We believe . . .that the bible unequivocally teaches the following doctrines (although we do recognize that in some cases sincere and intelligent Christians hold different views). In order to preserve the unity within LWF Church (Philippians 1:27; 2:1-2), we require that all those in positions of leadership and teaching must personally hold to the following basic precepts.
We believe that all Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, are verbally and equally inspired by God, are inerrant in the original writings, and are the Christian’s final authority in faith and conduct. (II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21).
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely holy and perfect and eternally existing in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. (Gen. 1 & 2; Matt. 28:19-20).
The Person and Word of Christ
We believe that by miracle of the virgin birth the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God in order to reveal God and to redeem mankind by dying as a sacrificial substitute on a cross to pay for the sins of all those who would believe in Him, and that he arose bodily from the dead for our justification, and that He is now exalted at the right hand of God, Head of the Church and Lord of the individual believer, fulfilling His ministry as our Great High Priest and Advocate. (Matt. 1:20-21; John 1:1-14; Rom. 5:6-11; I John 2:1,2; Luke 24; Acts 1:9; Heb. 8).
The Return of Christ
We believe in the personal, visible coming of our Lord, first to receive His own to Himself and later, to set up His earthly kingdom and to reign over redeemed Israel and all nations of the world, bringing peace and blessing to the whole world. We believe that this blessed hope has a vital bearing on our personal life and service. (I Thess. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:30-58; Rev. 20:4-6).
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and that He convicts the world of sin, regenerates the believer and baptizes him into the church, which is the Body of Christ. We believe that He indwells, guides, instructs, gifts, and empowers the Christian for Godly living and service and that He seals and keeps him until the Lord comes. (John 16:1-33; I Cor. 12:12,13; Eph. 1:13,14).
We believe that God created man in His image, and that there are only two biological sexes, male and female. We believe that the first man, Adam, sinned (rebelled against God's authority and commands) incurring not only the just punishment of physical death, but also the penalty of spiritual death, which is separation from God, and which is inherited by every member of Adam’s race, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We believe that every person is commanded by God to repent from sin (turn from rebellion) through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 3:25; 5:12-21; 6:23; John 6:44).
We believe that salvation is wholly by grace (the unearned mercy of God), through faith in Jesus Christ; whereby God declares the repentant sinner justified by crediting the perfect record of Jesus' life and his sacrificial substitutionary death to the sinner's account. True confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will result in repentance from sin and a life marked by continuous sanctification. Salvation cannot be earned by good works; it is a free gift given by God. In addition, when people place their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they receive the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit who enlightens the believer in the truth of God's Word, convicts the believer of residual sin, assures the believer of final glorification, equips the believer with gifts for helping the church accomplish its mission in the world, and produces godly fruit in the life of the believer. (II Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 8:1; 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:1-11; Gal. 5:22-23).
We believe that the true Church is composed of all believers who, through faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, that those who are thus members of the true Church will manifest participation in the local church, and that baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper are to be observed by the Church during the present age. (Acts 2:41; I Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 4:25; Matt. 28:19,20; I Cor.11:17-34).
We believe baptism is one of the two ordinances left by Christ for the Church today. While in no way effective in itself as a means of salvation, baptism is, nevertheless, an outward sign of an inward reality. As a step of obedience to the Lord Jesus it publicly identifies the believer with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, as well as outwardly identifying him with the Church which is Christ’s body. To baptize literally means to dip or immerse; therefore, the mode of baptism here at LIVING WORD FELLOWSHIP is immersion. However, baptism by any other mode, done previously in accordance with profession of faith in Jesus Christ, will be accepted. Baptism is a beautiful statement to the world as well as the church of one’s faith in Christ and therefore a great privilege. (Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 2:38,41; Rom. 6:4-5).
We believe communion is the second ordinance left to the Church by Jesus Christ. As the Lord’s table does not belong to men nor to a denomination or to a local church, but to the Savior. As such it must not be entered into lightly. The believer is charged to examine himself (in light of I Cor. 11:26-34) since communion is a symbol which represents one’s present abiding fellowship and relation with the living Christ. It specifically causes us to remember His broken body as payment for man’s sin and His blood as a picture of the New Covenant which is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Mark 14:22-25; Col. 1:27; I Corinthians 11:23-36).
The Christian’s Walk
We believe that we are called with a holy calling to live not according to the desire of the flesh, but according to the Spirit of God. We believe a person’s walk in Christ ought to reflect His character of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We trust the Spirit of God to lead the child of God into paths of righteousness. (Gal. 5:22 & 23; Romans 8; Ephesians 2:8,9,10; I John 2:6).
The Eternal State
We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do, at death, immediately pass into His presence and there remain until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the church when the soul and body, reunited, will be associated with Him forever in glory. We believe that unbelievers will be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power because they have chosen to be opposed to God. (Phil. 1:23; I Cor. 15:50-58; Rev. 20:11-15).