What We Believe

 

At First Baptist Church, we know that we exist to make much of Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father.  We also know that the Bible is all about Jesus Christ: how God prepared the way for him; his life and ministry while here on earth; and what his death and resurrection mean for all people, for his church, and for all of Creation.  It stands to reason, then, that in order to make much of Jesus we ought to know what God’s Word says about him.  We are so thankful that God is a personal God, and that he has revealed himself to us in his written Word and in his living Word, Jesus Christ.

What follows are fourteen “We believe…” statements.  As a covenanted body of believers in Jesus Christ, we hold these truths without reservation or exception.  They are what the Word of God teaches.  We hope you see the glory of God and the majesty of Jesus Christ his Son in them as we do.

The Word of God - We believe the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct.  (Ps. 119:89; Mt. 5:18; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11; 11 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:21)

The Trinity - We believe there is one living and true God eternally existing in three persons -the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - that these three are equal in every divine perfection and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.  (Gen. 1:1, 26; Mt. 28:19; Jn. 5:18; Acts 5:3; Rom. 1:20; 2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:6)

God the Father - We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love.  We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of all people, that He hears and answers prayers, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.  (Gen. 1:1; Mt. 6:9-13; Jn. 3:16, 4:25, 5:26, 7:11, 25; Rom. 8:33-34)

Jesus Christ - We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit.  We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings.  We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for his people and personal visible return to earth. (Mt. 1:20; Lk. 1:34; Jn. 1:1, 3:13, 11:25; Acts 1:3, 9, 16:31; Rom. 8:34; 1 Pet. 1:3-4; 2:22; 1 Jn. 2:1-2, 3:5; Rev. 1:7)

The Holy Spirit - We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment and to regenerate, sanctify and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ.  We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.  (Jn. 14:17, 16:8; Acts 5:1-4; Rom. 8:1-17, 15:16; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Cor. 2:12, 3:16; 2 Cor. 3:6; Titus 3:5; 1Jn. 2:27)

Man - We believe that all people are created by God in His image, to glorify Him forever.  Because the first couple, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God’s command when tested, they and all people since are alienated from God and are sinners by nature and by choice.  Because God is holy and cannot tolerate sin, all people are under condemnation and unable to save themselves.  (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 3:23, 15:6; Rev. 4:11)

Salvation - We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to all people by Grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  His precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins.  (Is. 53:5-6; Jn. 1:12, 3:8, 6:40; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Pet. 3:9)

Satan - We believe that Satan is a personal being, the author of sin and the cause of the fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and mankind, and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire.  (Job 1:6-7; Is. 14:12-17; Mt. 4:2-11, 25:41; Rev. 20:10)

The Church - We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members.  We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship.  We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.  (Mt.28:17-20; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor.12:13-31)

Christian Conduct - We believe that Christians should live for the glory of God and the well-being of others; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that they should seek to realize, for themselves and others, the full stature of maturity in Christ.  (1 Cor. 2:14, 3:3; Gal. 5:22-26; Eph. 5:1-33)

The Ordinances - We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church - baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Triune God.  We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ to commemorate His substitionary and atoning death.  We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 8:26-40; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 11:17-34)

The Last Things - We believe in a personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom.  We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked.  (Jn. 14:3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:11-15)

Religious Liberty - We believe that every human being has direct relations with God and is responsible to God and God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical authority; and, therefore, Church and State must be kept separated as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.  (Eph. 1:22-23)

Church Cooperation - We believe that local churches best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization.  Such an organization, whether regional or district conferences, exists and functions by the will of the churches.  Cooperation in a conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time.  The church may likewise cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary, independent basis