what foursquare believes

As a Foursquare church, New Life subscribes to the basic Biblical doctrines
embraced by all Foursquare churches.

The Holy Scriptures. 
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God: true, immutable, steadfast, and unchangeable (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). 

The Eternal Godhead. 
We believe that God is triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the Three are coexistent, coeternal, and equal in divine perfection (1 John 5:7). 

The Fall of Man. 
We believe that man, created in the image of God, by voluntary disobedience fell into the depths of sin and iniquity, bequeathing sin’s nature and consequences to all mankind, with their accompanying loss of intended meaning and purpose (Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12). 

The Plan of Redemption. 
We believe that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, took our place, and with His life’s blood purchased the pardon for all who believe in Him (John 3:16; Titus 2:14). 

Salvation Through Grace. 
 We believe that salvation is wholly through grace; that no human righteousness or merit can contribute to our receiving God’s love and favor (Ephesians 2:8). 

Repentance and Acceptance.  
We believe that, upon sincere repentance and a whole-hearted acceptance of Christ, we are justified before God through Jesus’ sacrificial death (Romans 10:6-10; 1 John 1:9). 

The New Birth. 
We believe that the change that takes place in people at conversion is a very real one; that having received righteousness in Christ and having received of His Spirit, people will have new desires, interests, and pursuits in life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20). 

Daily Christian Life.  
We believe that it is the will of God that those who have been born again grow in sanctification, become partakers of His holiness, and daily grow stronger in the faith, power, prayer, love, and service (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Water Baptism and the Lord's Supper.   
We believe that being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an essential response to Jesus’ command, testifying to His lordship as Christ and King (Romans 6:4). We believe in observing the Lord’s Supper, receiving the broken bread and the fruit of the vine with joy and faith as we partake anew of the life and triumph of Christ’s Cross (1 Corinthians 11:24-26) 

Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  
We believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers believers to exalt Jesus, to live lives of holiness, and to be witnesses of God’s saving grace; we expect the Spirit’s incoming to be after the same manner as that in which He came upon believers in the days of the Early Church (Acts 1: 5, 8; 2:4). 

The Spirit-Filled Life. 
We believe that it is the will of God that believers walk in the Spirit moment by moment, serving the Lord and living lives of patience, love, truth, sincerity, and prayer (Ephesians 4:30-32; Galatians 5:16, 25). 

The Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit. 
We believe that the Holy Spirit bestows enabling ministry gifts upon believers, and that these gifts will build up the Body of Christ through edification and evangelism(1 Corinthians 12:1-11); as evidence of a Spirit-filled life, believers should show spiritual “fruit”: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22-25). 

We believe a Christians’ moderation should be obvious to others and that relationship with Jesus should never lead people into extremes of fanaticism; their lives should model that of Christ in uprightness, balance, humility, and self-sacrifice (Colossians 3:12, 13; Philippians 4:5). 

Divine Healing.  
We believe that divine healing is the power of Jesus Christ to heal the sick in answer to the prayer of faith; He, who does not change, is still willing and able to heal the body, as well as the soul and spirit in answer to faith (Mark 16: 17, 18; James 5:14-16). 

The Second Coming of Christ.  
We believe that the second coming of Christ is personal and imminent; the certainty of His coming and the fact that no man knows the hour of His coming prompt our evangelistic efforts; that the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven, the dead in Christ shall rise, and the redeemed will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)

Church Relationship.  
We believe that it is our sacred duty to identify ourselves with a congregation of believers with whom we can worship God, observe the ordinances of Christ, exhort and support one another, labor for the salvation of others, and work together to advance the Lord’s Kingdom (Acts 16:5; Hebrews 10:24). 

Civil Government. 
We believe that civil government is by divine appointment and that civil laws should be upheld at all times except in things opposed to the will of God (Acts 4: 18-20; Romans 13:1-5). 

We believe that all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ: the redeemed to be delivered unto everlasting life, and the unrepentant unto everlasting punishment (Revelation 20:11, 12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). 

We believe that heaven is the glorious habitation of the living God and the eternal home of born-again believers (John 14:2; Revelation 7:15-17). 

We believe that hell is a place of darkness, deepest sorrow, and unquenchable fire, which was not prepared for man but for the devil and his angels; yet it will become the place of eternal separation from God for all who reject Christ as Savior (Matthew 13: 41, 42; Revelation 20:10, 15). 

We believe that soul winning is the “one big business” of the Church on earth, and that every hindrance to worldwide evangelism should be removed (James 5:20; Mark 16:15). 

Tithing and Offerings. 
We believe that tithing and offerings are ordained of God to sustain His ministry, spread the Gospel, and release personal blessing (Malachi 3:10; 1 Corinthians 16: 1, 2)

three distinctive theological positions

The Fulness and Power of the Holy Spirit

For our church family, the intentional reception of the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit is very important. It is this power and fullness of the Spirit that enable us first to be witnesses by equipping us to see and hear God, and then to effectively testify with our lips and our lives to what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:20). In addition, we experience the manifestation of prophetic gifts, and we are enabled to know deeper dimensions of worship, sanctification, prayer, and evangelism. In the book of Acts the reception of Spirit baptism was commonly accompanied by speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4; 8:17-18; 9:17-18; 10:44-46; 19:6) and prophecy (Acts 2:18; 19:6). 

It is our expectation that receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit will bring with it the ability to speak in tongues and to participate in other prophetic manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17-18; 1 Cor. 12: 14). It is further expected that a Foursquare pastor will lead people into an intentional reception of Spirit baptism, teach the value of speaking in tongues, and, in concert with the expressed heart of the apostle Paul, encourage believers to speak in tongues (1 Cor. 14:5). Indeed, believers are to seek and tarry for the fullness of the Spirit and to zealously seek after spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1). While we recognize some diversity in the precise doctrinal formulation of this experience, it is critical to our movement that pastors and congregations actively seek and receive the “coming upon” of the Spirit in power, and that they zealously pursue the manifestation of all spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues. To this end a Foursquare pastor is expected to model and teach the importance of these things, leading those who are ready into the intentional reception of Spirit baptism. As a practical matter, pastors should provide opportunities for people to have hands laid on them to receive the “coming upon,” anointing or fullness of the Spirit’s power. 

Eternal Security

On Backsliding and Apostatizing:
Foursquare creedal statement reads, “We believe in the free moral will power of man, who can backslide, apostatize and be lost” (#24). It is probably best to see backsliding and apostatizing as two distinct realities, both of which can result in the same end. Backsliding is “a temporary lapse into unbelief or sin following spiritual conversion. Specific causes include unbelief (Heb. 3:12), bitterness (Heb. 12:15), preoccupation with the present world (Matt. 13:22; 2 Tim 4:10)” and refusing to endure persecution for one’s faith (Matt. 13:21; Luke 9:23-26). The Bible also warns that there are certain categories of behaviors that, if continually practiced, will reveal that our claims to repentance and faith are hypocritical (1 Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5-7). Furthermore, believers are repeatedly cautioned that they must not, especially in essential matters, embrace false doctrine (e.g., Gal. 3:1-4; 1 Tim. 1:19). 

Although backsliding brings untold hurt, most Christians believe that the backslidden believer is not so much lost as in need of repentance. Yet backsliding can, depending on its longevity and severity, lead to becoming eternally lost because of the desensitizing it brings to the heart (1 Cor. 6: 9,10). Still, none of us is given the ability or right to judge when or if a believer’s justification has ceased due to sin. Many in the church in Corinth were very carnal, yet Paul addressed them as “brothers and sisters” (1 Cor. 3:1). This is why we tend to call for “re- dedication” of backslidden people, rather than their being “re-saved.” Paul also reminds us that our pastoral responsibility to a backslider goes beyond warning. We are to seek restoration “in a spirit of gentleness” (Gal. 6:1). 

Apostatizing is “a deliberate repudiation and abandonment of the faith that one has professed.” The Septuagint uses the term to reflect deliberate and calculated renunciation of God. Its cause is most often attributed to syncretistic religious practices that gradually wore away at one’s devotion to Yahweh. The New Testament intimates that apostasy is more often the result of doctrinal error than moral laxity (2 Tim. 2:17,18), although the two often go together (Heb. 3:12, 6:4-6). 

The Security of the Believer:

The Bible assures us of God’s power to protect us from all forms of attack on our salvation whether it be condemnation for our failures, demonic assaults, or human persecution (Rom. 8:31- 39). No matter how severe these attacks, God has provided resources that should give us a restful confidence in our salvation. Yet, the Bible does not allow this confidence to be built on the philosophical premise that it is impossible for a believer to return to an unsaved condition. Rather, it bases the security of our salvation on the fact that God’s power to protect us is much greater than the devil’s power to tempt, persecute, or deceive. So, we can rest in the knowledge that it is impossible for anything to seize our salvation and tear it away from us.  The only danger we face is from attitudes that form within ourselves. Over these we are to remain diligent by laying hold of the abundant resources that God has provided. 

Women in Ministry Leadership

Our Statement and Our Spirit: 

“The Great Commission, along with the need of the dying world in which we live, calls for all the people of God, His sons and daughters, to engage the harvest using whatever gifts He has entrusted to them. Since women are redeemed, anointed, gifted, called, and loved by God in exactly the same way as men, we categorically affirm that they should be fully released to exercise their gifts for every facet of ministry in His church.

Since its founding, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel has affirmed the place of women in ordained ministry and leadership. The position of the Foursquare movement regarding ministry leadership has always been the following:

Anyone called by God and verified through character, spiritual experience and preparation for service or leadership, is qualified for Foursquare Church ministry in any role or office, regardless of gender, age, or ethnicity.

This understanding has afforded women positions in all capacities in the local church, on the mission field, and at all levels of government in the Foursquare corporate structure. The Foursquare Church has never presented this issue as an essential of the faith, but, at the same time, it is a distinctive of our movement’s tradition—the atmosphere we have chosen, after searching the Scriptures, for relating to one another. Foursquare’s “Declaration of Faith” clearly notes a determination to exercise “in all things charity,” and we are committed to avoiding any polarization that exists in the Church at large.  The following discussion, though brief, is not intended to engage in debate with any who hold differing perspectives. We simply wish to indicate that a studied view of God’s Word undergirds the position taken by the Foursquare Church to release women into ministry leadership, rather than restrict them from that role.”

(Excerpt from “Women in Leadership Ministry”, Foursquare Doctrine Committee, 2005)