First Baptist Church Statement of Faith
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired; that it has truth for its matter without mixture of error; that it is and shall remain to the end of the age the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; and, that it is the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. By "Holy Bible" we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation which does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God. By "inspiration" we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old as they were moved by the Holy Spirit of God in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error. First Baptist Church believes that we have the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God preserved in the King James Version of the Bible for the English-speaking people; and, therefore, it is the only Bible used by our ministries.
ONE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; that He is inexpressible, glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled, and He convicts of sin, of judgment, and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer.
THE DEVIL OR SATAN
We believe that Satan was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; and that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s greatest tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy, the lord of the Antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness. He is destined, however, to final defeat at the hand of God’s Son and the judgment of an eternal justice in Hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
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 by God 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 developments through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; and that all animal and vegetable life were made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only "after their kind."
THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state; consequently, all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but by choice, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner: born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman; and He was born the Son of God and God the Son.
THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father freely took upon Himself our nature yet without sin, who honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and who by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins, thus we have redemption through His blood; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the most tender sympathies with divine perfection; and that He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Saviour.
SALVATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
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 trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension and is not by culture, nor by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that proper evidence of the new birth appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
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 them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and 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.
We believe that the great Gospel 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; and that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but His righteousness is imputed unto us solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood.
REPENTANCE AND FAITH
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 our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of our need of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy and at the same time heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confess Him as our only and all-sufficient Saviour.
We believe that a Baptist church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; and that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders and deacons whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, build up the church; third, to teach and instruct as He commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order, and we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations. We believe that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, and of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by the authority of the local church, to show forth a solemn and beautiful emblem of our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church membership and to the Lord’s Supper, which the members of the church by the use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the death and coming of the Lord, preceded always by solemn self-examination.
THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that all the redeemed are kept by the power of God and are secure in Christ. It is a work of God which guarantees that the gift of salvation, once received, cannot be lost, and believers are eternally secure.
THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that all such 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; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both in and after death in the everlasting happiness of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
We believe in and accept the sacred Scripture upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the resurrection, we believe that Christ arose bodily the third day according to the Scriptures; and that He alone is our merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God. Of the return of Christ, we believe that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven. Jesus will come in the air for His saints before the tribulation period. After the tribulation, He will return to the earth and reign a thousand years.
We believe that the command to give the Gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable; and that this commission was given to the churches to go, make disciples, baptize them, and teach them.
THE GRACE OF GIVING
We believe that God’s method of financing His earthly work, which is the spreading of the Gospel to all nations, the care of the churches, and the support of the ministry, is by the tithes and offerings of His people; that it is to be given to the Lord through His church or storehouse to be distributed as directed by the leadership of the Spirit as the need arises; that the time to tithe is upon the first day of the week; that everyone is accountable to the Lord for one-tenth of his income; and that tithing was instituted long before the law was ever given and was practiced by the early church.