What We Believe
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Westside Baptist Church of Mableton, Inc.’s (hereinafter Westside Baptist Church) faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Senior Pastor and active Board of Deacons are Westside Baptist Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were written by men divinely inspired by God, are without error in the original writings, and the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
There is but one living and true God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
God from eternity decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.
Election is God's eternal choice of those persons unto everlasting life who have answered His call according to His purpose and not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.
THE FALL OF MAN
God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed Mediator between God and Man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever liveth to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone.
Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humble himself for it, with Godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self abhorrence, with purpose and endeavor to walk with God so as to please Him in all things.
Saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon him alone for justification, sanctification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit and leads to a life of holiness.
Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God's Word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints are to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ's commands.
PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
We believe that all who are united to the risen and ascended Son of God are members of the Church which is the Body and Bride of Christ. We believe that by the same Spirit all believers in this age are baptized into, and thus become, one body that is Christ's whether Jews or Gentiles, and having become members one of another, are under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian and racial differences, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently.
Baptism is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, obligatory upon every believer wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church membership, unless waived by church.
THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup, and to be observed by His churches until the end of the world. Is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and their church fellowship.
THE LORD'S DAY
The Lord's Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private.
LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE
God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His Word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
We believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, according to the Scriptures, in bodily form and thus became the first- fruits of them that sleep; that He ascended into the Heavens as our High Priest and Advocate; that upon His return He will raise out from among the dead those who have died in Christ, this being the first resurrection; and that after one thousand years, He will raise them that have died in unbelief from their graves to receive their sentence.
We believe that at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and there remain until the resurrection of the glorified body when Christ comes for His own, whereupon spirit, soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; but the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when spirit, soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord; and from the glory of His power.
SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps. 139.)
STATEMENT ON MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person and is therefore a sin.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:18-25; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:18-27; Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4) We believe that God sanctions only the union in marriage of a man who was born a biological male to a woman who was born a biological female. We do not believe in a union replicating marriage, commonly referred to as a civil union, for anyone. Therefore, the church only recognizes a marriage compatible with these standards.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Westside Baptist Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to Westside Baptist Church, those who serve in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-3 1; Luke 6:3 1.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Westside Baptist Church.