The following statements summarize our basic doctrinal beliefs. We also use the Baptist Faith and Message as a doctrinal guide.
The Holy Bible (the 66 books of the Old and New Testament) and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God. The canon of Scripture is closed and is always in agreement with the Holy Spirit as it is inspired by Him. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths. In its original writing, it is inspired, infallible, and inerrant. The Scriptures are God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. All Scripture is true, trustworthy, and applicable. Scripture is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religions opinions should be tried. The Scripture is sufficient for all that God requires for us to believe and do and is therefore to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God's pledge, in all that it promises. As God's people hear, believe and obey the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel.
Regeneration, or 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.
For anyone to know God, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
We are saved by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ: His death, burial, and resurrection. Man cannot save himself through good works, human efforts, or through faith in any other person, thing, or doctrine apart from the truth of Scriptures. Salvation is a gift from God, not of any human efforts. Man’s first step toward salvation is godly sorrow that leads to repentance of sin. The new birth is necessary to all men and when fulfilled produces eternal life. 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 into a relationship of peace and favor with God
Repentance is the genuine commitment to turn away from sin in every area of our lives and to follow Christ, which allows us to receive His redemption and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Thus, through repentance we receive forgiveness of sins and appropriate salvation; faith is the confession of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior
The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the doctrine of sanctification as a definite yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation (glorification, the final blessed, eternal, and abiding state of salvation in Heaven). Sanctification is the ongoing process of yielding to God’s Word and His Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ's character in us. It is progression toward moral and spiritual maturity through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that the Christian can live a Godly life.
The Blood that Jesus Christ shed on the Cross of Calvary was sinless and is 100% sufficient to cleanse mankind of all sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for both our sinfulness and our sins, enabling all those who believe to be free from the penalty of sin, which is death. No other sacrifice is necessary for salvation (I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12, 23, 5:9; John 1:29).
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe God created marriage to be one man and one woman as pronounced in Genesis 2:24, that Jesus affirmed the same in Matthew 19:5-6 adding “what God has joined together let not man separate”, and the Apostle Paul agreed by quoting them both in Ephesians 5:31.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including but not limited to adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, polygamy, incest, prostitution, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Family Church as a local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Family Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Family Church in any capacity, those who are members of Family Church, or who serve as volunteers in any way, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.) We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Family Church.
It is our practice as Family Church that our pastors only perform Covenant Marriages as set forth by the State of Arkansas the Covenant Marriage Act of 2001. If a man and a woman in our congregation desire a pastor outside our staff to perform their wedding ceremony in our facilities they must receive approval from the Senior Pastor and that outside pastor must be in agreement with our doctrinal beliefs concerning marriage. We also will only perform marriages between one man and one woman in our church for those who have formally gone through our membership process. We believe marriage is holy matrimony, created and ordained by God alone, and is a worship experience. Scripture is our final and ultimate authority and arbiter in this matter.
All Christians are filled with the Spirit at the moment of salvation and are given spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit and Jesus Himself. The Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the Gospel. The gifts that we see exercised in the Scriptures have not ceased with the death of the last Apostle or the closing of the New Testament canon. They are available today and are to be eagerly desired and practiced in submission to the Spirit through the Scriptures. The Bible lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. No one believer has all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, thus emphasizing the need for the whole church body. Having certain gifts does not create "super-Christians" as all the gifts are necessary in the body of Christ. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of Biblical parameters as God is orderly, not chaotic. The gifts are useless and meaningless void of Christ-like love.
The Church is a New Testament institution established by Jesus Christ. A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local body of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel. Jesus is the sole Head, revealed through the Holy Apostles; empowered and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit to be His “Body” for service and His “Bride” for glory. The church is the habitation of God through the Spirit with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Jesus' Great Commission. Every person who is born of the Spirit is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers. There is a spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. While all Christians are part of the universal body of Christ, all should be actively involved in a local body of Christ which we see evidenced in the New Testament. The Church is saved people. This group of saved people should meet regularly as expressed in Scripture, covenant with one another in faith and fellowship, observe the sacraments of Jesus, be governed by His laws, exercise the gifts of the Spirit, have leadership of Elders, Pastors and servants in Deacons, and be benevolent. The Church has the authority as evidenced by Scripture to commission individuals, committees, or groups by the laying on of hands to perform special tasks or missions as led by the Holy Spirit. The main goal of the Church is to glorify God, perpetuate His Gospel, make disciples that look like Jesus, and love the world around it as defined by the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8, 2:41-42, 6:6; Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:19-22, 3:21; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 10:25, 11:39-40, 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
Baptism by immersion in water is a direct commandment of our Lord and is for believers (those who are born again) only. Believer's baptism is a symbol of the Christian’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. It is a testimony to the Christian’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead. It is a prerequisite to covenant of church membership and the Lord's Supper. Following salvation, the new convert is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Baptism does not save as salvation is not of works but by grace through faith. Immersion is the only mode of baptism found in Scripture. Infant baptism is not believer's baptism nor is it found in the Bible. We do not require people to be "rebaptized" in order to become a member of Family Church if they have been biblically baptized (i.e. immersion, following salvation) (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 41; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 36-38; 10:47-48; Ephesians 2:8-9).
A unique time of communion in the presence of God when the elements of bread and grape juice (the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ) are taken in remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross. The elements of communion (bread and juice) do not turn into the blood and body of Christ but represent His atoning work of salvation from sin. We practice open communion, meaning communion is available to any Christian believer even if not a member of Family Church. We typically take communion weekly during our services centered in a time of prayer.
Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the cross. In addition, both the saved and the lost will be resurrected; they that are saved to the resurrection of life and they that are lost to the resurrection of eternal damnation. The resurrection is a crucial and essential doctrine of the Christian faith
After living one life on earth, the unbelievers (those who physically die in their sins without Christ) will be judged by God and sent to a literal Hell where they will be eternally tormented with the devil and the fallen angels. Most sadly, those who do not believe in the gospel will be eternally separated from God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Heaven with no chance of return or salvation. The Lake of Fire is literal and everlasting.
Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish His Kingdom. His return is imminent. When He comes, the dead in Christ will rise first and then those who are alive in Him shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Following the Tribulation, He shall return to earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Then, together with His saints, who shall be kings and priests, He shall reign for a thousand years. The second coming of Christ will occur at a date undisclosed by the Scriptures (Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; II Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 20:6).
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Family Church's autonomy, faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Elders are our final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps 139.)