We Believe

Taken from the Constitution and By-Laws of WORD OF GOD FELLOWSHIP, Richmond, Texas.

This fellowship accepts the Holy Scriptures as God's revealed truth the all-sufficient rule of faith and conduct. This statement of our tenets of faith is intended as the scriptural basis of membership (resulting in harmony) in this church. No claim is made that the phraseology of these tenets is inspired, nor is any claim made that they contain all Bible truth. But we do claim that each and every tenet is biblical and in harmony with the entire Bible revelation.

1. The Scriptures are Inspired

The Bible (both Old and New Testaments) is the Word of God, inspired in Autographs, so as to be totally inerrant. Consequently we accept all translations which are faithful to the Original, as authoritative and suitable as a rule for faith and daily conduct. We believe the Bible is superior to reason and conscience, but it is not contrary to reason. Indeed, reason when unhindered by prejudice, readily subscribes to all true doctrines of the Bible. 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Pe 1:23-25; Heb. 4:12.

2. The One True God

The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally existent, self-revealed "I AM." He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association; Viz: as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Deut. 6:4,5; Isa. 43:10; Mat. 28:19; Mk. 12:29. God is a Trinity in unity--three Divine Beings in such a state of unity as to constitute one God. Deut. 6:4,5 (Literal Hebrew). See also Eph. 2:18-22. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person, nor separate as to function. There is that in the Father which constitutes Him the Father, and not the Son nor the Holy Spirit. There is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father nor the Holy Spirit. There is that in the Holy Spirit which constitutes Him the Holy Spirit and not the Father nor the Son.

3. The Deity of the Lord Jesus

The Lord Jesus Christ is the One and Only Son of God. The Scripture reveals: a). His virgin birth, Mat. 1:23; Lu. 1:31. b). His sinless Life, Heb. 7:26; 1 Pe. 2:22. ca. His miraculous works, Acts 2:22; 10:38. d). His substitutionary work on the cross, 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pe. 3:18. e). His bodily resurrection from the dead, Matt. 28:6; Lu. 24:39; 1 Cor. 15:4. f). His exaltation to the right hand of the Father, Acts 2:33; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:3. g). He is also revealed to be the Judge of mankind, because He is the Son of Man, Jo. 5:22,27; Acts 17:31.

4. Man, His Fall, and Redemption

Man was created innocent and upright--in God's very image. But due to his self-will Adam voluntarily transgressed God's Law and felt from His favor, and at[ his posterity continue to fall for the same reason. Man's only hope of redemption and restoration to God's favor is Jesus Christ, God's Redeemer, Lamb. Gen. 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Rom. 3:9-23; 5:12-21.

5. The Salvation of Man

a). The conditions of salvation. The "grace of God" bringing salvation is available to all men, through their hearing and believing the gospel message of "repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ," Acts 20:21. An obedient response to this gospel message brings justification "by grace through faith." Repenting of his sins, the believer becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal Life, Rom. 6:5-22; Eph. 2:8; Tit. 2:11; 3:5-7; Lu. 24:47.
b). Evidence of salvation. Inwardly there is the direct witness of the Spirit to the believer's spirit, when the believer meets God's terms of repentance and faith. Rom. 8:16; Joh. 3:16; 1 Jo. 5:10-13. The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness, a Life pursuing holiness, springing from the believer's supreme Love for his God, and a Love for one's fellow man equal to love for self. Ro. 6:5-22; 1 Jo. 2:3-6; Heb. 12:24 12:28-33.

6. Ordinances of the Church

a). Baptism in water. Immersion in water is commanded in Scripture and should be observed by every believer, i.e. those who have truly received Jesus Christ and have crowned Him Lord of their Life. In baptism they testify to the world that they have died with Jesus and was buried with Him (to the old Life), and they have been raised up with Him to walk about as a new creation living righteously before God and man, Mat. 28:19; Acts 10:47,48; Rom. 6:4; 2 Cor. 5:17.

b). The Lord's Supper. This supper, consisting of the emblems of bread and "the fruit of the vine", is a symbol expressing the believer's sharing in the life and nature of the Lord Jesus. it is a memorial of His suffering and death. It is also a reminder of His return. It is enjoined on all believers "until He comes" again, Lu. 22:19,20; Jo. 6:48,51,53-57; 1 Cor. 11:26.

7. The Promise of the Father

ALL believers are entitled to, should expect, and earnestly desire a Spirit-filled life, an empowering for service in God's kingdom. Consequently Jesus commanded believers to wait for and be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is normal NT Christianity. with this Spirit-baptism the believer is equipped for effective witnessing. They also then become candidates for the gifts of the Spirit, as He bestows the gifts according to His will, LU. 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 1 Car. 12:1-31. This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the new birth, though ideally it should immediately follow it, Acts 2:38; 10:44-46; 7-9.

8. Evidence of This Baptism in the Spirit

There are many evidences that one has been baptized in the Spirit, not the least of which is boldness in witnessing (preaching, exhorting, teaching the Word of God), Acts 4:31.

However, the four instances in Acts where a full account of receiving this baptism in the Spirit is recorded, one effect noted in all four cases is that the recipients spoke in tongues (languages, not gibberish). The Greek, "glossa", means both the organ of speech and also the Language spoken, and it is (and only can be) spoken "as the Spirit gives the ability to speak out", Acts 2:4, NASB, alternate translation. Cf. NIV--"as the Spirit enabled them."

Many great men throughout church history were doubtless Spirit filled, of which there is no record of their having spoken in tongues, men such as Edwards, Spurgeon, Moody, Finney, Sunday, Graham, etc. Yet we believe that a full consummation of this experience will result in a manifestation of the gift of tongues (Languages), if it is according to the pattern in Acts. Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:2,6; 1:8; 2:42,43; 4:31.

We also believe it is foot-hardy for one to seek for "tongues" or to force themselves to utter some gibberish, or to allow others to try to coach and teach them how to utter a gibber.

9. Entire Sanctification

Scripture enjoins on the believer pursuit of a holy life, without which no man shall see God. By dedication to God, and the power of the Holy Spirit, and the proper utilization of grace, believers are able to obey the command, "You shalt be holy, for I am holy." Since there is no such thing as partial sanctification, entire sanctification is the will of God for every believer. Consequently, this goal must be earnestly pursued on a daily basis, by walking in obedience to God's word, Heb. 12:14; 1 Pe. 1:15,16; 1 Thess. 5:23,24; Rom. 3:3,4.

10. The Church

The church is all truly born again believers, figuratively known as "the body of Christ" and "the habitation (house, temple) of God through the Spirit." She is divinely appointed to fulfill the Great Commission, the preaching of the gospel to all nations. She is a separate entity from Israel, although she is once figuratively called, "the Israel of God." She is also pictured in the Bible as "the Bride of Christ." Eph. 1:22; 2:19-22; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 19:7; 21:9.

11. The Ministry and Evangelism

A divinely called and Scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for a two-fold purpose: 1). The evangelization of the human race and 2). The edifying of the church, the born-again believers. Mk. 16:15,20; Rom. 10:13-17; Eph. 4:11-13.

12. Divine Healing

Sickness and death is the result of the Fall which resulted in man being barred from the Tree of Life. As a consequence, his body is weak and deteriorating and finally dies. While physical (and mental) healing is not in the atonement of Christ, per se, yet because of His atonement work, it is the privilege of believers to pray and trust Him in times of sickness, for He is sympathetic toward us in our suffering. Matt. 8:16,17; Mk. 16:18; Ja. 5:14-16.

13. The Blessed Hope

The resurrection of all who have died in Christ and their translation together with the Living believers at the rapture of the church, is the imminent and blessed hope of the church. Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:51,52; 1 Thess. 4:15-18; Tit. 2:13.

14. The Millennial Reign

At the second coming of Christ, national Israel wilt be converted, the nations wit[ be judged and the Millennial Kingdom will be established according to the prophetic Scriptures. Rom. 11:25,27; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-7. Cf. Isa. 2:2-4; 11:6-9; Dan. 7:21,22,26,27.

15. The Lake of Fire

There is a burning hell a Lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Satan, his angels, the Beast, the False Prophet, and all whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be consigned there, suffering everlasting punishment. This is the "second death.,, Matt. 25:41; Mk. 9:43-48; Rev. 19:20; 20:10-15; 21:8.

16. The New Heavens and New Earth

Though the present heavens and earth shalt pass away, we, "according to His promise are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." 2 Pe. 3:13; Matt. 24:35; Rev. 21:1.