What We Believe
What We Believe
There is one living and true God, revealed in nature as the Creator, Preserver, and Righteous Governor of the universe; and in the Scriptures He eternally exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each is co-eternal, co-equal in power and glory, and each has the same attributes and perfections: self-existence, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, just, merciful, loving, and immutable.
God’s Relationship to His Creatures and Creation
God exercises a wise and benevolent providence over all beings and things. He maintains the laws of nature and performs special acts as the highest welfare of mankind and His created order of things require.
The Person of 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, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross on which He bore the penalty for our sin. Our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. 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. No one can come to the Father except through Him.
The Work of Christ
The Son of God by His incarnation, life, sufferings, death, and resurrection effected for all who believe, a redemption from sin that is full and free, and is the ground of salvation by faith.
The Second Coming of Christ
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ ascended on high and sits at the right hand of God, and will come again to glorify His saints, and judge the world. Because of this, we believe and hope in the personal, imminent return of Jesus Christ.
All of the attributes of God are ascribed to the Holy Spirit by the Scriptures. It is He who convicts and convinces men of their sin. He also convinces man of that which is right, and that a final day of judgment will come. He, it is, who comes to live in us at conversion, to open our understanding to the Scripture, and to lead us into the truth.
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the inspired Word of God. We believe this inspiration extends to the total canon of Scripture and that the very words we have are the words God intended. The Scriptures 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.
God created man in a state of innocence. Man, being tempted by Satan, yielded and willfully disobeyed God, becoming a sinner and incurring God’s judgment upon sin. All of Adam’s descendants inherit his fallen nature and thus have a natural inclination to sin. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.
Man receives pardon and forgiveness for his sins when he admits to God that he is a sinner, when in godly sorrow he turns from them and trusts in the work of Christ as redemption for his sin. This acceptance of God’s great salvation involves belief in Christ’s death on the cross as man’s substitute and the fact of God’s raising Him from the dead as predicted. It is a salvation by grace alone and not of works. We believe that those who would comply with the condition of salvation (faith) constitute His elect, and that God has given to man the freedom of choice (common grace) permitting him to yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit or to resist and perish. We believe that God desires the salvation of all people everywhere.
Who Can be Saved?
It is God’s will that all be saved, but since man has the power of choice, God saves only those who repent of their sin and believe in the work of Christ on the cross. Those who refuse in this life to repent and believe have no later chance to be saved and thus condemn themselves to eternal damnation by their unbelief.
The human will is free and self-controlled, having power to yield to the influence of the truth and the Spirit, or to resist them and perish.
Free Will Baptist churches enjoy local church autonomy (self-governing). The local church is the highest authority in the denomination. Local churches voluntarily organize themselves into quarterly meetings, district, state, and national associations for the purpose of promoting the cause of Christ on the local, state, district, national, and world-wide level.
We believe that there are strong grounds to hope that the saved will persevere unto the end and be saved because of the power of divine grace pledged for their support. We believe that any saved person who has sinned (whether we call him a backslider or sinner), but has a desire to repent, may do so and be restored to God’s favor and fellowship. Since man, however, continues to have free will, it is possible because of temptations and the weakness of human flesh for him to reject Christ and his saving sacrifice and to make shipwreck of his faith and be lost. We believe that it is the happy privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word.
Free Will Baptists believe that Jesus commanded the church to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all peoples so that there might be a great multitude from every tribe, tongue, and nation. As a church we must use all available means to reach our local, regional, national, and global communities with the gospel.
The Scriptures teach the resurrection of all men at the last day-the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. We believe that the souls of the Redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where they consciously await their bodily resurrection, where the soul and the body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment.
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. God’s creation was perfect but became marred by man’s sin.