What is doctrine?
Many dislike or do not understand the word, yet every church, and every believer, leans upon some system of doctrine.
Many have been taught that doctrine is divisive, but we must remember that Jesus himself was divisive in separating good from evil, right from wrong, scripture misused from scripture rightly applied, and faithful hearts from rebellious hearts.
The word ‘doctrine’ simply refers to the set of teachings, instructions, principles, or positions that we find in the Bible, and which make up the essence of the systematic Christian faith. Right doctrine is nothing more than God’s Word distilled into position statements, and God’s Word is the only source we may use to formulate the doctrines to which we subscribe. Doctrine may be divisive as it separates scriptural truth from error - but it is crucial to healthy Christianity.
We have no faith if we have no doctrine!
One short passage in the book of Ephesians encapsulates much of the Core Doctrine taught at Fellowship Church Lubbock:
“…God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:4–10)
The essential doctrines at Fellowship Church Lubbock include:
• The Absolute Sovereignty of God.
The doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God is the primary source of our rest, peace, joy and comfort. He “works all things according to the counsel of his will”. We teach that God has orchestrated all things that man experiences and observes, including our own salvation, and that He continues to maintain control in all things as He actively, purposefully achieves His eternal plan for the good of the elect, and for His own eternal glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)
• The Absolute Supremacy, Sufficiency, and Infallibility of Holy Scripture.
We teach that the historically accepted 66 books (no more and no fewer) that comprise the canon of the Holy Bible are complete, inerrant, and sufficient as the ultimate rule of the faith, and the final authority of the practice of every believer. Show us anything clearly written in the Bible and we will receive it, believe it, and submit to it. Show us anything contrary to what the Bible says, however sophisticated, plausible, beautiful, or apparently desirable, and we will disregard it, reject it and resist it.
(Psalm 19:7-11; 119:89, 105; Colossians 2:8; Galatians 1:8; II Timothy 3:16-17; Jude 1:3)
• The Doctrine of Mankind’s Radical Sinfulness and Corruption.
We teach that, apart from God, the heart of man is not only radically corrupt, but indeed utterly dead, making it impossible for anyone to please God until the Holy Spirit changes his heart and draws him to the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, sinful man can never understand or appreciate the gospel message rightly, nor come to salvation actually, until he is empowered by the Spirit to acknowledge the pestilence of his sin and his desperate need for a Savior.
(Proverbs 21:10; Matthew 15:19; John 3:20; Romans 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-2; Hebrews 11:6; II Peter 3:16)
• The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Heart and Life of Man.
We teach that the Holy Spirit alone convicts man regarding his sin, softens, renews, and gives life to his heart, and draws him to godly sorrow, true repentance and saving faith. Furthermore, we teach that repentance, righteousness and redemption are never due to any faith or work or love that man initiates, but gifts from God alone. We maintain that it is not merely a grave mistake, but cruel deception and dangerous delusion to offer spiritual comfort by telling a man he is “saved” based upon a baptism, church membership, confession, or creed - or to give him any assurance of being “born again” or “regenerated” while he remains unconvicted or continues on in an habitually careless, rebellious, sinful lifestyle. Instead we direct him to examine himself, to test whether the all-important graces and fruit of the Holy Spirit are present and evident in his heart and life, since Scripture assures us that inward and outward repentance, faith and hope in Christ, hatred of sin, progressive sanctification, and love for God and his Word, are vital to salvation, and always present in some measure in the life of a true convert. “We do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (John 16:8; I Peter 1:2; II Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 8:3-4; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28; Romans 4:5; Romans 11:6; Galatians 2:16; Hebrews 10:26; I John 3:7-9)
• The Deity, Flesh and Office of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
We teach that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. He has eternally co-existed within the Godhead with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is fully God. He was born of flesh and is returning in flesh. Jesus is fully man. He is King of all kings and Lord of all lords, the sovereign, authoritative Master of all. He is the Ultimate Judge of all, and all men everywhere have been commanded to bow before his loving, yet righteous and absolute, rule. (I Timothy 2:5, 6:15; Revelation 19:16; John 8:24; Romans 5:1, 12:3; Hebrews 10:10, 11:6; Mark 10:14-15; Ephesians 2:8-9;).
• The Finished, Sufficient Work of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
- We teach that unredeemed man is in a guilty predicament. Being ‘dead in sin’ he can do nothing on his own to approach Christ, his only Representative and Hope for salvation. He can do nothing to induce his salvation. Instead, through the work of the Holy Spirit, God graciously leads the elect soul to a ‘godly sorrow’ over his guilt, and provides the simple, child-like, saving faith, without which it is impossible to please God. The perfect, finished, propitiatory, substitutionary, redemptive work of Jesus Christ alone is required, and is completely sufficient, to save the soul of sinful, rebellious man. Jesus gave himself over to be crucified to conquer sin and was buried and resurrected to conquer death. His work was to absorb the punishment we deserve, in order to meet the Father’s holy standard of justice that required our death. The payment Jesus made was complete and final. When it is accounted to a soul by God, such salvation is assured eternally. It will never again be retracted by God, and it can never be reversed or forfeited by man.
• The grand old tenets of the Reformation, commonly referred to as the ‘Five Solas’:
- “Sola Gratia” (Salvation is by grace alone…)
- “Sola Fide” (… through faith alone…)
- “Solus Christus” (…in Jesus Christ alone…)
- “Sola Scriptura” (…and our faith and practice must align with Holy Scripture alone…)
- “Soli Deo Gloria” (…to the eternal glory of God alone.)
• The foundational “Doctrines of Grace” as presented in Scripture:
- The radical depravity of the heart of unredeemed man;
- The unconditional choosing by God of a particular people;
- The redemption bought by Jesus’ finished work was limited to those particular people;
- The Holy Spirit’s work in drawing those particular people to salvation by God’s Grace is irresistible;
- Those particular people (the Elect) will ultimately and eternally be preserved, saved, resurrected to life, and glorified.
• We teach that our entire life (not just a few hours at church each week) should be an act of worship.
- Our Sunday morning service is simply intended to edify your daily life of continual worship.
• Fellowship Church Lubbock exists to provide a place and provisions for believers to:
- worship God (Luke 4:8; John 4:23; Revelation 4:10)
- increase in Christ-likeness and holiness (Ephesians 4:15-16)
- study and hear His Word (II Timothy 2:15; I Corinthians 4:6)
- guard and teach orthodox biblical doctrine (II Timothy 2:2)
- learn, pray and fellowship with other believers (Acts 2:42)
- love one another (John 13:35; Philippians 1:1-4)
- help and support each other (Galatians 6:2)
- take part in baptism and the Lord’s supper (Luke 22:19-20)
- learn how to live in godliness (Titus 2:11-12)
- serve the church and fellow believers
- equip the saints for ministry, missions, and evangelism (Ephesians 4:12; Matt 28:18-20)
- provide, and be subject to pastoral shepherding (I Peter 5:1-3)
- provide, and be subject to church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17), etc.
At Fellowship Church Lubbock, believers are encouraged, built up, convicted of sin, trained for servanthood, and nurtured to spiritual growth, holiness, and Christ-likeness through the ongoing proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the exposition of God’s Holy Word.
The members of FCL desire that God would be glorified as we strive to become more like Jesus, as we are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit, to follow and serve Him in repentant, loving obedience, always resting in His glorious finished work.
Knowing that He is infinitely holy, righteous, just, loving and good, we will strive to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. (I Samuel 2:2; Psalm 119:68; Psalm 145:9; Deuteronomy 32:4; I Peter 1:16; Luke 10:27)
Knowing that Jesus Christ died for us “while we were yet sinners” in rebellion against Him; and that we were commanded to forgive others just as Jesus has forgiven us, we will strive toward fellowship in unity and toward loving our neighbors as ourselves, taking no vengeance, bearing no grudge. (Leviticus 19:18; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; Romans 12:19; Luke 10:27)
Knowing that Jesus proclaimed that His redemptive work is finished, and that our sin debt has been paid “once for all”, we will strive to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, keeping His commands, and exhorting others to enter, while entering ourselves, into the eternal Sabbath rest purchased by the finished work of our eternal Savior, Jesus Christ. (John 10:30; I Peter 5:6; I John 3:19-23; Hebrews 10:10; Colossians 2:13-14; Romans 4:8-13)
Knowing that we have been “bought with a price” and that our bodies are not our own, we will strive individually and together to honor God with our bodies, gladly receiving instruction from God’s Word, fleeing from youthful passions, conceit, controversy, quarrels, envy, discord, slander, suspicion, friction, and greed, to pursue the righteousness, godliness, faith, steadfastness, gentleness, peace, mutual edification, restoration and love that flows from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith. (I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Timothy 2:22; Romans 14:19; I Timothy 1:5; I Timothy 6:3-13; I Thessalonians 5:22; Galatians 6:1)
Knowing that Jesus cares for us, and that He faithfully receives every burden and care that we cast upon Him, we will strive to do good and be devoted to one another in brotherly love, to give preference to one another in honor, to look out for each other’s interests, to encourage, build up, and care for one another and to bear each other’s burdens, so fulfilling the law of Christ. (I Peter 5:7; Philippians 2:4; Galatians 5:14, 6:2,10; Romans 12:10; I Thessalonians 5:11)
Knowing that God’s inerrant and holy Word and Will has been accurately revealed and delivered to us in the sixty-six books of Scripture, penned by human authors, but directly inspired by the Holy Spirit; and that God has faithfully provided His Word to mankind for millennia, sovereignly protecting it from error and extinction, and causing it to be useful for man’s personal and spiritual benefit by the work of the Holy Spirit, we will strive to stand together upon the firm foundation of Truth found in only His Holy Word, fully placing our trust in the whole counsel of the Bible, looking nowhere else for truth or instruction. (Jude 1:3; II Peter 1:21; Acts 20:27; II Timothy 3:15-17; I Corinthians 2:12-13)
Knowing that God has provided His Church with pastors-teachers who are appointed according to His sovereign will to shepherd and equip the Church “for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”, we will strive to devote ourselves to study God’s Word under their sound, biblical teaching with the goal of being prepared to serve Jesus, imitating Him to become more and more like Him. (Ephesians 4:11-12; Hebrews 4:12; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 2:21)
Knowing that our local congregation has been established by God to be a lampstand, radiating the glorious light of the Gospel outward, even to the uttermost parts of the world, we will strive to maintain a deep love for proclaiming the good news of man’s redemption through God’s Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. (Matthew 5:13-16, 28:19-20; II Timothy 4:2; Romans 1:16)
Knowing that Jesus has commanded us to “Go and make disciples”, we will go; to our lost neighbors individually; to our city as a local congregation; and to the world as missionaries; striving to teach all things that He has commanded, and to proclaim the good news of reconciliation with God through the finished work of Jesus Christ, crucified, resurrected and victorious. (Matthew 28:19-20; I Corinthians 1:23-25)
Knowing that God has graciously promised to care for us, and faithfully provide all of our needs, we will strive to be hospitable, generous and giving of our time, money and resources, cheerfully supporting the mission of our church and like-minded ministries and missions, for the gospel to go forth, proclaiming salvation in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. (Matthew 6:19-21, 24-26; II Corinthians 8:12-15, 9:7; I Peter 4:8-9)
Knowing that “God’s love abides in us,” and since we have been blessed with “the world’s goods,” we will strive to be generous and sacrificial in our giving to support those in need, both within and without our congregation, not “closing our hearts against them.” From our abundance we will also strive to generously and sacrificially support the work, ministries, and missions of our local church. (Matthew 25:35-40; I John 3:17, Romans 12:13)
We welcome you to visit us, and to worship with us at 10:00 am each Sunday!