Faith Fellowship Church
Sunday, July 22, 2018

ARTICLES OF FAITH of FAITH FELLOWSHIP CHURCH Click to view in .pdf

PREAMBLE

God is; and He has revealed Himself to us in His Word. God's Word is truth; and this truth is the foundation of all we believe. Like God, His truth is absolute, eternal and timeless. As God's truth is absolute, we build all doctrine and practice upon it and upon no other. Because it is eternal, God's Word is as relevant today as it was when originally recorded. Because God's Word is timeless, we join with our predecessors in the faith in adhering to the fundamental doctrines of our belief as declared herein. (Ge. I: I; Ex. 3: 14; In 17:17; 2 Ti. 3:16; I Pe. 1:25; 2 Pe. 1:20-21)

ARTICLE I - OF THE SCRIPTURES

The Holy Bible, as originally written, was verbally inspired and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and is therefore entirely true without any error. It has been miraculously preserved by God and brought down to us intact in all its essentials. It is the true center of Christian union and the only infallible rule for all human conduct, creeds, and opinions. (Mt. 5:18; 2 Ti. 3:16, 17; 2 Pe. 1:19-21)

ARTICLE II - OF THE TRUE GOD

There is only one living and true God, infinite in every excellence. He is uncreated, immutable, eternal, almighty and perfect as no creature can be. In the unity of the Godhead there are three personal distinctions - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - yet one in substance and equal in every divine perfection. (Ex. 20:2,3; I Co. 8:6; I In. 5:7) The Father is unbegotten, nor does he proceed from anything. He is spirit and is to be worshiped in spirit and truth. He has life in Himself and has given life to all that lives. His divine will is the foundation of all that is, and particularly of our salvation. The Father draws His children to His Son, and none of those so drawn can ever be taken from the Father's hand. (In. 4:24; In. 5:27; Ge. 2:7; In. 6:37-40; Lu. 22:42; In. 6:65; In. 10:29) The Bible declares the absolute Deity of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He was divine as no other man can ever be, being in very essence God, existing from all eternity co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. He never ceased to be God for one instant and His humiliation never involved laying aside His deity. As man, He was miraculously begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. (In. 1:1-2; I In. 5:20; Mt 1:20; Lu. 1:26-38) The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, equal with the Father and Son and of the same substance and nature. He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment, bears witness to the truth and is the agent of the new birth. He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, intercedes for, sanctifies, help, and indwells every true Child of God. (2 Co. 13:14; In. 14: 16,17; Ro. 8:14-27)

ARTICLE III - OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN

Satan is a distinct being and is the unholy god of this age. He is a liar and the father of lies who has blinded the eyes of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel. He is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire, together with all who follow him, both human and angelic. (Mt. 4:1-3; In. 8:43-44; 2 Co. 4:4; Re. 20:10)

ARTICLE IV - OF THE CREATION

God, through the person of His Son, created the heavens and the earth, including all life, "each after its own kind," by direct act, and not by the process of evolution. He created man in His image, which is the basis of man's dignity and of the sanctity of human life. (Ge. 1:2; Ge. 1:26-27; Col. 1:16,17; In. 1:3)

ARTICLE V - OF THE FALL OF MAN

Man, in the person of the first Adam, was created in innocence but by voluntary transgression fell into sin thus plunging the whole race into condemnation and death. Therefore, all mankind are born in sin, are shaped in iniquity, and sin willfully with the first expression of personal choice, and so are without excuse before God. (Ge. 3; Ro. 5:10-19)

ARTICLE VI-OF THE REDEMPTION FROM SIN

The only escape from the condemnation of sin is through the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ, when He voluntarily took upon Himself a human body and nature, yet without sin and by His suffering, death, atonement and resurrection H( made full satisfaction to the justice of God for the sin of His people. The blessings of this salvation are given on the grounds of grace to all who believe and confess, and that it is the immediate duty of all to accept these offers of mercy. (In 1:1-3,14; He. 10:4-14; Ac.16:30-33)

ARTICLE VII - OF SALVATION BY GRACE

Salvation is wholly by grace through faith and Christ is the author and finisher of that faith. This faith is the gift of God that no man may boast. Therefore, no works, however good, can make our salvation more secure. Yet it is only by this faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ that we come to appreciate the blessings of His salvation from sin and its penalty, and the certain hope of eternity with Him in His Kingdom. (Ac.16:31; Ep. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5-7; Ro. 10:9-13; He. 12:2) All who take Christ as their Savior are born from above and are eternally secure in Christ. (In. 10:28-29; Ro. 8:35-39; Ph. 1:6)

ARTICLE VIII - OF THE CHURCH

The Church universal is a New Testament institution, unknown to the Old Testament prophets. It is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth, established by Jesus Christ, who is its sole Head. Revealed through the holy Apostles, empowered and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit, the Church is Christ's "body" for service and His "bride" for glory. It began with the New Testament saints and will be consummated at the coming of Christ in the Rapture. (Mt. 16:18; Ac. 1:8; 2:1-13, 41-47; 15:14; Ro. 16:26; I Co. 12:1228; Ep. 1:22,23; 3:21; 5:23-33; I Th. 4:13-18; I Ti. 3:15) The Church universal is manifest through the local Church which is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in it by His Word. Its officers are bishops (or pastors) and deacons. It has the absolute right of self-government directed by the Holy Spirit and it is answerable only to Christ. In all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline and benevolence the will of the local Church is final. (Mt. 18:15-]7; I Co. 1:2; 6:4,5; 7:17; 11:16; I Ti. 3:1-15) Membership in Faith Fellowship Church is by profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; such profession being tested by the leadership and confirmed by the membership of the Church. Assumed within such profession is the acceptance of the principals of Scripture as the rule of life. Therefore, membership cannot be extended to, or maintained by, those who willfully continue in practices which Scripture declares to be sin. The Church cannot condone any sexual relationship apart from biblical marriage which is defined by God as the union of one man and one woman. (Ge. 2:23-25). Nor can the Church permit the continuation of sinful practices among its members. (1 Co. 5:9-12). Yet in humility we must remember that out of such sins we have been saved (1 Co. 6:9-11), and to the repentant believer, the Church must always extend full acceptance. (2 Co. 2:5-11; Ge. 18-19; Le. 18; Deut. 22; Rom. 2)

ARTICLE IX - OF THE ORDINANCES

There are two church ordinances: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water and is properly called "Believer's Baptism." It sets forth in a beautiful and solemn way our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with the effects of that faith in our lives as it produces death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. The Lord's Supper is the commemoration of our Lord's death until He comes and our continual fellowship with Him. The taking of communion should be preceded by baptism and always by self-examination. (Ac. 8:36-39; Ro. 6:3-5; I Co. 11:23-32)

ARTICLE X -OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED

There is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. Only those who through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of God are truly righteous in God's esteem. All who continue unrepentant and in unbelief are in God's sight wicked and under the curse. This distinction holds among men both during life and after death, in the everlasting conscious bliss of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. (Mal. 3:18; Ro. 6:17-23; Mt. 25:34-41; Lk. 6:25; In. 8:21)

ARTICLE XI-OF THE RETURN OF CHRIST

There will be the bodily, personal, premillennial return of Jesus Christ before the seven year tribulation period, when Christ will descend from heaven with a shout and the trumpet call of God. At that instant the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then, with living believers, they shall all meet the Lord in the air. Christ will ret1.!rn with his Church at the close of the tribulation to judge the living nations and to set up His kingdom on earth. (1 Th. 4:13-18; Mt. 15:31-46; 24:1-44; Re. 19:11-21)

ARTICLE XII - OF THE RESURRECTION

The bodies of the dead shall be resurrected, and all believers who die in Christ will be raised when Christ ret1.!rns for His Church and will be caught up with transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air. The wicked dead will be raised at the close of the Millennial kingdom and stand in their final doom. (In. 5:21-30; I Th.4:16;Re. 7:9-17;20:11-15)

ARTICLE XIII - OF SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD

Separation from all worldly practices, and wholehearted devotion to the cause of Christ, is the only Scriptural basis for a happy and useful Christian life. Although Christians have great liberty in Christ, this liberty is necessarily constrained by the law of love, which counsels all Christians to refrain from activities which would harm a weaker brother, or give occasion for the unsaved to blaspheme against God. Therefore, the brethren should refrain from all indulgences in worldly practices, from participation in groups which hold, tolerate, or advocate positions which conflict with the clear teaching of Scripture, from cohabitation outside of marriage as defined by Scripture and from all similar practices which detract from a separated life (Ga. 5:19-21; Co!. 3:5; 2 Co. 6:14; 7:1; Ro. 12:1-2; Js. 4:4; ] In. 2:15-17; 1 Pe. 4:1-5)
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