|What We Believe|
For a complete explanation of the essential beliefs shared by believers in Jesus Christ at New Bridge, please refer to The Baptist Faith & Message, adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, June 14, 2000.
All Scripture references are from the New King James Version.
1. About the Bible: The Bible is God’s Word to us. It is written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is, “What does the Bible say?” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
“knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
2. About God: God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is One God.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’...So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26, 27
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting. You are God.” Psalm 90:2
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
3. About God the Father: The God of the Old Testament does not differ from the God of the New Testament. God the Father is revealed as the Originator of all things, the Father of all true believers.
Father of All Creation:
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” Ephesians 3:14-15
Father of All Believers:
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:15-17
Father Revealed Through the Son:
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things…” Hebrews 1:1-3
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father…’” John 14:9
4. About God the Son: Jesus Christ is, in His very nature, God who took upon Himself human likeness (Philippians 2:6-11). He was born of the Spirit through the virgin Mary. He lived a perfect life entirely without sin, and He laid down His life by taking our sins upon Himself on the cross. He rose from the dead, thereby conquering sin, death, and the grave.
“So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:22-23
“For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given. And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4: 14-15
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
5. About God the Holy Spirit: John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” In John 4:26, Jesus Christ refers to the Holy Spirit as “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name.” The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures and convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3: 17
“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:8-11
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
6. About Human Beings: People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme objects of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:3-5
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from you God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” Colossians 3:9-10
7. About Salvation: 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 self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
8. About Eternal Security: 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 keeping power of God that gives us this security.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:29
“By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:10, 14
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
9. About Eternal Life: People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is called Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
10. About the Local Church: Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have preeminence.” Colossians 1:18
Currently New Bridge partners with other Eastern Henrico churches to support Eastern Henrico FISH. We also partner with other churches in the Richmond area as part of the Richmond Baptist Association (RBA). We are affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
11. About the Priesthood of Every Believer: The priesthood of all believers refers to the believer having access to God. This access is secured by Christ’s gracious work on the cross. The Holy Spirit enables our access. We practice the truth that every member is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place to serve others. Direct access to God comes through prayer and through the Holy Spirit giving an understanding of God’s Word.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.” Hebrews 10:19
“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:18
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
12. About Stewardship & Tithing: Tithing is an act of worship, not a legal requirement. At New Bridge, we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s Body, the church, as God commands. We recognize that we give the “first fruits” (10% of our income) as a Biblical standard of giving. Tithing should be done through the local church of which you are a member.
“ ‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. And try me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will be not room enough to receive it.’” Malachi 3:10
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.” Leviticus 27: 30
13. About Baptism by Immersion: We practice baptism by immersion under water—the way Jesus was baptized and the way the Bible commands. Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus.
“buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12
“When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus was also baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are my beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22
14. About Spirit-controlled living: We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
15. About telling others about Christ: It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those God brings into our lives. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
16. About The Lord’s Supper: We believe that the Lord’s Supper is open to those who have professed their faith in Jesus Christ and for those who have prepared their hearts to receive it. Receiving the Lord’s Supper is a time for self-examination, confession of sins, recommitment to Jesus Christ, and restoration of relationships.
“and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’” 1 Corinthians 11:24-25