STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Scriptures

We believe that the Bible, in its original manuscripts, is the inspired word and revelation of God, and therefore our final authority in faith and practice.  (II Tim. 3:16-17, II Peter 1:19-21)

God

We believe that there is only one true and living God, in whom are three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, yet one in essence, co-equal, co-existent, and co-eternal.  We believe that God is spirit, that He is holy, just, righteous, loving, unchanging, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 44:6; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; I Cor. 8:6; John 4:24; Isa. 6:3; Deut. 32:4; Acts 3:14; John 3:16; James 1:17; Malachi 3:6; Heb. 4:13; Eph. 1:19-21; Psa. 139:7-10)

God the Father –– We believe in God the Father who is distinguished as such because of His peculiar relationship to Jesus Christ His Son.  We believe that God is the Father of regenerated man.  We become heirs and joint heirs with Christ through adoption made possible by the shed blood of Jesus.  (I John 20:17; I Cor. 15:24 & 28; Rom. 8:14-17 & 23; Eph. 4:6; I John 3:1)

God the Son –– We believe that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity and the eternal Son of God, was begotten of Mary, a virgin, by the Holy Spirit, and was born man.  He was in every respect as we are, but without sin.  He is the only mediator between God and men.  (John 1:1-3 & 14-18; Luke 1:34-35; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 2:17 & 4:15; I Tim. 2:5)

God the Holy Spirit–– We believe that the divine person of the Holy Spirit has been active in the world from the beginning.  It is He who shows men their sin and leads them to Jesus Christ for forgiveness.  He initiates the new birth and is actively present in believers, guiding, correcting, and empowering their growth toward the stature of Christ.  (II Peter 1:21; John 16:7-8; John 15:26; John 3:3,5; John 14:16-17; John 16:13; Acts 1:8; Eph. 4:13)

Satan

We believe in the personality of Satan, who first tempted man to sin.  Since the fall he has enjoyed power and allegiance in the created world and continues to entice men from God and to oppose the work of the Holy Spirit.  He is destined to final judgment and condemnation by God.  (Gen. 3:1-13; Acts 26:18; Luke 4:1-13; Luke 8:12; Rev. 20:10)

Creation

We believe that God created all things from nothing, and it was good. The first man and woman were created directly by God and bear His image.  Now all humanity begins at conception and also bears God’s image.  Therefore, as Christians we must preserve life and oppose murder and abortion.  Moreover, God instituted originally the covenant of marriage for a lifetime between a man and a woman.  This was affirmed by Jesus’ teachings.  Sexual relations must be confined within the marriage covenant.  All acts of adultery, fornication, or homosexuality are sin.  (Gen. 1 & 2; Col. 1:16-17; John 1:1-3; I Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11; Matt 5:31-32; Matt 18:25; Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Heb 13:4; 1 Pet 3:1-7)

Fall of Man

We believe that man was created pure and blameless subject to God’s commands but by willful disobedience fell from his sinless and happy state.  In consequence all men are sinners, not only by nature, but by choice.  Therefore, all are under just condemnation without defense or excuse and for this reason need a new birth.  (Gen. 3; Rom 3:10-19; Rom. 2:1-3; John 3:3-7)

Atonement

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace.  The Son of God, who was Himself completely without sin, voluntarily took upon Himself our sin in obedience to the will of the Father.  By His death in the sinners’ place, the just for the unjust, He made a full and complete atonement.  In raising Christ from the dead on the third day, God bore witness to the completion of His atoning work.  (Eph. 2:8-9; II Cor. 5:21; John 10:17-18; I Peter 3:18; Heb. 9:26-28; I Cor. 15:3-4, 17; Rom. 4:24-25)

Salvation

We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation.  This faith in Him involves realization of our sin and turning in repentance and trust to Him as the sole deliverer from sin.  Salvation is therefore a new birth.  It is release from condemnation and guilt and the imparting of divine life.  The believer is a new creature whose life is bound to Jesus Christ as Savior, source and sustainer.  (Rom. 3:21-26; Acts 2:37-38; Acts 16:31; John 3:3-7; John 5:24; Eph 2:1; II Cor. 5:17; Gal. 2:20)

Christian Maturity

We believe that it is the will of God that all believers continue to mature toward the stature of Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  As the believer willingly accepts the direction of the Holy Spirit, his inner life is sanctified and brought into more perfect obedience to God’s will.  Moreover, within the fellowship of Christians and in the world, the Holy Spirit directs the believer toward the likeness of Christ so that by his active love he bears witness to God’s presence and power within him and glorifies God before men.  (Eph. 4:13; Rom. 8:14; I Thess. 4:1-3; Eph. 4:22-24; John 13:34-35; I John 3:16-17; Matt. 5:16)

The Church

 We believe that the Church comprises those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and is the body of Christ.  Membership in a local church does not necessarily constitute membership in the body of Christ.  The Church is intended to worship, to observe the ordinances and to strengthen believers in the faith.  It is entrusted with God’s message of salvation and is commissioned by Christ to proclaim the gospel everywhere.  (Rev. 2:18-20; Eph. 1:22-23; John 4:23; I Cor. 11:23-26; Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 2:41-42; II Cor. 5:19-20; Matt. 28:18-20)

Ordinances

We believe that the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are symbols of God’s redeeming work and marks of our public profession as Christians.  They are commanded for all believers, but are of no effect apart from the believer’s faith.  Baptism is by immersion, and as such is a sign of the believer’s prior union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.  The Lord’s Supper is to be received by believers only in remembrance of Christ’s broken body and shed blood.  (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:35-38; Acts 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Matt. 26:26-28; II Cor. 11:23-29)

Stewardship

We believe in the Christian responsibility to be faithful in the stewardship of his life, time, talent, and treasures.  God has endowed every believer with spiritual gifts and it is required of a steward that he be faithful.  In regard to giving, the believer is to give proportionately, purposefully, sacrificially, and cheerfully.  The ministry of giving is to be engaged in by every believer as he is constrained by God’s love to give as the Lord leads and prospers.  (Luke 16:1-13; II Cor. 8:1-15; II Cor. 9:6-15; Malachi 3:8)

Conflict Resolution

We believe followers of Jesus Christ can bring glory to God whenever faced with conflict.  We will first strive to get the “log out of our own eye” before approaching another about his or her fault.  Our Lord Jesus Christ promises His followers that in this world we will have conflict in our families, in our associations with other people, even in His Church.  Christ died to reconcile us to God.  We are called sons of God as we demonstrate the Christ-like characteristics of a peacemaker.  (Matt. 5:1-16; Matt. 7:1-5; Matt. 18:15-18; II Cor. 5:18; Gal. 5:22,23; I Cor. 13; II Peter 1:3-11)

Civil Government

We believe that civil government is ordained of God for the interest and good order of society.  The programs and policies of a government are not necessarily the will of God.  Nevertheless, Christians are commanded to honor and pray for those in authority and to obey their lawful commands except where these oppose their duties to Christ.  In exercising their responsibilities in a democracy, Christians should be guided by the awareness that a just and merciful society is pleasing to God.  (Rom. 13:1-7; Mark 12:13-17; I Tim. 2:1-2; Acts 4:19-20; Deut. 16:18-20; Amos 8:4-6, 10; James 5:4; Luke 10:30-37)

Resurrection and Return of Christ

We believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection and ascension.  We believe in the personal visible return of Christ in judgment, power and glory.  The dead in Christ will be raised and the living believers will be gathered with them in His presence.  The exact time and manner of these last things has not been revealed and it is the duty of all Christians to live in readiness for Christ’s imminent coming.          (Luke 24:36-42; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 25:31-32; I Thess. 4:13 & 5:6; Mark 13:26-27 & 32-37)

Final State of Man

We believe that the final destiny of every man will be determined entirely by his relation to Jesus Christ.  All who have truly accepted Christ will be kept to dwell with Him in a heaven perfect in every respect because of the presence of God.  All who are not reconciled to God through Christ will be eternally separated from Him in hell.  Christians should therefore labor to warn all men of the consequences of their decision.  (I John 5:11-12; Phil. 1:6; John 14:2-3; Rev. 21:22-23; Matt. 7:21-23; Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 20:27-28, 31)

"God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them." - Augustine

First Baptist Church - 1808 N. 19th St. - Allentown PA 18104