We take a God-centered approach to our understanding of culture.
Freedom Trainings seeks to be aware of cultural trends; however, we do not seek to mimic nor tailor our programs according to a moralistic, post-modern view. Rather, the culture we live in will be understood through the inerrant, unchangeable word of God and a given biblical alternative. (2Pet.1:21, 1Tim. 3:16,17)
We believe a person’s greatest need is to give and receive love – a love found in a personal relationship with God and within the body of Christ, the church. This conviction comes from how we have seen God move toward the world in Jn. 3:16. We believe that love extended outward to the world is far greater than tolerance can ever be. (1Pet. 4:8, Jn.13:34,35)
We believe that the understanding of what drives anger or bitterness, self-protection or disconnection, isolation or shame, apathy or fatigue, a victim mentality or self-centeredness, etc., begins with good theology. We believe good theology is life because it is the study of God, the author of life. (2 Peter 1:19, Titus 2:1)
We believe that people have a propensity toward idolatry. (Ex. 32) Idolatry, in it’s simplest form, is replacing the Creator with the created. Why does God first and foremost warn us not to have any gods before him? Because He wants to be at the center of our life; in fact, He wants to be life itself….He is life! (Col.1:18, Matt. 6:33)
The following are themes we seek to incorporate within Freedom Trainings:
- Freedom recognized and experienced only “in Christ”.
- The destructive effects of isolation.
- God’s gift of guilt and the destructive nature of shame.
- “Identity given” in Christ.
- The destruction of idols and the freedom of reimplementation.
- The recognition and effect of pride in the believers life.
- Repentance (metanoia).
- That believers are who they are by God’s grace, and empowered by God’s grace to fully engage in life. (1Cor. 15:9,10)
- God’s strength made perfect in our weakness. (2Cor.12:7-10)
The Essential Doctrines we hold to:
- The authority and inerrancy of Scripture
- The Trinity
- The full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ
- The spiritual lostness of all humanity and need for regeneration
- The substitutionary atoning death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Salvation by grace alone, by faith alone in Christ alone
- The indwelling by the Holy Spirit of every Christian at new birth
- That one day Jesus Christ will return in glory Col.3:4
I. The Scriptures.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the final and supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
We believe that the whole Bible (66 books) in the original manuscripts is, therefore, without error. We believe both the Old and New Testament Scriptures reveal the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ as Creator, Redeemer and Coming King. We also believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction. (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2-3; 18:28; 26:22; 23; 28:23; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 10:11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
II. The Godhead.
We believe God is eternal. He has existed forever and forever will continue to exist. He is outside of time, the creator of time, and also acts within time. He knows all things and is the origin of all things. God assumes an active role in His creation while, at the same time, remaining independent from His creation. He is holy, kind, and good, and His “loving-kindness is everlasting.” God is “compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love.” God is unchangeable. He is sovereign and executes righteous justice over all the earth. God is Love. All events in nature are acts of God, ordinary and extraordinary.
We believe He is a God of one essence that eternally exists simultaneously in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The essence of God is all of these persons equally and all of these persons are equally the essence of God. The character of God is bound up in His essence. The distinct roles of God are bound up in His Persons. The persons are not separate from each other, only three distinctions. This is to say that God exists and functions as Trinity.
We believe God the Father is eternal. The Father is the functional head of the Trinity. He is the giver of life, the Father of all Creation. The Father is the sender of the Son, who is the incarnate God, for the purpose of redeeming His creation. He has decreed to the Son all of creation. The Father is the source of the Spirit, who is the outpouring of God. He is the elector and predestinator of His creation. He adopts those He chooses and bestows upon them an inheritance according to His glory and grace. He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose,” despite the presence and acts of evil.
We believe God the Son is eternal. He is the image of the invisible God. He is the agent and the reason for Creation. In Jesus Christ, God incarnated His Essence through the Person of Jesus, God the Son, with the created substance of man, becoming one substance with man. Thus, the eternal God Son functions in one substance with two natures in the form of man, at the same time being both fully God and fully human; retaining without hindrance the complete character and nature of the Triune God, and the total character and nature of created man. Jesus Christ, thus, has two natures, each of which retains its integrity, remaining unconfused and unchanged, undivided and unseparated, but he is only one person. God the Son remains in His incarnated state without compromising the Triune existence of the one Essence, God.
We believe God the Holy Spirit is eternal. The Holy Spirit is the functional presence of God in the world. “He is of God, of the Father, of Christ, that is, He is identified in terms of the other persons.” He is the revealer and encouragement of God. The Holy Spirit is the “outpouring” of God. He indwells each and every believer. The Spirit proceeds from both God the Father and God the Son “eternally and without any dividing or change in God’s nature.” He is holy. He is the breath of God. (Genesis 1:2, 27; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 19; 146; Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:1,14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:1-14; Colossians 1:15-18; Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 John 4:7-21; Revelation 1:4-6)
lll. Mankind, Created and Fallen.
We believe that mankind was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, and thereafter fell through sin, becoming dead in trespasses and sins and subject to the power of the devil. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, spiritually) and condemned finally and irrevocably to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand. The only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself. (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Psalms 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:53; Romans 3:10-19; 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 5:6; 1 John 3:8)
IV. The First Advent.
We believe that the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy, and become the Redeemer of a lost world. To this end He was born of the virgin, and received a human body and a sinless human nature. (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:18; 3:16; Hebrews 4:15)
We believe that, on the human side, He became and remained a perfect man; however, sinless throughout His life; yet He retained His absolute deity, being at the same time very God and very man, and that His earth-life sometimes functioned within the sphere of that which was human and sometimes within the sphere of that which was divine. (Luke 2:40; John 1:1-2; Philippians 2:5-8)
We believe that, in infinite love for the lost, He voluntarily accepted His Father’s will and became the divinely-provided sacrificial Lamb and “who takes away the sin of the world”, bearing the holy judgments against sin that the righteousness of God must impose. His death was therefore substitutionary in the most absolute sense – the just for the unjust – and by His death He became the Savior of the lost. (John 1:29; Romans 3:25-26; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Hebrews 10:5-14; 1 Peter 3:18)
We believe that, according to the Scriptures, He miraculously arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers. (John 20:20; Philippians 3:20-21)
We believe that when He ascended from the earth, He was accepted by His Father and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished. (Hebrews 1:3)
We believe that He became Head over all things to the church, which is His body, and in His current ministry He never ceases to intercede and advocate for the saved. (Ephesians 1:22-23; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1)
IV. Salvation Only Through Christ.
We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again; and that no degree of reformation however great, no attainments in morality however high, no culture however impressive, no baptism or other ordinance however administered, can help the sinner earn salvation. A new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are children of God. We believe, also, that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us, dying in our place; and that no feeling, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church can result in salvation. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24)
We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is in no way, in itself, a separate and independent condition of salvation; nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation. (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16–17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 3:22, 1 John 3:2)
V. The Extent of Salvation.
We believe that when a person exercises saving faith in Christ, which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new, being justified freely by grace, accepted before the Father as Christ, His Son, is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion linked to Him and one with Him forever. Though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ. (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12, 2 Peter 1:3)
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting-apart unto God, is threefold. It is already complete for every saved person because his position toward God is the same as Christ’s position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. We believe, however, that he still struggles with habit patterns and vestiges from his former sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in this life. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life.
There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace,” and to “be changed” by the unhindered power of the Spirit. We believe also that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his standing in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him.” (John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 7:1; Ephesians 4:24; 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:10, 14, 12:10)
We believe that he is called with a holy calling, to walk not after the flesh, to not “quench” the Spirit, and not “grieve” the Spirit, but to “walk in the Spirit”, and so to live in the power of the indwelling Spirit that he will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. But the flesh with its fallen, Adamic nature, which in this life is never eradicated, being with us to the end of our earthly pilgrimage, needs to be kept by the Spirit constantly in subjection to Christ. (Romans 6:11-13; 8:2, 4, 12-13; Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 4:22-24; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 2:1-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 1:4-7; 3:5-9)
VII. Eternal Security.
We believe that, because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Christ, because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life, because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven, because of the immutability of the covenants of God, because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, those once saved shall be kept saved forever. We believe, however, that God is a holy and righteous Father and that, since He cannot overlook the willful disobedience of His children, He will, when they persistently sin, chasten them and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all human merit, He, who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son. (John 5:24; 10:28; 14:16-17; 17:11; Romans 8:28-39; Ephesians 1:11-14; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 5:13; Jude 24)
We believe it is the privilege of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of salvation from when they take Him to be their Savior; and that this assurance is not founded upon any fancied discovery of their own worthiness or fitness, but wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word, exciting within His children love, gratitude, and obedience. (Luke 10:20; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-8; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 10:22-23; 1 John 5:13)
IX. The Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a unique manner on the day of Pentecost according to the divine promise. We believe He dwells in every believer, and by His baptism unites all to Christ in one body, and that He, as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. We believe that He never departs from the universal church, nor from the feeblest of the saints, but is ever present to testify of Christ; seeking to occupy believers with Him and not with themselves nor with their experiences. (John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:7)