Living Water Fellowship Statement of Faith
One of my mentors, John Wimber of Vineyard USA, once made the following comment:
“All Word and no Spirit, we dry up. All Spirit and no Word, we blow up. With the Spirit and the Word, we grow up.”
That made a lot of sense to me. Many churches err on one side or the other: they preach the Word, and ignore the Spirit, or they are all about the gifts, but fail to preach the Words of the Giver. We strive for a balance between these two extremes. Please read below for more info on our foundational beliefs.
The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and we accept all Scriptures as inerrant, infallible, and the sole and final guide in matters of faith and conduct. (2 Tim. 3:15-17, 2 Peter 1:19-21, Heb. 4:12)
God has revealed Himself as One God, manifested in three eternal, co-equal Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Deut. 6:4; 2 Samuel 23:2-3, Philip. 2:6, 1 John 5:7)
Created in the image of God, man is also triune eternal being: spirit, soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23, Heb. 4:12). Once good and upright, Adam believed Satan's deception about God, voluntarily transgressed and fell. Through sin, man's spirit is dead, his soul is corrupt, and his body is doomed to decay and death (Rom. 5:14). The Bible says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:10, 23).
Redemption for man is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Rom. 5:12-21)The salvation of sinners is the gift of God, separate from religious works and laws. Man receives salvation by God's grace through personal repentance and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This new birth is necessary for all sinners to be reconciled to God and, when experienced, imparts a new nature and eternal life to the believer (2 Cor 7:10;John 3:3-5; 1 John 5:12). The New Birth is not arriving, but beginning, our Christian journey with Christ.
The term “Church” is used in the Bible to refer to 3 related things:
The universal Body of Christ in heaven and on earth (Eph 1:22, 1 Cor 3:9, 10:32, 1 Pet 2:15, Heb 12:23),
The local body of believers governed by anointed leadership (Acts 14:23, 1 Cor 1:2, 11:18, Col 4:15-16, James 5:14, Rev 2-3), and
The physical building where believers commonly worship (1 Tim 3:15, 1 Cor 4:17, 11:18, 22, 12:28, 14:19, 28, 34-35, 3 John 1:10, Heb 3:2).
God instituted the Church just like He instituted the Family. Just as every healthy human being is part of the family of Adam, part of their own family, and lives in a physical house, so too every healthy Christian is part of the Body of Christ, part of a local body of believers and attends a physical church as the New Testament disciples did. God loves the church in all 3 senses of the word.
We believe in the gifts of the Spirit as described in 1 Corinthians, chapters 12, 13, and 14. We believe that all spiritual gifts must operate in accordance with the Word of God, must be confirmed by the Word of God, and may by no means contradict the Word of God. We believe, according to 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 that we are commanded not to stifle the Holy Spirit, but to test everything that is said by the standard of the Bible. We are to hold on to what is good, and keep away from every kind of evil.
We hold a continuationist view of the Gifts of the Spirit.
We believe that all the Spiritual Gifts are given by the Holy Spirit, as He directs and wills to do so; and that they are given to us to empower us for service. We believe that the Holy Spirit gives us different gifts at different times in our lives, and that we may or may not manifest the same gift all our lives. We believe that everyone's experience with the Holy Spirit is not the same, but each is valid as long as it lines up the testimony of the Word of God.
Fruit of the Spirit
We believe that there are not many "Fruits of the Spirit", but one Fruit of the Spirit.
In Galatians 5:22-23, we read the classic passage on the Fruit of the Spirit. Please take note that in this passage, Paul used a singular tense for word “fruit”. This means the Fruit of the Spirit is a singular item.
The whole fruit is known as “Love” or in the Greek, “Agape”. Just as an apple has many parts (such as the skin, the stem, the core, the seed, and edible portion), in the same manner joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the parts that form the manifestation of this singular “Agape” fruit.To put this another way, the Fruit of the Spirit is Love. Love is manifested in Joy. Love is manifested in Peace. Love is manifested in Kindness. Love is manifested in Goodness. Love is manifested in Faithfulness. Love is manifested in Gentleness. Love is manifested in Self-Control.
If we have love, real agape love, we should be manifesting each of its components.
There are many gifts, but one fruit. The true Christian will manifest the attributes of the agape fruit in the same measure that he or she has surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit. The more of Him we have, the more of Him will everyone see in us. God's Word says that you will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-17).
What does your fruit say about your relationship with God?