Abstract of Principles of the Chattahoochee United Baptist Association
Last week I posted the Sharon Confession of Faith as printed in the 1848 Minutes of the Chattahoochee United Baptist Association (p. 4) of west central Georgia. I do not have a copy of the 1849 minutes, but in 1850 the Abstract of Principles is printed in a slightly revised form (pp. 6-7).[i] Scriptures proof-texts were added to all the articles.[ii] A note defining original sin is included under article 3, and a new article is inserted as article 6 (between the 1848 articles 5 and 6) on justification by faith -- increasing the document to 13 articles versus the prior 12 articles in the Sharon Confession.
Abstract of Principles.
1. We believe in one only true and living God, the Creator and Preserver of all things, and only Law-Giver, and that there are three persons in the God Head, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and these three are one. Isa. 44:6,8; 41:4; John 4:24; 2 Cor. 3:17; Luke 3:22; 1 John 5:7; rev. 1:8 to 17; Phil. 2:6; John 1:1,2,3; 10:30; 14:20; Math. 28:19.
2. We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, and only rule of Faith and Practice. Acts 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:13 to 17; 2 Peter 1:24; 2 Sam. 23:2.
3. We believe in the doctrine of original sin. John 8:44; 1 John 3:4 to 8; 5:19.
Note.—Original sin is that whereby our whole nature is corrupted and rendered contrary to the Law of God. Adam, the first man, was made in the image and likeness of God; but when he sinned, he lost that divine image. And when he begat children, it is said in the Sacred Scriptures, that he begat them in his own image.—Gen. 5:3; Prov. 14:3; Rom. 3:12.
4. We believe in man’s inability to recover himself from the fallen state which he is in by nature, by his own strength. John 6:44 to 65; Gal. 1:4; Math. 24:28; Isaiah 53:5 to 11; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:19; 8:3; Gal. 2:13; 1 Peter 2:21.
5. We believe in a Covenant between the Father and Son, in which all Grace is treasured up; and in the doctrine of election, according to the foreknowledge of God, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth according to 1st Peter, 1st chapter, 2d verse; and 2d Thessalonians 2d chapter, 13th verse: “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” But that election should not be so construed as to make God the author of sin, either directly or indirectly. Nor, on the other hand do we believe the creature can do any thing meritorious in his salvation. 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Thes. 2:13; Isaiah 65:2; 50:8,9; Rom. 8:32,33; 2d Tim. 2:10,11; Titus 1:12, Numbers 23:12.
6. We believe that believers are justified by the righteousness of Christ, only imparted to them and received by the faith. Rom.4:3,5; 3: 22,24, 26; 1 Cor. 6:11: 2; 5: 54.
7. We believe that good works are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification; that they are the evidences of faith, and absolutely necessary to justification before men. Rom. 3:2 to 28; Lev. 26:3; Eccl. 12:12; John 14:15; 1 Tim. 6:14; Luke 1:6; Heb. 10:22,23; 11:5,12; 2 Jam. 2:1,14,17, 20,26; 2 Peter 1:6,7,8.
8. We believe in a general Judgment, when all shall be judged according to their works; that the happiness of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be eternal. John 5:28,29; Rev. 2:14; Math. 25:45,46; Dan. 12:2; Rev. 14:11; Isaiah 24:10; Rev. 19:3; Hos. 13:44; Mark 12:23 to 27; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 15:12,13,21,23.
9. We believe that Saints will persevere in Grace to the end of their lives. John 10:28,29,30; 6:37,13; 1 Phil. 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Deut. 33:3; Heb. 6:17,18; John 17:2,3; Rom. 8:38,39; Eph. 1:21 to 23; 6:11 to 19; Co. 3:4; 1 Peter 3:22.
10. We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are standing ordinances of the Church of Christ, and that immersion only is Baptism, and believers the only subjects. Math. 3:5 to 12; Mark 1:5 to 11; Luke 5:7 to 9; John 3:23; Acts 2:38 to 41; Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21.
11. We believe that no Minister has the right to administer the ordinances of the Lord’s house, except such as are called of God, approved by the churches, and regularly ordained. Acts 13:23; 1 Tim. 4:5; Heb. 5:4; Lev. 9:6,7,8,10,15; 8:36.
12. We believe that men by nature are so morally depraved that they will not come to God for life and salvation, and but for the influences of the Holy Spirit none would ever come to him. Gen. 6:3; 1 Peter 3:18; Ps. 24; 73; 28; 10; 7; 18; Heb. 7:19.
13. We hold that it is the command of God to his people, to publish His Word, and promulgate the Gospel of Christian to all nations, making known to the human family the plan of redemption through the atonement of Christ; and we believe it is the duty of every rational descendant of Adam, to whom the Gospel message of reconciliation is addressed, to exercise repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Mark 13:10; Rev. 6:7; Math. 28:19; Luke 23:47,48; John 15:16; Rom. 10:14,15; 6:18; Isaiah 1:2,3; 2:10; Col. 1:23.