Our Statement of Faith
We believe that a clear statement of faith is a wonderful gift to the church of Jesus Christ. Similarly, our statement of faith seeks to establish historical continuity and unity with other Christians. We aim to show that we are not given to theological novelties, but stand with two feet firmly planted in the historic Christian tradition.
Salem Reformed Baptist Confession of Faith
SALEM REFORMED BAPTIST
CONFESSION OF FAITH
The Triune God
As Chapter 2 of the 1689 LBC states,
The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God. He is self-existent and infinite in being and perfection… God has all life, glory, goodness, and blessedness in and of himself; he alone is all-sufficient in himself. He does not need any creature he has made nor does he derive any glory from them. Instead, he demonstrates his own glory in them, by them, to them, and upon them. He alone is the source of all being, and everything is from him, through him, and to him. He has absolute sovereign rule over all creatures, to act through them, for them, or upon them as he pleases. In his sight everything is open and visible. His knowledge is infinite and infallible. It does not depend upon any creature, so for him nothing is contingent or uncertain. He is absolutely holy in all his plans, in all his works, and in all his commands. Angels and human beings owe to him all the worship, service, or obedience that creatures owe to the Creator and whatever else he is pleased to require of them.
We believe in one (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 45:5-6) eternal (1 Tim. 1:17), knowable (Heb. 1:1-2), and sovereign God (Dan. 4:34-35). He knows all things (Psa. 139:1-4), and providentially oversees all things (Mt. 10:29-31). He is merciful (Exod. 34:6), and just (Acts 17:31), loving (1 Jn. 4:8), and holy (Rev. 4:8), great in power (Ps. 147:5) and good in purpose (Rom. 8:28). His glory is our chief concern (1 Cor. 10:31).
We believe that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ([the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity.] Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.
GOD THE FATHER
We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. Spiritually, He is the Father to only believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18).
GOD THE SON
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God the Father. He possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).
We believe that God the Father created all things according to His own will through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).
We believe that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9).
We believe that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9).
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
We believe that, in the incarnation, the second Person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-8).
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial
We believe that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our only Advocate and High Priest
sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24). He did not simply provide a potential salvation but Jesus actually saved His people with His death.
We believe that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).
We believe that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our only Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).
We believe that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).
We believe that Jesus Christ will return, His second coming, to judge the living and dead and bring the consummation of all things (Revelation 20:11-15)
We believe that we can only magnify God the Father because of the redeeming life and death and resurrection of God the Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5–6). Without Him, we are alienated from God and under his wrath (Ephesians 2:3, 12–13). Therefore, our entire relationship with the Father rests on Jesus. All of life, now and in eternity, depends on the saving and sustaining work of Jesus (Hebrews 1:3). God’s purpose is that all the nations glory in this mercy (Romans 15:9) and bow at the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10). Thus the name of Jesus shall fly like a banner over every moment and every ministry and every mission of our church and of our lives: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).
We believe that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2 Peter 1:19-21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with and controlled by the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
We believe that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
We believe, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today, and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were not intended to be typical of the lives of believers after those days (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).