Jared Smith, Covenant Baptist Church (Philippines)

4 A Declaration of Faith

We are historically linked with a circle of churches in England known as “Strict and Particular Baptists”. The term Strict refers to the Lord’s Table designed for and restricted to the members of the church; the term Particular refers to the Lord’s Atonement designed for and restricted to elect sinners.

However, for the sake of simplicity and clarity, we are choosing to identify ourselves as “Covenant Baptists”. The term ‘covenant’ refers to both of the preceding doctrines. The privilege of observing the Lord’s Table is based on the covenant church members have made with each other; and, the blessing of redeeming grace is based on the covenant the TriUne Jehovah has made with Himself. In order that we be easily identified with these doctrines, we will call ourselves, “The Covenant Baptist Church on [Name of Place/Street]”.

“Having been enabled, through divine Grace to give up ourselves to the Lord, and likewise to one another by the will of God, we look upon ourselves under the greatest obligation to ‘stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.’” The following Articles are a summary of the faith which unites us in one spirit, and for which we stedfastly strive together with one mind.

1. We believe God has plenarily and verbally inspired the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

2. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are without error.

3. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are preserved in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus.

4. We believe the most reliable translation in English of the Old and New Testaments is the Authorized Version.

5. We believe the one true and only God is Jehovah.

6. We believe Jehovah exists in three distinct Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

7. We believe the three Persons of the Godhead are equal in nature, power and glory.

8. We believe God is a Spirit, and that He can only be worshipped in spirit and in truth.

9. We believe the world was brought into existence in six literal days, as recorded in Genesis chapter one.

10. We believe God created man in His own image, meaning that as God is a Spirit, so man is a spirit being.

11. We believe God created an equality between male and female by making them in His image.

12. We believe God has designed male and female to function differently, and their completeness is discovered when complimenting each other (rather than competing against each other).

13. We believe God has entered into relationship with the human race based on the covenant of works.

14. We believe a covenant is an agreement entered by two or more parties, whereupon each person undertakes the responsibility for discharging certain obligations.

15. We believe the covenant of works is an agreement God made with Adam (the first man), and that Adam was appointed the federal head of the human race.

16. We believe God inscribed upon Adam’s heart a twofold law—to love the Lord God supremely, and to love one’s neighbor as himself.

17. We believe God promised eternal life to Adam if he perfectly obeyed the heart law, but that He also promised eternal death if he disobeyed the heart law.

18. We believe the covenant of works is renewed with every son and daughter of Adam, and that the heart law is inscribed upon every soul, from the moment of conception.

19. We believe God requires, under the covenant of works, that every person perfectly obey the heart law.

20. We believe through Adam’s transgression of God’s law, the entire human race has been plunged into sin and condemnation, in consequence of his federal headship.

21. We believe that every son and daughter brought into the world through a male seed, is conceived in sin and shaped in iniquity.

22. We believe that though man is by nature a sinner, yet he is responsible, under the covenant of works, to repent of sin, worship Jehovah and perfectly obey His law.

23. We believe so long as man is under the covenant of works, it is a curse to him in every respect—by it he is under the condemnation of God, and in it there is nothing that enables him to deliver himself from sin, guilt, condemnation and death.

24. We believe the only way for a sinner to be made right with God, is if he is brought under another covenant—the covenant of grace.

25. We believe the covenant of grace is comprised of the great work undertaken by the TriUne Jehovah from eternity, for the complete salvation of sinners.

26. We believe this covenant is designated ‘grace’, because the sinner adds absolutely nothing to the terms and promises of the agreement.

27. We believe God the Father took the initiative in this covenant, by setting His eternal love upon a remnant of the human race, choosing to make them vessels of honour, according to the good pleasure of His will.

28. We believe God the Father devised the plan of redemption by first, giving His elect people into the hands of the Son, and second, by appointing the Son to serve as their Mediator and Redeemer.

29. We believe God the Son received these elect persons unto Himself, setting His eternal love upon them, and agreeing to serve as their Mediator and Redeemer.

30. We believe the TriUne Jehovah is not a respecter of persons, and has henceforth chosen and redeemed a peculiar people out of every kindred, and tongue and nation, irrespective of race, age, gender, moral virtue or sinful corruption.

31. We believe in order for God the Son to become the Mediator and Redeemer of His people, it is required that He assume a human nature, in order that He might be qualified to save them from their sins.

32. We believe when the fulness of the time was come, the Son of God did assume a human nature, being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.

33. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is absolutely God and completely man, and because He had no earthly father, He was not conceived in sin or shaped in iniquity.

34. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ was appointed by God the Father to serve as the federal head for the elect, and therefore He was required to perfectly obey the heart law, and was made subject to the covenant of works.

35. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ has earned for His people eternal life by His perfect obedience to the heart law, and that He has delivered His people from eternal death by the redemption He obtained through the shedding of His precious blood on the cross.

36. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father which sent Him, so that the shedding of His precious blood is intentionally designed for the elect only.

37. We believe the sufficiency of the precious blood of Christ is in proportion to its design—such is its value, that not one drop was wasted on those not given to the Son by the Father; and such is its power, that all for whom Christ’s blood was shed are justified freely by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

38. We believe God the Father sent His only begotten Son into the world, not to give sinners a chance (opportunity) to be saved, but rather, to guarantee the salvation of His elect people.

39. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ was raised again from the dead, being not only “delivered for our offenses”, but also “raised again for our justification”.

40. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ has ascended to heaven where He sits at the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for His people.

41. We believe those who are made vessels of honour by the electing love of God the Father, are made vessels of mercy by the redeeming grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

42. We believe God the Father and God the Son agreed to give the vessels of honour and mercy into the special care of the Holy Spirit, appointing Him to serve as their Sanctifier.

43. We believe God the Spirit received the vessels honour and mercy unto Himself, setting His eternal love upon them, and agreeing to be their Sanctifier.

44. We believe there is a divinely appointed time when the Spirit of God begins this work of sanctification by regenerating the soul of each elect sinner.

45. We believe regeneration is the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, identified by Jesus as a new birth, when He unites the soul to the Lord Jesus Christ (even as a branch is united to the vine).

46. We believe this union with Christ imparts to the soul a new nature, created in righteousness and true holiness.

47. We believe saving faith is the fruit of this new nature in Christ, and therefore is the result of regeneration, rather than a condition for it.

48. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells the soul from the time of regeneration, and that He bears witness with the regenerate sinner that he is now the child of God.

49. We believe the regenerate sinner is the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, and that God has ordained from eternity that His elect people should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.

50. We believe those who are made vessels of honour by the electing love of God the Father, and are made vessels of mercy by the redeeming grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, are forthwith made the vessels of gold and silver by the sanctifying power of God the Spirit.

51. We believe that while the regenerate sinner is given a new nature in Christ, yet he also retains his old nature in Adam.

52. We believe the new and old natures are distinct and unmixed, coexisting simultaneously in the child of God, and are in a constant warfare against each other.

53. We believe spiritual growth is the ‘increase’ given by the Holy Spirit to the soul, and that it may be nurtured, first, by making no provision for the old nature, and second, by providing for and exercising the new nature.

54. We believe the regenerate sinner, having been brought experientially under the terms and promises of the gracious covenant, is governed by the gospel law which serves as the perfect rule for his life in Christ.

55. We believe a person is experientially under only one covenant at a time—he is either subject to the covenant of works, or, to the covenant of grace, but never both simultaneously.

56. We believe a person is responsible to God according to the terms and promises of the covenant under which he is subject—if the covenant of works, then the sinner is unregenerate, a child of wrath and duty-bound to perfectly keep the heart law; if the covenant of grace, then the sinner is regenerate, a child of God and liberated to take the yoke of Christ upon him.

57. We believe that since there is no gospel under the terms and promises of the covenant of works, the unregenerate sinner is not duty bound to believe on Christ to the saving of the soul; only those that have been brought under the gracious covenant by a new birth are given the privilege and ability to exercise saving faith on Christ.

58. We believe every person that has been chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son and regenerated by the Holy Spirit shall certainly persevere in grace to glory; he cannot lose his salvation.

59. We believe every regenerate sinner should be baptized and become a member of a church.

60. We believe the church is a body of baptized believers covenanted to follow the commands of Christ.

61. We believe Christ is the head of His church and that it should be congregational in order.

62. We believe the authority for baptizing and organizing new churches resides with Christ, and not with a ‘mother’ church.

63. We believe the church should be overseen by a pastor who is assisted by deacons.

64. We believe the work of an evangelist is to preach the gospel and organize new churches.

65. We believe it is the duty of the church to fully and freely preach the gospel to all sinners, but that it should not be presumptuously and falsely offered.

66. We believe there are two church ordinances—Baptism and the Lord’s Table.

67. We believe only regenerate sinners are qualified to be baptized, and only baptized believers in membership with the church are qualified to sit at the Lord’s Table.

68. We believe the members of the church are responsible to live as becometh saints, and corrective discipline ought to be exercised when the need arises.

69. We believe Christ has given a threefold commission to the church—(1) to preach the gospel to all sinners; (2) to baptize new converts; (3) to build up the people of God in their most holy faith.

70. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, when the righteous shall enter into life everlasting, and the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment.

Jared Smkth