Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship
The birth of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, International is in essence the story of a tremendous move of God beginning in the last decade of the twentieth century. Since 1994, when over twenty-five thousand people attended the first Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Conference in the Louisiana Superdome, the spiritual religious freedom that makes Full Gospel Baptist unique has impacted Christian men and women across the world.
Captured by the phrase “The Right to Choose”, that freedom is based on the belief that the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be promoted by recognizing the free expression of the gifts of the Spirit as a viable part of the Body of Christ. The Fellowship is convinced that the choice to exercise these spiritual gifts is imperative for the local New Testament Church to fully function as the dynamic organism God has intended.
Full Gospel Distinctives
I. We believe the Full Gospel includes: (A) the proclamation of both eternal power of Calvary and the potential power of Pentecost; (B) the baptizing power of Jesus Christ for salvation because of Calvary, and (C) the filling controlling power of the Holy Ghost for service and Holy Victorious living because of Pentecost (Ephesians 5:18 ; Acts 20:27).
II. We believe in the perpetual and continuing ecclesiastical value of all spiritual gifts for the edification of the body of Christ until the end of this Church Age, which will be consummated by the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13, I Corinthians 12-14; Romans 12).
III. We believe in the Divine personhood of the Holy Spirit and His present-day ministry to Believers, including the sovereign distribution of spiritual gifts, which empowers Believers for service in the Contemporary Church (I Corinthians 12:7-11).
IV. We believe in Jesus Christ as the Sovereign Giver of spiritual gifts to the church. We further believe spiritual gifts are given for the perfecting of the Saints, for work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the Body of Christ and are given without regard to ethnicity, social class, or gender (Ephesians 4:7-12; Galatians 3:26-28).
V. We believe in the full autonomy of the local church as an independent entity under the Lordship of Christ, through pastoral authority, with regards to: A) government, polity, and operations (Titus 1:5; Acts 15:1 – 35), B) discipline (I Corinthians 5:5; Matthew 18:15-17; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15) and C) with the added value of the Episcopacy as a covering (Titus 1: 5; Acts 15:1-35).
VI. We believe in the value of biblical terminology for leadership in the contemporary church: Bishop, Overseer, Pastor, Minister, Elder, and Deacon. We believe all of these are designations for servant-leaders (Jeremiah 3:15; Acts 20:28; II Corinthians 6:4; I Timothy 3:1-7).
VII. We believe in the formal and intentional praise and worship of Almighty God as a proper, spirit-led, corporate acknowledgement and response to His person and work (Psalm 46-50; John 4:23, 24).
VIII. We believe in Jesus Christ as the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, who brings men and women at salvation into relationship with Himself and His Body, the Church. We further believe that it is the baptism of the Holy Ghost that places one into the Body of Christ. All Believers have been baptized by Christ with the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11; John 1:33; I Corinthians 12:13).
IX. We believe in the indwelling of the Holy Ghost for all Believers and that the Holy Ghost verifies and validates the Believer as part of the Body of Christ (Romans 8:9).
X. We believe in the spirit-filled life as desirable, valuable, and an issue of obedience for all Believers who are commanded to be filled with the Holy Ghost. We acknowledge that within the Body of Christ, the term, “filled with the Holy Ghost” is often used interchangeably with the term, “baptism of the Holy Ghost.” When referring to the controlling presence and power of the Holy Ghost, as a result of the submissive will and desire of the Believer, we allow such alternation of terms. We believe it is the will and command of God that every Believer be “filled,” “walk in,” be “led by,” and “live in” the power of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 18, 25).
XI. We believe that it is God’s desire that all Believers live under the “Divine Direction” of the Holy Ghost. We believe that the filling of the Holy Ghost is an ongoing ministry of the Spirit in the life of the Believer, that enables the Believer to live a life of power, victory, and glory to God (Acts 1:8, 2:4, 4:8, 4:31).
XII. We believe the Holy Ghost fills or empowers Believers for service in the Kingdom of God. Being filled with the Holy Ghost is the result of continuing submission to Divine power and control (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:18).
XIII. We believe all Believers are baptized with the Holy Ghost and all Believers should be filled with the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:18).
Compendium on Distinctives VIII and X
We believe the baptism of the Holy Ghost and the filling of the Holy Ghost are distinct, separate, valid, and valuable ministries of the Holy Ghost which may occur simultaneously at salvation.
A) Being filled with the Holy Ghost may and should occur subsequent to salvation in obedience to biblical exhortation.
B) The baptism of the Holy Ghost occurs once and for all at salvation.
C) Being filled with the Holy Ghost should not only be a continuous reality, but an ongoing characteristic of the believer’s consecrated holiness (Matthew 3:11; John 1:33; I Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 5:18).
D) We believe in speaking in tongues, as our heavenly language, that builds us up in our most holy faith. Tongues is an indicator, not a qualifier. (Jude 20, Acts 19:2-6; Acts 2:1-4; 1 Cor 14:14-15)