Free Will Baptist

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We believe the Bible to be the Word of God and we hold to the doctrines of the Trinity, salvation by trusting in Jesus Christ, repentance from sin, and that Christians are to live lives separate from conformities to this world.  We believe in missions, Christian education, the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper, baptism, washing of the saint’s feet, Spirit-filled lives (not charismatic) that result in witnessing to men about Christ, eternal Hell and Heaven, and all else the Bible teaches.

Articles of Faith:

1. Trinity—We believe there is but one true and living God whose essence is spirit and who exists in a Trinity of equal persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that they are each equal and infinite in their being, power, glory, and attributes.

2. The Father — we believe that God the Father is the First Person of the divine Trinity who is absolute in His deity possessing all the attributes of deity and equal with the Son and the Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus Christ — we believe in the absolute deity of Jesus Christ our Lord and that He shares equally in all the attributes of deity with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  We believe in His virgin birth; in His perfect and sinless humanity; in His miracles and their literalness; in His substitutionary, satisfactory, propitiatory, and atoning death on the cross; and His victory over death and the  grave in His resurrection.

4. Security of the Believer — We believe that the Word of God teaches the security of the believer, that God will keep securely in His hand (John 10:25-30) those who are trusting in Jesus, but offers absolutely no hope for that person who is not trusting in Christ (1 Peter 1:5).  The link that unites God and man is faith (John 3:16).  The security of the believer is based upon a continuous faith in Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:21-23; John 3:16; Hebrews 3:12-13).  We believe that the Scriptures present the possibility of an authentic believer ceasing to believe (1 John 2:24; Hebrews 3:12-13) but not in the probability (Hebrews 6:9).  We believe that apostasy is committed by willful unbelief and is without remedy (Hebrews 6:4-6).  Simply stated, we believe that God has given to the believer Scriptural grounds for knowing positively that he is saved; that God has promised and provided to keep His children even in times of failure, when they fall out of fellowship with Him; that God has assured His followers that as believers they are secure in Christ and shall never perish; but that God has, also, clearly warned the Christian against the possibility of making ship-wreck of his personal faith in Christ, and thereby, becoming an apostate, and that, if such should happen, there is no way he could be restored to salvation—his doom would be sealed.

5. Holy Spirit — we believe in the absolute and full deity of the Holy Spirit, the Third Member of the blessed Trinity, who is equal with the Father and the Son.  It was the Father who gave His Son, the Son who gave His life, and it is the Holy Spirit who today gives spiritual life to those who believe in Christ.  He indwells the believer and empowers him and Christ’s Church for service giving the various gifts to the members of the body of Christ to aid the Church in accomplishing the Great Commission.

6. Scriptures — we believe that holy men of old wrote the Bible as they were moved, (lit. “Being borne along”) by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21, which harmonizes with 2 Timothy 3:15, which teaches that all Scripture is inspired.” (Lit. “God breathed” or “breathed out by God”).  This means that the Holy Spirit so superintended the writers of the Holy Scripture that, although they utilized their own vocabularies and  experiences, they wrote the very exact message God intended without any omission, addition, or error which means that the Bible is theologically, historically, scientifically, and geographically correct since the Holy Spirit is incapable of erring.  Being plenary verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit guarantees the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible in every area in which it speaks and makes it the highest authority and guide for the believer.  The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the church.

7. Salvation — we believe in salvation by grace totally apart from any human merit.  Salvation is bestowed by a gracious God upon unworthy man conditioned solely upon his faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 3:16).

8. Resurrection — We believe in future bodily resurrection of the believer, at which time he will receive a resurrected glorified body, and that the new body will be joined with the soul so that the child of God will spend eternity to come as a body/soul being.  We likewise believe that the unbeliever will be resurrected with a body and soul, which will forever suffer in the torments of hell.

9. Judgment — We believe in the future Judgment Seat of Christ at which time the believer will stand before Christ and be judged and rewarded for the deeds done in the body whether they be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).  We also believe in the Great White Throne of Judgment for the unsaved, where their lives will be reviewed and judged according to their works, which will determine the degree of their punishment in the eternal flames of hell (Revelation 20:11-15).

10. Devil — We believe in the existence of a literal personal evil and malicious being called Satan or the Devil who led a rebellion against God at some point before creation and was cast out of heaven along with the angels (demons) who followed him.  He and his demonic hordes seek to tempt men to sin and thereby doom them to eternity in the fires of hell.  His doom and that of mankind who follow him has been pronounced as the lake of fire where he will one day be banished and shut up forever.

11. Church — We believe in the local church as God’s autonomous, self-governing, divinely ordained institution for this age, whose head is Christ (Ephesians 5:22-23; Colossians 1:18) and whole life and vitality are produced by the regenerating indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  We believe that the Great Commission (to evangelize and edify) is still the great task of the Church today (Matthew 28:18-20).  We believe that the individual local church is the highest spiritual authority on earth outside the Christian home and that all other Parachurch organizations or institutions exist by the authority granted by the local church or cooperating local churches, and that their only right of existence is as they ultimately aid the Church in fulfilling the Great Commission.

12. Pastor — we believe that the pastor, as the under-shepherd, is to lead his flock as he is led by Christ through His Word (Acts 20:28).  He is not to lord over God’s heritage but to lead by example (1 Peter 5:2-3) and as a servant (Matthew 23:11).  The sheep (as a whole or in part) are never told to lead themselves that is the under-shepherd’s task. We believe that the pastor is to work in cooperation with his church board but is never to be subservient to the board, recognizing that in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).

13. Ordinances — We believe that God has given His Church the ordinance of Baptism, which is to be administered only to believers, by immersion and in the name of Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the Lord’s Supper, which is to be open to all born again believers present; and the washing of the Saint’s feet—Matthew 28:19, 20; Romans 6:3, 4; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17.

14. Separated Living — we believe that all Christians should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God.  (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17). Calvary, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His present intercessory ministry, and in His personal return for the Church.

15. Human Sexuality — we believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and woman.  We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.  Any employee of the church becoming pregnant or causing pregnancy as a result of consensual intercourse, outside of the marriage relationship, shall be terminated from employment.  (Genesis 2:22-24; 19:5-13; 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29, 1 Corinthians 5:1,6-9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4).  We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7-10; Ephesians 5:22-23).  We believe that both men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate functions for men and women in the home and the church.  The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church.  Accordingly only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12).

16. Divorce and Remarriage — we believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies.  Divorce and remarriage are regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced, Christians (even if they are remarried) may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service.  But they may not be considered for the office of pastor or deacon (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 2:2,12; Titus 1:6).

17. Abortion — 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 that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother is acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

18. Missions — We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 13:10; 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

19. Giving — We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially.  We believe that God has established the tithe (10%) 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 (Genesis 14:20; Malachi 3:10; 28:22; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Ephesians 4:28;1 Timothy 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).

20. Creation—We believe in the literal historicity of the Genesis account of God’s creating this earth and man in seven literal twenty-four hour days, of man’s early home in the Garden paradise, of his fall by eating the forbidden fruit, of his spiritual death and depraved nature resulting from this rebellion, and of his expulsion from the Garden.

21. Evolution — We totally reject evolution as being merely an alternate theory of origins.  It dictates one’s total worldview including his foundation for truth and morals.  Evolution is the creation of the depraved mind of fallen man in his vain attempt to avoid God.  If God did not create then He has no right to control.  Evolution turns this universe into a giant machine operated by the laws of nature, ruling God out and denying the supernatural origin of the Bible and all biblical miracles.  Evolution ultimately deifies man and makes God irrelevant and unnecessary.  Evolution and biblical Christianity are incompatible.

22. New Birth — We believe that all men are born with a depraved nature and are sinful by nature and by choice and as such are alienated from God, born dead in trespasses and sin.  We believe that this condition can only be reconciled by the new birth, which is a work of regeneration wrought by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-6) Titus 3:5), conditioned upon a man’s personal faith in the atoning work of Jesus on Calvary as sufficient payment for his sin (Ephesians 2:8-10).

 

 

National Free Will Baptist History


The Free Will Baptist Denomination is not a newly formed church movement that sprang up recent years. In fact as someone has said, “Before Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride shouting, “The British are coming, the British are coming,” Free Will Baptists were proclaiming the truth that “Jesus is coming.” (Author unknown) Free Will Baptist roots can be traced back to England as early as 1611. In the United States , Free Will Baptist organized in two geographical areas almost at the same time. Paul Palmer organized what is believed to be the first Free Will Baptist church in 1727 located in Perquimans County , NC . Farther north in New Durham, NH, Benjamin Randall organized the first Free Will Baptist church in that area on June 30, 1780 . Representatives of these two groups formed the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Nashville , Tennessee , on November 5, 1935 . Today the Free Will Baptist Denomination is made up of more than 2,400 churches in 42 states and 14 foreign countries.

The Free Will Baptist Symbol

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The logo of the Free Will Baptists incorporates four symbols used by the earliest communities in Christendom: the ship, the fish, the anchor, and the cross .

 

The SHIP symbolizes the Church and represents all the members pulling in one direction, guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Seeking to fulfill Christ’s last command to the Church, Free Will Baptists unite in one purpose with one priority to proclaim the good news of the gospel throughout the world.

The FISH , represented in the symbol by the space between the bottom of the sail and the top of the ship’s body, is one of the most popular symbols for Jesus Christ. Many believe that it was a secret symbol which identified Christians during periods of persecution. The word “fish” in the first century Greek (ichthus) is an acrostic for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.

The ANCHOR on the bow of the ship symbolizes the Christian hope of salvation, “the sure, strong and steadfast anchor of the soul.”

The CROSS forms the emblem in the mast of the ship. It is the most familiar symbol in the history of the world. The cross was an instrument of execution and death turned into a worldwide emblem of hope and love by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the four corners of the ship’s sail, the symbols of earliest Christianity are enhanced by modern emblems of a vital, living faith – the HOLY BIBLE, the LOAF & CUP, the BASIN & TOWEL and CLASPED HANDS – the symbols of Free Will Baptists.

The BIBLE has always been at the heart of our life as Free Will Baptists, the centrality of the scriptures. Free Will Baptists adopt the Word of God as our only rule of faith and practice. We believe the scriptures to be inspired, inerrant, infallible and immutable.

The LOAF & CUP represent the Lord’s supper, one of the gospel ordinances. This ordinance commemorates the death of Christ for our sins in the use of the bread which He made the emblem of His broken body and the cup the emblem of His shed blood. Participation in this ordinance expresses love for Christ, faith and hope in Him, and serves as a pledge of perpetual fidelity and faithfulness to Him.

The BASIN & TOWEL historically symbolize the service and outreach of the church, but for us it has an added significance of representing our practice of washing the saints’ feet.

The CLASPED HANDS symbolize many things to us: fellowship, brotherhood and the warmth of our faith. Perhaps the most important thing symbolized by the clasped hands is our commitment to reach out to people around the world with the good news.

State Office

1169 Atkinson Street, PO Box 9 Turbeville, SC 29162

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For more information about Free Will Baptists visit the National Association of Free Will Baptists