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Our Beliefs

With regards to our affiliation with Southern Baptists we affirm the The Baptist Faith and Message of 2000.  It serves as a guide to understanding who they are.  A complete copy with Scripture references is available by simply clicking the link above.  With regards to our own fellowship, we subscribe to the Articles of Faith of the First Baptist Church of Alto, Texas.  Our confession of faith follows the Baptist Faith and Message below.

Baptist Faith and Message

2000

The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.

God
There is one and only one living and true God. …The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. …God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. …He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin.

God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. …He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. …He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Man
Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. …By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. … The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Salvation
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.

God\'s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. …All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.

The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel…and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. …This church is an autonomous body. …The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ, which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.

Baptism & the Lord\'s Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. …It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer\'s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer\'s death to sin, the burial of the life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.

The Lord\'s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members … memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

The Lord\'s Day
The first day of the week is the Lord\'s Day. …It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion.

Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. …Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly…the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell. …The righteous… will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

Evangelism & Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations … to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort.

Education
The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence … there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. …The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Stewardship
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions.

Cooperation
Christ\'s people should … organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. …Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations.

The Christian & the Social Order
Every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in his own life and in human society. ... The Christian should oppose in the spirit of Christ every form of greed, selfishness, and vice.

Religious Liberty
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. …A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.

Family
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. …Marriage is the unity of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. …The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God\'s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. …Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord.

 

The Articles of Faith of the

First Baptist Church of Alto, Texas

 

I.  The Sciptures

The Bible was written by men divinely inspired.  It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.  It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct and religious creeds are to be tried.

II.  God

There is only one God.  He is all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere at all times.

The eternal , triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

A.  God the Father

God as Father reigns sovereignly over Heaven and Earth.  He is the Father in truth to those who become His children through faith in Jesus Christ and is fatherly to all His creatures.

B.  God the Son

Jesus is the eternal son of God.  He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.  He is fully man and fully God.  By His substitutionary death on the cross He redeemed men from sin.  He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and will return in power and great glory to judge the world and to consummate his redemptive mission.

C.  God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is fully divine.  He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures and today illuminates men to understand them.  He calls men to the Savior.  At the moment of salvation He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ.  He cultivates Christian character and bestows spiritual gifs.  He seals the believer unto the day of redemption.  He empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

III.  Man

Man is the special creation of God.  Both genders and every race possess full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love, because they were all created in His image.

In the beginning man was in a state of innocence and free will, but by his transgression man fell from that innocence and freedom.  Mankind has inherited a nature and an environment inclined toward sin.  Only the grace of God can bring man back into God's fellowship.

IV.  Salvation

Salvation is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ.

V.  God's Purpose of Grace

Election is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable.  It is consistent with the free agency of man, and includes all the means in connection with the end.

Those whom God has elected will never fall away from the state of grace, but will persevere to the end.

VI.  The Church

The Church universal is composed of the redeemed of all times.  It encompasses all of God's elect, from every denomination, affiliation, creed, tribe, tongue, people, and nation.

The church local is an autonomous congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant, observing the ordinances and governed by His word.  Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.

VII.  Baptism and the Lord's Supper

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the holy trinity.  It symbolizes the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin and his new life in Christ Jesus.  It is also a testimony to his faith in the final rsurrection of the dead and a prerequisite to church membership.

The Lord's Supper symbolizes the death of the Redeemer and anticipates his second coming.

VIII. The Lord's Day

The first day of the week is the Lord's Day.  It is a Christian institution for regular observance.  It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private.  Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the lordship of Jesus Christ.

IX.  The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over His church.  The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ.

According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly to the earth.  The dead will be raised and Christ will judge all men in righteousness.  The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell and the righteous will receive their reward and dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

X.  Stewardship

God is the source of all our blessings.  All that we have and are we owe to Him.  According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.

XI.  Christian Citizenship

Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness and brotherly love.  To promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause.

XII.  Religious Liberty

Since God alone is Lord of the conscience, church and state should be separate.  The church has no right to resort to the state to carry on its work, for the gospel contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends.  The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opnions of any kind, nor does it have a right to impose taxes for the support of any religious party or purpose.  A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.

XIII.  Marriage and Family

God has ordained marriage and family as foundational institutions of society.  Marriage is the union of a man and woman in holy matrimony.  A family is composed of persons related by marriage, blood, or adoption.  The New Testament principles of marriage and family life are relevant and binding today.

Children, from the moment of conception, are complete and whole persons created in God's image.  Parents are to fulfill their holy obligations to their children by teaching them spiritual and moral values and by living a life that inclines their children to trust Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

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