Beliefs on Doctrine
We believe in what is termed “The Apostles’ Creed” as embodying all the fundamental doctrines of orthodox evangelical Christianity. In addition to the fundamental doctrines of the faith, we realize that there are a number of variant nuances of interpretation and denominational emphases that polarize the body of Christ toward diverse positions. As a non-denominational ministry, Fervent Church is intentional in teaching the core doctrines of the Christian faith without fixating on discordant beliefs. In this regard we affirm the general statement as originated in the early church by St. Augustine, “In Essentials, Unity; in Non-essentials, Liberty; in All Things, Charity.”
We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20). There is but one living and true God, who is one in essence, while yet eternally existing in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit equal in power and glory; that this triune God created all, upholds all, and governs all. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same reverence, honor, confidence and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 4:3-4). Though each person of the Godhead possesses the same nature, each functions differently in respect to God’s dealings with man (Deuteronomy 6:4). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity; He is just and right (Deuteronomy 32:4); and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8; Revelation 20: 11-15; 1 Peter 4:5,).
GOD THE FATHER:
The first person of the Trinity orders and directs all things according to His own purpose, pleasure and grace. He determined that the universe would be created apart from any pre-existing materials. He has decreed all things that come to pass are for His own glory. He graciously involves and concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, hears and answers prayer, and rescues and saves from sin, judgment, and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:9; John 5:19-24; Ephesians 1:3-6). He is God, the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, justice, and love.
GOD the SON:
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in the total deity of the Lord Jesus Christ that He is both the eternal Son of God and virgin-born Son of man. We believe that He is one and the same as God. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh—true God and true Man. Fully God and fully Man; He surrendered nothing of His deity during His earthly life. Having led a sinless life, He satisfied the Father’s wrath and justice concerning sin by His substitutionary atoning death. We believe in His bodily sinless life, miracles, and teachings; death, resurrection, His physical ascension into heaven, His glorification, perpetual intercession for His people; is seated at the right hand of God until His enemies are made His footstool and in His personal, His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25-26) and His visible return to this earth to establish His earthly kingdom (I Corinthians 15; Hebrews 2:17-18; Romans 3:24-26; Revelation 20:11-15; Colossians 2:9; John 1:1, 1:14, 1:18; John 14:8-9; 1 Timothy 3:16). We believe that by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. (Colossians 1:16-18)
GOD the HOLY SPIRIT:
We believe in the total deity of the Holy Spirit and that His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14). The third person of the Trinity executes the will of God in the world of men. It is the Holy Spirit who applies the salvation Jesus Christ secured through His death on the cross through sanctification. The Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner upon belief in Christ, baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head. The Holy Spirit indwells, seals, sanctifies, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for godly living (Mark 13:11; John 14:26; John 16:13; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16). He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of God’s righteousness and of coming judgment (John 16:8-11). It is the Holy Spirit who empowers the church to live a lifestyle pleasing to God, having endowed it with special gifts, which equip believers to accomplish distinct ministries, planned beforehand by God the Father. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of the biblical gifts of the Spirit as reflected through the fruit of that same Spirit and they active in His church today (I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12: 3-8; 1 Peter 4:11; Ephesians 2:10; John 3:1-8; John 16: 4-15; Ephesians 1:13-14; John 15:16; Galatians 5:16-25).
The WORD of GOD
We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament are the Word of God; are verbally inspired by God; inerrant in their original manuscripts and are the infallible rule of faith and practice for the believer in Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Hebrews 4:12) eternal in duration (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25) the final authority and the standard for faith and practice (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119); and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life (Psalm 19:14-17; 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament are God’s complete and sufficient revelation and therefore carry God’s authority for the total well being of mankind. The Bible is the final authority in every area it addresses for every individual Christian, as well as for the church collectively. (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35). We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of that Scriptures and that they contain all the words of God that we need in order to completely trust and obey Him.
We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in His own likeness and image to enjoy His fellowship and to fulfill God’s will on this earth. He created them in innocence under the law of his Maker but by voluntarily transgressing; fell from his sinless and happy state. (Genesis 1:26-28, Ephesians 5:22-6:4, 1 Timothy 3:1-7) We believe that, as a result of the Fall, all people are sinners by nature and in need of a Savior, and that Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is the One and only Savior of the world. That salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Him. We believe that all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved eternally. (Romans 3:10, Romans3:23; Romans5:18-19, Matthew1:21, 1John 4:14, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9) All people are sinners not only by inheritance, but by their own choice and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that without exception every man and every woman is totally depraved and in need of a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18; Romans 1:32; Romans 5:1-2). Because man fell into sin by a voluntary act of personal disobedience to the will of God; consequently all men are spiritually dead and subject to the certainty of both physical and spiritual death apart from Jesus Christ. The fall of man was a once-for-all historical fact. Its spiritually deadening effect spread to all men, each of whom is born with a sinful nature and sins habitually in thought, word and deed (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 3:3-4; Romans 1:18-32; Romans 3:10-23; Ephesians 2:1-3).
We believe there is one church, the body of Christ, consisting of men and women from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. We believe that each local congregation is an expression of that universal church—composed of all those throughout the world who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 4:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Revelation 5:9, Acts 2:42-47) Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and having been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the church. You then belong to the one true church and are directed by the Scriptures to then associate themselves in a local, visible church (Hebrews 10:23-25). The Scriptures command believers to gather in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of experience, talents and gifts, (natural and supernatural) and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:24-26; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church – under the oversight of elders and other supportive leadership. The church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16). The local church is the only scriptural representation of Christ’s invisible church and consists only of regenerated believers. The three-fold purpose of the church is to lead men to Christ, mature them in the faith and send them to lead and mature others in the faith (Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 2:41-47; 4:1-16; I Corinthians 12-14; Matthew 16:13-28, 28:18-20; Ephesians 2:19-22).
We believe that the Lord, Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances for the church: the full-immersion water baptism of believers and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:18). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become a new creation in Christ — Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4.
Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and a reminder-through the bread and the juice/wine of the Savior’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of remembrance of Christ’s loving sacrifice and a time of confession of our sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).
HEAVEN and HELL
We believe in a literal Heaven and a literal Hell and that all those who place their faith, hope and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Those who reject Jesus’ free gift of salvation will spend eternity separated from the Lord (Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:3, 5:22, 18:9, 25:31-34; Mark 9:42-49; Luke 12:5; John 3:18; Hebrews 12:23; I Peter 1:4; Revelation 14:10-11, 20:11-15). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss and everlasting joy where there is no more death, sorrow or pain in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 21:4), and the lost are raised to eternal torment, wrath and judgment in hell in conscious separation from God (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).
The second coming of Jesus christ
We anticipate our Lord’s promised return, which could occur at any moment. According to the Father’s plan, Jesus Christ will one day return in power to bring completion of salvation and rewards to believers and judgment and wrath to unbelievers. The Bible teaches that the years leading up to the final judgment will be marked by increasing evil, but the actual time of the end is unknown. It could begin at any moment. Though the details of Christ’s return are sometimes unclear and have various opinions and or interpretations, its reality is certain, and all believers are called to live holy lives in anticipation of His coming. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Hebrews 9:28; and Revelation 19:11-16)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice and is the only sufficient payment for our rebellion against a Holy God. The sole condition for receiving eternal life is faith (trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ and this substitutionary atoning death on the cross for man’s sin. All who believe in Him are made righteous in Him and declared justified by the Father on the grounds of Jesus Christ’s shed blood on Calvary and His resurrection and subsequent glorification. All who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by grace through faith are regenerated and baptized by the Holy Spirit, who then places them into the body of Christ, the Church. This occurs at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Each person who receives Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior is subsequently born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby becomes eternally secure as a child of God. This assurance is based on faith and not works. However, this salvation should result in righteous and holy living as well as good works as the believer submits his behavior to the Word of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:21-26; I Cor. 15:1-4;).
It is God’s divine decision to save a person and it is God’s kindness, forbearance and patience that lead that person to repentance (Romans 2:4). All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25). We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion. This assurance relies on God’s decisive grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation, but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His son or daughter (Galatians 4:4-7), and His sealing of the believer by the Holy Spirit ( 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14), and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16: 30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 3: 23; 6:19-20; 1 Peter 2: 9-10; Ephesians 1:3-14). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil, who was created by God as a beautiful perfect cherub (Ezekiel 28) , but through pride, rebelled (Luke 10: 18; Revelation 9:1; Revelation 12: 3-9; Isaiah 14) and took one third of the heavenly hosts with him. He is the ruler of the world order and prince of all unclean spirits. Satan wages war upon Christians and seeks to lead them away from the Lord. Satan is destined to eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire.
Church Planting and Missions:
- Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world (Matthew 28:19-20). The church exists to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission, and in the spirit of the Great Commandment (Matthew 28:19-20, Matthew 22:37-38), therefore we will love God and others well by starting like-minded churches in communities in need around the world.
- We believe that the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18–20) is a call not just to “make disciples” but also to baptize—this implies that evangelizing is taking place. New church planting is the only way that we can be sure we are going to increase the number of believers and those far from God in a city, and it is one of the best ways to evangelize and renew the whole body of Christ.
- The Great Commission is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made and grow in their relationship with Him and likeness to Him. We believe this happens as leaders; church planters and pastors are equipped and trained to go and make disciples as well as by planting new churches.
- We are committed to the multiplying of disciples that make disciples and to cultivating the godly characteristics of the leaders’ lives into others. This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth and multiplication of the church. We believe that God is best glorified as we manifest His presence while we do His work in the world (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
- In seeking to act upon the church’s purpose, we recognize the extraordinary value in multiplying the reach of His ministry by planting local churches and by associating with existing, like-minded local churches. We believe the strategic, continual planting of new churches is the single most crucial strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission. Therefore Church Planting, discipleship and equipping leaders will be a main focus of Fervent Church and be heavily resourced as a priority.
- We also believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church, rather than one or a small number of professional pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. We practice the priesthood of all believers and believe everyone has a place on the team.