This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God, speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind. The Bible is the sole and final source of all that we believe, and the Pastor and Deacon Board is given the greatest responsibility to rightly divide the Word of Truth (II Timothy 2:15) by overseeing and protecting the doctrinal purity of this Church. For purposes of church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, The First Baptist Church will be governed by our Statement of Faith and our Church Constitution. Any amendments to this document must be ratified by the church members according to the Church Constitution, Article XI, Section 1.
We believe in the HOLY SCRIPTURES; accepting fully the writings of the Old and New Testaments (the 66 books, from Genesis through Revelation) as the VERY WORD OF GOD, verbally inspired in all parts and therefore wholly without error as originally given of God, altogether sufficient in themselves as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and practice.
(II Tim. 3:16,17; John 17:17; I Thess. 2:13; Psa. 119:89; II Pet. 1:21; Acts 1:16; John 16:13; I Cor. 2:13 Exo. 4:15 Mat. 5:18; John 10:35; Rom. 15:4; II Cor. 10:11)
We believe in the ONE TRIUNE GOD: Who is personal, Spirit and sovereign, perfect, infinite, and eternal in His being, holiness and love, wisdom, and power; absolutely separate and above the world as CREATOR, yet everywhere present in the world as upholder of all things; self-existent and self-revealing in three distinct persons, the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT, each having a distinct ministry in God’s relation to His creation and people.
(John 4:24; Mat 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; Mark 12:29; Psa. 18:30, 147:5; Det. 33:27; Psa 135:6; Gen. 1:1; Psa. 139:1-10; Psa.104; John 5:26 Mat. 11:27; John 1:1-3; Acts 5:3,4; John 5:23)
We believe that, although God is the Creator of the universe and of the human race, He is the Father only of those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. We do not believe in the universal Fatherhood of God, nor the universal Brotherhood of man.
(Gen. 1:1, 26,27; 2:7,21,22; Acts 17:28,29; John 1:12,13; Gal. 3:26; I John 3:2; John 8:42-44; I John 5:12)
We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; Who is the second Person of the Triune God, the Eternal Word and only Begotten Son; that without any change in His Divine Person, He became man by the miracle of the Virgin Birth, thus to continue forever as both TRUE-GOD and TRUE-MAN, one Person with two natures; that as Man He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin; that as the perfect Lamb of God He gave Himself in death upon the cross, becoming there the sin of the world and suffering in it full penalty of Divine wrath in our stead; that He arose bodily from the grave and was glorified; that as our Great High Priest He ascended into Heaven, there to appear before the face of God as our Advocate and Intercessor.
(Mat. 28:19; Psa 2:7; John 1:18; 8:58; I Pet. 1:10; Acts 2:23; Heb. 13:8; Mat. 1:18; Luke 1:35; Mat. 1:23; John 1:14; II Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 2:22; I Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14,17; I John 3:5; Col. 2:9; Rev. 22:16; Rom. 1:3,4; I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:15; John 8:46; 1:29; Mat. 20:28; Phi. 2:8; I Pet. 1:18,19; 2:24; Isa. 53:5,6; Gal. 3:13; John 20:25-28; Acts 2:32,33; Heb. 4:14; Acts 1:9; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; I John 2:1)
We believe in the Holy Spirit Who is the Third Person of the Trinity, and the Divine Agent in nature, creation, revelation and redemption; that He convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment; that He regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals, and anoints all who become children of God through Christ; that He further empowers, guides, teaches, sanctifies and fills believers who daily surrender to Him.
(Mat. 28:19; Gen. 1:2; Psa. 104:30; I Cor. 2:10; Titus 3:5; Acts 2:1-4; I Cor. 12:13; John 16:8-11; 3:5; Rom. 8:9; John 14:16,17; 16:13; I John 2:20,27; Eph. 1:13,14; 4:30; 5:18; Acts 4:31; I Cor. 12:1, 8-11)
We believe in the Genesis account of Creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life were made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring-forth only “after their kind”.
(Gen. 1:1; Exo. 20:11; Acts 4:24; Col. 1:17; Heb. 11:3; John 1:3; Rev. 10:6; Rom. 1:20; Acts 17:23-26; Jer. 10:12; Gen. 1:26-27; I Cor. 11:7; Gen 2:7; Gen 2:21-23; 1:11,24)
We believe in the existence of Satan: who originally was created a holy and perfect being, but through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God, thus becoming utterly depraved in character, the great adversary of God and His people, leader of all other evil angels and spirits, the deceiver and the god of this present world; that his powers are vast, but strictly limited by the permissive will of God. Who overrules all his wicked devices for good; that he was defeated and judged at the Cross, and therefore his final doom is certain; that we are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of God, by the blood of the Lamb and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:15-17; Rev. 12:9; Jude 6; II Pet. 2:2; John 14:30; I Thess. 3:5; Mat. 4:1-3; I Pet. 5:8; Zec. 1:3; I John 3:8; Mat. 13:25, 37-39; Luke 22:3,4; James 4:7; Eph. 6:11-18)
We believe all men are by nature and choice sinful and lost; that man was the direct creation of God but that by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God, man became a sinful creature, the father of a fallen race which is universally sinful in both nature and practice, thus alienated from the life and family of God, and has within himself NO possible means of salvation.
(Gen. 3:1-6; 3:24; Rom. 5:12,19; 3:10-19; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:23; Eze. 18:19,20; Rom. 1:32; 3:20; 1:28; Gal. 3:22)
We believe in Salvation by Grace through Faith: that salvation is the free gift of God, neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man, but received only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom all true believers have as a present possession the gift of Eternal Life, a perfect righteousness, sonship in the family of God, deliverance and security from all condemnation, every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness, and the divine guarantee that they shall never perish; that this salvation affects the whole man; that apart from Christ there is no possible salvation.
(Rom 6:23; Eph. 2:8; Rom. 3:24; Heb. 9:22; Rom. 4:4,5; John 6:28,29; I John 5:10-12; Rom. 3:22; John 1:12; I John 3:1,2; John 5:24; Eph. 1:3; II Pet. 1:3; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 13:39)
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be “born again”; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous, and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in his trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives Eternal Life, the free gift of God.
(John 3:3; II Cor. 5:17; Luke 5:27-28; I John 5:1; John 3:6-7; Acts 2:41; Acts 16:30-33; II Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1; II Cor. 5:19; Col. 2:13)
We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is JUSTIFICATION; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of Eternal Life on principles of righteousness; 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, His righteousness is imputed unto us.
(Acts 13:39; Isa. 53:11; Zec. 13:1; Rom. 8:1; 5:9; Titus 3:5-7; Rom. 1:17; Heb. 2:4; Gal. 3:11; Rom. 4:1-8; Heb. 10:38; Rom. 5:18)
We believe that Biblical Sanctification has three aspects: (1) The believer is set apart positionally before God the moment he believes; (2) He is set apart progressively in his walk day by day as he grows in Grace; (3) He is set apart from the very presence of sin when his sanctification is completed at the coming of Christ for the Church.
(I Cor. 1:2,3; Heb. 10:10-14; John 17:17-19; II Thess. 2:13; I Pet. 1:2; I Cor. 6:11; I John 3:2; Jude 24,25)
We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of Salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept these blessings by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith; that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
(I Thess. 1:4; Col. 3:12; I Pet. 1:2; Rom. 8:29,30; Mat. 11:28; Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Rom. 10:13; John 6:37; Isa. 55:7; John 3:15,16; I Tim. 1:15; I Cor. 15:10; Eph. 2:4,5; John 5:40; Isa. 55:6; Acts 2:38; John 3:18,36)
We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of Salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, and confession; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.
(Acts 20:21; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:27-38; Luke 18:13; Rom. 10:13; Psa. 51:1-4,7; Isa. 55:6,7; Luke 12:8; Rom. 10:9,10)
We believe that every person, immediately upon acceptance of Christ as his personal Savior, receives the gift of Eternal Life, and is made at once a son of God. As such, a special Providence watches over his welfare so that he is kept in a state of Grace until it is succeeded by a state of Glory.
(John 10:28,29; John 1:12; I John 5:10-13; I Pet. 1:5; Phi. 1:6; Rom. 8:28,29; Eph. 1:13,14; 4:30)
We believe in the Priesthood of all Believers: that Christ is our Great High Priest and through Him every born again person has direct access into God’s presence without the need of a human priest; that the believer has the right and responsibility to personally study and interpret the Scriptures guided by the Holy Spirit.
(I Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 20:6; Heb. 4:14-16; Eph. 2:18; Rev. 5:10)
We believe in Righteous living and Godly works: not as a means of Salvation in any sense, but as its proper evidence and fruit, and therefore as Christians we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek those things which are above, walk as He walked, accept as our solemn responsibility the duty and privileges of bearing the Gospel to a lost world; remembering that a victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who in gratitude for the infinite and undeserved mercies of God have presented themselves wholly to Christ.
(Eph. 2:10; I Pet. 1:15,16; I Cor. 6:9-12)
We believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ; that He alone is Head of the Body of Christ, the Church, into which all true believers are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit, and that all members of this one spiritual body should assemble and identify themselves in a local church.
(Eph. 1:15-23; 2:20-22; Heb. 1:25)
We believe that a New Testament Church is a local assembly of born again baptized believers and its primary purpose is to be engaged in carrying out the Great Commission; that each New Testament Church is free to govern itself without ecclesiastical interference, and should cooperate with other New Testament Churches as the Holy Spirit leads; and that it is responsible to follow the pattern of the New Testament Church and is directly accountable to God.
(Revelation 2 and 3)
We believe in the Separation of Church and State, with each having definite and distinct spheres of responsibility; that Civil Government is of Divine appointment, for the interest and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of Kings on the earth.
(Rom. 13:17; II Sam. 23:3; Exo. 18:21,22; Acts 23:5; Mat. 22:21; Titus 3:1; I Pet. 2:13,14,17; Acts 5:29; 4:19,20; Dan. 3:17,18; Mat. 10:28; 23:10; Rev. 10:16; Phi. 2:10,11; Psa. 72:11)
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life.
(Acts 8:36-39; Mat. 3:6; John 3:23; Rom. 6:4,5; Mat. 3:16; 28:19; Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:3-5)
The other ordinance given to the Church is Communion. We believe that communion is a symbolic (bread and cup) ordinance picturing Christ’s body sacrificed for our sins and His blood shed for our redemption. It is not a saving ordinance but helps us remember His sacrificial death while looking forward to His Second Coming. Only those who have accepted and acknowledge Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and are in a right relationship with Him are invited to partake of Communion. (Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 11:23-30)
While neither baptism nor communion is necessary for salvation, both are important for the believer to observe in obedience to the commands of Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20)
We believe in the Second Coming of Christ; that His return will be Personal, Visible and Glorious, a Blessed Hope for which we should constantly watch and pray, the time being unrevealed but always imminent; that when He comes He will first by resurrection of the dead in Christ and translation of the living in Christ remove from the earth His waiting church, then pour out the righteous judgments of God upon the unbelieving world, afterwards descend with His Church and establish His glorious and literal Kingdom over all the nations for one thousand years.
(Heb. 9:28; I Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 22:16; John 14:1-3; II Thess. 1:7,8; Zec. 14:4; I Cor. 15:51,52; Titus 2:13; Rev. 6:1-18:24)
We believe in Future Life, Bodily Resurrection and Eternal Judgment; that the spirits of the saved at death go immediately to be with Christ in Heaven, that their works shall be brought before the Judgment Seat of Christ for the determination of rewards which will take place at the time when Christ comes for His own; that the spirits of the unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades where they are kept under punishment until the final day of judgment, at which time their bodies shall be raised from the grave; that they shall be judged and cast into Hell, the Lake of Fire, the place of final and everlasting punishment.
(II Cor. 5:8; Phi. 2:21-23; I Thess. 4:14; II Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10-12; Luke 16:23; Num. 16:33; II Pet. 2:9; Rev. 20:11-15)
We believe that the fundamental principle of the Christian life is faith; that the fundamental duty of the Christian life is obedience to the Word of God, and that such obedience, rendered through the operation of the indwelling Holy Spirit, will produce joy, peace, power, and fruitfulness in the life. We, therefore, reject the current belief that subjective experience is the basis of Christian life.
(a) We do not agree with the Charismatic movement, or that the Scriptures teach that speaking in tongues is the indispensable evidence of the gift of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that we question the sincerity of Christian character of many within the Charismatic movement.
(b) We believe that the doctrine of Biblical separation calls not only for total dedication to God, His Word, and His program, but also for separation from the “ecumenical” movement in general and from association with apostate organizations such as the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
(c) We believe that Biblical separation also includes not being unequally yoked together with unbelievers (II Cor. 6:14-18), and, although the secret societies and lodges of today may be doing a very beneficial service to society, many of their practices are non-Christian; therefore, we do not believe that a church member should be affiliated or have membership with any lodge or secret order.
(d) We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other believers or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve such disputes and that all believers should maintain a commitment to live peaceably with others. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation from another Christian’s insurance company if the claims pursued without malice (Romans 12:18, 1 Corinthians 6: 1-8)
We believe that God’s Word establishes marriage as a union between one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. We believe the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is a union sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman exclusively as described in Scripture. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-33; Romans 1:24-32)
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no sexual activity of any kind or inappropriate relationship be engaged in outside of marriage, because it is both immoral and a perversion of God’s gift. (Proverbs 6:32; I Corinthians 6:18-20; I Thessalonians 4:3-8; Exodus 20:14)
Furthermore, we believe that any form of immorality such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, pornography, cohabitation (regardless of the age of the individuals involved), and any attempt to change one’s gender in disagreement with one’s genetically defined gender is sinful and offensive to God. (Exodus 4:11; Psalm 139:13-16; I Corinthians 6:9, 10; Romans 1:24-27)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity or who serve as volunteers should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Morality and conduct themselves accordingly. (I Corinthians 14:40)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 1:9)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor with the doctrines of this church. (Ephesians 4:25-32; Philippians 4:8)
We believe that all human life begins at conception and that mankind is created in the image of God and created for His Glory. We believe all human life from conception has value in God’s plan for the world including the pre-born babies, the physically or mentally challenged, the elderly, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We therefore make this statement clear that we, this local church of Believers, are called to defend, protect, and value human life according to the Scriptures.
(Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7, 21-25; Psalm 139:13-18; Proverbs 6:16,17; Matthew 18:2-6)