Confession of Faith
a. The Scriptures We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired by God and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore, has truth without any admixture of error for its matter. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
By “THE HOLY BIBLE” we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation which, as originally written, does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God.
The ‘Confession of Faith’ does not exhaust the 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 of Sidney’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Council of Elders is First Baptist Church’s designated human interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application. Each individual Elder is accountable first of all to God, and also to the Council of Elders and to the members of First Baptist Church of Sidney to assure that he faithfully adheres to this Confession of Faith.
b. The True God We believe that there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite Spirit, the 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 Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Exodus 20:2-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11; I John 5:7)
c. Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).
We believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin woman, perfectly man (Gen. 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18- 25; Luke 1:26-35; Gal. 4:4; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:17); that He was God incarnate, perfectly God (Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14; 20:28); and that he lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). He came as one person who functioned appropriately according to each of His two natures.
We believe that Christ’s threefold offices, prophet, priest, and king, are for the well-being of His people; the purpose of the incarnation was to prophetically reveal God (John 14:7-9); the purpose of His priestly office was to redeem men through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross which was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, and propitiatory (Isaiah 53:5&6; John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24). That as our High Priest, Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and He is the only means of reconciling man to God (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 12:24, Hebrews 7:25; John 10:9; 14:16); and the purpose of His kingly office is to rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:9-11).
We believe that in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 11:23-27; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).
We believe in His ascension to the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19; Acts 1:19) and that His present work is that of High Priest, Advocate and Intercessor; in which capacity He appears before the face of God on our behalf (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).
We believe in His personal return in power and glory, according to His promise (Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16,17; Titus 2:11-13).
d. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person 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 bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer (John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Genesis 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-6; Ephesians 1:13-14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Romans 8:14, 16, 26-27).
e. The Devil, or Satan We believe in the personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of the age and the author of all the powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Matthew 4:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10).
f. Creation We accept the Genesis account of creation and believe that man came by direct creation of God and not by evolution (Genesis 1 and 2; Colossians 1: 16-17; John 1:3). 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 challenged,
and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Ps 139).
We 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 the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, polygamy, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of First Baptist Church of Sidney as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the First Baptist Church members and the surrounding communities, it is imperative that all persons employed by First Baptist Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22).
We 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 Corinthians 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the First Baptist Church of Sidney.
g. The Fall of Man We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but, by voluntary transgression, fell from his sinless and happy state and consequently all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but by choice, and therefore, under just condemnation without defense or excuse (Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Romans 5:10-19, with special attention to verses 12 and 19; Romans 1:18 and 32).
h. Grace In the New Creation We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again. The new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus. It is instantaneous and not a process. 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. The new creation is brought about 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. Its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 19; 1 John 5:1; John 3:6-7; Acts 16:30-33; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; John 3:8).
i. Justification We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification. Justification includes the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life, on principles of righteousness. It is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood. His righteousness is imputed to us (Acts 13:39; Isaiah 53:11; Zechariah 13:1; Romans 8:1; Romans 5:9; Romans 5:1).
j. Faith and Salvation We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation (Acts 16:31).
k. The Local Church We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers associated by a 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. Its officers are elders 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 people as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations. The one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit. It is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel. Each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. On all matters of membership, of church government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final (Acts 2:41-42; 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:11; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Timothy 3:15; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23-24; Acts 15:13-18).
l. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior. It is symbolic of our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination (Acts 8:26-39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28).
m. The Security of the Saints We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39; Jude 1).
n. The Righteous and the Wicked We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. Only through faith are we justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, and are truly righteous in His esteem. All such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are, in His sight, wicked and under the curse. This distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting joy of the saved and the everlasting, conscious suffering of the lost (Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17-18, 6:23, 7:6; 1 John 5:19; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 6:25; Matthew 25:3441; John 8:21).
o. Separation When a person receives Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within, old things pass away, and all things become new. Because of this, certain moral changes take place and the true believer will want to separate him or herself from worldliness and commit himself or herself unto God. At the same time, the believer is in the world and needs to win the confidence of unbelievers so that the believer may witness to the unsaved and win them to Christ. Each individual believer should follow the direction of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God with regard to their moral conduct. In the Spirit of Christ, believers should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. Our conduct should be based on Biblical principles. We should ask ourselves the following questions relating to questionable activity: Is it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Can it be considered the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or pride of life (1 John 2:16)? Is it injurious to the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians. 6:19-20)? Is it good from the standpoint of my stewardship of time and money (1 Corinthians 10:23)? Are we making judgments about others? (Romans 14:3,4,10,13) Are we causing a brother or sister to stumble (Romans 14:21)?
p. Civil Government We 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 things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the Kings of the earth (Romans 13:1-7; 2 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:20; Acts 4:19-20; Daniel 3:17-18).
q. The Restoration of All Things We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be captivated by dwelling in the presence of his inexpressible holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace (Matt 24:1-25:46; 26:64; Acts 1:4-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Titus 2:11-14).