In view of present apostasy in which many are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, teaching the commandments of men, and disseminating the seeds of fatal error involving the honour of our Lord and the destiny of souls, the Westside Baptist Church sets forth a declaration of those things which are most surely believed and practiced among us in order to place on record the confessions of Faith to which we subscribe to here at WBC.
We believe the Bible. We believe it to be the literal Word of God from start to finish. We believe it to be inspired, infallible, inerrant and authoritative in everything it says. We believe that the God who inspired it is the God who has preserved it for each generation and will until the end of time (Isaiah 59:21; 2 Kings 10:10; Psalm 12:6-7; Psalm 33:11; Psalm 100:5; Psalm 119:40; Matthew 4:4; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35: 1 Peter 1:25).
This statement of faith is not exhaustive in content, nor is it thorough in any subject; however this does state the basics of Bible-believing Christianity. We want all to know that we believe the soul-saving, life-changing message of God’s Holy Word. We will preach it and teach it without apology.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God. Holy men of old wrote the Bible as the Holy Spirit of God led them. The Bible is absolute in its authority, complete in its revelation, final in its content, and without error in its statements. We believe that God has preserved His Word for us in the English language in the Authorized King James Bible. We believe God’s Word to be the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. The King James Bible will be the only acceptable standard in our preaching and teaching and personal study (Isaiah 34:16; 2 Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 40:8; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Psalm 12:6-7; 119: 89, 140).
There is only one true and living God – the Lord God Jehovah. He is one God manifested in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is a person, eternally existing, as a Trinity in unity. We believe that they are equal in divine perfection and are executing distinct but harmonious offices in the work of redemption (Matthew 28:19; John 14:7-12; John 16:7; Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 John 5:7; John 4:24; Psalm 83:18; Exodus 15:11; Mark 12:30; John 10:22-38; Ephesians 2:18; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:1-3; Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:5-6; Hebrews 1:1-8).
We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, in His incarnation and His virgin birth. We believe that Christ, eternally existing, is the only begotten Son of God. We believe that Christ became a man totally apart from sin, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He is true God and true man. We believe that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. He was crucified and buried. He is risen and sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father. He is the virgin-born, sinless, Son of God. We believe that Jesus shed His blood to atone for our sins and the sins of the whole world. Jesus willingly gave His life a ransom for all mankind (Luke 1:27-35;John 1:1-15;Philippians 2:5-11; John 3:16; Colossians 1:15-17; Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 7:14; 1 John 2:2; 2 John 7, 9).
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person equal to the other persons of the Trinity. He is personal and indwells every true believer from the moment of salvation. The Holy Spirit is the Reprover, Comforter, Guide, Sanctifier, and Seal of our redemption. He empowers believers for service as they yield to Him. We believe that the fruit of the Spirit and power for winning the lost are the evidences of His indwelling rather then speaking in tongues and other so call spectacular demonstrations. We believe that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of gifts and that he has given the church evangelist, pastors and teachers for the “Perfecting” of the saints (Ephesians 4:11).We believe that sign gifts such as miracles, tongues and healings (as in faith healers) were for a past purpose in the establishing of the early church.We believe these sign gifts have ceased with the passing of the Apostolic era. We believe that the Charismatic Pentecostal movement is not a Scriptural movement and is not supported in any form by this church (John 15:26; John 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; Acts 4:31; Romans 8:9, 14-27; Ephesians 5:18; Matthew 3:16-17; John 14:16-17, 26; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 6:19; 12:13; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
Man was created in the image of God, but by disobedience fell into a state of sin and condemnation. Sin not only brought physical death, but also spiritual death and separation from God. Now all of mankind is sinful, having a sinful nature, and stand guilty before God (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:16-17; 3:1-19; Romans 3:10-23; 6:23; Romans 5:12).
We believe in the person of Satan, that he is not merely a figment of the imagination; but he is a real being, who influences mankind to turn people away from the one true and living God. He is the god of this world. He does not possess the attributes of God, nor does he have the power to harm any child of God. Greater is He (The Holy Spirit) that is in me than he that is in the world. Satan is the author of sin, the father of all lies, and he and his angels will be eternally punished in the lake of fire (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 6:10-12; Ezekiel 28:13-17; Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41).
Mankind is lost and must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. We believe that man is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Man must personally receive the gift of salvation in order to be saved. The good works of man will do nothing to merit or earn a man’s salvation. Salvation is available to all men, women, boys, and girls who will accept the finished work of Jesus Christ. Man is only saved through faith in the Gospel – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe the blood atonement and death of Jesus Christ was necessary for salvation. We believe in the eternal security of the believer (Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9; John 1:12; 3:3-7, 15-18, 36; 5:24; 10:27-30; Hebrews 9:22-26; Revelation 1:5; Romans 3:24-28; 5:6-11; 6:4-10; Matthew 28:1-7; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5:11-13; 2 Peter 1:3-5, 8-9; Colossians 1:22;2; Timothy 2:19).
All believers in Christ are saved by grace through faith and are kept by the power of God through faith. Salvation results when a man turns to Christ and exercises his faith in Christ as his personal Saviour. In so doing, the finished work of Christ settles the believer’s account in Heaven. Heaven’s rejoicing proves that salvation is secure. We do not earn our salvation; we cannot lose it! (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 1:12; 3:15-16, 36; 10:27-30; Jude 24; Titus 3:5; Luke 15:7, 10; 1 John 5:13)
Freedom of Will
The human will is free and self-controlled, having power to yield to the influence of the truth and the Holy Spirit or to resist them (Revelation 22:17; Romans 10:3; Romans 6:16).
Heaven and Hell
We believe in a literal Heaven and Hell. The Bible teaches that Heaven is a definite place reserved for the saved. It is indescribably beautiful and the eternal reward for all those who have been born again. The saved will spend eternity with Jesus Christ in Heaven. Hell is a terrible, eternal reality for those who die in their sin. The Bible describes Hell as a place of fire and torment for the unsaved (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:10-11; Revelation 14:11; 19:20; 20:10-15; 21:1-2; Matthew 5:22; 29-30; 23:33; 25:41; Luke 13:27-28; 16:19-31; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 12:2-4; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
The Second Coming, Resurrection, and Judgment
We believe in the historical Biblical position on the return of Christ. We believe in the imminent (Matthew 24:42-44; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20, 21; 2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Peter 3:12-14; 1 John 2:28; Jude 21; James 5:8, 9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Philippians 4:5; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 4:7; Revelation 1:3; Revelation 22:20) pretribulation (Romans 5:9; Hebrews 11:5,6; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 3:10) return of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is coming at any moment to catch up His Church his bride and to reward their service. We believe that there is a distinction between the Church and Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32). The tribulation period is God dealing with the nation of Israel as the church has been raptured out. Revelation Chapter 4, 5 is the church in heaven and Revelation Chapter 6 is the beginning of the wrath of God on earth (Revelation 6:16,17). The saved go to Heaven as soon as they die, but do not receive their resurrected bodies until the return of Jesus Christ for His bride at the rapture. The saved will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be judged according to their works, to receive the rewards that Christ has promised in His Word for those who labour with Him. After ruling and reigning with Christ for 1,000 years, all the saved will then enjoy eternity with Christ in the new heaven and the new earth. Those who die without Christ go to Hell to await the final Great White Throne Judgment where they will be judged for sin and condemned to spend eternity in the lake of fire (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Acts 1:7-11; 2 Corinthians 15; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 19:11-20:15; John 5:20; Matthew 24: 29-41; 25:41, 46).
We believe that God spoke the world into existence in six literal days. We believe in God’s creation without evolution (Genesis 1:1-31; Colossians 1:16-17; Psalm 33:6, 9; Hebrews 1:2, 10).
We believe the “Church” is a group of baptized believers, banded together for edification, exhortation, and evangelism as commanded by Christ in the Great Commission. We believe the Bible method of church government is a theocracy with Christ as the head of the Church. The only Scriptural offices of the local church are that of pastor and deacon. The local church is to be led by the pastor (under shepherd) under the direction of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We believe in separation of church and state with each having definite and distinct spheres of responsibility (Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 2:41-47; 8:1; 14:23; 15:22; 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4; John 14:15; 15:10; Matthew 16:13-18; 18:15-20; 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 11:2, 23; 12:12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2Timothy 3:17-4:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:7).
Soul Winning and World Missions
We believe that the command to give the Gospel to the lost is clear in the Scriptures, and that this is the responsibility of all believers (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 15:16; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:10).
We believe that baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament church. We believe the Scriptural method of Baptism is by immersion in water. We believe that a born-again believer should be baptized after salvation to show forth his/her faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Baptism has nothing to do with salvation, but is rather the first step of obedience after salvation(Romans 6:1-5; Acts 2:41; 8:35-39; 18:8 John 3:23; Matthew 28:19).
The Lord’s Supper
We believe the Lord’s Supper to be an ordinance of the New Testament church. The purpose is to commemorate the Lord’s death until He comes again. The unleavened bread represents His broken body and the unfermented juice represents His shed blood. Both are pictures of the sinless Son of God who was crucified to be the Saviour of the world. The Lord’s Supper should only be taken by baptized believers and then after careful self-examination. (1 Corinthians 11:23-32)
Eschatology (Future Things)
We believe in the pretribulation rapture of the saved, the literal 7 year tribulation period on the earth, the literal, bodily return of Christ, and the literal millennial reign of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58).
We believe that all the saved are called into a life of separation. This separation is in at least three areas: moral, personal, and ecclesiastical (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).