Flushing Bible Church Doctrinal Statement
Flushing Bible Church seeks to understand and obey the Word of God in its entirety. No creed or confession shall ever supersede the authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures as our sole standard for faith and practice. Since we believe in the consistent use of a literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of the Bible, we conclude that a dispensational understanding of the Bible is correct, which assumes a progressive revelation of truth from God. Therefore, we identify various dispensations or administrations of God's revealed truth, such as Promise, Law, Grace, and Kingdom, among others. We further recognize a fundamental distinction between Israel and the Church in origin, purposes, and destiny.
The following statements summarize FBC’s doctrinal position:
We believe the Bible is God's Word given by divine inspiration, and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to humanity (2 Timothy 3:16). It is the verbal, plenary, and inspired Word of God. The term “verbal” means that every word of the Bible in the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek is without error. “Plenary” refers to the fact that the entirety of Scripture is equally inspired, and the Bible is “inspired” because it is God-breathed by the Holy Spirit to the human authors, whereby they recorded the words of Scripture using their human vocabulary and style (1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is the truth by which God brings people into a saving relationship with Himself, and leads them to Christian maturity, both of which are through His grace (John 20:31, 1 John 5:9-12; Matthew 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2).
We believe in the original direct creation of the universe, a voluntary act of God whereby for His own glory and according to His eternal counsel, in six successive days of twenty-four hours each, He gave existence to all things in distinction from Himself. We oppose all forms of the evolutionary hypothesis of origins, whether theistic or atheistic (Genesis 1:1-2:9; Exodus 20:11; Psalms 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 90:2; Isaiah 40:28; John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:11).
We believe God created an order of spiritual beings called angels to serve Him, and do His will (Psalm 148:1-5; Colossians 1:16). The holy angels are obedient spirits ministering to the heirs of salvation, and they glorify God (Hebrews 1:6-7; 13-14). Certain angels, called demons, Satan being their chief, through deliberate choice revolted and fell from their exalted position (Revelation 12:7-9). They now tempt individuals to rebel against God (1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 5:8). Their destiny in hell has been sealed by Christ's victory over sin and death (Romans 16:20; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 20:10).
God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
We believe in the one living and true God, perfect in wisdom, sovereignty, holiness, justice, mercy and love (1 Timothy 1:17; Psalm 86:15; Deuteronomy 32:3-4). He exists eternally in three co-equal persons who act together in creation, providence and redemption (Genesis 1:26; 1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 1:1-3).
God the Father, who is the first person of the divine trinity, reigns with providential care over all life and history in His created universe (1 Chronicles 29:11-13; Matthew 7:11). He initiated salvation by sending His Son, and He is Father to those who by faith accept His Son as Lord and Savior (1 John 4:9-10; John 3:16; John 1:12; Acts 16:31).
God the Son, who is co-equal with the Father, (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3) became man, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary (John 1:14; Matthew 1:18). Being fully God and fully man, He lived a sinless life through the power of the Holy Spirit, thus defeating Satan and sin through His offering of Himself on the cross for the sins of the world. By restricting His divine attributes, and living in reliance on the Holy Spirit during His earthly life He became the believer’s model for the spiritual life, whereby we are shown that we must also rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to please God (Romans 8:1-4). Since Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of the world through His death on the cross, faith in His atoning work is the only means by which a person may receive eternal life.
God the Holy Spirit inspired men to write the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21). Through this Word, He convicts individuals of their sinfulness and of the righteousness of Christ, draws them to the Savior (John 6:44; 12:32), and bears witness to their new birth (James 1:18; John 16:7-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6; Romans 8:16). At regeneration and conversion, which happens at the moment of belief, the believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Spirit indwells, seals and gives spiritual gifts, at the moment of belief (2 Corinthians 3:15), to all believers for ministry in the church and society (Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 12:5-8; 1 Peter 4:10). He empowers, guides, teaches, fills, sanctifies and produces the fruit of Christ-likeness in all who yield to Him (Acts 4:31; Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Galatians 5:16; 22-23).
Man and Sin
We believe God created man in His own image to have fellowship with Himself and to be a steward over His creation (Genesis 1:26-28). As a result, each person is unique, possesses dignity and is worthy of respect (Psalm 139:13-17). Through the temptation of Satan, Adam willfully chose to disobey God; this brought sin and death to the human race, and suffering to all creation (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12-21; 8:22). Therefore, everyone is born with a sinful nature, and needs to be reconciled to God (Romans 3:9-18; 23). Satan tempts people to rebel against God, even those who love Him (Ephesians 4:27; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Matthew 16:23). Nonetheless, every human being without exception is responsible to God for thoughts, actions and beliefs, and every human being, without exception, has the right and responsibility to approach Him directly through Jesus Christ, the only mediator (Romans 14:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; 2 Peter 3:9).
Salvation by Grace through Faith
We believe that eternal life is received by the grace of God alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone as the only hope for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16). Since the only requirement for salvation is faith in Christ as Savior (Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9), and the Gospel of Christ is made available to all human beings through the Word of God (Romans 10:17); and since God is a God of truth (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2), then His offer of salvation is a genuine offer to all, and therefore all people have an equal opportunity to believe, and be saved (Titus 2:11). Human beings are completely lost (Romans 5:12), and unable to save themselves (Isaiah 64:6); however, they are able to believe in Christ for salvation at any time (2 Corinthians 6:2). God has not chosen some people to be saved, and other people for eternal punishment (2 Peter 3:9). Human beings receive eternal life, or eternal punishment based on their response to the Gospel of Christ.
The Church Universal and Local
We believe the Church is the body of which Jesus Christ is the head, and all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior are members of the Church Universal (Ephesians 1:22-23; Romans 12:4-5). The Church was not in existence before Christ's resurrection in any form since He said, "I will build (future tense) My church," in Matthew 16:18. In addition, we believe that the Church started on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus’s resurrection as described in Acts 2 (Acts 2:1-4, 11:15-16; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Believers are commanded to be baptized, and to unite with a local church for mutual encouragement, and growth in discipleship through worship, nurture, service and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world (Acts 2:41-42, 47; Hebrews 10:24-25).
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
The ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord's Supper. FBC practices baptism by immersion of believers in water (Matthew 28:18-20). It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's identification with the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ only, and is of no salvific value (Romans 6:3-5). The Lord's Supper is the partaking of the bread and of the cup by believers together as a continuing memorial of the broken body, and shed blood of Christ. It is an act of thankful dedication to Him, and serves to unite His people until He returns (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). All believers who gather with us may take part in the Lord’s Supper, and do not have to be members of FBC.
The Family, Religious Liberty, and Civil Responsibility
We affirm the family as the basic unit of society, and seek to preserve its integrity and stability (Genesis 2:21-25; Ephesians 6:1-4). We believe religious liberty, rooted in Scripture, is the inalienable right of all individuals to freedom of conscience with ultimate accountability to God (Genesis 1:27; John 8:32; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Romans 8:21; Acts 5:29). Church and state exist by the will of God. Each has distinctive concerns and responsibilities, free from control by the other (Matthew 22:21). Christians should pray for civil leaders, and obey and support government in matters not contrary to Scripture (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-16).
We believe that God will bring all things to their appropriate end, and then establish the new heaven and the new earth (Ephesians 1:9-10; Colossians 1:20; Revelation 21:1). FBC holds that the Rapture of the Church will occur before the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 5:9; Titus 2:13). This belief is based on a literal interpretation of Scripture, and is premised on the belief that the Tribulation serves the purpose of bringing the nation of Israel to repentance for the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and therefore the Church has no place in the Tribulation. When the nation of Israel accepts Jesus as the Messiah, He will return to the earth suddenly, personally and visibly in glory according to His promise (Hosea 6:1-3; Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 24:29-30; Revelation 1:7; 19:11-21). Following the second coming of Christ to the earth, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for one thousand years (20:1-3), and then Christ will literally rule and reign from Jerusalem over a Kingdom of His own making for one thousand years (20:1-6). After the Millennial Kingdom is complete, Satan will be loosed from the abyss to lead the nations astray one final time (20:7-8), and then he will be utterly defeated by fire from heaven (20:9), and cast into the lake of fire for eternity (20:10). Then, the non-believing dead of all times will be raised, and Christ will judge them in righteousness at the Great White Throne Judgment (John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15). The unrighteous will be consigned to the everlasting punishment prepared for the devil and his angels (20:10). Believers will then be ushered into the eternal state to live with God for eternity in perfect fellowship (21-22).
Whereas FBC believes that the Bible is the inerrant and inspired Word of God, we conclude that the Bible should be consistently interpreted using a literal, grammatical-historical interpretation. The precedent for understanding the Holy Scriptures in a literal manner comes from the Lord Himself, as He believed in the literal creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4), the fact of a literal worldwide flood (Matthew 24:37-38), and that Jonah was literally inside of a fish for three days (Matthew 12:39-40). The grammatical-historical aspect of our hermeneutic simply takes into account the intended audience of the message being given in the various books of the Bible, and the use of certain literary devices such as, figures of speech, metaphors, allegory, and apocalyptic imagery. However, when these literary devices are implemented in Scripture, they are used to express literal truths. Since we reject an allegorical, spiritual, or mystical approach to interpreting Scripture, we reject the ideas and teachings of Covenant Theology, Preterism, Post-Millennial Theology, and Amillennial Theology. We believe in the literal fulfillment of the many promises made to the nation of Israel that will result in the pre-Millennial return of Christ to establish His Kingdom on earth for one thousand years.
Israel and the Church
A direct result of the use of literal hermeneutic is the realization that Israel and the Church are two distinct entities in the plan of God. Israel is the earthly nation through which God gave the Scriptures, sent the Messiah, and the nation through which He will rule and reign on the earth in the Millennial Kingdom, which is yet future. Israelites are the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. The Church, on the other hand, is made up of all who have believed in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The Church is not revealed in the Old Testament, and is therefore a mystery that is primarily revealed in the Pauline epistles. The Church has not replaced the nation of Israel, nor has it taken her promised future blessings.
We believe that at the moment a person puts his faith in Jesus Christ as Savior he is indwelled by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-11, 1 Corinthians 3:16), and he receives spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-26, Ephesians 4:11-13). These gifts are used primarily for the building up of the church, so that we are not led astray by false teaching (Ephesians 4:14), and so that we love one another with a genuine love (Romans 12:3-9). Although God, in His sovereignty, can heal people directly, and answer prayers, people are no longer imbued with the ability to heal other people directly. We further believe that all of the sign gifts have ceased (apostle, prophesy, tongues, interpretation) since the completion of the canon of Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:10).
Music and the Worship Service
Flushing Bible Church is committed to singing and playing Christ-honoring, spiritually uplifting, theologically precise hymns and songs. Therefore, all music selected for congregational singing or solo/ensemble numbers in FBC services must be drawn from the church hymnal (currently Majesty Hymns published by Majesty Music), or must be similar in style and emphasis. The church leadership (Elders and Deacons) must approve all numbers not contained in the hymnal. This requirement is not meant to squelch the creativity of our members or worship, but rather to maintain unity in the body of believers, and a reverent worship service.
Since we are called on to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23), we maintain that worship should not appeal to the flesh. The worship of God is done with the mind (spirit), and with His word (truth), not with the body. Therefore, at FBC we are not looking for a worship “experience,” but rather in our worship we look to transform our fallen minds into the mind of Christ through the study of His word (Romans 12:1-2).
Flushing Bible Church holds to the position that marriage is the union of one natural-born man and one natural-born woman. While marriage is not required of the believer, it is encouraged by Scripture to prevent sin (1 Corinthians 7:9), for the purpose of providing children, and so that the married couple may experience the relationship between Christ and the Church in their personal lives (Ephesians 5:22-33). Since our view of marriage and its requirements are based in Scripture, and in order to maintain the accountability of the party being married, it is the policy of FBC to only perform and host marriages in which at least one of the parties being wed is a current member of Flushing Bible Church.