What We Believe

The Word of God is our Authority and Guide.

When we say, "The Word does the work," we mean it. We are a church founded upon the Word of God (Matthew 16:16-19; Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 Timothy 3:14-16)—spoken, lived, and written—by the Father who spoke all creation into existence for His purposes (Genesis 1:1, 26-28; 2:15, 18, 24), the Son whose perfect embodiment of the Father's love atones for our sins (Genesis 3:15; Deuteronomy 7:6-9; John 1:1-3; 14-18; Galatians 4:4-5; Hebrews 1:1-2; 10:11-18; 1 John 1:1-2), and the Spirit who softens hearts to call Him Father (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:5-8; Galatians 4:6), empowers His children to live as witnesses to His presence (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Romans 7:4-6; Ephesians 5:8-10, 15-17; Galatians 5:22-24), and perfectly preserves His written truth in the Bible (John 14:26; 16:13; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16).

So, for us as a church, because God's Word created us, called us, atoned for us, and empowers us to witness to His presence, its inscripturated form is His perfect guide for all truth (Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; Job 28:28), human flourishing (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:15-19; 9:1-7; Matthew 4:4), cultural values (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:1-20; Psalm 75:7; Daniel 2:21; Romans 13:1-7), and our individual and corporate life as Christians (John 14:17; 17:17; Acts 2:42; Ephesians 4:11-16; 6:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:15;2 Timothy 2:2; 3:14; Titus 2:15; 1 John 2:20-27).

Written by Scott Wakefield, Lead Pastor, June 2021. Affirmed by the Elders June 22, 2021.

Confession of Faith

We affirm the following core beliefs around which the church in the world has unified for mission since the coming of Christ. While not exhaustive, it accurately communicates our agreement with classic doctrines of orthodox Christian faith and specifies many of our distinctive beliefs: Lord's Supper celebrated weekly, cessationist regarding the charismatic gifts, complementarian regarding church leadership, and holding to traditional Protestant definitions of penal substitutionary atonement, marriage, sexuality, and sanctity of life. If some of those preceding fancy theological words are new to you, keep reading—much of it will become clearer. For more specificity, see the "Position Papers" section below.

All members are required to affirm this Statement of Faith and all our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows out of these biblical doctrines. For quick reference, theological topics are written in bold.

First approved and adopted by the FCC Elders November 27, 2011. Slightly edited and reaffirmed June 22, 2021.
We believe...
  • ... in one God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 5:16; 5:45; 6:1; 6:4; 8-9; James 1:17; John 1:1; 14:9; Genesis 1:2; John 4:24; 14:16-20; 2 Peter 1:21)
  • ... that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, God in human form. The virgin-born Son of God died for our sins, was buried, rose from the dead and is coming again. He is both fully God and fully man. (Philippians 2:5-7; John 14:9; John 8:58; John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9)
  • ... that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, the written record of His supernatural revelation of Himself to man, absolute in its authority, complete in its revelation, final in its content and without any error in its teaching. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
  • ... in the historical creation of man. (Genesis 1:27)
  • ... in the sanctity of life and that life begins at conception. (Psalm 139:13-16)
  • ... that all humans are born with a sin nature. (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23)
  • ... God's design for marriage is a holy covenant relationship between one biological man and one biological woman. (Genesis 2:24; Jeremiah 29:6; Isaiah 62:5; Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13; Matthew 19:8)
  • ... in the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross to atone for the sins of mankind. (Isaiah 53:3-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:8)
  • ... in the literal, bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead as prophesied. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
  • ... in the literal return of Christ as promised. (John 14:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 2 Peter 3:3-4, 10, 13)
  • ... in the assignment of all people to heaven or to hell at their time of death or at the time of Christ’s return. (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Revelation 20:15; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10)
  • ... that the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life are promised to those who trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. (John 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • ... that those putting their trust in Christ should repent of their sins, confess their faith and be baptized into Him.
    • We do not administer baptism to infants or to children who have not confessed faith in Christ, nor do we baptize by any mode other than immersion.
    • We would ask any believer who has not been baptized by immersion to submit to that New Testament form before becoming a member of First Christian Church. (Romans 10:9; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 6:3-4)
    • We expect full devotion to Jesus Christ for every Christian. (Matthew 16:24-27)
  • ... that those who receive Christ also receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit: He marks them as the possession of God, manifests the fruit of righteousness in their character and endows them with spiritual gifts for ministry. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
  • ... that a spiritual gift is a special ability, given by the Holy Spirit to every believer, to be used to minister to others and thereby build up the Body of Christ. (1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
    • In New Testament churches which were led by Apostles or by those specially empowered by the laying on of the Apostles’ hands, miraculous gifts were manifested. (Acts 2:43; Acts 8:18; 2 Timothy 1:6)
    • In New Testament churches which lacked direct apostolic leadership, non-miraculous gifts prevailed: The miraculous gifts were not present. (Acts 8:5-8, 14-17)
    • We do not expect to see miraculous gifts such as apostolic-healing-by-touch or speaking in tongues manifested in the church because of the lack of apostolic leadership.
    • We ask that those who believe differently or seek such miraculous gifts not practice those gifts within our worship services or promote the exercise of those gifts among our members.
  • ... that the pattern of the New Testament was to gather for in-person corporate worship and observe the Lord’s Supper each week, and we continue this pattern in our weekly worship services. (Acts 20:7)
  • ... that each believer should give a generous, intentional, regular, proportional gift of his or her income to God, through the local church, as a spiritual discipline. The tithe (one-tenth) is the standard by which Christians determine if they are giving generously. (Malachi 3:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
  • ... that God answers prayer, occasionally in miraculous ways. Prayer is a spiritual discipline that should be taught and learned within the Body of Christ. (Acts 1:14; Colossians 4:2; 1 John 5:14-15)
  • ... the Church is a body of Christ-followers who live in community and enjoy the connection possible in the fellowship of small groups. (Acts 2:44-47)
  • ... the “will of God” is discerned through the direct teaching of the Scriptures as well as through prayer, wise counsel, and a careful consideration of circumstances. (Proverbs 16:3; Proverbs 19:21; James 1:5; James 4:13-15; Romans 12:1-2)
  • ... that we are “Christians only,” but not the only Christians. (John 10:14-16)
  • ... the Church should seek unity with all believers in matters essential to the universal Christian faith, and contend for liberty in all matters wherein the Lord has not spoken through His Word. (Ephesians 4:2-6)
  • ... the local church is an autonomous body which cooperates with many Christian agencies but is regulated or dominated by none. (Ephesians 5:23b)
    • The Church of Jesus Christ was founded on the Day of Pentecost and consists of all Christians everywhere (Matthew 16:13-18; Acts 2:14-47)
    • The Bible teaches that the Elders are qualified men who exercise authority over the local congregation (Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4)
  • ... that the Church is the Body of Christ and as members of that Body, an individual Christian's participation and accountability are essential not only to the local congregation but also to the individual's spiritual growth. (1 Cor 12)
  • ... love is to be shown to all people as the central trait of the Christian faith. (John 13:35; 1 Peter 4:8)
  • ... the mission of the church is to reach the spiritually lost for Christ, to teach with the goal of “forming Christ in them” and mobilizing believers to accomplish God’s purposes in the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)

Important to note:
  • Elders, Pastors, Staff, Teachers, and Members* are required to affirm the above Confession of Faith as our corporate guide. Anyone teaching in any context, regardless of age, is required to sign our "Teacher Covenant" which is an agreement to teach in a way that does not contradict the above Confession of Faith.
  • Our Lead Pastor affirms all of the above as well as the 1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, so you may occasionally notice elements of Reformed/Covenant Theology in his teaching. I.e., he is Reformed/Covenantal, yet holding to believer's baptism (credobaptism) and not to infant baptism (paedobaptism.) While no one need affirm his specific theological convictions or teachings to be a member or teacher at First Christian Church, it is helpful to know where he is coming from, theologically.

* Re Members affirming our Confession of Faith: This is a change from our previous lack of requirement for Members to affirm any such confession of faith apart from this public declaration: "I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and my Lord and Savior." The Elders made this change during the summer of 2021, to become effective at the end of 2021, from requiring only Elders, Pastors, Staff, and Teachers to affirm the above Confession of Faith, to also requiring Members to do the same. This is currently in the process of being communicated in Scott's Thoughts and on our Membership page, beginning late August 2021.

Position Papers:

Our Elders have written papers outlining our church's position on matters of theological conviction, cultural debate, and the essentials of human value and purpose.

"Church Discipline and Restoration"
"Complementarianism and the Role of Women in the Church"
"Lead Pastor Role in Relation to the Lay Elders"
"Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage"
"Sanctity of Human Life" (imago dei, contraception, biomedical ethics, vaccines, euthanasia/capital punishment, abortion and many related issues, christian obligation/action, church responsibility)
"Sexuality, Identity, Homosexuality, and Transgenderism"

If you would like to discuss any of these, talk to an Elder, our Lead Pastor, or one of our Campus Pastors, (click here to see our Leadership), and we'd be happy to hand you a copy and start a conversation. Also worthy of note, on Brown Bags & Bibles, Scott Wakefield, Lead Pastor, and Mark Liebert, Elder, are addressing each of the above over time, outlining and defending our position from Scripture, answering objections, and providing practical application. As those are completed, we will add a link to each paper above and a link to the respective BB&B episodes below.