Foundational Doctrines

The Bible

The Bible is the only written revelation of God to man, inspired by God, and inerrant in its original documents. It is accepted as the infallible rule and only authority in all matters of faith and practice. 2Tim 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Cf: Ps 19:7-11, 2 Pet 1:20-21, Ps 119:104, Rom 10:17, Matt 5:18, Heb 4:12, Pr 30:5-6, Rev 22:18-19

God

There is one God who exists eternally in 3 persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the same in substance, unchangeable and equal in power and glory. God, the Creator of the universe, spoke all things into existence by His own almighty power. 1 Pet 1:2 “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” Cf: Col 2:9, 2 Cor 13:14, Matt 28: 18-19, Gen 1:26

The Father is the originator of all things seen and unseen, who by His Son created all things. The Father is unchanging, eternally holy and wise in all His ways, and to Him belongs praise and worship for His glory, honor, majesty and power. 1 Tim 1:17 “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Cf: Rev 4:11, 1 Cor 8:6, Isa 42:5, Rom 11:33-36, Jude 25, Eph 4:6, Matt 11:27, Ja 1:17

The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and sinlessly perfect. By His death as a substitute for sinners He infinitely satisfied God’s justice and accomplished salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose bodily from the dead and ascended to His Father’s right hand where He now intercedes as our Great High Priest. He will come again to rapture His church and receive His Kingdom. Heb 1:2-3 “ hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Cf: John 1:14, John 5:18, 1 John 3:5, Mk 2:10, John 19:33-35, Lk 23:52-53, 1 Cor 15:3-6, Mk 16:19, Matt 1:20-23, John 1:1-2 and 14-18, I Thes 4:16-18

The Holy Spirit convicts the sinner of sin. From the moment of faith in Christ He regenerates and indwells the new believer. He baptizes all true believers into the body of Christ and seals them unto the day of redemption. He is the believers’ counselor, instructing them in the truth, giving each one a spiritual gift(s) and empowering them to live a holy life. Eph 1:13-14 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Cf: John 16:7-11, 1 Cor 12:13, Rom 8:9-16 and 23-27, Zech 4:6, Ps 139:7, John 14:16-17 and 26

Man’s Condition

The first human, Adam was created in the image of God. Through disobedience he sinned, choosing to go his own independent way. He thus alienated himself from God, died spiritually and suffered the corruption of his nature.

This fall took place at the beginning of human history. All individuals born since are fallen and suffer these same consequences because they have sinned. Each individual is thereby justly condemned to eternal damnation for his own sins and is without defense or excuse. Therefore all men and women are of themselves unable to please God and incapable of remedying their lost condition by any means whatsoever. All are in need of the saving grace of God. Rom 5:12 “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Cf: Gen 3:1-19, Acts 7:51, Rom 1:18-32, Eph 2:1-3, Gen 6:5, Rom 3:23, Rom 6:23, Ez 18:4

Salvation

Because of man’s hopeless condition, God, out of love for the human race, sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for man’s sin, when as a sacrifice He shed His blood and died on the cross. Any person who, in simple faith trusts in the risen Christ as their only hope of salvation, entirely apart from law-keeping or good works, repents of their sin, and trusts in Jesus Christ alone as their Lord and savior receives the gift of eternal life. John 5:24 “Verily verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”

Every child of God possesses eternal life and being regenerated, justified and sealed by the Holy ‘Spirit, is safe and secure for all eternity. However, a Christian can, through sin, lose his fellowship, joy, power, testimony, and reward and incur the Father’s discipline. Relationship is permanent, being established by the new birth; fellowship, however, is dependent upon obedience to the word of God. 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” Cf: Isa 55:7, Lk 19:10, John 3:16-18, Acts 4:12, Rom 5:6-8, Rom 10:9-13, Eph 2:8-10, Titus 3:4-7

The Church

Christ is the head of the Church, His body, which He purchased with His own blood. All believers in the present age are members of the body of Christ, the church universal, and are united to Christ and to one another by the indwelling Spirit.

The preceding Biblical truths are the foundational doctrines of what we believe. Salvation is the essential requirement for fellowship with God and this local assembly.

The Word of God contains many other teachings and instructions for the local assembly, to which we seek to adhere.

Important Doctrines

The Local Church

The Scriptures command believers to regularly gather together in local congregations where they are to devote themselves to worship, prayer, the teaching of the Bible, practicing the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the edification of the body, and being an active witness to the unsaved world. God entrusts oversight of the local assembly to the elders, men who are recognized as His under-shepherds. Eph 1:22-23 “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." Cf: Matt 16:18, Acts 2:42-47, Eph 2:19-22, Eph 5:25-27, 1 Tim 3:1-13, Heb 10:23-25

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Christ commanded every believer to be baptized. Baptism is a believer’s public confession of identification with Christ in his death and not a means of salvation. Also, baptism by immersion signifies that the believer has died with Christ, has been buried with Him and has risen to walk with Him in newness of life. Rom 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Cf: Acts 8:35-39, Rom 6:1-11

The Lord’s Supper is a memorial feast instituted by our Savior Jesus Christ, at which believers worship Him and show forth His death until He comes again. The Lord chose the bread and wine as symbols of His body and blood to bring us into remembrance of the price of our redemption. In accordance with the New Testament, the Lord’s Supper is celebrated on the first day of the week. 1 Cor 11:26 “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” Cf: 1 Cor 11:23-29, Lk 22:14-20, Acts 20:7

Priesthood of all believers

In the Old Testament God established an exclusive priesthood (Ex 29:44-46) for worship and service. After Christ’s death and resurrection, the New Testament states that all Christians are “a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Pet 2:5 Cf: 1 Pet 2:9, John 4:23-24, Heb 13:15-16

Spiritual Gifts

We believe that God has bestowed spiritual gift(s) to every believer according to His sovereign will. The “sign gifts” such as tongues, miracles, and healings were needed to authenticate the apostles’ early ministry, especially to the Jews who “required a sign”. However, the office of apostleship, along with the sign gifts have ceased, having become unnecessary by the completion of the Bible, which is authoritative in itself. This does not preclude God from sovereignly performing miracles. The remaining gifts are for the edification of the Church until the coming of Christ. Eph 4:11-13 “ And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Cf: Rom 12:5-8, 1 Cor 12:4-11, 1 Cor 12:24-27, Heb 2:1-4, Eph 2:19-20, 2 Cor 12:12

Church Order

We desire to follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:42 where “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and in fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.” We have set aside meetings to practice each of these important functions. God’s desire is that in the church meetings, the men of the local gathering and invited speakers lead in the teaching and public ministry roles. As a visual ministry and a symbol of church order and headship, men are to have their heads uncovered; the women, worshipping and learning in silence, are to cover their heads. Cf: 1 Tim 2:8-15, 1 Cor 11:1-16, 1 Cor 14:26-40

Leadership Roles

New Testament church leadership is comprised of men enabled by the Holy Spirit and recognized by the local fellowship to be elders (overseers) and deacons (servants). The work of elders is to teach and shepherd the local flock, serving as overseers. Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Deacons serve in a variety of ways to meet the needs of the local fellowship. Though not recognized as elders deacons, God has gifted other men in the local fellowship with shepherding, teaching, administrating, exhorting, evangelizing and other gifts. God has given mature women the responsibility of “teaching younger women to love their husbands and their children …” Titus 2:3-5 Cf: 1 Tim 3:1-16, Acts 20:17-38, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Pet 5:1-4, Acts 14:23, Rom 12:5-8

Reception

To be in fellowship at Fox Valley Bible Chapel, you must be born again through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, seek to live a holy life, not under discipline by any assembly, and be willing to submit to the spiritual oversight and shepherding of the elders.

Any believer desiring fellowship with this local assembly must be in agreement with this assembly on the foundational doctrines at the beginning of this document. Those in fellowship who hold opposing views to the other important statements of faith shall refrain from teaching their views either publicly or privately. Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”

You shall be interviewed by at least two elders, who shall discuss with you how you were converted. The elders shall explain the privileges and responsibilities of the fellowship in the assembly and make sure that you are willing to accept these responsibilities. The elders shall cover any other subjects deemed appropriate with you. Cf: Romans 15:17 (Note: Please refer to previous references, especially those in the articles on salvation.)

Discipline and Restoration

All individuals accepted into Fellowship at Fox Valley Bible Chapel need to be aware of the position taken in this assembly concerning discipline in the local church.

Discipline and restoration shall be practiced as it is taught in the following Scriptures: Cf: Mt 18:15-20, Rom 16:17, 2 Cor 2:1-11, 1 Thes 5:14, Titus 3:10, Rev 2:2 and other Scriptures that may apply.

Evangelism, Discipleship and Service

Jesus Christ asked His disciples to take His message to the world, “so I also have sent them into the world” John 17:18 and with the purpose, “…Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mt 28:18-20. Every believer today is entrusted with the same commission: evangelism and discipleship.

Our responsibility does not end with proclaiming Christ to the lost, but even after conversion we: “…proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.” Col 1:28 (NASB) In this way, believers will “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18 Cf: Eph 4:11-16

As a response to God’s love, believers are to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service”. Rom 12:1 This response evidences itself in love and service to believers, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16ff. Cf: 1 John 4:7-11

Future Events

We believe that very soon (even at any moment now) Jesus Christ will rapture all true believers out of this world to be forevermore with Him. This event will usher in seven years of “…great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Mt 24:21 Following this will be the 1000 year reign of Christ on this earth, (Rev chaps. 19 and 20), after which the end of the world comes. At this time, God will sit on His “great white throne” and will bring all; “the dead, small and great, stand before God.” “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Cf: Rev 20:11,12,15, where all unbelievers will suffer a literal conscious judgement in hell for all eternity. Those who have their names written in the book of life will spend eternity in heaven in the presence of God beholding Him and serving Him forever. Cf: Rev 22:1-5