A Summary of the leading Principles holden by this Association.
ALTHOUGH this association has a small system, wherein their religious sentiments are expressed; yet as many into whose hands this concise history may fall, may possibly never have read the Baptist Confession of Faith, it has been deemed necessary to insert here a few of the leading doctrines of the same, for the satisfaction of the attentive reader.
FIRST- We believe there is one living and true God; that he is self-existent and independent, in whom all power, wisdom, holiness, justice, godliness truth center; who is omniscient and omnipotent – the Almighty Creator of all things that do exist, visible and invisible, who upholds and governs all things by His providential hand, according to the council of His own will.
SECONDLY – That in the divine essence there are (according to the scripture) three persons or subsistences, distinguished by the relative names of Father, Son and Holy Ghost; and that each subsistence possesses proper Deity; that the work of creation is ascribed to them; divine worship is addressed to each of them; each of them is called by divine names and in the name of Three in One, the New Testament ordinances are to be administered.
THIRDLY – That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God; that they were given by divine inspiration, and that this system of revelation comprehends everything necessary for us to know concerning God, and the direction of our obedience to Him. By this divine book, God hath made revelation of His gracious design in saving poor sinners, and pointing out the way through the mediation of the Lord Jesus; that through the instrumentality of this sacred word, that stubborn and obstinate sinners are brought into the ordinances of faith, and the incorrigible left without excuse; and that by this word of the Lord all men shall be judged in the last day.
FOURTHLY – That man was created upright, free from sin, and possessed with holiness in nature; that he fell from that innocent state in which he was created, be transgressing God’s command, by which he became morally dead, and subjected himself to bodily and eternal death, and as a public head involved his unborn progency in like ruin, for all descending from him by ordinary generation are born in a state of pollution, and under the domination of sin, and guilty before God.
FIFTHLY – That in eternity, God, out of His own good pleasure, chose a certain number of Adam’s progency to eternal life, and that He did not leave the accomplishment of His decrees to accident or chance; but decreed all the means to bring about the event; therefore they are chosen to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Their calling was decreed to the purpose of election. It is said, when called, they are called according to His purpose and grace given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; and all in order to manifest the glory of His grace.
SIXTHLY – That the covenant of redemption was between the Father and the Son, that the elect were given by the Father to the Son, to be redeemed and finally saved; and that the Son, as Head and representative of His people, engaged to perform everything necessary or requisite to carry their complete salvation into effect. It is called in scripture, a well ordered covenant in all things, and sure.
SEVENTHLY – That in the fulness of time, the Son of God was manifested, by taking human nature into union with His divine person, in which capacity He wrought out a righteousness for the justification of His people, yielding a perfect and spotless obedience to all the requirements of the divine law, and submitted Himself to the shameful and ignominious death on the cross, as an atonement for their sins, and reconciliation of their souls to God.
EIGHTHLY – That those that are redeemed by Christ, are in due time called to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus – embracing Him as the only way to God and Savior of poor sinners. This effectual calling is accomplished by the agency of the Holy Ghost operating in a free, irresistible and unfrustrable manner, by which the understanding is enlightened and the will subjected to Christ. Hence the scriptures testify that they are made willing in the day of His power. This eternal change or new birth in the soul is wholly ascribed to the Power of God; for it is said of the regenerate, they are begotten of God, quickened of God, born of God – all expressive that it is the Lord’s work, and He is entitled to the praise.
NINTHLY – All that are effectually called by efficacious grace, are fully justified of God. This perfect obedience, or in other words, the righteousness of Christ being imputed to them, their sins are pardoned, and their persons accepted in God’s beloved Son. Such are taken under the care of the great Shepard of souls, and rest on the infallible promises and power of God, which has engaged to protect them under all their trials; to succor them when tempted; to supply all their needs, and withhold no good thing from them; to continue the good work of grace begun in them, and crown the end of their faith in the complete salvation of their souls.
TENTHLY – That being bought with the precious blood of Christ, and called by rich grace, it becomes a bounden duty to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord; although justified by grace, to which our works can add nothing, yet by good works the declarative glory of God is manifested, and the genuineness of faith proved, which while others behold, they may be led to glorify God who is in heaven. And,
LASTLY – That God will judge men and angels in the last day, by Jesus Christ. That when Christ appears in the clouds of heaven with the sound of the trumpet, the dead saints shall be raised incorruptible and reunited to their soul; then shall they, together with the living saints, be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall they be forever with the Lord. The wicked will be raised likewise in that sinful state in which they died, and never having been regenerated and qualified by grace for the kingdom of heaven, will be sentenced to unspeakable torments, for ever and ever, from which there will be no recovery, to endless duration.
From A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE KETOCTON BAPTIST ASSOCIATION, William Fristoe, 1808.