What We Believe.
The following comprise the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.
(a) The Bible
1) We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and all 66 books are inspired equally by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21). 2) We believe that the Word of God is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), infallible and is absolutely inerrant in the original text. 3) We believe the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17). 4) We believe that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21). 5) We believe that although there could be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one interpretation. The meaning of Scripture can only be found as the Holy Spirit reveals the text through the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20).
1) We believe that there is only one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4). 2) We believe that God is an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence and eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.
(c) God the Father
1) We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). 2) We believe that He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; 3) We believe that He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). 4) We believe that He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ, His Son (John 6:37, John 14:6). 5) We believe that He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, their Heavenly Father (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).
(d) God the Son
1) We believe that Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Trinity and is coequal and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9). 2) We believe that Jesus Christ created all things in heaven and earth and are held together by Him (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2). 3) We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, and redeem men (John 3:16-17). 4) We believe that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Jesus surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9). 5) We believe that, in the incarnation, the second Person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-8). 6) We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24). 7) We believe that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18). 8) We believe that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1). 9) We believe that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23). 10) We believe that Jesus Christ will return again to receive all believers to Himself while judging the world of sin. (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20). 11) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the One through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23): 12) We believe that as the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Head of His Body the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming universal King, who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31-33), He is the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 17:30-31).
(e) God the Holy Spirit
1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17). 2) We believe that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7). 3) We believe that the work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost, when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22). 4) We believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13). 5) We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2 Peter 1:19-21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27). 6) We believe that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18). 7) We believe that the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints and edifying the body of Christ, today (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
1) We believe that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). 2) We believe that man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9). 3) We believe that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11). 4) We believe that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God, and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8). 5) We believe that, because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).
1) We believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
(h) The Church
1) We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons. (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27) 2) We are voluntarily affiliated with the Church of God – Anderson, IN. Which teaches the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control. (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4) 3) We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
(i) The Resurrection
1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13)
1) 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. (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11)
(k) Civil Government
1) We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)
(l) Family Relationships
1) We believe that marriage has been ordained by God. This church defines “marriage” as the exclusive covenantal union of one man and one woman in which such union is a lifetime commitment. A civil government’s sanction of a union will be recognized as a legitimate marriage by the church only to the extent that it is consistent with the definition of “marriage” found in these Articles (Genesis 1:23-24, 1Timothy 3:2). 2) We believe that marriage is exclusively the legal union of one genetic male and one genetic female and that this union is evidenced by a marriage ceremony. We also believe that legitimate biblical sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage. Hence, sexual activities such as, but not limited to, adultery, fornication, pre-marital sex, incest, polygamy, homosexuality, transgenderism, bisexuality, cross-dressing, pedophilia and bestiality are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and the Church. Further, lascivious behavior, the creation, viewing and/or distribution of pornography and efforts to alter one’s physical gender or gender related appearance are incompatible with a true biblical witness. (Genesis 2:24; I Corinthians 5:11; 6:9; 6:18-20; 7:1-3; 7:8-9; Romans 1:18-32) 3) We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in their position before God. However, we believe that according to both the Old and New Testament, the role of headship belongs to men. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to serve as spiritual leaders (overseers) of His church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12) 4) We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a gift of the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; I Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1- 4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; I Pet. 3:1-7) 5) We believe that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Divorce in the Scripture is permitted as an accommodation to man’s sin for the protection of the innocent party. Since divorce is only a concession to man’s sin and is not a part of God’s original plan for marriage, all believers considering divorce should have the same attitude toward divorce as does God. (Matthew 19:5-9) 6) The only biblical grounds for divorce are (1) fornication (any sinful sexual activity, including adultery – unfaithfulness of a marriage partner) (Matt. 5:32; I Cor. 5:1), or (2) a nonbelieving partner who initiates the divorce due to incompatibility with a Christian (1 Cor. 7:12-15). In this case, the nonbelieving mate refuses to live with his or her believing spouse, especially because of his or her Christian testimony (1 Cor. 7:12-15). NOTE: It is essential to keep in mind that the Bible merely permits divorce in these limited circumstances but never commands divorce.
1) 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 abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental wellbeing of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:44)
1) We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers and those who oppose us. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)
1) We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is responsible to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe 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; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34- 37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 John 3:17)
2.02 Statement of Marriage.
We believe that because God our Creator established marriage as a sacred institution between one man and one woman, the idea that marriage is a covenant only between one man and one woman has been the traditional definition of marriage for all of human history (“Traditional Definition of Marriage”). Because of the longstanding importance of the Traditional Definition of Marriage to humans and their relationships and communities, and, most importantly, the fact that God has ordained that marriage be between one man and one woman, as clearly conveyed in God’s inerrant Scriptures, including for example in Matthew 19:4-6 where in speaking about marriage Jesus referred to the fact that “he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” the Church hereby creates this policy, which shall be known as the “Marriage Policy.” Under this Church’s Marriage Policy, the Traditional Definition of Marriage is the only definition of marriage that will be recognized or accepted. No elder, officer, employee, servant, agent, or any person, corporation, organization, or entity under the direction or control of this Church shall commit any act or omission, or make any decision whatever, that would be inconsistent with, or that could be perceived by any person to be inconsistent with, full support of this Church’s Marriage Policy and strict adherence to the Traditional Definition of Marriage rather than any alternative to the Traditional Definition of Marriage. This Church’s Marriage Policy specifically prohibits acts or omissions including but not limited to permitting any Church assets or property, whether real property, personal property, intangible property, or any property or asset of any kind that is subject to the direction or control of the Church, to be used in any manner that would be or could be perceived by any person to be inconsistent with this Church’s Marriage Policy or the Traditional Definition of Marriage, including but not limited to permitting any church facilities to be used by any person, organization, corporation, or group that would or might use such facilities to convey, intentionally or by implication, what might be perceived as a favorable impression about any definition of marriage other than the Traditional Definition of Marriage. We believe this Church’s Marriage Policy is based upon God’s will for human life as conveyed to us through the Holy Scriptures, upon which this Church has been founded and anchored, and this Marriage Policy shall not be subject to change through popular vote; referendum; prevailing opinion of members or the general public; influence of or interpretation by any government authority, agency, or official action; or legal developments on the local, state, or federal level.
2.03 Authority of Statement of Faith
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in FCOG shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.