Doctrine of the Bible Institute

The institute is a ministry of Fellowship Bible Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. As such, the church doctrinal statement is the statement that specifies the doctrine of the institute. All teachers will teach from the perspective of the church doctrinal statement. This statement is publicly available on the church website here.

Since students from other churches may participate in the program, a brief doctrinal statement is offered below. It attempts to summarize, but not to replace, the more detailed doctrinal statement of the church. Following the statement is a listing of affirmations and denials to make clear the beliefs that will be propagated by the institute. The church leadership reserves the right to deny certification to any student who, in the leadership s estimation, does not agree with these truths.

A. Summary Doctrinal Statement

1. We believe that the one true God exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who are equal in essence, yet distinct in personality (Deut 6:4; Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14).

2. We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word, without error as originally written, and the final authority for our faith and practice (2 Tim 3:16 17; John 17:17). It is to be interpreted according to the literal, grammatical, historical, theological approach. It is to be interpreted according to a dispensational approach, keeping in mind progressive revelation and the distinction between Israel and the church.

3. We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who added a fully human nature to his divine nature thus becoming the God man, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross as the substitute for sinners, paying the penalty of God’s wrath against sin, rose bodily from the dead, ascended to the right hand of God, and will come again to establish his kingdom (John 1:1, 14; Heb 4:15; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; 1 Thess 1:10; Rev 11:15). This coming will be before the tribulation and before the establishment of the kingdom.

4. We believe that the Holy Spirit is third person of the Triune Godhead, equally worthy of honor and worship with the Father and the Son, active in both the Old and New Testament eras. We believe He regenerates the new believer, indwells him, gifts him for service to the local church, illuminates him as to the truth of the Bible, and continually sanctifies him into Christ-likeness. Certain miraculous gifts such as healing, exorcism, and tongues are no longer given today.

5. We believe in the existence of angels, Satan, and demons.

6. We believe that God created man in His own image by a direct act on the sixth day of the creation week (Gen 1:26 31). We believe that man deliberately disobeyed the expressed will of God and therefore fell under God's condemnation and the power of sin (Rom 5:12; 6:20). We believe that the resulting effect of sin on man touches his entire being, leaving him completely unable to earn God’s favor or contribute to his own salvation (Eph 2:1-10; Titus 3:5).

7. We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Eph 2:8-9; Rom 3:21-25; 4:5). We believe that justification is by faith, apart from works, and results in a guilty sinner being declared righteous by God because the righteousness of Jesus Christ is credited to his account (Rom 4:4-5; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 2:16). We believe that the true believer is eternally secure in salvation and will persevere in the faith.

8. We believe in a final resurrection of both the saved and lost, one to life eternal and the other to eternal condemnation (John 5:29; Rev 20:6, 13-15).

9. We believe that the local church is currently the center of God’s activity in this world, being composed of believers who have followed the ordinance of baptism by immersion in water as a testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ, and being organized according to the principles of God’s Word in order to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ (1 Tim 3:15; Acts 2:41; Matt 28:18-20). The church is organized with two leadership offices pastor and deacon and regularly remembers the Lord’s death for sin through the ordinance of the Lord’s Table.

10.   We believe that believers and churches must separate from: a) those who deny essential doctrines of the faith (Jude 3; 2 John 9-11; Rom 16:17); b) those who compromise the faith by granting Christian recognition and fellowship to those who have denied essential doctrines of the faith (Rom 16:17; Phil 3:17-19); c) those who are professing brothers but who are walking disorderly or in unrepentant sin (Matt 18:15-17; 1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Thess 3:6-15); and that believers and churches must strive to reflect God’s holiness and to live differently than those who have not experienced the saving grace of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:15-16; Eph 4:17-19).

B. Affirmations

1.Cessationism

2.Young earth creationionism

3.Traditional Dispensationalism

4.Separation

C. Denials

1.Progressive dispensationalism

2.Covenant theology

3.Open theism

4.KVJ-onlyism

5.Miraculous gifts such as healing and tongues for today

6.Single general resurrection

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