About FBC Florence What We Believe Contact FBC

What We Believe

 

I. WHAT IS OUR THEME VERSE? Col. 1:29

"I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me."

 

II. WHAT IS OUR MISSION STATEMENT?

A. First Baptist Florence exists to LIVE for Christ (Phil. 1:21), LOVE all people (Jn. 13:34-35), GIVE God our best (Col. 3:23), and GO share His love with all people (Acts 1:8).

III. WHAT ARE OUR CORE VALUES? (THE PILLARS OF FIRST FAMILY)

A. Falling Before Him in Adoration: Worship (John 4:23-24)

B. Introducing Others to Christ: Evangelism (Mt. 28:19-20)

C. Relating to One Another: Fellowship (Acts 2:42-47)

D. Sharing in the Needs of Others: Ministry (Luke 9:1-6)

E. Teaching All to Live as Christ: Discipleship (Mt. 28: 19-20)

F. The Bonding AgentPrayerfully Infused (Acts 4:31)

IV. WHAT ARE OUR CORE PRACTICES?

A. FAITHFULNESS: REV. 2:10B Our faithfulness to Him carries over into our faithfulness to one another.

B. LOVE: JN. 13:34-35 This is the trademark above all other attributes.

C. OBEDIENCE: JN. 14:15, 21, 23 Jesus stresses three times in this chapter the fact that “If we love Him, we will obey Him.”

D. RELATIONSHIPS: GAL. 6:2 We are to take relationships serious in helping one another become a better Christian.

E. ENDURANCE: HEB. 12:1-2 We will be tempted to give up because various reasons; however, we must lay aside everything that holds us back or detracts us enduring to the end where we will find our prize, eternally blissful life in Heaven.

F. NETWORKING: 3 JOHN 8 In networking, working in cooperation, we find the opportunity and resources to achieve greater things than we can alone.

G. COMPASSION: MT. 9:36 When Jesus saw people in need, His heart was broken and He was moved to do something about it.

H. ENCOURAGEMENT: HEB. 3:13 The author recognized the deceitfulness and distraction of sin, our propensity of sinfulness, and the reality of time’s uncertainty; therefore, he sought to encourage us to encourage one another.

 


 

I. The Scriptures


The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself
to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for
its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is
totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and
therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union,
and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions
should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine
revelation.
Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10;
119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18;
22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans
15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.


II. God


There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal
Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in
holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect
knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions
of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The
eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct
personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow
of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful,
all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children
of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy
6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10;
17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-
8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6;
Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of
the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of
God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying
Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His
personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for
the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and
appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He
ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One
Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between
God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate
His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present
Lord.
Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29;
11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70;
24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5,
21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-
21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21;
8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians
1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews
1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-
9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the
Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ.
He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour,
and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into
the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the
spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the
day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring
the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the
believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-
32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19;
11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31;
5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27;
1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18;
1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2
Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.


III. Man


Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and
female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the
goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed
by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and
brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the
command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a
nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of
moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of
God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative
purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man
in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race
possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5;
Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19;
6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22;
Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.


IV. Salvation


Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who
accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal
redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration,
justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal
faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become
new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through
conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus
Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.
B. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness
of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a
relationship of peace and favor with God.
C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set
apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity
through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace
should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.
D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state
of the redeemed.
Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke
1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts
2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.;
5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20;
15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-
22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2
Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-
26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.


V. God's Purpose of Grace


Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies,
sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and
comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's
sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting
and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and
sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to
the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve
the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and
temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through
faith unto salvation.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.;
Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-
48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32;
Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28;
Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2
Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1
John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.


VI. The Church


A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation
of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel;
observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights,
and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the
ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through
democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and
accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both
men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men
as qualified by Scripture.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of
the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and
nation.
Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-
30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12;
Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1
Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.


VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper


Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a
crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life,
and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his
faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to
the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church,
through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the
Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20;
John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians
10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.


VIII. The Lord's Day


The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular
observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include
exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the
Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship
of Jesus Christ.
Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36;
John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians
2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.


IX. The Kingdom


The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His
particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the
Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike
commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may
come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the
return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52;
25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42;
John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28;
Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9;
5:10; 11:15; 21-22.


X. Last Things


God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end.
According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the
earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The
unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous
in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in
Heaven with the Lord.
Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark
8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11;
17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10;
Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2
Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28;
James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.


XI. Evangelism and Missions


It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord
Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by
God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all
rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly
commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the
preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek
constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle,
and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-
43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-
8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15;
Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1
Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.

 

XII. Education


Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our
Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for
knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate
with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these
the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is
necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.
In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and
academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always
limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or
seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the
Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.;
119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2;
7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians
4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3;
James 1:5; 3:17.


XIII. Stewardship


God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe
to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in
the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under
obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should
recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others.
According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully,
regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the
Redeemer's cause on earth.
Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-
4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11;
17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2
Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

 

XIV. Cooperation


Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions
as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such
organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are
voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our
people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should
cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and
benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom. Christian unity in the New
Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by
various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian
denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation
involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as
revealed in the New Testament.
Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5;
Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14;
2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9;
Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.

 

XV. The Christian and the Social Order


All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own
lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and
the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only
when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in
Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed,
selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery,
homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the
needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the
unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.
Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under
the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote
these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good
cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty
to Christ and His truth.
Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8;
Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21;
Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-
10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-
17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.


XVI. Peace and War


It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In
accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put
an end to war.
The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the
world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the
practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should
pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans 12:18-19; 13:1-7;
14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.
XVII. Religious Liberty
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and
commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church
and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom
in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group
or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being
ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things
not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power
to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the
pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any
kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free
church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and
unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate
opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans
6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter
2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.

 

XVIII. The Family


God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is
composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a
lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to
provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate
companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the
means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's
image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is
to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to
provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the
servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of
Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the
God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing
the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord.
Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to
teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent
lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children
are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1
Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20;
6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31;
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark
10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians
3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.


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