Article 4.1. Doctrine of the Bible
We believe in the inspiration of the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) as being plenary and verbally inspired without any admixture of human error in the original writing; that the Bible is reliable in science, history, and every other matter it discusses; that great care should be taken in the use of many modern translations which water down or negate entirely fundamental doctrines such as the deity of Christ or the blood atonement; and that the Bible is the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21, 3:15-16
Furthermore, we believe in the preservation of the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments). That is, that God has carried out a work of providential care in providing copies of the Scriptures that have been kept pure and retain full authority in all matters of faith and practice. We do not believe that the doctrine of preservation is limited to any one translation.
Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; I Peter 1:25
Article 4.2. Doctrine of God
We believe in the one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co- equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections.
Matthew 28:19,20; II Corinthians 13:14; Deuteronomy 6:4
Article 4.2.1. God the Father
We believe in God the Father, perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, measureless in power, everywhere present; that He is Spirit; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from Hell all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 6:3; John 17: 11; Psalm 147:5; I John 3:20; Matthew 19:26; John 3:16, 14:6, 4:24; Matthew 6:26, 28, 30; Psalm 65:2; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 5:8; I Timothy 2:5
Article 4.2.2. God the Son
We believe in the absolute deity of the Lord Jesus Christ; His eternal existence as God, co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit; His incarnation by means of the virgin birth; His sinlessness; His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the cross; His literal bodily resurrection from the dead; His ascension; His present high-priestly ministry in Heaven for believers; and His personal, visible return to earth.
John 1:1-3, 14; Philippians 2:5-11; I John 5:20; John 1:18, 14:9; Hebrews 1:8; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 24:36-43; Acts 10:40-41 1:9; Luke 24:51; Hebrews 8:1-2; I John 2:1; Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:16
Article 4.2.3. God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son, and of the same nature; that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; that He bears witness to the Truth (Jesus Christ); that He is the agent of the new birth;that He baptizes all true believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sanctifying them, sealing and thus securing them unto the day of redemption; that He endues, guides, teaches, and helps believers; and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit, the evidences being love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, not speaking in tongues. In relation to the evil world, He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled.
Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; John 3:5-7, 14:16, 17, 26, 16:7-15; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:30; II Thessalonians 2:6-7
Article 4.3. Doctrine of Creation
We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man (spirit, soul, and body) was created by a direct work of God.
Genesis 1:1-2:25; Colossians 1:16; John 1:3
Article 4.4. Doctrine of Man and Sin
We believe that God created man in His own image, innocent, and that man by disobedience of the command of God sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is conscious and eternal separation from God in Hell. We believe that all men are born with a sinful nature, evidenced by sinful acts; that man is totally depraved; and that if he is not born again, he is eternally lost.
Genesis 1:26,27; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Luke 16:23; Romans 3:10-23, 5:12,6:23; I Corinthians 15:21,22; Revelation 20:11-15,21:8; Romans 1:18; Psalm 14:1-3; Ephesians 2:1-3
Observing the cultural acceptance of many sinful behaviors, the resulting consequences to those who engage in them, and the fact that God defines what is right and wrong, not man (Acts 4:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:8), Friendship Baptist Church is governed by the Bible’s teaching on the following matters:
Article 4.4.1. Human Sexuality
We believe sexual intimacy is to be enjoyed only within the covenant marriage relationship of a man and woman. The Bible clearly teaches that any form of fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sexuality. Sexual lust outside of marriage is a universal temptation of the sinful human heart and underscores the necessity of forgiveness and the hope of a new heart transformed through faith in Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24-25; 26:8-9; Genesis 19:5, 13; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Article 4.4.2. Gender Identity
We believe gender identity is determined by God at conception. Therefore, all forms of transgenderism are a rejection of God’s sovereign design. We exhort all to find peace and freedom within the boundaries of God’s will through a transformed life in Christ
Genesis 1:27-28; 5:1-2
Article 4.5. Doctrine of Salvation
We believe that God has His purposes of grace in the salvation of men. These purposes are made effectual by the giving of His Son and in the constraining and regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit upon all who sincerely believe on Christ. But these purposes do not contravene the freedom of man’s will nor render inoperative the proclamation of the Gospel at all.
Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4; Isaiah 46:10
Article 4.5.1. Regeneration
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is instantaneous; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that it is effected by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with the Word of God; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and newness of life.
John 3:33; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 5:1; John 3:6,7; Acts 16:30-33; II Peter 1:4; Ephesians 2:1; Romans 6:23; II Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:13; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; John 3:8
Article 4.5.2. Justification
We believe that justification is the judicial act of God whereby He declares us to be righteous through faith in Christ Jesus; that justification includes the pardon of sin and the imputation of God’s righteousness; that it is bestowed, not by any work which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood sacrifice.
Acts 13:39; II Corinthians 5:18-21; Romans 5:1, 8, 9, 8:1; Ephesians 1:7
Article 4.5.3. Sanctification
We believe that sanctification for the believer is immediate upon acceptance of Christ as Savior; that it is progressive in the hearts and lives of believers through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit; that it will be completed when we see Him.
I Corinthians 1:2,30, 6:11; Hebrews 10:10, 14; I Thessalonians 4:1-12; Ephesians 5:25-27; I John 3:2; II Corinthians 3:18
Article 4.5.4. Two Natures
We believe that every saved person possesses two natures; that he has the old nature, inherited from the first Adam, for the duration of his earthly life; but that provision is made for victory of the new nature of Christ over the old nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Romans 7:15-25, 6:11-14; Philippians 4:7-14, 3:7-14; II Corinthians 12:7-10
Article 4.6. Doctrine of the Church
We believe that the church exists in two aspects:
Article 4.6.1. Organism
We believe it is an organism and is composed of all true believers in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Ephesians 5:25-33; Colossians 1:14-18; I Corinthians 12:12-31
Article 4.6.2. Organization
We believe it is an organization composed of regenerated, immersed believers, voluntarily united for the purposes of worship, edification, observance of the ordinances, fellowship, the establishment of Christian education and service; that the scriptural officers of the local church are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; that the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity in the local community and unto the uttermost parts of the earth; that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, religious or governmental; that the one and only true Head is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true believers to cooperate in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel, with each local church as the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, policy of government, discipline, and benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
Acts 2:41-47, 4:4; Romans 1:7; Colossians 1:2; I Corinthians 1:2; Hebrews 3:1-16; Titus 1:5-8; Hebrews 13:7, 17; I Peter 5:1-5; Acts 15:1-27, 11:29,30, 13:1-4; Philippians 4:14-16; Acts 20: 28,31; I Corinthians 5:1-6, 11
Article 4.7. Doctrine of Church Ordinances
Article 4.7.1. Baptism
We believe that scriptural baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, setting forth, in symbol, his union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection; that every believer should be baptized because of the example and command of our Lord; that while there is no saving power in water baptism, it is an act of obedience by those who are already saved to picture their death, burial, and resurrection, to walk in newness of life with Jesus Christ, and that blessed hope of bodily resurrection.
Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:13-17, 28:19,20; Acts 8:36-39: Colossians 2:12; Mark 1:9
Article 4.7.2. Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of the Lord’s death until He comes again and that the Lord’s table should be opened to all regenerated persons who are living in obedience to God’s Word.
I Corinthians 11:24-32; Luke 22:14-20; Matthew 26:26-28
Article 4.8. Doctrine of Spiritual Beings
We believe that the Scriptures teach that prior to the creation of the material universe, the Triune God created a great host of varied spirit beings including angels, cherubim, and seraphim. The holy angels serve God as His messengers and minister to those who are the elect among the human race. Lucifer (now Satan), the highest of the cherubim, fell by sinning against the most high God and took with him in his rebellion a large number of angels. Satan is the author of sin and the one who brought about the fall of Adam and Eve. Satan is the enemy of God, the accuser of God’s people and is constantly active in opposing the works and people of God. Satan was judged at the cross and his ultimate destiny (together with his demon accomplices) is the Lake of Fire.
Job 38:4-7; Colossians 1:16,17; Hebrews 1:14; Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14; Revelation 12:7; Genesis 3:5; Revelation 12:11; I Peter 5:8; John 12:31,16:11; Revelation 20:7, 10
Article 4.9. Doctrine of Future Things
We believe in the literal, bodily, personal, pre-millennial and imminent coming of our Lord in the air to catch away all believers unto Himself before the Tribulation period; also, in the personal, visible and glorious return of Christ to the earth, with believers, at the close of the Tribulation period to judge the living nations and to set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth.
Acts 1:11; John 14:3; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; II Peter 3:1-13; Revelation 4:1, 19:11-21, 20:1-6; Matthew 24:42-44, 29-31, 25:31-46: II Thessalonians 2:7, 8; Hebrews 12:22-24
Article 4.9.1. Resurrection of the Dead
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the saved to everlasting blessedness at the coming of Christ and (one thousand years later) the lost to the judgment at the Great White Throne and then to everlasting, conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire.
John 5:21-30; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:42-52; Philippians 3:20,21; Revelation 20:5, 6, 11-15
Article 4.9.2. Destiny of the Soul
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, and that the souls of the lost remain after death, in conscious misery in Hell until the second resurrection.
II Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23, 24; II Peter 2:9; Revelation 20: 13-15; Luke 16:23, 24
Article 4.10. Doctrine of Stewardship
We believe that stewardship is the active recognition of the Lordship of Christ over all believers; that it is our joyous privilege to give back to the Lord our tithes and offerings to the local church; that a Christian’s obligation to give of his material possessions extends beyond the church to all those who are in need.
Matthew 23:23; Mark 12:41; Genesis 28:22; Leviticus 27:30; I Corinthians 16:1-3; II Corinthians 8:1-6; Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:9; Ephesians 4:28
Article 4.11. Doctrine of Security of Saints
We believe that nothing can separate true believers from the love of God, but they are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, the sure proof of this being their patient continuance and progress in righteousness and true holiness.
Romans 8:35-39; I Peter 1:5; John 10:27-29; I John 5:13; Jude 1; John 3:16
Article 4.12. Doctrine of the Lord’s Day
We believe that in this age of grace, the Lord’s Day, which is the first day of the week, the day of our Lord’s resurrection, is the proper day for Christian worship and service, and that it ought to be kept sacred for spiritual purposes, by abstinence from all unnecessary secular labor and other activities unbecoming to such a day.
Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:1,2; Colossians 213-17; Hebrews 10:25; John 20:1,19; Mark 16:2; Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1
Article 4.13. Doctrine of Separation
Article 4.13.1. Ecclesiastical Separation
We believe that we must stand up against and separate from all apostasy, such as liberalism and ecumenism, as well as all groups that would compromise, cooperate, or fellowship with such that do not uphold the historic Christian fundamentals of the faith as expressed by the Bible and in this Declaration of Faith.
I John 4:1; Romans 16:16-18, 14:1,2; I Timothy 6:3-5; II John 9-11; Titus 3:9-11; Ephesians 5:11; Romans 14:1; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Galatians 1:6-9; Colossians 1:28; I John 1:5-7; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 1 a; 11 Timothy 3:1- 5
Article 4.13.2. Personal Separation
We believe that every Christian is to keep himself unspotted from the world, and in so doing must abstain from various practices, sinful habits and worldly dress; that a proper standard and example must be raised to the lost world and to weaker Christians.
James 1:27; I Peter 2:11; Romans 6:11-13; I Corinthians 6:12, 19-20; Romans 13:14; I Thessalonians 5:22; Matthew 5:13-18
Article 4.14. Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts
We believe that the Scriptures teach that every believer since the beginning of the church at Pentecost receives spiritual gifts. These gifts are the result of the Spirit baptizing the believer into the body of Christ, and are given for the edification and good of the local church, not the individual recipient. It is the responsibility of every believer to exercise his gifts to the fullest of his ability within the local church.
I Corinthians 12:13,14; Ephesians 4:11-13; Hebrews 2:2, 3; Romans 12:7, 8
Article 4.15. Doctrine of Missions
We believe that all men everywhere without Christ are lost and bound for eternal punishment. Because men cannot believe in Him of whom they have never heard, we are debtors to all men and have the responsibility of giving them the Gospel. Jesus left us the command that we should be witnesses for Him, and should take the Gospel of Christ to every place where men are to be found. We believe that to carry out this command we must ourselves be witnesses by life and word to tell all lost men about Christ and we must support by prayer and financial aid those who go out to represent us in other parts of the world, as well as the United States of America.
Romans 1:18-20, 10:14; Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20
Article 4.16. Doctrine of Civil Government
We believe that Civil Government is of divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society; that those in authority are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed except only in things opposed to the direct and revealed will of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 13:1-7; Genesis 9:5, 6; I Timothy 2:2,3; Acts 4:19, 20, 5:27-29