CHURCH COVENANT AND ARTICLES OF FAITH OF THE CARTHAGE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH

CHURCH COVENANT

Forasmuch as Almighty God, by His grace, has been pleased to call us out of darkness into His light, and having been baptized upon profession of our faith in Christ Jesus, and having given ourselves to the Lord and to one another, in a gospel church way, to be governed and guided by a proper discipline agreeable to the word of God, we do, therefore, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by His assistance, covenant and agree to keep up the discipline of the church of which we are members in sincere and brotherly affection toward one another, to pray for one another, to watch over one another, and if need be, in the most tender and affectionate manner to reprove one another. We also agree, with God's assistance, to attend our church meetings, to observe the Lord's Day, and not to absent ourselves from the Communion of the Lord's Supper without a lawful excuse; to be ready to communicate to the defraying of the church's expenses, and for the support of the ministry, and of the poor; and to continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship.

These things we do covenant and agree to observe and keep sacred in the name of and by the assistance of God. Amen.

ARTICLES OF FAITH

THE SCRIPTURES

1. We believe that the scriptures comprising the Old and New Testaments, as given in what is known as the King James Translation, are of divine authority, and are to be taken as the only rule of faith and practice.

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." - Deut. 4:2

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." - Heb. 1:1,2

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning." - Rom. 15:4

"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 righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." II. Tim. 3:15-16

THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY GHOST

2. We believe in one God, and that the Father, Son or Word, and the Holy Ghost are one God, eternal, immutable, infinite in wisdom, power, justice, holiness, mercy and truth.

"Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord." - Deut. 6:4

"But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God and an everlasting King." - Jer. 10:10

"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him: and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." - I. Cor. 8:6

"For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." - I. Tim. 2:5

"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen." I. Tim. 1:17

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." - I. John 5:7

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." - John 1:1

"I and my Father are one." - John 10:30

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." - Matt. 28:19

THE FALL OF MAN

3. We believe that in the transgression of Adam he fell under the condemnation of God's holy law, and that all his posterity were corrupted in him, and so are condemned in sin, and have neither will nor power to deliver themselves from this state and condemnation.

"But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." - Gen. 2:17

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." - Rom. 5:12

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." - Rom. 5:19

". . . for we have before proved both Jew and Gentiles, that they are all under sin." - Rom. 3:9

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." - Rom. 3:23

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." - Eph. 2:1

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." - Rom. 8:7

ELECTION

4. We believe that God chose a definite number of particular persons of the fallen posterity of Adam in Christ before the foundation of the world to salvation. The reason for this choice is wholly of grace, and is unconditional on the part of the creature.

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." - Eph. 1:4

"Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God." - I. Thess. 1:4 "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth." - Rom. 9:11

"Because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." - II. Thess. 2:13

"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." - I. Pet. 1:2

"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his." - II. Tim. 2:19

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)" - Eph. 2:4,5

"For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." - Eph. 2: 8,9

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." - Rev. 13:8

PREDESTINATION

5. We believe that God has predestinated the elect unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of his will.

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." - Eph. 1:5

"For whom he did foreknow he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." - Rom. 8:29

"According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Eph. 3:11

JESUS THE MEDIATOR

6. We believe that the Lord Jesus who was set up from everlasting to be the Mediator between God and men, did in the fullness of time really and truly take upon himself a human body and nature, sin excepted, and in that body he suffered, bled and died as the surety of the elect, and in their room and stead, and for no others.

"And it is yet far more evident; for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." - Heb. 7:15,16

"For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer." - Heb. 8:3

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." - Gal. 4:4,5

"Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me." - Heb. 10:5

"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." - Heb. 10:10

"I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." - John 17:9

REDEMPTION

7. We believe that Christ hath obtained eternal redemption for the elect, his life, suffering, blood and death constituting a complete and full atonement for their sins, and that this is the only ground of justification before God.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." - Isa. 53:5

". . . but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." - Heb. 9:26

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." - Heb. 9:28

"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." - Heb. 9:12

"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." - Heb. 10:14

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." - Eph. 1:7

REGENERATION

8. We believe that being born again is not the act of man, nor does it result from what he may believe or do; but it is the work of God, who gives eternal life, thus quickening the sinner, which causes him to confess his sin, and to feel the need of a Saviour.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God." - John 3:3

"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." - John 1:13

"For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." - John 5:21

"And I give unto them eternal life." - John 10:28

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." - John 5:25

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." - II. Tim. 1:9

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." - Eph. 2:1

"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" - Eph. 2:5

ETERNAL PRESERVATION

9. We believe that none who are born again will fall away so as to be eternally lost, but that they will be preserved through grace to glory.

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." - John 10:28,29

"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day." - John 6:39

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." - John 6:44

"Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." - I. Peter 1:5

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." - I. Pet. 1:23

"Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." - Rom. 8:30

"And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." - Jer. 32:40

THE RESURRECTION

10. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just (elect) and the unjust, and that the unjust shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.

"And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." - 1 Cor. 15: 4

"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised." - I. Cor. 15:12-16

"Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." I. Cor. 15:51-52

"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." - I. Thess. 4:14

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." - Dan. 12:2

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power." - II. Thess. 1:8,9

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." - Matt. 25:34

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." - Matt. 25:41

"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." - Matt. 25:46

THE GOSPEL

11. We believe that the gospel is to be preached in all the world as a statement of the truth, and as a witness of Jesus for the comfort and instruction of regenerated men and women; but deny that it is to offer grace to the unregenerate or that it asserts there is an obligation resting upon the unregenerate to believe that Jesus is their Saviour.

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." - Matt. 24:14

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16: 15

"And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." - Acts 13:48

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." - Rom. 1:16

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." - II. Tim. 3:16,17

GOOD WORKS

12. We believe that good works, obedience to the commands of God, are well pleasing in His sight, and should be maintained in the church; but they are to be considered only as evidence of a gracious state, and are not a condition of salvation.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." - Matt. 5:16

"So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do." - Luke 17:10

"For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." - Eph. 2: 8,9,10

"This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." Titus 3:8

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." - Heb. 10:24

CHURCH ORDINANCES

13. We believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances appointed by Christ for the church, and they are to be administered only by those who are clothed with authority of the church, having been regularly ordained.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." - Matt. 28:19

"And he took bread and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." - Luke 22:19,20

(There is no record of any administering the ordinances except those who were appointed for this purpose.)

BAPTISM

14. We believe that baptism is by immersion in water, and is to be administered to believers only, and who give evidence of having been regenerated.

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water." - Matt. 3:16

"And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there." - John 3:23

"And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God . . . and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water . . ." - Acts 8:37,38,39

THE LORD'S SUPPER

15. We believe that the Lord's Supper should be observed in the church until the coming of Jesus at the end of the world, and that unleavened bread and wine should be used, of which none are to be invited to partake but members of the church and of other churches of like faith and order.

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it." - Matt. 26:26,27

(See also I. Cor. 11:23-29)

"Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters." - Exodus 13:7

(From the above it will be seen that the bread was unleavened, for no doubt it was the same bread that was used.)

MINISTERS TO BE ORDAINED

16. We believe that those who give proof that they are called of God to the ministry, by edifying the church in that exercise, should be ordained by a presbytery and set apart to that work.

"And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach." Mark 3:14

"And when they had ordained them elders in every church." - Acts 14:23

"Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle." - I. Tim. 2:7

"Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." - I. Tim. 4:1

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