What We Believe
Statement of Core Beliefs
The Statement of Core Beliefs at First Baptist Church Harlan is divided into seven (7) Sections.
Section 1: The Bible
We believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible, as originally given, are, in their entirety, without error in all areas in which they speak and are the inspired Word of God. Therefore, they are the supreme and final authority for faith and practice. The Bible clearly reveals the essentials necessary for our salvation and the appropriate conduct of our lives. It is to be interpreted humbly and responsibly under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Private, individual interpretations of Scripture that are novel and contradict the generally accepted view of the historic Christian Church are suspect.
2 Timothy 3:14-4:2 (inspired, without error, authoritative, sufficient); 2 Peter 1:19-21 (inspired); Psalm 12:6 (without error); Psalm 19:17-11 (inspired); Proverbs 30:5 (without error); Acts 17:11 (authoritative); Hebrews 4:12 (inspired, authoritative); Psalm 119:9,11,89,105 (sufficient); Luke 16:27-31 (sufficient); Romans 16:25-27 (inspired); John 16:13-15 (inspired); Acts 15:5-21 (authoritative, accountability/private interpretation).
Section 2: God
We believe in the one and only Almighty God of the Bible, the Creator and Ruler of all, who is eternally one God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is personal and perfect in all of His attributes as revealed in the Bible. He is worthy of praise, worship, honor and obedience.
Psalm 90:2 (eternal); Isaiah 40:28 (eternal); Revelation 6:8 (eternal); Isaiah 43:10-13; 44:6-8; 45:5-7, 21-23 (one and only, eternal, almighty, creator, ruler, omniscient); Genesis 1:1 (creator); Daniel 7:13-14 (ruler); Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19 (trinity); 2 Corinthians 13:14 (trinity); John 14:16-17, 26; 16:13-15 (trinity, truth, personality of the Spirit); 1 John 4:16 (love); 1 John 3:1 (love); Psalm 103:11-13 (love, grace); Ephesians 2:4-5 (love, grace); Isaiah 6:3 (holy, almighty); Revelation 4:8-11 (holy, almighty, creator, worthy of worship); Psalm 31:5 (truth); Isaiah 46:10 (omniscient) Romans 11:33-35 (omniscient); John 13:18-21 (omniscient); Psalm 148 (worthy of worship); Psalm 150 (worthy of worship); 1Timothy 1:17 (worthy of worship).
Section 3: Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, fully divine and fully human. He lived a perfect, sinless life, died in our place as a sacrifice of atonement for our sin, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended into Heaven. He will return bodily and visibly to the earth as King of kings and will righteously judge every human being who has ever lived
John 1:1 (eternal); John 8:58 (eternal); Revelation 1:8 (eternal); John 3:16 (Son); Revelation 2:18 (Son); Psalm 2:7, 12 (Son); Isaiah 9:6-7 (Son, King); Titus 2:13 (deity); 1 John 5:20 (Son, deity); John 20:27-29 (deity); Matthew 14:33 (deity); John 5:16-18 (deity); Isaiah 7:14 (human); Luke 2:6-7 (human); Philippians 2:5-11 (deity, human, King); Hebrews 2:14-18 (human); 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2:21-22 (sinless); 2 Corinthians 5:21 (sinless); Hebrews 4:15 (sinless); John 8:46 (sinless); Romans 3:25 (atonement); Hebrews2:17 (atonement); Hebrews 10:11-14 (sacrifice); Romans 5:6-8 (substitution); Isaiah 53:4-12 (atonement, substitution); Matthew 28:5-10 (resurrection); Mark 16:4-7 (resurrection); Luke 24:5-49 (resurrection); John 20 (resurrection); 1 Corinthians 15:3-7, 12-20 (resurrection); Luke 24:50-53 (ascension); Acts 1:6-11 (ascension, second coming); Hebrews 9:27-28 (second coming); Revelation 19:11-16 (returning “King of Kings,” Judge); Psalm 110:6 (Judge); John 5:22-23a, 26-27 (Judge); Acts 17:19-31 (Judge); Revelation 20:11-15; 21:27 (Judge).
Section 4: Salvation
We believe that all human beings are sinful, and because God is intolerant of sin, we are thus separated from Him and stand condemned before Him. Salvation from God’s righteous anger and entrance into a right standing with Him (justification) are secured only through repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ. No one comes to the Father except through Him. In salvation, we are rescued from God’s righteous anger and just punishment by His unmerited grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ’s righteousness alone.
Romans 3:9-23 (all have sinned); Genesis 2:15-17 (condemnation); Romans 6:23 (condemnation); John 3:18 (condemnation); Acts 3:19 (repentance); Isaiah 55:6 (repentance); Genesis 15:6 (justification by faith); Romans 4:2-5 (justification by faith); Romans 4:23-5:2 (justification by faith; on account of Christ); Galatians 2:15-16 (justification by faith); Galatians 3:7-11 (justification by faith); Acts 13:38-39 (justification by faith); Philippians 3:8-9 (justification by faith); John 14:6 (Jesus only way); Acts 4:10-12 (Jesus only way); 1 John 5:10-12 (Jesus only way); Revelation 2:26-27 (Jesus only way); Romans 5:9 (rescued from wrath; justification; on account of Christ); Titus 3:4-7 (grace alone); Romans 11:5-6 (grace alone); Ephesians 2:8-10 (grace alone; faith alone); Romans 3:21-24, 28-30 (faith alone); 2 Corinthians 5:21 (on account of Christ).
Section 5: The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit – the eternal third person of the Trinity – regenerates (gives spiritual birth) and indwells all who receive Christ as Savior and Lord, and thereafter teaches and works sanctification (growth in holiness) in every believer.
John 14:17 (indwells); 1 Corinthians 6:10 (indwells); Titus 3:4-6 (regenerates); John 3:3-8 (regenerates); John 14:26; 16:13-15 (teaches); 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (sanctifies).
Section 6: Future Things
We believe that all who have received God’s gracious gift of salvation will be bodily resurrected to receive rewards and live forever with Him in a new heaven and a new earth. The unsaved will also be bodily resurrected to face the judgment of God. Eternal separation from God (hell) is the ultimate destiny of unsaved humanity, Satan, and his entire demonic host.
1 Corinthians 15:12-58 (resurrection of believer); 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (resurrection of believers, eternal life with Him); Revelation 21:1-22:5 (new heaven and new earth); John 14:1-3 (eternal life with Jesus Christ); 1 Corinthians 3:11-14 (rewards); Matthew 25:31-46 (judgment); Mark 9:42-49 (judgment); John 5:28-29 (resurrection; judgment); Revelation 20:7-15; 21:27 (judgment).
Section 5: The Church
We believe that the Christian Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated and empowered for service by the Holy Spirit. All Christians, privately and in fellowship with other Christians, strive to worship, serve and glorify God through prayer, praise, diligent study and application of the Scriptures, evangelism, holy living, works that glorify God, and observance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (the Church); Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-21; 3:10-11; 5:22-33 (the Church); Colossians 1:18 (the Church); Revelation 19:7; 21:9; 22:17 (the Church); 2 Peter 1:5-11 (holy living); Galatians 5:22-25 (holy living); Ephesians 2:10 (good works); Matthew 28:19-20 (evangelism; baptism); Luke 22:17-20 (the Lord’s Supper).
Approved by the Diaconate on June 17, 2013
Affirmed by Congregation on July 14, 2013