East Richland Evangelical Friends Church Statement of Faith
We believe in one eternal, omnipresent, unchanging, personal God; perfect in holiness, wisdom, love, power, and justice without preceding cause or beginning; creator and preserver of all things, visible and invisible. He exists as one divine being and yet as a trinity of three distinct persons, identical, inseparable, and equal in divinity, power and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Deut. 6:4; Mk. 12:29; Ps. 90:1-2, 139:7-12, 89:14; Rom. 1:20, 3:26; Jas. 1:17; Mal. 3:6; Jn. 14:9, 14:16; Isa. 6:3, 40:26-28; I Pet. 1:15-16; I Jn. 4:8 9; I Chron. 29:11-12; Eph. 1:18-20 ; Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16-17; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:2; II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; Acts 8:29, 13:2, 15:28)
We believe that Jesus Christ, the Word, who was with God and was God, is the only begotten Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is the express image of the invisible God. He combines within Himself both the divine nature of God and human nature in one perfect indivisible personality, the God-man. (John 1:1-2, 14, 18; Col. 1:15-17; I John 4:9; Matt. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:34-35)
The Holy Spirit:
We believe in the Holy Spirit, not as an impersonal principle or influence, but as a divine person, and though distinct from the Father and Son, proceeding from both, with whom He is equal in authority, power, glory, and titles. He is the divine agent in conviction of sin, regeneration, sanctification, and the believers’ assurance. He is given as an indwelling Presence to every believer to be a teacher, guide, and source of comfort. He purifies the heart of the believer and imparts, at His own choosing, spiritual gifts for service and the building up of the body of Christ. He produces in believers the fruit of the Spirit so that they may conform to the image of Christ. (John 3:5-6, 14:16-26, 15:26, 16:13-14; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; I Cor. 6:11, 12:4-11; Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:6, 5:22-23; Acts 9:31, 15:9; I John 1:9; Eph. 4:7-13)
We believe that all Scripture, both of the Old and New Testaments, is given by inspiration of God, and is without error in the original autographs in all that it affirms. It is the only infallible rule of faith and practice and is fully authoritative and trustworthy, fully sufficient for all believers now and always, and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. Thus, the declarations contained in it rest on the authority of God Himself, and there can be no appeal from them to any other authority whatever. (II Tim. 3:16; Ps. 19:7-11, 119:4,9, 119:89; I Pet. 1:25; I Thess. 2:13; Rom. 1:16-17; Jn. 17:17, 14:26, 16:13; II Pet. 1:20-21; I Jn. 4:1; I Cor. 4:2, 2:4-5)
The Creation of: We believe that by a definite act God created man and woman in His own image, holy and capable of knowing and obeying God’s will in order to glorify God and enjoy His fellowship forever. (Gen. 1:26-27, 31, 2:7; James. 3:9b)
The Fall of: We believe that Adam and Eve fell from this original state by a voluntary act of disobedience thus suffering the immediate loss of a perfect relationship with God and making self the center of their lives. By this act, they suffered spiritual death, and sin entered the world and death by sin, so that death passed upon all. (Gen. 2:17, 3:6-24; Ezek. 18:19-20; Rom. 5:12-19, 6:23a; Ps. 51:5, 58:3)
We believe that as a consequence of the Fall, all people are born with a nature which is thoroughly sinful and not subject to the law of God. Because of this sin nature, all people are destined for eternal separation from the holy God so that, only through the operation of the grace of God can they repent and call upon Him. However, by God’s grace infants are not under condemnation but are heirs of salvation. (Isa. 53:6; Matt. 18:3; Rom. 3:23)
We affirm the truth of John 14:6 that salvation can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the direct and immediate agency of the Holy Spirit, persons may be reconciled to God and recovered from their fallen state through justification, regeneration, sanctification, and ultimately the resurrection of the body. (Gal. 1:3-5; Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:5; Rom. 5:1-5, 4:25; Titus 3:5-7; Col. 3:9-11; II Thess. 2:13; I Pet. 1:2; I Cor. 15:20-22)
We believe in the existence of the Evil One; that old serpent which is the Devil, and Satan, the old deceiver who, by his own choice, rebelled against God and became evil. He tempted our first parents to sin and who, through their disobedience, brought about the fall of the human race with all its attendant degeneracy, unhappiness, and misery. Satan demonstrated his evil character and purpose in his perpetual opposition to Christ by the temptations in the wilderness, to His people, and to His kingdom. Satan’s power is limited, and in God’s own time he will be chained and finally cast into the lake of fire. While Satan is active in this world, Christians, through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, are able to resist Satan’s temptations and have victory over him. (Rev. 12:7-9, 20:1-3, 10; Gen. 3:1-6, 17-19; II Cor. 11:3, 4:4; Rom. 5:12-19, 8:18-22; Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-15; Eph. 2:2; Job 1:12, 2:6; I Cor. 10:13; I Pet. 5:8-11; I John 4:4)
We believe that the church is made up of all those from the apostles until now, both the triumphant dead and the living, who through response to God’s gracious offer of salvation by repentance of their sins and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, have been born again as new creatures in Christ. This church is spiritual in nature, universal in scope, holy in character, and redemptive in its life and purpose.
Its purposes are to make disciples of all nations by its witness to the grace and love of God and to live as a loving fellowship who builds up one another in the grace and knowledge of God. The church accomplishes these purposes by its existence as particular local congregations gathered out of the world and as associations of congregations in larger organizations under the leadership and service of those called and gifted to such service. It worships in prayer, thanksgiving, and song. It diligently studies the Word of God, witnesses to and proclaims the gospel of God’s Son, exercises the gifts of the Spirit, administers discipline, and performs works of blessing and service, both physical and spiritual, to its members and to all in need. (Matt. 16:18, 18:15-17, 28:18-20, 25:34-40; I Thess. 4:14-17, 1:1, 5:17-18; Eph. 2:8-9, 5:19-27, 4:11-16; II Chron. 7:14; Mark 1:14-15; Acts 2:38-47, 1:8, 11:22, 17:10-11; John 1:12, 3:3, 4:23-24, 13:12-17; Rom. 5:1, 16:4; II Cor. 2:5-8, 5:17, 8:1; I Pet. 2:5; I Cor. 12:7-27, 1:2, 16:19; Heb. 12:22-24, 13:17; Ps. 24:3-4, 100:1-4; Rev. 19:7-8; Luke 19:45-46, 24:46-48; Gal. 1:2, 22-23, 6:1; Isa. 56:7; James 5:13-16; Phil. 4:6; Col. 3:16; I Pet. 2:2-3; II Tim. 1:6)
We believe that upon death the mortal body returns to the dust from which it came. The spirits of the righteous will experience joy and life in the presence of God, but the unrighteous will be separated from His presence in the darkness and torment of their evil. We believe in the literal and personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth at a time not revealed. We believe that Christ will consummate His kingdom over all people and nations by His final triumph over Satan. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will finally judge all persons of their belief in Him as demonstrated by commitment of their lives to the way of the cross; the lost to everlasting punishment and the redeemed to eternal blessing and life. (Gen. 3:19; Ps. 103:14-16; Eccl. 12:6-7; Luke 16:19-31, 23:39-43; Matt. 24:42-44, 25:31-46; John 5:28-29, 14:3; I Thess. 4:15-18; Rom. 6:5; Phil. 2:9-11, 3:21; Rev. 20:10-15, 21:1-8; I Cor. 15:20-26; II Cor. 5:10)
For a downloadable PDF of the Evangelical Friends’ Faith and Practice document, click here. “Faith and Practice” gives a detailed explanation of our theology, doctrines, and beliefs.
For more church policies, click here.