1. We Believe in the Authority of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)
The basis for the message and methods of ministry of Freedom In Christ Ministries International (FICMI) is the Word of God. The written Word and the Living Word should be seen as inseparable. Jesus is the Truth and so is His Word. FICMI appreciates the contribution of empirical research and scientific investigation when the results are interpreted through the grid of Scripture. Science is mankind’s attempt to understand natural law. Theology is the Christian’s attempt to systematize divine revelation. Science and theology are fallible, but God’s word isn’t. FICMI is committed to Truth and sound doctrine, but not to any one particular systematic theology and does not see any incongruity between natural law and divine revelation since both originate in God. All those under the spiritual authority of FICMI are to be subject to God’s Word and all governing authorities established by God (Romans 13:1-5).
2. We Worship God and Believe that Prayer is our Greatest Work (John 4:23)
Worship is to ascribe and embrace the true attributes of God, both corporately and individually, and then live accordingly. We strive to practice the presence of God and consider prayer our first priority, seeking to know Him and to do His will. We don’t try to manipulate God or persuade Him to our point of view. We desire to be on the path that He has chosen for us, and choose to identify with Jesus when He said, “Not my will be done, but Your will be done.” We try to bathe everything we do in prayer, not asking God to bless our plans, but submitting to His plans as discerned in prayer. We believe that Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 6 on the armor of God concludes with the admonition for all believers to pray at all times in the Spirit. The prayers that God the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray are the prayers that God answers. God uses such prayers to accomplish His work through us.
3. We Believe in the Centrality of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Our identity, acceptance, security, and significance are all found in Christ, who is the ultimate revelation of God. Therefore our purpose is to help Christians, their marriages, and their ministries to be established alive and free in Christ. God has given the Church and consequently FICMI the ministry of reconciliation, which removes the barriers to having an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father through repentance and faith in God. It is our purpose to lift up the Son of God that all would be drawn to Him.
4. We Believe in the Unity of Believers (John 17:20-23)
We serve the one true God who manifests Himself as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The unity of the Godhead serves as the model for all relationships. We work to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). This unity is found in our common heritage as children of God. Where Satan works to divide our minds, marriages and ministries, FICMI works for the oneness of mind, marriage and ministry as peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).
5. We Base our Identity in Christ (John 1:12)
Those who put their trust in Christ are children of God. They are no longer “in Adam,” they are spiritually alive “in Christ.” Spiritual life means union with God, which was how the early Church Fathers described salvation (i.e. union with God). Christians are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and they are no longer “in the flesh,” but they can walk after or according to the flesh (Romans 8:11). Those who are not yet Christians have neither the presence of God in their lives nor the knowledge of His ways, consequently their minds have been programmed to live independently of God. Salvation doesn’t bring instant renewal of our minds, which is why the Apostle Paul warns us not to be conformed any longer to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We believe that Scripture identifies all believers as saints rather than sinners, which does not necessarily reflect our maturity. Being a saint refers to our position in Christ. All Christians are identified with Christ in His death (Romans 6:3; Galatians 2:20), in His burial (Romans 6:4), in His resurrection (Romans 6:5,8,11), in His ascension (Ephesians 2:6), in His life (Romans 5:10,11), in His power (Ephesians 1:19,20), and in His inheritance (Romans 8:16,17; Ephesians 1:11,12).
6. We Strive for a Balanced Biblical Worldview that Includes the Reality of the Spiritual World
We understand that the enemies of our sanctification are the world, the flesh and the devil. There is a present spiritual battle between good and evil, between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, between the Spirit of truth and the father of lies, and between the true prophets and the false prophets which calls for Christians to have a solid biblical foundation, exercise discernment and keep their focus on Christ. We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual rulers and authorities of this present darkness with the understanding that they have been disarmed (Colossians 2:15). We understand this battle to be more of a truth encounter rather than a power encounter, since the devil is already disarmed. The reality of the spiritual world includes the present work of the Holy Spirit and we seek His filling and guidance.
7. We Seek a Holistic Answer to the Problems of Life (Matthew 6:19-34)
We try to avoid simplistic answers that address only one dimension of life and try to consider the proper functioning of our bodies, souls and spirits. First, we teach the need for a balance of rest, exercise, and diet, and respect the role that medicine and medications play in healing and maintaining the body. Second, we acknowledge psychosomatic illnesses and believe that emotional needs can be met in Christ and seek to resolve the problems of fear, anxiety, panic attacks, depression and addiction. Third, we take into account the spiritual component to all problems, which includes the necessity of being connected to God and the need to escape from the snares of the devil. We believe in a whole God, who deals with a whole humanity, who takes into account all reality, all the time, and we seek Him and His kingdom first.
8. We Seek a Biblical Balance Between God’s Sovereignty and Mankind’s Responsibility
(1 Corinthians 3:4-9)
We cannot ask God to do for us what He has revealed to be our responsibility, and we cannot do for ourselves what only God can do. Any attempt by one person to help another should be done so with the understanding that God is also present and there is a role that God and only God can play in each of our lives. Only God can set a captive free and bind up the brokenhearted person. So we seek to establish our methods of ministry with the awareness of God’s omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. We also seek to understand the sensitive relationship that exists between the encourager and the enquirer helping them to realize their responsibility. As reconcilers and encouragers we also depend upon God and avoid being enablers, co-dependents and rescuers, which undermines the need of inquirers to be responsible for their own attitudes and actions.
9. We Strive to be in the Center of God’s Will (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
We believe that God will guide all those who seek to follow Him, which is a different concept than knowing God’s will. God’s will for our lives is our sanctification, i.e. that we conform to His image. The goal of our instruction is love (1 Timothy 1:5), which is the character of God (1 John 4:16) and not knowledge that makes one arrogant (1 Corinthians 8:1). God is not trying to enlarge our minds; He is trying to enlarge our hearts so that we may be like Him. We can have knowledge and be arrogant, but we cannot know God and be arrogant. Our goal is to know God and become like Him (Philippians 3:8-14) so that others will know that we are servants of God, because of His love shining through us.
10. We Live Under the New Covenant and Minister to Others by the Grace of God
(2 Corinthians 3:5, 6)
We believe that we are servants of a new covenant, for the law kills, but the Spirit gives life. Grace is neither legalism nor license. We could not live up to the law by the law, but we can live a righteous life if we do so by faith according to what God says is true and by doing so in His power rather than by our own strength and resources. Part of our purpose is to help Christians and their ministries to move from a works and program orientation to a grace and faith orientation. Biblical strategies and programs will not work unless they are empowered by the life of God, because apart from Christ we cannot do anything of lasting consequence (John 15:5). We don’t have to bear fruit, we have to abide in Christ and then we will bear fruit. Ministering grace also means that we don’t put a price tag on our ministry, and we will not compromise ourselves, our message or our ministry for sake of money.
11. We Strive to be Servant Leaders (Matthew 20:20-28)
We don’t get our significance from titles, degrees, gifts or ecclesiastical positions. We strive to be significant and secure in Christ and not Lord it over others (1 Peter 5:1-11). The qualifications to be a spiritual leader (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9) are all related to Godly character. As servant leaders we choose to walk in the light and speak the truth in love. We want every Christian to reach their highest potential and use their talents and gifts to glorify God and edify others. It is the purpose of FICMI to empower God’s people by helping them to understand who they are in Christ, enabling them to be all that God intended them to be so they will be able to do all things through Christ who strengthens them (Philippians 4:13).
12. We Desire our Ministry to be One of Integrity and Authenticity (Matthew 5:13-16)
Spiritual integrity and authenticity are more important than recognition and perceived impact. We believe the proper order is to have maturity before ministry, character before career, and being before doing. Who we are is more important than what we do, and we should never compromise ourselves or our message in order gain the approval of others. God’s work done God’s way will never lack His support, therefore we don’t subscribe to worldly methods of fund raising, exaggeration of accomplishments, hype, false pretenses, exploitation and self-promotion. Our focus is to grow in our maturity, bring clarity, correctness, and balance to our message, and let God expand our ministry.