beliefs

We seek to teach and follow the Bible above traditions of man.  Although there is no way to adequately express all of our beliefs and practice, the following information will give you a good idea of our major doctrines.  

 Please contact us if you have questions or would like to know more about what we believe and practice at Calvary First.

 

The Scriptures

We believe the Bible, composed of the 39 books of the First Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, is God’s revelation to us, written by human authors who were supernaturally guided by the Holy Spirit. As the very word of God, it is without error in the original manuscripts. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)

 

The Godhead

There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the godhead there are three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 3:21-22; Eph. 4:4-6)

  

The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God and second person of the Trinity, is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and is fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through Him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things and in Him all things are held together by the power of His word. He is the image of the invisible God. He lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as the perfect, complete sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He physically rose from the dead, demonstrating His victory over sin and death, and ascended to heaven where He is at the throne of the Father, interceding for us. He is the Head of His body, the church, and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all. One day, He will return to earth to reign as King of Kings. (Matt. 1:18-25; John 1:1-2, 14; 3:16-18; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 5:8; 1 Cor. 15:20; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 1:20; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 4:14-15; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2)

 

Mankind

God made man – male and female – in His own image, to be a reflection of the Creator and reign over all of creation. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to Him, man became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 1:18-23; 3:23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:18-19; 1 Pet. 1:15-16)

 

The Gospel and Man

Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ alone can we be forgiven for our sin, overcome our alienation from God and be saved from God’s judgment. The moment we turn from our self-ruled life to Jesus Christ in faith, we enter into a saving relationship with God. Eternal life begins the moment one places his faith in Christ, and it can never be lost or taken away. At salvation, we are justified by God, meaning that we are declared positionally righteous before God because of our identification with Jesus Christ. (Jn. 1:12-13; 6:37-40; 10:28-29; Acts 16:31; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Eph. 1:7, 13; 2:8-9)

 

The Christian Life

Before salvation, we were enslaved to sin, but at salvation the dominant power of sin in our lives is broken. Beginning at salvation, God begins to progressively work within the lives of believers. Though indwelling sin remains a reality, as we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. The Christian life is a process of cooperating with God’s sanctifying work in our lives by our obedience to Christ and deepening our relationship with Him. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession, are a vital means of grace in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve His people until the end, which is most certain. It is God’s will that we continually grow over the course of our lives until we get to heaven and then are made perfect in Christ. (1 Cor. 6:11; Rom. 6:1-8, 39; 1 Thess. 5:23; Phil 1:6, 2:13)

 

The Church

God by His Word and Spirit creates the church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s Body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the church universal is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. All members of the church universal are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. The church (universal and local) exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will in the earth. This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world for a testimony. The ultimate mission of the church is the making of disciples through the preaching of the gospel. When God transforms human nature, this then becomes the chief means of society’s transformation. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer. In this context they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the church (including apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body that it might mature and grow. All members of the church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of the ministry. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world. (Matt. 26:26-29; 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 12:27; 2 Cor. 6:18; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:10; Col. 1:18; 1 John 3:14-18)

  

Eternity

We believe people were created to exist forever, and we believe in the bodily resurrection of all people. Unbelievers will be raised to exist eternally separated from God by sin in Hell, and believers will be raised to exist eternally with God in heaven, through forgiveness of sin & salvation. This belief is grounded in God’s Word and not meant as a divisive point of arrogance or favoritism. Believers who model such distinctions are a major source of embarrassment to the cause of Christ. (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-14)

 

Spiritual Gifts

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer’s responsibility to attempt to develop their sovereign given spiritual gift(s). The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion and is the placing of the believer into the Body of Christ. We also believe that particular spiritual gift(s) are neither essential (proving the presence of the Holy Spirit), nor an indication of a deep spiritual experience (I Cor. 12:7, 11, 13 & Eph. 4:7-8). We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7 & I John 5: 14, 15). We believe it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God given to him (Romans 12:1-8; I Cor. 13; I Peter 4:10-11). ?We believe that love stands as the most important of gifts and unity of the body as an obvious manifestation of God’s love ( I Cor. 12:7, 25-26; I Cor. 13:1-3, 13). Thus, we strive for orderly worship when gathered as a body (I Corinthians 14:26-33) that promotes the unity of the body.

 

Affiliations

Calvary First is affiliated with the Baptist Missionary Association of America and the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas.