The Essentials We Believe
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
About God the Father
God is the Father of Jesus Christ In one sense, Jesus is God’s only Son. However, God is also the Father of those who believe. In a broader sense, God is the Father of all persons in creation and in providence (sustenance).
2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; John 3:16;
Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; 4:20; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians. 1:3; 3:12-13;
Acts 17:26-29; Matthew 5:43-48; James 1:17
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will come again to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer one or more spiritual gifts. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. It is the sole and sufficient rule for faith and practice. There is no higher authority.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160; 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
About Human Beings
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2
Sin is anything that we do that is not God’s will for us or anything that we fail to do that is God’s will for us. More precisely, sin is disobedience to God manifest in ungodliness, unrighteousness, rebellion, and idolatry. Sin is inevitable but not necessary. Since sin is not necessary each individual is responsible for his/her own sin. However, sin is not just something we do; we are sinners. Sin has infected our very natures. Sin, too, has not simply infected humanity. It has permeated the entire created order. The very systems of society have become corrupt, grasping, oppressive, and exploitative. Sin, therefore, is not just personal; it is systemic and corporate.
2 Chronicles 12:14; Jeremiah 7:24; Psalm 95:10; John 8:34; Ezekiel 20:16; Romans 5:19;
1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 8:22
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness, can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life to Jesus, in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5
About the Church
The Church was created by Christ and belongs to Him. Christ is the Cornerstone or chief foundation stone of the Church. All believers are stones built into the Church. The Church is a covenant community—God has covenanted with us and we are to live as a community under God’s rule. No matter what the denominational label, all those who belong to the Body of Christ are part of the Church universal. Local churches exist to fulfill five functions: worship, evangelism, discipleship, service, and fellowship. While each of these functions is important and necessary, the priority of outreach must always be regarded as “first among equals”. This is why the church has been called the only institution in society that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.
Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:11-22; Matthew 28:16-20; Matthew 22:35-40; Galatians 3:28
About Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
There are two ordinances (practices ordered by Christ):
Baptism: Baptism is not essential for salvation; one is not saved through the act of baptism. Baptism is, however, essential for obedience. Christ commanded that all those who profess to be His disciples follow Him through the waters of baptism. Baptism is an expression of our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and an act of commitment to His Church. Believers in the New Testament were baptized by immersion. At First Baptist, we practice believers’ baptism by immersion except when age, illness, or disability would make full immersion unsafe or impractical. In such cases, other forms of baptism such as sprinkling or affusion are permitted.
The Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper remembers and celebrates the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. It symbolizes our commitment to Christ and, through celebrating it with our brothers and sisters in Christ, our commitment to one another. As we partake of the meal, we are also anticipating the day when we will celebrate the meal, with Christ physically present, in the Heavenly Kingdom. At First Baptist, we normally celebrate the Lord’s Supper the first Sunday of each month.
Matthew 3:13-17; Romans 6:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 8:36-38; Matthew 26:17-30;
1 Corinthians 10: 16-17; 11:24-26
Marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman and is the foundation for families and the raising of children. Marriage is ordained by God, blessed by Jesus, and perpetuated through the Church. It is a sacred union created by God’s loving purpose and kept by God’s abiding will.
Genesis 2:24; John 2:1-10; 1 Corinthians 7:1-10; 1 Corinthian 11:11; Hebrews 13:4
Human beings were created to exist forever. After death, we will exist either separated from God by sin or with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be separated from God is Hell. To be in union with Him is Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of conscious existence.
John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthian 2:7-9