Who We Are
Our Confession of Faith and Doctrinal Position
Confession of Faith
The complete authority in all matters of faith and practice is the Bible, God’s Holy Word. Farwell First Baptist Church adopts and accepts as its confession of faith the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
We believe the Bible to be the pure Word of God (Ps. 12:6), wholly true (John 17:17), from which nothing can be subtracted and to which nothing can be added (Rev. 22:18-19). We believe in the inerrant, infallible, plenary (full/complete), divine inspiration of the Scriptures in their original manuscripts ( 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). No Pastor or staff member may be called to the ministry of this church who does not fully subscribe to this position on the Scriptures and to the doctrinal statements contained in these bylaws. The same holds for those indicated for service as deacons or teachers.
God the Father
We believe in one God (Gen. 1:1; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5-6; 46:9) eternally existing in three persons: God the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit: yet being only one God (Matt. 3:16-17; 28:18-20; John 10:30; 15:26; 2 Cor. 13:14; James 2:19).
We believe in Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, co-equal and co-eternal with God(John 1:1; 8:58), God’s unique Son (John 1:14, 3:16), as the God-man born of a virgin (Matt. 1:18-25), sinless in His life (Heb. 4:15); that He died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a substitutionary sacrifice for us (1 Cor. 15:3-8; John 11:49-51; 18:14; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 5:6-8; 1 Thess. 5:10; 1 Peter 3:18) that all who believe in Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood and reconciled by His Death (Rom. 3:21-30; 5:9-11); that He not only died on the cross for our sins, but that He resurrected bodily for our justification (Rom. 4:25; Acts 2:24; Rom. 8:11; John 2:19; John 10:18; 1 Peter 3:18); that He is now at the right hand of God the Father (1 Peter 3:22; Heb. 10:12), acting as our High Priest (Heb. 3:1, 14-16; 5:6, 10; 8:1-2; 9:11-27) and our Advocate (1 John 2:1-2) before the Father; that He is coming again in power at any time to rapture His church by raising the dead and translating the living believers (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Cor. 5:8). After the Great Tribulation on this earth, He will come again to establish His millennial kingdom upon earth (Rev. 20:4-6), to judge the world (Rev. 20:11-15) and to establish His eternal kingdom (Rev. 21:1-27; 22:1-5) with commensurate rewards for the believers and punishment for the unbelievers (1 Cor. 3:12-15; John 5:28-29). It is understood that many believers hold to differing ecclesiastical views. No one view is to be a test of fellowship among the leaders or members of this fellowship.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the person of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead (John 14:16-17; 15:26; Acts 2:32-33), co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son (2 Cor. 13:14) and who exists in the world today to reveal the fullness of Christ (John 15:26), convicting the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11), regenerating (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5-7), sanctifying (1Peter 1:2; Rom. 6) and sealing forever (Eph. 1:13-14) those who have been born again through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom.5:21-26). We believe that no one can be saved from sin or be born again without a supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit in his life. We believe that no one can attach himself to the Body of Christ unless the Holy Spirit energizes that attachment (1Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13; 4:30; Rom. 8:9-11).
We believe that each individual is born in sin, and therefore is a sinner by nature (Ps. 51:5-7), having nothing whereby he might justify himself before God the Father (Rom. 3:9-18; 5:12); that each individual must therefore receive the death of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His blood on the cross as for himself (John 1:12; Rom. 3:21-26; 4:16-25; 5:1-2), and in repentance must ask God’s forgiveness for his sins (Matt. 3:2, Mark 1:5; Acts 2:38; 17:30; 26:20); that having received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior by Grace through faith alone (Eph. 2:8-10; James 2:10), he is spiritually saved, i.e. born again (John 1:12; 3:4-5; Rom. 10:9-10, 13); that in regeneration the Holy Spirit is sent to permanently indwell, enable and empower the believer to walk in the newness of life (Rom. 6:4; Eph. 2:1-10). Each believer is thereby a child of God and a member of the family of God for time and eternity (Rom. 8:1-39; Gal. 3:26-29).
Faith is a firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing, is used in the New Testament always of “faith in God or Jesus Christ”. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). This faith or persuasion is not the outcome of imagination but is based on fact. Such as the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15), and as such it becomes the very basis of realistic hope.
The main elements in “faith” in its relation to the invisible God, as distinct form “faith” in man are (1) a firm conviction producing a full acknowledgement of God’s revelation or truth (2 Thess. 2:11-12); (2) a personal surrender to Him (John 1:12); (3) a conduct by such surrender (2 Cor. 5:7).
Further, we fully acknowledge that “without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is God, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
A.We believe the Church of Jesus Christ consists of those who have personally and individually in all ages believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:13-14), who are born again, and baptized into His Body by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). These believers constitute the Body or the Bride of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 5:25-32; Rev. 19:7-10; 21:2). This church consists of individual believers meeting and worshiping as groups of believers anywhere in the world (Heb. 10:25; Rev. 5:9-10; Col. 1:17-18). No one belongs to the church of Jesus Christ simply by virtue of belonging to a local Bible-believing and Bible-preaching church.
In spite of minor doctrinal differences and practices existing among local churches, members of the body of Christ are to love, appreciate and bear the burdens of other Christians (John 15:12; 1 Thess. 4:9-10; Rom. 15:1-7; John 13:34-35; Gal. 6:1-2).
B. The Local Church In the New Testament, there were churches made up of individual believers who lived in certain areas which constituted the church at Corinth, at Berea, at Philippi, etc. It is in this sense that the First Baptist Church, Farwell exists and is known in this way. The local church is composed of born-again, baptized believers who have voluntarily united together for the purposes of worshiping God, ministering to the saints (fellow believers), evangelizing the world, and discipling all believers (Acts 2:42; 1 Thess. 1:2-10). It provides an opportunity for those who are of the same mind in Christ to meet together for the study of God’s Word, common prayer, social contact and mutual uplifting (Heb. 10:25). First Baptist Church, Farwell will never seek to exclude from its worship services other believers who may belong to other churches or other denominations or who may differ from us in minor matters but nevertheless belong to the Body of Christ.
Doctrinal Distinctiveness of This Local Body
A.The preeminence of Jesus Christ as our risen, living Lord and Savior (Col. 1:15-18; 2:6-7).
B.The supreme authority and profitability of the Scriptures. See Section 2 The Bible.
C.The competency of the individual in direct approach to God (Heb. 10:19-22).
D.The priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5-9).
E.The necessity of a born again membership (John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:3, 23).
F. The symbolic ordinances of Believer’s Baptism by immersion (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-38; 9:18) and the Lord’s Supper, (1 Cor. 11:23-28) which are to be held as often as the Spirit of God leads. The physical element of water in baptism does not save the sinner, but is a voluntary external testimony to the work, which the Holy Spirit has already done in the heart of the believer. Following the Lord in baptism is an act of obedience and has its proper reward as such. It does not save the sinner. In Acts 10:47-48, the Gentile believers were baptized with water after they had been spiritually baptized with the Holy Spirit. We believe a person is baptized with the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ upon true conversion (1 Cor. 12:13; Mark 1:8). We believe in regard to the Lord’s Supper, the physical elements of bread and the fruit of the vine are not the actual body and blood of Christ, but are symbolic of Christ’s body broken for us and His blood shed for our justification before God (1 Cor. 11:24-29). It is an occasion of remembrance and self-examination. Participation in this ordinance shall be extended to all believers present (open communion).
G. The autonomy of the local church. This means that each local group of believers is itself responsible to follow the direction of the Lord Jesus as given by Him in His Holy Word by His Holy Spirit (Heb. 13:7, 17; Rev. 2-3). No autonomous local church is to be governed by any ecclesiastical organization or body of churches outside that local church but should always in a spirit of humility be open to Scriptural counsel, encouragement, teaching, rebuke and/or correction where needed from a sister church or churches (e.g. Acts 15:22-35)
H. Participation in fellowship with other believers (Acts 2:42).