First Baptist Church Statement of Faith
ARTICLE I, PURPOSE
Our purpose as a local church body is: To worship and serve God as a fellowship of believers, in the power of the Holy Spirit, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. To minister to each other, our community and to the entire world. To bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. To nurture Christian growth through preaching, teaching, and fellowship.
1. The Christian Bible
We believe the Bible, inerrant as originally given, to be the inspired, infallible revelation of God. We believe that “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter 1:21), and that spirit-led writers translated God-inspired writings, that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim 3:16). We believe that the Bible is the divine authority in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in one God, eternal, self-existent, all powerful, all-knowing, redeeming, and unchanging. He is one God of one nature, one essence, one substance, subsisting of Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet these three are one, and we ascribe to them the same adoration, worship, and confidence. They are equal and they are one God (John 1:27-33; Matt 28:19; II Cor 13:14; John 14:16; Eph 2:18; 1 Peter 1:22).
3. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ as the one and only Savior of mankind (John 1:1). We believe that He was born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:31-35), that He was sinless in His life (Heb 4:15), that He died for our sins according to the Scriptures (I Cor 15:3), and that, for all who believe, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin (I John 1:7). We believe that He rose bodily from the grave, that He ascended to the right hand of the Father, there to make intercession for His own, and that He will personally and visibly return to this earth in power and glory (Luke 24:6-7; Acts 1:11; Rom 8:34; I Cor 15:24-28).
4. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the person of the Holy Spirit, who came “…to guide you into all truth; he will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:13-14). The Holy Spirit is sent to convict (John 16:7-11), indwell (John 14:17), guide (Rom 8:14), comfort (John 14:16), sanctify, empower (Zech 4:6; Acts 1:8), and seal forever all who have been “born again” through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 1:13-14).
5. Eternal Salvation
We believe that all people are sinners by nature and by choice (Eph 2:3; Rom 3:23) and have thereby earned both physical and spiritual death (Gen 2:17; Rom 6:21, 23). We believe that by the grace of God (Eph 2:8-9), all who trust, who put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and who receive His atoning work upon the cross, will be freely (Rom 5:15-18) saved forever (John 3:36), will be given glorified bodies (I John 3:2), and will live with their Savior forever (I Thes 4:17, John 10:28). We believe that all who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior will be eternally lost, separated forever from the God of glory (Rev 20:15).
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (Isaiah 5:1-7; Jer 31:31; Psalms 32:1-2; John 3:16-17; 5:24; 6:47, 63-68; 10:27-29;14:16-17; & 26; 19:28-30; Rom 5:15-19; 8:1, 28-39; 10:12-13; 11:29; Gal 3:2-6, 13-14; Heb 9:12 & 26; James 2:10-29; 1 Peter 1:13-19; 1 Peter2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 1 John 2:19)
6. The Church
We believe in a local, self-governing church that consists of regenerate (born again) members who have publicly professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have been baptized by immersion in accordance with the command of our Savior. We voluntarily unite together for the purposes of worship, fellowship, observance of the Lord’s supper, and the proclamation of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world. We believe in the separation of church and state, being governed by God’s laws, and exercising His gifts, rights, and privileges. Christians have a spiritual responsibility to steward and give of their time, talents, and material possessions, and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. As guided by scripture, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully and regularly for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth. Each member is responsible and accountable to Christ, in Bible comprehension, personal decisions, and spiritual choices.
The Church’s scriptural officers are Pastors, Elders, and Deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the offices of Pastor, Elder, and Deacon are limited to men and qualified by Scripture (Acts 2:17; 20:28-31; Rom 16:1-2; Gal 3:28; 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 5:1-4). We read of such churches in (Acts 8:1; Acts 13:1; 1 Cor 16:19; Gal 1:2; Rom 16:16); and numerous other scriptural passages. We believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the saints (I Thes 4:14-17).
7. Evangelism and Missions
We believe it is the duty and privilege of this Church and every follower of Christ to spread the gospel and make disciples of all nations. Missionary effort is commanded in the teachings of Christ and is the duty of every child of God, with God’s love poured out in believers to share with others, seeking constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ (Isaiah 6:1-8; Matt 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; Eph 3:1-11).
8. The Christian Family
We believe all Christians are obligated to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Like Christ, Christians should oppose racism, inequality, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice (Gal 3:28). We believe it is our duty to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the widowed, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick (James 1:27; Isaiah 1:17; Proverbs 31:8-9). We will defend and protect the unborn child, who we believe is a living human being, and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 49:1-5; Jer 1:5; Luke 1:44).
We believe marriage is the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to provide for the biological man and the biological woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to Biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race (Gen 2:24; Psalm 101.5; Matt 19:4-5). The husband and wife are of equal worth before God since both are created in God’s image (Gen 1:26-27).
Children are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on Biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents (Exodus 20:3-17; Proverbs 22:6; Micah 6:8; Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:21).
9. Human Sexuality
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in, outside of marriage between a biological man and a biological woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism, transgender practice, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s
Biblical plan for a biological man and a biological woman. (Lev 18:20-22; 20:10-21; Job 31:1; Matt 5:28; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9-10, 10:8)
The church welcomes all people and treats all people with love and respect who were created in the image of God. The Church will love each human being who desires to be part of the fellowship and services but will not compromise on our “Core beliefs” as we see those being directed by the same God who tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Gen 1:27, Mark 12:30-31)
We are governed by the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the head of the body, the Church, as He shall reveal His leadership to us through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. We are subject to no other ecclesiastical body. We acknowledge Jesus Christ as our only Lord and accept the Bible as our supreme guide in matters of faith, order, and discipline.
We, the members of the First Baptist Church, Williams, Arizona, Inc., having been led, as we believe, by the Holy Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, enter into a covenant with each other, as one body in Christ.
We, therefore, agree by the help of the Holy Spirit and with the Holy Bible, the inspired Word of God as our guide, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church; to promote spirituality; to sustain its worship, discipline and doctrine; to observe the church ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper; to contribute cheerfully and regularly of God’s tithes and our offerings to the support of the ministry of our Church and to the spread of the gospel to all nations.
We also agree to encourage personal and family devotions, to scripturally educate our children, to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances, to walk circumspectly in the world, to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our behavior.
Believing that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we agree to abstain from experiences and habits which defile the body, harm others, or hinder our witness, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further agree to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember one another in prayer, to aid one another in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech and action, to be slow to take offense and always ready for reconciliation, seeking it without delay.
We agree that if we move from this community we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s word.