At First Free Will Baptist Church, we believe that the Bible is the infallible, authoritative, and God-inspired basis for belief and practice in His Church, so you will find a bible verse to support all of the beliefs below! Under "Our Beliefs" you will find clear detailed statements that reflect our perspectives on some major topics in scripture, and below that you can learn about the Free Will Baptist denomination we belong to.
We believe there is one God eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that all three possess the same divine nature; that God knows all things, can do all things, does all that He pleases, own all things, sustains all life, answers to no one, is perfectly pure, works all things for the good of those that love Him, and is working all things after the council of His will. (and much More!) (Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Timothy 3:16, John 1:18, John 15:26, Genesis 1:26, Job 37:16, Psalm 147:5, 1 John 3:19-20, Isaiah 46:9, Psalm 139:4, Proverbs 3:19, Matthew 19:26, Psalm 115:3, 1 Chronicles 29:11, Job 12:10, Daniel 4:35, 1 John 1:5, Romans 8:28, Ephesians 1:11)
We believe in the complete deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who always was, and always will be God; that He did not cease to be God during His time on Earth. (John 1:1-3, John 1:14, Colossians 2:9, Colossians 1:15-17, John 14:9-10)
We believe in the personhood and deity of the Holy Spirit; that He is the infallible Inspirer and Interpreter of the Bible; that He convicts, regenerates, indwells, empowers, instructs, prepares, and guides the believer in living, service, and worship through His gifts; that in this age He baptizes all believers into one body; that His fullness and power are appropriated in the believer's life by faith, hope and love in obedience to God. (Isaiah 63:10-11, Matthew 12:32, Mark 3:29, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:10, John 14:26, Matthew 4:1, John 16:7-11, Acts 2:4, Acts 2:38, Acts 4:25, Acts 4:31, Acts 5:32, Acts 15:28, Acts 16:6, Acts 20:28, Acts 21:11, Romans 15:13-16, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30, 2 Timothy 1:14, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 2:4, Hebrews 3:7-11, 2 Peter 1:21, Romans 8:14, 1 Corinthians 13:12-13)
We believe that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, now sits at the right hand of God the Father; functioning as the High Priest for all believers, making intercession for them; and that Jesus is the only name by which anyone can be saved from the wrath of God that each of us deserves due to our own sin and rebellion against Him. (Acts 2:33, Hebrews 12:2, Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 4:14-15, Hebrews 5:5-10, Hebrews 6:20, Hebrews 7:26, Hebrews 8:1, Romans 8:34, Hebrews 9:24, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, John 3:18, 1 John 5:12, Romans 5:9, John 3:36, 1 Thessalonians 1:10)
Regarding the Bible:
We believe that the Holy Scriptures are the inspired Word of God; the sixty-six books of the Bible are inerrant and infallible in the original texts; that those texts have been remarkably preserved through the ages; that the Bible is the foundational authority for the believer in all thinking and belief; that all extra biblical sources of information are subject to the Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21, 1 Peter 1:25, Matthew 24:35, Luke 21:33, Mark 13:31, 1 Corinthians 4:6)
We believe that true historical sciences confirm the Bible as the most remarkable and accurate Historical record of the earth and man ever to exist. For example, Archeology has confirmed: Ur, Haran (Genesis 11:31-32), Mt. Ebal Altar (Deuteronomy 27:1-8, Joshua 8:30-32), City of David (1 Kings 2:10), Hezekiah's Tunnel, Pool of Siloam (2 Kings 20:20, 2 Chronicles 32:30), Jeroboam's Temple in Dan (1 Kings 12:26-30),Hittites (Joshua 1:4), Jericho (Joshua 6:2-20), Gibeah (1 Samuel 10:26), Pool of Bethesda (John 5:2), the 4 Roman Anchors (Acts 27:29) and many more historical accounts in the Bible)
Regarding the Incarnation of Jesus:
We believe that the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit; that He was born of the virgin Mary; that He was without sin, never breaking one of God's commands; that He died as a perfect redemptive sacrifice for the sin of all men; that He was buried; that He arose from the dead on the third day, in the same, but glorified, body in which He lived and died; that He ascended to the right hand of God the Father, and by His death He provided atonement for all men, but it is conditionally applied only to those who repent and believe in Him. (Luke 1:30-35, Matthew 1:20-25, Luke 2:8-40, Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:22, 1 Peter 2:24, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 15:3, 1 John 4:10, Romans 3:25, Ephesians 1:7, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Mark 15:46, Luke 23:53, Luke 24:12, John 20:15-28, Luke 24:36-53, Mark 16:19-20, Acts 1:6-12, 1 Timothy 3:16, Acts 7:55-56, 1 John 2:2, John 4:42, 1 John 4:14, John 12:32, Romans 5:18, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 1 Timothy 4:10, Titus 2:11, John 3:15-18, John 3:36, Romans 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6, Mark 1:15, Luke 15:10, Luke 24:46-47, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 11:18, Acts 17:30, Acts 20:21,Acts 26:19-20, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Peter 3:9)
We believe God created the Universe in six literal consecutive Days, around 6000 years ago, and later, due to Sin and corruption, wiped all air breathing life off of the earth, except for Noah's Family and the occupants of the Ark, by a literal, global, worldwide flood. (Exodus 20:11, Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31, Genesis 2:3, Genesis 6:17, Genesis 7:19-23, 1 Peter 3:20, 2 Peter 2:5, 3:6-7, Matthew 24:38, Luke 17:27, Hebrews 11:7)
We believe that Satan was created by God, as one of many sinless and perfect angels, but sin was found in him - revealed through pride, and he became Satan the adversary; that he is an actual being; that he is the originator of sin; that he operates today as the prince and "god" of this worldly system; that he is the enemy of God and the people of God and deceiver of humanity; that he led Adam and Eve into transgression that resulted in humanity's fall; that he was “triumphed over” at the cross, and he, along with death and hades, will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity at the end of the millennial (1000 yr.) reign of Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:13-15, 1 Chronicles 21:1, Job 1:7-12, Job 2:1-7, Matthew 4:8-10,Luke 22:31, Acts 26:18, 1 Peter 5:8-9, 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, 2 Corinthians 11:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:18, 1 Timothy 5:15, Revelation 2:13, Matthew 13:19,Matthew 13:38, John 17:15, Ephesians 6:16, 2 Thessalonians 3:2-4, 1 John 3:12, 1 John 5:19, John 8:44, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Timothy 2:14, Colossians 2:15, Revelation 20:7, 10 & 14)
We believe that a one third of the angels followed Satan in his fall. (Revelation 12:4, Matthew 25:41, 2 Peter 2:4, James 2:19, Jude 1:6, Revelation 12:9) We believe that two thirds of the angels stayed in their holy positions and serve as ministering spirits of God for the carrying out of His purpose, especially to those who will be saved. (Matthew 4:11, Luke 2:13-14, Daniel 6:22, Hebrews 1:14, Psalms 91:11, Matthew 13:41, Matthew 24:31, Revelation 22:8-9) We believe that the "Sons of God" in Genesis 6:2-4 (see also Job 1:6, 2:1, and 37:8) are fallen Angels who sinned, and 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 1:6 describes their punishment for this particular sin.
Regarding the Fall:
We believe that man was created in the image of God, and that Adam and Eve originally enjoyed unfettered communion with God, but humankind fell through Adam's sin when he lost his spiritual life (which is communion with God); that because of the fall, spiritual death spread to all men (which is separation from God); at some point, early in each of our lives, we all Sin and break God’s law, doing the things that God has commanded us not to do, and IF we continue in that Sin, without turning from it and trusting Jesus obediently for the forgiveness of sins, we will spend eternity in the second death of Hell, which is permanent, hopeless separation from God; that in spite of our fallen condition and propensity to sin caused by separation from God, we are not condemned because of Adam's sin, but our own. (Genesis 1:27, Romans 5:12-19, Romans 8:22, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, Genesis 1:29-30, Genesis 3:16-19, Genesis 9:3-4, Ephesians 2:1-3, Romans 3:23, Romans 3:10-18, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ezekiel 18:20, 1-32)
Regarding the Future:
We believe in the physical, bodily, post-tribulational return of Jesus Christ for the Church, when we believers who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; that He will return after the Tribulation to establish His kingdom; that the last seven years of human History, before the Return of King Jesus, will be interrupted by the Antichrist setting up the “abomination of desolation” that triggers a 3.5 year period known as the Great Tribulation; that this time is a terrible period of lawlessness by men and wrath allowed by, and sent by, God; that during the time of the Tribulation, God allows evil to take power, and part of the distress of that time is Satan persecuting the people of God, and the other is God releasing a portion of His wrath upon the unbelieving population of earth for the purpose of calling all humanity to repentance, by revealing to the world, the indignation of God toward sin; that the 3.5 year time of the Great Tribulation will begin with the Abomination of Desolation and end when Jesus returns to defeat the anti-Christ, imprison Satan, gather His church, resurrect the righteous, begin His eternal kingdom, and gather Israel to Himself; that when He returns, the remnant of the nation of Israel will be at the heart of His kingdom as the first among all nations; that His return is pre-millennial and post-tribulational; at His return the dead in Christ will rise, followed by the remaining Saints, to the first resurrection, which is the sanctifying hope of the Church. We believe the personal, visible, literal, Millennium reign of Jesus Christ as King on earth is coming soon; He will reign from the Temple described in Ezekiel, over the nations, during which time the resurrected believers will co-reign with Christ and the unconditional covenants with the nation of Israel will be fulfilled; We believe that the nation of Israel will be the firstborn among all the nations, from the millennial reign forward, as the fulfillment of the unconditional covenants God made with them as a nation. At the end of the Millennial reign, after one last release of Satan and revolt of man, Jesus will have Judged every individual and put all things in subjection to himself, and then the Father will descend, in the New Jerusalem, with all things being subjected to Him; That believers will spend eternity with God on a New Earth with no curse or sin; and that all unbelievers will remain, for eternity, in the Lake of Fire, separated from all the graces of God. (Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:26-27, Luke 21:27-28, Mark 14:61-62, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Revelation 1:7, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27, Luke 21:24-25, Acts 2:19-20, 2 Thessalonians 2:2-5, Malachi 4:1-3, Joel 2:10-11, Revelation 20:2-6,Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30, 1 Corinthians 6:2, Isaiah 61:5-9, Zechariah 8:23, Obadiah 1:17, Amos 9:13-15, Malachi 3:1-4, Zechariah 2:10-12, Ezekiel 43:7, Matthew 25:31-46, Matthew 7:22-23, John 5:28-29, Acts 10:42-43, Romans 2:16, Romans 2:5-11, Romans 14:10-12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, Hebrews 9:27, James 2:12-13, 1 Peter 1:17, 2 Peter 2:9, 2 Peter 3:7, 1 John 4:17, Jude 1:5-6, Revelation 20:11-15, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, Hebrews 2:8-9,Jeremiah 3:17-18, Revelation 21:2-4, & 22-23, Revelation 22:1-3, Revelation 20:15, Luke 12:5, Matthew 24:51, Matthew 25:30, Matthew 13:49-50, Matthew 22:13-14)
We believe that God intends to fulfill all His promises to the nation of Israel, descended from the literal 12 tribes, in a literal way, just as His warnings and judgments were fulfilled in a literal way; that within the nation of Israel's history of unbelief there has always been a believing remnant who will inherit those promises, while the unbelieving portion will receive Hell along with unbelieving gentiles. (Ezekiel 47:13-15, Isaiah 60:18-21, Romans 11:5-15, Romans 11:25-26)
Regarding the Body of Christ:
We believe that the Church is the body of Christ; that it is composed of Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ, and built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets; that by being grafted into the Messiah, Gentiles, as a wild olive branch, can share in the adoption, covenants and promises given to Israel, but they do not take possession of them from the nation of Israel or replace national Israel in any way; that believing Jew and believing Gentiles are one in Christ and together they make up the Body of Christ. (Romans 12:4-6, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 5:27, 1 Timothy 3:15, Ephesians 2:11, 12, 13-14, 16, &19, Romans 11:2, 5,11-12, 17-18, 19-24, Romans 4:11-12, Romans 11:25-27) We believe that Baptism and the Lord's Supper are limited to believers only, and we must examine ourselves for sin before we partake in the Lord's Supper. (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38, Acts 2:41, Acts 8:12,Acts 8:16, Acts 8:38, Acts 9:18, Acts 10:47, Acts 10:48, Acts 16:33, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:5, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27, Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 1 Corinthians 11:23-32) We believe that all believers are called to assemble together, to be taught the Scriptures by men gifted through the Holy Spirit, who meet the requirements taught in the New Testament; that the Church assembles to love, edify, support, and serve one another, in order to ultimately obey, serve, please and worship God; that this assembling is to be organized as a local church under God's triune leadership, shepherded by godly men who teach the whole council of God; that the believer is called to holy living, following the commandments of God in Love, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; that we are to fight in spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil; that each believer is to use his or her unique spiritual gifts for the purpose of building up the local body of Christ, and bear fruit to God's glory, in obedience to the Scriptures (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:42, Matthew 18:20, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:12-14, 1 Timothy 3:2-7 & 8-12, 2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, 1 Timothy 6:1-2 & 3-5, 2 Timothy 4:2-4, Acts 20:27-28 & 29-31, 1 Peter 5:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 & 14, John 13:34,John 15:12, Romans 12:10, Galatians 5:13, Ephesians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, Hebrews 10:24, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 John 3:11& 23, 1 John 4:7 & 11-12, 2 John 1:5, Galatians 1:10, Colossians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 4:1, 1 Corinthians 5:9-11, Hebrews 11:6, 1 Peter 2:15, 1 Peter 4:6,Hebrews 10:36, 1 Thessalonians 4:2-8, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 1 Peter 2:11, 1 Timothy 6:11-12, Ephesians 6:12-13, Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:22-27 &28-30, 1 Peter 4:10, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
We believe that it is the responsibility and privilege of both the Church and the individual believer to evangelize and disciple people from all nations by lovingly sharing the Gospel of Jesus as Messiah, Savior, Judge and Lord, teaching all those that we disciple to observe everything He has commanded us, after baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as ambassadors of reconciliation and co-workers with Christ. (Romans 10:17 & 14-15, Mark 16:15-16, Matthew 28:19-20)
We believe that at the time of physical death, those who follow Jesus Christ will immediately go into the presence of God in full conscious fellowship with the Lord in soul, mind and spirit, awaiting the resurrection of the body that will occur when Jesus returns; that the unbeliever enters immediately into conscious separation from God in Hades - in soul, mind, and spirit - awaiting the resurrection of the body to be judged and cast into eternal separation from God in Hell. (2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Philippians 1:23, Acts 7:59, 1 Thessalonians 4:14, Luke 14:13-14, Luke 20:36, John 11:24-25, Philippians 3:9-11, Revelation 20:6, John 5:29, Revelation 20:11-15)
Regarding "The virgin" Mary:
We believe that after Jesus was born, Mary "knew" Joseph and they had other children. (Matthew 1:24-25, Matthew 12:46, Mark 3:31, Luke 8:19, Matthew 13:55-56, John 7:1-10, Acts 1:14, Galatians 1:19, Luke 11:27-28)
Regarding Cultural Issues:
We believe that marriage, which was instituted by God, is between one Man and one Woman, and that abortion is murder. (Genesis 2:24, 1 Corinthians 7:2, Hebrews 13:4, Matthew 19:4-6, Ephesians 5:23, Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Luke 1:15, Job 31:14-15)
We believe that when we respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ in faith, that we are saved from our bondage to sin, and forgiven completely for our past; that at the moment we believe, we receive the Holy Spirit and we can now choose to follow the Lord; We believe that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and that it must be responded to with repentance, at which time the Blood of Christ cleanses the individual from all sin; that those who are saved from their bondage to sin have been resistibly called to salvation by God and this was a work of Grace by the Holy Spirit to the Glory of God. (Romans 3:24,Titus 3:7-8, Romans 4:4-5, Romans 5:15, Romans 11:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:17, Acts 11:21, Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3 & 5, Luke 24:27, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30, Acts 20:21, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Ephesians 1:7, Ephesians 2:13, Colossians 1:14 & 20, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 13:20-21, 1 Peter 1:19, 1 John 1:7, Revelation 1:5, Revelation 5:9, Romans 6:18 & 22, 1 John 3:8-10, Galatians 5:13, Hebrews 3:1, 1 Peter 2:21, 1 Peter 3:9, 1 Corinthians 1:9,Galatians 1:6, Ephesians 4:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:14, 1 Peter 1:15)
We believe that at the point of repentance and belief, the sinner is cleansed and peace with God is restored, they are united with Christ and, united with the Holy Spirit, and that they are recipients of all the riches of divine grace and in possession of every spiritual blessing and then, their Christian walk begins; We believe that once we are united with the Holy Spirit, we must then daily choose to follow the Spirit and die to our old sinful passions of the flesh; We believe that God's will for every believer is Sanctification, and that God's firm foundation states that everyone who names the name of the Lord, must depart from all iniquity. We believe that the Grace of God instructs us to deny all godlessness and worldly lusts, and live in a righteous godly way; that we have been set free from slavery to sin by Christ, and are now called to be enslaved to God, that by serving God, we bear fruit unto sanctification and the end result of this process is eternal life. (Colossians 1:12-13, Romans 5:1, Colossians 1:20, Romans 6:5, Romans 6:11, Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17-19, Ephesians 1:3-4, Acts 5:32, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20,Ephesians 4:30, Philippians 3:3, Hebrews 10:29, Hebrews 6:4-6, 1 Peter 4:14, Romans 6:19, Romans 6:22, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 & 7-8, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Hebrews 12:14, 2 Timothy 2:19, Titus 2:11-14)
Regarding God's Faithfulness:
We believe that God is totally, utterly, and completely faithful, and just as a perfectly faithful spouse would never leave us, God will never leave us; We believe that God will never cast out those who are believing in Him; That believers are secure as long as they abide In Christ; that there is no condemnation to those who are abiding In Christ Jesus and that nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is In Christ Jesus our Lord; That the Lord's sheep hear His voice (Step 1), and He knows them (Step 2), and they follow Him (Step 3), and He gives them eternal life (Step 4), and they will never perish (Result of Step 4); and no one will snatch them out of His hand (Result of Step 4); We believe that anyone who "abides in Jesus Christ does not sin", but that if we do sin, "if we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (Hebrews 13:5, John 6:37, Romans 8:1, Romans 8:39, John 10:27-29, 1 John 3:6, 1 John 1:9)
Regarding False Teaching:
We believe that the Word of God plainly warns that there will be Many False Teachers and Great Apostasy; that We must be diligent to avoid deception by exhaustively testing all things against the Word of God, and only holding fast to that which is true and good. (1 Corinthians 11:19, 2 Timothy 3:13, 2 Peter 2:1-2, 1 Timothy 4:1-3, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Corinthians 15:33-34, Galatians 6:7-8, 1 John 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:1-7, Romans 16:17-18, 2 John 1:9-10, 1 Timothy 6:3-5, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Acts 20:29-31, Matthew 7:15-20, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)
Regarding True Teaching:
We believe that the infallible Scripture instructs the believer to: Remain
in Jesus (John 15:3-5, 6, 9-10),
Remain in the Son (1
John 2:24-26, 3:4-6 & 3:24),
Keep yourself in the Love of God (Jude
1:21), Continue in the Faith (Acts
14:22), Hold firmly until the end (Hebrews
3:14), Remain Steadfast in the Faith (Colossians
1:22-23), Pursue Sanctification (Hebrews
12:14), Imitate God (Ephesians
5:1-5), Be diligent to be found by Him spotless and blameless (2
Peter 3:14), Fight the good fight (1
Timothy 6:11-12), Deny ungodliness and worldly desires (Titus
2:11-14), and Be Holy (1
Peter 1: 14-18)
We believe that the infallible Scripture teaches that it is possible to: Fall from Grace (Galatians 5:4), Shipwreck Faith (1 Timothy 1:19), Drift Away (Hebrews 2:1-3), Fall Away (Hebrews 6:4-8,1 Timothy 4:1), Forsake the right way (2 Peter 2:15-22), Depart in a Time of Testing (Luke 8:13), Depart from the Living God (Hebrews 3:12-15), Wander away from the Faith (1 Timothy 6:10), Live according to the flesh and die (Romans 8:12-14), Deviate from the Faith (1 Timothy 6:20-22), Stray from the Truth (James 5:19-20), Fall from your own stability (2 Peter 3:14-16, 17-18), Turn the Grace of God into licentiousness (Jude 1:4), and Insult the Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10:26-29 & 29-38)
Free Will Baptist History:
First Free Will Baptist Church is a member of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. This denomination has an rich heritage that stretches back more than 250 years, and now includes nearly 4,000 churches worldwide. Free Will Baptists are Protestant in how we view the Bible, Baptist in how we view the local church and "Arminian" in how we view the Sovereignty of God and the work of Christ.
Protestantism has its roots in the 1500s, when men such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, and Balthazar Hubmaier "protested" against the Catholic Church. They concluded that the Roman Catholic Church cared more about man-made tradition than they did about the Bible. So they left the church, and founded new groups on the foundation that salvation is by "faith alone" through "grace alone" in "Christ alone," and that salvation is found in "Scripture alone." To these sentiments Free Will Baptists give their full agreement. We believe, as stated above, that salvation is only possible through the grace of God, and not earned in any way, shape, or form. Because we are a descendent of the work these men started, we are considered Protestants.
About 100 years later, Baptists took the Reformation even further by saying that baptism was not meant for infants but was only meant for people who had trusted in Christ. Even men like Luther and Calvin believed it was correct to baptize little babies into the faith, even though they knew nothing about God. Baptists believed that this was completely against the message of the Bible. So they were called "Baptist" because they only practiced believer's baptism. Another distinctive of Baptist life is that we believe the local church is completely autonomous. This means that our churches do not have Presbyters or Bishops that rule over us. All major church decisions are handled on a democratic basis, and we are led by an elected Pastor.
The "Free Will" in "Free Will Baptist" comes from an Historic disagreement with a theological system known as Calvinism. Calvinism (started by John Calvin, but based in the writing of Augustine), in a very simplified way, teaches that God has already decided who would become Christians and go to heaven, and who would not, and His decision is final. They believe, in the end, a person only comes to Christ because God compelled him to, and we could not reject the Gospel even if we wanted to. Also, Calvinists believe that Jesus died only for Christians, and not for "the sins of the whole world". Another tenet of Calvinism is the belief in "eternal security." which essentially teaches that salvation and personal ongoing sin (which is rebellion against God) have no intrinsic relationship to one another. As the founders of the Free Will Baptist denomination disagreed with these theological ideas, they were branded as "Free Willers" and they eventually came to agree with that summary of their theology, and kept the name.
Now that we understand the History of Free will Baptists, please see below to view a summary of our demominations beliefs.
Free Will Baptist Beliefs:
God – We believe that God is the Creator, Sustainer, and Righteous Ruler of the universe. He has revealed Himself in nature, and in the Scriptures of the Holy Bible as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: yet as one God.
Jesus Christ - He is God’s unique Son; the only one of a kind. The Scripture teaches that He is God revealed in flesh. In His Divine nature He is truly God and in His human nature truly man. He is the One once crucified for man’s sin, the now risen and glorified Savior and Lord who mediates between God and man and who gives us access to the Father through His intercession. None can come to the Father unless they come through Him.
Holy Spirit – All of the attributes of God are ascribed to the Holy Spirit by the Scriptures. It is He who convicts and convinces men of their sin. He also convinces man of that which is right, and that a final day of judgment will come. He, it is, who comes to live in us at conversion, to open our understanding to the Scripture, and to lead us into the truth. The
Bible – God used holy men to write the Scriptures. They are, in both the Old and New Testaments, the very words God intended us to have. They are, as given by God, without error and are our only rule of faith and practice. We profit from them by learning the truth about many things: they also speak to us about wrong doing; they even correct us and get us back on course as well as instructing us in right living.
Man – God created man in a state of innocence. Man, being tempted by Satan, yielded and willfully disobeyed God, becoming a sinner and incurring God’s judgment upon sin. All of Adam’s descendants inherit his fallen nature and thus have a natural inclination to sin. When one comes to an age of accountability, he is guilty of sinning before God and in need of salvation.
God’s Relationship to His Creatures and Creation – God exercises a wise and benevolent providence over all beings and things. He maintains the laws of nature and performs special acts as the highest welfare of mankind and His created order of things require.
Salvation – Man receives pardon and forgiveness for his sins when he admits to God that he is a sinner, when in godly sorrow he turns from them and trusts in the work of Christ as redemption for his sin. This acceptance of God’s great salvation involves belief in Christ’s death on the cross as man’s substitute and the fact of God’s raising Him from the dead as predicted. It is a salvation by grace alone and not of works.
Who Can be Saved? – It is God’s will that all be saved, but since man has the power of choice, God saves only those who repent of their sin and believe in the work of Christ on the cross. Those who refuse in this life to repent and believe have no later chance to be saved and thus condemn themselves to eternal damnation by their unbelief.
Perseverance – We believe that there are strong grounds to hope that the saved will persevere unto the end and be saved because of the power of divine grace pledged for their support. We believe that any saved person who has sinned (whether we call him a backslider or sinner), but has a desire to repent, may do so and be restored to God’s favor and fellowship. Since man, however, continues to have free choice, it is possible because of temptations and the weakness of human flesh for him to fall into the practice of sin and to make shipwreck of his faith and be lost.
Gospel Ordinances – We believe the Bible teaches three ordinances for the church to practice: Baptism in water by immersion, the Lord’s Supper, to be perpetuated until His return, and the Washing of the Saints’ feet, an ordinance teaching humility.
Resurrection – We believe the Scriptures teach the resurrection of the bodies of all men, each in its own order; they that have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.
Christ’s Second Coming – The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, who ascended on high and sits at the right hand of God, will come again to close the Gospel dispensation, glorify His saints, and judge the world.
Missions – We believe that Jesus commanded the church to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.