What We Believe
Foundational Beliefs of Western Avenue Baptist Church
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:5-6 (ESV)
About The Scriptures
We believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, fully inspired, infallible, and without error in the original manuscripts. It was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ. There are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
There is only one true and living God. God is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
We are made in the image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although we have tremendous potential for good, everyone is marred by an attitude of rebellion toward God called sin. Sin separates people from God.
People are created to exist forever. Every person will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is heaven. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary by miraculous conception, lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days, demonstrating His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory where He is the only Mediator between God and people, and will return again to earth. He will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Salvation is a gift from God to all people. Men and women can never make up for their sins by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can a person be saved from sin’s penalty. When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation.
About God’s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. All true believers endure until the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere until the end.
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His control daily.
About The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We also believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for evangelism, worship, ministry, fellowship, discipleship, and prayer. We believe that the local church is the hope of the world.
About Faith and Practice
We believe that a Christian should live his life for the glory of God and the benefit of his fellowman. Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Spirit of the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.
About Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Baptism by immersion in water is the first act of obedience for a new believer symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection power to walk in newness of life with Christ. The Lord’s Supper (Communion) is a symbolic act of obedience whereby followers of Jesus commemorate and honor His sacrificial death on the cross and anticipate His Second Coming.
About Last Things
God, in His own time and way, will bring the world to an appropriate end. Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly. The dead will be raised and Christ will judge all men in perfect righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to eternity in Hell. The righteous in Christ will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with God.