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Statement of Faith

The following statement summarizes the Scriptural beliefs of Faith Christian Fellowship and its members.

The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God. The Scriptures, as originally given, are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21)

The Godhead
We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, coequal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections, yet each having their unique functions. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 14:10, 26; II Corinthians 13:14)

The Father
We believe that God is the Creator of all things visible and invisible, a God of providence and sovereignty, the Author of our salvation through Jesus Christ. Although He is too high and holy to be totally comprehended by the human mind, through Christ we can truly know Him. In redeeming love, He entered into a covenant relationship with Abraham, later with the people of Israel, and now through Jesus Christ has made an eternal covenant in which He offers to the human race the forgiveness of sins and the blessings of divine sonship to all those who will repent and believe. (Psalm 139:7-12; John 1:18; 3:16; 14:26; Romans 8:1-17; II Corinthians 13:14; I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 11:6; I Peter 1:2)

The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; II Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 2:24; I Peter 1:3-5)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; I John 2:1-2)

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14)

We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 1:17-18; 5:18; I John 2:20, 27)

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses various gifts to equip believers within the church in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12)

Creation
We believe that God created the universe in six literal 24-hour days. We reject as unscriptural all theories of origin, including, but not limited to theories of evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution. (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11)

The Doctrine of Man
We believe that God created man and woman in the image and likeness of God, sinless and holy by an immediate act, and with an eternal soul. Then He subjected them to a moral test. They yielded to the temptation of Satan, and by willful disobedience to God, failed to maintain that holy condition in which they were created. By this act of disobedience, depravity and death were brought upon the entire human race. Although the human race has inherited a sinful nature because of Adam’s original sin, yet they do not stand guilty of his disobedience. Those who perish eternally do so only because of their own sin. A most grievous sin is the refusal to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Man as a fallen creature is self-centered, self-willed, rebellious toward God, unwilling to yield to Christ, unable to break the bondage of sin, and is, therefore, under divine judgment.

We believe that as children mature, their sinful nature will be manifest. When they come to know themselves responsible to God, they then must repent and believe in Christ in order to be saved. During their age of innocence, the sins of children are atoned for through the sacrifice of Christ. Jesus Christ Himself assured us that children are in the kingdom of God. (Genesis 1:27, 31; 3:1-19; Matthew 18:1-14; Luke 18:16; Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 4:10)

The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a created being, a fallen angel who rebelled against God. He is the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man.  Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 20:10)

Salvation
We believe that one is saved by the grace of God and not by character, law, good works, or ceremonies. The merits of the death and resurrection of Christ are adequate for the salvation of all, offered to all, and intended for all. However, salvation is appropriated only by faith in Christ. Those who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are born again, adopted into the family of God, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith involves a full surrender of the will, a confident trust in Christ, the giving of self to Him, a joyful obedience to His Word as a faithful disciple, and an attitude of love to all people. It is the privilege of every believer to have the full assurance of salvation through the keeping power of God. As long as the believer lives, he stands in constant need of forgiveness, cleansing, and the grace of Christ. (John 3:16; 10:27-29; Romans 4; Ephesians 2:8-10; I Peter 1:2; I John 1:8-10; 5:13; Jude 24)

The Church
We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is to be made up of born-again persons. (I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27)

We believe the church is the present reality of the Kingdom of God on the earth. While the Kingdom of God in eternity is far greater than the present church, it is our glimpse of the future reality of the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33; Matthew 13:11; Matthew 16:13-19; Luke 12:32; Luke 17:21; Acts 28:30-31; Colossians 1:9-18)

We believe it is the will of God for born-again Christians to identify with and become members of the local body of Christ. (Acts 2:47)

We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)

We believe the church must come under the clear and continuous submission to Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church, and the inspired Word of God (Ephesians 4:4-6; Ephesians 4:11-16; Ephesians 5:23-24; Colossians 2:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27)

We recognize water baptism, and the Lord’s Supper accompanied with foot-washing as Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; I Corinthians 11:23-26)

The Ministers in the Church
We believe Christ authorized the ordination and appointment of men as pastors for the congregations, to expound the Word of God, to feed the flock, to serve as leaders, to administer the ordinances, to exercise scriptural church discipline, and to function as servant leaders of the church. Ordination includes the setting apart for a particular responsibility by the church through the laying on of hands and the invocation of divine strength for the assignment. The early church had bishops, pastors and deacons who were responsible for the leadership and pastoral care of the congregations and the maintenance of order in the church. We believe the New Testament provides us with the pattern of leadership for the continuing life of the church. Since the church is a brotherhood, the organizational structure shall insure the full participation of the members with their spiritual gifts. It is the scriptural duty of the church to give financial support to those whom it asks to serve as evangelists, pastors, and teachers. We believe that there is room within the body for both men and women, in their respective roles, to exercise their individual gifts. (Matthew 23:8; 28:19; Acts 15:6; 20:28; I Corinthians 5:4, 5; 9:14; Ephesians 4:11, 12; Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:1-13; 4:14; Titus 1:5-9; 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 5:2, 3)

Missions
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must be faithful in financially supporting missions in personally sharing the gospel with people of all ethnicities and not wait for them to come to us. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:20)

Stewardship and Giving
We acknowledge that God is the Creator and Owner of all things. We are called to be faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to our care. As stewards of money and possessions, we are to live simply, practice brotherly love within the church, and give generously and cheerfully. Being dependent on God’s providence, we are not to be anxious about the necessities of life, but to seek first the Kingdom of God. We cannot be true servants of God and let our lives be ruled by desire for wealth. We are to be faithful stewards of the time God has given each of us on this earth, using our time wisely and intentionally building the Kingdom of God through the church. (Psalm 24:1, Matthew 6:24-33, Philippians 4:11-12; II Corinthians 8:13-14; James 5:4; II Corinthians 9:7)

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a principle for giving, and that every Christian should give offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that an individual Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the disbursement of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 8:1-6; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17)

Two Kingdoms
We believe there are two opposing kingdoms to which one may give allegiance, that of Christ or that of Satan. Disciples of Christ recognize their temporary residence on earth and therefore give their first allegiance to Christ’s kingdom. Christ’s disciples will want to invest in the things of eternity rather than the temporal pleasures of this earth. Those who belong to Satan’s kingdom live for sin and self, refusing obedience to Christ, instead giving expression to the works of the flesh. (Matthew 6:24-33, John 18:36)

Separation
God’s people are called to be strangers and pilgrims in this world; therefore, we believe that all believers should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. God commands His people to separate from religious apostasy, worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations, and to refrain from immodest appearances. (I Peter 2:11, Romans 12:1-2; 14:13; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; II Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; I Corinthians 6:19-20)

Civil Government
We believe that the civil government is ordained of God to maintain law and order in society. We seek to obey the New Testament commands to render honor to the civil authorities, to pay our taxes, to obey laws which do not come into direct conflict with the higher law of God, and to pray for our rulers. The Christian is responsible to obey the civil laws which are not in direct violation of the higher law of God. The church should also witness to the civil authorities of God’s redeeming love in Christ and of His sovereignty over all men. However, “witnessing to the state” concerning matters affecting domestic or foreign policy is not within the realm of the church’s responsibility. Individual Christians are, however, permitted to speak to civil authorities in the form of pleas for consideration of clemency.

We believe there are more consistent ways of witnessing against public evil than participating in organized marches and coercive public demonstrations directed against actions, laws, or people considered being out of harmony with Christian ethics. We are in proper order to accept protection from the government. We should not initiate court proceedings of a vindictive nature to avenge personal loss. We recognize that the state does not and cannot operate according to the teaching of Christ regarding nonresistance. Nonresistant Christians cannot undertake any service in the state which would violate the principles of love and holiness as taught by Christ and His inspired apostles. (Acts 4:19; 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 1:20-22; 5:23; I Timothy 2:1, 2)

Love and Nonresistance
We believe that it is the will of God for His children to follow Christian love in all human relationships. Such a life of love excludes retaliation and revenge. God pours His love into the hearts of Christians so that they desire the welfare of all men. The supreme example of nonresistance is the Lord Jesus Himself. The teaching of Jesus not to resist him who is evil requires the renunciation by His disciples of all violence in human relations. Only love must be shown to all men. We believe that this applies to every area of life: to personal injustice, to situations in which people commonly resort to litigation, to industrial strife, and to international tensions and wars. As nonresistant Christians we cannot serve in any office which employs the use of force, nor can we participate in military service, or in military training, or in the voluntary financial support of war. But we must be willing, at the risk of life itself, to do whatever we can for the alleviation of human distress and suffering. (Matthew 5:38-48; John 18:36; Romans 5:5; Romans 12:18-21; I Corinthians 6:1-8; II Corinthians 10:3, 4; James 2:8; I Peter 2:23; I Peter 4:1)

Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between believers. (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32)

Symbols of Christian Order
We believe in the order of creation God has fitted man and woman for different functions. Man has been given a primary leadership role; woman is especially fitted for nurture and service. We believe that, in their relation to the Lord, men and women are equal, for in Christ there is neither male nor female. Being in Christ does not nullify their natural endowments, either in the home or in the church. Based on these principles and distinct roles, we believe only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church.

The New Testament symbols of man’s headship are his short hair and uncovered head while praying or prophesying, and the symbols of woman’s role are her naturally long hair and her veiled (covered) head. The acceptance by both men and women of the order of creation in no way limits their freedom in Christ but rather ensures their finding the respective role in which they can most fruitfully and happily serve the Lord. (Genesis 2:18-25; I Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28)

Family Relationships
We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God and that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders of the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)

We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including scriptural and loving physical correction. (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Colossians 3:18-21; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7)

Human Sexuality
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5, 13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1: 26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)

We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman for life. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)

Divorce and Remarriage
We believe that God disapproves of divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Further, we believe remarriage before the death of a spouse is adultery. (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; I Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)

Abortion
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)

Euthanasia
We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Exodus 20.13, 23:7; Matthew 5:21; Acts 17:28)

The Final Consummation
We believe that the Eternal Sovereign God, who created all things and upholds all things by the word of His power, in the fullness of time will gather together all things in Christ. As commanded by Christ and His apostles, we believe the true church in this present age is to witness to the hope of the coming age ushered in by the glorious personal return of Jesus Christ.

We believe, according to the Scriptures, that as the consummation draws nearer, evil men and seducers will become worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, iniquity will abound, false prophets and false christs will arise, and the love of many will grow cold, resulting in widespread apostasy among churches. With confidence in the promise of Jesus, we believe “he that endures unto the end shall be saved.”

We believe that at the glorious appearing of the great God, even our Savior, Jesus Christ, He will put down all enemies and take His appointed place as King of kings and Lord of lords that God may be all in all.

We believe that at death the righteous enter at once into conscious joy and fellowship with Christ, while the wicked are in a state of conscious suffering. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead: the redeemed unto life eternal in the presence of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever to enjoy the riches of His grace; the unredeemed unto eternal death to suffer the righteous wrath of God in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

We believe that in the consummation God will destroy the present cosmos by fire and will create a new heaven and a new earth which will be the eternal habitation of the righteous. God Himself will dwell among them. All sorrow, pain and death will have passed away. (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:34, 41; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:22, 23; John 5:22; I Corinthians 15:24, 35-58; II Corinthians 5:1-4; Philippians 1:23; I Thessalonians 4:13-5:4; I Peter 1:4; II Peter 3:3-13; Revelation 15:3; 21:4; 22:3)

Summary
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible.

This Statement of Faith is the official position of Faith Christian Fellowship and, therefore, all members are committed to live their lives in a way that will uphold these principles.

Adopted November 2008