A free-church is not some radical-fringe concept. Rather, the free-church was one of the most influential, and certainly one of the most common, institutions in early American history. The worldview of those men who fought for America’s independence embraced an uncompromising belief that the church was not an underling, a vassal, or in any way subordinate to any king, parliament, or any other civil government body.
The church is ordained and established by Jesus Christ Himself, and Christ has never delegated His authority to the civil jurisdiction to rule in the affairs of His church.
A free-church is the opposite of a State-Church. A State-Church is a church which is organized by the State, and/or is controlled and regulated by the State, or which exists at the pleasure of the State.
Americans are generally offended by the notion of the State creating or controlling their churches, or that their churches would be subordinate to the State. However, this is exactly what has occurred in recent years as a direct result of churches incorporating and seeking a 501c3 status — they have become State-Churches.
A free-church is a church that is truly separate, independent and autonomous from the State. It is established by a local body of Christian believers, or chartered or “planted” by another church body or denomination, without the permission or sanction of the State.
The only “sovereign” of the free-church is the Lord Jesus Christ. A free-church cannot incorporate, it cannot seek a 501c3 status, it cannot become a tax collector for the State (withholding agent), it cannot accept government-issued tax numbers (EIN).
We believe that the church must cease operating as an underling, subordinate to the State, or in any way dependent upon the State for “privileges and benefits.”
The solution rests in the church organizing and operating as a church — the ecclesia, not as something other than what the Lord Jesus Himself ordained and specified. Jesus spoke of the church as a “body” with Himself as the “head” of His church, and we as various “members of the body.” The church is, therefore, not an “organization” (a “legal entity”) but a living, breathing “organism.”
This should not be a difficult biblical doctrine to grasp, particularly for the Pastor. Sadly, however, since local churches started organizing as tax-exempt non-profit corporations in the mid-twentieth century, and since the incorporated 501c3 church is now the status quo, many folks have a hard time conceiving of the church operating as just a church. For some odd reason, just being a church isn’t good enough anymore for many Christians.
The courts understand that “a free-church is not an entity recognized in law,” meaning that they have no jurisdiction over the church. However, organizing a church as a church is an especially difficult concept for attorneys to grasp. Few attorneys can comprehend that there are things and issues completely outside the purview and jurisdiction of the civil government, nor do they much care for the idea.
The legal support for the State’s lack of jurisdiction over the church in America is not only the Word of God but the First Amendment to the Constitution for the United States:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…"
No church in any nation at any point in history can lay claim to the freedoms and liberties that are guaranteed the Christian church.
We Believe Christ Is The Reason We Exist
The Bible is very clear… Jesus is God the Son. Jesus, in His incarnation (this means his birth into human history as both fully God and full man), provided for us the clearest and most significant revelation of God that has ever been or ever will be. It is he who alone can forgive our sins and grant us salvation. In Hebrews 1:1-3 we read:
1 “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” - Hebrews 1:1-3
The question “Who is Jesus?” is of vital importance. While many people believe that Jesus lived, was a good teacher, or a very spiritual man, there remain many erroneous perspectives of Him that deny that He is God. The Apostle Paul spoke of this tendency to reduce the majesty of the real Jesus in favor of a diluted and diminished Jesus that in the end is no longer truly Jesus at all. In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 Paul writes:
3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. - 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
It is important that you determine your own personal belief about Jesus, and that belief is based on truth. To help you, we have provided the following statements that Jesus Himself said about who He was. We hope they will compel you to receive Him as your own God and Savior. It is important to note that each of the following points includes a verse from the Bible that is a quote from the mouth of Jesus declaring that He was/is God. Jesus was put to death for continually declaring Himself to be God and in the end, it really comes down to whether or not each of us believes Him and on that point His words become incredibly important and potentially life-changing.
The Holy Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible King James Version 1611 is the infallible, inerrant, inspired WORD of GOD; authoritative for all of life and faith. Its teachings are absolute, supreme and final (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12, 13).
We believe that there is only one God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son & Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1–2, 14; Luke 1:35). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3–5). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry as Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9, 10;Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1–2). We believe Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1).
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God the Spirit. That He indwells and fills every believer at the moment of conversion, producing His fruit in them and gifting them to serve God and His church (John 16:8–11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18).
The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that through Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; man is totally depraved and of himself utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26, 27; Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1–3, 12).
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We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8–10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18–19).
Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37–40; 10:27–30; Romans 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:4–8; 1 Peter 1:5). We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh (Romans 13:13, 14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11–15).
Heaven and Hell
We believe in the literal resurrection of the body, both of the saved and the unsaved. We believe in a literal Heaven and a literal Hell; Hell being eternal separation from God in never-ending torment, and Heaven being eternally in the presence of God (Matthew 13:49-50; Matthew 25:41-46; John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15).
The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer’s responsibility to attempt to develop their sovereignly given spiritual gift(s). The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion and is the placing of the believer into the Body of Christ. We also believe that particular spiritual gift(s) are neither essential, nor prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor are an indication of deep spiritual experience (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 13; Ephesians 4:7–8). We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14, 15). We believe that it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God that is given to him (Romans 12:1–8; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 Peter 4:10–11).
We believe that all true believers in Christ are part of His church and should unite with a local group of believers for the purpose of fellowship, discipleship, worship, ministry and evangelism (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25–27; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; 2 Corinthians 11:2).