First Baptist Church Doctrinal Statement

The Holy Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, was written by men divinely inspired and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. The King James Version of the Bible is the official and only translation used by the church (Isa. 8:20; I Thess. 5:21; II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21). 

The One True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, and infinite, intelligent Spirit whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; that He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost -- equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Ex.15:11; Psalm 3:8; Matt.28:19; Mark 12:30; John 4:24; Eph.2:18).

The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in holiness under the law of his Maker but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice, being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin without defense or excuse (Gen.1:27, 31; 3:6-24; Isa. 53.6; Eze. 18:19-20; Rom. 1:20; 5:19).

The Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature; that being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, yet without sin, He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven and, uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection's, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior (Isa. 53:4-5; John 3:16; Eph. 2:8; Col. 2:9; Heb. 2:18; 7:25).  

We believe that the great Gospel blessing, which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life in principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness, which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood, by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that justification brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity (John 1:16; Acts 13:39; Rom. 4:4-5; 5:1-2, 9).  

Grace in Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life (John 3:3,8; II Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 5:9; I Pet. 1:22-25).

Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God, whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; and at the same time we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and rely on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:37-38; 11:18; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8).

We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means -- especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer (Rom. 8:5; Phil. 2:12-13; I Thess. 4:3; I John 2:29)

Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their perseverance and attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (John 3:31; 6:37; Rom. 8:28; Phil. 1:6; I John 2:19).

Harmony of  the  Law and the Gospel
We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; and that the one great end of the Gospel is to deliver them from this inability and to restore them, through a Mediator, to unfeigned obedience to the holy law and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible church (Rom. 3:31; 7:21; 8:2, 4, 7-8).

The Gospel Church
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word to fulfill the Great Commission; that its only Scriptural offices are pastors (bishops, elders, or overseers), and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus (Matt. 18:17; 28:20; Acts 2:41-42; I Cor. 1:1-13; 11:2; I Tim. 3).

Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. We believe that the Lord's Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of the bread and wine are to commemorate together the death of Christ, is to be preceded always with solemn self-examination (Matt. 28:19; John 3:22-23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; Rom. 6:4; I Cor. 11:26, 28).

Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the kings of the earth (Matt. 22:21; 23:10; Acts 5:29; Rom. 13:1-7).

The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem, while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both in and after death (Mal. 3:18; Luke 16:25; John 5:19; Rom. 1:17).

The World to Come
We believe that the end of this age is approaching. We believe in "That blessed hope"--the personal, imminent, premillenial return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting punishment of the lost (Matt. 24:31-46; Acts 1:11; 24:15; I Thess. 4:13-18; I Pet. 4:7; Rev. 22:11).  

We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11).

Human Sexuality and Marriage
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged outside of a one-man, one-woman marriage. We believe that any form of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one's gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
 We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; I Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).

Abortion and Embryonic Stem Cell Research
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian's insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (I Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).  

Music in the Church
We believe that our music must be directly related to our understanding of the holiness of God. Our praise and worship of God through music, consisting of hymns and spiritual songs, must therefore be acceptable to a Holy God and must not be tainted nor polluted with any of the characteristics of carnal, worldly music, which appeal to and stimulate carnal reactions. We therefore reject the CCM movement. (Ex. 15:1; I Chr. 16:9,23; II Chr. 15:14; Ps. 9:11; 40:1-3; 47:6; 118:14; Rom. 15:9; I Cor. 10:31; Eph. 4:29; 5:19; Heb. 2:12; Rev. 5: 9-10; 15:3,4).  

This theological persuasion is a futile attempt to reconcile the higher scientific Biblical criticism with the true Biblical interpretation. Such an appeal to Biblical revelation is based on half-truths and as such is false and deceptive. We utterly reject this method and position.  

Ecumentical Movement
We believe that this movement is an attempt to unite different faiths and religions on the basis of the least common denominator of doctrine. It emphasizes love at the expense of truth. It is a betrayal of the unity of believers based upon sound doctrine of the historic Christian Faith. Its method of operation is subversive. Its concept of an ecclesiastical Kingdom is not supported by Scripture. We reject all cooperation with this movement (II Cor. 6:14-17).  

This movement, while claiming to be fundamental in theology, has actually compromised the underlying principles of the Christian faith. It questions inspiration and literal interpretation; it accepts liberals as Christians, takes a new attitude toward the ecumenical movement, promotes ecumenical evangelism, denies both ethical and ecclesiastical separation, restructures eschatology, and over-stresses the social aspects of the Gospel. We hold this stand to be unscriptural.  

Tongues Movement 
We believe that the gift of tongues was given as a sign to Israel and like the gifts of Apostleship and prophecy, which were for the founding of the church, is therefore not being given today. We believe that the current resurgence of the practice of tongues, which is not Scripturally regulated and which is usually divisive, is not the Scriptural gift.