What We Believe..
Western Avenue Baptist Church is a group of likeminded people looking to the truth of God as revealed in His word. To make these beliefs plain and easily accessible, we've written them down in detail and have provided them below. If you have any questions, we'd love to speak with you.
OUR CHURCH COVENANT
Having been led, as we believe, by the Holy Spirit, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and having been baptized (by immersion) in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and on the profession of our faith, we do now most solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; and to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain personal devotions and family devotions as far as possible and to bring up our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; and to be zealous in our service for our Lord.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling, and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense but always ready for reconciliation; and to be mindful of the command of our Savior to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as the Lord leads, unite with someother church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
I. Of the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy bible, as originally written, was verbally inspired, infallible, inerrant, the product of Spirit- controlled men, and therefore is truth without any admixture of error for its matter. We believe that the Holy Bible is the true center of Christian union; the final authority and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.
Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; II Timothy 3:1-17; II Peter 1:19-21; Psalms 119:89; Revelation 22:18-19
II. Of the True God
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God – the infinite, omniscient Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Exodus 20:2-3; Deuteronomy 6:4; Revelation 4:11; I Peter 1:2; II Peter 1:1; Matthew 28:18-19; I Corinthians 8:6; Acts 5:3-4
III. Of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one untilGod’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He bears witness to thetruth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, gives spiritual gifts, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer.
Genesis 1:1-3; Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 24:49; John 1:33, 3:5-6, 14:16-17, 14:26, 16:7-11; Acts 5:30-32, 11:16; Romans 8:14, 8:16, 8:26-27; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 9:14
IV. Of Jesus Christ
We believe that:
Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman.
Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 25; Luke 1:35
He died, was buried, and rose from the dead bodily on the third day.
Matthew 28:6-7; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6; Romans 1:1-4; I Corinthians 15:3-4; John 19:30, 38-42
He ascended bodily and will return bodily.
Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11; Luke 24:51; Hebrews 12:2
He is the eternal High Priest.
I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17, 5:9-10, 7:24, 8:6; I John 2:1
He is Deity.
John 10:27-30; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13
V. Of the Devil, or Satan
We believe that Satan is a personal being, the unholy god of this age, and the author of all the powers of darkness; and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire.
Matthew 4:1-3, 25:41; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10
VI. Of the Creation
We accept the Genesis account of creation and believe that man came by direct creation of God and not by any form of evolution.
Genesis 1:1-2:25; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17
VII. Of the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all of mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint but by choice, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 1:18, 32, 5:10-19
VII. Of the Atonement for Sin
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; that He, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sin; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but of a voluntary substitution of Himself in thesinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, thathaving risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Savior.
Isaiah 53:4-7; Matthew 18:11; Acts 15:11; John 3:16; Romans 3:24-25; I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; I John 4:10
IX. Of Grace in the New Creation
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner beyond our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life.
John 1:12-13, 3:3, 3:6-8; Acts 16:30-33; Romans 6:23; II Corinthians 5:17, 19; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; II Peter 1:4; I John 5:1
X. Of Justification
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to those who believe in Him is justification. Justification includes the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life on principles of imputed righteousness; and it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done – His righteousness is imputedto us solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood.
Isaiah 53:11; Zechariah 13:1; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1, 9, 8:1
XI. Of Faith and Salvation
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation.
Acts 16:31; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9
XII. Of the Local Church
We believe that a local church is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word; that its officers are pastors and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures; that the true mission of the church is the edification of the saints and the faithful witnessing about Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of any individuals or organizations, and that the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, polity, government, discipline, and benevolence the will of the local church is final.
Acts 2:41-42, 6:5, 15:13-18, 20:17-28; I Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11-16, 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:17
XIII. Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show in a solemn and beautiful symbol our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and pictures our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, is open to all who have been saved, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Matthew 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 11:23-28; Colossians 2:12
XIV. Of the Security of the Saints
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept eternally by God the Father for Jesus Christ.
John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 1:6; Jude 1
XV. Of the Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified through faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem, while all who continue in impenitence and unbelief are, in His sight, wicked and under the curse; that this distinction holds among men both in and after death and results in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting, conscious suffering of the lost.
Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 14:32; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 25:34-41; John 8:21; Luke 6:26; Romans 6:17-18, 23, 7:6; I John 5:19
XVI. Of Civil Government
We believe that the civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that government officers are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Exodus 18:21-22; II Samuel 23:13; Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 22:21; Acts 4:19-20, 5:20, 23:5; Romans 13:7
XVII. Of Last things
We believe that the premillennial return of Christ for His church is an event which can occur at any moment; that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death; that all who are in Christ shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the tribulation.
I Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10
We believe that the tribulation, which follows the rapture of the church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory o sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom.
Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-9; Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 20:1-4, 6