Who are Free Will
Free Will Baptist roots can be traced to England as early as
1611. The first FWB church in America was begun by Paul Palmer in 1727 in
Perquimans County, North Carolina. Some years later, in 1780, under the
leadership of Benjamin Randall, Free Will Baptists were established in the
northeast at New Durham, New Hampshire. From these early beginnings, Free Will
Baptists in America have had a continuing ministry. Today, the National
Association of Free Will Baptists is active in 36 states, 13 foreign countries,
and a number of the islands of the sea. The work of the National Association is
promoted from the National Offices and Randall House Publications located in
What Free Will Baptists believe:
- God - We believe that God is the Creator, Sustainer, and
Righteous Ruler of the universe. He has revealed Himself in nature, and in the
Scriptures of the Holy Bible as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: yet as one God.
- Jesus Christ - He is God's unique Son; the only one of a
kind. The Scripture teaches that He is God revealed in flesh. In His Divine
nature He is truly God and in His human nature truly man. He is the One once
crucified for man's sin, the now risen and glorified Savior and Lord who
mediates between God and man and who gives us access to the Father through His
intercession. None can come to the Father unless they come through Him.
- Holy Spirit - All of the attributes of God are ascribed to
the Holy Spirit by the Scriptures. It is He who convicts and convinces men of
their sin. He also convinces man of that which is right, and that a final day of
judgment will come. He, it is, who comes to live in us at conversion, to open
our understanding to the Scripture, and to lead us into the truth.
- The Bible - God used holy men to write the Scriptures. They
are, in both the Old and New Testaments, the very words God intended us to have.
They are, as given by God, without error and are our only rule of faith and
practice. We profit from them by learning the truth about many things: they also
speak to us about wrong doing; they even correct us and get us back on course as
well as instructing us in right living.
- Man - God created man in a state of innocence. Man, being
tempted by Satan, yielded and willfully disobeyed God, becoming a sinner and
incurring God's judgment upon sin. All of Adam's descendants inherit his fallen
nature and thus have a natural inclination to sin. When one comes to an age of
accountability, he is guilty of sinning before God and in need of salvation.
- God's Relationship to His Creatures and Creation - God
exercises a wise and benevolent providence over all beings and things. He
maintains the laws of nature and performs special acts as the highest welfare of
mankind and His created order of things require.
- Salvation - Man receives pardon and forgiveness for his
sins when he admits to God that he is a sinner, when in godly sorrow he turns
from them and trusts in the work of Christ as redemption for his sin. This
acceptance of God's great salvation involves belief in Christ's death on the
cross as man's substitute and the fact of God's raising Him from the dead as
predicted. It is a salvation by grace alone and not of works.
- Who Can be Saved? - It is God's will that all be saved, but
since man has the power of choice, God saves only those who repent of their sin
and believe in the work of Christ on the cross. Those who refuse in this life to
repent and believe have no later chance to be saved and thus condemn themselves
to eternal damnation by their unbelief.
- Perseverance - We believe that there are strong grounds to
hope that the saved will persevere unto the end and be saved because of the
power of divine grace pledged for their support. We believe that any saved
person who has sinned (whether we call him a backslider or sinner), but has a
desire to repent, may do so and be restored to God's favor and fellowship. Since
man, however, continues to have free choice, it is possible because of
temptations and the weakness of human flesh for him to fall into the practice of
sin and to make shipwreck of his faith and be lost.
- Gospel Ordinances - Free Will Baptists believe the Bible
teaches three ordinances for the church to practice: Baptism in water by
immersion, the Lord's Supper, to be perpetuated until His return, and the
Washing of the Saints' feet, an ordinance teaching humility.
- Resurrection - Free Will Baptists believe the Scriptures
teach the resurrection of the bodies of all men, each in its own order; they
that have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and they that
have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.
- Church Government - Free Will Baptist churches enjoy local
church autonomy (self-governing). The local church is the highest authority in
the denomination. Local churches voluntarily organize themselves into quarterly
meetings, district, state, and national associations for the purpose of
promoting the cause of Christ on the local, state, district, national, and
- Christ's Second Coming - The Bible teaches that Jesus
Christ, who ascended on high and sits at the right hand of God, will come again
to close the Gospel dispensation, glorify His saints, and judge the world.
- Missions - Free Will Baptists believe that Jesus commanded
the church to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. For
an in-depth study of Free Will Baptist beliefs and practices, ask for a copy of
the Free Will Baptist Treatise.
Taken from nafwb.org