Salem Primitive Baptist Church
Wichita Falls, Texas
When we join ourselves to the Church of Jesus Christ, this is what we obligate ourselves to do: to frequently seek the Lord for help and direction, we humbly and freely offer up ourselves this day as a living sacrifice unto Him, who is our God in covenant through Christ our Lord and only Savior, to walk together according to His revealed word in a visible gospel church, submitting to Christ, our only head, and to each other as fellow-members of the same household of faith. Accordingly, we do covenant together as a church to endeavor to glorify God in worship as a community of believers who witness that Jesus is the Christ.
We believe our sole purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We purpose to worship Him according to the simple pattern of the primitive, first-century church by regularly gathering together for preaching, praying and singing praise to His Holy Name. We acknowledge and agree to observe Baptism and the Lordís Supper as ordinances of the New Testament Church. Moreover, we will follow the example of Christ in washing of the saintsí feet. We consent to support the welfare of the church by our regular attendance, prayer, communication of our prosperity, study of the bible, worship in our homes and by endeavoring to attend to our ministersí needs as they spread the gospel. We pledge to esteem our pastor highly in love for Christís sake, as God has appointed him as our overseer. This we will manifest by frequently and fervently praying for him, diligently attending on his ministry, encouraging his heart and strengthening his hand to the utmost of our power in the work of the Lord. We will freely consult him as we have occasion about our spiritual affairs and contribute in a financial way to his needs as the Lord provides so that his efforts may be wholly committed to the ministry of Godís word. With the Holy Bible as our only rule of faith and practice, we submit the following articles to distinguish our beliefs in the areas they address.
Articles of Faith
1. We believe in one God and that together the Father, Son or Word, and the Holy Ghost are one God, eternal, immutable, infinite in wisdom, power, justice, holiness, mercy and truth. Deut. 6:4; Isa. 40:1-31; Mal. 2:10; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 John 5:7; Rom. 11:33-36.
2. We believe 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. 2Tim. 3:15-17; 2Pet. 3:2.
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. Gen. 3:17-19; Rom. 5:12, 18-19.
4. We believe God chose or elected to eternal salvation a definite number of particular persons of the fallen posterity of Adam in Christ in eternity before He ever laid the foundation of the world. The reason for this choice was wholly of grace, and was unconditional on the part of the creature. 2 Sam. 23:5; Psa. 139:15-16; Heb13:20-21; Eph. 1:4-12; John 5:25; 6:37-40, 44-45; John 17:1-4.
5. We believe God has predestinated the elect unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will. Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 1:4-6.
6. We believe 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. Luke 24:39; John 6:37-40; Heb. 9:11-15; 1 Tim. 2:5-6.
7. We believe 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. Rom. 5:12-19; Heb. 9:12-16.
8. We believe regeneration 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 at His own time, thus quickening the sinner, which causes him to confess his sin, and to feel the need of a Saviour. Mark 2:17; John 3:3-8, 18-21.
9. We believe that none who are born again will fall away so as to be lost, but that due to the power and love of God they will be preserved through grace to glory. John 6:37-40; 1 Pet. 1:2-5; Jude 1:1.
10. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, and that the unjust shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the just into life eternal. Matt. 25:31-46; John 25:28-29; Acts 24:14-15.
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. Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2:40-47; 3:19-23; Rom 1:15-25, 2-12-16.
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 eternal salvation but are conditional for our timely salvation. Rom. 12:1-21, 13:1-14; Gal. 5:13-26; 2 Thes. 3:14-15.
13. We believe 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. Matt. 3:1-17; Acts 2:40-42.
14. We believe Baptism is by immersion in water, and is to be administered to believers only, and who give evidence of having been regenerated. Matt. 3:16-17, 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:12; Rom. 6:4.
15. We believe 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 members in good standing of other Churches of like faith and in order. We believe that washing the saints' feet is an example given to us by Jesus Christ and should be observed by the Church. Matt. 26:20-30; Luke 22: 29-30; John 13:1-17; Acts 2:42, 46.
16. We believe that those who have been regularly Baptized, who have the proper qualifications for the office of Elder and give proof that they are called of God to the ministry, by edifying the Church in that exercise, should be ordained by laying on of hands by a presbytery and set apart to that work. Matt. 9:37-38; Acts 13:2-3; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Heb. 5:1-4.
17. We believe the Church should choose members of her own body who have the proper qualifications for the office of deacon who are to receive and disburse the funds of the Church and visit and care for the sick and widowed. They should be set apart to that work by regular ordination and by laying on of hands by a presbytery. Acts 6:1-6, 13:2-3; 1 Tim. 3:8-13.