Doctrine


THE SCRIPTURES

Although God reveals Himself through nature, creation, conscience and providence in a limited way (Romans 1:19-20, 2:15), His most complete and accurate revelation is through the Bible (2 Peter 1:19), which is the only complete source of information about salvation (2 Timothy 3:15). “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), by which it is to be understood that the whole Bible (Old Testament 39 books and New Testament 27 books) is inspired in the sense that holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21) to write the very words of Scripture that God wanted written (Matthew 5:18, 2 Samuel 23:2). This divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings (historical, poetical, doctrinal and prophetical) as appeared in the original manuscripts (Luke 24:27,44; Acts 26:22, 28:23). Thus, the Scriptures are 100% true and accurate and contain no error at all in any area about which they speak (John 10:35; 17:17).

God has providentially preserved the Scriptures, which are everlasting (Psalm 119:89), so that they are essentially the same as the original inspired words (Isaiah 59:21; Deuteronomy 10:5; Jeremiah 36:27-32; Romans 3:1-2). These Scriptures cannot be properly understood apart from the Holy Spirit guiding the true believer (1 Corinthians 2:12-14), as the Spirit is the author and interpreter of Scripture (2 Peter 1:20-21). Our Lord stated that the Scriptures are truth (John 17:17), therefore, they are the final authority in all matters which pertain to salvation and Christian living (2 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 3:16; Romans 15:4).
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TRINITY

There is ONE TRIUNE GOD (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14), absolutely separate and above the world as its Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the Upholder of all things (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 104), eternally self-existent in three distinct persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) (John 5:26; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14), all identical in nature (Isaiah 9:6), each of whom is to be honored and obeyed equally as true God with the subordination within the Trinity not referring to nature (John 5:23; Acts 5:3-4).
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GOD THE FATHER

God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, who is co-equal and co-eternal with the Son and the Spirit, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 135:5; 1 Samuel 2:6-8). As the absolute and highest ruler in the universe He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 95:3-5; Isaiah 40:28; Romans 3:24-26).

He created the universe by His Word apart from preexisting materials (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10, 11:3) and all creatures owe their origin to Him (Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 42:5). In this sense only is the concept of the universal Fatherhood of God justified. The Father has decreed for His own glory all things created (Psalm 19:12; Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 43:7; Revelation 4:11), and He is immediately involved in directing and governing all creatures and events, including the creation and fall of man (Isaiah 45:12-13; Jeremiah 10:13; 1 Corinthians 8:6). This He does in such a manner that He is in no way the author or approver of sin (Psalm 34:16; Proverbs 8:13) nor does He release morally intelligent creatures from accountability for their actions (Isaiah 13:11)

He has graciously provided a Savior for fallen humanity (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29), has chosen those from all eternity whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:3-6), and has sent the Holy Spirit to administer that Salvation to all who come to Him by faith through Jesus Christ (John 6:44). He relates Himself to His own as Father (Galatians 3:26).
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GOD THE SON

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Triune Godhead: the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of all creation (Colossians 1:15-17); the Lord of Glory (1 Corinthians 2:8); the Unique Son of God possessing sameness of nature with the Father (John 5:18); the great God and Savior (Hebrews 1:5-6; John 11:27; Titus 2:13), Who became flesh by means of the miracle of the Virgin conception (John 1:14; Matthew 1:18-23), having been conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), God with us (Matthew 1:23); Who by virtue of the Incarnation became a man without ceasing to be God (1 Timothy 3:16), undiminished Deity united with perfect humanity, thus to continue forever as the true God-man (John 12:45; 14:19; Hebrews 13:8); One person with two natures, tempted in all points like as we, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

In fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, He came first to Israel as her Messiah-King (Acts 2:36), and being rejected of that nation (John 1:11), He gave Himself as a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:6), dying bodily upon the cross as a representative, substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of man (1 Peter 3:18), His death completely and perfectly satisfying the righteousness and justice of God (Romans 3:23-26), thereby providing the basis for reconciling the relationship between sinful man and Holy God, making possible the restoring of the repentant sinner to a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). Our justification is made certain by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:17) whereby Christ was victorious over death (Romans 6:9; Revelation 1:18), and He ascended into heaven to be exalted and glorified at the right hand of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3).

The exalted Christ is presently acting as the believer’s High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), whereby He is fulfilling the ministries of Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25) and Advocate (1 John 2:1) as well as the ministry of Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). He is also the Head of the Church, the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18).
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THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is a person just as the Father and the Sons are persons (Matthew 28:19). Some marks of personality which the Holy Spirit has are life (Romans 8:2; 2 Corinthians 3:3), intelligence (Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:11), activity (John 14:26), commanding (Acts 8:29; 13:2), guiding (John 16:13), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), and emotion (Romans 15:30; Ephesians 4:30).

The Holy Spirit is Deity in the same sense as the Father and the Son are Deity. He is called God (Acts 5:3-4), and His name is equated with the names of the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19). The characteristics applied to the Holy Spirit clearly show His Deity: omnipresence (Psalm 139:7ff), omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), omnipotence (Hebrews 9:14; Luke 1:35), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), and holiness.

The general works of the Holy Spirit include His presence in creation (Genesis 1:2), His inspiration and illumination of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20-21), convicting the world of sin (John 16:7-9), and glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ (John 15:26). His work in relation to Christ includes conceiving (Matthew 1:18,20), anointing (Luke 4:16-21; Isaiah 61:1,2), filling and leading (Luke 4:1,2), and empowering (Luke 4:14).

The Holy Spirit’s work with believers includes activities at salvation. These activities include: drawing (John 6:44), regeneration (John 3:7; Titus 3:5), baptism (1 Corinthians 1:2; 12:13), indwelling (Romans 8:9), and sealing (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). With respect to the Christian life, the Holy Spirit controls and guides the believer except when He is quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19) or grieved (Ephesians 4:30) by the believer’s sin. All acts done while He is in control of and guiding the believer (sins confessed as per 1 John 1:1-10 will result in a reward at the bema seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10), but no activity will bring reward if it is done with sin in the life (2 Corinthians 35:10; Titus 3:5-7; Psalm 32; 51; Galatians 5:16-25).
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ANGELOLOGY

Angels are an innumerable company of supernatural spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14), created by Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16-17) on the first day of creation (Job 38:4,7; Exodus 20:11, Psalm 148:2,5). Since God is holy and cannot create anything unholy, all angels were therefore created holy (Genesis 1:31; Isaiah 6:3). Angels were created for the primary purposes of worshiping God (Isaiah 6:2-3; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 4:6-11) and serving God (Psalm 91:11-12; 103:20; Matthew 4:11; Hebrews 1:13,14). The ministry of angels to believers is primarily external and physical.

Satan is a creature of the highest order of spiritual beings, not simply the personification of evil (Jude 8,9; Colossians 1:16), who sinned, fell and was irrevocably condemned to hell forever (Matthew 25:41). He was permitted by God to tempt the first man and woman, resulting in the fall of the human race (Genesis 3:4,13). Satan’s ultimate purpose has been to oppose and to counterfeit the work of God, not only the work of the cross (Luke 4:1-13) and the work of God in the world (2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Matthew 13:19,25,39; 1 Peter 5:8), but he will also be the leader of a final attempt to overthrow God (Revelation 12). By virtue of his ultimate defeat by Christ on the cross (John 12:31,32; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8), he will suffer a final judgement by God and be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10).

Demons are evil angels who abandoned their heavenly dwelling place (Jude 6) and exist as real persons within the realm of Satan’s domain (the world – John 14:30), of whom Satan is their ruler (Matthew 12:24; 25:41). Demons are Satan’s active agents whose primary purpose is to assist him in the working of his evil and unholy program (Ephesians 6:11,12; 2 Corinthians 11:14,15). Under specific conditions, demons can possess unbelievers and oppress believers (Acts 16:16-19; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8), but they too were ultimately defeated at the cross and cannot gain victory over the Spirit-filled believer (1 John 4:3,4; Ephesians 5:18), and will be judged along with Satan in the Lake of Fire forever (Matthew 25:41).
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ANTHROPOLOGY

Man was the direct creation of God: body, soul and spirit; not in any sense the product of a macro-evolutionary process (Genesis 2:7; Matthew 19:4), but made in God’s own image and likeness for His glory and originally acceptable in the sight of God as being “very good” (Genesis 1:26; 1:31). By personal disobedience to the revealed will of God, Adam became a sinful creature and the progenitor of a fallen race (Genesis 3:1-24; 5:3; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12) who are universally sinful (Romans 3:10; 3:23) in nature and practice (Romans 7:14-18; 3:10-18) and have within themselves no possible means of gaining merit in God’s sight (Matthew 19:26; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 3:23; 5:12; 7:18; Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:3; Jeremiah 17:9). Furthermore, man is alienated from the life of God (Ephesians 4:17-18) and subject to the power of the devil (John 8:42,44; Ephesians 6:11-12; 1 John 3:8; 2 Corinthians 4:4).
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SOTERIOLOGY

The salvation of man consists in the removal and remission of sins and deliverance from their penal consequences (Hebrews 9:26; 1 Peter 3:18), justification (Romans 5:8-9), redemption (Ephesians 1:7), reconciliation to God (2 Corinthians 5:18), the gift of eternal life (John 5:24), and the guarantee that those thus saved shall never perish (John 10:28).

The basis of this salvation is found in the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross (1 Peter 3:18) which was sufficient payment for any and all who would come to Him by faith (1 John 2:2). This sufficient salvation is made efficient through the agency of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-7), and the exercise of the sovereign elective grace of God (Ephesians 1:4-6). This salvation is secured wholly apart from any merit or work of man (Titus 3:5; Romans 9:14-24), but is appropriated by the response of faith in the gospel message, apart from which no one is saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-9).

This salvation results in righteous living and good works as its proper evidence and fruit (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13) and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life (2 Thessalonians 2:13) through interaction with the Word of God (1 Peter 2:2). The believer is complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10), in possession of every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3) and is therefore in no way required to seek a “second blessing” or a “second work of grace” (2 Peter 1:3). The believer is continually being conformed to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18), culminating in his glorification at Christ’s coming (Romans 13:11; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 3:2).
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ESCHATOLOGY: THE DOCTRINE OF FUTURE THINGS

The next event on God’s calendar of events for the church is the “Rapture.” This is phase 1 of the second coming of Christ to the earth and consists of four events which concern the church: (1) The removal of all believers since Pentecost, both dead and alive (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), (2) Those believers who have been removed will receive resurrection bodies like Christ’s (1 John 3:2), (3) All of these believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ for a judgment of their works (2 Corinthians 5:10), (4) The marriage supper of the lamb will take place (Revelation 19:7-10). After all believers have been translated into the presence of the Lord, a time of tribulation will take place upon the earth for seven years. This tribulation begins with only unbelievers populating the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This tribulation period is divided into two parts of 3½ years each. The first part is a time of relative peace (Daniel 9:27), and the second part is a time of intense persecution (Matthew 24:21-22; Jeremiah 30:7). The tribulation will end with phase 2 of Christ’s second coming, a literal and visible return to the earth (Revelation 19:11-21). At that time there will be a resurrection of “tribulation saints” (Revelation 20:4), and Old Testament saints (Daniel 12:1-2). There will be a judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46), and Satan will be bound and cast into the pit (Revelation 20:1-3).

Following these events there will be a 1000 year period of peace on the earth in which Christ Himself will reign (Revelation 20:4-7). At the end of the 1000 years Satan will be released and lead a rebellion against Christ (Revelation 20:7-10), following which he will be judged and cast into the Lake of Fire. A resurrection and judgment of the wicked dead will take place (Revelation 20:11-15). A new heaven and a new earth will be created (Revelation 21-22).
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ECCLESIOLOGY: THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH

There are two senses in which the word church is used in the New Testament. The broadest sense in which the word is used is with reference to all believers everywhere, from Pentecost to the translation, or rapture (Ephesians 1:22-23).

The visible manifestation of this universal body of believers is the local church (1 Corinthians 16:19). The local church is simply a body of believers meeting in one place.

The doctrine of the church is not found in the Old Testament, nor is it bound by the law expressly given to the nation of Israel. In Matthew 16:18 Christ mentions the church for the first time. However, many of the laws which are found in the Old Testament, directed specifically to the nation of Israel, are given directly to the New Testament church again, in the New Testament. In this sense are they to be interpreted and obeyed. The Church, although mentioned in Matthew 16:18, did not have its formal beginning until Acts 2, at Pentecost. All true believers, since Pentecost, who have been placed (baptized) into the body of Christ, by the Spirit, are members of the church.

The local bodies of believers are to be organized under only one head, the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22). However, there is to be a visible organizational structure which should not only be visible, but also functional. For this reason, the Holy Spirit has left some “latitude” within the organizational structure, with the pattern being “organization as is necessary” in the New Testament.

There are two offices which are to be occupied only by those who are qualified: elders and deacons. These are the only two positions of leadership mentioned in the New Testament for the local church. The qualifications are mentioned in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The importance of rigidly following these guidelines in appointing leadership for the local church can not be over emphasized.

The Lord, prior to His ascension, instituted two ordinances which are to be perpetuated by the local church. These ordinances include baptism and the communion table or the bread and cup.

The significance of the baptism ordinance is that the believer might be identified with both the Lord and the local church. The mode of baptism to be practiced is total immersion (only after the individual has made a profession of faith and fully understands the significance of the ordinance). Water baptism is not mandatory in order to be identified with a particular local assembly, but is a matter of obedience, between the Lord and the individual, not to be taken lightly or as simply something which must be done in order to be “accepted by the group.”

The significance of the bread and cup is twofold. First, the significance is to remind the believer of the death of Christ on the cross for sin. The second significance of the bread and the cup is to look forward to the return of the Lord. These two points are brought out clearly in 1 Corinthians 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

The communion ordinance is one which is to be taken very seriously in the light of the serious admonitions found in 1 Corinthians 11. This ordinance should never be required, lest someone should partake “in an unworthy manner.” Each believer (and only believers) should carefully examine himself prior to partaking of the elements (1 Corinthians 11:27-32).

Infant baptism is neither valid, nor can it be established from either the New Testament or from Church history. The practice, and instruction from Scripture, is that only believers (those who have clearly professed both an understanding and faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ) are to be baptized. This does not leave room for the practice of infant baptism. The New Testament teaches that each local church is to be independent. The pattern in the New Testament seems to be separation from the common and accepted groups or denominations, rather than cooperation. The formal and binding alignment of churches has always proven to be the beginning of the end, as well as the beginning of compromise for the benefit of “unity,” throughout church history.

Concerning the present-day validity of the charismatic gifts, Faith Bible Church recognizes that Godly men of character and scholarship differ in opinion. We believe that there is legitimate room for differences in this area and that we should exercise Christ-like love toward those with differing views. For this reason, the leadership requests that no member or visitor exercise or promote any of the sign gifts in the church worship services or any church ministry. Although Faith Bible Church is a non-Charismatic church, we do not deny the genuine supernatural work of God, in the past, present, or future.
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