Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Esv
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Esv
A. The Doctrine of The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed in the original manuscripts, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. God has divinely preserved His Word from the beginning, down through the ages, to our present day, and into eternity. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning (II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21; John 10:35; Isa. 40:8).
B. The Doctrine of God
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2
Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26) and having the same attributes and perfections. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Gen. 1:1-31; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). He is Sovereign (Dan. 4:17, 35), Eternal (Ps. 90:2; Gen. 21:33), Holy (I Sam. 2:2; Psalm 99:9), Omnipotent (Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26, Omniscient (Psalm 147:4, 5), Immutable (Psalm 102:27), Omnipresent (Jeremiah 23:23, 24), Loving (John 3:16), Just (Genesis 18:25), Merciful (Psalm 145:8, 9; Jonah 4:2), and full of Grace (Psalm 86:15; I Pet. 2:3).
God The Father –
We believe that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, reigns with providential care over His universe, for His glory and praise. His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator, He is Father to all men (Eph. 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Rom. 8:14; 2 Cor. 6:18). He continually upholds and governs all creatures and events (1 Chron. 29:11). We believe God’s plans and workings center around the totality of who He is.
God The Son –
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14:2; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8; Hebrews 1:8; John 1:1). His incarnation was by means of the virgin birth (Luke 1:35; Isa. 7:14). He lived a sinless life (II Corinthians 5:21). His death on the cross was the substitutionary atonement for the sins of those who accept Him as their personal Savior (John 1:12). We believe in His literal, bodily resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:36-43), His ascension to heaven being exalted at the right hand of God, His present ministry of intercession (I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:1, 2), and His future return to rule and judge (Acts1:11; Revelation 19:11-16).
God The Holy Spirit –
We believe the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, convicts men of sin, regenerates, indwells, seals and sets believers apart unto a holy life (John 16:8; I Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13, 14). Also, He keeps and empowers believers day by day, teaches the Word of God, and guides for daily living (Luke 11:13; John 14:26; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:10-14). We also believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers at salvation for the building up of the body of Christ (Rom. 12; Eph. 4:11, 12; I Cor. 12). We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were apostolic and confirmed the authenticity of the messenger (Heb. 2:3, 4). We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. The ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection; Even so, God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (I Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22; James 5:14-16). We believe the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the placing of the believer in Christ at salvation (I Cor. 12:13).
C. The Doctrine of Creation
We believe this world came into existence by the direct outcome of the works of the Godhead. God created the universe out of nothing by His direct spoken Word (John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:16, 17; Heb. 11:3). We believe in a literal six-day creation of the universe according to the account given in Genesis 1:1-2:24. We reject all theories of evolution as being unscriptural theories (Gen. 1-2).
D. The Doctrine of Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God, innocent and pure (Genesis 1:26), but through Adam’s sin, all men are corrupted with a sin nature at birth (Romans 5:12,19), and are in need of redemption (Romans 3:23; 6:23).
E. The Doctrine of Salvation
Salvation is solely by grace through faith in the blood sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Ephesians 2:8, 9). We believe all people have a choice to exercise faith in receiving Christ as Savior (Rom 10:9-13). All who receive Him are regenerated (born-again, reconciled, and justified) by the Holy Spirit and become children of God (John 1:12; II Corinthians 5:17). We believe at salvation we are delivered from the penalty and power of sin. We understand that at salvation God transforms a sinner into His child and this child has all things that pertain to Godliness (positional sanctification, II Pet. 1:3). As a newborn child, each one needs to continually grow to spiritual maturity (progressive sanctification, II Pet. 3:18). One day, all who are born-again will be glorified in Christ, and be delivered from the very presence of sin. We believe that the redeemed, once truly saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (Romans 8:1, 38, 39; I John 3:6, 9). However, God will not overlook sin in His children and will discipline them out of His love (Hebrews 12:5-8).
F. The Doctrine of Satan
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan (Job 1:6-9; I Peter 5:8). He is the originator of sin, the enemy of God and of the people of God, and he is the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4). Satan has great power, but God is greater, and believers need not live in fear, only in caution of him (James 4:7; I John 4:4). He has been defeated by Christ, and will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:7-10).
G. The Doctrine of the Church
We believe the Church which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ is a spiritual organism made up of all born again Christians of this present age (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 11:2). We believe that the local church is composed of regenerated, baptized believers, voluntarily united together for the purpose of worship, edification, fellowship, spiritual growth, and service (Acts 2:41-47). It has been commissioned by Christ to propagate the Gospel unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Matthew 28:19,20). It has the absolute right of self-government, free from interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, and the Head of the Church is Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23). We believe that as we sow the seed of God’s Word and water it, God will give the increase and build His Church by His power through the preaching of the Word of God and obedience to it (Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:11-16).
We believe Christ gave only two ordinances to the Church, to be observed: Baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is an act of obedience and a testimony in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It symbolizes the believer’s death to sin, burial of the old life, and resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus (Acts 2:41; 8:34-39; 16:30-33). The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of His death until He comes and should not be taken inadvisably, but each believer should examine his life before he partakes (I Corinthians 11:23-25).
H. The Doctrine of Future Events
The Second Advent of Christ-
We believe in that "blessed hope," the personal, imminent return of Christ who will rapture His Church. We believe in a seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Thes 5:1-3; II Thes 1:7-10; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26).
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when the soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Matt 25:41-46; Mark. 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
I. The Doctrine of Separation
We believe all believers should live in such a manner as to not bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. The believer should be separated to God (Rom. 1:1), from the world and sinful pleasures (II Corinthians 6:14-18), from false teachers (II John 9-11), and from immoral brethren (II Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15).
J. The Doctrine of Missions
We believe in missions because all men, everywhere, without Christ, are lost and bound for eternal punishment (Romans 1:18-20), and because men cannot believe in Him of whom they have not heard (Romans 10:14). We believe that we are debtors to all men and have the responsibility of giving them the Gospel (Romans 1:14). Christ left us the command that we could all be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:8) and should take the good news of the Gospel to every place where men are to be found (Mark 5:19; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21). We believe, in order to carry out this command, we must ourselves be witnesses by life and word to tell all lost men about Christ, and we must support missionaries by prayer and financial aid.
K. The Doctrine of Civil Government
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
L. The Doctrine on Gender, Marriage, and Human Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male and female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within.
We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the loving leader of the home and men are to be the spiritual leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18, 19; Eph: 5:22-33; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:1-6, 12).
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the covenant relationship between one biological male and one biological female in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen 1:28; Gen 2:18-25; Rom 7:2; 1 Cor 7:10; Jer 29:6; Mark 10:5-9; Malachi 2:14-15). Marriage ceremonies performed at Westside's facilities will only be performed in accordance with the beliefs and practices as set by the articles of faith and practice of Westside Baptist Church.
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman, and that any form of homosexuality, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, fornication, adultery, trans-gender and pornography are examples of sinful perversions of His intent regarding human sexuality. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 7:1-4; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
M. The Doctrine of the Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44; Heb. 9:27).
N. The Doctrine of Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32) (see Article XIII).
SECTION 2 - AUTHORITY OF THE ARTICLES OF FAITH
The Articles of Faith and Practice do not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. We believe the inspired and infallible Word of God speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind and is the sole and final source of all that we believe, teach, preach and counsel. There shall be no teaching, preaching or counsel contrary to these Articles of Faith (II Tim 2:15; 4:1-3).
For purposes of Westside Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, and discipline, our Pastor(s) and Deacons are the final interpretive authority on the meaning and application of God’s Word. All scripture used in this Constitution and Bylaws has been compiled and is available from the pastoral staff. Further help to understand the scriptures is available from our pastors and those whom they designate to teach and counsel (II Tim 2:2, 14-16).
These Articles of Faith are taken directly from Article III of Westside Baptist Church’s Constitution and Bylaws. They were last updated and approved by vote