Our Lifestyle Statements
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:
1. The Bible is our sole AUTHORITY.
"The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right." 2 Tim. 3:15
Since God's Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is "What does the Bible say?" We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
2. Autonomy of each local church.
"Christ is the head of His Body, the church. He is the source of the Body's life..."
Col. 1:18 (GN)
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
3. Priesthood of every BELIEVER.
"Christ loves us, and by His death He has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve God... " Rev. 1:6 (GN)
"You are. ..the King's priests. ..God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God." 1Pet. 2:9 (GN)
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to "full time" Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
4. Tithing to the local CHURCH.
"A tithe of everything you produce belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord."
Lev. 26:30, Malachi 3:10
At Believers Fellowship we practice tithing for the support of Christ's body, the church, as God commands. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard of giving. If every Christian practiced tithing to the local church, there would be no limit to what the church could do in the community in the name of Jesus Christ.
5. Spirit-led LIVING.
(Jesus said), "/ am the Vine, you are the branches, if you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God's power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God's Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Phil. 2:13, Eph. 5:18)
6. Telling others about CHRIST.
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.
7. Being ACTIVE in a small group every week.
"You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house." Acts 20:20
The Israelites in the Old Testament worshipped in large groups and met in small groups. Jesus spoke to large groups of thousands, and he met privately with a small group of twelve men. Christianity is most effective when it meets in large groups for celebration and worship, and in small groups for Bible study, fellowship, prayer and ministry. We hope every member will attend a worship service and get involved in a small group of Christians every week.
OUR DOCTRINAL STATEMENTS
"There is one Body and one Spirit, ..there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all..."Eph. 4:4-6
"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters...Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls... So then each of us will give an account of himself to God... So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God." Romans 14:1,4,12,22
"...If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains — but have no love, I amount to nothing at all." 1 Cor. 13:2 (Ph)
What We Believe About:
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22: Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2: 2 Corinthians 13:14
2. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. He was born of a virgin. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15;
3. The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. We ask to be filled by faith daily with the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8: 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13: Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
4. The Bible
The Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21: 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God's creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us have a sin nature and are naturally disobedient to God. We are sinners. Sin separates people from God and causes a multitude of problems in life.
Genesis 1:27: Psalm 8:3-6: Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23: Isaiah 59:1, 2
Salvation is God's free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9: John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
7. Eternal Security of the Believer
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot "lose" it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security. We don't think a person can lose their salvation. Salvation was a gift to begin with, based on the work of Jesus Christ, not our own.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12: Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
Matthew 25:31-46; John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23: Romans 8:17-18: Revelation 20:15: 1 Corinthians 2:7-9
9. Denominational Affiliation
Believers Fellowship is a conservative, evangelical, Baptist Church. We are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, The Southern Baptists of Texas, and other missions associations for the primary purpose of local, state and worldwide missions.
Psalms 133:1, Romans 12:16, Romans 14:19, Romans 15:5
10. Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual gifts are the things the Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom, knowledge, ability or power to do. The Spirit will give these gifts when He wants, to whom He wants, where He wants, for as long as He wants. Exercising spiritual gifts will always glorify Jesus and build up the church. We let the Spirit be in charge of His gifts.
Acts 2, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4
11. Divorce and Remarriage
God hates divorce and so do about half the people who go through one. We do not encourage divorce. We always encourage reconciliation and restoration of marriage. We recognize divorce as the legal and binding dissolution of a marriage. We do not make marriage, divorce or remarriage the single qualifying or disqualifying issues for leadership in the church or as a litmus test for spirituality.
Deuteronomy 24, Jeremiah 3, Malachi 2, Matthew 5, 19, Mark 10, Luke 16, 1 Corinthians 7
12. Predestination and Freewill
Great minds have argued predestination, election and freewill for 500 years. We realize it is a great mystery and are content to settle on Hebrews 3:7 which says, “Today if you hear His voice...", that's election. God is calling the elect to salvation; we are not volunteering for salvation. "...Do not harden your hearts as you did in the day of rebellion..." that's free will, we have a responsibility to respond to God's call to salvation. We find that combining the doctrines and scriptures of election, freewill, security of the believer and perseverance of the saints makes a lot more sense than isolating them from each other and using them as weapons to argue with.
John 3:14-21, John 10:22-42, John 15;16, Romans 9:10-29, Romans 10:8-13, Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 2:10,2 Thessalonians 2:13,
1 Timothy 2:1-7, 2 Timothy 2:8