Scroll down to see our belief's on these topics: Christian believers, how to become a Christian, Believer's baptism, communion, core beliefs, Bible as authoritative, God, Trinity, Salvation, human destiny, The Church, Faith & Practice, Our beliefs on human dignity, sexuality and marriage.
What is a Christian believer?
Believers are those who have realized that their sins have separated them from God. They have given up all efforts to reach God through their own good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for his or her salvation.
How do I become a Christian?
You can become a Christian by simply trusting in Jesus. Many people receive Jesus into their lives by saying a simple prayer like this:
“Dear Jesus I know I am a sinner and have sinned against God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please come into my heart and cleanse me and forgive me for all of my sins. Save me! Give me eternal life! From this moment on I will follow you. Be the leader of my life.”
If you just prayed that prayer in faith then you are now a Christian and have begun a personal relationship with Jesus.
What is next? If you have come to this point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptized. Let the miracle that has happened in you show through the sacrament He ordained for you. Once someone professes faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Bible says they should proclaim the life change that has occurred—the watching world needs to know. Baptism has always stood as a public testimony for people who have become believers in Christ.
What is the biblical foundation for Baptism?
Jesus' final recorded words to His followers before His ascension to heaven express the importance He placed on Baptism. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands His followers, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Baptism does not provide salvation for an individual, but rather serves to identify publicly the individual as a follower of Christ. In passages such as Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48, the act of Baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. The New Testament records the Baptisms of adult believers only. In Romans 6:1–11, the apostle Paul describes the immersion of Baptism as a means through which the believer identifies with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ: Going under the water represents Christ’s death—and a believer's death to sin; coming out of the water illustrates His resurrection and the believer's new life in Christ.
Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ that follows an individual's acceptance of salvation by God's grace alone. Baptism isn't a prerequisite for salvation; however, if an inner commitment to trust Christ alone for salvation has been made, then the outward symbol of that commitment—Baptism—should follow, as is modeled throughout the New Testament in the lives of those choosing to follow Christ.
Scriptural teaching on Baptism may be summarized as follows:
1. Baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Christ, fulfilled by individuals who have submitted themselves to His sovereignty.
2. Baptism symbolizes the spiritual cleansing through divine forgiveness and the newness of life believers experience by virtue of their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.
3. Baptism provides an opportunity for believers to make a formal profession of their faith before the church.
4. As a biblical rite of initiation into the body of Christ, the Baptism of a believer may be considered a prerequisite for becoming a member of the church.
Baptism recognizes and celebrates the redemptive life change that is continually occurring within our church. We encourage new believers and believers who have not yet participated in adult Baptism to be baptized by immersion. Our position is that Baptism by immersion paints the truest picture of dying to sin and arising to Christ and new life. While we strongly encourage immersion Baptism, we do recognize that some individuals may request Baptism by the sprinkling of water rather than full immersion, based on a compelling physical reason or disability.
the purpose of Baptism is to publicly identify a believer in Jesus Christ, you may well be asking yourself, “What was the significance of my Baptism as a baby?” In the New Testament, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told His disciples to welcome them. But He did not baptize them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. At Fort Bragg First Baptist we have Baby Dedication Ceremonies for babies and their families! Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation. If you were baptized as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. Your Baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents’ wishes. It in no way repudiates the Baptism you received as a child. Remember baptism doesn't save you!
Jesus' Last Supper, the Passover meal He shared with His disciples on the night before He was crucified, is the biblical foundation for the Communion meal celebrated in His honor by Christians all over the world today. With His twelve friends gathered around Him for the traditional Jewish Passover meal, Jesus "took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.' In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you'" (Luke 22:19–20).
Communion is "the believer's meal," a sacrament intended for Jesus' followers, by which they acknowledge and remember His work on the cross—the ultimate sacrifice made on our behalf for the forgiveness of the sins of humankind. Fort Bragg First Baptist Church extends an "open" Communion table, meaning the invitation to receive Communion during a service is open to any follower of Christ, regardless of membership at Fort Bragg F.B.C., denominational affiliation, or spiritual tradition. Anyone who has accepted Jesus’ forgiveness and surrendered their lives to Him is invited to share the Communion table at Fort Bragg First Baptist Church
We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of each month rather than every Sunday. The reason we only practice communion once a month is that it is our desire to keep the practice of communion sacred and guard it from becoming a thoughtless religious ritual.
Those investigating Christianity who have not yet made a commitment of faith through Jesus Christ are encouraged to simply utilizing that portion of the service to pray and invite God's activity into their investigation of faith.
Our Core Beliefs
Fort Bragg First Baptist’s core beliefs describe our theological positions on key aspects of faith. Centered in Christ and His message, ours is a biblical theology rather than a theology that is speculative, subjective, or merely rooted in tradition. These beliefs are derived directly from Scripture (both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible). We are committed to the historic orthodoxy of the Christian Faith.
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible—the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe Scripture in its entirety originated with God and He revealed it to chosen authors. Scripture speaks with the authority of God while simultaneously reflecting the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of these human authors. We hold that the Scriptures, in their original manuscripts, are infallible and inerrant; they are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice. There are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
We believe there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three equal persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the beginning, God demonstrated His power, wisdom, and goodness by creating the world and everything in it. Through His divine power and providence, God continues to sustain His creation, operating within history to fulfill His redemptive purposes.
The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call people into fellowship with Him. Originally created to be in relationship with God, humans defied Him by going their own independent way, resulting in alienation from Him and the innate inability to please God. This fall took place at the beginning of human history; since then all people have suffered these consequences and are in need of the saving grace of God.
The salvation of humanity is completely a work of God’s free grace; it is not in any way the result of human works or goodness. Each person can receive salvation by repentance and faith. God’s Word assures individuals that He will continue His saving work in them forever.
Jesus Christ, the eternal second person of the Trinity, was fully united with a human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived in perfect obedience to the Father, voluntarily paid the price for the sins of all people by dying on the cross as their substitute, and satisfied divine justice, bringing salvation to all who trust in Him alone. After His physical death, Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father as the only intercessor between God and humans. He promises to return to earth, personally and visibly, to fulfill history and the eternal plan of God.
The Christian Life (The Holy Spirit)
People in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ are to live in holiness and obedience as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit applies Christ’s saving work by enlightening the minds of sinners to their need to be saved. He renews and indwells each believer upon salvation, becoming their source of assurance, strength, wisdom, and gifting for building up the church. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Bible. Appropriated by faith, His power and control empower believers to lead a life of Christ-like character and bear fruit for the Father’s glory.
Death seals the eternal destiny of each person. All humanity will experience a bodily resurrection and a judgment that will determine the fate of each individual. Having rejected God, unbelievers will suffer eternal condemnation apart from Him. Believers will be received into eternal communion with God and will be rewarded for works done in this life.
All who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are united with Him as members of His body, the one true church. Scripture commands believers to gather for worship, prayer, fellowship, and the teaching of the Word; to observe Baptism and Communion as established by Jesus Christ; to offer service to the body through development and use of talents and gifts and outreach to the world. The local expression of the church is wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command. Cared for and led by Elders and leaders, church members are to work together in love and unity for the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ.
Faith and Practice
In all matters of faith and practice, Scripture is the final authority. In matters where Scripture is silent, believers should conscientiously seek to be led by God because it is to Him alone he or she is ultimately responsible.
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward commitment to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe the decision to be baptized is up to the individual and that he or she must fully understand what it means to be a Christ follower.
During Jesus' last days, He gathered the disciples in a room and asked them to consume bread and wine "in remembrance" of Him. Two thousand years later, we regularly observe the act of consuming bread and grape juice as a community for the exact same reason—to remember our Savior, who sacrificed Himself for our sins.
Our Beliefs on Dignity of Human Life, Sexuality and Marriage
We believe human life begins at conception. We affirm the dignity of all human life and the need of every person to experience forgiveness of sin through new birth into the family of God. We believe that God loves all people, but that God is holy and has given clear standards for how we are to live. We further affirm the position that human sexuality is designed for physical expression only in the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman. We do not endorse the homosexual lifestyle, because the Bible is very clear that it is sin, the same as adultery and fornication is a sin. We do not agree with or perform homosexual marriage and we do not agree with church denominations who approve of homosexuality, and have gone as far to ordain homosexuals as clergy and church leaders. Our position on transgenderism and those who claim a different gender identity than they have been physically born with is that it is just a way to justify pursuing a homosexual lifestyle. It goes against the Bible's teachings. We recognize that a person may consider themselves to be a homosexual yet may have accepted Jesus as their savior and in obedience to God, choose to live a celibate life. Any person seeking God's truth is welcome to attend our church to learn more about God's love and the Bible's teachings. All will be welcomed with love.
If You Have Questions,
Call Pastor Chris
Cell 1(559) 862-3680
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH