What we believe

God

God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one. God is eternal, without beginning or end. God is all powerful, full of love, grace, and holy righteousness. God spoke the universe into existence. God is involved in the world today.
(I Jn 5:7, Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4, 1 Cor 8:6, Gen 1, Jn 1, Heb 1:8, Acts 5:3-4)

The Bible

The bible is God’s word. The books comprising the old and new testament are God’s inspired writings. His word is inerrant, sufficient, and relevant for God’s people today. God has preserved His word throughout history. The King James translation is an example of God’s providence in preserving His word for English speaking people. The bible is the only authority of our beliefs and practice. 

The purpose of the bible is to teach and comfort God’s children with the good news of their successful savior and king. The purpose of the bible is to furnish, equip, and mature God’s children so that they may properly honor, worship, and serve Him.
(2 Tim 3:14-17, 2 Pet 1:21, PS 12:6-7, Prov 30:5-6, 1 Tim 1;10)

Man: Dead in Sins

Mankind needs salvation. Today, man is not conceived “good”, nor are we a “blank slate”.  In the beginning, man was created good, but permitted to fall. Adam disobeyed God and fell into a state of death in sins. Adam, and all his descendents, fell into bondage to sin and its effects (including natural death). Man caused the curse. There was no death or suffering before Adam’s sin. Man’s sins are the reason for the state of the world today.

In the state and nature of sin, fellowship with God is lost and eternal punishment is due. While man is spiritually dead in trespasses and sin, he is unable and unwilling to do anything to rescue himself. Spiritually dead men have no will or ability to hear or receive spiritual things, nor to do good works acceptable in God’s eyes; man’s only desire is to fulfill his own lusts.
(Gen 2:17, Rom 3:9-18, 1 Cor 2:14, Eph 2:1-3, Rom 5:12, Rom 8:5-8 , PS 14:1, Psa 51:5, Psa 58:3)

Salvation: Redemption and Justification

Jesus Christ is our savior. Access to eternal heaven is obtained only through perfect righteousness. Our only hope of eternal salvation is that the merit and righteousness of Christ would be counted (imputed) to us.

Christ’s work on the cross was successful. He eternally redeemed (purchased back) and justified (declared and made righteous) His people through His blood and death on the cross. This justification by grace fulfilled the promise that Jesus would “save His people from their sins”.  Christ’s death secured forgiveness of sins and redemption for a people out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Christ offered Himself to God on the cross. As both a perfect high priest and as a passover lamb without blemish or spot, the offering was accepted and our sins purged forever.
(Mat 1:21, Heb 9:12, Heb 10:17-18, Tit 3:4-7, Rom 3:24, 2 Cor 5:21, Eph 1:7, Jas 2:10, I Pet 1:18, Rev 5:9)

Salvation: Born from Above

The moment in our existence that we are saved from the bondage of sin is called the new birth. By nature, man is dead in sins. For our soul and spirit to be fit to enter eternal heaven, man must first be born again (born “from above”). To hear and discern spiritual things, and enjoy the spiritual kingdom of heaven right now, man must first be born again. Being born again is the same as being “quickened” in Eph 2 and the same as being “regenerated” in Tit 3.

This new birth, as with the bodily resurrection at the end of time, is an effectual call from death to life by the direct operation of the Holy Spirit (which could also be stated as the life-giving voice of the Son of God). This resurrecting call is not bound to human means. Good works nor gospel presentations have life-giving powers, it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.

Being born again (quickened, saved by grace) is not of man’s works or will.

After being born again, man becomes dual natured. Man gains a new nature and faith; and a new heart with God’s laws inscribed upon. But the old fallen nature of the flesh still persists. Having a new nature, we are enabled and convicted to faithfully believe and follow our Lord’s teachings.  Our daily battle is to “put off the old man” and “put on the new man”, to follow and walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
(Jn 3:6-8, Jn 5:25, Jn 6:37, Joh 6:63, Joh 1:13, Tit 3:5, Rom 8:30, Eph  2:1, 2 Tim 1:9, Rom 7, Gal 5)

Salvation: Election and Predestination

The words election (choosing) and predestination (predetermining beforehand) are found in the New Testament scriptures and apply to God’s children today. These words are used in the context of “people”, not “things”. God did not predetermine sin, nor does He cause sin. 

These principles are relating to an everlasting covenant that was determined before the world began. Because God looked down from eternity and saw that there would be none that would be willing or obedient, He covenanted together with Himself a plan of eternal salvation. This glorious and comforting doctrine teaches that God chose an innumerable people out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, and predestinated them to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, thus becoming joint-heirs with Him of the glory of heaven.

Scripture is clear that God’s sovereign choice was not according to our works, nor of “he that willeth”, but according to His mercy. God’s plan of eternal salvation (including election, predestination, redemption, justification, regeneration, resurrection) is conditioned upon the work of the triune God alone.
(Eph 1:4-11, 1 Pet 1:1-5, Rom 8:29-30, Rom 9:11-16, Rev 5:9, 2Sa 23:5, 2Ti 1:9, Eph 1:4 Tit 1:2, Rev 13:8, Heb 13:20, Eze 37:26)

Salvation: Conversion and Deliverance

Save yourself, Peter says in Acts 2, from this untoward generation. Turn from the ways of the world and avoid reaping the seeds of sin. Peter is not saying that we play a role in being born again. This salvation is referring to being saved from the consequences of worldliness and from the chastisement and judgement that comes upon disobedient children, it is not referring to salvation from an eternal hell to an everlasting life.

In this world, we shall have tribulation, and persecution, and danger, sickness, despair, depression, and all manner of storms. Our belief, repentance, faithfulness, and obedience in the things contained in the gospel will save us from or through these temporal trials.

Hearing and believing the good news will save us from much sorrow and anxious burdens in this life. Ignorance of God’s ways leads to bondage and self-righteousness. The knowledge of the gospel will save us from the ignorance and heavy weight of trying to redeem ourselves through perfect law-keeping.

The purpose of the Gospel is not to produce the new birth. The gospel is good news for those who “have ears to hear” (those who have already been born again). The gospel message is one of victory in Jesus Christ. The gospel heals the brokenhearted and comforts the spiritually poor and needy. The message of mercy and grace is good news from a far country.

The gospel first tells us what the Lord has done for us, then it calls us to repent (turn/change our mind) and to be willing and obedient to God’s teachings. This call to turn from our old ways begins with an initial profession of faith in Christ and conversion (turning/changing of our ways). Preaching “all the counsel of God” should then lead to maturity and growth in our Chrisitan walk. 

We should all have a zeal for the spreading of the Gospel of Christ.
(Isa 40:1-2, ISA 52:7, Eph 4:11-12, 2 Tim 1:10, Rom 10:9-17, Acts 20:27-28, Mat 28:19)

Holiness and Sanctified Living for God’s glory

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid! (Rom 6:1-2)  Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid (Rom 6:15).

Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, knew that some would mock eternal salvation by grace alone, so he said “God forbid!” (a fervent imploring that such a thing should never be said or thought!) Rather, it is God’s will for our lives that we be holy and sanctified (separated, counter-cultural). God commands His born again children to not love, nor be fashioned unto, nor be conformed to the standards and ways of this world.

We are “created unto good works”. We were purified to be “zealous of good works”. Maintaining good works is profitable. Fearing God and keeping His commandments is the whole duty of man. God’s grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. 

God is glorified when men see good works done in His name and with the proper motivation. God is glorified when we bear much spiritual fruit.

Since we love Him, we are called to keep His commandments. Since we are risen with Christ, we are called to set our affections on things above. Our service should be “in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter”. Obedience is not for the purpose of becoming worthy of heaven. Holiness does not increase God’s love for us. Our obedient sanctified living is for His glory and for His pleasure. 

Good works also benefit believers. The level of peace, satisfaction, joy, fulfillment, and spirituality we feel in this life is conditioned upon our trust and obedience to God. Our fruitfulness pleases God. Our unfruitfulness displeases God.

As a good and loving Father, God chastens His children when they disobey, and rewards His obedient children with true and spiritual riches in this life. But thanks be to God that our eternal heavenly home is not based upon our level of obedience in this life.
(Eph 2:10, 1Th 4:3, 1Pe 1:15, Rom 12, Joh 14:15, Rom 7:6, Col 3:1-2, Tit 2:11-12, Heb 12:6, Jas 4:8)

Eternal Security

God preserves His redeemed children unto Heaven. In this life we can and do stumble. God’s children can fall from favor. We can become castaways and not suitable for the master’s use. We can ruin our reputations and ministries. These are shameful conditions that the child of God should “watch” and “take heed” not to fall into.

But praise be to God that Christ shall lose none that were given Him!  Having been given everlasting life, none of God’s children shall eternally perish nor be plucked from God’s preserving hand. There is no eternal condemnation, nor separation from His love; it is God that justifieth.

We should continue to strive to persevere in holiness, but we fail too often. Our hope of heaven is not placed in our own perseverance and faithfulness. The doctrine of eternal security gives us a blessed assurance and comforting hope in the power of God.
(Jn 6:37-39, Jn 10:27-30, Romans 8:28-39, 1st Peter 1:1-5, Hebrews 10:14, Jude 1)

The End

At the end of time our Lord Jesus Christ will come again. At His coming there will be a bodily resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. All that are Christ’s will meet the Lord in the air and spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Those justified through His blood will be made fit for Heaven by having their bodies changed and glorified in that moment.

The unjust, those left in their sins, will be righteously condemned to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
(I Thes 4:16-17, 1 Cor 15: 12-49, Jn 5:28-29, Act 24:15, Rev 20:11-15, Mat 25:41-46)

The Church, the Name, and the Difference

Each local congregation (church) should be independent of man’s hierarchical systems, and look to only one head, the Lord Jesus Christ. We welcome anyone to worship with us, and we have close fellowship with “sister” churches (those of the same beliefs and practices), but we are not part of a denominational system.

The bible describes two church offices (elder and deacon) and two God-ordained traditions (baptism and the Lord’s supper). There are also other symbolic examples given (including foot washing) that bring close fellowship and blessing to Christians.

The name “Primitive” or “Old School” baptist, refers to historic and original beliefs and practices. We seek to follow the simplistic pattern found in scripture. We believe our worship is regulated by God’s authorized commandments and patterns found in the New Testament.

Lord willing, each Sunday morning you will find simple worship consisting of acapella congregational singing, prayer, and preaching. You will find sinners, saved by grace, trying to serve God and love each other. You will find people that assemble to worship God and to exhort and encourage one another. You will find a people that desire to seek and serve Jesus Christ and to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. 

Come and see!
(Tit 1:5, 1 Pet 5:2, 1 Tim 3:5, 1 Cor 11, 14:40, Acts 8:37-, Eph 5:19, Col 3:16, Mat 28:19)

We hold to the same beliefs as those who constituted Rocky Fork Church in 1821, documented in our articles of faith. The explanations above expands upon and clarifies these essential beliefs.