First Baptist Church of High Falls is currently a voluntary, cooperating member of the Southern Baptist Convention. We, therefore, are in full agreement with The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 of the Southern Baptist Convention, while understanding that it is not specific in many areas.
As Baptists, there are certain distinct practices of the faith we hold dear, with many of these distinctives separating us from other denominations:
· The Bible is the Word of God - We believe that the Bible was written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is literally God-breathed and contains no mixture of error. The truth of Scripture and the person of Christ are the foundation and authority for the church and the life of the believer (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
· Salvation is by Grace, through Faith in Jesus Christ Alone as He is revealed in Scripture - We believe that we are saved by God’s grace when our faith and trust is placed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Man is sinful and does not have the ability to save himself, no matter how many good works he does. However, once God changes us to make us Christ followers, our faith will be evidenced by good works, obedience, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 5:22-23).
· The Believer is Eternally Secure - We believe that if a person’s heart has truly changed through salvation found in Jesus Christ alone, then they can never lose their salvation (John 10:27-28; Romans 8:38-39). When a believer sins, their fellowship with God is interrupted, but never broken (1 John 1:9). However, the Bible is clear that those who do not place their faith and trust in Christ in this lifetime will spend eternity in a Christless hell (Revelation 21:8).
· Every Believer has Access to God - We believe that every believer, both young and old, has direct access to God through Jesus Christ. This is sometimes referred to as the Priesthood of the Believer. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, the believer has no need for human intermediates, but can talk to God personally, as one of his children (1 John 2:1; Hebrews 4:14-16).
· Baptism is by Immersion for the Believer - We believe that baptism does not save anyone, but is an extremely important act in the believer’s life. We believe baptism is done by immersion as an act of obedience by those who have put their faith and trust in Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:3-5). This act is a) the historical identifier of a person being a follower of Christ; b) symbolizes the believer’s identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus; c) the union of the believer with Christ; d) the belief and identification with the coming resurrection of the dead.