What We Believe

The Scriptures

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be inspired by God and without
error in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life. Therefore the authority and teaching of Scriptures will have a preeminent place in our church. (II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21; Hebrews 4:12; John 17:17).

The Trinity

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These
three persons are completely equal in attributes each with the same divine nature. While each person is fully and completely God, the persons are not identical. (Matt. 3:16-17; Matt. 28:19; Deut. 6:4).

The Father

We believe that the first person of the Trinity orders and directs all things according to His
purpose and pleasure. He has created humanity to bring Him glory and honor, through His grace. While He is transcendent, he is also actively involved in His creation- offering an eternal relationship with us through His Son Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:9; John 5:19-24; Ephesians 1:3-6;
2:1-10).

The Son

We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary to
reveal God and redeem humanity. He is fully God and fully man: the only Savior of mankind and the focus of our worship. Furthermore Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him and hold him as
their Lord and Savior, are made right before God on the grounds of His shed blood. We believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord, His physical ascension into Heaven where He reigns as High Priest and our Advocate. We believe in His physical visible return back to earth to establish His earthly kingdom. (John 1:14-18; I Corinthians 15; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 20:11-15; John 3:16).

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, equal with God the Father, and God the Son;
that He is the Agent in the new birth; that He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ at conversion (New Birth); that He indwells, seals, empowers, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer. (Psalm 139:7-12; John 14:16-17; 16:13-14; Romans 8:9; I
Corinthians 6:19; 12:13).

Humanity

We believe that we were created in the image of God, to enjoy an intimate relationship with
Him, fulfilling his will here on earth. But sin entered the human race in the Garden of Eden through an attack of Satan, a fallen angel and the author of sin. Therefore, because of our inherent sinful nature received from our father Adam, we are all separated from God, spiritually
dead, and destined for physical death and eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. (Genesis 1-3; Romans 1:18-32; Romans 3; Romans 5; Ephesians 2:1-3).

Salvation

We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins as the only sufficient sacrifice, offering the
atonement of sins for all mankind through his death, burial and resurrection. While salvation is available to all, it is only experienced by those who receive his gracious gift through faith apart from works. Those who do receive it are regenerated and baptized by the Holy Spirit, becoming
children of God, given a new nature and placed into the universal body of Christ, making us eternally secure in Him. As a result of our new relationship with God through His Son Jesus, we are now called to a life of submission to the Holy Spirit, manifesting spiritual fruit, and walking
in good works that God has prepared beforehand for us to do. (John 14:6; Titus 3:4-7; Acts 4:12; John 1:12; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9; Hebrews 10:10-12; I John 5:11-13; Galatians 3:26; John 3:16).

The Church

We believe that for all who have placed their faith in God through His Son Jesus Christ, they are
a part of the universal body of believers known as the church. This placement of the believer into the universal church requires an association of the believer with other followers of Christ in a local assembly. The purpose of the local church is to lead people to Christ and to bring them to
maturity in Christ. The members of the local church are to live their lives in humble submission to other Spirit led believers, and to the God appointed leaders of the church. First Baptist Church of Lansing is an autonomous local assembly that is led by Jesus Christ, who gives direction as
the head of this body through a body of elected leaders. (Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 2:41-47; I Corinthians 12-14; Matthew 28-18-20; Ephesians 2:19-22; I Thessalonians 4:15-17).

The Future

We believe that the next great event in human history will be the return of Jesus Christ for his
children. This is the blessed hope for all followers of Jesus Christ. While this event is a prophetic truth of Scripture, we acknowledge that the point of Christ’s return is not for the believer to passively await this event, but to labor with all of our might in the power of the Spirit to fulfill His will in our lives through righteous living, evangelism and discipleship. After the return of Christ those who accepted God’s gracious gift of salvation will worship God forever in heaven. Those who did not will spend an eternity separated from Him in hell. (Matthew 24:36; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; John 14:1-3; Matthew 24-25).

Baptism and Communion

We believe that baptism is the immersion of a believer, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in testimony of faith in the crucified, buried and risen Christ, and in confession that the believer is to be dead to sin and risen to newness of life in Christ Jesus; and that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of the Lord’s death “till He come.” (Rom. 6:4-5;
I Cor. 11:23-26).

Essentials and Non-essentials

We affirm that the doctrines of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection, the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and salvation by grace through faith make up the essential, distinctive nature of Christianity. In regards to these essential doctrines there can be no conflicting opinions of those who call themselves true followers of Christ. However, we do acknowledge that there are peripheral, or non-essential doctrines, that are important, but not critical to the follower of Christ as it relates to our salvation. Some of these doctrines include the specific functions of women in ministry, the exact timing and nature of the rapture, extent and use of certain spiritual gifts, the relationship between election and free-will in salvation, etc. While our church will be diligent to establish positions as it relates to these non-essentials, we will not allow these peripheral doctrines to cause division within the church. We will accept into our body those who have differing views on the non-essential doctrines, but will not allow those of a different opinion to fracture the church. While we celebrate diversity along all lines (racial and theological), we will ultimately pursue the unity of the church.