CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURES
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration and the authority of the Bible. It is God’s Word written, and is our only guide in matters of faith and practice, and was inerrant in the original writings. (2 Timothy 3:16-17l 2 Peter 1:19-21)
We believe that in all matters of faith, the Bible, as the Word of God, is the final authority. Recognizing and acknowledging the entire Old and New Testaments to be the inspired and eternal Word of God, Faith Baptist Church, however, insists that the New Testament is basically the "Rule of Faith and practice" for both individuals and the local body. This, of course, establishes our deliverance from priestly forms, law observances, and Romanish practices based, largely, upon Old Testament Scriptures and traditions. (Colossians 2:8; 2 Timothy 3:1`6)
CONCERNING THE TRUE GOD
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons, yet one in being, essence and power. (Exodus 20:2-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 John 5:7)
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is very God, express image of the Father, the One by whom and for whom all things were created. We believe in His virgin birth. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and became the incarnate Son of God, Emmanuel, God with us. (John 1:1-2; 1 John 5:20; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26-38)
We believe in the person and work of the Holy Spirit, Who convicts the world of sin and regenerates, indwells, enlightens and guides the believer. (2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:16-17; Romans 8:14-27)
CONCERNING ANGELS AND SATAN
We believe in the reality and personality of angels, including the great enemy of God and man Satan. (Matthew 4:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10)
CONCERNING THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in the image of God. He sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also that spiritual death, which is separation from God. All human beings are born with a sinful nature, and in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word and deed. (Genesis 3; Romans 5:10-19)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. All that believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18; John 3:1-7; Romans 3:25-26)
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into Heaven, and His glorified bodily presence at the right of God as our High Priest and Advocate. (1 Corinthians 15:14; Acts 1:10-11; Hebrews 10:4-14)
We believe in the imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to receive His church to Himself, and in the subsequent, visible and pre-millennial return of Christ, with His church, to establish His promised world wide kingdom on the earth. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 19:11-21)
CONCERNING BELIEVERS IN CHRIST
We believe in the sonship of true believers in the family of God. Their sanctification, edification and security are provided for in the finished work of Christ through faith in and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that all believers are baptized, by the Holy Spirit, into the Body of Christ, upon receiving Christ as their personal Savior. (Galatians 4:4-7; Romans 8:28-32; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
CONCERNING THE RESURRECTION
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, each in his own order; everlasting blessedness for the saved and everlasting conscious punishment for the lost. (Malachi 3:18; Romans 6:17-23; Matthew 25:34-41; Luke 6:25; John 5:21-30; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:11-15)
CONCERNING THE GREAT COMMISSION
We believe in the Great Commission as the primary mission of the church. The Gospel of the grace of God is to be preached to the entire world. Converts are to be taught to follow the Lord in Scriptural baptism and to honor Christ by the observance of the Lord’s Supper and holy living. (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-16)
We believe that Faith Baptist Church should have no embarrassing ties which would keep it from exposing apostasy, heresy, or sin. Faith Baptist Church is free from all entangling alliances. We stand separated by God from worldliness, whether in personal behavior or "World Church" programs. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 John 7-11)
CONCERNING CHRISTIAN BROTHERHOOD
We believe that all true believers in Christ are brethren regardless of race or skin color. There are two very important factors in making this brotherhood a meaningful reality; a common doctrinal foundation, and a practical demonstration of love one to another, for God is no respecter of persons, and he exhorts us to be like-minded (John 13:35;Acts 10:34)
CONCERNING THE LOCAL CHURCH
Definition – A local church is an organized company of regenerated believers in the Lord Jesus Christ; immersed to show for His death, burial and resurrection; living for the most part in one locality. Having submitted themselves, by membership, to the authority of the local body, they unite and assemble themselves together in Christ’s name for worship, praise, prayer, testimony and service. They determine to fulfill the ministry of the Word of God through the edification of the saints and the salvation of the lost, and the establishment of local New Testament churches unto the uttermost part of the earth in obedience to the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Associations – The local congregation recognizes no head but Christ. It is an independent, democratic, self-governing body and acknowledges no outside ecclesiastical authority. Every church is local and independent. Association with other churches is voluntary and temporary.
The Program –
Worship: The first and highest act of a company of redeemed souls in a local church is to worship their Lord and Savior.
Evangelism: Scriptural evangelism is the evangelism of the Great Commission. The Gospel must be preached so that souls can be saved. Converts must be baptized. They must be established in local churches and taught so the program of evangelism can continue.
Edification of the saints: Leaders are given to the local church "for the edifying of the body of Christ". (Ephesians 4:13 See also 1 Corinthians 14:26; Acts 9:31; 2 Corinthians 10:8)
Administration of the Ordinances: An ordinance is an outward institution, appointed by Christ as a positive precept to be observed by all of His people to the end of the age, commemorating an essential gospel fact, and declaring an essential gospel truth. There are only two ordinances of the local church found in the New Testament: baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and these two are under its direct authority.
Requirements for membership –
Regeneration – The local church is a manifestation of the church universal of which one becomes a member only by the new birth. It is, therefore, only logical as well as scriptural that none but born again people are eligible for membership in the local church. All others should be refused membership. (Romans 1:7-8; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; Acts 2:41-47)
Confession – Where there is life there will be some evidence of it. Because we must guard the purity of the churches we have the right to expect some evidence of salvation on the part of those who wish to become members of the local body. (Romans 10:9-10)
Baptism by immersion – The proper order is seen in Matthew 28:18-20. Make disciples, baptize, teach (See also Acts 2:38,41)) The proper mode is exampled by Christ in Matthew 3:13-17 and the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:36. Only immersion can teach the intended truth of death, burial, and resurrection, and the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
The State has no right to dictate or interfere in the spiritual beliefs of its citizens, and the churches have no right to expect financial subsidy from the State. Faith Baptist Church recognizes the divine authority of government but insists upon the basic principles of separation of church and state. (Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:17) Baptists were the first to declare the doctrine of complete religious liberty and have always been leaders in the struggle for its attainment. Separation of Church and State is foundational to religious freedom both on a local church and individual conscience level.
THE SOUL LIBERTY OF THE INDIVIDUAL
Faith Baptist Church upholds the right of every individual to personally approach God apart from human intervention or mediation, recognizing that each individual is responsible to God for the exercise of this privilege. Baptists have always emphasized the inherent value and right of the individual as to liberty of conscience. This is in direct contrast to those others who stress the family unit, the authority of the church, and of the state in these matters. (Matthew 6:6; 1 Peter 2:16)
THE SPIRITUAL PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS
Faith Baptist Church holds to the distinctive of a "Royal Priesthood of all believers", with Christ as our Great High priest and every believer given the privilege of access to the throne and the offering of spiritual sacrifices acceptable through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 5:9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6; Hebrews 13:15-16; 1 Timothy 2:1-2) In a Baptist Church, no Altar is visible; the Lord’s table for His remembrance takes its place. The baptistry conforms to the comparison in Romans 7:1-4, of a burial and resurrection, but the pulpit is placed in front, setting forth the function of evangelism, teaching and declaration.
TRUE CHRISTIAN UNITY
Faith Baptist Church recognizes a Christian unity in Christ that is based on the Word of God. We cannot unite or associate with others on any other basis. Fellowship with other groups, churches, or associations always implies the right to hold to its own distinctives without prejudice, but at the same time accepting Christian unity as possible, desirable and practical. (Ephesians 4:16; John 17:21)
THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST
Faith Baptist Church accepts without reservation the Lordship of Christ a Head of the church and as Sovereign over the life of the individual child of God. Acknowledgement of His Lordship is essential to the worship, work and witness of both the individual and the local church. This enters into every other distinctive that Faith Baptist Church holds it, and serves to temper and tone its implementation and activation on a personal as well as institutional level. "He is Lord of all, or He is nor Lord at all". (John 20:20; Ephesians 6:23; 4:5; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 2:8; Revelation 19:16)
Faith Baptist Church stands separated from, not only traditional anti-Christian liberalism and modernism, but from the more recent subtleties of pseudo-Christian thinking known as Neo-Orthodoxy, Neo-Evangelicalism, and Ecumenism, or the Ecumenical Movement.
Biblical Principles Involved in Ecclesiastical Separation –
The Principle of the Unequal Yoke – 2 Corinthians 6:11-18; Deuteronomy 22:9-12. Here the spiritual law of opposites is set forth and the believer is commanded to come out – be separate – touch not the unclean – refuse the unequal yoke and accept the Father’s sponsorship.
The Principle of an Uncompromising Stand – Galatians 1L6-10; 2 Timothy 2:4, 20-21. The setting is Paul’s battle with the Judaizing teachers in the Galatian churches. He could not compromise: as the Servant of Christ (verse 10); for the truth of the Gospel (verse 5); or face to face with Peter and Barnabas (2:11). The principle is illustrated in 2 Timothy 2:4, 20-21 in the soldier and the vessels unto honor.
The Principle of Unadulterated Truth – Jude 3; Titus 1:9-16. The way of Cain" – the "Error of Balaam" and the "gainsaying of Korah" set forth the basic elements of apostasy at any time, but especially during the end of the church age. The antidote is found in 2 Timothy 4:1-2
The Principle of Unqualified Withdrawal – 1 Timothy 6:5; 2 John; 2 Timothy 3:5; Romans 16:17. The attitude toward apostates is clearly set forth to the effect that "withdrawal" and "turning away from such" is an absolute must. To stay "with" or "in" or "for" is contrary action to spiritual injunction.
The Principle of the Unfinished Task – Romans 10:11-15; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8. As we preach the Gospel we are to have the unqualified presence of our Risen Lord even unto the "end of the age" during which apostasy will come to its head in an organized system. Our witness is to be our crucified, risen, glorified and coming Lord. The task is an "unfinished one" and "How shall they hear without a preacher?" There must be clarity of message, purity of association, and separation of method. The unfinished task is not one of institutional modern mission, educational or social uplifting, but one of old-fashioned gospel declaration to the end of the earth. Only those who separate themselves from apostasy in doctrine, association, method, and attitude will do it.
Neo-Orthodoxy – Neo-orthodoxy is a by-product of modern liberalism, using words, phrases, and language familiar to Christians everywhere and in this manner projecting an "evangelical" image, but actually continuing to follow the liberal line of theological thinking.
Neo-Evangelicalism – Neo-evangelicalism is a more subtle movement, paradoxically promoted by professed Christians, who consider the "fundamentalist" view of Christian theology as being too negative, and by "fair words" seek to diffuse the line of demarcation between fundamentalism and liberalism. We maintain that those truths considered fundamental to Christian theology and the vagaries of Christ-denying liberalism cannot be made to "walk together". To attempt this unscriptural union is to compromise pure Christian doctrine by subjecting it to an unscriptural and therefore "unequal yoke".
Ecumenism or the Ecumenical Movement – This is the more recent of the popular religious movements designed to catch the unwary. Its philosophy of Christian unity has been largely promulgated by the National Council of Churches in America, the World Council of Churches, the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the world at large, and tragically, by some elements of neo-evangelicalism. It seeks the eventual union of all religions in one super church. This means that every church, religion, or religious body participating in the merger must compromise its beliefs in relation to areas of faith and practice, in order to conform to the will of the whole body. We unalterably oppose any "dialogue" or overture whatsoever, which has as it ultimate purpose the breaking down of the determination of Christians, to stand true to their God, the purity of the Scriptures, the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the traditional Christian faith as outlined in the New Testament.
The Charismatic Movement – Faith Baptist Church has no involvement in or with the Charismatic Movement, believing it to be un-Biblical in content and divisive in nature. We believe that every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit, into the body of Christ at the time of salvation (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). At this time believers receive the gift or gifts chosen for them, by the Holy Spirit, to enable them to perform the functions He desires of them according to their position in the body (1 Corinthians 12:11,18). Therefore, no gift is to be sought after or asked for, rather it is to be discovered and its use cultivated. We believe that tongues were for a sign to Israel (1 Corinthians 14:20-22), that they were used during the days of transition recorded in the Book of Acts, for the purpose of calling the attention of the Jews to the fulfillment of prophecy, to the end that they might believe that Jesus is the Messiah. They were not intended for use in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:18-19, 23) In the church, believers are to be edified and unbelievers brought to the knowledge of the truth by means of an understandable explanation of the Word of God, not by strange tongues that carry no meaning. (1 Corinthians 14:24-25) We believe that tongues fulfilled their purpose during the time of transition (Book of Acts). When Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus and the New Testament was completed, both tongues (as a means of proclaiming the coming of Messiah, and the preaching of the Kingdom to Israel), and knowledge (the revealing of information to prophets for proclaiming truth), were set aside as no longer valid modes of ministry. (1 Corinthians 13:9-10)
Faith Healing Meetings – Faith Baptist Church believes that believers who are ill may pray for healing and that God can and does heal when it is His will, and it will redound to His glory. We believe we should pray one for another in times of illness, but always praying in the will of God and not putting guilt or lack of faith to the charge of the believer if the healing does not come to pass. We do not believe that physical healing is a part of salvation, or that God desires all believers to be in good health. Paul had an infirmity of the flesh and God refused to remove it, even though Paul prayed in faith for healing. (2 Corinthians 12L7-10) Because we do not believe that physical healing is a part of salvation (the doctrine of healing in the atonement, as held by most Pentecostal groups), we do not conduct or condone the conduction of meetings for the purpose of providing or claiming to provide physical healing. Faith Baptist Church believes that meetings should be conducted for the purposes of evangelism or spiritual edification. We believe that God has given men (such as Dr. Luke) the knowledge to care for our physical bodies. We are to avail ourselves of such assistance in times of need while relying on the Lord to overrule and provide such healing as is beyond the capacity of the doctors caring for us, and within the will of the Lord for us.
Faith Baptist Church believes that salvation involves the believer in personal separation, which consists in both separation unto Christ and separation from the world. (Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 3:15-16) We thus deem it proper and profitable to enunciate the following Scriptural principles, which govern the believer’s life and establish a standard for holiness.
1. Separation Unto Christ.
The maintaining of daily personal and family devotions. (1 Timothy 4:13-15
The maintaining of a regular Bible study time for personal spiritual growth. (2 Timothy 3:16-17
The maintaining of regular attendance at, and involvement in, a local church for service and fellowship. (Hebrews 10:25
The maintaining of an attitude of willingness to yield to the will of God and His guidance, looking to Him for the provision of all needs. (Romans 12:1-2)
The maintaining of an example of the believer in word and deed, whether involved in the ministry of the church or in personal activities. (1 Timothy 4:12)
2. Separation From the World.
The abstaining from the use of that which is harmful to the body (such as tobacco, the nonmedicinal use of narcotics and alcoholic beverages. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
The abstaining from immodesty (which may be expressed by dress, decorum, or the excessive use of cosmetics. (1 Timothy 2:9)
The abstaining from improper language (such as profanity, gossip, obscenity, etc. (James 1:26)
The abstaining from everything detrimental to Christian influence. Considering the conscience of the weaker brother that we do not become a stumbling block. (Romans 14:13; 1 Corinthians 10:29-32)
The abstaining from things unChristlike, being ever conscious of the need of spiritual growth. (Romans 8:29)
The abstaining from questionable amusements and associations which damages spiritual growth and inhibits sanctification. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
The abstaining from membership in secret societies which unequally yoke together believers with unbelievers and propagate the doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. (2 Corinthians 6:14; James 5:12)
The abstaining from such life style as would be conforming to the present evil world system. (Romans 12:2)
A BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF HUMAN RELATIONS
The Need for a Clear Biblical Statement on Race – One of the most serious charges against the evangelical church is the failure to respond positively to the race question. Although, in the past, it has been branded as social, liberal, and humanistic, this question has as its basis nothing less than the Word of God. It is from the sacred Scriptures that racial prejudice is condemned. Only by divine revelation could Peter declare, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him". (Acts 10:34-35) The import of this charge is further evidenced by, what has been, a lack of emphasis in evangelical churches, on the oneness of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:17; 12:12; Ephesians 1:23; 4:4) The great fundamental doctrines of the faith are set forth biblically and clearly in our doctrinal statements; however, a scriptural statement of man’s relationship to man us sadly missing. Although this is true of fundamental Bible doctrine and expectation, it is nor correspondingly true of Scripture, for the Bible lays bare how God expects the Christian to treat other men, both those who are saved and those who are lost. As Bible believers we need a biblical doctrine of human relations.
The Historical Reaction of the Christian Church to the Race Question – When the black people from the African Continent first came into Europe and America, the question of their status in the human group and in the society was at once an issue. Both the church and the non-Christian groups declared that these black people were to be given an inferior statue – they were to be servants and slaves. The non-Christian world backed its position with science and philosophy. The church appealed to the Scripture. IN time it proposed the unscriptural view of the "curse on Ham". Based on this reading of Scripture, prejudice already held was taught, advocated and practiced as racial bias.
The Position of Faith Baptist Church – Faith Baptist Church believes that since God is no respecter of persons, we should not be of any different persuasion. We believe, our mandate is to preach the gospel to every "ethnic group" (Matthew 28:18-20); to every creature. (Mark 16:15) We also believe that each believer, regardless of race, is to be received into the church fellowship on the same basis, and that we are to reach our entire community, not just a certain proportion of racially alike inhabitants. In doing so we will we be able to reveal to the unsaved world the love of Christ, even as we love one another, regardless of race or color.