WHAT WE BELIEVE
The First Baptist Church of Amsterdam, New York acknowledges that we are all sinners and we all fall short of the glory of God. We welcome all sinners into our congregation with the purpose of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ encouraging one another to turn from sin and to facilitate a holy lifestyle. We are a welcoming church, but we can only affirm those lifestyle choices that are consistent with scripture. No member of the church is permitted to serve in a position of leadership without meeting the requirements spelled out in the church’s bylaws.
Bible – We believe the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, wholly without error as originally given by God, and is sufficient as our only infallible rule of faith and practice. We deny that other books are inspired by God in the same way as the Bible.
God – We believe in the one true and living God, creator and sustainer of all things. He is Infinite, eternal, unchangeable, and is revealed to us as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is the head of the Godhead, and into His hands the kingdom will be delivered. The Son is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ, who was born of the Virgin Mary, hence the God-man. He died on the cross to redeem man, rose again from the dead to justify the believer, ascended to the right hand of God where He intercedes for us, and in the Father’s own time will return in visible, personal form to overthrow sin and judge the world. The Holy Spirit is the one sent from God to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment, and to regenerate and cleanse from sin. He is the resident guide, teacher and strengthener of the believer.
Satan & Sinful Man – We believe that Adam was created innocent, that he was tempted by Satan and sinned. We believe “through one man sin entered the world, and death spread to all men because all sinned.” Because of this, men are by nature the children of wrath. We believe that Satan is a personal devil who, with his angels, carries on the work of iniquity in this world. Sin is basically rebellion against God.
Salvation – We believe that Jesus Christ is the only Savior from sin. He atoned for our sins on the cross and rose again for our justification. Apart from Jesus there is no salvation. All men are under condemnation through personal sin, and escape from condemnation comes only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This righteousness is imputed to the believer by grace through faith. The Holy Spirit regenerates the one who makes the life commitment to Jesus and life begun in regeneration is never lost.
Resurrection – We believe in the final resurrection of all men, just and unjust. We believe that those who commit their lives to Jesus Christ during this life will be raised to everlasting life, but those who are not committed to Jesus Christ in this life will be raised to everlasting condemnation.
The Church – We believe that a New Testament church is a voluntary association of baptized believers in Christ who have agreed together to follow the teachings of the New Testament in doctrine, worship and practice. We believe the only two ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We likewise believe that only those who are committed to Jesus Christ are scriptural subjects for baptism and that immersion is the proper mode of baptism. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is memorial to the Lord’s death. The bread symbolizes His body which was given for us. The fruit of the vine symbolizes His blood which He shed for us. We believe that a church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and is served by two types of officers: pastors (also called overseers and elders) and deacons. We believe that all members have been given spiritual gifts to be exercised in service through the local church for God’s glory.
The Gospel – The gospel is the “Good News” that God has provided as a way for sinners (people who have disobeyed God) to avoid divine condemnation and be made eternally right with Him through the death of His One and only Son, Jesus Christ, as payment for sin (disobedience), and through His resurrection for justification (to be declared right with God), and through personally receiving Him as Lord (Ruler) by repentance (changing one’s mind), and faith (placing full trust) in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
CHURCH DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
As Baptists we believe:
- And worship the triune God of the Bible, who is the eternal one God in three persons, creator of heaven and earth. This one, true god is most clearly revealed to us in His incarnate son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- And proclaim the Good News of the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, knowing that salvation (forgiveness of sins, release from guilt and condemnation, reconciliation with God) and eternal life are granted in grace to all who trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This gospel is the central message of the Bible.
- That the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is the divinely inspired Word of God, the final written authority and trustworthy for faith and practice. It is to be interpreted responsibly under the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the community of faith. The primary purpose of the Bible is to point to Jesus Christ, the living Lord of the Church.
- And hold the Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, as our final authority. We accept no humanly devised confession or creed as binding.
- That God is sovereign over all and that this sovereignty isexpressed and realized through Jesus Christ. Therefore, we affirm the Lordship of Christ over the world and the church. We joyously confess that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. We are called in loyalty to Jesus Christ to proclaim the power of the Holy Spirit, the Good News of god’s reconciling grace, and to declare the saving power of the Gospel to every human being and every human institution. We celebrate Christ’s charge to make disciples of all nations and to bear witness to God’s redeeming reign in human affairs.
- That Baptists are summoned to this mission in common with all Christians. With the whole body of Christ, we also believe that God has been revealed in Jesus Christ as in no other, and that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:18). We anticipate the daywhen every creature and all creation, on earth and beyond, will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
- That God has given this particular community of believers called “Baptists” a distinctive history and experience.
- That the Church is a gathered fellowship of regenerated believers, a sign of the coming universal reign of God.
- That the freedom to respond to the Lordship of Christ in all circumstances is fundamental to the Christian gospel and to human dignity.
- That witness to Christ is the ongoing task of every Christian and of every church
We affirm that God through Jesus Christ calls us to be:
A Redeemed People
- Who claim a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ
- Who follow the Lord in believer’s baptism
- Who gather as a believer’s church
- Who share in the meal of the Kingdom known as the Lord’s Supper
- Who honor the priesthood of all believers
- Who live in their faith as visible saints, in anticipation of Christ’s return
A Biblical People
- Who affirm the centrality of Scripture in our lives
- Who pursue the study of God’s inspired word as a mandate for faith and practice
- Who seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the understanding of Scripture
A Worshipping People
- Who gather regularly to praise God
- Who receive spiritual nourishment through the study and proclamation of scriptures
- Who share an open and public confession of faith
- Who believe that personal devotion brings vitality to corporate celebration
A Mission People
- Who strive to fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples
- Who invite individuals to receive salvation and follow Christ
- Who seek justice for all individuals
- Who provide prayer and financial support to sustain a worldwide mission outreach
An Interdependent People
- Who affirm the Church’s unity as given in Jesus Christ
- Who gladly embody in our practice the ministry of the whole people of God
- Who recognize God’s gifts for ministry and honor all offices of pastoral ministry
- Who live and work together “in association”
- Who affirm the Free church tradition and cooperative Christianity
An Inclusive People
- Who, gifted by a variety of backgrounds, find unity in diversity and diversity in unity
- Who embrace a pluralism of race, ethnicity and gender
A Contemporary People
- Who have a remembrance for the past and a vision for the future
- Who are committed to religious liberty and to the separation of church and state
- Who call our present world to make Jesus Christ Lord of all life
- Who trust the Holy Spirit for insight and power to live in the present age
We further believe
- That God has called us forth to such an hour as this
- That we live with a realizable hope
- That all things are held together in Christ
- That all creation will find its ultimate fulfillment in god
- That we shall see the One whose we are
- That Jesus shall reign forever and ever