The New Hampshire Baptist Confession of 1853

(The spelling has been updated to modern English.)

 

1. Of the Scriptures

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Samuel 23:2; Acts 1:16; 3:21; John 10:35; Luke 16:29-31; Psalm 119:11; Romans 3:1-2);

that it has God for its author, salvation for its end (2 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 1:10-12; Acts 11:14; Romans 1:16; Mark 16:16; John 5:38-39),

and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (Proverbs 30:5-6; John 17:17; Revelation 22:18-19; Romans 3:4);

that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us (Romans 2:12; John 12:47-48; 1 Corinthians 4:34; Luke 10:10-16; 12:47-48);

and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union (Philippians 3:16; Ephesians 4:3-6; Philippians 2:1-2; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Peter 4:11),

and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried (1 John 4:1; Isaiah 8:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Corinthians 8:5; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:6; Jude 3:5; Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 119:59-60; Philippians 1:9-11).

 

2. 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 (John 4:24; Psalm 147:5; 83:18; Hebrews 3:4; Romans 1:20; Jeremiah 10:10);

inexpressibly glorious in holiness (Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 4:6-8),

and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love (Mark 12:30; Revelation 4:11; Matthew 10:37; Jeremiah 2:12-13);

that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7);

equal in every divine perfection (John 10:30; 5:17; 14:23; 17:5, 10; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Philippians 2:5-6),

and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4-5).

 

3. Of the Fall of Man

We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker (Genesis 1:27, 31; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Acts 16:26; Genesis 2:16);

but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state (Genesis 3:6-24; Romans 5:12);

in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners (Romans 5:19; John 3:6; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:15-19; 8:7),

not by constraint, but choice (Isaiah 53:6; Genesis 6:12; Romans 3:9-18);

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 (Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 1:18, 32; 2:1-16; Galatians 3:10; Matthew 20:15),

without defense or excuse (Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:20; 3:19; Galatians 3:22).

 

4. Of the Way of Salvation

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace (Ephesians 2:5; Matthew 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; Acts 15:11),

through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God (John 3:16; 1:1-14; Hebrews 4:14; 12:24);

who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin (Philippians 2:6-7; Hebrews 2:9, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:21);

honored the divine law by his personal obedience (Isaiah 42:21; Philippians 2:8; Galatians 4:4-5; Romans 3:21),

and by his death made a full atonement for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 20:28; Romans 4:25; 3:21-26; 1 John 4:10; 2:2; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Hebrews 9:13-15);

that having risen from the death, he is now enthroned in Heaven (Hebrews 1:8, 3; 8:1; Colossians 3:1-4);

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 (Hebrews 7:25; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 2:18; 7:26; Psalm 89:19; Psalm 14).

 

5. Of Justification

We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ (John 1:16; Ephesians 3:8)

secures to such as believe in him is Justification (Acts 13:39; Isaiah 3:11-12; Romans 8:1);

that Justification includes the pardon of sin (Romans 5:9; Zechariah 13:1; Matthew 9:6; Acts 10:43),

and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness (Romans 5:17; Titus 3:5-6; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 John 2:25; Romans 5:21);

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 (Romans 4:4-5; 5:21; 6:28; Philippians 3:7-9);

by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God (Romans 5:19; 3:24-26; 4:23-25; 1 John 2:12);

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 (Romans 5:1-3, 11; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 4:8).

 

6. Of the Freeness of Salvation

We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel (Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Luke 14:17);

that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith (Romans 16:26; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:15-17);

and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel (John 5:40; Matthew 23:37; Romans 9:32; Proverbs 1:24; Acts 13:46);

which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation (John 3:19; Matthew 11:20; Luke 19:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:8).

 

7. Of Grace in Regeneration

We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again (John 3:3, 6-7; 1 Corinthians 1:14; Revelation 8:7-9; 21:27);

that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Romans 2:28-29; 5:5; 1 John 4:7);

that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth (John 3:8; 1:13; James 1:16-18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 2:13),

so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel (1 Peter 1:22-25; 1 John 5:1; Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:9-11);

and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life (Ephesians 5:9; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 3:14-21; Matthew 3:8-10; 7:20; 1 John 5:4, 18).

 

8. 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 (Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Ephesians 2:8; 1 John 5:1);

whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ (John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31),

we turn to God with sincere contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy (Luke 18:13; 15:18-21; James 4:7-10; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Romans 10:12-13; Psalm 51);

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 (Romans 10:9-11; Acts 3:22-23: Hebrews 4:14; Psalm 2:6; Hebrews 1:8; 8:25; 2 Timothy 1:12).

 

9. 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 (2 Timothy 1:8-9; Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 Peter 1:1-2; Romans 11:5-6; John 15:15; 1 John 4:19; Hos. 12:9);

that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matthew 20:16; Acts 15:14);

that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable (Exodus 33:18-19; Matthew 20:15; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 9:23-24: Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 11:28-29; James 1:17-18; 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 11:32-36);

that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy (1 Corinthians 4:7; 1:26-31; Romans 3:27; 4:16; Colossians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; 15:10; 1 Peter 5:10; Acts 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 2:9; Luke 18:7; John 15:16; Ephesians 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:12);

that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree (2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Corinthians 9:22; Romans 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2 Peter 1:10);

that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (1 Thessalonians 1:4-10);

that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (Romans 8:28-30; Isaiah 42:16; Romans 11:29);

and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (2 Peter 1:10-11; Philippians 3:12; Hebrews 6:11).

 

10. Of Sanctification

We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 13:9; Ephesians 1:4);

that it is a progressive work (Proverbs 4:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 6:1; 2 Peter 1:5-8; Philippians 3:12-16);

that it is begun in regeneration (John 2:29; Romans 8:5; John 3:6; Philippians 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:13-14);

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 (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Luke 11:35; 9:23; Matthew 26:41; Ephesians 6:18; 4:30).

 

11. Of the Perseverance of Saints

We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end (John 8:31; 1 John 2:27-28; 3:9; 5:18);

that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors (1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matthew 13:20-21; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9);

that a special Providence watches over their welfare (Romans 8:28; Matthew 6:30-33; Jeremiah 32:40; Psalm 121:3; 91:11-12);

and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13; Jude 24-25; Hebrews 1:14; 2 Kings 6:16; Hebrews 13:5; 1 John 4:4).

 

12. 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 (Romans 3:31; Matthew 5:17; Luke 16:17; Romans 3:20; 4:15);

that it is holy, just, and good (Romans 7:12, 7, 14, 22; Galatians 3:21; Psalm 119);

and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin (Romans 8:7-8; Joshua 24:19; Jeremiah 13:23; John 6:44; 5:44);

to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to sincere 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 (Romans 8:2, 4; 10:4; 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 8:10; Jude 20-21; Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 12:28).

 

13. Of a Gospel Church

We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers (1 Corinthians 1:1-13; Matthew 18:17; Acts 5:11; 8:1; 11:31; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 14:23; 3 John 9; 1 Timothy 3:5),

associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (Acts 2:41-42; 2 Corinthians 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 5:12-13);

observing the ordinances of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Romans 16:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23; Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:6; 2 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 4:17);

governed by his laws (Matthew 28:20; John 14:15; 15:12; 1 John 4:21; John 14:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 2 John 6; Galatians 6:2; all the Epistles),

and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word (Ephesians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Philippians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:14);

that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons (Philippians 1:1; Acts 14:23; 15:22; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1),

whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

 

14. Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper

We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer (Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 3:5-6; John 3:22-23; 4:1-2; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:12; 16:32-34; 18:8),

into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Galatians 3:27-28);

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 resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:20-21; Acts 22:16);

that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:41-42; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts and Epistles ),

in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:26; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20);

preceded always by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28; 5:1, 8; 10:3-32; 11:17-32; John 6:26-71).

 

15. Of the Christian Sabbath

(Click to read our particular views on the Sabbath.
We do not hold to all of the following Sabbath teachings.)

We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath (Acts 20:7; Genesis 2:3; Colossians 2:16-17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2);

and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes (Exodus 20:8; Revelation 1:10; Psalm 118:24),

by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private (Psalm 119:15)

and public (Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 11:26; 13:44; Leviticus 19:30; Exodus 46:3; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2, 3; Psalm 26:8; 87:3 );

and by preparation for that rest that remains for the people of God (Hebrews 4:3-11).

 

16. Of Civil Government

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society (Romans 13:1-7; Deuteronomy 16:18; 1 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:23; Jeremiah 30:21);

and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed (Matthew 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13; 1 Timothy 2:1-8);

except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 5:29; Matthew 10:28; Daniel 3:15-18; 6:7-10; Acts 4:18-20)

who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth (Matthew 23:10; Romans 14:4; Revelation 19:16; Psalm 72:11; Psalm 2; Romans 14:9-13)

 

17. Of the Righteous and the Wicked

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (Malachi 3:18; Proverbs 12:26; Isaiah 5:20; Genesis 18:23; Jeremiah 15:19; Acts 10:34- 35; Romans 6:16);

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 (Romans 1:17; 7:6; 1 John 2:29; 3:7; Romans 6:18, 22; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Proverbs 11:31; 1 Peter 4:17-18);

while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse (1 John 5:19; Galatians 3:10; John 3:36; Isaiah 57:21; Psalm 10:4; Isaiah 55:6-7);

and this distinction holds among men both in and after death (Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Proverbs 10:24; Luke 12:4-5; 9:23- 26; John 12:25-26; Ecclesiastes 3:17; Matthew 7:13-14).

 

18. Of the World to Come

We believe that the end of the world is approaching (1 Peter 4:7; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Hebrews 1:10-12; Matthew 24:35; 1 John 2:17; Matthew 28:20; 13:39-40; 2 Peter 3:3-13);

that at the last day Christ will descend from Heaven (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7; Hebrews 9:28; Acts 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-11),

and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution (Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:12-59; Luke 14:14; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; 6:40; 11:25-26; 2 Timothy 1:10; Acts 10:42);

that a solemn separation will then take place (Matthew 13:49, 37-43; 24:30-31; 25:31-33);

that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy (Matthew 25:35-41; Revelation 22:11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Peter 2:9; Jude 7; Philippians 3:19; Romans 6:32; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; John 4:36; 2 Corinthians 4:18);

and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in Heaven or Hell, on principles of righteousness (Romans 3:5-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12; Hebrews 6:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:2-16; Revelation 20:11-12; 1 John 2:28; 4:17).