With Jesus people around the world, we CONFESS the historic Christian faith of the Church:
- WE BELIEVE in ONE, HOLY, LIVING, LOVING, and TRUE GOD (Monotheism) – Jesus believed, worshipped and taught the truth to his followers that there is only one, holy, true, loving, sovereign, living TRIUNE GOD, the Lord Almighty CREATOR, as revealed in the sacred writings of the Old and New Testament.
- WE BELIEVE JESUS is the Jewish MESSIAH, God’s only BEGOTTEN SON, and our only MEDIATOR between GOD and HUMANITY.
- WE BELIEVE the HOLY SPIRIT is GOD – the Lord, the giver of LIFE, our COMFORTER, COUNSELOR, ADVOCATE, and HELPER who proceeds from the Father and is worship and glorified; a person of the TRIUNE GOD freely given to all who believe and are baptized in Jesus’ name without charismatic expressionism (non-Charismatic).
- WE TEACH AND OBEY everything JESUS commanded in the BIBLE – The Word of God in the Bible is the final authority and trustworthy for faith and practice. The Scriptures are to be interpreted responsibly under the guidance of God the Holy Spirit within the community of faith; thus containing God’s complete and full revelation regarding God, creation, humanity, sin, and the rightful punishment of evil; no other book(s) contain the revelation of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
- WE RECEIVE GOD’S FOREVER FORGIVING LOVE in JESUS CHRIST by the HOLY SPIRIT – We are followers of Jesus Christ! God invites all people to respond to the Lordship of Christ in all circumstances by gifting them the fundamental freedom to accept or reject the Christian gospel; whosoever accepts and confession Jesus as Lord is made right with God, adopted as a child of God, transformed into fully-devoted disciples, receive saving faith, and regardless of age or past mistakes, are gifted repentance unto life and salvation with the assurance of grace and redemption, among the communion of saints, expressed in God’s eternal covenant of love;
- WE GATHER and SUPPORT the LOCAL CHURCH – The Church is God’s gift to the world as regenerated followers of Jesus – single and married – gather for worship and rest, encouragement and befriend, baptize believers and celebrate the Lord’s Supper, live Godly lives of service to others privately and publicly, following the tenets of the reformed tradition.
- WE ARE COMMITTED to MISSION, SERVICE, and WORLDWIDE EVANGELISM – Jesus commanded his church with the ongoing task to share and spread the saving message with every nation, tribe, and language to the ends of the earth.
- WE LOOK FORWARD to the RESURRECTION and ETERNAL KINGDOM of GOD – We believe God, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, will raise all people of faith to eternal life with God in an eternal heaven on earth in the Last Day, rewarding faith and punishing evil, in a Kingdom that will never end, to the glory and praise of God. AMEN.
Autonomous, Independent Christian Church in the Baptist Tradition
West Side Baptist Church is an autonomous (self-governing), independent Christian congregation that adheres to the teachings of God revealed in the Holy Bible (the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments). We cherish several distinctives which make our faith and traditions unique (see https://www.baptistdistinctives.org), including, but not limited to:
- BIBLICAL AUTHORITY – We believe the Holy Bible is the only written authority for faith and practice. The Bible contains everything a person needs for salvation, faith, spirituality, and Christian living.
- CHURCH AUTONOMY – Autonomy means that each local congregation, among other things, has self-rule (self-governance and direction) under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and, therefore, is free to select its leadership – both lay and clergy, determine its worship form, decide its affiliation and denominational practices or none, direct its financial matters, own and care for their property, elect representatives and delegates who speak freely on matters of common concern, and direct other church-related affairs without outside control or supervision. Baptist denominational organizations such as associations of churches and state and national conventions have no authority over a local Baptist church.
- PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS – We believe every baptized Christian has the opportunity and responsibility to relate to God and serve the Lord directly as believing priests under Jesus Christ’s Lordship. Every believer in a local congregation of believers has the authority and duty to preach/teach the Word of God, administer the ordinance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (holy communion), serve in leadership and sacrifice, and pray (free intercession) to and with God on behalf of the world. The local church calls and elects individuals freely to serve as ordained clergy for special offices devoted to preaching, teaching, evangelism, missionary service, leadership, etc.
- REGENERATED CHURCH (BELIEVER’S CHURCH) – We believe Christ’s church is a fellowship of redeemed persons who have voluntarily followed Jesus as Lord and voluntarily associated with one another under God’s lordship and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thus we believe that only saved persons should be members of a local congregation. Baptists also believe that saved persons should be members of a church who are gathered together as God’s redeemed fellowship. While becoming a Christian is an individual response to faith, growing as a Christian is enhanced by fellowship with other Christians. The Christian life was designed not as a solo endeavor but as a fellowship experience, with a church being the primary fellowship.
- SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE – We recognize no governmental control over faith and religious practice. Although Baptist churches obey the laws of governments related to some issues, they refuse to recognize the authority of governments in matters of doctrine, polity and ministry (Matthew 22:21). Baptists have consistently rejected the efforts of any secular government entity to dictate to a church what to believe, how to worship or who should or should not be members.
- SOUL COMPETENCY – We believe every person has the God-given freedom and ability to know and respond to God’s grace and will – including rejecting God or practicing no faith without outside interference or coercion – and make choices that decide their lifestyle and future.