Beliefs

We hope you'll take a moment to click through each of these and discover what we believe!

  • The Scriptures

    The Bible, in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the divinely inspired word of truth. The Bible is the ultimate authority for all action, attitude, and belief. Jesus Christ is revealed as Savior, by the Grace of God, through the Scriptures, and by the work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the only trustworthy, authoritative, unchangeable, sufficient word of God, and without error.

    Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21

  • God

    There is only one true God who is living, eternal, personal, ever-present, sovereign, and all knowing. He is perfect, holy, gracious, and unchangeable in every way. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. God works in and through all of His creation to bring about His perfect purposes. God is necessary, self-sufficient, and supreme over everything. God alone is worthy of all worship, praise, obedience, and trust.

    He is one God who exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the Trinity). These persons are each distinct, eternal, the same in essence, and equal in power, authority, and glory. Life’s sole purpose is about Him.

    Genesis 1:1; Exodus 34:5-8; Psalm 145:3; Isaiah 40:12-31; Isaiah 45:5-7; Matthew 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:2

  • Jesus Christ

    Jesus Christ is the only Son of God and the second Person of the Trinity. He has existed eternally and was sent to earth to be supernaturally conceived and born without sin. Jesus Christ is both completely man and completely God, who exists as one person with two distinct, united, and perfect natures.

    Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, perfectly fulfilled the law, died on a cross as a sacrificial substitute in the place of all those who trust in Him, and literally rose from the dead on the third day. After finishing His work on the cross and being raised from the dead, Jesus ascended back into Heaven to be with His Father until the day when He will return, gather His followers, and judge the rest of the world.

    Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-18; John 8:48-59; John 10:3-38; Colossians 1:15-20; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

  • Holy Spirit

    The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity who supernaturally worked through men to write the Bible. The Holy Spirit alone gives true understanding of the Bible. He alone softens and changes the hearts of men, makes men aware of their sin, and their need for salvation in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit gives faith and causes repentance to faith in Jesus.

    He empowers and lives in the true believer in Jesus Christ and is to be relied upon for everything we do. The main purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus and testify to the finished work of Jesus.

    Ezekiel 36:26-31; Mark 13:11; John 3:5-8; John 3:34; John 3:15:26; John 16:7-15; Acts 4:8; Romans 8:5-17; Romans 8:26-27; Romans 8:12; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 3:18-20; 1 Corinthians 3:12; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Timothy 4; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 3:23-24; John 5:7-8; John 5:18-20

  • Man

    God created man, in the form of Adam and Eve, in His own image with knowledge, righteousness, and holiness with the sole purpose of glorifying God and enjoying life with Him forever. Because of the sin of Adam all of mankind became separated from God. Adam’s rebellion, inherited by us, has effects and consequences our mind, emotions, will, and spiritual condition.

    Our spiritual condition is that everyone is born dead, enslaved to sin, and unwilling and incapable of coming to God. We are completely incapable of saving ourselves because by our very nature we love and prefer everything else not related to God. It is only by the Grace of God, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, that man can be saved. All of mankind is dependent upon God for everything. Our purpose remains to glorify God and enjoy God forever despite our sin.

    Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:26-31; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Psalm 51:4; Romans 3:9-23; Romans 5:12; Romans 8:7; John 3:19; Ephesians 2:1-3; Titus 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:26

  • Salvation

    All people need to be saved because all are sinners and because God is good, holy, just, and wrathful. God in three Persons, being merciful and gracious, has eternally purposed to save a people for Himself from every tribe, tongue, and people group of the world.

    The three persons of God are active together in the salvation of every believer whom God has chosen in eternity past. God the Father chose and planned man’s salvation. The Son, Jesus Christ, redeems and takes man’s place in God’s punishment, and the Holy Spirit testifies to and calls those whom God the father has chosen.

    Salvation is ONLY in and through the Person and perfect work of Jesus Christ. Only the sinless life of Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled God’s standard in His law. Jesus’ perfect standard fulfilled God the Father’s righteous requirement, for everyone who trusts in Jesus alone receives His righteousness on his or her behalf. God the Father only accepts the sacrificial, substitutionary, and wrath bearing death of Jesus as full payment for the sin of all those who trust in Him.

    Salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone. Man could never do anything to earn salvation, save ourselves, or be deserving of salvation. All people are commanded to turn away from their sins and believe in Jesus for salvation. Salvation comes when the Holy Spirit enables us to recognize our sin and need for a savior, and leads us to turn away from our sin and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

    Isaiah 53:4-11, John 6:44-45; John 14:6; Acts 2:36-41; Acts 4:12; Acts 10:34-43; Romans 3:9-30; Romans 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5; Ephesians 2:8-10

  • Sanctification

    All people who are truly saved grow everyday in knowing and trusting God and becoming more holy like Jesus. The gracious conviction by the Holy Spirit, confession to God, and continued faith in Jesus results in an ever-changing and growing lifestyle of repentance from sin and pursuit of holiness. Sanctification is not merely understanding one’s salvation more, but willful actions on the part of a true Christian to conform their lives to the image of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    John 17:17; Acts 2:36-47; Ephesians 5:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15

  • Perseverance

    All true Christians will persevere in their Sanctification until they die or until Jesus returns. This perseverance is empowered and motivated by the supernatural, unchangeable, and unstoppable preservation of God. There is NOTHING that can stop a Christian from becoming more Christ-like or separate them from God’s love if they have truly been effectively called and converted to Christ Jesus.

    Philippians 1:6; I Thessalonians 5:14-24; Hebrews 12:1-3; Romans 8:28-39; John 6:39-40; John 10:28-30

  • Church

    The Church is the Body and Bride of Jesus Christ. The Church is not a building but a group of people. Every real, authentic follower of Christ who has ever lived is a part of the church. Every person in the Church has been given Spiritual Gifts by the Holy Spirit encourage, build up, grow, and preserve the Church.

    Being part of The Church means that each person should regularly participate in personal evangelism, corporate worship, Christian fellowship, discipleship (growing to be like Christ), and loving ministry in the local church. A local church is a group of real, authentic Christ-followers who are openly committed to Christ, each other, and the local body, under the leadership of men called by God with a specific vision, mission, beliefs, and values. Every true believer should be a part of a local church, under the authority, care, and leadership of called and qualified male leaders, so that they can best use their Spiritual Gifts for the good of the whole church and the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Acts 2:38-47; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Philippians 2:1-4; Colossians 3:12-15; Hebrews 10:19-25; 1 John 1:1-4

  • Baptism

    Baptism is one of two ordinances that the Lord Jesus Christ has given to His Church. We believe that only true believers in Christ should be baptized, though not necessary for salvation, with water by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

    It is a symbolic representation of Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection as what cleanses sinners from the consequences of sin. It is a real means by which God works to impart His sanctifying, strengthening, confirming, and preserving graces as it visibly and tangibly preaches the gospel to all those who partake in by faith in what it signifies. Baptism is an open confession of personal faith in and identification with Christ as the only Lord and Savior.

    Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 3:21-22; Acts 2:38-41; Acts 7:12; Acts 8:35-38; Romans 6:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:17

  • Lord's Supper

    Jesus Christ personally instituted and has commanded His Church to continue receiving the Lord’s Supper as a Christian ordinance. Receiving communion in a worthy manner (humble and repentant heart) is a way for Christians to remember what Christ has done in His death on the cross, and a way for Christians to proclaim the Gospel (the giving of His body and blood as a sacrifice unto God for the salvation of his people) until He comes back again.

    Eating and drinking the elements of the Lord’s Supper is to be an outward and active expression of faith in what they represent, namely the broken body and shed blood of Jesus for the complete forgiveness of sins. Receiving this ordinance is to be both corporate (edifying other believers) and a means of worshiping our Savior.

    Matthew 26:26-30; John 6; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34

  • Discipline

    We believe that God teaches us to discipline and correct those who are members of First Baptist Church Harvester and are continually sinning unrepentantly by treating them as an unbelieving non-member, which is the prescribed way found in God’s Word.

    The purposes of discipline are two-fold. First, we desire reconciliation and repentance with the disciplined party. Second, Pastors are to keep the rest of the body of believers pure from evil influence, deter other members from evil out of a Godly fear, and to save the one who is unrepentant from destroying themselves. The disciplined person should be forgiven and accepted back as a member if they genuinely turn to Christ for forgiveness and humbly come back asking for acceptance and forgiveness.

    Matthew 18:10-35; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11

  • Marriage & Divorce

    Marriage was created and instituted by God for the full expression of love between a man and woman. Inside of marriage a man and a woman freely give themselves to each other and belong to one another. God gave us marriage for the ordering of family life, the birth and nurture of children, and the benefit of society. Marriage is a mystery from God in which a man and a woman become one, just as Christ is one with His Church.

    Marriage perfectly displays the glory of God and His joy for His creation. Through the gift of marriage, men and women are called to experience God’s covenantal love, patience, and mercy toward His people. Because marriage was designed by God to portray and image Him to the world; divorce, discord, and division corrupt this specific image of God to the rest of the world.

    We believe marriage is a binding covenant created by God between one man and one woman for our holiness, for our joy, as a picture of the gospel to spread the glory of God. Because marriage as a permanent relationship is designed to portray God to the world, divorce, discord, and division corrupt our image to the rest of the world.

    Divorce was never part of God’s design for marriage and is something God hates. Jesus only permitted divorce in the case of sexual immorality. According to the testimony of the entirety of God’s Word, the two grounds on which Scripture would allow a divorce are sexual immorality and desertion by an unbeliever.

    The creation of marriage by God is rooted in creation. Because Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union, God establishes that the only normative pattern of sexual relations is between a man and a woman.

    Genesis 2:24; Malachi 2:16; Matthew 5:31-32, 19:5-9; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16, 25-35; Ephesians 5:22-33

  • Heaven and Hell

    Everyone has an eternal destiny that they will face. Death comes followed by judgment. There are no “second chances” after death. Those who trust fully in Jesus Christ as the only Lord and Savior will spend all of eternity with God in the New Heaven and New Earth. Those who do not put their full trust in Him alone will spend all of eternity suffering their just punishment in Hell without the grace and providential care of God. Hell is not the absence of God, but the active presence of His wrath. God is loving, but God is also holy and just. Heaven and Hell are literal places, where people will literally continue on forever in one place or the other.

    Matthew 25:29-35; Matthew 25:41-46; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:5-8

  • The Return of Christ (End Times)

    The Bible promises a real, and bodily return of Jesus Christ to gather together His own and to judge those who do not trust in Him. No human knows the day or hour of His return, but all should be prepared and ready for Him because His return is sure. While preparing, it is important not to be divisive about the many different views of Christ’s return, but unite around essential Biblical teaching.

    Matthew 24:27-31; Matthew 25:31-46; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Other doctrinal belief statements we are in substantial agreement with: Abstract Of Principles, The Second London Baptist Confession Of Faith - 1689, and the Baptist Faith and Message. If you have questions, please contact us.