Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What we believe

Emporia Friends Church is part of

Evangelical Friends Church-Mid America.

Evangelical Friends believe the apostolic doctrines in the New Testament are the essentials of Christian faith.

While Friends do not stress a formal written creed, they do state the primary principles of their faith in order to make their doctrinal position clear. Not wishing to be dogmatic, they record certain beliefs which are held as basic to their faith.

The Evangelical Friends Statement of Faith may be summarized as follows:

· The Bible is the inspired rule of faith and subject to the Holy Spirit's interpretation. The Bible is the written authority and standard for Truth. The Bible is our means for seeing God at work through history. Genuine guidance from God is in accord with the Holy Scriptures.

· God is sovereign. There is one sovereign God, the Maker and Preserver of all things; He alone is worthy of worship. God exists as a unity of three equal and distinct, yet inseparable, persons: the Father, the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

· Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is God's revelation of Himself to the world. He was divine and yet human; conceived by God's Spirit and born of a virgin. Through the blood He shed dying on the cross Jesus Christ became the atonement for sin, providing direct access to God.

· The Holy Spirit brings people to experience salvation. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin, gives life to believers, and sanctifies the child of God. The Holy Spirit works in individual lives as well as in corporate groups of the Church, enabling ministry in various forms.

· People are sinful, but redeemable. They were created in the image of God, but because they disobeyed God, they suffered the penalty of spiritual death. People are not able to work off this debt, they need a savior.

· Salvation. Those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior are born again into His kingdom by His Spirit. Salvation does not depend on outward ceremonies or symbols. Everyone who believes stands equal before God and may approach Him directly.

· Sanctification is both an act in which one's heart is cleansed and a process in which the life is transformed into Christ-likeness.

· Inner communion and the baptism with the Holy Spirit are spiritual realities beyond outward symbols.

· The Church is the visible expression of Christ. By His Spirit, Christ is present whenever two or three meet together for worship in his name. The Church is not a building, but people united in fellowship to worship and serve God, and minister to their fellow man.

· Christian liberty is to be granted in all areas not essential to one's final salvation. There are differences of faith and practice among God's children, but we anticipate a time of greater unity in the faith. Until that time there must be unity in essentials but liberty in non-essentials, with love in all things.

· The Lord's Return. At His second coming, Jesus Christ will return in power as King of kings to consummate His rule over all by the final triumph over Satan. The dead shall be resurrected and all shall be judged by God; some to eternal life, others to everlasting punishment.

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