What we believe:
Believers Fellowship stands firmly within historic Christian orthodoxy embracing Christian teaching as set forth in the creeds. Beyond this we look to be open-handed with issues that the Bible does not address specifically, and close-handed with issues that the Bible addresses clearly. Please select section titles for specific scriptural references to doctrinal affirmations.
We believe in the one God who eternally exists in three distinct yet equal persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit– all three having the same nature and perfections and worthy of the same honor, each with personal attributes and yet without any division of substance or essence between them.
We believe that God the Father works and acts in history distinctly from, and in continuous cooperation with, the other persons of the Trinity. The Father disciplines, gives wisdom, and protects according to his goodness and faithfulness. The Father loves sacrificially, sending the Son to accomplish the work of redemption. The Father adopts us into the family of God. He is intimately aware of, and faithfully provides for, the needs of his children.
We believe Jesus is the eternal Son of God, not made or created, but eternally pre-existent with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Moved by love and in obedience to the Father, the Son was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. In doing so, Jesus took up true human nature, adding humanity to his divinity, together in one person, both body and soul, yet without sin and without diminishing any of his deity.
We believe in the literal, sacrificial death and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Jesus rose from the dead and forever broke the power of sin and death. Having ascended into heaven, Jesus now rules and reigns at the right hand of God where he acts as high priest, intercessor, and advocate on our behalf. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
Jesus sends the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, to act as our helper on Earth.
We believe that the Holy Spirit has unique personhood and is co-equal, co-powerful, and co-eternal with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgement. When a believer receives salvation, the Holy Spirit regenerates, seals, and baptizes the believer into the body of Christ and indwells them permanently. The Holy Spirit teaches, gives wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, and might, and guides believers in all truth.
The Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts for the glory of God, for the edification of the church, for the common good, and to serve one another as stewards of God’s varied grace. No particular gift is required for, or acts as evidence of, salvation.
We believe the 66 books of the Old and New Testament, are the complete written record of God’s self-disclosure to humankind. Recorded by individuals under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is the written word of God; living and active, powerful, eternal, unstoppable, true and infallible in whatever it affirms, and therefore of supreme authority in all matters about which it speaks. The Word of God guides, builds up, encourages, corrects, bears witness to gospel truth, guards against deceit and trains us in righteousness. Each book is to be understood according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to God who speaks through it in living power. The received Scriptures are totally sufficient for all matters pertaining to faith, practice, and doctrine.
We believe that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and everything that exists out of nothing. God is at once transcendent from, and immanently and intimately involved with, in, and through what he has made. The world that God established was declared “very good.”
We believe that God made human beings, male and female, in his image and likeness and entrusted them to serve as stewards of all creation. This image of God given to us is the grounds for the inherent dignity and worth of all people, everywhere.
While we were made to be “very good”, humanity rebelled against God and sin entered the world. Our failure to obey God in thought, word, and deed, either personally or communally, inwardly or externally, constitutes sin against God.
The effect of sin is upon all creation, including the entire human race. Sin separates humans from the relationship with God for which they were designed, distorts the image and intent of the gifts God gives, and, when fully grown, leads to death.
Setting right what was broken through sin cannot be accomplished by any human effort, or through any other means, but requires the work of God on our behalf.
We believe that while we were still dead in our sin, God sent Jesus to accomplish salvation for everyone who believes in him. The free gift of salvation is offered to everyone everywhere. Salvation is not the result of anything we do or deserve, but only received by grace and through faith in Jesus.
Whoever receives salvation is born again, or regenerated, and made a new creation. As a new creation we receive redemption, which is the vicarious payment by God for the cost of sin. Through that redemption, we receive justification, which is freedom from the penalty of sin and the exchange of Christ’s righteousness for our own. Through the righteousness of Jesus, we receive adoption into the family of God, as well as reconciliation, which is the restoration of relationship that sin distorts.
While eternally secured in our salvation, we work out what we have received, by engaging in the life-long process of being conformed to the image and likeness of Christ, through submission to the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
Although we experience sin, and the painful effects of sin, in this life, God works powerfully through all circumstances for our good. Our present salvation points to our future life with God in which we will suffer no more, but perfectly glorify God and participate in God’s glory forever. This process of sanctification, nourished by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, in fellowship with others, is characterized by ever-increasing freedom from bondage to sin, and ever-increasing growth in righteousness.
We believe that the body of Christ is made up of everyone who has received the free gift of salvation. This affiliation transcends racial, social, gender, denominational, ethnic, and cultural affiliations; even as it is enhanced by that diversity.
The church is distinguished by its proclamation of the gospel message, participation in sacred ordinances, and by love for God, for one another, and for the world.
The church serves as a sign and a foretaste of the kingdom of God, neither conforming to the world around it, nor abandoning its witness to it. Every Christian has been uniquely equipped for the work of the gospel by the Holy Spirit and commissioned by Jesus to participate in the ministry of reconciliation.
We believe that Jesus gave the church the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to act as visible and tangible expressions of the gospel that point to and confirm the inward spiritual reality they signify.
Baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of our union with Christ in the likeness of his death and resurrection. The Lord’s Supper marks our participation in the new covenant that Jesus established through his broken body and shed blood.
We believe in the imminent, personal, physical, visible, and glorious return of Jesus, the bodily resurrection of the dead, and one judgement for the just and unjust. The unjust will be consigned to the second death and eternally separated from the presence of God, while those who have received the free gift of grace will be presented faultless before God. Sin and death will be no more, and all creation will worship eternally in the presence of God on a new heaven and new Earth that God has prepared for them.