What We Believe
DECLARATION OF FAITH
I. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of the living God; true, immutable, steadfast, unchangeable, as its author, the Lord Jehovah; that it was written by holy men of old as they were moved upon and inspired by the Holy Spirit; that it is a lighted lamp to guide the feet of a lost world from the depths of sin and sorrow to the heights of righteousness and glory; an unclouded mirror that reveals the face of a crucified Savior; a plumb line to make straight the life of each individual and community; a sharp two-edged sword to convict of sin and evil doing; a strong cord of love and tenderness to draw the penitent to Christ Jesus; a balm of Gilead, inbreathed by the Holy Spirit, that can heal and quicken each drooping heart; the only true ground of Christian fellowship and unity; the loving call of an infinitely loving God; the solemn warning, the distant thunder of the storm of wrath and retribution that shall overtake the unheeding; a sign post that points to Heaven; a danger signal that warns from Hell; the divine, supreme and eternal tribunal by whose standards all men, nations, creeds, and motives shall be tried.
II. THE ETERNAL GODHEAD
We believe that there is but one true and living God; maker of heaven and earth and all that is in them; the Alpha and Omega, who ever was, and is and shall be, time without end, Amen; that He is infinitely holy, mighty, tender, loving and glorious; worthy of all possible love and honor, confidence and obedience, majesty, dominion and might, both now and forever; and that in the unity of the Godhead there are three, equal in every divine perfection executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
The Father — Whose glory is so exceeding bright that mortal man cannot look upon His face and live, 3 but whose heart was so filled with love and pity for His lost and sin-benighted children that He freely gave His only begotten Son to redeem and reconcile them unto Himself.
The Son — Co-existent and co-eternal with the Father, who, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary took upon Himself the form of man, bore our sins, carried our sorrows, and by the shedding of His precious blood upon the cross of Calvary, purchased redemption for all that would believe upon Him: then, bursting the bonds of death and hell rose from the grave and ascended on high leading captivity captive, that as the great mediator between God and man, He might stand at the right hand of the Father making intercession for those whom He laid down His life.
The Holy Spirit — The third person of the Godhead, the Spirit of the Father shed abroad, omnipotent, omnipresent, performing an inexpressibly important mission upon earth, convicting of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, drawing sinners to the Savior, rebuking, pleading, searching, comforting, guiding, quickening, teaching, glorifying, baptizing and enduing with power from on high those who yield to His tender ministrations, preparing them for the great day of the Lord’s appearing.
III. THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in the image of God, before whom he walked in holiness and purity, but that by voluntary disobedience and transgression, he fell from the Eden of purity and innocence to the depths of sin and iniquity, and that in consequence of this, all mankind are sinners sold unto Satan, sinners not by constraint but by choice, shapen in iniquity and utterly void by nature of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, guilty and without excuse, justly deserving the condemnation of a just and holy God.
IV. THE PLAN OF REDEMPTION
We believe that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, the Just for the unjust; freely, and by divine appointment of the Father, taking the sinner’s place, bearing his sins, receiving his condemnation, dying his death, fully paying his penalty, and signing with His life’s blood, the pardon of every one who should believe upon Him; that upon simple faith and acceptance of the atonement purchased on Mount Calvary, the vilest sinner may be cleansed of his iniquities and made whiter than driven snow.
V. SALVATION THROUGH GRACE
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly through grace; that we have no righteousness or goodness of our own wherewith to seek divine favor, and must come, therefore, throwing ourselves upon the unfailing mercy and love of Him who bought us and washed us in His own blood, pleading the merits and the righteousness of Christ the Savior, standing upon His word and accepting the free gift of love and pardon.
VI. REPENTANCE AND ACCEPTANCE
We believe that upon sincere repentance, godly sorrow for sin, and a whole-hearted acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ, they who call upon Him may be justified by faith, through His precious blood and that in place of condemnation they may have the most blessed peace, assurance and favor with God; that with open arms of mercy and pardon the Savior waits to receive each penitent who will in unfeigned contrition and supplication for mercy, open the door of his heart and accept Him as Lord and King
VII. THE NEW BIRTH
We believe that the change which takes place in the heart and life at conversion is a very real one; that the sinner is then born again in such a glorious and transforming manner that the old things are passed away and all things are become new; insomuch that the things once most desired are now abhorred, while the things once abhorred are now held most sacred and dear; and that now having imputed to him the righteousness of the Redeemer and having received of the Spirit of Christ, new desires, new aspirations, new interests, and a new perspective on life, time and eternity, fills the blood-washed heart so that his desire is now to openly confess and serve the Master, seeking ever those things which are above.
VIII. DAILY CHRISTIAN LIFE
We believe that having been cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and having received the witness of the Holy Spirit at conversion, it is the will of God that we be sanctified daily and become partakers of His holiness; growing constantly stronger in faith, power, prayer, love and service, first as babies desiring the sincere milk of the Word; then as dear children walking humbly, seeking diligently the hidden life, where self decreases and Christ increases; then as strong men having on the whole armor of God, marching forth to new conquests in His name beneath His blood-stained banner, ever living a patient, sober, unselfish, godly life that will be a true reflection of the Christ within.
IX. WATER BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that water baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, according to the command of our Lord, is a blessed outward sign of an inward work; a beautiful and solemn emblem reminding us that even as our Lord died upon the cross of Calvary so we reckon ourselves now dead indeed unto sin, and the old nature nailed to the tree with Him; and that even as He was taken down from the tree and buried, so we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life.
We believe in the commemoration and observing of the Lord’s supper by the sacred use of the broken bread, a precious type of the Bread of Life, even Jesus Christ, whose body was broken for us; and by the juice of the vine, a blessed type which should ever remind the participant of the shed blood of the Savior who is the true vine of which His children are the branches; that this ordinance is a glorious rainbow that spans the gulf of years between Calvary and the coming of the Lord, when in the Father’s kingdom, He will partake anew with His children; and that the serving and receiving of this blessed sacrament should be ever preceded by the most solemn heart-searching, self-examination, forgiveness and love toward all men, that none partake unworthily and drink condemnation to his own soul.
X. THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the incoming of the promised Comforter in mighty and glorious fullness to endue the believer with power from on high; to glorify and exalt the Lord Jesus; to give inspired utterance in witnessing of Him; to foster the spirit of prayer, holiness, sobriety; to equip the individual and the Church for practical, efficient, joyous, Spirit-filled soul-winning in the fields of life; and that this being still the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, the believer may have every reason to expect His incoming to be after the same manner as that in which He came upon Jew and Gentile alike in Bible days, and as recorded in the Word, that it may be truly said of us as of the house of Cornelius: the Holy Ghost fell on them as on us at the beginning.
XI. THE SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE
We believe that while the Holy Spirit is as a mighty rushing wind and as tongues of living flame that can shake and set ablaze whole communities for God, He is also as a gentle dove, easily grieved and wounded by impiety, coldness, idle conversation, boastfulness, a judging or criticizing spirit and by thoughts and actions dishonoring to the Lord Jesus; that it is therefore, the will of God that we live and walk in the Spirit, moment by moment, under the precious blood of the Lamb; treading softly as with unshod feet in the presence of the King; being patient, loving, truthful, sincere, prayerful, not murmuring, instant in season and out of season, serving the Lord.
XII. THE GIFTS AND FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit has the following gifts to bestow upon the believing church of the Lord Jesus Christ: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpretation; that according to the degree of grace and faith possessed by the recipient, these gifts are divided to every man severally, as He, the Holy Spirit, wills; that they are to be most earnestly desired and coveted, in the order and proportion wherein they prove most edifying and beneficial to the church; and that the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, should be put forth, cultivated, and diligently guarded as the resultant adornment, the constant, eloquent, and irrefutable evidence of a Spirit-filled life.
We believe that the moderation of the believer should be known of all men; that his experience and daily walk should never lead him into extremes, fanaticism, unseemly manifestations, back-bitings, murmurings; but that his sober, thoughtful, balanced, mellow, forgiving, and zealous Christian experience should be one of steadfast uprightness, equilibrium, humility, self-sacrifice and Christ-likeness.
XIV. DIVINE HEALING
We believe that divine healing is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to heal the sick and the afflicted in answer to believing prayer; that He who is the same yesterday, today and forever has never changed but is still an all-sufficient help in the time of trouble, able to meet the needs of, and quicken the body into newness of life, as well as the soul and spirit in answer to the faith of them who ever pray with submission to His divine and sovereign will.
XV. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe that the second coming of Christ is personal and imminent; that He will descend from Heaven in the clouds of glory with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God; and that at this hour, which no man knoweth beforehand, the dead in Christ shall rise, then the redeemed that are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and that so shall they ever be with the Lord; that also seeing that a thousand years is as a day with the Lord, and that no man knoweth the hour of His appearance, which we believe to be near at hand, each day should be lived as though He were expected to appear at even, yet that in obedience to His explicit command, “Occupy till I come,” the work of spreading the gospel, the sending forth of missionaries, and the general duties for the upbuilding of the church should be carried on as diligently, and thoroughly, as though neither ours nor the next generation should live in the flesh to see the glorious day.
XVI. CHURCH RELATIONSHIP
We believe that having accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior and King, and having thus been born into the family and invisible body or church of the Lord, it is the sacred duty of the believer, whenever this lies within his power, to identify himself with, and labor most earnestly for the upbuilding of God’s kingdom with the visible church of Christ upon the earth; and that such visible church is a congregation of believers, who have associated themselves together in Christian fellowship and in the unity of the Spirit, observing the ordinances of Christ, worshipping Him in the beauty of holiness, speaking to each other in psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, reading and proclaiming His Word, laboring for the salvation of souls, giving their temporal means to carry on His work, edifying, encouraging, establishing one another in the most holy faith, and working harmoniously together as dear children who are many members but one body of which Christ is head.
XVII. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that the civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that governors and rulers should be prayed for, obeyed, and upheld, at all times except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ruler of the conscience of His people, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.
We believe that the dead both small and great shall be raised up and stand with the living before the judgement seat of God; and that then a solemn and awful separation shall take place wherein the wicked shall be adjudged to everlasting punishment and the righteous to life eternal; and that this judgement will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or in hell on principles of righteousness as set forth in His holy Word.
We believe that Heaven is the indescribably glorious habitation of the living God; and that thither the Lord has gone to prepare a place for His children; that unto this four-square city, whose builder and maker is God, the earnest believers who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and have overcome by the word of their testimony will be carried; that the Lord Jesus Christ will present them to the Father without spot or wrinkle; and that there is unutterable joy when they will ever behold His wonderful face, in an everlasting kingdom where unto comes no darkness nor night, neither sorrow, tears, pain, nor death, and wherein hosts of attending angels sweep their harps, sing the praises of our King, and bowing down before the throne, cry: “Holy, holy, holy.”
We believe that hell is a place of outer darkness and deepest sorrow, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched; a place prepared for the devil and his angels, where there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, a place of grief and eternal regret on the part of them who have rejected the mercy, love and tenderness of the crucified Savior, choosing death rather than life; and that there into a lake that burns with fire and brimstone shall be cast the unbelieving, the abominable, the murderers, sorcerers, idolaters, all liars, and they who have rejected and spurned the love and sacrifice of a bleeding Redeemer, — passing the cross to their doom, in spite of every entreaty and warning of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, and that the end of all things is at hand, the redeemed children of the Lord Jehovah should rise and shine forth as a light that cannot be hid, a city set upon a hill, speeding forth the gospel to the ends of the earth, girding the globe with the message of salvation, declaring with burning zeal and earnestness the whole counsel of God that when the Lord of Glory shall appear, they shall be found standing, with their loins girded about with truth, their activities and ministry laden down with the wealth of jewels they have won and guarded for Him, the precious souls, whom, by their faithful testimony they have been instrumental in leading from darkness into light; that soul winning is the one big business of the Church upon earth; and that therefore every weight and hindrance which would tend to quench the flame or hamper the efficiency of world-wide evangelism should be cut off and cast away as unworthy of the Church, detrimental to the most sacred cause of Christ and contrary to 8th great commission by our Lord.
XXII. TITHING AND OFFERINGS
We believe that the method ordained of God to sustain His ministry and the spread of the gospel after His command is “Tithing” and is generally accepted throughout all Foursquare churches, not only as God’s method to take care of the material and financial needs of His Church, but to raise the spiritual morale of His people to the extent that God must bless them. We are commanded in Malachi 3:10, “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this’, Says the LORD of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.’” In the matter of “giving” and “free will offerings,” they are ordered of the Lord and practiced in all Foursquare churches as part of God’s plan for the church’s material needs and the spirituality of His people. We are admonished in Luke 6:38,“Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Being “joint heirs” with Him we know that giving unto His kingdom which is also ours is an enjoyable thing, it being more blessed to give than to receive, for we are commanded in II Corinthians 9:7,“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”