First Friends Church comes under the governing body of the Evangelical Friends Church – Eastern Region. Below, you can read through overviews of some of our basic doctrines. For a comprehensive look at Evangelical Friends doctrine, you can view and/or download the PDF version of our Faith and Practice.
We believe in one God, Who is eternal. There was never a time when He wasn’t and His existence was not caused by anything. He is Creator and Sustainer of all things – visible and invisible, known and unknown. He is everywhere – in all places at all times. He is unchanging in His character. He is perfect in holiness, wisdom, love, power, and justice. He has a desire to know and be known by every person. For these reasons, and many more, God alone is worthy of our worship, honor, praise and gratitude – today and every day.
We affirm the ancient Christian doctrine of the Trinity. This one God we worship exists as one divine being and yet as a trinity of three distinct persons – inseparable, equal in all ways, and eternally existing in unbroken relationship with one another: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
We believe that the most powerful and concentrated revelation of God to humanity is in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus has eternally existed within the Trinity and is the only beloved Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He combines within Himself both the divine nature of God and human nature in one perfect indivisible personality – the God-man. He lived, taught and suffered in the world to show the Way of Life. He was crucified and died as the atonement for the sins of the whole world, fully reconciling all things to God. But, death did not end His story. Three days later, He was raised to life again as the culminating act of freedom from sin and death, and as a promise of the future resurrection of all those who trust in Him. He was seen in His resurrected form by over 500 witnesses. He ascended into heaven and rules with God in power and glory. He continues to act on our behalf, as our Mediator and High Priest, making intercession for us within the Trinity. At some time in the future, He will return again to earth and exercise his perfect justice to make all things new again.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, not as an impersonal principle or influence, but as a divine Person. The Spirit is always at work, within the Church and the world, convicting us of our sin, drawing us toward repentance, bringing newness of life, and producing in us the “fruits” of a Spirit-led life. He is given as an indwelling Presence to every disciple to be a teacher, guide, and source of comfort. He imparts to all disciples, with perfect wisdom, spiritual gifts for service and the building up of the body of Christ. We constantly rely on the Spirit to continually conform us to the image of Christ.
God continues to reveal Himself today through His creation, the Holy Scriptures, and the workings of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of people.
All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God. It is without error in all that it affirms, and is the foundational source of wisdom for a vibrant life of Christian faith and practice. It is fully authoritative and trustworthy. It has guided God’s people for thousands of years and will continue to do so with the help of the Spirit. It is valuable for teaching, correction, encouragement, and the pursuit of a righteousness life of joyful obedience.
As we seek to best interpret and embody the truths of Scripture, we fully rely on the Holy Spirit, who inspired the Scripture, and is always its true interpreter.