What We Believe

Before you come to St. Paul Baptist Church for the first time, you might want to know what we believe. And we think that being upfront about who we are and what we're all about is in everyone's best interest. If you have questions about what any of these things mean, we'd love to speak to you more so that we can clarify. You can email questions to stpaul.austintx.gmail.com or speak with one of the deacons.

God - is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He eternally exists in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity). These three are co-equal and are one God. (Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2) Jesus Christ - is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven's glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22, 23; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3, 4; 6:6; 7:4-6; 8:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14, 15) The Holy Spirit - is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer spiritual gifts when they are saved. Christians are to yield to and trust the Holy Spirit to enable them to live holy, loving, and productive lives that bear much fruit and glorify God. (John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; 5:18) Salvation - is God's free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. When we turn from our sin and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. We are saved from hell to be with Jesus forever in Heaven. (John 14:6, 1:12; Romans 5:1; 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5) Repentance - is turning from your sins. There are several lists of sins against God in the New Testament. (Matthew 5:7, Romans 1, 12:14, I Corinthians 6, Galatians 5, Ephesians 4:6, Colossians 3, 1 Thessalonians 5, I Timothy 3, and James) Eternal Security of the Believer - Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot lose it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and power of God that gives us this security. We don't think a person can lose his or her salvation. Salvation is a gift based on the work of Jesus Christ, not our own. (John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5) Eternity - People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or we will exist eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence. (Matthew 25:31-46; John 3:16; 14:17; Romans 6:23; 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; Revelation 20:15) Spiritual Gifts - are special abilities the Holy Spirit gives whenever, wherever, and to whomever He wants. These gifts always glorify Jesus and build up the church. We let the Spirit be in charge of His gifts. (Acts 2, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12:14, Ephesians 4) Divorce and Remarriage - God hates divorce and so do about half the people who go through one. We do not encourage divorce. We encourage reconciliation and restoration of marriage. We recognize divorce as the legal and binding dissolution of a marriage. We do not make marriage, divorce, or remarriage the single qualifying or disqualifying issues for leadership in the church. (Deuteronomy 24, Jeremiah 3, Malachi 2, Matthew 5, 19, Mark 10, Luke 16, 1 Corinthians 7) Angels and Demons - are spiritual beings that work to carry out the purposes of God or Satan. (Daniel 6:22; Matthew 4:10-11; Acts 12:7; Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 1:14) Government - We encourage our members to educate themselves, vote, attend meetings, and get involved in government at all levels. (Romans 13, 1 Timothy 2:1-6) Church Membership - is a commitment between a Christian and a local church, an agreement to support and encourage one another in life and ministry. (Acts 2:41). We do not contact your old church when you join St. Paul Baptist Church. Priesthood of Every Believer - The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to full-time Christian living, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading. (1 Peter 2:5, Revelation 1:6) Tithing to the Local Church - At St. Paul Baptist Church, we practice tithing for the support of Christ's body, the church, in obedience to God's Word. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is a Biblical principle that honors God and requires faith in God as our financial provider. (Proverbs 3:9; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 23:23) Spirit-led Living - We believe the only way to live the Christian life is by trusting in God's Spirit within us. We seek to practice a daily dependence not on ourselves, but on Christ with us to enable us to live holy, loving, and productive lives that bear much fruit and glorify God! (Ephesians 5:18; Philippians 2:13)

Jesus said, "I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing." -John 15:5 Telling Others About Christ – We Believe it is the privilege of every Christian to share the Good News with those whom God brings into our lives. We share our personal experience about Christ and invite friends to church. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."-1 Peter 3:15 THE CHURCH- We Believe that the church is composed of all who have experienced, through faith in Christ, the new birth into the family of God. All true believers are then members of the universal church, the body of Christ. Since the New Testament exhorts believers to gather for such purposes as worship, prayer, fellowship, sharing the Lord's Supper, teaching of the Word, ministry to fellow Christians, and evangelism, the local church is an indispensable part of God's plan for His people and the world. The work of parachurch groups is appreciated, but the local church is God's chosen instrument for both the nurture of Christians and world evangelism. We believe in the spiritual unity of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and in cooperating with one another for the causes of evangelism, social action, and missions.
[ Matthew 16:16-18; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:4-6, 9-16 ] THE BELIEVERS FOUNDATION- We believe that each believer must lay a foundation of Biblical truth and experience upon which he builds his spiritual life of faith. These foundation stones are: repentance from dead works; faith toward God; the doctrine of baptisms; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; and eternal judgment (Heb.6:1-2).

THE NEW BIRTH- We believe the words of Jesus that "ye must be born again"; that being born again signifies the partaking in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (John 3:3-7; 1 Cor. 15:1-4); that "by grace are ye saved, through faith: and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). We further believe that the emphasis for a continual walk in grace should be of heart, righteousness, and purity. We hold that all believers must live pure lives, being examples to both believers and unbelievers (Rom. 4:1-5; 2 Cor. 7:1; Col. 4:5; 1 Thes. 4:12).

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION - We Believe The Lord’s Supper commemorates the death and suffering of Jesus Christ in sacrificing Himself for fallen man. It consists of bread (representing the body of Christ) and the fruit of the vine (representing the blood of Christ). Partaking the Lord’s Supper is an expression of faith in sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor.10:16-17), and is enjoined on all believers until He comes (1 Cor.11:26).

THE UNITY OF THE BODY - We believe that we are one Body being members one of another, and that the basis of our fellowship is in Christ in the power of the Spirit (Psalms 133; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 2:13-22; 4:3-6; Col. 3:15).

THE LOCAL CHURCH - We believe in the autonomy of the local church expression, and adherence to the Scriptural revelation of its life, ministry, and worship (Matthew 18:20; Heb. 10:25; Eph. 4:6; Heb.13:17; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Tim. 3; Heb.13:15; Phil. 3:3; Eph. 5:18-20; Col. 3:16).

THE MINISTRY GIFTS GIVEN TO THE CHURCH - We believe in the ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers given to the church at the ascension of Jesus Christ; and that they continue to be needed and should be expected today. These ministry gifts of men and women that have been recognized and ordained to the Office of Elder, are assisted by ordained Deacons and other ministries who serve this Church Body (Eph. 4:7-12; 1 Cor.12:28; 1 Tim. 3:2-12; Rom. 16:1; Titus 1:5-9; Rom. 12).

THE LAYING ON OF HANDS - We believe in the doctrine of the laying on of hands for:
The ministry of healing to the sick (Mark 16:18).
The blessings and dedication of children (Mark 10:16).

THE NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH- We believe that there shall be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).

The Bible - We believe that the 66 books of the Old and New Testament are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writings. The Scriptures, through the providence of God, have been preserved as the final and supreme authority for faith and life.(Psalms 19:7, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21)

Heaven - We believe in the eternal abode of God and the holy angels, where Jesus intercedes for His people on earth and where the spirits of departed saints await their resurrected, glorified bodies. Heaven is a literal place of conscious awareness upon which all saints enter at death. It is the place from which Jesus will come to receive those saints who are alive at His coming. Heaven is only for those who have put their faith in the atoning work of Christ for their salvation. (Hebrews 12:22-24, John 14:1-3, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Philippians 1:23, 3:20-21, I Thessalonians 4:16-18, Revelation 21:1, 22:5, John 14:6).

Hell- We believe that hell is a literal place of judgment created for the devil and those angels who followed him in his rebellion against God. In the final state, the devil and his demons will spend eternity banished from the presence of God in the Lake of Fire. This same final punishment also awaits all unredeemed people who refuse to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures declare that the torment of all the inhabitants in the Lake of Fire last forever. Prior to the final state, the soul of the unjust at death is condemned to Hades in a state of conscious torment until the resurrection of the unjust. At the resurrection, the disembodied soul is reunited with the resurrected body and cast into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:10, Matthew 25:41, Mark 9:43-48, Revelation 14:11, 20:10, 15, Luke 16:19-31, John 5:29, Revelation 20:11-15)

The Second Coming of Christ- We believe in the literal, visible, personal, pre-millennial, pre-tribulational return of Jesus Christ for His Church. At this event the dead in Christ and living believers will be translated to meet Him in the air. At the end of the seven-year tribulation, Christ will visibly descend with the saints to establish His earthly millennial kingdom. (Acts 1:11, I Thess. 4:13-18, Rev. 20:1-6)

Satan - We believe that Satan was a created being who rebelled against God. As a result, he became depraved, the Devil and adversary of God and His people, a leader of a host of angels who fell with him. Satan has been judged and defeated at the cross and awaits his ultimate doom at the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 14:13-14, Ezekiel 28:13-17, John 16:11, 1 Timothy 3:7, Revelation 20:10 Man - We Believe Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality 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.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11. Baptism - We Believe at the moment of confession we become Christians we are baptized into the body of Christ, and this spiritual baptism is totally sufficient for the believer.
(Mark 1:8; Ephesians 4:4-6; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-12; Luke 3:16; I Peter 3:21)

The physical act of water baptism by immersion after accepting Christ as personal Lord and Savior is not needed for salvation or spiritual standing, but it is a person's testimony of death to sin and resurrection to a new life in Christ.
(Acts 2:28, 8:12, 16, 36-39, 10:47; Matthew 28:16-20)