Our beliefs connect us to the wider tradition of the Church universal. Therefore, we confess our faith in the Triune God revealed as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. We believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, was both fully God and fully human, lived a blameless life, suffered and died to reconcile the world to God, was resurrected from the dead and now reigns in eternal glory. We believe that the Church universal is the body of Christ called to participate in that reconciliation by proclaiming and practicing sacrificial love.
Our beliefs also connect us to the particular group of people called Baptists. We believe in the distinctives that have contributed to the Baptist heritage through the years. These beliefs include the lordship of Christ, the authority of the scriptures, believer’s baptism, autonomy of the local church, religious liberty and the priesthood of all believers.
In addition to these, there are some values that we hold dear as a congregation. We believe in a grace that is offered freely and is capable of transforming every life. We believe in meaningful worship that lifts our hearts to God. We believe in serving our neighbors both locally and globally. We believe in working with congregations from other denominations and traditions. We believe that every church member has something uniquely valuable to offer in this life of faith. And we believe in eating together every chance we get.
“For it is by grace that you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:8. Salvation is an event. At the same time, salvation is a process. Philippians 2:12 says, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
Salvation is one of those words that we don’t always know what to do with these days. Sometimes we are tempted to “hiss” it from street corners. Other times we want to clutch it as our own private experience. There might even be moments when we would prefer to ditch the word altogether for something a little more contemporary.
At First Baptist Church, we echo the confession of the Church through the ages in proclaiming that salvation is found in Christ. Through his redemptive birth, life, death and resurrection, Christ has become our salvation.
He is salvation from sin — both individual and corporate. Salvation from our failures. Salvation from hell. Salvation from ourselves. Salvation from this corruptible world. Salvation from all the tiny kingdoms that we value more than the one, lasting Kingdom.
Ultimately, we believe in a salvation that comes as the gift of God. While it may be hinted at with words, it is best evidenced by the embodied faith of a transformed people.