1) The Bible
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, was written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit; that it is verbally and plenarily (completely) inspired of God ; that it is inerrant (in the original writings) , sufficient, and eternal; and that it is therefore of supreme and final authority in faith and practice (Psalm 19:7-11 ; Psalm 119:89; II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1 :20,21)
We believe in one God- a personal, infinite, intelligent, all-powerful, eternal spirit, the creator ex nihilo and supreme ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all honor and love. We believe that in the unity of the Godhead there are three distinct, uncreated persons- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit- who are one in essence and equal in every divine perfection and attribute. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Psalm 147:5; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1 1:33; Revelation 4:11)
We believe in God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that He governs the world according to His eternal purposes, that He concerns Himself mercifully and justly in the affairs of men, that He is the heavenly Father of all who come unto Him through Jesus Christ, and that he hears and answers prayer (Exodus 34:6,7; Psalm 65:2; Daniel 4: I 7; Ephesians 1:5).
We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We believe in
His incarnation and virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His death on the cross as a substitute for sinful men, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, His present ministry as the advocate and high priest of the redeemed, His personal, imminent, pre-tribulational return for His own (known as the rapture), and His personal , pre-millenial return in power and glory with His saints to establish His eternal reign in righteousness (Isaiah 9:6,7; John 1:1; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4).
We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit. We believe that His
ministries including the restraining of evil in the world; the conviction of the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment; the calling and regeneration of all believers; the indwelling of those who are saved; and the filling for power, service, and fruitfulness of all among the saved who are yielded to Him. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Witness, Seal, Earnest, Guide, Teacher, and Comforter (John 16:7-11; Acts 5:3,4; Ephesians I:13; Ephesians 5:18).
We believe in the personality of Satan, “the old serpent, the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world.” We believe that Satan was originally created as an angel; that he rebelled against God; that a host of angels joined him in his rebellion; that he is presently the arch-enemy of God and man; that he is the head of all the powers of darkness; that he is completely opposed to all that is good; that he will. suffer ultimate defeat at God’s hands in His appointed time; and that he and his angels will be tormented eternally in the lake of fire, a place which God’s justice has prepared for them (Ezekiel
28:12; Matthew 25:41; Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 20:2).
We believe that man was created directly by God on the sixth day of the creation week, in His image and likeness, and in a state of sinlessness. We believe that man chose to transgress the will of God; that, in so doing, man brought upon himself both spiritual and physical death; that, by Adam’s disobedience, the entire human race was plunged
into a state of sin and death; that all men inherit an evil nature and are utterly unable to merit God ‘s favor; and that all who die without the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ will endure eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Genesis 1:26,27; Romans 5:12; Romans
7:18; Revelation 20:15).
We believe in the salvation of sinners through the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by virtue of his shed blood and substitutionary death upon the cross, is the only Savior of men. We believe that salvation is a free gift of God’s grace; that man cannot earn or merit it by good works or by any other means; that salvation is received personally by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work; that salvation includes forgiveness of sins, redemption, regeneration, adoption, sanctification, glorification, and eternal life; that all the redeemed are kept by God’s power through faith and thus cannot lose their salvation; and that the genuine believer will show practical evidence of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8,9; Hebrews 10:14; James 2:18; I Peter 1:5).
6) The Church
We believe that the universal church, the body of Christ, consists of all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. We believe that the establishment of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament; that a local church should consist of those who have followed the Lord in repentance, faith, and baptism; that a local church should have regular meetings for the purpose of worship, Bible study, exhortation, and fellowship; that a local church should be organized according to the principles given in the Bible, which defines the positions of pastor and deacon; and that a local church should be independent, self-governing, and free from the interference of any ecclesiastical or political authority, being subject only to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1 :22,23; I Timothy 3:1-13; Hebrews 10:25).
7) The Ordinances of the Church
We believe that there are two Biblical ordinances and that they are symbolic, not sacramental in nature. These ordinances are for those who are already saved; they play no role whatsoever in salvation itself.
We believe that Biblical baptism is for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ; that it takes place by immersion of the believer in water; that it is done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; that it constitutes a public profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; that it sets forth a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and that, as a step of obedience, it expresses the believer’s desire to die unto sin and self and to walk in newness of life.
We believe that communion (or the Lord’s Supper) is a commemoration of the Lord’s death to be observed until he comes; that the bread and the fruit of the vine are symbols of the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine should be preceded by solemn heart-examination and self-judgment (Matthew 26:26-29; Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41 ; Romans 6:4; I Corinthians 11 :23-32).
8) Last Things
We believe that at death, the spirit and soul of the believer pass instantly into the presence of the Lord and remain there in conscious joy until being united with the believer’s resurrected body at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that at death, the spirit and soul of the unbeliever pass instantly into hell and remain there in conscious suffering until being united with the unbeliever’s resurrected body at the judgment of the great white throne.
We believe in the imminent, personal, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air to rapture all believers.
The rapture will be followed by the tribulation, a fearful seven year period which will include the emergence of the Anti-Christ. In the tribulation, God’s righteous judgments will be poured out on the world.
The tribulation will end with the physical, glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth to judge all the living and to establish his millennial (that is, thousand year) kingdom, During the millennium, God will bind Satan, and the earth and its inhabitants will experience supernatural blessings, spiritual and physical, under the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the end of the millennium, God will release Satan, who will deceive the nations, many of whom will rise in a final rebellion against God. God will devour those who rebel against him with fire from heaven. Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, there to suffer eternally.
The judgment of the great white throne will then take place, at which time the spirits and souls of the unbelieving dead will be united with their resurrected bodies. Unbelievers will then be cast into the lake of fire, there to suffer eternally.
After the great white throne judgment, God will create a new heaven and a new earth, which will include the new Jerusalem. God will dwell forever with the believers. He will be with them and be their God. (II Cor.5:8; Luke 16:22,23; I Cor. 15:51-57; I Thes. 4:14-17; Matt. 24:21,22; Daniel 9:27, II Thess. 2:3-12. Rev. 13:1-9, Rev. 19:11-16; Matt. 25:31-46, Rev. 20:2-6, Isaiah 11, Isaiah 35, Rev. 20:7-15; Rev. 21:1-3).
Position Statement On Separation
The Fellowship of Independent Churches considers ecclesiastical (or doctrinal) separation to be an extremely important and defining issue (Romans 16:17, II Corinthians 6:14-18; Galatians 1:8,9; II Thessalonians 3:6,14,15; Titus 3:10). In particular, the Fellowship considers the following to be against the teachings of God’s Word:
The ecumenical movement, with its emphasis on an unbiblical unity between all professing Christians
Theological liberalism, characterized (among other things) by a rejection of the inspiration and authority of the Bible, a denial of miracles, a rejection of creation and the flood in favor of the theory of evolution, and a rejection of a literal heaven and a literal hell
The charismatic movement, characterized by a strong emphasis on experience, the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”, “speaking in tongues”, and physical healing
Hierarchical church organizations which do not respect the independence of the local church
The Fellowship of Independent Churches considers personal (or practical) separation to be equally important (Psalm 1:1, Isaiah 52:11, I Corinthians 5:9-13, II Corinthians 7:1).