Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Statement of Faith THE BIRMINGHAM AMENDED STATEMENT OF FAITH A STATEMENT OF THE FAITH FORMING OUR BASIS OF FELLOWSHIP

Statement of Faith


THE BIRMINGHAM AMENDED STATEMENT OF FAITH
A STATEMENT OF THE FAITH FORMING OUR BASIS OF FELLOWSHIP

THE FOUNDATION.—That the book currently known as the Bible, consisting of the Scriptures of Moses, the prophets, and the apostles, is the only source of knowledge concerning God and His purposes at present extant or available in the earth, and that the same were wholly given by inspiration of God in the writers, and are consequently without error in all parts of them, except such as may be due to errors of transcription or translation (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Hebrews 1:1; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 14:37; Nehemiah 9:30; John 10:35).
TRUTH TO BE RECEIVED
I.—That the only true God is He who was revealed to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, by angelic visitation and vision, and to Moses at the flaming bush (unconsumed) and at Sinai, and who manifested Himself in the Lord Jesus Christ, as the supreme self-existent Deity, the ONE FATHER, dwelling in unapproachable light, yet everywhere present by His Spirit, which is a unity with His person in heaven. He hath, out of His own underived energy, created heaven and earth, and all that in them is (Isaiah 40:13–25; 43:10–12; 44:6–8; 45:5; 46:9–10; Job 38, 39 and 40; Deuteronomy 6:1–4; Mark 12:29–32; 1 Corinthians 8:4–6; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Nehemiah 9:6; Job 26:13; Psalm 124:8; 146:6; 148:5; Isaiah 40:25–27; Jeremiah 10:12–13; 27:5; 32:17–25; 51:15; Acts 14:15; 17:24; 1 Chronicles 29:11–14; Psalm 62:11; 145:3; Isaiah 26:4; 40:26; Job 9:4; 36:5; Psalm 92:5; 104:24; 147:4–5; Isaiah 28:29; Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Job 28:24; 34:21; Psalm 33:13–14; 44:21; 94:9; 139:7–12; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:24; 32:19; Amos 9:2–3; Acts 17:27–28; Psalm 123:1; 1 Kings 8:30–39, 43, 49; Matthew 6:9; 1 Timothy 6:15–16; 1:17).
II.—That Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, begotten of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, without the intervention of man, and afterwards anointed with the same spirit, without measure, at his baptism (Matthew 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:16; Acts 2:22–24, 36; Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–35; Galatians 4:4; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 3:16–17; Isaiah 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; John 3:34; 7:16; 8:26–28; 14:10–24).
III.—That the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth on the earth was necessitated by the position and state into which the human race had been brought by the circumstances connected with the first man (1 Corinthians 15:21–22; Romans 5:12–19; Genesis 3:19; 2 Corinthians 5:19–21).
IV.—That the first man was Adam, whom God created out of the dust of the ground as a living soul, or natural body of life, “very good” in kind and condition, and placed him under a law through which the continuance of life was contingent on obedience (Genesis 2:7; 18:27; Job 4:19; 33:6; 1 Corinthians 15:46–49; Genesis 2:17).
V.—That Adam broke this law, and was adjudged unworthy of immortality, and sentenced to return to the ground from whence he was taken—a sentence which defiled and became a physical law of his being, and was transmitted to all his posterity (Genesis 3:15–19, 22–23; 2 Corinthians 1:9; Romans 7:24; 2 Corinthians 5:2–4; Romans 7:18–23; Galatians 5:16–17; Romans 6:12; 7:21; John 3:6; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Psalm 51:5; Job 14:4).
VI.—That God, in His kindness, conceived a plan of restoration which, without setting aside His just and necessary law of sin and death, should ultimately rescue the race from destruction, and people the earth with sinless immortals (Revelation 21:4; John 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 John 2:25; 2 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:2; Romans 3:26; John 1:29).
VII.—That He inaugurated this plan by making promises to Adam, Abraham, and David, and afterwards elaborated it in greater detail through the prophets (Genesis 3:15; 21:18; Psalm 89:34–37; 33:5; Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:7–9; 51:1–8; Jeremiah 23:5).
VIII.—That these promises had reference to Jesus Christ, who was to be raised up in the condemned line of Abraham and David, and who, though wearing their condemned nature, was to obtain a title to resurrection by perfect obedience, and, by dying, abrogate the law of condemnation for himself and all who should believe and obey him (1 Corinthians 15:45; Hebrews 2:14–16; Romans 1:3; Hebrews 5:8–9, 1:9; Romans 5:19–21; Galatians 4:4–5; Romans 8:3–4; Hebrews 2:15; 9:26; Galatians 1:4; Hebrews 7:27; 5:3–7; 2:17; Romans 6:10; 6:9; Acts 13:34–37; Revelation 1:18; John 5:21–22, 26–27; 14:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:21; Matthew 25:21; Hebrews 5:9; Mark 16:16; Acts 13:38–39; Romans 3:22; Psalm 2:6–9; Daniel 7:13–14; Revelation 11:15; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 14:9; Ephesians 1:9–10).
IX.—That it was this mission that necessitated the miraculous begettal of Christ of a human mother, enabling him to bear our condemnation, and, at the same time, to be a sinless bearer thereof, and, therefore, one who could rise after suffering the death required by the righteousness of God (Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–35; Galatians 4:4; Isaiah 7:14; Romans 1:3–4; 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:14–17; 4:15).
X.—That being so begotten of God, and inhabited and used by God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was Emmanuel, God with us, God manifest in the flesh—yet was, during his natural life, of like nature with mortal man, being made of a woman, of the house and lineage of David, and therefore a sufferer, in the days of his flesh, from all the effects that came by Adam’s transgression, including the death that passed upon all men, which he shared by partaking of their physical nature (Matthew 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 2:17).
XI.—That the message he delivered from God to his kinsmen the Jews, was a call to repentance from every evil work, the assertion of his divine sonship and Jewish kingship; and the proclamation of the glad tidings that God would restore their kingdom through him, and accomplish all things written in the prophets (Mark 1:15; Matthew 4:17; 5:20–48; John 10:36; 9:35; 11:27; 19:21; 1:49; Matthew 27:11–42; John 10:24–25; Matthew 19:28; 21:42–43; 23:38–39; 25:14–46; Luke 4:43; 13:27–30; 19:11–27; 22:28–30; Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44).
XII.—That for delivering this message, he was put to death by the Jews and Romans, who were, however, but instruments in the hands of God, for the doing of that which He had determined before to be done—viz., the condemnation of sin in the flesh, through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all, as a propitiation to declare the righteousness of God, as a basis for the remission of sins. All who approach God through this crucified, but risen, representative of Adam’s disobedient race, are forgiven. Therefore, by a figure, his blood cleanseth from sin (Luke 19:47; 20:1–16; John 11:45–53; Acts 10:38–39; 13:26–29; 4:27–28; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 10:10; Romans 3:25; 15:8; Galatians 3:21–22; 2:21; 4:4–5; Hebrews 9:15; Luke 22:20; 24:26, 46–47; Matthew 26:28).
XIII.—That on the third day, God raised him from the dead, and exalted him to the heavens as priestly mediator between God and man, in the process of gathering from among them a people who should be saved by the belief and obedience of the truth (1 Corinthians 15:4; Acts 10:40; 13:30–37; 2:24–27).
XIV.—That he is a priest over his own house only, and does not intercede for the world, or for professors who are abandoned to disobedience. That he makes intercession for his erring brethren, if they confess and forsake their sins (Luke 24:51; Ephesians 1:20; Acts 5:31; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:1; Acts 15:14; 13:39; Hebrews 4:14–15; John 17:9; Hebrews 10:26; 1 John 2:1; Proverbs 28:13).
XV.—That he sent forth apostles to proclaim salvation through him, as the only name given under heaven whereby men may be saved (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19–20; Luke 24:46–48; Acts 26:16–18; 4:12).
XVI.—That the way to obtain this salvation is to believe the gospel they preached, and to take on the name and service of Christ, by being thereupon immersed in water, and continuing patiently in the observance of all things he has commanded, none being recognised as his friends except those who do what he has commanded (Acts 13:48; 16:31; Mark 16:16; Romans 1:16; Acts 2:38, 41; 10:47; 8:12; Galatians 3:27–29; Romans 6:3–5; 2:7; Matthew 28:20; John 15:14).
XVII.—That the gospel consists of “the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12; 19:8, 10, 20; 28:30, 31).
XVIII.—That the things of the Kingdom of God are the facts testified concerning the Kingdom of God in the writings of the prophets and apostles, and definable as in the next twelve paragraphs.
XIX.—That God will set up a kingdom in the earth, which will overthrow all others, and change them into “the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ” (Daniel 2:44; 7:13, 14; Revelation 11:15; Isaiah 32:1, 6; 2:3, 4; 11:9, 10).
XX.—That for this purpose God will send Jesus Christ personally to the earth at the close of the times of the Gentiles (Acts 3:20, 21; Psalm 102:16, 21; 2 Timothy 4:1; Acts 1:9, 11; Daniel 7:13).
XXI.—That the kingdom which he will establish will be the kingdom of Israel restored, in the territory it formerly occupied, viz., the land bequeathed for an everlasting possession to Abraham and his seed (the Christ) by covenant (Micah 4:6–8; Amos 9:11, 15; Ezekiel 37:21, 22; Jeremiah 23:3, 8; Genesis 13:14, 17; Hebrews 11:8, 9; Galatians 3:16; Leviticus 26:42; Micah 7:20).
XXII.—That this restoration of the kingdom again to Israel will involve the ingathering of God’s chosen but scattered nation, the Jews; their reinstatement in the land of their fathers, when it shall have been reclaimed from “the desolation of many generations”; the building again of Jerusalem to become “the throne of the Lord” and the metropolis of the whole earth (Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 31:10; Zechariah 8:8; Ezekiel 36:34, 36; Isaiah 51:3; 60:15; 62:4; Jeremiah 3:17; Micah 4:7, 8; Joel 3:17; Isaiah 24:23).
XXIII.—That the governing body of the kingdom so established will be the brethren of Christ, of all generations, developed by resurrection and change, and constituting, with Christ as their head, the collective “seed of Abraham”, in whom all nations will be blessed, and comprising “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets”, and all in their age of like faithfulness (Daniel 12:2; Luke 13:28; Revelation 11:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17; John 5:28, 29; 6:39, 40; Luke 14:14; Matthew 24:34, 46).
XXIV.—That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the Kingdom, the responsible (namely, those who know the revealed will of God, and have been called upon to submit to it), dead and living—obedient and disobedient—will be summoned before his judgement seat “to be judged according to their works”; and “receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; Romans 2:5, 6, 16; 14:10–12; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 11:18).
XXV.—That the unfaithful will be consigned to shame and “the second death”, and the faithful, invested with immortality, and exalted to reign with Jesus as joint heirs of the kingdom, co-possessors of the earth, and joint administrators of God’s authority among men in everything (Matthew 7:26; 8:12; 25:20; Daniel 12:2; Galatians 6:8; 5:21; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 10:26–28; 2 Peter 2:12; Revelation 21:8; Malachi 4:1; Psalm 37:30–38; Proverbs 10:25–29; 1 Corinthians 15:51–55; 2 Corinthians 5:1–4; James 1:12; Romans 2:7; John 10:28; Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:9, 22, 29; Revelation 5:9; Daniel 7:27; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Peter 1:11; Revelation 3:21; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10; Psalm 49:7–9; Luke 22:29–30).
XXVI.—That the Kingdom of God, thus constituted, will continue a thousand years, during which sin and death will continue among the earth’s subject inhabitants, though in a much milder degree than now (Revelation 20:4–8; 12:15; Isaiah 65:20; Ezekiel 44:22, 25; 1 Corinthians 15:24, 28).
XXVII.—That a law will be established which shall go forth to the nations for their “instruction in righteousness”, resulting in the abolition of war to the ends of the earth; and the “filling of the earth with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea” (Micah 4:2; Isaiah 42:4; 11:1–5; 2:4; Habakkuk 2:14).
XXVIII.—That the mission of the Kingdom will be to subdue all enemies, and finally death itself, by opening up the way of life to the nations, which they will enter by faith, during the thousand years, and (in reality) at their close (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26; Revelation 21:4; 20:12–15; Isaiah 25:6–8).
XXIX.—That at the close of the thousand years, there will be a general resurrection and judgement, resulting in the final extinction of the wicked, and the immortalisation of those who shall have established their title (under the grace of God) to eternal life during the thousand years (Revelation 20:11–15; 1 Corinthians 15:24).
XXX.—That the government will then be delivered up by Jesus to the Father, who will manifest Himself as the “all-in-all”; sin and death having been taken out of the way, and the race completely restored to the friendship of the Deity (1 Corinthians 15:28).