This statement is for those in positions of leadership within the Restoration Fellowship Network serving on the Family Council. These individuals should be able to generally agree with the Expanded Statement of Beliefs. We do not view this statement as a test of faith, but rather a means of expressing our faith. Not being fully in agreement does not exclude a person from leadership roles, however, we ask that differences from this statement should not be promulgated in the microchurches by the Family Council members in order to maintain unity. It is appropriate to explore and discuss alternative doctrinal views and changes to this expression of faith within the Family Council as a means of trying to remain aligned with Scripture.
Keep in mind a quote from a pioneer leader in the Restoration Movement, when he said "If our faith be ever so imperfect, and blended with error, yet if it leads us to do the will of God, and bear fruits of the Spirit; if it works by love; if it purifies the heart; if it overcomes the world -- it is the faith of a Christian" (Barton Stone, Christian Messenger 2 [Nov 1827], 5.
Changes to this Statement can be made by the Family Overseers with 2/3 vote in favor of modification. You can hover over each verse to read it from the ESV.
1.There is only one who is God. He is our Father and the Creator of us all (Isa. 44:24). He is almighty, eternal, and sovereign of the universe. God himself said,
“For I am God, and there is no one else. I am God, and there is no one like me (Isa. 46:9).”
Jesus said to his Father, “You are the only true God” (John 17:3).
2. The spirit of God is the spirit of the Father himself (Matt. 10:20). It is the Father’s own power and presence. By a miracle of his spirit, God is the Father of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35). God also anointed Jesus with his spirit and power for ministry (Acts 10:38). He was filled with the spirit of God, and it empowered him to do all that he did (Luke 4:1,18-20). By that same spirit, God now works in the lives of believers. The apostle Paul wrote,
“That God may grant that you will be strengthened in your inner being with power through his spirit (Eph. 3:16).”
3. Jesus is the Christ. Existing from his mother’s womb, he is the virgin born son of God (Luke 1:34-35, Gal. 4:4). When he asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” the apostle Peter responded,
“You are the Christ, the son of the living God (Matt. 16:16).”
Jesus said that his Father is “the only true God,” and that he himself, is “Christ,” God’s Messiah (John 17:3).
By God’s intention and plan, and by Jesus’ choice to do his Father’s will (Luke 22:41-42), he became the savior of his fellow human beings (Gal. 1:4, Rev. 5:9). God anointed Jesus with the holy spirit and power and made him “Lord and Christ” forever (Acts 2:36, Psalm 110:1).
1. Human beings are entirely mortal – subject to death. All need salvation. Adam was created in the image of God and without sin (Gen. 1:27). However, having the free will to choose between obedience and disobedience, he rebelled against God and chose disobedience. For that reason, sin and death entered the human experience (Rom. 5:12).
2. Where Adam failed, Jesus succeeded. By depending on God, he chose obedience (John 5:30), lived a sinless life (Heb. 4:15) and gave himself as a ransom for us (Matt. 20:28). Because of Jesus, God has extended immortality (eternal life) to human beings. However, immortality is conditional: It is dependent upon a person being “in Christ.”
“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor. 15:22). Also note Romans 5:17-21.”
3. Jesus proclaimed the hope of everlasting life and the gospel of the kingdom of God (John 3:16, Luke 4:43). He died and was buried, but God raised him from the dead (Acts 17:31, 1 Cor. 15:3-4). The apostle Paul explains – because of Jesus, and because of God’s love for him and us,
God “put Christ forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood for the forgiveness of sins which is effective to us through faith” (Rom. 3:24-25).
Jesus, by his own words, is the only way to God,
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
4. We come into a saving relationship with Jesus by believing in him and his word; repenting and receiving water baptism (by immersion) in his name (Acts 2:38, 4:12, 8:12, Gal. 3:27). Jesus is lord and the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him and his Father (Matt. 7:21, Heb. 5:9).
1. Christ, as God’s son, will be given the entire earth as his everlasting inheritance. God said to him in prophecy,
“You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession (Psalm 2:7-8).”
2. Those who are the people of Christ, are his co-heirs. They will inherit the earth with him,
“If you are children of God, then you are heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ— if so be, that we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him (Rom. 8:17).”
The psalmist said, “The righteous shall inherit the land and live in it forever” (Psalm 37:29, Also note vv. 9, 11, 22 and 34). Jesus himself said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5).
3. Christ will return, and his kingdom will be established on the earth (Acts 1:11, Rev. 11:15). At his return, the first order of business will be to raise back to life those who have died “in Christ.” The apostle Paul wrote that they are sleeping in death (1 Thess. 4:13-18). In a resurrection like his (Rom. 6:3-5), they will be awakened to never die again.
“Christ has been raised from the dead; he is the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his proper order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ (1 Cor. 15:20-23).”
His people who are still alive when he returns, together with those “in Christ” which will be raised from the dead, will then enjoy their eternal inheritance. They will rule and reign with him on the earth (Rev. 3:21, 5:10).
4. When Christ returns, the blessings that God promised to Abraham will be ultimately fulfilled (Gen. 12:1-3). Those blessings include that the land God showed him will be an everlasting inheritance to him and his descendants (Gen. 15:5-7, 17:6-8, 18:17-18). At Christ’s return, there will be the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Jesus himself will sit on the throne of his father David, forever (Luke 1:31-33, 1 Kings 9:5). The apostle Peter spoke of the coming day in which,
“God will send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time of restoration of all things that God announced long ago through his holy prophets (Acts 3:20-21).”
5. In the kingdom of God on earth, righteousness, peace and joy will be everlasting (2 Peter 3:13, Rom. 14:17). This will be the new heavens and earth, and the ultimate fulfillment of God’s new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). God himself will once again dwell with human beings. He will have fellowship with Christ and his people as he did with Adam and Eve in the beginning (Rev. 21:3-5).
Then, death itself and even the grave, together with all that are evil, will be finally expunged in the lake of fire spoken of in the book of Revelation (Rev. 20:14-15).
1. While we wait for the return of Christ to the earth, we pray and look with joyful anticipation for his coming (1 Thess. 1:10). During this time, we share our hope of resurrection and unending life with the people of this present age. We are representatives for Christ, encouraging everyone to come to peace with God through him (Rom. 5:1).
“We are ambassadors for Christ. God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20).”
2. Till Christ returns, the great plan of God and his will for us are revealed in the Word of God – the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The apostle Paul writes:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is beneficial for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). Also note 2 Peter 1:20-21.”
3. Even now, while sitting at the right hand of God, Christ is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). He is our high priest (Heb. 4:14) and appears in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9:24). He is our mediator with God,
“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).”
4. We seek to live a “kingdom life” now. We must conduct ourselves before God as is appropriate for those who are the people of Christ and co-heirs with him in his kingdom (1 Thess. 2:12, 2 Thess. 1:5). We must choose to emulate the life of Jesus in which he walked in spirit, depended on God, and obeyed his Father in all things. As our example, we should and can, “walk as he walked” (1 John 2:6). As disciples of Jesus, we hear and keep his words (John 8:31-32) and live according to the new covenant which he introduced, and ratified by his own blood (Luke 22:20, Heb. 13:20-21).
5. We must no longer live according to the ways of this present age: An age which is “passing away” (1 John 2:17, 1 Peter 1:14-15). The Scriptures are intentional in identifying the works of disobedience. The apostle Paul delineates those works and consistently tells believers that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 5:3-5, Col. 3:5-10, etc.). The writer of Hebrews also warns believers against being like Esau, who for evil reasons gave up his birthright and lost his inheritance (Heb. 12:14-17).
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