Gabriel Hughes is a pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, TX. He previously served as senior pastor for 10 years at First Southern Baptist Church in Junction City, KS, before moving to Texas in partnership with Dr. Tom Buck and his ministry.
Gabe is husband to wife, Beki, and father of their five children. He’s also the founder and voice behind the online ministry When We Understand the Text (WWUTT), featuring hundreds of videos addressing a wide range of Bible topics. He hosts a daily podcast with twenty minutes of Bible teaching Monday to Thursday, and Beki joins him on Friday to respond to questions from listeners.
The best way to contact Gabe is through e-mail, [email protected] You may also send a letter to the following address:
First Baptist Church
Attn: Gabriel Hughes
103 E. Van St.
Lindale, TX 75771
Pastor Gabe submits to the counsel and accountability of his fellow elders at the church in which he serves. The following is his statement of faith:
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
I believe that the Holy Bible, made up of the Old and New Testaments, is the only inerrant, sufficient, and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience. It is God-breathed, written by men who, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God. It reveals our sin, God’s plan of salvation, and the principles by which He will judge the world. Therefore the Bible is and shall remain the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
II. OF THE TRUE GOD
I believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, whose name is Yahweh, the sole Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and He alone is worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons which we call the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; co-equal, co-eternal, and un-caused, each with distinct personal attributes but without division of nature, essence, or being.
A. OF THE FATHER
I believe the Father is the first person of the Trinity, not greater than the Son nor the Holy Spirit. As sovereign, He reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, and all wise. Though He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men, He is known affectionately as Father only to those who have been made adopted sons and daughters of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
B. OF THE SON
I believe the Son is the second person of the Trinity, not less than the Father nor greater than the Holy Spirit. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried, and on the third day rose bodily from the dead. He ascended into Heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He shall return to judge the living and the dead. All who believe in Him have everlasting life.
C. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
I believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, not less than the Father nor the Son. He inspired men of old to write the Scripture, and He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ, and convicts men of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He effects regeneration and draws men to the Savior. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows spiritual gifts by which we serve God through His church. He has sealed the believer for the day of redemption.
III. OF THE FALL OF MAN
I believe that God originally created man in His own image, in holiness and free from sin. But through the temptation of Satan, he voluntary transgressed God’s law and fell from that holy and blessed state. In consequence, all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice—being by our nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, inclined to do evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
IV. OF THE WAY OF SALVATION
I believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God. By the appointment of the Father, He freely took upon Himself our human nature, yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death He made a full atonement for our sins. Having risen bodily from the dead, He ascended into heaven where He is now enthroned. The Lord Jesus Christ is very God and very man, and the only way of salvation.
V. OF JUSTIFICATION
I believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to all who believe in Him is Justification—the full acquittal of all sinners who put their faith and trust in Jesus. Justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness. It is bestowed, not by any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood. By virtue of this faith, His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God.
VI. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
I believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the testimony of the gospel, the good news of the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is the immediate duty of all men to believe the gospel by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith. Nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel. By rejecting the gospel imperative to repent and believe, the wrath of God remains on him unto condemnation.
VII. OF GRACE IN REGENERATION
I believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again. Regeneration consists of being given a holy disposition to the mind and heart. It is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, who quickens the dead in trespasses and sins that he may understand the Word of God, and securing his voluntary obedience to the gospel. The evidence of regeneration appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
VIII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
I believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties and inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God in genuine contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy. At the same time, we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King, relying on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.
IX. OF GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE
I believe that election is the eternal purpose of our sovereign God, who has chosen, before the foundation of the world, some persons unto eternal life—not because of foreseen merit in them, but according to His own mercy, to the praise of His glorious grace. This is still consistent with the free agency of man, comprehending the means in connection with the end. Election may be ascertained by its effects in all who believe the gospel. It is the foundation of Christian assurance.
X. OF SANCTIFICATION
I believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness. Sanctification is a progressive work begun in regeneration and carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through the continual use of the appointed means—especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. A saint does not attain perfect sanctification until the day of Christ Jesus.
XI. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS
I believe that those whom God hath redeemed in Christ and sanctified by His Spirit will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but will endure to the end. Although they may fall through neglect and temptation into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach upon the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed to repeantance and kept by God through faith unto salvation and final glory.
XII. OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL
I believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government. It is holy, just, and good. The inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill the precepts of the Law arises entirely from their love of sin. To deliver them from such desire, and to restore them through a Mediator to genuine obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, who redeemed them from all lawlessness and purified them for good works.
XIII. OF A GOSPEL CHURCH
I believe that a visible Church is a congregation of baptized believers who share a confession of faith and fellowship in the gospel. A healthy church is marked by expository preaching of the word of God and the obervation of the ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Its scriptural officers are Pastors, also called Elders, and Deacons, who must not be women but men, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Bible, especially 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus.
XIV. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
I believe that the two ordinances of our Lord Jesus Christ are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, in which our Lord Himself partook and instructed us, His disciples, to continue. These ordinances are to be observed by His Church until the end of the world. They are governed by Scripture and shared by the gathered visible Church. The proper administration of regenerate membership and Church discipline are upheld by the right and biblical exercise of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
A. I believe that Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, required of every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is a sign of fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of having been buried with Christ in baptism and risen to walk in newness of life. Baptism is a prerequsite to church fellowship, which we may also define as membership, and participation in the Lord’s Supper.
B. I believe that the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine. The bread represents His body broken for us, and the cup represents the new covenant in His blood, spilled for the forgiveness of sins. The Lord’s Supper is in no sense a sacrifice but a remembrance—to commemorate His death, to confirm our faith, and to be a bond, pledge, and renewal of communion with Christ and with His Church.
XV. OF THE LORD’S DAY
I believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, a day of Sabbath rest to be kept sacred for religious purposes. On this day, we set aside worldly labor and amusements so that we may gather as the Church, to devoutly observe all the means of grace, both private and public. Through the preaching of the word and the singing of praise, we prepare for that eternal rest that remains for the people of God in Jesus Christ, who is Lord of the Sabbath and our Sabbath rest.
XVI. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
I believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society. The magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the King of every ruling authority on earth. The freedom to exercise our Christian convictions, governed by Scripture, is not granted to us by the state, but by God, who reigns supreme.
XVII. OF MARRIAGE, FAMILY, AND THE SOCIAL ORDER
I believe that God made from one man every nation of mankind, but through that one man sin entered into the world, and so all have sinned. Therefore every nation, society, and social institution, being comprised of sinners, are corrupt and imperfect. Nonetheless, God made us relational beings, having ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society and marriage as eminent for family. Christians are to live in subjection to Christ in every social sphere.
A. I believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for life. Designed and defined by God, marriage reveals the union between Christ and the Church, and is the means for sexual expression and procreation. A husband is the head of his wife and is to love his wife as Christ loved the church; a wife is to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ. Father and mother are to be honored, and children are to obey their parents in the Lord.
B. I believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. God made man in His own image, male and female He created them. A person’s sex is effected at conception and remains immutible. By design, men are generally the stronger sex and women the weaker. Where men and women value life and fulfill the order and duties of their natural and respective funcitons and designs, society flourishes. But where men and women do what is contrary to nature, society falls.
C. I believe that Christians must seek the will of Christ as supreme in their own lives and in society, opposing partiality, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. Every Christian should desire to bring society under the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love as defined by Christ in His Word. As we have opportunity, let us show charity to all, especially to the Church.
XVIII. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
I believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. Only those who are justified by faith in the Son, adopted as sons or daughters by the Father, and sanctified by the Spirit, are truly righteous in His esteem—while all who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse. This distinction holds among men and women both in and after death. May the gospel of Christ be proclaimed to all without prejudice.
XIX. OF CREATION
I believe that in the beginning, the world, the universe, and all things contained therein, seen and unseen, were created by God in six days, and then He rested from His work on the seventh. The first man and woman were created on the sixth day. All things were made perfect until man sinned, and God removed man from paradise and subjected all creation to futility under a curse. The consequence for sin became death, which comes to every person until the return of Christ.
XX. OF THE END
I believe that the end of the world is fast approaching, on a day and hour no one knows but God. On the last day, Christ will descend from heaven, and He will raise the dead from the grave to final retribution. A solemn separation will then take place—the wicked will be condemned to endless punishment, and the righteous will be welcomed to endless joy. This judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness by the Lord Jesus Christ.
When We Understand the Text: A Confession of Faith was written in 2020 and revised in 2022 by Gabriel Hughes; who began with the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, 1833, as a starting point; influenced also by the London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689; the Baptist Faith and Message, 2000; the Abstract of Principles; and the Apostles Creed (under the article on the Son).