Doctrinal Statement

Introduction

The following document outlines the position of Faith Bible Church’s Elders on biblical doctrines.  It is recognized that there will be those who choose to fellowship with us who do not agree in all points with our doctrinal teaching position.  We welcome these to participate freely with us, yet at the same time cannot permit doctrines to be taught within our body that are contrary to what we believe the Bible communicates.

The elders have purposefully written this document in an annotated outline format in order to keep it short and make it a tool that people can use for doctrinal questions.  It is our prayer that this document will not be a replacement for study, but instead will encourage our body to greater study of the Word and a more accurate understanding of God and the application of His truth.

The Bible

The inspired Scriptures contain the 66 books of the Old and New Testament and were finished with the completion of the New Testament (1 Cor 14:37; 2 Tim 3:16-17; Jude 3; Heb 1:1-2, 2:3-4; 2 Pet 3:15-16; Rev 22:18,19).

A. Revelation

Revelation is God’s disclosure of Himself to mankind.

1. General Revelation

God’s foundational revelation based on creation and demonstrated in history, nature, providence and the conscience. General revelation presents evidence of God’s existence, character and moral law (Rom 1:18-20; Ps 19:1-6; Rom 2:14-15; Matt 5:45; Acts 14:17, 17:24-27).

a. It is general in that it is truth that is set before all humanity (Rom 1:17-18, 2:14-15). To call it “general” does not mean that it refers to all truth. There are things which are true which are not general revelation.

b. It is so clear and irrefutable that it is known intuitively by all human beings (Rom 1:19; Ps 19:1-6). It is misleading to assign the category of “revelation” to humanly deduced or discovered facts or theories (example: Psychology). If something is revelation, then God said it, and it is truth: when God speaks truth we don’t evaluate or test it, we just obey it.

c. It is authoritative truth that condemns rejecters for all eternity (Rom 1:20).

2. Special Revelation

God’s special revelation, which presents God’s plan for mankind’s redemption, is found only in Christ and the Bible (John 1:1, 14-18; Heb 1:1-2; Rom 1:16).

a. Special Revelation is Progressive

Throughout human history in the context of time, God revealed more and more of His person, character and will.  Though in history, God did modify how he dealt with specific people in line with His sovereign plan, no previous revelation was ever contradicted (Heb 1:1-2).

B. Inspiration

The Holy Spirit worked through the individual personalities and different styles of the human authors, so that they composed and recorded God’s Word to man. Inspiration extends to the very selection of the words of Scripture (2 Pet 1:20-21; 2 Tim 3:16-17; Gal 3:16).

C. Inerrancy

The Scriptures are absolutely without error in any part in the original (Isa 30:8; Matt 5:18; John 10:35; 2 Tim 3:16).

D. Interpretation

1. Each passage of Scripture has one intended meaning, which is found by applying the grammatical-historical-literal method of interpretation.  Our goal is to find that meaning and its life application (Neh 8:8; 2 Tim 2:15).

2. The Holy Spirit helps the believer to understand and apply the Scriptures (John 7:17; 1 Cor 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20).

3. Unbelievers may be able to accurately determine the meaning of a passage of Scripture, however they, due to the depravity of unregenerate man, will be unable to accept it as truth or apply it to their lives (Rom 1:21; 1 Cor 2:14).

E. Authority

Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith and practice for individual believers and for the church, being objective, propositional revelation in which every word is verbally inspired by God (2 Tim 3:15-17; Heb 4:12; 2 Pet 1:3; 1 Thess 2:13).

F. Completion of the Canon of Scripture

The inspired Scripture (the Canon) contains the 66 books of the Old and New Testament. No church council or group of men made certain books canonical (inspired). Rather, these 66 books were recognized as clearly inspired by God.

1. The primary issue for inclusion into the canon was authorship. During the two primary times when God gave written revelation (OT & NT), the main issue was whether or not the author was a spokesman for God: an Old Testament prophet or a New Testament apostle (2 Pet 1:20-21; Heb 2:3-4; Eph 2:20).

2. The writers of Scripture recognized the divine inspiration of their writings (Jer 1:4; Ezek 3:10-11; Amos 7:15-17; 1 Cor 14:37; 1 Thess 2:13; 2 Pet 3:15-16).

3. The New Testament writers recognized the Old Testament as Scripture (Luke 24:44; John 10:35; Rom 15:4; 1 Cor 15:3; Gal 3:8; 2 Tim 3:16-17).

4. Since the completion of the New Testament, God has given no further written revelation.

• All things necessary for the Christian faith were revealed in the Old Testament  & New Testament (Jude 3; 2 Tim 3:16-17).

• God’s special revelation was at two times only – the Old Testament and the New Testament (Heb 1:1-2).

• There are serious consequences for those who add to or subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19; Deut 4:2; 12:32; Prov 30:6).

God

A. Existence of God

1. There is one living and true God (Deut 6:4; Isa 45:5-7).

2. Scripture assumes the eternal existence of God (Deut 6:4; Isa 45:5-7; Ps 93:2, 102:27).

3. God is personal, spirit, infinite and perfect (John 4:24; 1 Tim 1:17; Acts 17:28).

B. Attributes of God

Though no list could be complete, God is described as:

1. Creator (Gen 1:1-31; Eph 3:9; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11).

2. Self-Existent (John 5:26; Rom. 11:36; Exod 3:14).

3. Sovereign (Ps 115:3; Isa. 45:4; Jer 32:17; Matt. 19:26; Rom. 11:36).

4. Unchanging (Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17).

5. Perfect (Matt 5:48; Ps 18:30; Heb 1:13).

6. Eternal (Ps 90:2; Isa 46:10; 2 Pet 3:8).

7. Unlimited by Space (1 Kgs 8:27; Ps 139:7-10; Jer 23:24).

8. Holy (Job 34:10; Isa 6:1-3; Matt 5:48).

9. Infinite in Knowledge (Ps 139:1-6; Isa 42:8-9; John 6:64).

10. Truthful (Num 23:19; Rom 3:4; Heb 6:18; 2 Tim 2:13).

11. Gracious (Matt 5:45; Rom 3:24; Eph 2:8-9).

12. Loving (John 3:16; Rom 5:8).

13. Merciful (Luke 6:36; Rom 11:32; Titus 3:5).

14. Righteous (Ps 119:137, 145:17; Hab 1:13).

15. Just (Rom 2:6-8; Rom 1:18).

16. Patient (Rom 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9).

C. As Triune (also called ‘the Trinity’)

1. Unity

God is one in essence, eternally, simultaneously and indivisibly existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Isa 48:16, 61:1; Gen 1:1-2; Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; Jas 2:19).

2. Diversity

a. God the Father is:

1) The first person of the Trinity.

2) The Father over all creation (Acts 17:29; 1 Cor 8:6; Heb 12:9; Jas 1:17).

3) The Father of Christ (John 2:16-17, 17:5, 17:24; Acts 13:33; Col 1:15).

4) The Father of believers (Matt 6:8-9; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6).

b. Jesus Christ is:

1) The second person of the Trinity.

2) Deity-i.e. fully God (John 1:1-51, 10:30, Heb 1:3).

3) God incarnate yet fully man (Phil 2:5-11, Col 2:9).

4) Virgin born (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:25; Luke 1:26-35).

5) Sinless (Luke 1:35; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15).

6) The One who voluntarily gave up His life as a substitute to redeem mankind (Rom 3:25, 5:8; 1 Pet 2:24).

7) The Resurrection-He was literally and physically resurrected, ascended to the right hand of the Father, the believer’s Advocate & High Priest (Matt 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Heb 7:25, 9:24).

8 ) The Head of the Church (Eph 1:22, 5:23; Col 1:18).

c. The Holy Spirit is:

1) The third person of the Trinity.

2) A person, not merely a force (John 14:26; 16:13).

3) Deity-The Holy Spirit is fully God (Acts 5:3,4; Heb 9:14; 1 Cor 2:10; Ps 139:7-10).

4) Involved in Salvation-At salvation, the Holy Spirit regenerates, baptizes, indwells, sanctifies, distributes gifts, instructs, empowers and seals (1 Cor 3:16, 12:7, 11, 13; John 16:8-11; Rom 8:9; Eph 1:13; Titus 3:5).

5) Inspiration- The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21).

6) Illumination-The Holy Spirit causes believers to understand God’s Word (1 John 2:20, 27).

7) The Indwelling God- Christ in us (Rom 8:9, 13; 1 Cor 3:16; Eph 3:16).

D. As Father

1. As Designated within the Trinity

The three persons of the Trinity each have unique designations, which denote relationship, not inferiority (1 Cor 11:3; 1 Pet 1:3).

a. The Father is not begotten, nor does He proceed from any person.

b. The Son is eternally begotten from the Father (John 3:16).

c. The Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 14:26, 16:7).

The Father is coequal and consubstantial (‘of the same substance’) with Jesus and the Spirit (Isa 48:16, 61:1; Matt 28:19; Acts 5:28ff.; 2 Cor 13:14; Titus 2:13; 2 Pet 1:1).

2. In Relation to Mankind

The Father is the one who created, and continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures & events perfectly (Job 42:2; Ps 115:3; Eph 4:6).

a. In eternity past, the Father specially chose some to be adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ (Rom 8:15; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 1:3-5).

b. As Father, God disciplines those whom He loves for growth in holiness and righteousness (Deut 8:5; Heb 12:6-11).

Jesus Christ

A. Old Testament Appearances of Christ

1. The Angel of the Lord

a. The angel of the Lord in the Old Testament refers to Himself as God and does the works of God (Gen 22:1-12; Exod 3:2-6; Judg 13:18-22)

b. The Father and the Spirit never take bodily form (John 1:18).

c. The Angel of the Lord no longer appeared after the Incarnation.

2. As a Man

There are several instances in the Old Testament where Christ takes on the physical form of a man (Gen 18:1-2; Gen 32:24; Josh 5:13).

B. Old Testament Prophecies of Christ

There are numerous Old Testament prophecies that were specifically fulfilled in Christ’s first coming (Gen 3:15; Isa 7:14; Mic 5:2; Ps 118:22; Ps 22:1-31; Isa 52:1-15, 53:1-12).

C. The Incarnation

1. Jesus voluntarily set aside the rights and privileges of deity and took on the limitations of humanity, often termed the condescension and humiliation of Christ. (Phil 2:5-9; John 1:14; John 6:51; John 17:5; 2 Cor 8:9).

2. This included Christ’s voluntary restriction of the full expression of His divine rights and attributes (Kenosis).

3. This also involved the unique combination of full deity and true humanity in the person of Christ (Hypostatic Union).

D. Deity

1. Christ Explicitly Claimed to be God (John 1:1, 14; John 8:58-59, 10:30-33; Phil 2:6; Heb 1:3, 8).

2. Christ was called by Divine Names (Matt 1:23; Joel 2:32; Rom 10:13; Isa 9:6-7).

3. Christ has Divine Attributes.

a. Eternal (Mic 5:2; John 8:58; Rev 22:13).

b. All Powerful (Matt 28:18).

c. All Knowing (John 16:30).

d. Unchanging (Heb 13:8).

4. Christ did Divine Works.

a. Creation (John 1:3; Col 1:16).

b. Forgave Sins (Matt 9:2).

c. Raised the Dead (John 11:25).

5. Christ willingly Received Worship (John 5:23; John 20:28; Phil 2:9-11).

6. Jesus is coequal and consubstantial (‘of the same substance’) with the Father and the Spirit (Matt 28:19; Acts 5:28ff.; 2 Cor 13:14; Titus 2:13; 2 Pet 1:1).

E. Humanity (Sinless)

1. Christ had to be man to fully represent fallen humanity (1 Cor 15:21-22; 1 Tim 2:5; Heb 2:17, 10:5-7).

2. He had a Human Birth [virgin] (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23; Gal 4:4; Matt 1:2-15).

a. Born through the direct action of the Holy Spirit without a human father, in accordance with prophecy (Isa 7:14; Luke 1:35; Matt 1:18).

b. By this divine action, Jesus was born without a sin nature and was thereby the perfect sacrifice and high priest (1 Pet 2:21-22; Heb 4:15; Hab 1:13).

3. He had Human Growth (Luke 2:52; Phil 2:5-8).

4. He had Human Functions & Emotions (John 11:35; John 19:28; Luke 24:39).

5. He had Perfect Humanity (Luke 1:35; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15).

6. He has Eternal Humanity (Luke 24:39; I Tim 2:5; Acts 17:31).

F. The Temptation of Christ

Christ was incapable of sinning, because his deity was not subordinate to the weakness of humanity.  The coequality of His human and divine natures prevented it.

1. The Reality of Christ’s Temptation

a. Temptation does not demand the ability to sin (Luke 4:1-13; Heb 4:15).

b. The purpose of temptation wasn’t to see if Christ could sin, but to show that He could not sin (1 Pet 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

c.  The Holy Spirit initiated Christ to enter the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.  If Jesus could have sinned, then the Holy Spirit solicited Him to sin (Matt 4:1; Jas 1:13; Hab 1:13).

2. The Absence of Potential to Sin

a. Christ only does what the Father does. Therefore to say Christ could sin would demand that God the Father could sin as well (John 5:19).

b. Christ could not sin in eternity past nor eternity future and thus not during His temptation on earth. If it was possible for Christ to sin while on earth, then He could still sin now (Heb 13:8).

c. Christ perfectly knew all the ramifications of sin. Sin depends on ignorance so that people are deceived (John 16:30).

d.   If Jesus were only a man like Adam, He would have had the potential to sin. But because He was 100% God and 100% man and both natures make up One Person, He couldn’t have sinned.

e. The Perfect Human Nature of Christ. Temptation works in humans because it calls on the inner sin nature to respond to the outward temptation. Yet Jesus didn’t possess a sin nature, and so there was nothing within Him to respond to temptation.

G. The Resurrection

1. Significance

Our entire salvation is dependent on the resurrection of Christ (Rom 4:25; Rom 10:10; 1 Cor 15:17; I Pet 1:3).

2. Evidence

a. The missing body (Matt 28:6; John 20:6-8).

b. The testimony of the guards (Matt 28:11-12).

c. The eye witnesses (Luke 24:39; Acts 3:15; I Cor 15:6).

d. The Transformation of the disciples (John 18:15-27; Acts 2:1-47).

3. The Work of the Trinity

All three members of the Trinity were involved in the resurrection
(John 10:18; Gal 1:1; Rom 8:11).

H. Christ’s Glorification

Christ was restored to His former state of full and unrestricted deity (John 17:5; Heb 1:3; Phil 2:9).

I.  The Present Ministry of Christ

1. Christ intercedes for believers (Rom 8:34).

2. Christ helps the believer when tempted (Heb 2:18).

3. Christ is the believer’s mediator (Heb 10:19; 1 Tim 2:5).

4. Christ nourishes and cares for the Church (Eph 5:29).

5. Christ is preparing a place for His children (John 14:2).

Holy Spirit

A.  A Person

1. The Spirit has attributes of personality, such as intellect, emotion and a will (Rom 8:27; 1 Cor 2:10ff; Eph 4:30; Acts 16:6; Heb 10:29).

2. He performs actions according to his personality (John 14:26, 15:26; Acts 8:29, 39; Rom 8:26).

3. Masculine pronouns are always used to refer to the Spirit (John 16:13, 15:26; Rom 8:26).

B.  Deity

1. The Spirit is explicitly claimed to be God (Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor 3:17).

2. Divine names are used of the Spirit (Isa 48:16, 61:1; Rom 8:9-10; 1 Cor 6:11).

3. The Spirit has divine attributes.

a. Omnipresence (Ps 139:7).

b. Omniscience (1 Cor 2:11).

c. Eternality (Heb 9:14).

d. Truthfulness (1 John 5:7).

4. The Spirit does divine works.

a. Creation (Gen 1:2).

b. Salvation (John 3:5-7).

c. Inspiration (2 Pet 1:21).

5. The Spirit is coequal and consubstantial (‘of the same substance’) with the Father and the Son (Matt 28:19; Acts 28:25ff; 2 Cor 13:14; Heb 10:15-17).

C. The Past Ministry of the Spirit

1. In Old Testament Saints

a. The Holy Spirit has always been active in the salvation and rebirth of God’s people (John 3:5, 10).

b. The Holy Spirit abided ‘with’ the Old Testament saints, but not ‘in’ (Ezek 36:27; John 7:39, 14:17).

c. Sanctification has always been from God, and never possible by the work of men (Exod 31:13; Lev 20:8; Rom 8:7-8; 1 Cor 1:30-31; Heb 2:11).

d. The Spirit also specially enabled men of God’s choosing for certain acts (Exod 31:2-5; Num 27:18; Judg 3:9-11; 1 Sam 16:13-14).

2. In the Inspiration of Scripture

The Spirit of God guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2 Pet 1:21; Acts 1:16; 1 Pet 1:10-12).

3. At Pentecost

a. The Spirit was promised by God (Ezek 36:27; Joel 2:28-29; Luke 24:49; John 14:16-17, 15:26; Acts 1:5, 2:33).

b. The Spirit came to initiate and complete the building up of the Church and to testify to the Gospel message (Acts 2:4, 16ff, 5:32; John 14:26, 16:13-15; Eph 2:21-22; Heb 2:1-4; 2 Pet 1:21).

c. The Spirit came to indwell believers as promised (John 14:17; Rom 8:9-11; Jas 4:5).

D. The Present Ministry of the Spirit

1. In Salvation

a. The Holy Spirit draws the believer to God and regenerates him (John 3:5; 2 Thess 2:13; Titus 3:5-6).

b. He incorporates (baptizes) the believer into Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13; Rom 6:4).

c. He seals the believer as a guarantee until redemption (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13, 4:30).

d. The Spirit distributes gifts to believers at time of belief (1 Cor 12:7, 11).

• See Implications for Life – “Spiritual Gifts”

2. In Sanctification

a. He bears fruit in the life of the elect (Gal 5:22-23; 1 Pet 1:2).

b. He gives testimony to the elect of their salvation (Rom 8:16).

c. He teaches spiritual things to the believer (1 Cor 2:12; 1 John 2:27).

d. He can control and guide the believer (Rom 8:14; Gal 5:16; Eph 5:18).

e. He prays for the believer to God (Rom 8:26).

3. In the World

The Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8ff).

Man

A.  Created

1. Man was created in the image of God with an intellect, emotion and will, during the course of a literal 24-hour day (Gen 1:1-31).

a. Jesus is called “the image of God” in reference to His divine nature (2 Cor 4:4; Heb 1:2-3).

b. So, in man, “the image” is that which corresponds to God’s divine nature (will, emotion, intellect, self-consciousness, rationality, morality, spirituality) and separates man from animals.

c. “The image of God” (imago dei) remains in man, though corrupted by sin (1 Cor 11:7; Jas 3:9-10).

d. So, the perfecting of our original “image” remains to be done (1 Cor 15:49; 2 Cor 3:18).

2. God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female (Gen. 2:20-22; Matt. 19:4-6).

a. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27).

b. The rejection of one’s biological sex is thereby a rejection of God’s design and image within that person.

3. Man was created totally free of sin (Gen 2).

4. Mankind’s primary reason for being is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever  (Isa 43:7; Col 1:16).

• See Implications for Life – “Creation”

5. God made woman for man, to be his perfect companion, joined together in marriage, so that mankind would fill the earth, subdue it and rule over it (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25).

6. As image-bearers, all of human life has inestimable value and worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death (Ex. 4:11; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:15).

a. We are therefore called to defend, protect and value all human life (Gen. 9:6; Ps 139:13-16).

B.  Fallen

1. When tempted by Satan, Adam rebelled against God and disobeyed (Gen 3:12; Ps 14:1-3, 51:5).

2. Adam’s sin resulted in spiritual and physical death (Gen 2:16-17, 3:1-19).

3. Man became inherently corrupt and incapable of pleasing God (Isa 64:6; Rom 3:23, 6:23; 1 Cor 2:14; Eph 2:1-3; 1 Tim 2:13-14).

C.  Total Depravity

1. Unregenerate man is fundamentally evil to the core of his being. There is no part of us that is left untouched by sin. Our minds, wills and bodies are affected by evil (Eccl 7:20; Jer 17:9; Eph 2:1-3, 4:17-19; Rom 7:14, 7:23).

2. The Scriptures reject the false idea that all people struggle with sin yet are inherently good. From the point of conception all mankind is sinful in every aspect of his being (Rom 3:23; Ps 51:5).

3. Total depravity is not utter depravity. We are not as wicked as we possibly could be (Isa 64:6).

4. Only by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit may we be brought out of this state of spiritual death. It is God who makes us alive as we become His workmanship (Jer 13:23; Rom 8:11; Eph 2:1-10; Titus 3:5; 1 John 1:8-10).

• See Implications for Life – “The Problem of Evil”

D.  Free Will

1. Man has a free will in that God has given him the capacity to choose that which he desires (Deut 30:19-20; Matt 11:28; Rom 10:21; John 7:37).

2. No unregenerate human being desires God. Because we can only choose according to our desires, we always choose to sin (Ps 14:1-3; Mark 7:21-23; John 8:34; Rom 8:5-8).

3. Fallen human beings have free will but lack true liberty. The royal liberty of which the Bible speaks is the freedom or power to choose Christ as our own. Until our heart is changed by the Holy Spirit, we have no desire for Christ (John 6:44, 65; Rom 3:11; Jas 1:13-15).

4. For us to choose Christ, God must change our heart.  He gives us a desire for Himself that we otherwise would not have. The unregenerate are never forced against their will. Rather, a person’s will is changed without his/her permission when God transforms the disposition of the heart and plants a desire for Himself within (Prov 5:22; John 6:44, 65; 15:16; Rom 6:20; Eph 2:4-10; 2 Thess 2:13-14; 2 Tim 2:25, 26; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:3).

D. Redeemable

Unlike the rest of God’s created beings (angels and animals) mankind is redeemable from his sin through the death of Christ (Rom 5:8-10, 18; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).

Salvation

Salvation is that gracious act of God, where, through the atoning blood (death) of Christ, He redeems and reconciles certain individuals to Himself. Salvation is not on the basis of merit or works (John 1:12, 3:3; Rom 3:24, 8:15, 23; Gal 4:4-7; Eph 1:7, 2:8-10; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15; 1 Pet 1:18-19; 2 Pet 1:4).

A.  Regeneration

1. Regeneration is that instantaneous work of the Holy Spirit through the truth of the Word of God, which enables persons to believe the Gospel and imparts new life to them (John 1:13, 3:3-8; Rom 10:17; 2 Cor 5:17; Titus 3:5; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23; 1 John 2:29).

2. Regeneration will result in good works and a transformed life (1 Cor 6:19-20; Eph 2:10).

B.  Election

1. That eternal act of God whereby, solely on the basis of His sovereign will and for the purpose of His glory, He chose certain persons, who had no merit, to be the recipients of His special grace and eternal salvation (Mark 13:27; Rom 8:28-33, 9:6-23; Eph 1:4-11, 2 Thess 2:13).

2. God’s sovereign election is consistent with mankind’s accountability to respond to His calling (Deut 30:19; Matt 11:28; John 6:37, 44; Acts 13:48; Rom 10:21).

C.  Saving Faith

Saving faith is that gift of God which brings a person into intimate relationship with Christ (Rom 10:9-10). It is based on God’s grace rather than a person’s works and when genuine has several main aspects (Acts 3:16; Eph 2:8-9p; Phil 1:29; 2 Pet 1:1).  These are not “steps” a person must work through, but are elements that will be present as a total package when there is true saving faith.

– Knowledge of the Facts—Faith must be based on the facts of the Gospel found in the Word of God (Rom 10:17; 1 Cor 15:3-5; 2 Tim 3:15).

– Assent to this Knowledge—A person must agree that the facts of the Scriptures are true (Heb 11:6).

– Repentance—Saving faith includes a turning from sin and turning towards God (Acts 2:38; Acts 20:21; Acts 26:20; 1 Thess 1:9-10; 2 Cor 7:10-11).

– Submission to Christ—True saving faith implicitly involves a subjection to the person and will of Christ with a desire and willingness to know, love and obey Him (Rom 10:9; Luke 6:46; John 3:36, 17:3, 20:28; Acts 2:36; Phil 2:9-11; Rev 19:16; Jas 2:1-26).

• See Implications for Life – “Understanding Salvation.”

D. Justification

1. The act of God whereby He declares righteous those who believe in Christ (Rom 3:20, 5:1, 8:33; Phil 3:9).

2. It is apart from any virtue or work (Col 2:14; 1 Pet 3:18).

3. The believer’s sin is imputed to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to the believer (Col 2:14; 1 Pet 3:18; Rom 4:6; 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21).

E. Sanctification

1. Position – The act of God, whereby the believer is made positionally holy and perfect through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor 1:2, 30, 6:11; Heb 2:11).

2. Process – The Holy Spirit’s ministry of progressively bringing the believer into conformity with the character of Christ, in obedience to the Word of God (John 17:17,19; 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 5:26; Rom 8:29).

3. Perfection – That act of God which occurs when a believer gets to heaven whereby their practice is conformed to their position—perfect and blameless without spot or blemish (Rom 8:23; 1 Cor 15:42-44, 51-53; Phil 3:21; 1 John 3:2).

F.  Security

All of the redeemed are kept eternally secure in Christ by the power of God (John 5:24, 10:27-30; Rom 5:9-10, 8:1, 31-39; Eph 4:30).

G.  Assurance of Salvation

The subjective realization by a person that he/she is a child of God is a ministry of the Spirit to every obedient believer (Rom 6:15-22, 8:16; 1 John 1:6, 8, 2:3, 9-10, 15-23, 3:9, 17, 24, 4:7, 13, 20, 5:1, 10).  This requires self-examination and testing (2 Cor 13:5).

The Church

A.  Defined

1. The church is the body of Christ (Eph 4:14-16).

2. It consists of born again believers of the Church age (Eph 2:11-3:6).

3. It is distinct from Israel (1 Cor 10:32).

a. The Church and Israel have different promises—heavenly vs. earthly (Ezek 36:24; Eph 1:3).

b. The Church and Israel have different births—Pentecost vs. Sinai (Exod 19:1-24, 20:1-26; Acts 2:1-26).

c. The Church and Israel have different nationalities—Heavenly vs. Jewish (Jer 31:31; Phil 3:20).

B. Organization

1. Christ is the Head/ultimate authority in the Church (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 1:22).

2. Local assemblies are the New Testament pattern (Acts 14:23,27, 20:17, 28; Gal 1:2; Phil 1:1; 1 Thess 1:1, 2; 2 Thess 1:1).

3. Leadership

Elders-These are a team of biblically qualified men who shepherd, oversee and lead a local body of believers (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).

1) An elder is the same as a pastor, shepherd and overseer (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2; 1 Tim 5:17).

2) Some elders, who are gifted teachers, are financially supported by the church while others are self-supporting (1 Tim 5:17-18; 1 Cor 9:9-14).

3) Elders are to be the primary examples of leading through serving (Matt 20:26; John 13:14,15; 1 Pet 5:3).

4) Elders are also to give themselves to the training of leaders, to being sent or to training to send others to establish new churches (1 Tim 3:1ff., 4:1-16; 2 Tim 2:2-6, 4:1-4; Titus 1:5ff).

Deacons – These are men who minister in the church in special areas of service (Acts 6:1-15; 1 Tim 3:8-13).

1) Deacons must meet the biblical qualifications and be tested before they are entrusted with deacon responsibilities (1 Tim 3:10).

2) Although deacon work is under the oversight of the elders, deacons are given appropriate authority and responsibility so that they can free up the elders to focus on specific ministry areas (e.g., proto-deacons & the priorities of church leaders as described in Acts 6:2-6).

4. The Congregation – All believers are commanded to be part of a local assembly of Christians (Heb 10:24-25).

Serve – All believers are called to serve one another in the local body through encouragement, exhortation and exercise of their spiritual gifts. The ministry of each believer is necessary for the full maturity of the church (John 15:13; 1 Cor 12:7; Gal 5:13; Eph 4:15-16; 1 Pet 2:16).

Submit – Believers are commanded by God to submit to the oversight of the elders of their local church (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 16:15-16; Heb 13:7, 17; 1 Pet 5:1-3).

• See Implications for Life– “Spiritual Gifts”

C. Priorities of the Church

Exalting God – Everything the church does should be an act of worship to God.  This should be seen both in the lives of individual believers as well as in the corporate body (1 Pet 2:5).

Edifying the Saints – Equipping is one of the primary ways to make people like Jesus Christ. This is accomplished as the people in the church invest their lives in one another (Eph 4:11-12; 1 Thess 5:14-15; Titus 2:3-5).

Evangelizing the Lost – At the heart of Christ’s commission to the church is the command to go to the unreached of the world, to win them to Christ and to establish churches (Acts 1:8; Matt 28:19-20).

• See FBC’s Philosophy of Ministry.

D. Gifts

1. Permanent, edifying gifts—Each believer has been given spiritual gifts in order to edify and build up the body (Eph 4:11-13; 1 Cor 12:7; 1 Pet 4:10-11).

2. Temporary, confirming/sign gifts (Tongues, miracles, etc.)—Gradually ceased as the New Testament was completed (1 Cor 12:1-31, 13:8-10, 14:1-40; 2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:3-4).

• See Implications for Life– “Spiritual Gifts”

E. Ordinances

1. Baptism – By immersion for anyone who confesses faith in Christ (Acts 2:41; 8:36-39; Rom 6:1-11).

2. Lord’s Supper – A remembrance and proclamation of Christ’s death until He comes again (Matt 26:26-30; Acts 2:46; 1 Cor 10:16-17, 11:17-34).

F. Church Discipline

1. The Plan – God the Father disciplines His children and expects churches and individuals to participate with Him (Heb 12:5-11; Prov 3:11-12; Rev 3:19).

2. The Purpose – The ultimate goal of church discipline is restoration of the sinning individual. It also purifies the church and prevents others from sinning  (Gal 6:1; Matt 18:15; 1 Cor 5:7; 1 Tim 5:20).

3. The Procedure – Church discipline is the process of confronting sin to achieve repentance and restoration. It can be carried out privately between two Christians (Matt 18:15), with two to three witnesses, by the Elders or before the congregation, depending on the severity, kind and length of sin.

• See Implications for Life– “Church Discipline”

G. Giving

1. Christians are stewards of all their possessions and should contribute financially to the work of the local church (1 Cor 4:1-2; Luke 16:11).

2. Giving Principles.

a. Give to God (Matt 6:1).

b. Give sacrificially (Luke 21:1-4).

c. Give thoughtfully (1 Cor 16:2).

d. Give cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7).

e. Give proportionally (1 Cor 16:2).

f. Give regularly (1 Cor 16:2).

Angels

A. Holy Angels

1. Angels were created by God to serve and worship Him (Heb 1:6-7, 14; Isa 6:3; Ps 103:20-21; Ps 148:2).

2. Angels are spirit beings (Heb 1:14; Luke 24:39; Matt 22:30).

3. Angels are rational, moral and immortal beings (Matt 24:36; 1 Pet 1:12; 2 Pet 2:4; Luke 20:34-36).

4. Angels were created to an estate higher than mankind, yet, humans will judge angels (1 Cor 6:3; 2 Pet 2:10-11; Heb 2:6-7).

5. Angels serve mankind (Heb 1:14).

6. Angels have a role in the Second Coming (Mark 13:27; 2 Thess 1:7b).


B. Fallen Angels (Demons)

1. Satan rebelled against his Creator and led numerous angels in his fall (Job 1:6-7; Ezek 28:11-19; 1 Tim 3:6; Rev 12:3-4).

2. Angels were created holy, but some sinned (2 Pet 2:4; Jude 6).

3. Satan was defeated by Christ at the cross, yet continues as the “god of this world” until his final judgment and condemnation (2 Cor 4:4; Rom 16:20; Col 2:15; Rev 20:1-10).

4. Satan will be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Rev 20:10).

5. Satan and Demons are active in the world (Matt 8:16; Eph 6:12).

• See Implications for Life – “Demon Possession”

The Future

A. Death

1. Believers

a. Physical-There is a separation of the physical and immaterial, and the spirit of the believer immediately passes into the presence of the Lord (Luke 23:43; Phil 1:21-24).

b. Resurrection– At the first resurrection, the believer’s spirit and body are reunited to be glorified forever (Phil 3:21; 1 Thess 4:16-17).

2. Unbelievers

a. Physical-At death, the spirits of the unsaved descend immediately into Hades (Job 3:11-19; Luke 16:19-26; Rev 20:1-15).

b. Resurrection-At the second resurrection they will be united with their body, judged, and cast into the lake of fire to be separated from God forever (John 5:28-29; Rev 20:11-15; Dan 12:2).

B. The Rapture

Christ will gather up Christians from the earth and take them with Him (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-12; 1 Cor 15:50-51).

C. The Judgment Seat of Christ

After the rapture, believers will be rewarded according to the quality and purpose of their works (1 Cor 3:11-15, 4:5; 2 Cor 5:9-10).

D. Tribulation

God will judge the world through various plagues, famine and warfare over a period of seven years (Dan 9:27; Rev 6:1-17, 16:1-21).

E. The Second Coming

Christ will return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation (Second Coming-Matt 25:31) at which time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised, and the living will be judged (Dan 12:2-3; 2 Thess 2:7-12; Rev 6:9-11, 20:4-6).

F. Millennium

1. The Antichrist and the false prophet will be overthrown, and Satan will be removed from the world (Dan 7:17-27; Rev 20:1-7).

2. There will be a literal, thousand-year Kingdom on earth, where the saints will help Christ rule and reign (Isa 42:6; Jer 31:31, 33:15; Ezek 36:24, 37:21-28; Rev 19:11-16, 20:1-7).

G. Final Judgment

1. Satan will be released following the Millennium (Rev 20:7).

2. He will lead a final rebellion and will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone forever (Rev 20:7-10).

3. Great White Throne judgment-The unsaved dead will be resurrected and will be committed to eternal, conscious punishment in Hell (Rom 14:10-13; Matt 25:41, 46; Rev 20:11-15).

H. Eternity

1. Believers will be with the Lord forever (John 17:3; 1 Thess 4:17).

2. A new heaven and a new earth will be created (Rev 21:1).

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