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We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).B. The True GodWe believe there is one and only one living God, an infinite Spirit, and maker and supreme ruler of Heaven and earth; 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 Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Ex. 20:2,3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11).C. The Holy SpiritWe believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil One until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer (John 14:16, 17; Matt. 28:19; Gen. 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5, 6; Eph. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14, 16, 26, 27).D. The Devil, or SatanWe believe in the reality and personality of Satan the Devil; and that he was created by God as an angel but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his Creator; that he became the unholy god of this age and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Matt. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10).E. CreationWe believe the biblical account of the literal, six-day creation of the physical universe, angels, and man. We believe that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but an historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process or previously existing forms of life. All men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, the first parents of the entire human race (Gen. 1, 2; Col. 1:16, 17; Jn. 1:3). In light of this Divine creation, we believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally disabled, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We believe in the sanctity of life and are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Ps. 139).F. Gender and SexualityWe believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including but not limited to adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography, etc.) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of First Baptist Church (FBC) as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the FBC members and the community, it is imperative that all members, all persons employed by FBC in any capacity, and/or all who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this biblical understanding of Gender and Sexuality (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22). We also believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11), and that every person must be afforded compassion, love, and kindness (Mk. 12:28-31; Lk. 6:31). We believe hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture or the doctrines of FBC.G. The Fall of ManWe believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God) under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him, in consequence of which all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam's fallen nature, and are sinners by nature and by conduct, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse (Gen. 31:1-6; Rom. 1:18, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19).H. The Virgin BirthWe believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son (Gen 3:15,; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25).I. SalvationWe believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior. We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God, prompted by the Holy Spirit, and is an integral part of saving faith (Eph. 2:8; Rom. 3:24, 25; John 3:16; Phil 2:7, 8; Isa, 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24).J. Resurrection and Priesthood of ChristWe believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and in His ascension into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest, interceding for us (John 20:27; 1 Cor, 15:4; Luke 24:2-6, 51; Acts 1:9-11; Heb. 8:6; 12:2; 7:25; 1 John 2:1).K. Grace and the New BirthWe believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely 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; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 5:1; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1, 5).L. JustificationWe believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's shed blood (Rom. 3:24; 4:5; 5:1, 9; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9).M. SanctificationWe believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God, accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord's return (Heb. 1;10-14; John 17:17; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 Thess. 4:3, 4; 5:23, 24; 1 John 3:2).N. The Security of the SaintsWe believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6; John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude 1).O. The ChurchWe believe that a local church is an organized congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of 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; that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final (Acts 20:17-28; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Acts 1:8, 2:41-47; 6:1-7; 13:1-4; Phil. 1:1; Col. 4:15, 16; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). We believe in the unity of all New Testament believers in the church which is the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12, 13; Eph. 1:22, 23; 4:1-11).P. Baptism and the Lord's SupperWe believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should likewise be performed under the authority of the local church, preceded always by solemn self-examination (Acts 8:36, 38; John 3:23; Matt. 3:16; Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:41,42).Q. SeparationWe believe in obedience to the biblical commands to separate ourselves unto God from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy and compromise (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 1 Thess. 1:9, 10; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Rom. 16:17; 2 John 9-11).R. Civil GovernmentWe believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming King of kings (Rom. 13:1-7; Matt. 22;21; Acts 5:29; 4:19, 20; Dan. 3:17, 18).S. IsraelWe believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ (Gen. 13:14-17; Rom. 11:1-32; Ezek. 37).T. Rapture and Subsequent EventsWe believe in the premillennial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment, and that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the tribulation (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54; Phil. 3:20, 21; Rev. 3:10). We believe that the tribulation, which follows the rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom (Dan. 9:25-27; Matt. 24:29 -31; Luke 1:30-33; Isa. 11:1-9; Rev. 20:1-4, 6).U. The Righteous and the WickedWe believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ 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 this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire (Mal. 3:18; I John 5:19; Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matt. 25:34-41; Rev. 20:14, 15).V. The FamilyGod has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the 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. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15- 25; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 13:24; 22:6,15; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; I Timothy 5:14; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7).W. Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct The First Baptist Church Statement of Faith does not exhaust the full extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of First Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Head Pastor and Board of Deacons are First Baptist’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application. They shall have final authority in all matters of church governance, as set forth and described in the Bylaws.