About First Church
Welcome to the web page of First Church in York, Pennsylvania. We believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself - baptism as a symbol of entrance into the body of Christ and the Lord's Supper a regular reminder of the death, resurrection, and return of Christ. Baptism symbolizes the believer's death to sin and new life in Christ. Those baptized are done so in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Together they are simultaneously God's pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things.
We believe that the kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God's sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan's dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates through repentance and faith the lives of individuals rescued from that kingdom. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.
About Religious Liberty: God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others.
About Separation of Church and State: We believe that each local church is self-governing, and must be free from interference by any external ecclesiastical or political authority; that every human being is ultimately responsible to God in matters of faith and life; and that each person is free to worship God according to the dictates of his/her conscience. We further believe that governments are established by God; that Christians, as good citizens, should be subject to governing authorities insofar as possible, recognizing our greater allegiance to God and His kingdom in matters wherein human authorities conflict with clear, biblical mandates.