First Baptist Church, Shawnee adheres to the Baptist Faith and Message. To read in its entirety, download the PDF.
Following is a Synopsis of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message Statement.
1. God. There is one and only one true and living God. God is the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the universe. God reveals himself to humanity in three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. The three persons of the Godhead are coequal and coeternal, and they are one God. God is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and present everywhere. God the Father reigns in his providential care over his universe, his creation, and human history (Gen. 1:1; 2:7; Matt. 28:19; Col. 1:15-20).
2. God the Father. God as Father reigns with providential care over the universe, all living creatures, humanity, and the flow of human history according to the purposes of his grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, all wise, and always present everywhere. God is Father to those who become his children through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in his attitude toward all of humanity as he desires to forgive our sins and bring us into relationship with him (Gen. 1:1: 2:7; Is. 66:1-2; Matt. 6:9-15; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Col. 1:15; Heb. 11:6; 12:9).
3. Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one and only eternal Son of God. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a perfect, sinless life. Jesus died on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people. He was raised from the dead three days later on Easter to demonstrate his power over sin, death, and Satan. Forty days later, he ascended to God’s right hand in heaven where he rules the universe. Jesus will return again one day to bring the end of time as we know it, judge the world, and reign over the heavens and the earth as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus is the only way to God, heaven and eternal life, and he is the only Mediator between God and humanity (Matt. 1:18-23; 24:26-35; 28:1-6; John 1:1-18; 14:6; Acts 1:9; Col. 1:15-20; 1 Tim. 2:5).
4. The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He is a person, not an impersonal force like the force in “Star Wars.” He works in the world to convict people of their sin, make them aware of their need for salvation, and give them faith to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. He lives in the heart of every Christian from the moment of salvation, and he works to transform us into the image of Christ. He gives Christians power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance into God’s will. He gives every Christian spiritual gifts at the moment we are saved that we are to use in the ministry of the church to serve others, and then he gives us the spiritual power to serve him with our spiritual gifts (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:7-16).
5. The Bible. The Bible is God’s written word to us. It was written by human authors under the inspiration – or supernatural guidance – of the Holy Spirit. As the supreme source of truth, God’s word is the basis for Christian belief and living. It reveals God’s plan of eternal salvation through Jesus and his will for our daily lives. Because the Bible is inspired by God, it is truth without mixture of error. The Bible is unique among all religious books in the world as it is the only inspired, infallible word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
6. Humanity. All people are created in the image of God as the supreme act of God’s creation. God created us to live in close fellowship with him and to do his will. People are capable of tremendous good, but all of us are marred with an inward propensity to stray from God and disobey him which the Bible calls sin. Our sin separates us from God and causes us many problems in life. We need God’s grace and forgiveness to bring us into a right relationship with him (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:8-10).
7. Salvation. All people are separated from God because of our sinful natures until we receive Christ’s forgiveness and we place our faith in him. Salvation – forgiveness and eternal life – is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it in order to possess it. We can’t earn our salvation by human effort, religious activities, or a good life. We must confess our sins to Jesus and place our faith in him as the Lord of our lives. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus into our lives by faith (Rom. 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-10).
8. Eternal Security. Because God gives us eternal life through a relationship to Jesus Christ, true believers are secure in our salvation for eternity. If we have been genuinely saved, we cannot “lose” our salvation. Our salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by our own self-effort (John 10:28-29; Eph. 1:13-14; Col. 3:3; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
9. Christians. Christians are people who have come to know Jesus personally by confessing their sins to him and receiving him into their lives by faith. Every Christian serves as Jesus Christ’s representative in the world. We are to live as Christ’s followers, share Christ’s plan of salvation with others, and be active members of a church where we worship God, grow in discipleship, build relationships with other Christians, and serve our church with the spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit has given to us (Rom. 10:9-10; 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:1-31; Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Pet. 4:9-11).
10. The Church. The church is not a building or organization. The church is the family of Christian believers who have committed their lives to Jesus and followed him in believers’ baptism. The purpose of the church is to glorify Jesus Christ by worshiping him, by proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior to lost people, by equipping people for the Christian life, by serving God in ministry, and by building Christian relationships with each other. All members are “ministers” that meet the needs of other members. Pastors are “equippers” who equip God’s people to do ministry with them. In other words, pastors are not supposed to do all the ministry alone. That’s not God’s plan. Pastors are leaders of ministry teams of lay members who do ministry together with their pastors (Matt. 16:18-19; Eph. 4:7-16).
11. Eternity, heaven and hell. God created us to have fellowship with him throughout eternity. We have the choice of receiving Jesus as our Lord and living with him throughout eternity in heaven or rejecting Jesus as our Lord and spending eternity separated from God by sin. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence. Eternal separation from God is hell. Eternal life with God is heaven (Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:10-22:5).
12. The Future. The God who created the world will one day bring it to an end. God is moving history to its completion according to his plan. One day Jesus will return publicly and universally for all the world to see and bring the end of time as we know it. At his return, Jesus will judge everyone who has ever lived and assign them to heaven or hell for all eternity. Jesus will reign over the heavens and the earth as the King of kings and Lord of lords for all eternity. Christians will spend all eternity in heaven in meaningful activities with our Lord (Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-36).
13. Baptism. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer totally under water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is an act of obedience that symbolizes the believer’s faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Jesus, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of our old life prior to becoming a Christian, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to our faith Jesus and in the final resurrection of the dead. It is a prerequisite to church membership (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:26-40; Rom. 6:3-4).
We accept the baptism of those who have been immersed as believers following their commitment Jesus as Lord and Savior in a church of like faith. We do not baptize infants because they are never baptized in the Bible, and we are careful to instruct young children when they desire baptism that they must first commit their lives to Jesus.
14. The Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby Christians, through the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup, celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and anticipate his second coming. It is an opportunity to examine our lives before God and confess our sin and broken relationships as we remember the body and blood of Jesus (Matt. 26:20-30; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
15. Evangelism. It is the responsibility of every follower of Jesus and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to carry out the Great Commission to make disciples of all people. Every Christian should proactively build relationships with people who need Jesus in order to find Spirit-led opportunities to lead them to saving faith in Jesus in both word and deed. Christians serve this call as “salt” and “light” in our neighborhoods, schools, and marketplace (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 17:17).