STATEMENT OF FAITH OF First Baptist Church, Bixby, OK
1. The Bible in all sixty-six books is the inspired Word of God. It is inerrant (without error) in the original autographs (writings) and is our only authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
2. There is one God who exists in three persons, the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:20). The triune God is the Creator of the universe. He created it out of nothing and sustains it by His power.
3. Man was created by God in God's image, male and female and made perfect. But mankind fell when the first man Adam sinned. All men inherited Adam's guilt and his sinful nature (Psalm 51:5). As a result, the human race is born into this world separated from God, incapable of pleasing God and in need of a Savior (Romans 5:12; 8:7-8).
4. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only Savior. He is fully God and fully man, born of a virgin, born without sin or guilt and lived a perfect life under the Law. He was crucified by sinful men but died according to God's plan to save the elect. He was raised bodily from the dead on the third day and ascended into heaven as proof that His Father accepted His sacrifice as the Substitute for His people (John 8:46; 18:38; Galatians 4:4-5; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; 17).
5. The salvation Christ obtained by His death is free for all who believe in Him. It is not the result of human works or merit. Faith itself is the gift of God imparted by the Holy Spirit through the new birth of regeneration (Ephesians 2:1-8).
6. Believers in Jesus Christ are justified at the moment of faith. They are fully forgiven and forever accepted by God so that their salvation can never be lost. Still, all believers continue to have a sin nature and will struggle with sin as long as they are in this world. But they are presently being sanctified by the Holy Spirit to transform their souls so that they can live holy lives (John 10:29-30).
7. The souls of all believers enter heaven at death (2 Cor. 5:8). When Christ returns for His church they will be resurrected and those who are alive will be raptured. After seven years, He will return to defeat evil and establish His Kingdom on the earth where believers will reign with Him for a thousand years and then enter the eternal state of the New Heavens and New Earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelations 20-21). All who do not believe the gospel of salvation live in spiritual death under God's wrath and upon physical death enter hell and ultimately the lake of fire where they will suffer justly for all eternity (John 3:36; Revelation 20:10,14).
8. God's great work in the present age is the church. Christ is building it. He began it on the Day of Pentecost when God the Father and God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit. The universal church is organized into local congregations. The local church is governed by male leadership which is structured according to a plurality of elders and deacons under the headship of Jesus Christ who is the Chief Shepherd of the sheep (Philippians 1:1; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4).
9. All believers, male and female, are priests and equal in Christ. The Holy Spirit has given every believer a spiritual gift to be used for the edification of the church and the evangelization of the world. Some biblical gifts are no longer extant, such as the gifts of tongues, prophecy and healing (Ephesians 4:11-12).
10. Ministry at First Baptist Church is centered on the Bible and the observance of the two ordinances of the church, believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper. Books of the Bible are taught Sunday mornings systematically and expositionally. The Lord's Supper is observed several times in a year. (1 Corinthians 11:24; Acts 2:42).
11. A member of First Baptist Church is one who confesses faith in Jesus Christ as God's Son and his or her Savior; acknowledges the authority of the Bible, attends the meeting of the church regularly and submits to governance and authority of the elders.
12. When sin is exposed in the church, discipline is carried out according to Matthew 18:15-18. The person disciplined is not put out of the church but is prohibited from taking the Lord's Supper. The purpose is correction and restoration.
13. The family is the basic unit of the church and society. It is based on marriage. Marriage is between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27-28; Mark 10:6). Christian marriage represents the relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5: 25-33). Therefore, only marriage between one man and one woman is permitted at First Baptist Church.