Beliefs

First Irving affirms the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 as the doctrinal statement that clearly and succinctly outlines our beliefs. However, we understand that the Bible is our only source of Wisdom and Doctrine, and the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 simply serves as a way to order and communicate the Bible's teachings in an easy and understandable way. 

Below we highlight some of these points, since they are vital in understanding the body at First Irving, and how these beliefs affect our lives practically.

Scripture

The Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is "truth, without any mixture of error". ( 2 Timothy 3:16 ) It consists of both the Old and New Testaments, made up of only 66 books, Genesis to Revelation. It is the basis for all that we believe, our theological conclusions, statements of faith, and practices, and teachings. 

All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of all divine revelation.


God & The Trinity

There is only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. 

This God is also a triune God, one God in Three Person. He reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. All Persons of God has therefore been present and involved in the entire narrative of Creation.


Humanity & The Fall

God created all things in sinless perfection, and all creation was in perfect harmony. Created to bear the image of God, humanity was specially created apart form the rest of creation. However, the act of Adam & Eve to reject God's authority brought sin into the world. The effects of this initial sin, marred every corner of creation, and removed humanity's original innocence before a Holy God, known as The Fall.

Therefore, as soon as we are capable of moral action, we become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into right-standing before Him.

The sacredness of human life is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man. Therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.


Salvation & Jesus Christ

The Gospel, the "Good News", is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God - the perfect, sinless atoning Lamb of God who makes us righteous and is our justification before a Holy God. ( Romans 3:21-26 ) This justification brings us into a relationship of peace with God. Salvation is personal, not corporate or familial, and only occurs by the grace of Christ, through repentance of sins and faith in Him alone. ( Romans 5:156:23 )

Part of Salvation is the the experience of sanctification, by which we are, over time, set apart to God's purposes, and progress toward a moral and spiritual redemption.


Regeneration & The Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, and is fully God. He has many roles ( comfort, conviction, revelation, empowers, etc. ) He is also responsible for the work of regeneration and sanctification in our lives. These processes occur simultaneously with the Spirit's dwelling in us, and continue for the remainder of our lives.

All believers are sealed and indwelt with the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion, and therefore there is no need for a second baptism of the Holy Spirit post-conversion. ( Ephesians 1:12-14John 1:33Romans 8:9Galations 3:27 )


Baptism

Baptism is a non-salvific ( contains no saving properties ) step of obedience by a believer after salvation. It is symbolic of the internal, spiritual change that Jesus has brought to our hearts and our lives through salvation. By this, we show our church family and the world that we identify with Christ's death and His resurrection. ( Matthew 28:19 )

This is one of two ordinances recognized by the church.


Lord's Supper

The Lord's Supper is also non-salvific, and is a symbolic act meant to remind the church, in a sobering and sacred way, of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf. ( 1 Corinthians 11:17-26 ) It is available and commanded only to believers, and aids us in identifying with Christ's crucifixion.

This is the second ordinance recognized by the church.


The Church

A New Testament church a local congregation of believers, brought together by covenant in faith & fellowship. We observe the two ordinances of Christ, are governed by His Word, work out our spiritual gifts, and seek to extend the Gospel to the all nations. Every local body operates under the Lordship of Christ, and each member is personally responsible and accountable to Jesus as Lord directly. However, its scriptural officers ( pastors and deacons ) are to help members walk faithfully with Christ, and will be held accountable before God for this fact.

The New Testament also refers to the universal Body of Christ as the church, which includes all believers of all the ages, from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.


Last Things

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to an appropriate end. At this time, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge the living and the dead. The unrighteous will be sentenced to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous will receive their reward and will live forever in the presence of a Holy God in an Eternal Kingdom ( Heaven ), completely free from sin & death. ( 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 )

There is no Scriptural evidence or authority for a belief in purgatory, limbo, holding place for those who have preceded us in death.