Doctrinal Statement

Doctrinal Statement of Flint Hills Bible Church, Emporia Kansas (KS).

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Doctrinal Statement

We understand that this document is not an exhaustive expression of our doctrine, for we believe and teach the whole counsel of Scripture.  This is not designed to set limits on doctrinal exploration and understanding, but is rather a brief summary of the sound doctrine taught in the Scriptures.  As Elders of Flint Hills Bible Church it is our duty to teach, promote, and defend these doctrines for the glory and honor of God.

The Holy Scriptures Man The Local Church
God Salvation Baptism
God the Father Sanctification The Lord's Supper
God the Son Perseverance of the Saints Satan, Angels, and Demons
God the Holy Spirit The Universal Church The Doctrine of Last Things

The Holy Scriptures Back to top

We believe and teach that the sixty-six books of the Holy Scriptures are literally the Word of God.  The Holy Spirit moved through godly men to record exactly what God wanted to reveal, so that their words carry the authority of God Himself (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16).  Therefore, the Scriptures are the only authoritative and sufficient standard for all matters of godliness, faith, practice, and doctrine through all generations (Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 33:11; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:3-8; 19). The Bible is the only source of objective truth from God (1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 1:1-2; Jude 3), and its original documents, both in part and in whole, are inerrant and infallible (Psalm 119:160; 2 Timothy 3:16). The meaning of Scripture is to be found by applying the literal-grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the illumination of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17, 14:26, 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20). This means that the Bible is to be interpreted literally, taking into account the historical context in which it was written, and by submitting to the original languages and proper rules of grammar and sentence structure.

God Back to top

We believe and teach that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), perfect in all His attributes, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).  Though separate in identity and function, these three are one in purpose and substance, sharing the same divine nature (self-existent (Exodus 3:1-15; Isaiah 40:12-31; Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:9-11; Daniel 4:35; Romans 11:33-34; 1 Timothy 6:13-16; John 5:26; John 6:15-21; Revelation 1:8), eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; 102:25-27; Isaiah 9:6; 44:6; 57:15; Habakkuk 1:12; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 1:8, 18), omnipotent (Psalm. 115:2, Isaiah 40:15; Jeremiah. 32:27; Matthew. 19:26; Hebrews 1:3), omniscient (Psalm. 139:1-6, 13-16;  Isaiah 40:13-14, 46:9-10 1 John 3:20), and omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10; Jeremiah 23:23-24)) and character (being perfectly holy (Psalm 99:9; Isaiah 5:16, 6:1-3; 1 Peter 1:15; Revelation 4:8), just (Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 34:12; Isaiah 30:18, 45:21; Revelation 16:7 ), good (Psalm 25:8; Psalm 119:68), and gracious (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 116:5; John 1:14; Titus 2:11)). 

God is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9) who formed the heavens and earth out of nothing (ex nihilo) by His spoken word (Genesis 1:1-31; Exodus 20:11; Hebrews 11:3; Psalm 33:6; 148:1-5) in six literal twenty-four hour days. 

God the Father Back to top

We believe and teach that God the Father is sovereign in creation and redemption (John 6:44, Acts 13:48, Ephesians 1:3-12).  He is the absolute ruler of the universe who governs, upholds, and directs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 103:19, 83:18; Daniel 4:17; Revelation 5:13; 1 Timothy 1:17; Matthew 6:13b).  Though sovereign, He is not the author of sin, nor does He approve of evil (Proverbs 15:9; Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47; 1 John 1:5); neither does He deprive nor diminish the will and accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17).  God the Father is full of compassion and active in salvation, having sent His only Son to die for sinners, and graciously calling lost ones to Himself (Revelation 5:9; Romans 8:29-30; Acts 10:34-43; Romans 3:29-30; Deuteronomy 10:17). There is no one like God, and He rightly deserves and demands all glory, honor and praise.

God the Son Back to top

We believe and teach that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:23; John 1:1, 14, 18; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9). In the miracle of the incarnation, the second Person of the Trinity took on full and complete human nature, including a physical body, while giving up none of His divine essence, either in degree or kind.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23), lived a perfect life here on earth (1Peter 1:19; Hebrews 2:10, 4:15, 5:9, 7:28), and then willingly laid down His life as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of mankind.  His Resurrection from the grave on the third day proved that His offering was accepted by the Father, guaranteed a future resurrection to life for all who believe in Him, and thereby conquered both sin and death (John 5:26-29, 14:19; Romans 1:4, 4:25,6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).  Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, and He now serves as our compassionate High Priest, Mediator, and Advocate (Psalm 110:1-7; Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-33; Romans 4:25, 8:34; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:23-28; 9:24; 1 John 2:1). Soon He will return as a conquering King (Revelation 19:11-16) to establish His reign on earth, at which point every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).

We believe and teach that the Bible clearly articulates and exalts Jesus Christ as mankind’s only hope and path to God and the salvation for one’s soul (John 10:7-9, 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5).

God the Holy Spirit Back to top

We believe and teach that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.  He assisted in creation (Genesis 1:2), moved men to write God’s revealed Word (Zechariah 7:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21), and facilitated the Incarnation (Matthew 1:18).  Today, it is the Holy Spirit who manifests the active presence of God in the world, and especially in the church.  He convicts the world of sin and judgment (John 16:8), draws and transforms the elect through the miracle of regeneration (Ezekiel 36:27; John 3:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-7; Galatians 5:16; Titus 3:5), and permanently indwells and enables believers in the process of sanctification (1Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:13-14; Ephesians 1:15-18; 3:14-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). The Holy Spirit assures believers of their status as children of God (Romans 8:16; Galatians 4:6) and is the pledge and guarantee of their salvation and future inheritance (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).  He assists believers in their prayers (Romans 8:26; Jude 1:20), helps them to understand the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 1 John 2:20, 27), and imparts love (Romans 5:3-5), hope (Romans 5:5; 15:13; Galatians 5:5), comfort (Acts 9:31), and joy (Acts 13:52; Romans 14:17; 15:13 Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6). The Holy Spirit gives each believer spiritual gifts for the edification of the saints in order that they might build up the body of Christ (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11).  He is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13; 1 John 5:6-7) who keeps the church from error (Acts 15:28; Acts 9:31; John 14:16-17; 1 John 2:27) and empowers the preaching of the Word (Acts 4:8, 31; 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:12).  While assisting our understanding of Scripture, He does not add any revelation beyond the written Word of God (Ephesians 2:18-20; Revelation 22:18-19).

Man Back to top

We believe and teach that man was directly created by God apart from any process of evolution, and in no sense descended from animal ancestry, but was uniquely made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7; 18-24; Matthew 19:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).  Man (i.e. Adam and Eve) was originally created without sin, but became corrupted by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God.  Scripture teaches that all men were in Adam, thus all men—with the sole exception of Jesus Christ—have inherited a nature corrupted by Adam’s original sin.  All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18; 23; 5:10-12). Man’s sin has alienated him from the life and family of God (Ephesians 4:18; John 8:42-44), and places him under God’s righteous judgment and wrath (Romans 3:19; 1:18).  In himself, man is utterly incapable of achieving reconciliation with God (Isaiah 64:6; Mark 7:21-23; Matthew 19:26; Romans 7:18).

Regarding sexuality, we teach that sex is a gift from God to be exclusively enjoyed within the covenant of marriage. “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6).  Thus, marriage has been defined by God as the union of one man and one woman for life. Sex outside the bonds of marriage as defined in the previous sentence is sin, i.e. adultery, fornication, and homosexuality (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

Salvation Back to top

We believe and teach that salvation is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:5, 8-9).  Despite the sinfulness of mankind, God mercifully loves and desires all men to be saved by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 18:23, 31; 1 Timothy 2:4). This gift was made possible by the death of Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice who died as our substitute to appease the wrath of God and offer us forgiveness of sins (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9).  Christ’s one offering on the cross was perfectly and permanently effective to remove the sins of all believers for all time (Isaiah 53:11; John 19:30; Hebrews 1:3, 9:25-28, 10:11-18).  This gift is received when the Holy Spirit draws a person to faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10) and repentance from a life of sin (Matthew 4:17; Mark 6:12; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 3:19). At the moment of salvation, several transformative, irreversible changes occur in the new believer: The Holy Spirit causes him to be born again (John 3:3-7) and gives him a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5), he is freed from sin and death and is given eternal life, he is declared righteous before God, his sins are imputed to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to him, and he is adopted into the very family of God. Every believer enjoys union with Christ, and is accepted as Christ is accepted and loved as Christ is loved, sharing in His inheritance, and one with Him forever (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12).

All of these blessings are given by grace alone through faith alone.  No degree of moral reformation, no sacrament, no ordinance, no family legacy can move the sinner even one step toward heaven.  There is no repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no baptism, no submission to the rules and ordinances of any church, that can in any way, in even the least degree, add to the value and merit of the finished work of Christ on the cross (John 19:30). Only by being born again can one obtain salvation and thus become a child of God (Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 26:28; John 3:5, 18; Romans 5:6-9; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:18-19, 23).

Sanctification Back to top

We believe and teach that every believer experiences both positional and progressive sanctification.  At the moment of salvation, the believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God, declared holy, and identified as a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2). This positional sanctification is instantaneous and defines our perfect standing in Jesus Christ before God (John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 1: 30; 6:11;  Heb 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:3). Progressive sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit brings the believer ever closer to the likeness of Christ through increasing obedience to the Word of God (Romans 6:19, 22; 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:10; 1 Peter 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). This continual transformation will not be brought to completion until the believer sees the Lord face to face and shall be “like Him” (1 John 3:1-3), fully sanctified and glorified.  Nonetheless, this process will be evident in some measure in the life of every believer (Matthew 7:16-23).

Perseverance of the Saints Back to top

We believe and teach that all true believers are kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives (John 6:37-39, 10:28-29; Romans 8:39). God promises that He will lose none whom He has called unto salvation, and that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). Therefore He has sealed every believer with the Holy Spirit, who is a pledge of our future inheritance until the day of Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30). The Holy Spirit remains active in us to ensure that the work begun at salvation will be brought to completion on the day when we stand before God (Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). Those who fail to persevere in faith demonstrate that they were never truly born again (Colossians 1:23; 1 John 2:19). True saints persevere in their faith not because of what they do, but because of what God does in them.

The Universal Church Back to top

We believe and teach that the universal church is comprised of all true believers from all time.  Regardless of membership or non-membership in the organized churches on earth, all true believers are part of the universal church.  Different and distinct from Israel, the church began at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-47; Romans 11:1-24). Jesus Christ is the head of the church, which is His body and bride (1 Corinthians 12:4-5, 27; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:15-16, 5:23-25; Revelation 19:7-8), and at the moment of conversion, each saint is baptized by the Holy Spirit, being placed into this body (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:11-16, 4:4-6). Sharing one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, our unity transcends all social (Colossians 3:11) and ethnic (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11-18) barriers, and we ought to rise above all sectarian differences and pursue the perfect bond of peace.  God desires that all believers fervently love and care for one another as a spiritual family (Romans 12:10; Colossians 3:14-15). 

The Local Church Back to top

We believe and teach that the local church is an independent, self-governing body of Spirit-baptized believers.  God commissions the local church to proclaim the gospel, make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20), equip the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12; 2 Timothy 3:17), and in all these things give all glory to God (Ephesians 3:20-21). It is the responsibility of the local church to meet faithfully for worship, teaching, prayer, fellowship and accountability (Acts 2:41-47; Hebrews 10:24-25), and the keeping of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  Each member is expected to give of their time, talents (Romans 12:5-8; 1 Peter 4:10), and resources (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) to build up their local church.  The local church is responsible to look after the spiritual welfare of its members, always seeking to restore and—if necessary—discipline those who continue in unrepentant sin (Matthew 18:10-20; Galatians 6:1). God calls the local church to be a pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), guarding the doctrine entrusted to us by the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 4:16, 6:20; Jude 3). He has appointed pastors/elders/overseers (1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) to serve as under-shepherds until the Chief Shepherd returns (1 Peter 5:1-3), as well as deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-10, 12-13) to assist these under-shepherds in the work of the ministry.  Though not officially affiliated with other local bodies, we value the fellowship of other churches of like faith and order.

Baptism Back to top

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord's Table to be observed by all believers until His return.  Baptism symbolizes the work of the Holy Spirit, identifying the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:4-7).  Though not a means of salvation or grace, baptism is an important act of obedience whereby a believer makes a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ.  Christ commanded all believers to be baptized and this was the practice of the New Testament church.  We practice the ordinance of baptism by immersion after conversion (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-44; 10:33, 43, 47, 48; Romans 6:3-7; Colossians 2:12).

The Lord’s Supper Back to top

We believe and teach that the Lord's Supper was instituted to help the church remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Christ Himself established this ordinance on the eve of His crucifixion, and commands us to continue practicing it until He returns (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26). The Lord’s Supper is a corporate act in which believers partake together of the bread and the cup, symbolizing the broken body and shed blood of Christ, and is the highlight of corporate worship.  The Lord's Supper reminds us of the basis of our fellowship with Him, promotes an atmosphere of thankfulness in the church, and heightens our anticipation of His second coming.  Each believer is responsible to partake of the bread and the cup in a worthy manner (Luke 22:7-38; 1 Corinthians 11:20-34). 

Satan, Angels, and Demons Back to top

We believe and teach the personal existence of angels (Luke 22:43) and demons (Luke 8:26-39). Angels are spirit beings (Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:16) who were created to worship God and minister to believers (Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 7:11-12). All angels were at one time holy, but when Satan rebelled one-third of the angels fell with him (Revelation 12:3-4). Fallen angels are called demons or evil spirits and will be judged along with Satan and thrown into the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10). We are able to resist and overcome them only in the armor of God and by the blood of the Lamb (Ephesians 6:12-18; Revelation 12:11).

The Doctrine of Last Things Back to top

1.  The Promises to Israel

We believe and teach that Israel has a distinct and special future in God's redemptive plan.  The unconditional promises God made to the nation of Israel have not been nullified, nor have they been transferred solely to the Church.  The Abrahamic, Davidic, and New covenants will be fulfilled as promised to Israel (Genesis 15:1-21; 17:4-8, 13, 19; 22:18; 1 Chronicles 17:1-15; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 11:1-36).

2. The Kingdom

We believe and teach that there has always existed a universal kingdom of God (Psalm 29:10; 74:12; 145:13), and that believers are kingdom saints who now serve Christ, their King, as aliens, strangers, and ambassadors on this earth (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; 1 Peter 1:1, 2:11).  In the future, there will be a literal, earthly kingdom of Christ (Isaiah 2:2-4; 24:23; Daniel 2:44; Zechariah 14:9).

3. The Church Age

We believe and teach that we are living in the Church age, a time where God is offering the kingdom primarily to the Gentiles (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11:25-29).  The Church age began at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-47) and will end at the rapture of the Church.

4.  The Rapture

We believe and teach that the rapture will take place immanently and unexpectedly, like a thief in the night, at the end of the church age, and that all the saints, both dead and alive, will be caught up in the air to be forever with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Titus 2:13).

5.  The Tribulation

We believe and teach that before Christ comes to establish His reign on earth, there will be a seven-year period of tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:1-51; Revelation 6:1-19:21). The judgments of the tribulation, especially the last half, will be supernatural and unmistakable to all (Revelation 6:1-19:21). The tribulation period will close when Christ bodily returns to earth (Zechariah 14:4, 9; Acts 1:11), binds Satan (Revelation 20:1-2) and sets up His literal earthly kingdom.

6.  The Second Coming

We believe and teach a pre-millennial view of the kingdom in which Jesus Christ will come back bodily to earth to set up a literal thousand-year kingdom and rule from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-4; Zechariah 14:3-4; Acts 1:9-12; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-7). At the end of the thousand years Satan will be loosed and deceive the nations (Revelation 20:3), bringing God's final Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:7-9).

7.  Heaven and Hell

We believe and teach that all mankind will end up in one of two eternal destinies: heaven or the lake of fire (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29). It is appointed for all men to die once and then be judged (Hebrews 9:27). All unbelievers will appear before the Great White Throne to be judged according to their deeds (Revelation 20:11-15).  Those who reject Christ and refuse to submit to Him as both Lord and Savior will suffer conscious torment in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 13:42; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 16:24; 12:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10; Revelation 14:11; 20:10, 15). Those who have repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus Christ will enjoy perfect happiness in heaven for all eternity, and receive rewards in accordance with their faithful service on earth (Matthew 24:45-47; 25:21-23; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 22:5).

8.  Future Life of the Believer

We believe and teach that at death the spirits and souls of those who trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence (2 Corinthians 5:8). There they remain in conscious bliss until the Rapture, when they will receive their glorified resurrection bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).