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What Does First Baptist Church Believe?


 What Does First Baptist Church Believe?

Just the mention of the word “doctrine” often causes some to think, “This is unkind, uninteresting, and unnecessary.”  However, a church without solid biblical doctrine is like a body without a skeleton or a building without a foundation—a tragic collapse is inevitable.  When doctrine is presented accurately, it is both interesting and invigorating.  The local church is to be the “pillar and ground” of the Truth (I Tim. 3:15).  We are instructed to know what we believe and why—to be stable Christians in a very unstable world.  The following outline, accompanied with scripture, represents where we are doctrinally as a church.

  1. The Scriptures – We believe the Old and New Testaments to be verbally inspired by God, and that they are the final authority in faith and life (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21).
  1. The Godhead – We believe the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections (Gen. 1:1, 1:26, Matt. 3:1-17; Matt. 28:19-20; II Cor. 13:14; Rom. 8:9).
  1. The Lord Jesus Christ – We believe in:
  1. Holy Spirit – We believe the Holy Spirit, the Third person of the Godhead, convicts men of sin (John 16:8); regenerates, indwells, seals (I Cor. 3:16; Eph. 1:13-14), and sets believers apart unto a holy life. He keeps and empowers believers day by day (Acts 18). He is the teacher of the Word of God and the guide for our daily life (I Cor. 2:13).  Anyone who does not have the Spirit living in him is not a child of God (Rom. 8:9).
  1. Man – We believe:
  1. Satan – We believe in the reality and personality of Satan (Job 1:6-9; Job 2:3; Matt. 4:1-11; I Peter 5:8; James 4:7).
  1. Salvation – We believe:
  1. The Church – We believe:
  1. The Ordinances – We believe that Christ gave only two ordinances to the church to be observed “til He come.”

It should be made clear that there is no saving power in baptism—it is meant as a public testimony of discipleship for those who are already saved—giving a clear picture of the fact that the believer is dead, buried, and raised spiritually with Jesus Christ by faith in Him (Rom. 6:6).

  1. The Future – We believe in the personal premillennial return of Jesus Christ. He will come:  a) for His saints together at the rapture (I Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13); b) with His saints to set up His Kingdom on this earth (Jude 14-15).  We believe in the eternal conscious blessedness of the saved and the eternal conscious punishment of the lost (Luke 16:19-31).
  1. Separation – We believe it is our duty to call the attention of believers to the Scriptural teaching of separation, and that we should abstain from worldly practices and live a life devoted unto the Lord (Rom. 12:1-2; II Cor. 6:14 – 7:1; I Peter 1:15-16).
  1. Missions – We believe it is each Christian’s privilege and responsibility to be a witness for Christ in life and in word and seek to lead others to a saving knowledge of Christ (Rom. 10:14; Matt. 28:19-20).

As we conclude this section on doctrine, let me leave with you the very appropriate title of one of my favorite articles written by Dr. Doug McLachlan.  His title captures in a nutshell what we are attempting to do here.  We are, “Maintaining the Foundation and Rebuilding the Superstructure.”  While doctrines never change, methods do (I Cor. 9:19-27) in order to minister to the people of our day in our culture.  May God make us as wise as serpents and harmless as doves.