Core Beliefs.

The First Baptist Church of Bellingham, MA is a church filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Modeling itself after the early Christian churches of Acts, the membership and its leaders strive to be a church where the Holy Spirit is the one directing its operation and ministry.

 

Our Statement of Faith

Authority of the Statement of Faith

The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however that this Statement of Faith accurately represents the teachings of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members, staff and volunteers. All literature, whether print or electronic, used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith. All activities permitted or performed in any facilities owned, rented or leased by this church, or engaged in by any member of the church staff (volunteer or paid), and all decisions of the administration of this church may not conflict with the Statement of Faith. In all conflicts regarding interpretation of the Statement of Faith, the Pastor and Board of Deacons, on behalf of the church, have the final authority.

 

The Scriptures {Beliefs on Doctrine}

We believe in the Holy Scriptures: accepting fully the writings of the Old and New Testaments as the inerrant Word of God, verbally inspired in all parts and therefore, altogether sufficient as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and practice. Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 30:5; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21.

 

The True God

We believe in the one true God: who is an intelligent, sovereign, spiritual and personal Being; perfect, infinite, and eternal in His being, holiness and love, wisdom and power; absolutely separate from and above the world as its Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the Upholder of all things. He is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons but without division of nature, essence or being. Genesis 1:1; Exodus 15:11; Psalm 83:18; Psalm 139;7-9; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; I John 5:7.

 

Jesus Christ

We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: who is the second Person of the Triune God, the eternal Word and Only Begotten Son; that without any change in His divine Person, He became man by miracle of the virgin birth, thus to continue forever as both true God and true Man, one Person with two natures; that as Man He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin; that as the perfect Lamb of God He gave Himself in death by the shedding of His blood upon the cross, bearing the sin of the world, and suffering its full penalty of divine wrath in our stead; that He arose from the grave in a glorified body; that as our great High Priest He ascended into Heaven there to appear before the face of God the Father as our Advocate and Intercessor. John 1:1, John 1:14; John 3:16; Matthew 1:18-25; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:6-10; I Corinthians 15: 3-7; Hebrews 4:14-16; I John 2:1, 2.

 

shining dove with rays on a dark golden background

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit: who is the Third Person of the Trinity, and the divine Agent in nature, revelation and redemption; that He convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment; that He regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals and anoints all who become children of God through Christ; that He further empowers, guides, teaches, sanctifies and fills believers who daily surrender to Him. John 3:5; John 3:14-17, John 3:26; John 16:14 Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13; II Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:18.

 

The Condition of Man

We believe all men are by nature and choice sinful and lost: that man was the direct creation of God, made in His image and likeness; that by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God, man became a sinful creature, the father of a fallen race which is universally sinful in both nature and practice, thus alienated from the life and family of God, under the righteous judgment and wrath of God, and has within himself no possible means of salvation. Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3:6; Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 5:19; Galatians 3:11.

 

Salvation

We believe in salvation by grace through faith: that salvation is the free gift of God, neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man, but received only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all true believers have as a present possession the gift of eternal life, a perfect righteousness, sonship in the family of God, deliverance and security from all condemnation, every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness and the divine guarantee that they shall never perish: that this salvation affects the whole man; that apart from Christ there is no possible salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; John 1:12; John 3:14; Romans 8:1; Philippians 1:6.

 

Christian Living

We believe in righteous living and godly works: not as a means of salvation in any sense, but as its proper evidence and fruit; and therefore as Christians we should obey the Word of God, seek the things which are above, walk as He walked, accept as our solemn responsibility and the duty and privileges of bearing the gospel to a lost world; remembering that a victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who in gratitude for the infinite and undeserved mercies of God have presented themselves wholly to Christ. Ephesians 2:10; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:16.

 

Satan

We believe in the existence of Satan: who originally was created a holy and perfect being, but through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God, thus becoming utterly depraved in character the great adversary of God and His people, leader of all other evil angels and wicked spirits, the deceiver and god of this present world: that his powers are vast, but strictly limited by the permissive will of God who overrules all his wicked devices for good; that he was defeated and judged at the cross, and therefore his final doom is certain; that we are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of God, by the blood of the Lamb and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 14:12-15; Ephesians 6:12; I Peter 5:8; I John 3:8; Revelation 12:9-11; Revelation 20:10.

 

Rapture of the Church

We believe that the rapture, which is the personal bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ for His church is imminent and will occur before the tribulation. We believe that this event will happen before the seven-year tribulation to translate His church from this earth. After the seven-year tribulation, He will gloriously return with His saints to set up His 1,000 year reign as King of Kings.1 Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53;

 

The Second Coming

We believe in the second coming of Christ: that His coming in the air to rapture His Church, which is our blessed Hope, is always imminent; that when He has first by resurrection of the dead and translation of the living removed from the earth His waiting Church, He will then pour out the righteous judgments of God upon the unbelieving world and afterwards descend with His Church and establish His glorious and literal kingdom over all the nations for a thousand years. I Thessalonians 4:13-18; James 5:8; Hebrews 10:37; Jude 14, Jude 15; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:4-7.

 

Eternity

We believe in future life, bodily resurrection and eternal judgment: that the spirits of the saved at death go immediately to be with Christ in Heaven, that their works shall be brought before the Judgment Seat of Christ for the determination of rewards which will take place at the time when Christ comes for His own; that the spirits of the unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades where they are kept under punishment until the final day of judgment, at which time their bodies will be raised from the grave that they shall be judged and cast into the Lake of Fire, the place of final and everlasting punishment. I Corinthians 15; II Corinthians 5:8-10; Luke 16:19-23; Revelation 20:11-15.

 

Church and State

We believe in the separation of church and state: with each having defined and distinct spheres of responsibility. Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7.

 

The Priesthood of Believers

We believe in the priesthood of all believers: that Christ is our High Priest and through Him every born-again person has direct access into God’s presence without the need of a human priest; that the believer has the right and responsibility to personally study and interpret the Scriptures guided by the Holy Spirit. John 14:6; Hebrews 4:16; II Timothy 2:15; I Peter 2:1-5, I Peter 2:9.

 

Family Relationships

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 leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (Pastors and Deacons) of the church. Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Timothy 3:4-5, 1 Timothy 3:12
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband in Christ as the church is to submit to the headship of Christ. Children are a wonderful gift and heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate training and discipline. Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalms 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 23:13-14; Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:6-12; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; I Peter 3:1-7

 

 

The Local Church

We believe in the importance of the local church: that all believers should assemble and identify themselves in local churches; that a New Testament church is a local assembly of born-again, baptized believers united in organization to practice New Testament ordinances, to meet together for worship, prayer, fellowship, teaching and a united testimony, and to activity engage in carrying out the Great Commission. Acts 2:41, 42; I Corinthians 11:2; Matthew 28:19-20.

 

 

Independent – not dependent on another. Churches do not depend upon other congregations to exist, function or do its work.

Independence and Autonomy

We believe in the Independence and Autonomy of the local church: that each New Testament church is free to govern itself without ecclesiastical interference, and should cooperate with other New Testament churches as the Holy Spirit leads; that it is the responsibility to follow the pattern of the New Testament church and is directly accountable to God. Matthew 18:17; Acts 6:1-5; Acts 13:1-3; Acts 15:22-23.

 

Ordinances

We believe in ordinances given to the local church are two, baptism and the Lords supper: that baptism is by immersion of believers, thus portraying the death, burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ; that the Lord’s Supper is the partaking of the bread and cup by the believer as a continuing memorial of the broken body and shed blood of Christ. Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:38-39; Matthew 26:26-30; I Corinthians 11:23-34.

 

Beliefs on Cultural Issues

Marriage and Sexuality We resolve that as a matter of belief, doctrine, and religious practice, our congregation reserves the term “marriage” for the covenant relationship between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. Marriage ceremonies performed in any facility owned, leased or rented by this church will be only those ceremonies sanctioned by God, joining one man with one woman as their genders were determined at birth. Whenever there is a conflict between the church’s position and any new legal standard for marriage, the church’s Statement of Faith, doctrines and biblical positions will govern. Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:22-23; Mark 10:6-9; I Corinthians 7:1-9.
Furthermore, we believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between one man and one woman who are married to each other, and has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of said definition of marriage. Any form of sexual immorality, is contradictory to God’s natural design and purpose for sexual activity. Including but not limited to adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s biological gender. These acts are sinful and offensive to God. It is The First Baptist Church of Bellingham’s desire to honor God by staying true to His sovereign plan as we strive for and support godly marriages and families. Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4.

 

Abortion

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion is murder and constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; Psalms 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 49:1-5; Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 20:15-18; Luke 1:36-44

 

Love

We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only towards fellow believers, but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such actions. Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10; Romans  12:21; Romans 13:8-10; Philippians 2:2-4; II Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; I Peter 3: 8-9; I John 3:17-18

 

Lawsuits

Within the Church We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits within the Church. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32

Protection of Children

We believe that children are a heritage from the Lord and must be absolutely protected within the church from any form of abuse or molestation. The church has zero tolerance for any person, whether paid staff, volunteer, member, or visitor, who abuses or molests a child. Psalm 127:3-5; Matthew 18:6; Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14

Our Church Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, and the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid tattling, back biting and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to abstain from the sale and use of drugs and narcotics; to abstain from all excesses which lead to the physical and/or spiritual detriment of ourselves and our fellow man; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

Learn more about our Church in our Bylaws.

Learn more about the History of First Baptist Church of Bellingham here. FBC History