Confusion reigns in our culture about what to believe and how to live. Cultural confusion has led some Christians to doubt or to deny crucial tenets of our faith. We want to guide the people of Emmanuel Bible Church through the maze of confusion in which we can so easily get lost.
Truly free living is to be found not in the relativism of our culture, but in living out the truth of the confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Though we always try to teach the truths of God as they have been revealed in Scripture, at times a strong focused word of witness is necessary. That's where a Statement of Faith is helpful. In confessing these fundamental convictions, we also confess our failure to live consistently according to them. Since we fall short of our commitments, we rely fully upon God's grace not only to forgive us, but also to help us stand for what is true and live according to the truth. All who join Emmanuel are required to affirm our Statement of Faith, a revised edition of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith from 1853.
This statement demonstrates our connection with the beliefs Christians have confessed for centuries as well as establishes our contemporary connection and unity with all who confess the same evangelical beliefs. Once we as members agree to the statement, we are responsible for believing and living in accordance with it. We urge one another to live confessionally: to honor Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to accept the Bible as the Word of God and to seek to live in holiness by the power of the Spirit.
We invite our neighbors to leave behind the hopeless confusion of this world and find salvation and direction through Christ. Truly free living is to be found not in the relativism of our culture, but in living out the truth of the confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We welcome all people into our fellowship as a church, so that all might hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ by confessing him as Savior and Lord.
Statement of Faith
I. 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.
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 JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven who knows all things immediately and comprehensively; 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.
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 by 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.
IV. Of the Creation
We believe that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the beginning, by the word of his power, made from nothing the heavens and the earth and all things therein, and that all things were made very good.
V. Of the Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the virgin-born 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 bodily 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 be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
VI. Of Justification
We believe that the great gospel blessing which 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 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.
VII. 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 sincere, 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 increased condemnation.
VIII. 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.
IX. Of Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the 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 sincere contrition, confession, and petition 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.
X. 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.
XI. 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.
XII. 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.
XIII. 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 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.
XIV. Of a Gospel Church
We believe in the universal church, a living body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ, teaching the Word, and exercising church discipline; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word; that its only scriptural officers are elders (including pastors) and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Letters to Timothy and Titus.
XV. Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that believer's baptism is done in 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, and that it is a prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation. We believe in the regular observance of the Lord's Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of the bread and the cup, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.
XVI. 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 to religious purposes by preparation for that rest that remains for the people of God.
XVII. Of Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of Divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that public 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.
XVIII. 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 alone 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.
XIX. Of the World to Come
We believe that at the last day Christ will descend bodily from heaven, and bodily raise the dead from the grave to final retribution and reward; that a solemn separation will take place; that the wicked will be sentenced to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy and glorification; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.
XX. Of Marriage
We believe that marriage is a covenant made before God between a man and a woman that models the relationship between God and His people and the profound mystery of Jesus' relationship to the church, in which wives should submit to their husbands as to the Lord and that husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for the church.
This Statement of Faith is based heavily, though not exclusively, on the revised New Hampshire Confession of Faith from 1853.