Who We Are
First Baptist Church is a body of believers that have been transformed by the grace of God for the glory of God. Our desire is that Jesus Christ is glorified in all we do as we seek to be conformed into His image in all that we are. Therefore our fundamental commitment is to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our mission as mandated by scripture is to Exalt the Savior, Equip the saints and Evangelize the lost to reach our community for Christ.
The question is asked, What is the Bible? We pose this question and seek now to answer it. The Baptist Faith And Message offers an excellent starting point by defining The Scriptures as follows:
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
One should view the Scriptures in the context of the larger picture of God’s message.
First, God reveals himself. He is a loving God and desires to communicate to us and have fellowship with us. God’s communication to us is defined as revelation, which simply means that God communicates to us. Revelation comes in two forms, namely, natural revelation and special revelation. Natural revelation means that God speaks to us through creation. The heavens declare the glory of God. We learn something of God’s majesty and sovereignty from his enormous and meticulous creation. Special revelation means that God communicates to us personally and specially. The Bible is defined as the special revelation of God. Through the Bible God has communicated to us using words, thoughts and ideas.
Second, God inspired men in times past to record His revelation to us. You will read in the Bible from time to time phrases such as the word of God came to a certain prophet or person. God then moves in that person to record His word. Thus, the Scriptures are born. When God revealed Himself to a particular prophet or apostle and moved that person to record His message, it is called inspiration. In essence, God inspired prophets and apostles to record His message.
Third, that inspired revelation is then transmitted to us through the ages. This is called the transmission of the word of God. God governed the process of transmitting the Scriptures through the ages to ensure that what we have today is in fact and in content, the very word of God. We can take comfort in the fact that the best, most ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts are indeed the Word of God.
Fourth, that inspired revelation, which has been transmitted to us, must be translated into an understandable language. This is called the translation of the Word of God. If a given translation reflects accurately the content of the best most ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, then one can take comfort in the fact that God’s message is being communicated to you through that given translation.
Fifth, that inspired revelation, which has been transmitted to us in the form of a translation, must be understood. This process is called interpretation. When one seeks to understand and apply the Bible under the direction of the Holy Spirit, he is then interpreting the Scriptures for himself.
A word of warning is in order at this point.
- We believe that God is love. He has a desire to communicate to us. Since he is love he has no desire to lie to us or mislead us in anyway. We believe that He is Lord. He is incapable of being wrong or inaccurate. Since He is Love, since He is Lord, we know that His special revelation, the Bible, is infallible and without error. If His word is fallible and imperfect, then He is neither Love nor Lord.
- Not all translations are equal. Care should be taken in selecting a Bible for study. Make sure that the particular Bible you are using for study is not a paraphrase. Make sure your study Bible is a translation from the best most ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.
- Care should be taken in interpreting the word of God. The text and the context of a given passage should be scrupulously studied to understand it original meaning in the day it was written. Attention should be given to word meanings, grammatical structure, and historical content. With this background in mind, one is better able to let the Spirit work to apply the meaning of the Bible to heart and mind.
- Well put are the words of The Baptist Faith And Message: The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
Written by Dr. Charles E. (Bobby) Holt
Used with Permission
Salvation Through Christ: A Matter of FAITH
What do you think it takes for someone to get to heaven? Is it luck? Good deeds? Nothing at all? Or is there something more? The Bible has the real answer to this question. It’s a matter of FAITH.
F stands for FORGIVENESS. We cannot have eternal life without God’s forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7a says, “In Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
A is for AVAILABLE. Forgiveness is available for all. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” But forgiveness is not automatic. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,” says Matthew 7:21a.
I is for IMPOSSIBLE. It is impossible for God to allow sin into heaven because of who He is and because of who we are. God is loving and just, but His judgment is against sin. James 2:13a says, “Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” We are sinful people. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
T is for TURN. To turn means to repent. We can repent — or turn — from our sin and from ourselves. “But unless you repent, you too will all perish,” Luke 13:3b says. We can also turn to Someone. Trust Christ alone. Romans 10:9 tells us how: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
H is for HEAVEN. Heaven is eternal life. Here, that means life “to the full:” “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10b).” In the hereafter, it means the promise of heaven: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).
So how can a person have God’s forgiveness, heaven and eternal life, and Jesus as personal Savior and Lord? By trusting in Christ and asking Him for forgiveness. Take the step of faith described by another meaning of FAITH: Forsaking All I Trust Him.
You do this through a simple prayer reflecting your desire for Christ to change your life. You don’t need fancy words–only an honest heart. You can pray something like this:
Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and have displeased You in many ways. I believe You died for my sin, and only through faith in Your death and resurrection can I be forgiven. I turn from my sin and ask You to come into my life as my Savior and Lord. From this day on, I will follow You by living a life that pleases You. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me. Amen.
Accepting Christ is just the beginning of a wonderful adventure with God! Get to know Him better in a number of ways:
- Follow Christ’s example in baptism.
- Join a church where you can worship God and grow in your faith.
- In your church, get involved in Sunday School and Bible study.
- Begin a daily personal worship experience with God where you study the Bible and pray.
We’d love to hear from you — Please feel free to ask us any questions you have about becoming a Christian, or tell us about your decision to follow Jesus Christ. Please let us know how we can serve you by sending us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baptism is ordained by Jesus and we are told in Matt 28:19
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;”
To be an obedient church that follows Christ we must teach, make disciples and baptize.
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in Jesus, it also symbolizes the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus.
Baptism does not save you, but it is an outward sign of what God has regenerated on the inside.
Baptism is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead.
Baptism is one of the first acts of obedience after one has asked God in faith to forgive them and save them.
The Lord's Supper
The Lords supper is a time for a believer to remember what Jesus has done for all of the redeemed and to examine oneself. It is a special time to reflect on what God has done through his sons sacrifice on the cross and praise him for it.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
The bread representing his body that was given up for us, and the fruit of the vine that represents his blood that was shed for you and I.
- Matt. 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20;
- Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26;
- Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20;
- John 3:23;
- Acts 6:2-5;
- 1Cor 10:16, 21; 11:23-29;
- Col. 2:12
- Baptist Faith and Message, 9 May 1963, p.13