ARTICLES OF FAITH
CEDAR HILL BAPTIST CHURCH
We, the members of this church, having been led by divine grace to accept Christ as our Redeemer and Lord deem it proper to make a declaration of our common faith, being assured that as with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, so with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men, super-naturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions should be tried.
1. By 'THE HOLY BIBLE' we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written, does not contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.
2. By INSPIRATION we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally inspired and free from error, as no other writings ever have been or ever will be.
II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21
II. OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent 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 office in the great work of redemption.
Exodus 20:2,3; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11
III. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
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 judgment and of righteousness; 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, baptizes, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.
John 14:16,17,26; Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26, Romans 8:14, 16, 26, 27
We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, he fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man's great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the anti-Christ, and the author of all the powers of darkness -- destined however to final defeat at the hands of God's Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Matthew 4:1-3; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10
V. OF THE CREATION
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God's own image and after his own likeness; that man's creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God's established law was they should bring forth only "after their kind.
Genesis 1,2; Colossians 1:16,17; John 1:3
VI. OF THE FALL OF MAN
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 by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation, without defense or excuse.
Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; 5:12,19
VII. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born, or can ever be born of women, and that He is the both Son of God, and God, the Son.
Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14
VIII. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the editorial 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 us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins 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 most tender sympathies with divine perfection, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and an all-suffering Savior.
Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:24,25; Hebrews 2:14-17, II Corinthians 5:21
IX OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
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, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and 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.
John 3:3; Ephesians 2:1,5; II Corinthians 5:17; II Peter 1:4
X. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God's electing grace; 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 involved him in an aggravated condemnation.
John 3:16; Matthew 11:28-30; I John 5:1
XI. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification; that justification includes the forgiveness of sin, and the gift 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, His righteousness is imputed unto us.
Romans 3:24; 4:5; 5:1; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9
XII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby being deeply convicted 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 and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.
Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9,10; I Corinthians 7:10
XIII. OF THE CHURCH
We believe that a church of Christ is an organized congregation of baptized believers associated by a 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 of ordination are Pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is found in the great commission: First, to make individual disciples; second, to build up the church; third, to teach and instruct, as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order. 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 the true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. On all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
Acts 20:17-26; I Corinthians 11:2; I Timothy 3:1-13; Acts 2:41,42
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, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; 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 wine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Acts 8:36,38,39; Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 11:23-28 Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41,42
XV. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE 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 eternal salvation.
John 10:28,29; Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 1:6; I John 5:11-13
XVI. 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, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
Romans 6:17,18; I John 5:19; Romans 7:6; Revelation 20:14,15
XVII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that 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 only 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.
Romans 13:1-7; Acts 5:29; 4:19,20; Daniel 3:17,18
XVIII. OF THE RESURRECTION, RETURN CF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures at their face value concerning, the bodily resurrection, and ascension, and present high priesthood of Jesus Christ; and in His personal, visible, return, at any moment, according to His promise; and in the full and final establishment of His kingdom upon the earth.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54, Philippians 3:20,21; Revelation 3:10; 20:1-4,6