Crabapple First Baptist is an autonomous local church that is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. We are elder-led and congregationally governed. Below you will find our Statement of Faith and our Church Covenant. Our Statement of Faith, adapted from the 1853 New Hampshire Baptist Confession, outlines from the Bible a summary of what we believe. Our Covenant traces from the Word a picture of how we agree to live.
Statement of faith
I. Of the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible (the canon of sixty-six books widely recognized to be complete since the Council of Carthage in 397 AD) was written by men divinely inspired and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and that it therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
II Tim. 3:16-17; II Tim. 3:15; Prov. 30:5-6; Rom. 2:12-13; II Pet. 1:19-21
II. Of the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
John 4:24; Ps. 83:18; Heb. 3:4; Rom. 1:20; Jer. 10:10; Ex. 15:11; Ps. 147:5; Isa. 6:3; I Pet. 1:15-16; Rev. 4:6-8; Mark 12:30; Rev. 4:11; Matt. 10:37; Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; I Cor. 12:4-6; I John 5:6-10; John 10:30; John 5:17; John 14:23; John 17:5,10; I Cor. 2:10-11; Phil. 2:5-6; Eph. 2:18; II Cor. 13:14; Rev. 1:4-5.
III. Of the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
Gen. 1:27; Gen. 1:31; Eccl. 7:29; Acts 17:26-29; Gen. 2:16-17; Gen. 3:6-24; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 5:15-19; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 8:7; Isa. 53:6; Gen. 6:12; Rom. 3:9-18; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:18,32; Rom. 2:1-16; Rom. 1:20
IV. Of the Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the Mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
I John 4:10; John 3:16; John 1:1-14; II Cor. 5:21; Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 4:25; Rom. 3:21-26; I John 2:2; I Cor. 15:1-3; Heb. 9:13-15; Heb. 1:3; Col. 3:1-4; Heb. 7:25-26; Ps. 34; Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 2:5-11
V. Of Justification
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
Acts 13:38-39; Isa. 53:11-12; Rom 5:1-3; Rom. 5:9; Zech. 13:1; Acts 10:43; Rom. 5:17; Titus 3:5-7; Rom. 5:21; Rom. 4:4-5; Rom. 6:23; Phil. 3:7-9; Rom. 5:19; Rom. 3:24-26; Rom. 4:23-25; Rom. 5:11; I Cor. 1:30-31
VI. Of the Freeness of Salvation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in a more severe condemnation.
Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Rom. 16:25-26; Mark 1:15; Rom. 1:15-17; John 5:39-40; Rom. 9:30-32; Acts 13:46; John 3:19; Luke 10:25-28
VII. Of Grace in Regeneration
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
John 3:3,6-7; Rev. 21:27; II Cor. 5:17; Ezek. 36:26; Rom. 2:28-29; Rom. 5:5; I John 4:7; John 3:8; John 1:13; James 1:16-18; I Cor. 1:30; Phil. 2:13; I Pet. 1:22-25; I John 5:1; Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:9-11; Eph. 5:9; Rom. 8:9-11; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 3:14-21; Matt. 3:8-11; I John 5:4,18
VIII. Of Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.
Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8; I John 5:1; John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; Luke 18:13-14; Luke 15:18-21; James 4:7-10; II Cor. 7:9-10; I Tim. 10:12-15; Ps. 51; Rom. 10:9-11; Heb. 7:25-28; II Tim. 1:12
IX. Of God’s Purpose of Grace
We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel, that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
II Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-14; I Pet. 1:1-2; Rom. 11:5-6; John 15:16; I John 4:19; II Thess. 2:13-14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matt. 20:1-16; Acts 15:14; Ex. 33:18-19; Rom. 9:23-24; Rom. 11:28-36; James 1:17-18; I Cor. 1:26-31; Rom. 3:27; Rom. 4:16; Col. 3:12; I Cor. 3:5-7; I Cor. 15:10; I Pet. 5:10; Acts 1:24; I Thess. 2:13; I Pet. 2:9; Luke 18:7; I Thess. 2:12; II Tim. 2:10; I Cor. 9:22; Rom. 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; I Thess. 1:4-10; Isa. 42:16; II Pet. 1:10-11; Phil. 3:12
X. Of Sanctification
We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means – especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.
I Thess. 4:3; I Thess. 5:23; II Cor. 7:1; Phil. 3:12-16; I John 2:29; Rom. 8:5; Eph. 1:4; Prov. 4:18; II Cor. 3:18; Heb. 6:1; II Pet. 1:5-8; John 3:6; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:13-14; Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 4:11-16; I Pet. 2:2; II Pet. 3:18; II Cor. 13:5; Luke 11:35; Luke 9:23; Matt. 26:41; Eph. 6:18; Eph. 4:30
XI. Of Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end: that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special providence watches over their welfare, and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
John 8:31; I John 2:27-28; I John 3:9; I John 5:18; I John 2:19; John 13:18; Matt. 13:18-23; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9; Rom. 8:26-39; Ps. 121:3; Phil. 1:6; Jude 24:25; Heb. 13:5; I John 4:4
XII. Of the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel
We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from such, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is one great end of the gospel and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.
Rom. 3:31; Matt. 5:17; Luke 16:17; Rom. 4:15-16; Rom. 7:7-22; Gal. 3:21; Ps. 119; Rom. 8:7-8; Rom. 8:2-4; Rom. 10:4; Heb. 8:10;
XIII. Of a Gospel Church
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his word; that its only scriptural officers are elders and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
I Cor. 1:1-3; I Cor. 4:14-17; I Tim. 3:5; Acts 2:41-42,47; I Cor. 5:11-13; II Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17-20; I Cor.11:23-24; Matt. 18:15-20; I Cor. 5:6; II Cor. 2:17; Matt. 28:20; John 13:34-35; John 14:15; John 15:12; I John 4:21; II John 6; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 4:4-7; I Cor. 14:12; Acts 14:23; Acts 15:22; I Tim. 3; Titus 1:1-16
XIV. Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord's Supper, in which the members of our church and churches of like faith and practice, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ, preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Acts 8:36-39; John 3:22-23; Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12; Acts 16:32-34; Acts 18:8; Acts 10:47-48; Gal. 3:26-28; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; I Pet. 3:20-21; Acts 22:16; Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; I Cor. 5:1-8; I Cor. 11:17-32
XV. Of the Christian Sabbath
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day or Christian Sabbath; and it is to be kept sacred to religious purposes by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for the rest that remains for the people of God.
Acts 20:7; Gen. 2:3; Col. 2:16-17; Mark 2:27-28; I Cor. 16:1-2; Ex. 20:8; Rev. 1:10; Isa. 58:13-14; Isa. 56:2-8; Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 11:26; Acts 13:44; Lev. 19:30; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2-3; Heb. 4:3-11
XVI. Of the Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society, and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.
Rom. 13:1-7; Deut. 16:18; Matt. 22:17-21; Titus 3:1; I Pet. 2:13; I Tim. 2:1-4; Acts 5:27-29; Dan. 3:15-18; Dan. 6:7-10; Acts 4:18-20; Rev. 19:16; Ps. 72:11; Ps. 2; Rom. 14:9-13
XVII. Of the Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.
Mal. 3:18; Prov. 12:26; Gen. 18:23; Acts 10:34-35; Rom. 6:16; Rom. 1:17; Rom. 7:6; I John 2:29; I John 3:7; Rom. 6:18,22; I Cor. 11:32; I Pet. 4:17-18; I John 5:19; Gal. 3:10; John 3:36; Isa. 57:21; Ps. 10:4; Isa. 55:6-7; Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Prov. 10:24; Luke 12:4-5; Luke 9:23-26; Eccl. 3:17; Matt. 7:13-14
XVIII. Of the World to Come
We believe that the end of the world is approaching; that at the Last Day, Christ will descend from heaven and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.
I Pet. 4:7; I Cor. 7:29-31; Heb. 1:10-12; Matt. 24:35; I John 2:17; Matt. 28:20; Matt. 13:39-40; II Pet. 3:3-13; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; Heb. 9:28; Acts 3:21; I Thess. 4:13-18; I Thess. 5:1-11; Acts 24:15; I Cor. 15:12-58; Luke 14:14; Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29; John 6:40; John 11:25-26; II Tim. 1:10; Acts 10:42; Matt. 13:49; Matt. 13:37-43; Matt. 24:30- 31; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 22:10-13; I Cor. 6:9-10; Mark 9:43-48; II Pet. 2:9; Phil. 3:19; Rom. 6:23; II Cor. 5:10-11; John 4:36; II Cor. 4:17-18; Rom. 3:5-6; II Thess. 1:6-12: Heb. 6:1-2; I Cor. 4:5; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:2-16; Rev.20:11-12; I John 2:28; I John 4:17
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive Jesus Christ as the Lord, Savior, and supreme Treasure of our lives, and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
Rom 10:10; 1 Cor. 12:27
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and peace; to promote its spirituality and fruitfulness; to sustain its worship, ordinances, and discipline; to welcome, and test biblically, instruction from the Scriptures by the elders of the church, seeking to grow toward biblical unity in the truth; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
John 15:12; Eph. 5:2; Heb. 12:14; John 15:5; Acts 17:11; Col. 3:16; Matt. 28:18-20
We also engage to maintain family and personal devotions; to educate our children in the Christian faith; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all spreading of rumors or false reports, unnecessary strife, and unrighteous anger; and to seek God’s help in abstaining from all drugs, food, drink, and practices which bring unwarranted harm to the body or jeopardize our own or another’s faith.
Deut. 6:4-9; Ex. 23:1; Rom. 14:13-23; Eph. 4:22-32; 2 Pet. 1:5-8
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
I Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 8:8; 2 Cor.9:6-9; Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 2:1-4; James 4:11-12, 10, 17; James 5:7-16
We moreover engage that when we leave this church, we will, if possible, unite with a likeminded church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant.
Heb. 10:23-25; 1 John 2:19