What does it mean to be part of a church?
Joining a local church is such an important step in following Christ. God made us to live in community with one another doing life together! We encourage and edify each other. We keep each other accountable to living a godly life. We love and support each other. Membership means that you affirm the teachings of Scripture and place your faith in Jesus. At First Baptist Newtown, every member meets two important criteria:
1. Every member is a follower of Jesus Christ.
We believe that the church is not a building but a body of committed followers of Jesus Christ doing life together. The first and most important step in any person’s life is receiving Jesus Christ as personal Lord, Savior, and Shepherd.
2. Every member has been baptized by Immersion as a Believer.
Baptism does not contribute to a person’s salvation but it is very important because Jesus commanded us to do it. Jesus himself was baptized, giving us an example, and then commanded that we follow after we become believers. Baptism is highly symbolic of a new believer leaving his or her former life in sin and embracing new life found in Jesus Christ. Scripture clearly indicates immersion (or being placed fully underwater) as the type of baptism practiced by the early church. We are distinctively baptist, meaning that baptism is an important doctrine to our church.
What is Baptism all about?
- Jesus commanded it. (Matthew 28:19-20).
- It is a significant Milestone. Baptism is a point in your life when you make your walk with Jesus Christ public. It is a milestone to remember in your path of following God.
- You identify with Christ’s burial and resurrection from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)
- You declare your new life as a Christian. In the years following Jesus’ resurrection, the early church would baptize new believers in a river or lake. Before entering the water, the new believer would take their outer garment off. They would be baptized and then given a new outer garment when they came out of the water. This act was symbolic of the passing of the old life and the person being made new in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
- Jesus was baptized by immersion (Matthew 3:16).
- Every Baptism in the Bible was by immersion (Acts 8:38-39).
- The Greek word baptizo literally means, “to immerse.”
- We believe the Bible is the Word of God, written through men by God. It tells us who God is, what He loves and hates, what He has done, is doing, and will do, how we can be made right with Him, and how we should live. It does not have any mistakes and it is a certain foundation for our faith.
- We believe God is one God who is at the same time three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Human beings were made by the triune God to worship and glorify Him. He is completely good and holy. He knows all things in the past, in the present, and in the future perfectly. God the Father adopts people into His family through faith in Jesus Christ. God the Son is fully God and also fully man and was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, died as a substitution for all who believe in Him, was raised back to life in a perfect body, and went up to Heaven where He is today with the Father. God the Holy Spirit lives in everyone who has been spiritually reborn and trusted in Jesus alone, and He comforts Christians and helps them to be more and more like Jesus.
- We believe every human being is made in the image of God. But because of the sin of the first human being Adam, we are each born spiritually dead in sin and we cannot change that by ourselves. The only one who can make you love God is God, and this is why Jesus said no one can even see His real Kingdom unless they are born again. When someone has been reborn and truly believed in Jesus, they are not made morally perfect but they do turn away from their sins and turn towards God; God’s Bible calls this turning “repentance.”
- We believe that the only way someone can have eternal life with God is by God’s grace through his faith in Jesus Christ alone. There is nothing any of us can do to earn eternal life or a place in Heaven. Everyone who has truly trusted in Jesus Christ alone will be kept by God to the end, and everyone who does not truly trust in Jesus Christ alone will spend eternity apart from Him in Hell suffering His good anger, what His Word calls His “wrath,” for their sins.
- We believe that Jesus Christ will return and that then God will judge every human being who has ever lived. Each person who has put his trust in Jesus will not only receive eternal life but a body that cannot die or be broken, and each of those people will live with God forever in a new creation that has no evil, death, or suffering.
- We believe God is making a people for Himself called “the church,” and that there individual local churches that make up that larger group of people. Those churches should be led by Christlike men who know God and His Word called “pastors” or “elders,” and every Christian who makes up these churches is given gifts by God’s Holy Spirit to help them be blessed and healthy.
We are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, and Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. We hold to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message which can be found if you follow this linked page: