Our Non-negotiable Affirmations
Affirmation 1 - The Holy Scriptures
We believe in the verbal (every word), plenary (inspired equally in all parts), inspiration (God-breathed) of the Old and New Testaments (2 Sam. 23:2; 2 Pet. 1:29-21; Acts. 3:21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Prov. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18); that they are the final authority of faith and life (2 Pet. 1:19-21; Acts 3:21; Jude 3); that they are inerrant (without error) in the original writings (Ac. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:16); that they are preserved (Matt. 5:18); that they are eternal (Matt 24:35), that they are sufficient (Ps. 19:7-11; 2 Pet. 1:3-4; John 10:35, Ro. 1:16); and therefore they are the supreme standard of our beliefs, conduct, and creeds (John 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; Ac 17:11; Eph. 6:17).
Affirmation 2 - The Godhead
We believe that there is one and only one God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who are co-equal, co-eternal, and distinct persons, yet identical in nature, essence, and being (Genesis 1:26; II Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 1:16-18; I John 5:1-8, John 16:7-15).
We believe in the deity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3,14; 10:30; 14:9), His incarnation and begettal by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), His virgin birth (Is. 7:14; Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18-25; Gal. 4:4-5), His sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21), His miraculous works on earth (Acts 2:22), His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood on the cross (Heb. 9:22; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Pe. 2:24), His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matt. 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 4:10-12; Rom 4:25), His exaltation to the right hand of majesty on high as Lord (Mark 16:19; Acts 5:30-31), Priest (Heb. 4:14), and Mediator (Heb. 7:25; 9:24), His personal return in power and glory to establish his kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11, Mark 14:62), His ultimate triumph over Satan and the forces of darkness (Col. 2:15).
We believe in the deity of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, co-equal with God the Father and God the Son (Ps. 139:7-10; Is. 40:13-14; Rom. 15:13; Matt 28:19); that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-8); that He is the agent that draws and regenerates men to salvation (John 3:5-7, 1 Cor. 12:13); that He indwells, baptizes, and seals believers to the day of redemption (John 3:5-7, Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13); and that He teaches, equips, anoints, guides, fills, empowers, and sanctifies believers glorifying the Son (John 3:5-7; John 14:16-18, 26; John 16:7-8; Eph. 1:13-14, Matt. 3:11; John 1:33; 3:5-7; Rom. 6:3-5; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 5:18).
Affirmation 3 - Creation
We believe the Genesis creation account is a literal, direct, historical account (Gen. 1-2, Heb. 11:3, Is. 45:18. Jn. 1:3); that the work of creation lasted six consecutive twenty-four hour periods (Gen. 1:31, Gen. 2:1-2); that man did not evolve from a lower form; that the triune God created man in his own image after in his own likeness (Gen. 1:26); that all men are descendants of the historical Adam and Eve; that all creation runs according to God’s law producing after their own kind (Col. 1:16-17); and that man has been given dominion over all created things (Gen. 1:26).
Affirmation 4 - The Fall
We believe that God created mankind to be his image bearer, male and female (Gen. 1:27), without sin, and breathed into them the breath of life. By one man’s transgression (Gen. 3:6-7) all mankind are now sinners by state (Ps. 51:5; Eph. 2:1-2), disposition (Rom. 8:7), and act (Is. 53:6; Rom 3:9-18, 23; 5:12, 19; James 2:10), and that they are justly under God’s condemnation (Ezek. 18:20; Jn. 3:18; Rom. 2:1-16; 5:15-19).
Affirmation 5 - Salvation
We believe that the person who recognizes he is a sinner is saved when he repents of his sin and exercises faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, accepting Him as personal Lord and Savior (Acts. 16:31; Rom. 10:9; 2 Pe. 3:9); that salvation is a gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23; 1 Jn 5:13) wholly by grace apart from human merit (John. 3:16-18; Eph. 2:8-9); that those in Christ are justified (declared righteous) on the basis of his substitutionary death, shed blood, and bodily resurrection (1 Cor. 15:3-4); and that the redeemed are kept by his power and are eternally secure in Christ forever (John 10:27-29; Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 1:12).
Affirmation 6 - Sanctification
We believe sanctification to be the divine setting apart of believers to God’s holiness in a three-fold manner: that they have been made partakers of and given the position of Christ’s holiness upon justification (Jn. 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; I Cor. 1:30; Heb. 10:10-14; 13:12); that they are progressively made holy through cooperative Divine and human effort in this life through sanctification (Eph. 5:25-27; I Thess. 4:3,4); and that in heaven they experience complete sanctification upon Christ’s return (I Thess. 5:23,24).
Affirmation 7 - The Church
We believe that all who place their faith in Christ are placed by the Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Cor. 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph 5:22-23, Rev. 19:7-8), distinct from Israel (1 Cor. 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Eph. 3:1-6; 5:32), gathered into local bodies (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17; Gal. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1), and over which Christ is the head (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18). The New Testament church is to be composed of a regenerate, immersed, community of believers, voluntarily uniting (Rom 1:7; Col 1:2; Jude 3), governed by the Word; that its officers are qualified pastors and deacons (1 Pe. 5:1-5; Acts 6:3-5; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Tit. 1:5-9); that it is free from interference of individuals or organizations, submitting to self-government, that the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation (I Tim. 3:15), and that on matters of membership, discipline (Matt. 18:15-18), and policy of government, the will of the local church is final (I Cor. 5:4, 5, 13).
Affirmation 8 - Baptism & The Lord's Supper
We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances exampled and given to the church by Jesus Christ as a symbol, memorial, and prophecy (Matt. 26:26-29; 28:19; Luke 22:14-20; John 3:22-23). We believe biblical baptism is the immersion of a believer, a symbol of his union in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, a public act of obedience and testimony to those who are already saved (Matt. 28:19; Jn 3:22-23; Acts 2:38; 8:12, 36-39; 16:32-34; Rom. 6:1-11; Col. 2:12). We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the church gathered to remember and show forth the Lord’s death till He comes (Acts 2:42; I Cor. 10:16; 11:25-32); that the Lord’s table is open to all regenerate, baptized believers living in fellowship with and obedience to God; and that the elements representing the body and blood of our Lord and believer’s baptism render in themselves no means of justifying grace (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 2:5, I Cor. 11:25-32).
Affirmation 9 - The Family
We believe that the family has been established by God as the foundational institution in society (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:18; 2:22-24); that it is God’s unique gift to example the union between Christ and his church (Eph. 5:22-32); that it is a framework for intimate companionship (Eph. 5:22-32); that it is the holy channel of sexual expression (Heb. 13:5); and that it is the means for procreating the human race (Gen. 1:27; 9:1, 7; Ps. 127:3-5).
We believe that man and woman are spiritually equal in position before God as beings formed for His glory, bearing His image, and stewarding His creation (Gen. 1:27-28), but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church (Gen. 2:18; 2:22-24; Eph. 5:22-24; 1 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Tim. 3:1-2). We believe that the marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people; that God has commanded men to be leaders of their family and under-shepherds of the church of God (Eph. 5:22-24; 1 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Tim. 3:1-2); that the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and is to provide for, protect, and lead his family; and that a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband, even as the church willingly submits to the leadership of Christ. (John 15:13; 1 Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:22-32; Col. 3:18-19, 1 Tim. 5:8;1 Pet. 3:7).
We believe that children, from the moment of conception (Jer. 1:5; Ps. 139:13-16; Ex. 21:22-25), are a blessing and heritage from the Lord (Ps. 127:3); that parents are to protect their children, to teach them biblical and moral values, and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth; and that children are to honor and obey their parents (Deut. 6; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:1-4; 2 Tim. 3:15-17).
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman; that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex; and that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (genetically defined) (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:18; 2:22-24; Lev. 18:6-18, 22;20:15-16; Matt. 19:5-6; Mk. 10:6-9; Rom. 1:26-27; 7:2-5; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9-10; 15-20; Eph. 5:22-32; I Thess. 4:2-8; Rev. 21:9-13; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5,12).*
*Accordingly, First Baptist Church and its pastors will not solemnize or officiate a civil union or same-sex marriage and will not take any action in support of a civil union or same-sex marriage, such as (but not limited to) granting church membership to one or both parties to such a union. We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and in order to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers at First Baptist Church, will abide by and agree to this statement on The Family and conduct themselves accordingly.
Affirmation 10 - Satan and Angels
We believe angels are created beings who serve and worship God (Lk. 2:9-14; Heb. 1:6-7; Rev. 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9). We believe Satan is a created supernatural being; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Is. 14:13-14; Matt. 4:1-11; Rev. 12:9-10); that he rebelled against his Creator (Is. 14:13-14; Ez. 28:11-19); that numerous angels chose to follow him in his fall (Matt. 25:41; Jude 6; Rev. 12:1-14); that he is the god of this unholy world (2 Cor. 4:4; 11:13-15); that he is the author of sin (1 Jn. 3:8); that he was instrumental in the Fall (Gen. 3:1-15); that he is the prince of all the powers of darkness (Jude 6; Rev.13:13-14; 19:11, 16, 20; 20:1-3, 10; 2 Thess. 2:8-11); that he has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 16:20); and that he is destined for the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Is. 14:12-17; Ez. 28:11-19; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
Affirmation 11 - The Eternal State
We believe that death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev. 6:9-11); that there is separation of body and soul (Phil. 1:21-24); that the souls who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence (Luke. 23:43; Phil. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:8); and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming (1 Thess. 4:13-17), when soul and now-glorified body reunited shall be forever with Him in glory (Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:35-44, 50-54); that until that time souls of the redeemed remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery in hell until the final Judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium (Lk. 16:19-26; Rev. 20:13-15), when soul and body are reunited (Jn. 5:28-29); and following the judgement (Rev. 29:13-15) shall be cast into hell, the Lake of Fire (Matt. 25:41-46), not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:41-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).
We believe in a literal place called hell, a place of torment, which will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone which will be the final destiny for Satan, fallen angels, demons, and unbelieving mankind (Lk. 16:22-26; Rev. 20:12-15, 1 Pt. 4:18).
We believe in a literal place called Heaven where God's immediate presence is manifested, and where the redeemed and angels dwell (John 14:1-3); a Heaven from which Christ descended and to which following the completion of His earthly ministry, He ascended bodily and there makes intercession for the saints, and from which He shall come to judge the living and the dead (Jn. 14:1-3; Acts. 1:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:22; Phil. 1:21-24; Rev. 6:9-11; Rev. 21).