What we believe

What We Believe

Articles of Faith

 

1. Trinity—We believe there is but one true and living God whose
essence is spirit and who exists in a Trinity of equal persons, the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that they are each equal and
infinite in their being, power, glory, and attributes.

The Father—We believe that God the Father is the First Person of
the divine Trinity who is absolute in His deity possessing all the
attributes of deity and equal with the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ—We believe in the absolute deity of Jesus Christ our
Lord and that He shares equally in all the attributes of deity with the
Father and the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, in His
perfect and sinless humanity, in His miracles and in their literalness,
in His substitutionary, satisfactory, propitiatory, atoning death on
Calvary, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand
of the Father, in His present intercessory ministry, and in His
personal return for the Church.

Holy Spirit—We believe in the absolute and full deity of the Holy
Spirit, the Third Member of the blessed Trinity, who is equal with the
Father and the Son. It was the Father who gave His Son, the Son
who gave His life, and it is the Holy Spirit who today gives spiritual
life to those who believe in Christ. He indwells the believer and
empowers him and Christ’s Church for service giving the various
gifts to the members of the body of Christ to aid the Church in
accomplishing the Great Commission.

2. Scriptures—We believe that holy men of old wrote the Bible as
they were moved (lit. “Being borne along”) by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter
1:21), which harmonizes with 2 Timothy 3:15, which teaches that all
Scripture is inspired (lit. “God breathed” or “breathed out by God”).
This means that the Holy Spirit so superintended the writers of the
Holy Scripture that, although they utilized their own vocabularies and
experiences, they wrote the very exact message God intended
without any omission, addition, or error which means that the Bible is
theologically, historically, scientifically, and geographically correct
since the Holy Spirit is incapable of erring. Being plenary verbally
inspired by the Holy Spirit guarantees the infallibility and inerrancy of
the Bible in every area in which it speaks and makes it the highest
authority and guide for the believer. Bethel Church uses various translations
of the Bible. Most commonly used by our Pastor and teachers is the
New King James Version (NKJV).

3. Salvation—We believe in salvation by grace totally apart from any
human merit. Salvation is bestowed by a gracious God upon
unworthy man conditioned solely upon his faith in Jesus Christ and
His finished work on Calvary (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 3:16).

Security of the Believer—We believe that the Word of God teaches
the security of the believer, that God will keep securely in His hand
(John 10:25-30) those who are trusting in Jesus, but offers absolutely
no hope for that person who is not trusting in Christ (1 Peter 1:5). The
link that unites God and man is faith (John 3:16). The security of the
believer is based upon a continuous faith in Jesus Christ
(Colossians 1:21-23; John 3:16; Hebrews 3:12-13). We believe that
the Scriptures present the possibility of an authentic believer ceasing
to believe (1 John 2:24; Hebrews 3:12-13) but not in the probability
(Hebrews 6:9). We believe that apostasy is committed by willful
unbelief and is without remedy (Hebrews 6:4-6). Simply stated, we
believe that God has given to the believer Scriptural grounds for
knowing positively that he is saved; that God has promised and
provided to keep His children even in times of failure, when they fall
out of fellowship with Him; that God has assured His followers that as
believers they are secure in Christ and shall never perish; but that
God has, also, clearly warned the Christian against the possibility of
making ship-wreck of his personal faith in Christ, and thereby,
becoming an apostate, and that, if such should happen, there is no
way he could be restored to salvation—his doom would be sealed.

New Birth—We believe that all men are born with a depraved nature
and are sinful by nature and by choice and as such are alienated
from God, born dead in trespasses and sin. We believe that this
condition can only be reconciled by the new birth, which is a work of
regeneration wrought by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-6) Titus 3:5),
conditioned upon a man’s personal faith in the atoning work of Jesus
on Calvary as sufficient payment for his sin (Ephesians 2:8-10).

4. Resurrection—We believe in future bodily resurrection of the
believer, at which time he will receive a resurrected glorified body,
and that the new body will be joined with the soul so that the child of
God will spend eternity to come as a body/soul being. We likewise
believe that the unbeliever will be resurrected with a body and soul,
which will forever suffer in the torments of hell.

5. Judgment—We believe in the future Judgment Seat of Christ at
which time the believer will stand before Christ and be judged and
rewarded for the deeds done in the body whether they be good or
bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). We also believe in the Great White Throne
of Judgment for the unsaved, where their lives will be reviewed and
judged according to their works, which will determine the degree of
their punishment in the eternal flames of hell (Revelation 20:11-15).

6. Devil—We believe in the existence of a literal personal evil and
malicious being called Satan or the Devil who led a rebellion against
God at some point before creation and was cast out of heaven along
with the angels (demons) who followed him. He and his demonic
hordes seek to tempt men to sin and thereby doom them to eternity
in the fires of hell. His doom and that of mankind who follow him has
been pronounced as the lake of fire where he will one day be
banished and shut up forever.

7. Church—We believe in the local church as God’s autonomous,
self-governing, divinely ordained institution for this age, whose head
is Christ (Ephesians 5:22-23; Colossians 1:18) and whole life and
vitality are produced by the regenerating indwelling presence and
power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Great Commission (to
evangelize and edify) is still the great task of the Church today
(Matthew 28:18-20). We believe that the individual local church is the
highest spiritual authority on earth outside the Christian home and
that all other para-church organizations or institutions exist by the
authority granted by the local church or cooperating local churches,
and that their only right of existence is as they ultimately aid the
Church in fulfilling the Great Commission.

8. Pastor—We believe that the pastor, as the under-shepherd, is to
lead his flock as he is led by Christ through His Word (Acts 20:28).
He is not to lord over God’s heritage but to lead by example (1 Peter
5:2-3) and as a servant (Matthew 23:11). The sheep (as a whole or
in part) are never told to lead themselves, that is the under-shepherd’
s task. We believe that the pastor is to work in cooperation with his
church board but is never to be subservient to the board, recognizing
that in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).

9. Ordinances—We believe that God has given His Church the
ordinance of Baptism, which is to be administered only to believers,
by immersion and in the name of Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit;
and the Lord’s Supper, which is to be open to all born again
believers present; and the washing of the Saint’s feet—Matthew 28:
19,20; Romans 6:3,4; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13: 1-17.

10. Separated Living—We believe that all Christians should live in
such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord;
and separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful
pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God.
(Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

11. Human Sexuality—We believe that God has commanded that no
intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between
a man and 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. Any
employee of the church becoming pregnant or causing pregnancy as
a result of consensual intercourse, outside of the marriage
relationship, shall be terminated from employment. (Gen. 2:22-24;
Gen. 19:5-13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29, 1 Cor. 5:1,6-
9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).

We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one
man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7-10; Eph. 5:22-
23).

We believe that both men and women are spiritually equal in position
before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate
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 (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly only men
are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church (Gal. 3:28; Col.
3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12).

12. Divorce and Remarriage—We believe that God hates divorce
and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce
and remarriage are regarded as adultery except on the grounds of
fornication. Although divorced, Christians (even if they are remarried)
may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of
God for Christian service. But they may not be considered for the
office of pastor or deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3;
1 Tim. 2:2,12; Titus 1:6).

13. 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 that abortions of pregnancies
due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or
population control, or the mental well-being of the mother is
acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1,5;
Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

14. 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 use all available means to go to the
foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20;
Mark 13:10; 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:
20).

15. Giving—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
(10%) as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give
other 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 a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or
offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Mal. 3:10; 28:22;
Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph.
4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).

16. Creation—We believe in the literal historicity of the Genesis
account of God’s creating this earth and man in seven literal twenty-
four hour days, of man’s early home in the Garden paradise, of his
fall by eating the forbidden fruit, of his spiritual death and depraved
nature resulting from this rebellion, and of his expulsion from the
Garden.

We totally reject evolution as being merely an alternate theory of
origins. It dictates one’s total worldview including his foundation for
truth and morals. Evolution is the creation of the depraved mind of
fallen man in his vain attempt to avoid God. If God did not create then
He has no right to control. Evolution turns this universe into a giant
machine operated by the laws of nature, ruling God out and denying
the supernatural origin of the Bible and all biblical miracles. Evolution
ultimately deifies man and makes God irrelevant and unnecessary.
Evolution and biblical Christianity are incompatible.

 

Free Will Baptist Church Covenant

 

Having given ourselves to God by faith in Christ, and adopted the
Word of God as our rule of faith and practice, we now give ourselves
to one another be the Will of God in this solemn Covenant.

We promise, by His Grace, to love and obey Him in all things, to
avoid all appearance of evil, to abstain from all sinful amusements
and unholy conformities to the world, from all sale and sanction of
intoxicating beverages, and to “provide all things honest in the sign
of all men.”

We agree to faithfully discharge our obligation in reference to the
study of the Scriptures, family devotions, sector prayer, social
worship; and by self-denial, faith and good works, endeavor to “grow
in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” We
will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together for church and
conferences, public worship and all the observances of the
ordinances of the Gospel; nor fail to pay according to our ability for
the support of the church, of its poor and all its benevolent work. We
agree to accept Christian admonition and reproof with meekness,
and to watch over one another in love, endeavoring to “keep the unity
of the Spirit” in the bond of peace. To be careful of one another’s
happiness and reputation, and seek to strengthen the weak,
encourage the afflicted, admonish the erring, and as far as we are
able, promote the success of the church and the Gospel.

We will everywhere hold Christian principle sacred and Christian
obligations and enterprises supreme, counting it our chief business
in life to extend the influence of Christ in society, constantly praying
and toiling that the Kingdom of God may come, and His Will be done
on earth as it is in Heaven. To this end we agree to labor for the
promotion of educational and denominational enterprises, support of
missions, the success of Sunday schools, and evangelistic efforts for
the salvation of the world. And may the God of peace sanctify us
wholly and preserve us blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ.