Who We Are
The sole authority for our faith and practice is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
This statement is what we deem essential beliefs of a follower of Jesus Christ and non-negotiable beliefs within the family of believers at First Baptist Church.
The Bible is the Word of God, written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. Its spiritual truths are essential for teaching, correction, and training in right actions and relationships, so that all followers of Christ may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Its teachings are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. 2 Timothy 3:16-17; I Corinthians 2:12-13; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:17-18
All people are separated from God by sin. God loved the world so much that He gave His Son to die on the cross to pay our penalty for sin and offer to all mankind eternal life and salvation from sin. Salvation is a free gift of God to all people. Each person may receive salvation and eternal life by believing on Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This salvation experience will be demonstrated by repentance from sin, seeking forgiveness, and confessing faith in Jesus Christ. John 3:16; Romans 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; Acts 2:38-39; 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9
We believe 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 personal rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. John 3:16-21; 1 Timothy 1:15; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 22:17; Ezekiel 33:11; John 5:40; II Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:3,4.
There is one true and living God. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere and infinitely holy. He has no beginning and no end. He is the Creator, Redeemer and Ruler of the Universe. He reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit – one in nature and being. Genesis 1:26; Psalms 90:2; Isaiah 45:5-7; Matthew 28:18-19; Revelation 1:8; 4:11
The Father controls the universe and is supreme in all things. The Father is made known through the Son, the Scriptures, & our personal relationship. John 17:20-26; Ephesians 1:3,4; 4:6
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the image of the invisible God, and is one with the Father. All things were created for and by Him. He came to earth as a baby, conceived of the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin. He lived without sin, yet bore our sins on the cross to pay man’s sin penalty and to reconcile all things to Himself. After His crucifixion and burial He was raised from the dead and ascended to Heaven to sit at The Father’s right hand. Jesus Christ is the head of the church – His body – and will return to take those who follow Him to be with Him forever. Matthew 1: 20-23; John 1: 1-4, 14; Acts 2:24; Romans 8:33, 34; Colossians 1:15-20; I Thessalonians 4: 13-17, I Peter 2:22, 24.
The Holy Spirit indwells and empowers each believer from the time of his salvation. He convicts all mankind of their sin and enlightens believers as they seek to build Christian character. He gives spiritual gifts to believers for the building up of the church – the body of Christ. His presence in our life is God’s seal and assurance for our salvation. John 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13, 27-31; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:7, 11-12; 5:18
God created man and woman in His own image. When they disobeyed His clear command, they brought sin and death upon themselves and caused all future persons to inherit the nature of sin and fall short of the glory of God. Mankind’s personal relationship with God can be restored only by salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Genesis 1:27; 2:15-17; 3;6-7; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:21-26
The Church (all who have received salvation) is the body of Christ with Him as her head. The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Members of the Church are instructed to be baptized, celebrate the Lord’s Supper and live a life worthy of the calling they received. Ephesians 2:19-22; 3:10-12; 4:1-4, 11-13; 5:22-32.
(The local church is a community of baptized believers who are associated by their common fellowship serving under the Lordship of Christ. All members are co-laborers with the leaders of the church.)
Christians are instructed to seek the Kingdom and pray for His Kingdom to come. The Kingdom of God refers to God’s sovereignty over the entire universe, but most especially, to His kingship over persons who willingly acknowledge His spiritual kingdom. We enter the Kingdom through faith and commitment to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Matthew 6:9-10, 33; Matthew 13:1-52; John 3:5-7; 18:36; Romans 14:7; Colossians 1:13
(For further discussions of the principles of faith generally accepted within the Baptist community of faith see The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention.)