A. The Scriptures
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, as originally written; that it was verbally and plenarily inspired and was the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is infallible and inerrant in all matters of which it speaks.
We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed, and opinions shall be tried (2 Tim.3:16,17; 2 Pet.1:19-21).
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations—the law, the church, and the kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6).
B. The True God
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite, sovereign Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; inexpressibly 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 Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Exodus 20:2,3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11).
C. The Holy Spirit
We believe that 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 the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that he seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. The gifts of tongues and healing were “sign-gifts” until the Scriptures were completed. The sign-gifts ceased at that time. (John 14:16,17; Matt. 28:19; Heb. 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Gen. 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5,6; Eph. 1: 13,14; Mark 1:8; Heb. 2:4; 1 Cor. 13:8).
D. Jesus Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
E. The Devil, or Satan
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil; that he was created by God as an angel but through pride and rebellion became an enemy of his Creator; that he became the unholy god of this age and the ruler of all powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Matt. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10).
F. The Creation
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
G. The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him, in consequences of which all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, and are sinners by nature and by conduct, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse (Gen. 3:1-6, 24; Rom. 3:16-19; 5:12,19; 1:18,32).
H. The Atonement for Sin
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God Who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by the shedding of blood in His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sin in His own body on the tree ( Jonah 2:9; Eph. 2:8; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24,25; John 3:16; Matt. 18:11; Phil. 2:7,8; Heb. 2:14; Isa. 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21).
I. Resurrection and Priesthood
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, in His ascension into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest (Matt. 28:6,7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; 1 Cor. 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6, 51; Acts 1:9-11; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 8:6; 12:2; 7:25; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1; Heb. 2:17; 5:9,10).
J. Grace in the New Creation
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 by our sovereign God in a manner above our connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 5:1; John 3:6-7; Acts 16:30-33; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1,5; 2 Cor. 5:19; Col. 2:13; John 3:8).
We believe that justification is the judicial act of God whereby He declares us to be righteous through faith in Christ Jesus; that justification includes the pardon of sin and the imputation of God’s 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 (Acts13:39; Isa. 53:11; Zech. 13:1; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 5:9; 8:1).
We believe that repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit; that it is characterized by godly sorrow for sin as offensive to God and ruinous to the soul; and that true repentance is inseparably related to true faith (Luke 13:1-3; 15:7; Acts 8:22; Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:10; Acts 20:21).
M. Faith and Salvation
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation (Acts 16:31).
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return (Heb. 10:10-14; 3:1; John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 5:25,26; 1 Thess. 4:3,4; 5:23,24; Eph. 5:27; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24,25; Rev. 22:11).
We believe that adoption is the gracious act whereby the Father, for the sake of Christ, places new believers into the honored position of mature sons, in contrast with regeneration whereby the believer receives the nature of God and becomes a child of God. The full benefit of the position accorded by adoption as sons of God awaits the glorification of the believer (Eph. 1:13,14; 1 John 3:1,2).
P. The Security of the Saints
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6; John 10:28,29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude 1).
Q. The Church
We believe in the unity of all true believers in the Church which is the Body of Christ, which was established on the Day of Pentecost, and that all believers, from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jews and Gentiles, are added to this Church by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that this Church is manifested through the local church which is a congregation of immersed believers associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws: exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word, and that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; 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 measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final ( Eph. 3:1-6; 1 Cor. 12:12,13; Acts 2:41,42; 1 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22,23; 4:11; Acts 20:17-28; 1Tim. 3:1-7; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23,24; Acts 15:13-18).
R. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, under the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He come and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. We believe that the Biblical order of the ordinances is baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and that participants should be immersed believers (Acts 8:36,38,39; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 3:16; Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 2:41-42).
S. Human Sexuality
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5,13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).
T. Family Relationships
We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12).
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; I Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; I Pet. 3:1-7).
U. Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
V. Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).
We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate entirely from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy unto God (2 Cor. 6:14-17:1; 1 Thess. 1:9,10; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Rom. 16:17; 2 John 9-11).
X. Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that civil authorities 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 King of Kings (Rom. 13:1-7; 2 Sam. 23:3; Exod. 18:21,22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:2; Acts 5:29; 4:19,20; Dan. 3:17,18).
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be re-gathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ (Gen. 13:14-17; Rom. 11:1-32; Ezek. 37).
Z. The Rapture and Subsequent Events
We believe in the imminent, pre-millenial return of Christ for His Church, and that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seventieth week of Daniel (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54; Phil. 3:20,21; Rev. 3:10).
AA. The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ 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 these distinctions hold among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire (Mal. 3:18; Gen. 18:23; Rom. 6:17,18; 1 John 5: 19; Rom. 7:16; 6:23; Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matt. 25:34-41; John 8:21; Rev. 20:14,15).
AB. The Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of First Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our pastor and deacons, and if in the event of no pastor the deacons, are First Baptist Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.