Who We Are
People who attend our church come from all types of different experiences and backgrounds. Some come with no church or religious background at all. Suddenly, they find themselves at a Baptist Church. What does that mean? Many have understood the Baptist church by its common stereotypes, but we can assure you that the West Hartselle family is not your stereotypical church. We are unique. We believe church should be joyful and exciting, yet without compromising the truth of God’s Word, the Bible. We are a Christian evangelical church whose primary purpose is to share the good news of Jesus Christ, disciple new believers and equip them for ministry. Listed below you will find a summary of the essential beliefs that all Christians share and the Baptist beliefs that makes us distinct from other denominations.
1 - The Word of GOD - we believe both the Old and New Testament scriptures as preserved are the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. All complete and sufficient, and are authoritative for faith and practice in the believers relationship with God. (Ps 119:160; Ps 12:6-7; Pro 30:5a; II Tim 3:16; II Pet 1:19-21)
2 - The One True God - the Bible teaches in the one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three distinct persons but without division of nature, essence or being. Co-equal in power and glory and having a distinct ministry in God’s relation to His creation and people. (Gen 1:1; Ex 15:11; Deut 6:4; Ps 83:18; 139:7-9; Matt 28:19; Jn 10:30; 15:26; Acts 5:3-4; II Cor 13:14)
3 - The Lord Jesus Christ - the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Triune God. Jesus is God in flesh, the “God Man”, begotten of the Holy Spirit, was born of the Virgin Mary, was tempted as we are, yet without sin. Being the perfect “Lamb of God” he freely gave His life to redeem the sins of man. He gave himself in death on the cross, bearing the sins of the world, arose from the grave conquering death and ascended into Heaven as the intercessor and the advocate before the Father for all those that will receive Him as Savior. (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:18 - 25; Jn 1:1, 14; 3:16; Gal 4:4, 5; Col 2:9; Phil 2:6-10; I Cor 15:3-7; Heb 4:14 - 17; I Jn 2:1, 2)
4 - The Holy Spirit - we believe the Holy Spirit is the third divine person of the Trinity that instantaneously and supernaturally indwells the hearts of those that receive the Lord Jesus as Savior. He regenerates, seals, anoints, guides, teaches and baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. (Jn 3:5; 14:16, 17, 26; Jn 16:7-14; Rom 8:9; I Cor 12: 12 - 14; II Cor 3:6, 18; Eph 1:13, 14; 5:18; Matt 28:19; I Peter 1:2)
5 - Mankind - man was created in the image and likeness of God. By choice man chose to sin and disobey God and is by inherited nature, born in sin, and sinful. Being born in sin man is alienated from a relationship with God, and is under the condemnation of God with no means of salvation within himself. (Gen 1:27; 2:17; 3:6; Psm 51:5; 58:3; Rom 3:23; 5:12-21; I Cor 2:14; Gal 3:11 )
6 - Salvation by Grace Through Faith - God loves man enough, “ in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”. Man’s salvation and redemption was purchased by the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Christ paid the sin debt for man by his vicarious death. Man’s only obligation is to admit his helplessness in his sin nature, repent of his sins, and by faith trust solely in the finished work of the cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Salvation cannot be earned, it is the “gift of God” to all those that will freely accept it. (Eph 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Jn 1:12; 3:14, 10:28, 29; Rom 8:1; Phil 1:6; II Pet 3:9; I Jn 2:2; I Corin 15: 1 - 4; Rev 22:17 )
7 - Eternal Security - those that trust in the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ are “sealed unto the day of redemption” and eternally saved. (Jn 3:8; Gal 3:24 - 26; I Jn 5: 11-13; Jn 3:16; Jn 6:36-40)
8 - Satan - is literal and personal, was created holy but through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God, cast from Heaven and given limited reign of the earth with evil spirits. Defeated at Calvary, but God allows his devices to be used, but only to bring glory to the Lord Jesus. The Christian has the power of resistance and victory through the Blood of Christ. His doom is certain (Isa. 14:14 - 21, Jn. 16:11; Eph. 2: 1 - 4; Rev. 20: 10)
9 - Heaven and Hell - the Bible teaches there is a literal Heaven being prepared for the saints of God and a literal Hell for those that reject the Lord Jesus. (Jn. 14:1-6, Matt 31 - 34; Rev. 20:11 - 15; Matt 25:41, 45, 46; Luke 16:19-31 )
10 - The Local Church, Baptism, Communion - the Bible teaches the assembling together of Baptized, immersed, believers that worship the Lord in Spirit and truth, in unity and harmony, and without confusion. Each Church is to carry out the “Great Commission” and observe Baptism by immersion, and the taking of the Lord’s Supper. (Acts 2:38, Acts 16: 30-33 1st Corin. 11:23 - 32 I Corin 12:13; Eph 1:22, 23; 4:11-15; Gal 1:22 )
11 - Missions - The Local Church is to actively support the Gospel Message that is carried to the nations abroad, thus having a part in fulfilling the great commission given by the Lord. (Matt. 28: 19 & 20)
12 - Second Coming - The Bible teaches the pretribulational, premillennial and imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. First is the “catching away” of the saints, then a seven year period of tribulation, then the Second Coming of the Lord to rule and to reign the earth for the millennium. (Matt 24:44, John 14:1 - 3, 1st Cor 15: 51 - 57, 1st Thess 4:13 - 18 )
Baptism: Baptism is a picture and an illustration, a symbolic act. Baptism by immersion best illustrates the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf and our subsequent faith in Him. It is not necessary for salvation, but is strongly associated with salvation as it best illustrates our new identity with Jesus Christ.
We Believe in Believer’s Baptism. A person must first exercise faith in Jesus Christ, believing that He died for their sins, was buried, and rose from the dead. An infant or person who does not understand God’s plan of salvation cannot make that kind of commitment. The Scriptural order is belief first followed by baptism. Baptism is limited to those who have personally believed in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Lord's Supper: The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the church. It was instituted when the Lord had the Passover meal before His crucifixion. We observe the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s atonement for our sins. It is a proclamation of His death and an assurance of His second coming. We ask only those who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ to participate in the Lord’s Supper. The elements of bread and grape juice are used as symbols of Christ’s body that was broken and His blood that was shed for the remission of our sins.
1 Corinthians 1:21-32
1 Corinthians 5:11-13
Priesthood of the Believer: Each person is able to come to God for himself or herself. There is no need for a third party to tell a person how to pray, how to interpret Scriptures, or how to vote in church. All believers are ministers or servants of God. Therefore the church does not have a distinctive class of priests. All members are made “priests unto God” by the death of Christ. The church is a holy priesthood chosen by God to offer up spiritual sacrifices. There is only one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 2:5
1 Peter 2:5
Church Government: We believe in the local autonomy of the church. Each church has the right to manage its affairs with no central authority except that of Christ Himself. Freedom does not rule out cooperation. We are a cooperating church with the Southern Baptist Convention. This means that we cooperate with other Baptist Churches in pooling and sharing money for the support of missionaries and ministries at home and around the world. This plan is called the Cooperative Program.