What We Believe
This short statement delineates our purpose (why we exist), and our theology (what we believe).
Our Declaration of Faith
Resting our faith entirely in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation, we affirm our belief in, reliance upon, and commitment to the teachings of God’s Holy Word.
We believe that the Bible, exclusively comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments is the Word of God, verbally and plenarily inspired, in the original manuscripts. It is therefore infallible and inerrant in all matters to 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 opinion will be tried. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:19-21)
The One True God
We believe that God is the infinite, holy and perfect spirit being in whom all things have their source, support, and end. We believe that God eternally exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This triunity (three-in-one) is identical in nature; having the same attributes and perfection; equal in power and glory; deserving of the same honor, praise, worship and obedience; distinct in function; and working harmoniously to accomplish the divine plan of God. (1 Kings 8:27; Ps. 18:30; Mt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; Eph. 1;1; Col. 1:16-17)
We believe that Jesus Christ, the second person of the triune Godhead, is coequal and coeternal with God the Father and God the Spirit, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in order to reveal God, redeem sinful man, and ultimately to establish God’s eternal kingdom. We believe that Jesus Christ, being incapable of and wholly without sin, freely bore the guilt and punishment of the sins of all mankind on the cross; rose bodily from the dead three days thereafter; is now seated in heaven functioning as our Intercessor, Advocate, and High Priest. (Mt. 1:18-25; Jn. 1:1,2,18; Rom. 3:25-26; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Heb. 4:14-16; 1 Jn. 2:1)
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the triune Godhead, is coequal and coeternal with and has the same nature as God the Father and God the Son, and was active in creation, inspiration, and the incarnation. He functions today by restraining sin and Satan; convicting men of sin, righteousness, and judgment; regenerating the lost; and baptizing, indwelling, sealing, illuminating, sanctifying, and bestowing gifts to believers. (Gen. 1:2; Matt. 28:19; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:3,4; 2 Thes. 2:6-8; 2 Pet. 1:20,21) We believe the gifts of tongues and healing were given to some early Christians as a temporary sign confirming God’s Word and authenticating their message. Because God’s written revelation is now complete, we do not believe that God bestows those sign gifts today. The present-day Charismatic, tongues/healing phenomenon may be explained as psychological, fraudulent, emotional, and/or demonic in nature, and has no biblical basis whatsoever. (1 Cor. 12-14)
Angels and Satan
We believe that, prior to God’s bringing the earth into existence, He created an innumerable host of personal spirit beings called Angels. We believe that Satan was one of those angels who, because of pride and ambition, rebelled against and became the eternal enemy of God; that he gathered to himself other angels now called demons; and that he became the ruler of all the powers of darkness. Satan is the great adversary of God and His children. Though Satan and his demons are both influential and powerful, they are limited and controlled by God, were defeated at the cross, and ultimately will be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Job 38: 6,7; Matt. 4:11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10)
We believe that on the sixth literal twenty-four hour day of creation, God created man from the dust of the infant earth and breathed into him the breath of life; and that the Genesis account of Creation is fully accurate, God’s creative acts being completely apart from any evolutionary process. We believe that Adam was created in the image of God in a state of innocency (untested holiness) but by a voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, thus bringing physical and spiritual death upon the entire human race; that because Adam is our representative, all human beings are now sinners by nature and conduct; are totally depraved, alienated from the life and family of God; are deserving of God’s eternal condemnation; and have no possible means of salvation within themselves. (Gen. 1-2; Rom. 1:18-32; 3:10-19; 5:12,19)
With regard to man’s total depravity we mean that every human being in his natural state is in absolute rebellion against God in state, attitude, intention, disposition and act; and is in every way unable to seek God. Man’s entire being is controlled by sin. Sin reigns over man’s body, intellect, emotions and will. All of man’s mental faculties are at war with God, including his will. Man enjoys and savors sin. Man is incapable of doing right or good in the eyes of God. Man hates God. Man will never, and can never turn to Christ in repentance and faith apart from God’s work of regeneration in him. (Prov. 2:12-15; Is. 64:6; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:19; 7:7; Rom. 6:20; 8:5-8; 14:23; 1 Cor. 10:31; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:18-19)
With regard to human sexuality, we believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should 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. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5-13; 26:8-11; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:21-29; 1 Cor. 5:1,9-11; 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion, no matter what the circumstances, constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:13-16; Is. 44:24; Jer. 20:15-18; Luke 1:44) We also believe that because human life is a sacred gift of God, euthanasia and so-called mercy killing are sin. Furthermore, because man is created in God’s image and because God alone is the giver of life, practices such as human cloning and any research on human embryos should be outlawed.
We believe that in order to be saved sinners must be born again; that the provision of salvation is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Who is the only acceptable sacrifice for sinful man; 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 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 comprehension, 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 its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life. (John 3:3,8; Acts 16:20-33; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13; 1 John 5:1; 2 Pet. 1:4)
We believe that salvation is entirely the work of God. Before the foundation of the world was laid, God planned the sacrificial death of Christ and chose those whom He would place into His salvation family. God’s Spirit employs biblical truth to convict His chosen ones of sin, righteousness, and judgement; to draw them to Himself; to grant them spiritual life; and to grant them repentance and faith. Every aspect of God’s gift of salvation flows from His eternal plan and good pleasure. While man is fully responsible to seek God and repent and believe, he cannot do so unless God grants him the grace to do so based upon His choice to do so. (Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Da. 4:35; Jn. 6:37,44,65; Acts 5:31; 11:18; 13:48; 14:27; Col. 2:13; 3:12 Eph. 1:4-11; 2:1-9; 2 Tim. 2:24-25; 1 Thes. 1:4-5; 2 Thes. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; Rev. 13:8)
We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through repentant faith in the Redeemer and His death on our behalf. (Rom. 3:24; 4:5; 5:1-9; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9)
The Security and Perseverance of Believers
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God and are secure in His salvation; that they, by means of the Spirit’s power, will continue in their commitment to Christ and His gospel, and the cardinal doctrines of Biblical Christianity; that they will develop in personal purity and holiness realizing the potential of divine blessings or chastisement. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; 1 Cor. 15:2; Phil. 1:6; Col. 1:22-23; Heb. 3:14; 1 Pet. 1:5; 1 John 2:3-6; 3:3; 5:16-17)
We believe in the one true church, the body and bride of the Lord Jesus Christ, into which all believers of the present age are placed; and that the members of this spiritual body should assemble themselves together in local churches. (1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 5:23-32)
We believe that a local church is an organized congregation of immersed believers associated by the 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; that its officers are pastors (elders) and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is to worship God in all of its services and activities, to edify the saints through expository preaching and systematic discipleship, and to faithfully witness of Christ to all men. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Chief Shepherd is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for our church to cooperate with other churches of like precious faith in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation, and that in all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline, and benevolence, the will of the local church (in accordance with the Scriptures) is final. (Acts 2:41,42; 20:17-28; 1 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 4:12-15; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Pet. 5:4)
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful depiction our identification with and commitment to the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, through whom we died to sin and rose to a new life. We believe that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. (Matt. 28:20) We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection until He comes, and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination. Participants in the Lord’s Supper should be immersed believers who are members of First Baptist Church or of a church of like faith and practice. (Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; 1 Cor. 11:23-32)
We believe in the Biblical doctrine of separation which encompasses the following: (1) The separation of the local church from all affiliations, fellowship, and cooperation with those who deny the doctrines of the true Christian faith (such as The World and National Council of Churches). This is sometimes called first degree separation. (2) The separation of the local church from all affiliations, fellowship, and cooperation with those who name the name of Christ, but who reject clear Bible teaching, and/or associate with those who do (such as Neo Evangelicals). This is often called second degree separation. We believe that our church should refuse to be involved in compromising alliances, whether with well-meaning evangelical people or unbelievers, because its testimony will be impaired and its position confused. (2 Cor. 6:14-17; 2 Thes. 3:6-15; 2 Tim. 3:5; 2 John 9-11). (3) The separation of the individual believer from all worldly practices that would dishonor Christ (Eph. 5:11; Heb. 12:1,2). (4) And that all believers should be separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 2:11-12; 2 Thes. 1:11-12).
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that those in authority are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except in those things opposed to the revealed will of God (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17).
We believe that Christ will return for (“rapture”) the saints of this age at a time known only to God; that this coming is imminent and will take place prior to the outpouring of God’s wrath in the seven-year period known as the Great Tribulation. Following the seven-year Tribulation period, Jesus Christ will return with the raptured saints (His “second coming”) to defeat the Antichrist and his armies and to institute God’s Kingdom on earth. This literal 1,000 year reign of Christ (the “millennium”) will then be followed by the Great White Throne Judgment, the destruction of the present heavens and earth, the creation of new heavens and a new earth, and the establishment of the eternal kingdom. (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:4-31; 1 Cor. 3:13-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Thes. 1:10; 4:13-17; 2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 19:7,11-21; 20:1-22:5)
Authority of Declaration of Faith
This declaration of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members of this church.