are required to affirm the following Statement of Faith, which is an adaptation of the Revised New Hampshire Confession of Faith of 1853.
We believe that the Bible, as originally written, was verbally inspired and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore the truth without any admixture of error. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
We believe there is one and only one, living and true God, an infinite 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 Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
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 righteousness and judgment; 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, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.
We believe in the personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, and the author of all the powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire.
We accept the Genesis account of creation and believe that man came by direct creation of God and not by evolution. We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We gladly seek to defend, protect, and value all human life. We believe that God wonderfully and immutably designed each person as male or female, together reflecting the image of God. We understand marriage to be a union between one man, as biologically designed by God at conception, and one woman, as biologically designed by God at conception. Genesis 1 and 2; Colossians 1:16, 17; John 1:3; Psalm 139:13-16
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.
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God, the Son.
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 for us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust; Christ, the Lord, bearing our sin in 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 in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and all-sufficient Savior.
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, 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.
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification:
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.
We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by 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 officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. 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 and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water 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. We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination.
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept of God the Father for Jesus Christ.
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts and that the gifts of the Spirit are His provision for the edifying of the saints today. The casting out of demons, prophesying, and doing wonderful works are unreliable as signs by themselves, being accomplished even by the ungodly. We believe that in the church everything must be done so that the body may be built up and that all things must be communicated so that all might understand.
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 Christ, 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 life and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
We believe 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 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.
We believe in the bodily resurrection, ascension, authority, and high priesthood of Christ. We believe that God is not finished with the people of Israel, but will regather them to Himself according to His sovereign will. We believe in the personal and visible return of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment of all mankind, and the eternal joy of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked.