What We Believe
Statement of Faith
First Baptist Church - Pentwater, Michigan
THE WORD OF GOD
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. II Tim. 3:16‑17; II Peter 1:20‑21; Matt. 5:18; Rev. 22:18‑19.
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons‑ Father, Son and Holy Spirit ‑ that these three are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, redemption and sanctification. Deut. 6:4;II Cor.13:14; Matt. 28:19; Gen. 1:26; Matt. 3:16‑17.
GOD THE FATHER
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of mankind, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. Gen. 1:1: I Chron. 29:11; Isa, 37:16; John 3:16, 4:24, 14:6; Rom. 11:33; I Pet. 3:12; Rev. 4:8.
GOD THE SON
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful people. We believe that He accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead, we further believe that Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Mediator, Intercessor and Advocate. Luke 1:35; John 1:1, 2, 14; Rom. 3:24‑25; Eph. 1:7; I Pet. 1:3‑5, 3:24; Acts 1:9‑10; Rom. 8:34; I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25. 9:24: I John 2:1‑2.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ; indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth; through the process of sanctification and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. John 16:8‑11; II Cor. 3:6; I Cor. 12:12‑14; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13‑14; John 16:13, I John 2:20, 27: Eph. 5:18.
CREATION AND THE FALL OF MAN
We believe in the creation of all things by the direct act of God, as opposed to the evolutionary theory of origins, whether atheistic or theistic in concept. We also believe that man and woman were the direct creation of God, not in any sense the product of an animal ancestry, but made in the image of God; that by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God mankind became sinful and man became the progenitor of a fallen race of which all mankind is sinful both in nature and practice; alienated from the life and family of God, under the righteous judgment and wrath of God, and that they are utterly unable to do anything to merit God's favor. Gen. 1:1‑3:24; Ps. 33:6,9; Isa. 40:28; Col. 1:15‑17; Heb. 11:3; Rev. 4:9‑11; Matt. 19:4; I Thess. 5:23; Eph. 2:3; Rom 3:23, 5:12; Eph. 4:18; John 8:42‑44; Rom. 1:18, 3:19; Mark 7:21‑23; Matt. 19:26; Rom. 7:18.
SALVATION AND ETERNAL SECURITY
We believe that the salvation of sinners is through the Son of God who is the Savior by virtue of His substitutionary death for sinners; that salvation is completely dependent upon the grace of God and can be obtained only through the gift of God, and that mankind can in no way merit salvation; that the basis of salvation is faith in the shed blood of Christ; that the condition of salvation is faith alone in the resurrected Son of God; that the instruments of salvation are the Word of God; and the Holy Spirit who applies the Word to the heart of people to bring conviction of sin; and that in salvation the believer is called, justified, and glorified, is regenerated, forgiven all sin, and endowed with all spiritual blessings in Christ; that the true believer is secure in Christ, nothing is able to separate them from God, and that this security is dependent upon God's ability to keep the believer and not the believer's ability to keep themselves. We believe that when one is born again they pass immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new; and as soon as they are saved they are in possession of every spiritual
blessing and absolutely complete in Christ. We believe that God is a holy and righteous Father and that, since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will, when they persistently sin, chasten them and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all human merit, He, who cannot fail, will in the end present everyone of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son. John 5:24, 14:16‑17, 15:26, 16:7‑11, 17:11, 23; Acts 13:39, 16:31; Rom. 5:1, 6:23; Col. 2:10; Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8‑10, 1:3; Heb. 7:25; Jude 24; I John 2:1‑2.
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well‑being of all people; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions; and that they should seek to become fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ. We further believe that we must accept as our solemn responsibility the duty and privilege of bearing the Gospel to a lost world in order that we may bear much fruit; remembering that a victorious and grateful Christian life is possible only for those who have learned they are not under law but under grace, and who in gratitude for the infinite and undeserved mercies of God have presented themselves wholly to Him for His service. I John 3:8‑11, 4:19, 5:4; John 14:23, 15:16; Col. 3:1; Titus 3:8; II Cor. 5:19; Rom. 6:14, 12:1‑2.
We believe in the universal Church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the Head, made up of all born again believers of this present Church age. Its mission is to witness concerning its Head, Christ Jesus, by spreading the gospel among all nations. We further believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. Matt. 28:19‑20; Eph. 1:22‑23, 5:25‑27; I Cor. 12:12‑14: II Cor. 11:2; Acts 14:27, 20:28‑32; I Tim. 3:1‑13: Titus 1:5‑11.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church; Baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God and that this act is in obedience to the example of Jesus Christ and is not a basis for salvation. We believe that the Lord's supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death and that the Bread and Cup are symbols of our Lord's death on our behalf. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matt. 28:16‑20; Acts 2:38, 10:47‑48; Rom. 6:3‑5; Col.2:12; I Cor. 11:23‑29.
We believe in the existence of Satan, who originally was created a holy and perfect being, but through pride and unlawful ambition rebelled against God, thus becoming utterly depraved in character. He became the author of sin and the cause of the fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and mankind; and that he will be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. Job 1:6‑7; Isa. 14:12‑17; Matt. 4:1‑11, 25:41; Rev. 20:10, I Peter 5:8; Gen. 3:1‑19.
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe in the "Blessed Hope", the personal, imminent, coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth after a time of Great Tribulation, with His saints, to establish His Millennial Kingdom. Zech. 14:4‑11, Luke 21:36; I Thess. 1:10, 4:13‑18, 5:9; Rev. 3:10, 19:11‑16, 20:1‑6.
THE ETERNAL STATE
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people; the saved to eternal life with God, and the unsaved to judgement and everlasting punishment, forever separated from God in the Lake of Fire. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. Matt. 25:41‑46; Mark 9:43‑48; Luke 16:19‑26, 23:43; John 5:28‑29, 11:25‑26; II Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23, 3:21; II Thess. 1:7‑9; Jude 6:7; Rev. 20:5‑6, 10‑15, 21:8.
We believe that worship is the offering of yourself to the purposes of God. As individuals we are to obey God in all things, offering ourselves to Him. As a local body of believers we believe that our corporate worship includes psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. The intent of our corporate worship is to bring people into the very presence of God, lifting up Christ so we may more fully understand who God is and what He has done for us. Rom. 12:1‑2: Eph. 5:19‑21.