A friend has mentioned something called the Eighteen Articles of Faith. What are they?
The eighteen articles of faith that your friend is referring to appears to be the historic “New Hampshire Baptist Confession” of 1833. There are a number of historic statements of faith. The best known ones are the Apostle’s Creed (200-300 A.D.), Nicene Creed (325 and 381 A.D.), Athanasian (300-400 A.D.), Chalcedonian (451 A.D.), Augsburg Confession (1530 A.D.), Thirty-nine Articles (1571 A.D.), Formula of Concord (1576 A.D.), Westminster Confession of Faith (1643 A.D.), New Hampshire Baptist Confession (1833), Baptist Faith and Practice (1925 and 1963 A.D.), and the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978 A.D.). Each of these are significant confessions of faith.
Background. The New Hampshire Baptist Confession was drafted in 1833 by Rev. John Newton Brown, an influential Baptist leader. The confession was adopted by the New Hampshire Convention and was widely supported. In 1933, the General Association of Regular Baptists (GARB), a group of conservative churches, adopted a revised version of the confession. The original version included eighteen articles. Here are the topics:
|New Hampshire Baptist Confession (1833)|
|Article||Declaration of Faith|
|1||of the Scriptures|
|2||of the True God|
|3||of the Fall of Man|
|4||of the Way of Salvation|
|6||of the Freeness of Salvation|
|7||of the Grace In Regeneration|
|8||of Repentance and Faith|
|9||of God’s Purpose of Grace|
|11||of the Preservation of Saints|
|12||of the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel|
|13||of a Gospel Church|
|14||of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper|
|15||of the Christian Sabbath|
|16||of Civil Government|
|17||of the Righteous and the Wicked|
|18||of the World to Come|
Modification. The GARB modified the confession to reflect a premillennial view of the future. Typically this means the person believes that Jesus Christ returns for all Christians before the Tribulation starts and that after the Tribulation, Jesus sets up His kingdom on earth (Rev. 20:1-10). After the judgment of the wicked occurs, eternal life either with God or in the lake of fire follows (Rev. 20:11-15).
Statements of faith are great since they quickly give one an idea about what the church, the pastor and most of the people in a church believe.