What We Believe

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." - A.W. Tozer


The following are the core beliefs of First Baptist Church Starke based on the foundational truths taught in the Bible. All of our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows from these biblical doctrines.


There is one eternally existing God who has three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is the creator of all that exists, both visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy of all glory and praise.  God is perfect in love, power, holiness, goodness, knowledge, wisdom,  justice, and mercy. He is unchangeable and therefore is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
[Genesis 1-2; Psalm 145:3; John 3:16; Romans 1:20; James 1:17]


God has revealed himself to us through his son, Jesus Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God, the holy scriptures, and through all of creation itself.
[Psalm 97:6; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-4]


Humans, both male and female, were created in God's image for His glory. The first humans, Adam and Eve, were created without sin and appointed as caretakers of the rest of God's creations.
[Genesis 1:26 - Genesis 2]


When Adam and Eve chose not to obey God, they ceased to be what they were made to be and became distorted images of God. This caused them to fall out of fellowship with God, and fractured all of creation ever since that time.
[Genesis 3]


Jesus Christ came to reconcile us with God. He lived a life without sin and willingly died on the cross to pay the penalty for our transgressions. God raised him from the dead and now, by grace, offers as a free gift eternal life to all who follow Christ, by faith, as their Lord and Savior. That is why salvation can be found in Christ alone.
[1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:21-22; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 5:11-13]


The Church is meant to be the visible body of Christ, sent into the world to glorify God and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
[Titus 1:5]


Jesus Christ is returning one day to judge both the living and the dead and to usher in the fullness of God's kingdom on earth.
[1 Thessalonians 5:4 & Zechariah 14:4,9] 

The Importance of Baptism

Everyone views their baptism as something wonderful and special.  Regardless of the religious traditions we grew up in, strong feelings are tied to that time when we were baptized.  However, for many, there are questions about this important act.  So, let's take a fresh look at this ordinance of the New Testament church.

What Baptism is Not

Baptism is not a means to salvation. That is to say, baptism by any mode, or form, does not make one a Christian. It does not produce salvation.  It is not regenerative in consequence. No saving grace is dispensed through the act of baptism.

For a person to become a Christian, he/she must turn to Jesus and Jesus alone.  A person must recognize that he/she is a sinner in need of forgiveness, and that Jesus is the only way for forgiveness to come.

John 1:12 says, "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."  

Romans 10:13 says, "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Acts 10:43 says, "All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name."  

Notice that in none of these verses, or any other in the New Testament, does it say that baptism is part of the salvation equation.  Only when we confess our sins, put our faith in Jesus, receive Him into our lives, and commit ourselves to Him do we become a Christian.

Baptism by Immersion

The mode, or form, of baptism comes up often.  What if I was sprinkled?  Do I have to be immersed? The answer comes to us from right out of the Bible.

The word "baptize" and its various forms is a transliteration of the Greek word "baptizo."  The English equivalent is "to dip, plunge, or immerse."  

In the New Testament, every time the word "baptizo" is used, it has this meaning only. When Mark says that Jesus "was baptized of John in the Jordan," it was immersion. Every time the word "baptizo" is used, it means immersion.

A Beautiful Symbol

Baptism-  rather than a means to our salvation-  is a beautiful symbol of our faith in Jesus.  It is a symbolic proclamation that we have already identified with Christ.  This symbolism makes three very important statements:

1. It is our affirmation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  Colossians 2:12 says, "Having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead."

2. It is our declaration that when we accepted Jesus, we died to sin and self and the old way of life, and were born again to a new life in Christ.  Romans 6:4 says, "We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."  Going under the baptismal waters symbolizes death and burial to self and sin; coming up out of the water symbolizes beginning a new life in Christ.

3. It is our expectation that just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too, one day, will experience resurrection.  Romans 6:5 says, "If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection."

What if I was baptized as an infant?

While we are respectful of other traditions, at First Baptist Church, we believe the Biblical form for baptism is immersion, which is preceded by a personal decision to accept Jesus.  Baptism at infancy might better be viewed as a wonderful dedication service involving parents, children and the church.

What about baptism and church membership at First Baptist Church?

If you have accepted Jesus into your life and have been baptized by immersion, we joyfully receive you as a member.  If you have accepted Jesus into your life, but have not been baptized by immersion, and are willing to do so, we joyfully receive you as a member.

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