Vietnamese Gospel Baptist Church of Fort Smith, AR is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, a member of Arkansas Baptist State Convention, Concord Baptist Association, and Vietnamese National Baptist Fellowship. We affirm our faith and practices with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Specifically, we believe and teach the followings.
THE TRIUNE GOD
We believe and worship God, who is absolutely and eternally one essence, in three distinct and ordered personal subsistences, who is God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, and who is without division and without replication of the essence. He created all things, and absolutely perfect in all things, including His independence, immutability, infinity, spirituality and individuality, omniscience, omnipotence, truth and faithfulness, goodness, holiness, righteousness and sovereign will.
God the Father is the Father to God the Son, to Israel and to all believers in Jesus Christ; He is first in order of life-giving, in all things, purpose, authority, righteousness, goodness, wisdom, and immortality. He proceeds God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
God the Son is the eternal Son of God, the only begotten Son, the Image of God. Incarnated as Jesus Christ, He is perfect in His dual-nature: the perfect deity and the perfect manhood but without sin. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, and equal ontologically within the Triune God; yet, He submits himself to the Father and proceeds God the Holy Spirit.
God the Holy Spirit is fully God and equal ontologically within the Triune God. He convicts and restrains sins in man; He regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals, and gives spiritual gifts to believers; and He guides, fills, teaches, and enables all those believers who submit themselves in a life of obedience to Him in order to perform the will of God.
THE SINFUL MAN
We believe that man was created by God in His image, granted interpersonal friendship with Him and given freewill, but instead chose to disobey God. Since sin is lawlessness, falling short of and not conforming to the glory of God, every man is a sinner His eyes; thus, the consequence of man's sin is separation from God, and, on his own, suffered spiritual and physical death.
THE ETERNAL SALVATION
We believe that by the grace of God, a person who is convicted by the Holy Spirit to the truth of the Gospel, is saved by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as being the Son of God and for what He has done on the person's behalf, specifically, He has died, buried and resurrected as a substitutionary atonement for the person's sins.
Saving faith requires the sinner to accept the grace of God, which is freely given by trusting solely in Jesus Christ. The act of faith involved three important aspects: (1) intellectually, he objectively and rationally understands certain truth about who Jesus Christ is and what He has done on the sinner's behalf; (2) determinatively, he has a conviction from the Holy Spirit that he is a hopeless sinner needing the grace of God and that God has made a provision for his sins through the death of Jesus Christ; (3) and volitionally, he trusts and depends solely on Jesus for his salvation.
Christ's death on the cross (1) has fully satisfied God's righteous and God's holy wrath against sins of the believing sinner, (2) has fully paid the ransom to release the believing sinner from the bondage of sin so that the believer now belongs exclusively to God, (3) and has fully brought the believing sinner into the spiritual fellowship and moral harmony with God.
At the moment that the sinner believes in Jesus Christ, he instantaneously receives the eternal, spiritual life by God through the Holy Spirit. This one-time event is the sole work of God that Scripture calls "regeneration", or "born-again." As the result, he becomes a new creature and is given new relationships. These relationships include becoming a child of God, gaining victory over sins, the world, and the Devil, belonging with other Christians, and experiencing new abilities such as discernment of truths, intimacy with God, a holy life living for God, and the joyful experience of having the fruit of the Spirit. Furthermore, at the moment of regeneration, the believing sinner is immediately justified by God, meaning that God the Father declares him righteous and free from the eternal condemnation by imputing Christ's righteousness into the believer. The believing sinner is forgiven of all his sins by God, who eternally separates the believer's sins from him and removes them from God's own remembrance, thus cancelling the sinner's debt forever. The believing sinner is also adopted into the family of God in status and position as son with full heir. He is identified with Christ by becoming one with Him judicially, spiritually, and vitally.
Having now received the eternal salvation by the grace of God though the believer's faith, the new Christian is now called to live a life that is pleasing to God. This is a life-long process known as "progressive sanctification." Because he is now a new person, there is something very different about him in relation to his former self; the saved believer is now called into spiritual maturity by submitting himself daily to the Holy Spirit who dwells in him and guides him to obey the Word of God, and by allowing God to separate him apart from sin, ultimately conforming to the image of Jesus Christ so that he may lead a life that is pleasing to God through spiritual service and good works. In light of God's activity in sanctifying Christians, the saved believer ought to respond by submitting himself completely and absolutely to God in every area of life.
We believe that eternal salvation is based on the objective Word of God, the promise of God, and the character of God. Therefore, the believing Christian has full assurance that he is saved and belonging to God forever at the moment that he trusted in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus returns for His believers, all Christians, dead or alive -- by the grace and power of God alone regardless of the believers' own merits -- will ultimately and completely be transformed, body and soul, into the perfect image of Christ. This is the final Christian perfection, where God receives all the glory for Himself.
THE GRACE OF GOD
We believe that the grace of God is a gift, provided freely and without conditions to all those who accept, thereby meeting their needs, showing them favors in which they do not deserve. Grace is the persistent theme in Biblical history, describing the character of God and communicating His sacrificial love for man. Free Grace is NOT cheap grace; it has cost God His only Begotten Son. The grace of God cannot be bought nor mixed with man's merit, man's good works, man's obedience to the Law, nor man's exchange of a promise to be good in his own effort. Eternal Salvation is only by grace though faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Man can never earn God's grace by trying to do good or by trying to be good. By trusting in Jesus Christ alone, man accepts God's grace freely and unconditionally. We all need God's grace.
We believe the whole Bible is the Word of God in that it is inerrant in its historical, grammatical, literary, and moral settings in its original autograph, and that is verbally inspired by God through the Holy Spirit to the human authors to compose and record God's complete standard message to man, and that it is an all-sufficient standard of faith and practice.
We believe that the New Testament Church consists of an elected company of believers, chosen by God in eternity past, established by Christ, came into being at the Day of Pentecost, and baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body in which Jesus Christ is its head. Its mission is to make disciples by witnessing concerning Jesus Christ, by preaching the Gospel among all nations. It is to regularly observe water baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper as commanded by the Lord Himself.
The New Testament Church is called "the bride of Christ", "the people of God", "the holy priesthood", "the holy temple of the Lord", "the branch of the True Vine", "the sheep in the fold of God", "the body of Christ", and an ordered entity with godly leaders appointed by Christ. The New Testament Church is NOT under the Old Testament Law, but that the grace of God is sufficient for the maintenance of the life of obedience to the Word of God.
THE LAST THINGS
We believe that Jesus Christ will come back for His Church personally and physically on the cloud and take her to heaven to be with Him forever.
Then, there will be a seven-year period of tribulation on earth, where national Israel will experience intense persecution, prompting it to repent, call on God and accept Jesus Christ as its Messiah.
Then, Jesus Christ will personally, physically, and visibly return in glory and power to establish His Kingdom on earth, which will last for 1000 years in peace and where the church will rule with Him.
Then, the final judgment comes bringing in everlasting blessedness of the saved to heaven, and the everlasting punishment of the lost in hell.