- We believe that every word of Holy Scripture, contained in both the Old and New Testaments, has been inspired and superintended by God Himself, through the Holy Spirit is without any mixture of error. We believe that the Bible is the only authoritative and sufficient Word to us from God, holding all we need for salvation from sin and living in holiness and obedience to God.
Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 40:8; Luke 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21
- We believe in the one true and living God, who is the intelligent, personal, spiritual and all-powerful creator of the Universe. He is perfectly and infinitely holy, good, just and loving. The triune God has one nature, eternally existing as three co-equal and co-eternal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; Psalm 19:1-3; John 4:24; 14:6-13; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-18; 14:16-17, 26; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:4-6; Philippians 2:5-11; Revelation 1:10; 22:17
- We believe that man is the special creation of God, made in the image of God. God created mankind male and female as the crowning work of creation. The first man and woman were created without sin and with the freedom to choose to worship and obey God. In his freedom of choice, man rebelled against God, being tempted by Satan and defying God’s command. Man thus made himself a sinner, corrupting his nature, and bringing sin into the world and the hearts of all his offspring. All mankind is thus sinful in nature, and all mankind has of their own freedom chosen sin and rebellion against God. Because God is infinitely holy, meaning he cannot have any fellowship with sin, all men are in need of a perfectly holy Savior and the salvation that can come by God’s grace alone.
- Because each person is made in the image of God, we believe all people possess full dignity as image bearers of God, are worthy of respect and should be the objects of Christian love. While created male and female, both genders have equal worth and value before God. God has ordained distinctions between masculine and feminine roles in the created order that the two may complement one another in a manner like that of Christ and the church.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Isaiah 6:5; Matthew 16:26; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
- We believe that salvation from sin comes by God’s grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Because God is the only perfectly righteous judge and because all people have sinned against Him, it is only by His grace that any person may escape judgment and condemnation for their sin. God, in His love for mankind, took on flesh in the man, Jesus Christ, being born of a virgin, living a perfectly sinless life, dying on a cross to pay the penalty for our sin, and rising again from the dead three days later. Salvation is received as a gift from God when we turn from our sin, place our full faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, making Christ the Lord of our life. At the moment of true belief the Christian is given the gift of the Holy Spirit who permanently indwells the life of every believer.
Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
- We believe that just as Christ was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven that he will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will righteously judge all men. We believe heaven and hell are real places. The soul of man is immortal and will live for eternity after physical death. Those who are united to Christ by faith in him alone and repentance from sin will live for eternity in the glorious and eternal presence of God in resurrected, glorified, physical bodies in Heaven. Those who reject Christ in this life and are not united to him by faith and repentance will live on in eternal separation from God in a place of unending torment called hell.
Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 25:31-46; Mark 8:38; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Hebrews 9:27-28; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.
- Because we believe heaven and hell are real places and that our choices in this life have eternal consequence, we believe that all who have been saved by Christ have been saved to proclaim the good news of salvation (the Gospel) to every person in every corner of the earth. As those who hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ respond in faith, it is the responsibility of mature believers to assist them in growing in their knowledge and love of the Lord, equipping them for the continued work of evangelism.
Genesis 12:1-3; Matthew 9:37-38; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-53; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; Revelation 7:9-17
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
- We believe that baptism is an initial act of obedience to Christ as a new believer. It is a public profession of a personal commitment to Christ. In baptism, the believer is demonstrating that he or she has died to self by repenting of sin and is raised to a new life of holiness and fellowship with the Father. We believe that as much as is possible, baptism should be practiced by the full immersion of the professing believer into water, and that while an act of obedience to Christ, the ordinance of baptism has no saving effect of its own.
Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12
- We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial meal of bread and the fruit of the vine, reminding us of Christ’s sacrifice for sin and redeeming work on the cross. Communion is thus not a means of receiving grace, but an act of remembrance practiced by the members of a church to proclaim the Gospel to ourselves and the world as we wait for the return of Jesus.
Matthew 26:26-30; Marks 14:22-26 Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 21; 11:23-29
First West is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and as such we cooperate with other like-minded Southern Baptist churches in sending missionaries and church planters around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our beliefs are consistent with the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) which can be viewed in full here.