First Baptist Church Provo has adopted a version of the Abstract of Principles as our primary Statement of Faith. As a Southern Baptist church, we also affirm the current version of the Baptist Faith & Message, as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention.
Statement of Faith
Adopted March 11, 2012
The Bible is the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, and is the Word of God, without error. God is revealed by His Word as one being in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the only living and true God, infinite in power and perfections, without beginning or end. Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, fully God and fully human. He lived a sinless life, died for our sins, and rose again three days later. He is alive in Heaven and will return to Earth. Salvation is the free gift of grace given by God to all who believe in Jesus Christ alone. Christians are people who have received God's free gift of salvation and now have full access to God. The Church is made up of everyone who has faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- The Bible. This church affirms that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, commonly known as the Holy Bible, are the Word of God, given by the inspiration of God and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and practice.
- God. This church affirms that there is one and only one God, the Creator, Preserver and Ruler of all things; having in and of Himself all perfections, being infinite in them all; and to Him alone do all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
- The Trinity. This church affirms that God has revealed Himself as existing eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; each possessing for themselves distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
- Providence. This church affirms that God has from eternity decreed or permitted all things that come to pass, and that He perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events so as not to destroy the moral agency or responsibility of intelligent creatures.
- Election. This church affirms that God has, through His eternal choice, elected some persons to everlasting life; not because of foreseen merit or anything owing to their own actions, but rather of His mere mercy in Christ; and thus those elect are called, justified and glorified according to God's will.
- The Fall. This church affirms that God originally created humanity in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, humanity willfully transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteous innocence; and through this fall all of humanity inherits a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His moral law, and are under the just condemnation of God, and that as soon as any person becomes capable of moral action, they do become willful transgressors.
- The Mediator. This church affirms that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and humanity; having taken upon Himself the very nature of a man, yet without sin, He fulfilled all the demands of the Law, suffered and died upon the cross, for the salvation of sinners; He was buried, and raised from the dead by the power of God on the third day; He ascended to Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and lives 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. This church affirms that regeneration is a change of heart, accomplished by the Holy Spirit, who works to change a person's natural affections and translates them from a state of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life; the Holy Spirit accomplishes regeneration by the power of the Word of God, proclaimed to sinners, and through regeneration renews the fullness of a person's humanity, so that they love and practice holiness; it is a work of God's free and special grace alone.
- Repentance. This church affirms that repentance is an outward response to the inward-acting grace of regeneration; whereby a person is made aware, by the power of the Holy Spirit, of the reality and seriousness of their sin, and is in that way humbled and brought to a point of confession and genuine rejection of their sin by a willful desire to seek to please God in all things.
- Faith. This church affirms that faith is the belief, founded on God's authority, of all that is revealed in the Bible concerning Jesus Christ; acceptance and assurance that Jesus Christ alone is the only source of justification and eternal life; it is brought about by the Holy Spirit in connection with regeneration and leads first to repentance and then to the desire for holy living.
- Justification. This church affirms that through Jesus Christ and His sacrificial, substitutional death on the cross the elect in Christ partake in the gracious acquittal of all their sins, for all time, offered by God, through Christ; in this way the believer is made fully righteous before God by the application of the righteousness of Jesus Christ on their account.
- Sanctification. This church affirms that through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit believers are refined into the image of Jesus Christ; this is accomplished through the progressive work of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in every believer, and works to conform their actions, will and desires to those of God; all those whom God regenerates He sanctifies by these means.
- Perseverance. This church affirms that all those whom God regenerates will persevere, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit; that the elect will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, into which God placed them; though they may fall by means of neglect or temptation into sin and thus grieve the Holy Spirit, impair their relationship with God, bring reproach on themselves and the Church, and receive temporal judgements; yet they will be drawn back to God through repentance, and preserved by the power of God through faith unto everlasting salvation.
- The Church. This church affirms that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, which is composed of all true disciples, and that in him is the supreme power for its government; according to His command, Christians are to associate themselves with other believers in the formation of local congregations; and to each such congregation he has given authority for their administration, discipline and worship; the offices of such local bodies are Pastors and Deacons.
- Baptism. This church affirms that Jesus Christ gave baptism to the church, by immersion, as an ordinance, obligatory upon every believer; this ordinance should be administered in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a sign of the baptized individual's fellowship with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, of remission of sin for that individual and of their surrender to God as they seek to live in newness of life; baptism by immersion is a prerequisite to church membership.
- The Lord's Supper. This church affirms that Jesus Christ gave the Lord's Supper to the church as an ordinance whereby they may remember and celebrate, regularly, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; the ordinance ought to be administered with bread and the fruit of the vine and is to be observed until the end of the world.
- The Lord's Day & The Sabbath. This church affirms that by the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the habit of his church the Lord's Day has been established as a regular day for Christian worship; and that in Jesus Christ all believers find their sabbath rest at all times, according to his fulfillment of the entirety of the Law.
- The Priesthood of Believers. This church affirms that every believer, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is called to a priesthood of service and devotion to God, through our great High Priest, Jesus Christ. As priests of God, all believers possess the authority to proclaim the Gospel and to enter God's presence through prayer.
- Liberty of Conscience. This church affirms that God alone is Lord of the conscience and that he has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are anything contrary to or in excess of his Word; the consciences of believers may be rightly bound by civil authorities in so far as they are under the greater authority of God; additionally believers ought to, out of mutual love, avoid needlessly offending each other's consciences.
- The Resurrection. This church affirms that after death all bodies return to dust; the spirits of those who belong to Christ then rest with God, and the spirits of the unbelievers are reserved in darkness until the judgement; at the last day the bodies of all people, both just and unjust, will be raised.
- The Judgement. This church affirms that God has appointed a day when he will judge the world by Jesus Christ; on that day, those who believe in Christ will be granted everlasting life and unbelievers will be condemned to everlasting punishment.
What is a Statement of Faith?
Since our earliest days Baptists have been a confessional people. We have consistently and repeatedly distinguished our beliefs by putting them in writing. The history of Baptist confessional faith begins with Thomas Helwy's Declaration of Faith in 1611. The tradition continues through the following four centuries, even to the present day.
These documents have been used by Baptists for numerous reasons, sometimes to defend themselves against charges of heresy. At other times they have formed the foundation for friendly cooperation, such as today's Baptist Faith & Message. At its simplest a Statement, or Confession, of Faith is merely a document that states what a person or group believes to be true. For First Baptist Church Provo, our Statement of Faith is meant to clarify what we believe Scripture clearly teaches about certain doctrines.
Our Statement of Faith fits within the broader Reformed tradition of Baptist confessions, drawing directly on the Abstract of Principles. Our Pastors/Elders have the responsibility to determine how to make use of our Statement of Faith and no member is required to subscribe to it. We do not use our Statement of Faith as a means to divide ourselves from other believers; rather, we use it as a tool to clearly state what it is that our church believes to be the truth and a guide for our teaching.
How are we governed?
Baptist churches have a proud history of being governed democratically by the members of each congregation. At the First Baptist Church of Provo we also embrace this congregational form of polity, while adopting certain patterns and practices designed to allow us to operate more efficiently and biblically.
Unlike some Baptist churches we embrace a plurality of God-called men as elders to be both a biblical and practical means of church leadership. We also embrace both men and women being permitted to serve in the office of deacon. And, like most Baptist churches we expect our members, being empowered by the Holy Spirit, to participate in all aspects of decision-making within the church. And, like many Baptist churches, we affirm the importance of church members living in covenant community. For these reasons we express our particular church polity in the form of our Constitution, Bylaws and Church Covenant; in addition to our Statement of Faith.
Our most up to date governing documents can be found at the links below: