What We Believe
STATEMENT OF FAITH
Florida Bible College of Tampa, Inc. by and through its officers, trustees, faculty, staff and students affirms the following doctrinal statement in its entirety. We also confirm that the Bible controls all matters in faith and practice for the college.
A. The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Bible, in its original documents, is the inspired Word of God, the written record of His supernatural revelation of Himself to man, absolute in its authority, complete in its revelation, final in its content, and without any errors in its statements (2 Timothy 3:16; John 10:35; Psalms 89:34; Hebrews 6:18; 2 Peter 3:16).
To maintain a strong Bible emphasis; we use the King James Version (KJV) in our Bible study, memorization of Scripture, and the preaching of God’s Word from the pulpit. It is important that one accepted translation of the Scripture be used to avoid confusion. Although we do not believe the translators of the Authorized King James Bible were inspired, we do believe that the Authorized King James Version, based upon the Textus Receptus, is the best translation. Therefore, the Authorized King James Bible shall be the Bible used by Florida Bible College of Tampa.
B. The Godhead
We believe there is one God, eternally existent, Creator of heaven and earth. He is manifested in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and each having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Genesis1:2; John 14:9; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 5:7).
C. The Person and Work of Christ
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (John 1:1,3; Luke 1:35).
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is sinlessly perfect, and that He accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24,25; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5) His death was to pay for all sins (past, present, and future) of all the world (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 10:10-14; Hebrews 9:28; Acts 13:38-41; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 3:5).
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and He is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate(Acts 1:9,10; Hebrews 9:24;7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1,2).
D. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
- We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person Who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. The moment a person receives Christ as his Savior, the Holy Spirit immediately indwells that believer (John 16:8-11, 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13,14; 4:30).
- We believe that He is the Divine Teacher Who guides believers into all truth, and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled (controlled) with the Spirit (John 16:13; 1 John 2:20,27; Ephesians 5:18).
E. Predestination and Foreknowledge
We believe God is absolutely sovereign: and in His sovereignty, He gave man a free will to accept or reject the salvation that He has provided. It is God’s will that all would be saved and that none should perish. God permits man’s destiny to depend upon man’s choice (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 3:9; John 6:64,65; Acts 10:34; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 1:5-14; Romans 8:29,30; 9:30-32).
F. The Fallen Human Race
We believe each member of the human race is fallen, sinful, and lost, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of man (Romans 3:23; John 3:7; Titus 3:5; Luke 24:49).
- We believe man is saved by undeserved mercy through faith, and nothing of man enters into his salvation; it is a free gift. Man’s efforts, regardless of how good or well-intended, before or after salvation have nothing to do with obtaining or keeping salvation. Salvation is by the finished work of Christ, and nothing can be added to it (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Galatians 2:16; Romans 11:6; Colossians 2:13; Romans 3:22).
- We believe repentance is necessary for salvation. The Greek work for “repent” is metaneo, which translated into English means “to change one’s mind”. It does not mean “to turn from sin”, since that would mean works for salvation.
- Repentance for salvation means a change of mind from man’s ideas of salvation and religion to an acceptance of God’s way of salvation.
- Many teach repentance for salvation incorrectly by including some form of human effort or righteousness, such as willingness to turn from sin, or turning from sin. This is heresy and has confused many people because it adds works to salvation. This is “Galatianism”, which is a counterfeit of the Gospel and is completely unscriptural.
- It is a tragedy that many Christians live shallow Christian lives. We are dedicated to the task of training Christian men and women in the importance of total dedication and making Jesus the Lord of their lives, not to be saved, but because they are saved. Adding works to salvation cannot cure “Shallow Christianity”. The true child of God is not under the law, but he is under grace. He is saved by grace and disciplined by grace (Romans 6:14,15;11:6; 2 Corinthians 3:17).Salvation is not the result of what we do, but it is the result of receiving what God has done for us (Acts 13:38,39; Galatians 1:8,9; 2:16,21; 3:1-3; 5:1-4; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 11:13-15; Philippians 3:9; Titus 3:5-8; John 3:16-18).
- We believe it is every Christian’s privilege and duty to make clear God’s plan of salvation wherever and in whatever vocation he or she may be (Mark 16:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:4).
- We believe the general plan of salvation is best presented and practiced in the following manner:
- Establish the fact that all men are sinners (Roman 3:10; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:23; James 2:10; Jeremiah 17:9).
- Establish the fact that the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:20).
- Establish the fact that man must be perfect to enter heaven (Revelation 21:27).
- Establish the fact that man can do nothing of himself to obtain this perfection (Ephesians 2:8,9; Galatians 2:21; Romans 4:5).
- Establish how God provided a Sin-bearer and imputes to man His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9, Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 3:18).
- Establish the fact that man needs only belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior for salvation (John 3:16; John 1:12; Acts 16:31).
- Establish the fact that man can be certain of his salvation now, and that his salvation cannot be lost, because eternal life is eternal (John 6:37-39; 10:28; 1 Peter 1:5; Hebrews 10:10-14; 1 John 5:13).
H. Eternal Security
We believe that once a person becomes a child of God by faith in Christ, he is always a child of God. A person is either saved forever or not saved at all. Eternal security is not a separate doctrine from salvation. It is salvation. Once a person is saved, he can never lose his salvation in any way, or for any reason (John 3:16; 3:36; 5:24; 6:47; 10:28).
I. The Evidence of Salvation
We believe the only evidence of salvation is revealed in whom a person is trusting in to get him to heaven. We believe it is heresy to teach that a person can know he is saved or lost because of his behavior, or for others to believe a person is saved or lost because of his behavior. (Galatians 2:16; Romans 4:5; 11:6).
J. The Church
We believe that the church, which is the body of the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all those who have trusted Christ as their Savior from the day of Pentecost to the Rapture (Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2).
We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32, 2 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
We believe that the two ordinances of the local church instituted by Christ are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (communion). These are steps of obedience in a Christian’s life (service) and are not for salvation (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28).
K. The Christian Walk
We believe every true child of God possesses eternal life, is justified by faith, sanctified by God, sealed with the Holy Spirit, safe and secure for all eternity, and cannot lose his salvation. However, a Christian can, through sin, lose fellowship, joy, power, testimony, and rewards, and incur the Father’s chastisement. Relationship is eternal being established by the new birth; fellowship, however, is dependent upon obedience.
God guarantees salvation; it is His gift to us. God guarantees reward and fruit to the obedient son. God guarantees chastening and loss of rewards to the disobedient son. (Rewards once earned cannot be lost.) God does not cast out disobedient children, but in some cases does take them home. He does not permit His children to live as they please without discipline and guidance (1 Corinthians 3:11-17; 5:1-5; 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:5-11).
1 John 1:9 is not a verse for salvation but a precious promise to Christians for cleansing and forgiveness. 1 John 1:9, does not guarantee restoration of fellowship or restitution from physical damage caused by sin. It is heresy to teach that confession of sin produced spiritual fruit. Confession of sin places the Christian in a position where he can have fellowship with God. 1 John 1:6,7 teach that fellowship is the result of the Christian’s walk and not the result of the confession of sin. Spirituality, of which fellowship is part, comes from the Christian’s obedience to God (2 Peter 1:5-8; Colossians 1:10; John 15:8; 1 John 1:6,7; Galatians 5:22).
L. The Two Natures of the Believers
We believe a true child of God has two births: one of the flesh and the other of the Spirit. The flesh nature is neither good nor righteous. The Spiritual nature does not commit sin. This results in warfare between the Spirit and the flesh, which continues until physical death, or the return of the Lord. (The new birth cannot change in any way the flesh nature of man, but the flesh nature can be controlled and kept subdued by the new man.) All claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural (John 3:3-7; Romans 8:8; 7:15-25; Galatians 5:17; 1 John 3:9; 5:18; 1 Peter 1:23).
M. The Two Phases of the Second Advent
We believe that the Rapture consists of the coming of Christ from heaven and the saints on earth meeting Him in the air. We believe in the personal, premillenial, and pretribulational return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11; 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
We believe that Christ’s coming with His angels to earth is in power and great glory. This coming is preceded by the seven year tribulation which begins immediately after the Rapture (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Isaiah 26:17-21; 27:1; Matthew 24; Revelation 4:4).
N. The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall. We believe that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man, and that he and his angels will be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6,7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
O. The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts (Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:18).
We believe the gift of tongues (languages) was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power solely for the demonstration of God’s wisdom, purpose, and power in the establishment of the early church. This gift was always spoken known language of that time, and a sign for the unbelieving Jew (Acts 2:6; 1 Corinthians 14:22; Hebrews 2:4).
We believe that God does hear and answer, in accord with His own will, the prayer of faith for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14,15). God can heal, but physical healing is not in the atonement. God heals miraculously today when it is His perfect will to do so. Healing cannot be claimed through the guarantee of the atonement. At times it is God’s will for sickness not to be removed (2 Corinthians 12:8-10; James 5:14-16).
We believe that speaking in tongues, and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the apostles passed off the scene. New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established the sign gifts were no longer necessary. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12).
P. The Resurrection
We believe there is a resurrection of the saved and of the lost; of the saved unto eternal life, and of the lost unto eternal conscious punishment. These two resurrections are separated by at least 1,000 years (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:5-15; Matthew 25:41).
We believe that all of the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:1,2; 14:13; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 1:9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).