What we believe, Who we are
First Baptist Church of Lemon Grove is part of the Southern Baptist Denomination. The purpose of this church shall be the advancement of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It shall seek to attain this end through the public worship of God and the preaching of the Gospel through consistent Christian living by its members, personal evangelism, missionary endeavor, and Christian education.
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. In its original text, we believe in the verbal and plenary revelation, inerrant and infallible as inspired by God to its human authors. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us and therefore, is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
There is one and only one living and true triune God. He is an intelligent, spiritual and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite and holiness and all other perfections. We owe Him the highest love, reverence and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
1. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purpose of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
2. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is our High Priest and One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of man, and in whose Person is effected and reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Spirit.
3. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired writers, holy men of old, to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seal the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He cultivates, enlightens and empowers the believers and the Church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by His creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice, man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation by Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence. Therefore, man’s posterity inherited a nature and an environment of sin. As soon as they were capable of moral action they became transgressors and were under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Salivation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, who by His own death obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense, salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.
Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby the Holy Spirit gives the gift of eternal life to all believers who become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner response in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ. Repentance and fait are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness to all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship o f peace and favor with God.
Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerated person’s life.
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE
Definition of grace: Grace is all the God is free to do for us on the basis of the cross.
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their blessings and comforts, bring reproach upon the cause of Christ, and temporal judgments of themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. As members of this local body, they are equally responsible to this purpose.
This church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Its Scriptural officers are Pastors and Deacons. The New Testament speaks also of the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper. This prerequisite may be wave by the Executive Board based upon an individual’s physical impairment or infirmity.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby the Church, being in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and with one another, partakes of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorializes the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
© 2015 - First Baptist Church of Lemon Grove