Frequently asked questions

salvation

We affirm that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith but unconditionally, according to his sovereign good pleasure and will.
We believe that through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will draw the elect to faith in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the gospel so that they will most assuredly and willingly believe.
We also believe that these, the elect of God whom he gave to the Son, will persevere in belief and godly behavior and be kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith.
We believe that God’s sovereignty in this salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people to believe in Christ nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the ordained means by which God accomplishes his ordained ends.
(John 1:12-13; 6:37-44; 10:25-30; Acts 13:48; 16:30-31; Romans 3-4; 8:1-17,31-39; 9:1-23; 10:8-10; Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 1:7,9)

Holy Spirit

We recognize and rest upon the necessity of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit for all of life and ministry.

The Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and Son, whose primary ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ; he also convicts unbelievers of their need for Christ and imparts spiritual life through regeneration (the new birth).

The Spirit permanently indwells, graciously sanctifies, lovingly leads, and empowers all who are brought to faith in Christ so that they might live in obedience to the inerrant Scriptures.
The model for our reliance upon the Spirit and our experience of his indwelling and empowering presence is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who was filled with the Spirit and entirely dependent upon his power for the performance of miracles, the preaching of the kingdom of God, and all other dimensions of his earthly ministry.

The Holy Spirit who indwelt and empowered Christ in like manner indwells and empowers us through spiritual gifts he has bestowed for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. We recognize that the gifts of the Spirit are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry and are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines.
(Matthew 3:11; 12:28; Luke 4:1, 14; 5:17; 10:21; John 1:12-13; 3:1-15, 34; 14:12; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 2:14-21; 4:29-30; 10:38; Romans 8:9; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-13; 12:28-31; 14:1-33; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18)

eschatology

We believe in the [victorious], personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:31-33) with His holy angels, when He will exercise His role as final judge and His kingdom will be consummated.

We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust: the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell (I Corinthians 15:23; Revelation 20:11-15), as our Lord Himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of Jesus, in the new heaven and new earth, the home of the righteous. On that day, the church will be presented faultless before God, based on the obedience, suffering, and triumph in Christ. All sin will be purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all, and everything will be to the praise of His glorious grace.

The Fellowship at Bend does teach a futurist, pre-millennial understanding of eschatology. However we will not be divisive nor dogmatic surrounding areas of eschatology, believing this would be unprofitable speculation because the times and exact details of our Lord’s return are unclear and known only by the Father. (Matthew 24:36)

Elders

We are deeply committed both to the fundamental spiritual and moral equality of male and female as well as the principle of male headship in the church and home.
Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ.

Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilize their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God.

Both husbands and wives are responsible to God for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, but God has given to the man primary responsibility to lead his wife and family in accordance with the servant leadership and sacrificial love modeled by Jesus Christ.

The Elders/Pastors of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight and to teach/preach the Word of God in corporate assembly for the building up of the body. The office of Elder/Pastor is restricted to men.
(Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18; Acts 18:24-26; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; 3:1-7; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7)

community groups

Community has its ultimate origin in the Godhead, which is in community, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are made in the image of God and are intended to live in community with God and with one another.
From the earliest days of the church (Acts 2:42), the Body of Christ devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, fellowship, prayer, and the breaking of bread. When a church is 25-30 people in size, there need be no division into groups, but when the church size increases, it has to divide into smaller groups for practical shepherding (Exodus 18:17).

It is in the context of community that we are to stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25). Our desire is that every person at The Fellowship is cared for and we follow through with this via small group ministry. Colossians 2:2-3 describes this well, “that their hearts may be encouraged having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
We gather as community groups in homes for the purpose of exercising faith, hope, and love through teaching, fellowship, prayer, the breaking of bread, and discipleship. It is a place for accountability, friendship, spiritual gifts, mission, joy, and tears. It is also a great place to go for help, discipleship, and direction.

It is our desire to see that every believer of The Fellowship is loved, cared for, and challenged within a thriving community. And it is our desire that our neighbors within our town are blessed and touched by the love of Jesus through these community groups. Community groups are simply an extension of the vision and ministry of The Fellowship to help us live out our mission to glorify God, edify the body, and testify to the community.

alcohol

We believe all drunkenness is a sin (Deuteronomy 21:20; Matthew 24:17; Luke17:45; 21:34; Romans 13:13; I Corinthians 5:11; Ephesians 5:15; I Peter 4:3).
We believe that many horrendous sins are affiliated with drunkenness. Therefore, getting drunk is a sin that can lead to other sins, such as incest (Genesis 19:32-35), violence (Proverbs 4:17), adultery (Revelation 17:2), mockery and brawling (Proverbs 20:1), poverty (Proverbs 21:17), foolish behavior (Isaiah 5:22; Jeremiah 51:39), murder (II Samuel 11:13), shameful nakedness (Habakkuk 2:15; Lamentations 4:21), slothfulness (Joel 1:5), escapism (Hosea 4:11), and depression (Luke 21:34). In summary, sin leads to death, and the sin of drunkenness produces only death and misery.
We do believe that all Christians must, at varying times and in varying ways, give up some of their Christian liberties in order to love people of weaker conscience. Christians must make every effort to not lead them into sin by exercising freedoms in their presence (Romans 14:21; I Corinthians 10:31-32).

Having affirmed the above regarding alcohol, the Bible does not condemn alcohol use and so neither do we. Jesus made and gave wine to be served at the wedding feast (John 2:6-11). The Pharisees wrongly condemned Jesus because he drank wine (Luke 7:31-35). Jesus drank wine with His disciples and will drink wine again with them in the kingdom (I Corinthians 11:25; Matthew 26:29). God brings forth food and wine for man (Psalm 104:14-15). God serves wine at the wedding feast of the Lamb (Revelations 19:9; Isaiah 25:6). Colossians 2:16-17 says to let no man pass judgment in questions of food and drink, things which are a mere shadow of what is to come.

eternal security

We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, once sealed, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; I Peter 1:5). We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh (Romans 13:13, 14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

membership

At this time, we do not have a formal church membership; however, we will ask all those that call The Fellowship their home church and serve the body at The Fellowship in some form to agree to the essential doctrines located in our “what we believe section” and overall mission of The Fellowship presented in The Fellowship Servant Leader Agreement. This provides protection and unity for the body knowing that everyone that is serving and leading on mission is in agreement with the essentials of scripture.

Bible Translation

There are many great bible translations. Some are word for word, some are thought for thought. The Fellowship teaches from the English standard version (ESV). We believe that there are many good translations of the bible, and we have chosen the ESV as a good understandable literal translation.