Shallowford Free Will Baptist
Monday, October 23, 2017
For the Glory of Christ Alone
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What We Believe

The following statements identify the cardinal doctrines of our church.  
 
 
THE SCRIPTURES
1. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are our infallible rule of faith and practice.
 
2. We believe the Scriptures to be inerrant and indestructible (Matthew 24:35).
 
3. We believe the Scriptures to be "God-breathed," and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the child of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
 
4. We believe that the Scriptures are relevant to our current situations, accurate in all matters to which it addresses, sufficient to reveal the plan of God to us and beneficial for us in living a life that is healthy, fulfilling, and well-pleasing to God.
 
THE NATURE OF GOD
1. We believe there is one living and true God, revealed in history and nature as the Creator, Preserver, and Righteous Governor of the universe.
 
2. We believe that Lord God is One God, manifesting Himself in a Triune Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
 
3. We believe God to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
 
4. We believe God to be unchanging in His nature and attributes, including that God has no blemish, taint, or shortcoming in Himself.
 
5. We believe that our highest calling is to worship God in spirit and in truth.
 
 
THE MINISTRY OF THE SON
1. We believe that Jesus Christ is God manifested in the flesh (John 1: 1, 14); being the perfect combination of perfect divinity and perfect humanity.
 
2. We believe that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life in absolute obedience to His Father.
 
3. We believe that Jesus Christ was the mediator between God and man. As such, He came to die by crucifixion. He was raised bodily from the dead 3 days later, on the first Easter Sunday. He is now risen and glorified, and is seated at the right hand of God.
 
4. We believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the entire world and that whosoever might believe in Him may have eternal life.
 
5. We believe that Jesus Christ will return at the end of time and re-institute God's rightful dominion over the earth.
 
 
THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. We believe that the Holy Spirit is assigned all of the attributes of God, being God Himself.
 
2. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells the child of God promoting godliness, righteousness, conviction, boldness, and direction.
 
3. We believe that the Holy Spirit conveys gifts upon God's people including (among others) love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, righteousness, and truth.
 
 
THE PLAN OF SALVATION
1. We believe that man was created innocent, but by willful disobedience fell into a state of sin and condemnation. His posterity inherits a sinful nature; as such, all of those who come to the age of personal accountability do sin and become guilty before God.
 
2. We believe that Jesus Christ came to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for the sins of mankind, completely providing salvation by appeasing God's wrath.
 
3. We believe that by grace and through faith, each individual can be saved through Christ and experience salvation and eternal life.
 
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth, and the ONLY life; no man comes to the Father except they come through Christ. Salvation under any other name is therefore absolutely precluded.
 
5. We believe that those who persist in rebellion against God will receive the fruit of their disobedience in eternal condemnation. This condemnation is eternal, horrific, and without escape.
 
6. We believe that salvation is by grace through faith. Faith in Christ's work is the avenue by which salvation is actualized. Should the believer make a willful decision to discontinue faith in Christ, he will once again find himself in an unsaved condition (Hebrews 10:26-39; Jude 5-6, 20-21). We believe this condition to be without the possibility of repentance (Hebrews 6:4-6)
 
 
THE CHURCH
1. We believe the church is the body of Christ, sanctified by His blood and set apart in this world to be a vessel of revelation for the Gospel message.
 
2. We believe the church is obligated to fulfill the ordinances of the Gospel: Baptism (the immersion of believers in water), Communion (the communal memorial of Christ's death in partaking of the bread and the cup as the body and blood of Christ), & Foot Washing (an ordinance of humility and service instituted by Jesus in John 13).
 
3. We believe that out ultimate purpose is to worship the Lord in spirit & in truth, and in doing so to evangelize the world through our giving, our participation, our equipping, and our support of home and international missions.
 
4. We accept the Treatise of the National Association of Free Will Baptists as out guide for doctrinal teachings and for church government.
 
5. We willingly bind ourselves to the following Church Covenant:
 
    "Having given ourselves to God, by faith in Christ, and have adopted the Word of God as our rule of faith and practice, we now give ourselves to one another by the will of God in this solemn covenant.
 
     "We promise, by His grace, to love and obey Him in all things, to avoid all appearance of evil, to abstain from all sinful amusements and unholy conformity to the world, from all sanction of the use and sale of intoxicating beverages, and to 'provide things honest in the sight of all men.'
 
     "We agree faithfully to discharge our obligations in reference to the study of the Scriptures, secret prayer, family devotions, and social worship; and by self-denial, faith, and good works endeavor to 'grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.'
 
     "We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together for church conferences, public worship, and the observance of the ordinances of the Gospel; nor fail to pay according to our ability for the support of the church, of its poor, and all its benevolent work.
 
     "We agree to accept Christian admonition and reproof with meekness, and to watch over one another in love, endeavoring to 'keep the unity of the Spirit' in the bonds of peace, to be careful of one another's happiness and reputation, and to seek to strengthen the weak, encourage the afflicted, admonish the erring, and as far as we are able, promote the success of the church and of the Gospel.
 
     "We will everywhere hold Christian principle sacred and Christian obligations and enterprises supreme; counting it our chief business in life to extend the influence of Christ in society, constantly praying and toiling that the kingdom of God may come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
 
     "To this end we agree to labor for the promotion of educational and denominational enterprises, the support of missions, the success of Sunday schools, and evangelistic efforts for the salvation of the world. And may the God of peace sanctify us wholly, and preserve us blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
 
MARRIAGE & THE FAMILY
1. We believe that marriage is a sacred, divinely ordained covenant that is between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27, 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). Christ, having adorned the wedding at Cana of Galilee with His presence, signified to the church the divine approval of the activities for mankind. Because marriage is a covenant for life, we therefore will attempt to discourage divorce unless it is necessary and based on reasonable, biblical causes.
 
2. We believe the biological family unit was divinely structured to include father, mother, and children. Biological family connections have been sufficiently supported throughout the biblical record, and are therefore encouraged by our church. We believe the primary responsibility of the spiritual education of the child should occur within the framework of the family (Deuteronomy 6:6-10). We therefore encourage the presence of a family devotion and prayer time for all.
 
3. We believe sexual immorality to be an affront against the person and character of God, the covenant of marriage, and the family unit. Proper sexual conduct is only approved within the context of heterosexual marriage (Hebrews 13:4). All forms of sexual expression which violate these concepts are considered to be violations of God's holy law.
 
 
THE SANCTITY OF LIFE
1. We believe that life is a gift from God that begins at moment of conception. The Scripture indicates to us God's participation in the development of the unborn child (Psalm 139:13-14), God's ordination of that life for His purposes (Jeremiah 1:5), and God's equation of the unborn child with the life of a newborn child (compare Luke 1:41 & Luke 2:12 where the same word is used for both unborn and newborn children).
 
2. We believe that the creation of men was a special act of divine participation where God breathed His breath into the mouth of man and made him a living being (Genesis 2:7). The special prerogative of man is inherent in this special act of creation. Therefore, mankind is to have dominion over the earth according to God's mandate (Genesis 1:28).
 
3. We believe that the special act of creation of man is sufficient to separate mankind from the animal and plant kingdoms. Mankind is a special creative action by God (Psalm 8:5); evolution is thereby expressly incompatible with the divine revelation of the Bible. While plants and animals are important and mankind has a divine directive to maintain the earth, mankind takes preeminence over all other forms of created life (Ecclesiastes 3:21).