Core Beliefs

Flagship Church is affiliated with the National Association of Free Will Baptists located in Nashville, TN.

We follow Jesus, we teach from the Bible, and we worship God as the creator and ruler of the universe. Through our relationship with Christ, we are renewed, redeemed, forgiven, transformed and loved. It’s our passion to share this faith and hope with Erie, Pa and the world.

Here are our core beliefs:

  • There is only one true and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4) perfect in His nature, and all His attributes, existing eternally in three Persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14) equally deserving our worship and obedience.
  • God the Father is revealed in nature as the Creator, Preserver, and Righteous Governor of the universe (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). He providentially cares for and governs all His creation in wisdom and mercy, for His own purposes (Psalm 22:28; Acts 17:28). God has given man the ability to make free moral choices exactly matched by his responsibility, and governs man by moral laws and motives (Deuteronomy 30:19; Isaiah 1:18-20; John 5:40). God knows all events that will occur, but His knowledge of them does not in any sense cause them, nor does He decree all events that He knows will occur (Ezekiel 33:11; Acts 15:18).
  • Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the virgin-born Son of the Living God, co-equal with the Father, and became God in human form. He died for our sins, was buried, rose literally and bodily from the dead, and is coming again. He is both fully God and fully man (Philippians 2:5-7; John 14:9; John 8:58; John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 2 Peter 3:3-4, 10, 13).
  • The Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer spiritual gifts when they are saved. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily (Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Galatians 5:25; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18).
  • The Bible is God’s Word to us. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the written record of His supernatural revelation of Himself, written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is absolute in its authority, complete in its revelation, final in its content, and without any error. It is the sole guide of doctrine and church practices (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5).
  • People are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27, Matthew 19:4). We believe in the sanctity of life and that life begins at conception (Psalm 139:13-16). All people are born with a sin nature and are unable to escape its influence in their own power. (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10, 23)
  • God desires the salvation of all, the Gospel invites all, the Holy Spirit strives with all, and whosoever will may come and take of the water of life freely. In other words, salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus
    Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6, 1:2; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1, 10:9-10).
  • The Word of God teaches the security of the believer, that God will keep securely in His hand (John 10:25-30) those who are trusting in Jesus, but offers absolutely no hope for that person who is not trusting in Christ (1 Peter 1:5). The link that unites God and man is faith (John 3:16). The security of the believer is based upon a continuous faith in Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:21-23; John 3:16; Hebrews 3:12-13). Scriptures present the possibility of an authentic believer ceasing to believe (1 John 2:24; Hebrews 3:12-13) but not in the probability (Hebrews 6:9). Apostasy is committed by willful unbelief and is without remedy (Hebrews 6:4-6).
  • People were created to exist for eternity. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. Hell is a real place of torment and eternal separation from God. Heaven is a real place of eternal blessedness and eternal union with God (John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9).
  • Baptism is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, baptism is a way for us to publicly declare our new life in Christ. It is also a step of obedience based on God’s commands and allows us to follow the example of Jesus, who submitted himself to baptism to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:16-17 , 28:18-20; Acts 2:41 , 8:12). We do not administer baptism to infants or to children who have not confessed faith in Christ, nor do we baptize by any mode other than immersion (Acts 8:35-38).
  • The human will is free and self-controlled, having power to yield to the influence of the truth and the Spirit, or to resist them and perish (Matthew 10:32; John 3:16, 18).
  • The church is the body of Christ followers who should live for God’s glory and to encourage and edify one another while evangelizing the world (Acts 2:44-47). Each believer should give a generous, intentional, regular, proportional gift of his or her income to God, through the local church, as a spiritual discipline. We believe that the tithe (one-tenth) is the standard by which Christians determine if they are giving generously (Genesis 14:20; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). The local church is an autonomous body that cooperates with many Christian agencies but is regulated or dominated by none (Ephesians 5:23b). We believe that the pattern of the New Testament was to observe the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis (Acts 20:7).
  • Baptism, or the immersion of believers in water, and the Lord’s Supper, are ordinances to be perpetuated under the Gospel. Feet Washing, an ordinance teaching humility, is also practiced (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:3-17).
  • God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. God’s creation was perfect, but became marred by man’s sin (Genesis 1 & 2; Exodus 20:11; Romans 5:12).
  • The only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23).
  • God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual activity outside of the marriage of one man and one woman, including pornography, are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We also believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance (Genesis 2:24, 19:5, 13, 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1: 26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4).

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