THE GOSPEL AND OTHER TRUTHS WE BELIEVE
The most important truth you will ever discover is the one that Jesus put so simply,
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
This simple message is part of the gospel, or good news, message that God reveals to us in His Word, the Bible. Our church is made up of people that have decided to follow Jesus… and He invites you to walk with Him as well.
As followers of Jesus we seek to align our lives with the truth we find in God’s Word. We are committed to a core set of beliefs that reflect the historic, orthodox beliefs of the Christian Church through the ages. These are the beliefs in which we have unity and on which we base our fundamental decisions. We believe these things:
WHAT WE BELIEVE
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal, co-eternal, and are one God.
Genesis 1:1-2, 26-27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19 I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14
ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the Cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to judge the living and the dead.
Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15I Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13
ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of the Word of God (the Bible), and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer spiritual gifts when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12, 3:16 Ephesians 1:13; 5:18; Galatians 5:25
ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is God’s Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 1:13, Psalms 119:105, 160; 12:6, Proverbs 30:5
People are made in the spiritual image of God to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation and love. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience towards God called “sin.” This attitude separates us from God until the relationship is restored through a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:27, Psalms 8:3-6, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:23, Isaiah 59: 1-2
Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Salvation begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into their life by faith. After this we begin to develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, Bible Study, and fellowship with other believers through the process of Sanctification. Finally, when our earthly lives are over, we spend eternity with God in heaven, also called Glorification.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is grace and the keeping power of God that gives this security.
John 10:29, 2 Timothy 1:12, Hebrews 7:25; 10:10-14, 1 Peter 1:3-5
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18 Revelation 20:15; I Corinthians 2:7-9
WHAT WE PRACTICE
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we believe very strongly about the following seven practices:
FOLLOWING THE BIBLE AS OUR SOLE AUTHORITY
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is what does the Bible say? We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
“… and now from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures,
which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
II Timothy 3:15
AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH FOR MINISTRY AND DIRECTION
Christ is the recognized head of our church. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
“Christ is the head of His Body, the Church. He is the source of the Body’s life …” Colossians 1:18
PRIESTHOOD OF EVERY BELIEVER THROUGH SERVING, BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to full-time Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
“Christ loves us, and by His death He has freed us from our sins and made us a Kingdom of Priests to serve God …” Revelation 1:6
“You are … the King’s priests … God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God.” I Peter 2:9
At Hampton First Baptist Church we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s Body, the Church, as God commands. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard of giving.
“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord;
it is holy to the Lord.” Leviticus 27:30
We practice baptism by immersion under water — the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ …” Colossians 2:12
(Jesus said) “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;
but apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
TELLING OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those God brings us into contact with. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” I Peter 3:15