OUR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS
Accepting the Bible to be the very Word of God to man through men, and understanding the importance of knowing and obeying its truths, our church is committed to study and teach with diligence and authority. We strongly seek to teach the Scriptures to people that they may know God and serve Him in worship and ministry.
Through the years, this fellowship has come to convictions concerning the major theological truths of the Bible. This outline presents an overview of those important doctrines. We believe these to be the primary doctrines of the Christian faith, and reflect the teaching of First Baptist.
We teach the entire Bible, all 66 books of the combined Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and are inerrant in the original writings. Through the providence of God, the Word of God has been protected and preserved, and is the only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We teach that there is only one true, living sovereign, holy, and eternally existent God. He exists in three co-equal persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - each being a distinct person and with a distinct function, but all of one essence and all possessing the same nature, perfection, and attributes. The triune God is the creator and sustainer of all things, the source of all truth, and is worthy of worship, confidence, and obedience (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Genesis 1:31).
We teach that Jesus Christ is God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed many miracles, shed His blood on the cross as a vicarious substitute, was buried, bodily resurrected, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return literally, visibly, and personally in glory and power (John 1:1-3, 14; Matthew 1:18-25; Philippians 2:5-9; Colossians 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Acts 1:11).
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We teach that the Holy Spirit is God, co-equal and co-existent with the Father and the Son. He is the chief convictor of sin, the chief agent of regeneration and sanctification. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer and empowers every believer to live a godly life. Through His gift of the Holy Spirit, God graces every believer with spiritual gifts, which are sovereignly-given abilities graciously bestowed upon every believer at salvation to enable him to perform a function effectively within the church, the Body of Christ. (John 14:16-19; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 8:9, 11; Titus 3:5; Eph. 4:11-16).
We teach that in the beginning God created mankind in His image, and is not in any sense the product of evolution. Mankind was originally created with the ability to live perfectly for God's glory (Genesis 1:17, 31).
We teach that Adam, the first man, sinned by disobedience. This act resulted in the fall of all mankind, therefore, all people have sinned and lost their ability to live for the glory of God. Mankind's fall has incurred both physical and spiritual death on all until there is forgiveness and salvation by the grace of God (Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 6:23).
We teach that the salvation of lost and sinful mankind is a free gift of God’s grace apart from human works, based solely upon Christ’s vicarious and atoning death, effected by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and received only through faith in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. In addition, we teach that God is sovereign in salvation. He not only desires that all be saved, but He also knows who will be saved. The Bible teaches there is an election of individuals to salvation. Reconciling the biblical doctrines of God’s election and man’s responsibility may be humanly impossible. Somehow God’s sovereign election and a person’s responsibility to have faith are both required in the salvation of an individual. Since God’s Word clearly teaches both, we must somehow accept that tension as divine mystery (Ephesians 1:4; 2:8-10; Romans 8:28-30; 10:9-10, 13; 2 Peter 3:9, John 3:16).
We teach that election assures that those chosen will be saved, but it alone does not save them. People are saved through faith in the substitutionary death of Christ. Their election and personal faith are both necessary in the salvation of an individual. Individuals must take responsibility to repent and trust Christ to be saved. As previously stated, since God’s Word clearly teaches both, we must somehow accept that tension as divine mystery (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2; Romans 10:9-10, 13). (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2; Romans 10:9-10, 13).
We teach that since God gives us eternal life through Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation forever. Our salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the efforts of the believer (John 10:29-30; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 5:11-13).
We teach that the church is the body of Christ and the family of God. It is made up of saved and baptized believers, who regularly join together on the Lord's Day for worship, fellowship, and ministry (Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Hebrews 10:25).
We teach that it is the responsibility and privilege of every Christian to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to seek to make growing disciples (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
In addition to these important beliefs, we also teach that God has given the parents and the home the responsibility to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6). We believe that a consistent and whole education will occur when home, church, and school work closely together and are in agreement on the basic concepts of life.
We teach that man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally with God is heaven. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence (John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15).
BAPTISM AND LORD'S SUPPER
We teach Jesus instructed His followers to remember His death and resurrection. He gave the church two visible symbols (called "ordinances") as reminders. These two ordinances are baptism and the Lord's Supper. Neither of these ordinances are necessary for salvation but are practiced in obedience to and in remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism by immersion is a one-time act of obedient identification with Jesus as Lord. It serves as an outward sign of conscious confession of repentance and faith. The Lord's Supper is an ongoing symbol remembering our Lord's death, burial, resurrection, and promised return (Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32).