About Friends Church
Calling the church to know God, know each other, and equip the saints to make Him known.
We believe in the following:
The Substitutionary Sacrifice of Christ
Through Jesus’ obedience to the requirements of the Old Covenant and His death, He fulfilled the Old Covenant. Through His substitutionary blood sacrifice, He eliminated the need for any further sacrifices, cleansed all those who believe in and receive His work on the cross from all sin on their behalf. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of Christ – in other words, we have been justified freely through faith in His achievement. His righteousness comes to all that believe in Him. This right standing with God is wholly His doing and therefore, the pressure to merit, earn, or deserve it by anything we might do or not do is eliminated. It is a free gift to those who receive Jesus as their savior. All glory belongs to Him.
Our Union with Christ in His Death, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension, and Seating
Once we receive the substitutionary achievement of Jesus dying in our place on the cross, we have the right standing with God. This is the entry point of Our New Covenant union with Christ. We are crucified with Him, buried with Him, raised with Him, ascended with Him, and seated with Him at the right hand of the Father. Each element has profound significance but can only be understood by revelation of the Holy Spirit. However, two primary elements are; one, when we receive Jesus, we become sons of God, new creations in Christ, a child of God. Secondly, in the New Covenant all that is required of us by God is fulfilled in us by His indwelling Spirit. Whereas the substitutionary sacrifice gives us right standing with God; our union with Christ (He is in us by His Spirit, and we are in Him) gives us right walking.
Destiny and Purpose
God has a plan and path for each one of our lives. We each have a divine blueprint for our lives created by God. It is the Lord that determines our functions in the church, the gifts that will be operating at any given time, and the sphere of our influence. Unto Him be glory in the church.
Love must pervade every doctrine, word, deed, or gifting. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. If we lack love, we need to ask the Lord to give us His love or we are nothing but a noisy gong. To the degree we thin out in His love we will begin to crave, love, and indulge in the things of this world. We find our satisfaction solely in Him.
Christians are commanded to abstain from the works of the flesh and to pursue intimacy with God above all other relationships. It is God that works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. This enables us to have healthy, loving relationships in life. And by walking in holiness (by the power of the Holy Spirit), we find even closer intimacy with our Father.
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. God’s people are endued with power from on high through an encounter with the Holy Spirit in the new birth. The Lord Jesus Christ also baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues, which we believe is for every believer. The Holy Spirit desires to fill believers to enable them to overcome the devil – every deception, temptation, wound, and offense. Through Him, we bear the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes upon His saints to anoint them with power to witness to the world, heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead. Jesus was manifested for this purpose, that He would destroy the works of the devil.
The Scriptures are the inspired Word of God without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of his will for humanity, and the final authority for all Christian faith and life. The scriptures describe and define the reality in which we live. The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit. Which is to say, that without the guidance and revelation of the Holy Spirit, the scriptures cannot be understood. The Holy Spirit interprets, illuminates, and brings understanding and revelation of God’s Word to us.
The Godhead, a Mystery
The one true God exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and yet, are One and equal in deity, power, and glory. All three minister to us through the work of the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Jesus we have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
Humanity and the Sin Nature
Humanity was created in the image of God, righteous and without sin. Because of disobedience and the desire to be self-sufficient, Adam’s offspring are born subject to sin and moral corruption and wholly unable to save themselves or to contribute in any way to their acceptance with God. In Adam all are dead in trespasses and sins, but through our Lord Jesus Christ all are made alive who have faith in Him.
We believe that the sin nature was eradicated at the cross and buried, and the propensity to sin is a product of the unrenewed mind and therefore is overcome by the renewing of the mind. We were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. Through Adam’s offense, death reigned, but through the abundance of grace of Christ (His power) and the gift of righteousness we reign in life.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The gospel is the good news of what God has accomplished for us through the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the center of the gospel message. The focus of our message must be about His life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and glorification. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe. As the Holy Spirit enables us to see Jesus, we are progressively changed into the image of Christ glory to glory. This transformation through the gospel enables us to lovingly and joyfully please God.
Justification by Faith
No ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man saves or sustains. The saving grace of God comes through the faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross alone. After that we walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, He sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight. Those who walk by faith are, in Christ, Abraham’s seed and joint heirs of all things with Jesus.
Our Adversary, Satan
Satan is the adversary who opposes the Most High God and His Church. He is at work with his demonic hosts to perpetuate his domain of darkness and evil on the earth. Satan was exposed openly, judged, and defeated at the cross of Christ. At the end of the age, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire which has been prepared for him and his angels. Our warfare is not with people, but with Satan and his hosts. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty through God.
The Ecclesia, the Body of Christ
God’s Ecclesia is His Church, His called-out ones. The Ecclesia is God’s primary instrument through which He fulfills His redemptive purposes in the earth. God has called us to preach the gospel to all people, tribes, and nations, and especially to remember the poor and the widows, and to minister to their needs through sacrificial giving and practical service.
All men, women, and children in the Body of Christ are created in His divine image. Being part of God’s family, they are all equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. We also believe they are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to equip and empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond.
Priesthood of All Believers
We affirm the priesthood of all believers and the authority of Jesus Christ dispensed to His Church by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. It is important for every believer to be joined with and actively involved in a local community of the saints to grow and develop becoming more like Jesus.
The five-fold ministry of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are for the equipping of the saints for the work of their ministries, functioning today just as they did two thousand years ago until we all attain to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. They are people of character, full of the Holy Spirit, with the divine ability to lead, impart, equip, teach, and encourage the Body of Christ to live holy lives, to grow into the image of Jesus Christ, and to go out into all neighborhoods and nations with the gospel of the Kingdom.
Marriage and Sex
God’s original creative design, as set forth in Scripture, is for complete fidelity (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) within heterosexual and monogamous marriage. Regardless of one’s marital status, we believe the Christian should pursue purity and abstain from sexually immoral practices such as adultery, premarital sex, and pornography. For a detailed statement of Friends’ beliefs about same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior, please consult document XYZ. The offer of the good news of God’s love, forgiveness, and power extends to people, and our arms are open to receive them in His love where they can find freedom and transformation in His presence.
Life Begins at Conception
The willful termination of a pregnancy for any reason other than an unavoidable threat to the life of the mother is prohibited by Scripture. God’s artistic, life-giving Spirit is at work skillfully forming and fashioning an individual in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16). There is repentance and healing for those who suffer with the consequences and guilt of abortion. The Holy Spirit is poured out upon them, and they are received by Him as they surrender to His love and forgiveness.
Ethnicities and Races
All of humankind equally bear the image of God and should be treated with the same dignity and love, regardless of national identity, language, skin pigmentation, or gender. Any expression of systemic racism, racial supremacy, or hatred of a person of a different ethnicity is forbidden by Scripture. All nations shall flow unto the mountain of the Lord.
The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God came in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it continues to expand by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the Church. It will be consummated in the glorious, visible, and triumphant appearing of Christ when He returns to the earth as King of kings. Until then, the Kingdom is at hand and revealed through God’s people to establish the will of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Baptism in water is a statement made by the individual to the principalities and powers of the enemy, to the world, and to the Body of Christ expressing their identification with Christ in His death on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection life. Like Paul, they can say with conviction, “It is no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me.” The old man is dead, and the new man is alive unto God.
The Lord’s Supper is for those of us who put our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. As we partake of the bread and the cup, we remember what Jesus did on the cross in the breaking of His body and the shedding of His blood. Communion also represents the New Covenant in His blood. It represents the Spiritual Substance that we partake of because we are in union with Him. The purpose of substitutionary sacrifice was to bring us into union. From then on, we who partake of Him, never hunger, and never thirst.
As scripture states, this gives us the opportunity to examine ourselves to see if there are any divisive or unrighteous thoughts, motivations or actions working in our hearts and minds. It provides the chance for us to repent and be renewed in the Holy Spirit. In so doing, we accurately discern His Body by examining ourselves to present unto Him a holy, healthy church knowing we have not attained perfection, but He is able to work in us to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Worship is a lifestyle. Everything we think, say, and do must reflect our love and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ. Our community worship is dedicated to Him as we seek to honor and glorify Him and Him alone. We seek to worship in Spirit and Truth. Believers wanting entertainment may find it in other sources during their week. We encourage all to come and join us in prayer, worship, and in making a joyful noise unto the Lord in unison.
Death of the Body
When Christians die, they pass immediately into the presence of the Lord, and continue to enjoy conscious fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ until the day of the resurrection and glorious transformation of the body. The redeemed forever dwells in blissful fellowship with their glorious Lord. We are given the choice to receive or reject Christ. When unbelievers die, they suffer the consequences of their choice, having rejected the Savior, and await the day of judgment.
That the deserved penalty for sin is physical and spiritual death.
That Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, was born of a virgin and is both fully God and fully human.
That Jesus Christ died as the sacrificial substitute to pay the penalty for sin.
That Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and will one day physically return.
That there will be a future physical resurrection of the dead. Only those who turn from sin and to Jesus in faith and repentance will be raised to eternal reward. Those who do not turn from sin and to Jesus will be raised to eternal punishment.
That only through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and repentance from sin can one be reconciled to God and experience true life and joy.