but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
— 1Peter 3:15

together we believe in:

 

THE BIBLE

WE BELIEVE THAT THE 66 BOOKS OF THE HOLY BIBLE ARE TRUE AND WITHOUT ERROR IN THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS. WE BELIEVE THE BIBLE IN ITS ENTIRETY, THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENSTS, ORIGINATED WITH GOD, AND THAT HUMAN AUTHORS, UNDER THE SUPERNATURAL GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WROTE IT. IT IS THE SUPREME SOURCE OF TRUTH FOR CHRISTIAN BELIEFS AND LIVING BECAUSE THE BIBLE IS RELIABLE AND "PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS" (2 TIMOTHY 3:15, 16).

 

GOD

WE BELIEVE THAT GOD IS THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS. HE IS INFINITE, PERFECT, AND EXISTS IN THREE PERSONS, THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT. ACTS 2:32-33; MATTHEW 28:19.

 

JESUS CHRIST

WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS BOTH FULLY HUMAN AND FULLY GOD. THAT HE IS THE "VISIBLE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD" (COLOSSIANS 1:15, JBP). THAT HE IS TO BE WORSHIPPED, PRAISED AND ADORED (ALONG WITH THE FATHER AND HOLY SPIRIT) NOT ONLY FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE, BUT ALSO FOR WHO HE IS - THE "SON OF GOD" AND "GOD THE SON". JESUS BEING IN THE VERY IMAGE AND EQUAL TO THE ETERNAL GOD, TOOK ON THE FORM OF A MAN WHEN HE WAS BORN TO A VIRGIN. HE COMPLETELY FULFILLED ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THE LAW. HE WAS SORELY TEMPTED, BUT NEVER ONCE YIELDED AND NEVER SINNED. HUMANITY REJECTED HIM AND THEREFORE REJECTED HIS FATHER AND THE FORGIVENESS HIS FATHER OFFERED. JESUS SUFFERED A CRUEL AND HORRIBLE DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION ON A CROSS AND THUS BECAME THE GREAT SACRIFICE OF GOD "TO TAKE AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD" (JOHN 1:29). HE ROSE FROM THE TOMB ON THE THIRD DAY IN TRIUMPH OVER SATAN. PEOPLE CAN NOT BE SAVED BY ANY OTHER WAY OR BY ANY OTHER NAME OTHER THAN JESUS. HE PHYSICALLY APPEARED TO MANY PEOPLE DURING THE 40 DAYS AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, INCLUDING OVER 500 EYEWITNESSES AT ONCE, AND THEN ASCENDED TO THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT

WE BELIEVE THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE THIRD PERSON OF THE TRINITY. HE WAS SENT INTO THE WORLD TO ENLIGHTEN THE MINDS OF SINNERS, AWAKENING IN THEM RECOGNITION OF THEIR NEED FOR A SAVIOR AND THEN REGENERATING THEM. WE BELIEVE THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT PERMANENTLY DWELLS IN EVERY BELIEVER AT THE POINT OF SALVATION, AND EMPOWERS THEM TO BECOME FULLY DEVOTED FOLLWERS OF JESUS CHRIST. THE HOLY SPIRIT ALSO GIVES TO EACH BELIEVER SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO BUILD UP THE BODY OF CHRIST, THE CHURCH, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BRINGING GLORY TO GOD.

 

SALVATION

WE BELIEVE PEOPLE ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, TO BE LIKE HIM IN CHARACTER. PEOPLE ARE THE SUPREME OBJECT OF GOD'S AFFECTION, AND THE PINNACLE OF HIS CREATION. ALTHOUGH EVERY PERSON HAS TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL FOR GOOD, ALL OF US ARE MARRED BY AN ATTITUDE OF DISOBEDIENCE TOWARD GOD CALLED "SIN". THIS "SIN" SEPARATES PEOPLE FROM GOD AND IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF MANY OF THE PROBLEMS WE FACE IN LIFE. THE PENALTY FOR OUR SIN IS ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM GOD. WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED TO PAY THE PENALTY FOR OUR SIN, AND BY THIS TO GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE. THIS SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT BY GOD'S GRACE. (BUT THIS GIFT, ALTHOUGH FREE, IS NOT CHEAP - FOR IT COST GOD THE LIFE OF HIS OWN BELOVED SON). A PERSON IS RESTORED TO A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, OR, "SAVED", ONLY BY FAITH IN JESUS' FINISHED WORK ON THE CROSS, AND IF THIS FAITH IS REAL, IT WILL PRODUCE REPENTANCE - WHICH IS A CHANGE OF MIND CONCERNING SIN AND EVERYTHING NOT PLEASING TO GOD - THAT RESULTS IN A TOTAL CHANGE OF ACTIONS AND DEEDS. WE BELIEVE THAT REPENTANCE IS NOT OPTIONAL, BUT NECESSARY PROOF THAT ONE HAS TRUE BIBLICAL FAITH.

 

ETERNITY

WE BELIEVE THAT DEATH IS FINAL AND THAT IT SEALS THE DESTINY OF EACH PERSON. FOR ALL OF HUMANITY THERE WILL BE A RESURRECTION OF THE BODY INTO THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST WILL PHYSICALLY RETURN TO THE EARTH TO CONSUMMATE HUMAN HISTORY AND EXECUTE THE ETERNAL PLAN OF GOD. WHEN HE COMES THE ETERNAL DESTINY OF ALL HUMANS WILL BE DECIDED. WE WILL EITHER EXIST ETERNALLY SEPARATED FROM GOD, BECAUSE OF SIN, OR ETERNALLY WITH GOD THROUGH HIS FORGIVENESS AND SALVATION. WE BELIEVE IN THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF ALL BELIEVERS.

 

THE CHURCH

WE BELIEVE THAT THE CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST AND IS THE MEANS BY WHICH HE INTENDS TO REACH THE WORLD WITHOUT HOPE. THERE IS ONE TRUE CHURCH UNIVERSAL, COMPRISED OF ALL THOSE WHO ACKNOWLEDGE JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD. THE SCRIPTURE COMMANDS BELIEVERS TO GATHER TOGETHER TO DEVOTE THEMSELVES TO WORSHIP, AND PRAYER, TO THE TEACHING OF THE WORD, AND TO THE OBSERVANCE OF BAPTISM AND COMMUNION. IT ALSO COMMANDS THAT WE GATHER FOR FELLOWSHIP AND SERVICE TO THE BODY THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF TALENTS AND GIFTS, AND THROUGH OUTREACH TO THE WORLD. ALL OF THESE WERE ESTABLISHED BY JESUS CHRIST. WHEREVER GOD'S PEOPLE MEET REGULARLY IN OBEDIENCE TO THIS COMMAND, THERE IS THE LOCAL EXPRESSION OF THE CHURCH. UNDER THE WATCHFUL CARE OF ELDERS AND OTHER SUPPORTIVE LEADERSHIP, ITS MEMBERS ARE TO WORK TOGETHER IN LOVE AND UNITY, INTENT ON THE ONE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF GLORIFYING CHRIST.

 

FAITH AND PRACTICE 

SCRIPTURE IS THE FINAL AUTHORITY IN ALL MATTERS OF FAITH AND PRACTICE. THIS CHURCH RECOGNIZES THAT IT CANNOT BIND THE CONSCIENCE OF INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS IN AREAS WHERE SCRIPTURE IS SILENT. RATHER, EACH BELIEVER IS TO BE LED IN THOSE AREAS BY THE LORD, TO WHOM HE OR SHE ALONG IS ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE.FINALLY, WE BELIEVE THE STATEMENT OF FAITH TO BE AN ACCURATE SUMMARY OF WHAT SCRIPTURE TEACHES. ALL MEMBERS OF FIRST BAPTIST SHALL REFRAIN FROM ADVOCATING DOCTRINES THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE STATEMENT OF FAITH IN SUCH A WAY AS TO CAUSE DISSENSION.