THE FUEL LIFE ESSENTIALS

 

 

This living document contains our Declarations of Purpose and Statement of Faith, by  which the organization defined as Fuel Life, Inc. its volunteers, staff members and leadership will abide by with the understanding that Fuel Life, inc. is merely a functional branch of the global church of The Judeo/Christian God of which Christ alone is the head. Fuel life is a fellowship of believers in the Lordship of Jesus Christ dedicated to reaching the lost and equipping the saved.

 

 

What we really care about: Declarations of Purpose

- The Lost

Holy Scripture reveals that Jesus came to find souls that are lost; “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” - Luke 19:10. Holy Scripture also shows that a kind of self-fulfilling condemnation rests upon the Earth because of a displacement of love in every human being’s heart; “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” - John 3:19 When people desire what is not good they rationalize it to be good, then forsake and even sacrifice that which is truly good. This willful ignorance (sin) is passed on from generation to generation. This is the root cause from which all of mankind’s pain and suffering was born. Jesus Christ visited this world to win it back and atone for our fallen self-destructive nature. He also came to teach us a better way. It is in this “way” that love’s true divine nature and perfect power is revealed in and through us. We trust that by helping others find God’s forgiveness and develop an authentic relationship with God’s Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ we are fulfilling The Great Commission of Christ when he said; “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. - Matthew 18-29.

 

- The Back Sliden

God is a loving dad who knows He has kids that are still struggling. From an eternal perspective humanity is still very young, uncivilized, and extremely self-centered. But He is a God of patience, a teacher who believes in His students, a coach who sees the best in you even when you can’t or won’t. We believe in second, third and maybe even fourth chances. We say “maybe even” not to quantify God’s grace, but rather to inspire urgency in those struggling with surrendering the old ways for the new. The fact is you don’t have forever to get right with God; “as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” – Hebrews 9:27. Although God’s grace is amazing and beyond being exhausted we will one day receive an assessment of what we did with it. It is because our lives here are so short that we want to see God’s people go from struggling with distraction to empowered with success in the calling God has given each and every person to fulfill. We vow to gather around the weak, the broken hearted, and the most sinful to declare God’s power to help our struggling brothers and sisters find genuine repentance, focused purpose, and lasting guidance. We earnestly desire to bring our heavenly father joy and see Him glorified through His kids by loving Him as He deserves, and by helping others do the same as together we become vessels He can trust with His precious Spirit’s power to show and share His light with a hurting world.

 

- Discipleship

Jesus said; “GO and make disciples…” This is a commandment to be proactive and attentive in the process of God’s will and working in the life of others. Discipleship is an unforced and naturally occurring relationship between a teacher (discipler) and student (disciple). We believe in the full engagement and holistic discipleship as modeled by Christ. We believe discipleship is not fulfilled by any of the following items on their own: fellowship, accountability, evangelizing and making converts, bible study, training seminars, listening to sermons, or just ‘hanging out’ with an older believer.

All the above are good and valued elements of discipleship, but not equivalents to discipleship. They are godly, but lack the individual attention, growth and accountability that Jesus modeled.

We look to Jesus’ ministry and the early church; we believe holistic discipleship involves someone training a disciple in The Word, Relationship, and Ministry.

 -The Word:

We believe in teaching disciples to obey all that Christ commanded and modeled throughout the Scriptures.

  • Luke 11:28 - “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

  • Mark 4:20 - “But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

  • 2 Tim 3:16-17 -  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Jesus clearly showed His disciples the importance and use of the Scriptures, both in His own personal devotion and in winning others to Himself. Learning and obeying Scripture is essential for one’s growth as a disciple of Christ. Fuel Life staff and servant leaders are expected to love God’s Word and to impart this love to their disciples.

 

-Relationship:

We believe in building relationships in love, commitment, authenticity, vulnerability, accountability, and intentionality.

  • Matthew 9:9 –  As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.

  • John 17:6 - “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word…”

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:8 - So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

Having called His men, Jesus made a practice of spending time with them. This was the essence of His training program—letting His disciples follow Him. It is the art of transformation through acclimation we see how the knowledge of Christ was gained by association before it was understood by explanation. He ate with His disciples, slept near them, and talked with them for most of His active ministry. Although there is no command to commit to such an intense level, it seems convincing that Jesus shows how important relationship development is to growing a disciple. If this does not happen, the disciple may feel ‘handled’ like a project and not a person. The person should know they are loved, not only by Christ, but also by their mentor.

 

-Ministry:

Training disciples in service and evangelism. Service is any work done with the motivation to honor God. This could be buying a cup of coffee for a coworker, or caring for those who have been marginalized by society and affected by injustice, making time and offering provisions for those who are hurting spiritually and physically. Evangelism is spreading the gospel by public preaching or personal witness.

  • Matthew 24:14 - “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 - “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation

The model has been set for us by Jesus The Messiah. The mission of equipping us as believers to communicate our faith to the world was a huge component of discipleship in Jesus’ approach. Word, Relationship and Ministry work together to holistically model discipleship principles taught by Jesus. The goal of discipleship is to develop healthy believers that walk by faith, communicate their faith, and multiply their faith.

Fuel Life leadership is committed to disciple those who will not take us for granted or waste time but rather earnestly desire to be faithful stewards to what has been entrusted to them.

  • 2 Timothy 2:1,2 – “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

We seek three main qualities of a disciple:

  1. Faithful – there must be confidence that what is being entrusted to the person will be in good hands.                            

  2. Available - a willingness to be around. He or she must model commitment.                                                                 

  3. Teachable - It is impossible to teach someone who thinks they know everything and are not receptive to instruction or rebuke. Just as Jesus modeled, we are not to waste the stewardship of our lives with the unreceptive.

This should pour out into all the functions of Fuel Life and its various ministerial activities.

 

 

- The Word of God

We adhere to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura which is the Latin ablative; "by Scripture alone" this is the Protestant Christian doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for a soul’s salvation and holiness in this lifetime. We also trust that Jesus Christ is at the center of all interpretation of Holy Scripture. He is the Logos by which all things are that ever were; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” - John 1:1-4. Jesus Christ has been revealed in the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Scriptures to be the only true hope of mankind by accurately fulfilling an astounding amount of prophecies that have been historically proven to have been written centuries before His visitation to this world. It is our sacred duty to protect, practice and share this precious knowledge for generations to come, until His physical return.

 

 

- God’s Honor

To honor means to hold in high esteem, to respect greatly. We know that by training our minds to see as God sees, and our hearts to care as God cares, it is only then that we will change the most. It is only by placing our energy, emotions, and even our worldview at God’s disposal that a door is opened within us for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We trust that the genuine Christian life is not to be seen only as a declaration of what Jesus did for us but to grow beyond this primary acknowledgment and be endowed with a deeper spiritual maturity that makes the way we live about Him being honored and not the other way around. Teaching and holding fast to these disciplines will bring about an experience of joy, strength, closeness and favor with God that the world will notice.

 

- Prophecy

Without prophecy we can have no real claim to authenticity. The truth of who Jesus is, and the revelations of the Judeo/Christian God must be self-evident to be valid. Christianity is unique. The true Christ-like way is not just another religious system devised by yet another man’s religious ambitions and clever insights. We practice the teaching and critical analysis of the hundreds of prophecies as they relate to Jesus. Doing this will give each disciple of Christ spiritual independence and an overwhelming sense of awe as it becomes clear that Jesus and the prophecies written and prophetic events that occurred concerning Him could only have been orchestrated by the multi-dimensional supreme being that is and operates outside of our time/space reality. This is core to the life changing, transcendent and indisputable foundation of all we trust to be true about Jesus Christ.

 

- The Holy Spirit

Jesus said to his disciples: “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” -John 16:7.  This is paramount to our faith and function in this day and age until Jesus returns. The ‘Fuel’ in Fuel Life is referring to The Holy Spirit filled life, a life that is alive, and burning bright with the continual awareness and expression of God’s ever present power in our life. We teach that the Holy Spirit can be quenched, resisted, ignored, and even misunderstood in the believer’s life. It is essential to revere the Holy Spirit, who bears witness of Jesus Christ and His teachings: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”- John 14:26. We must continually cultivate a life of being filled with the Holy Spirit, knowing the scriptures, praying for a deepening awareness, and manifesting the gifts and fruit of The Spirit as God sees fit. All leaders and staff must have a solid biblical understanding of The Holy Spirit and be able to demonstrate His power in their own lives. Living Water by Chuck Smith is required reading for all individuals ministering at any level with Fuel Life.

 

- Prayer

It is a vital component if not the single most important factor to a Holy Spirit filled life. Prayer is often the most neglected, undervalued aspect of the believer’s walk. All would agree it is important but “the flesh is weak” and easily distracted. It is crucial to model Jesus by consistently praying to the father in all we do. We teach how and why we must make prayer a constant in the believer’s life. Without it we will lack power. Prayer is needed to be effective, have unity, grow wise, hear from God, or affect any real and lasting change in the spirit of a person. We believe prayer is an expression of worship. Prayer is intercession. Prayer is confessional. It is talking to God. Prayer is listening for and meditating on His Word to come alive in us providing guidance and conviction. Prayer is the essential portal for God’s will to be made known and established in the believer’s life both individually and corporately. The core premise of all Fuel Life gatherings both corporately and in home groups will be to that edifying end, in honor of Isaiah 56:7 - “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”  

 

- Worship

The scriptures teach that man judges the outward but God sees the inward. God said; “…For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” We desire to adore Jesus with our hearts, our lives, gifts and talents. King David was a man after God’s heart. We desire that same passion, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We believe worship is glorifying God with songs of all genres, media, dancing and the arts. God is creative and orderly; as such we believe all creative gifts should be employed with excellence in the work of the ministry, furtherance of the Gospel and the edification of the body. Worship of our amazing God should be inspired, innovative, original, freeing, expressive, glorious, and transforming. Musically it can be with a band concert style, a single person reading Psalms, the use of a DJ, or simply an acoustic set. The style is not as important as these three tenants we believe are essential for true worship to happen: God the Father is the focus. Jesus Christ is the Focus. The Holy Spirit is the focus.

 

- Benevolence

The love of Christ is most beautifully demonstrated by meaningful acts of giving and charity. The apostle James aptly states in his epistle chapter 1:27; “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” Jesus said; “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; “I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” -Matthew 25:34-40.  It is our belief that loving others in this way is how we also love our Lord best. As such a portion of our finances and ministry efforts will go to directly impact those in need in our community from within the body first and then the immediate local community. We believe it should be done with the fear of the Lord, great discretion and humility towards those we are helping as if it is “Jesus in disguise” We believe our benevolence activity should not be turned into a public relations or ministry promotion opportunity, that we may honor Christ’s teaching in Matthew 6:3 “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…”

 

- Missions

Missions is about reaching the lost, fulfilling The Great Commission, and doing benevolence to a greater and more global degree. We believe it is important to include in our financial budget the support of those who go out beyond our local community for the sake of the Gospel. It is by doing so that The Lord’s kingdom expands and our world view is shaped to see humanity as He does. This is especially important when equipping and training our youth to see Christianity lived out beyond the borders of our common demographic.

 

- Family

Being a parent is a tremendous responsibility for any human being. We know that children are extremely precious to the Lord, and the family is the most impactful part of a child’s development. We believe in keeping families healthy and together by placing Jesus at the center through teaching, counseling, guidance, and assistance. We believe in being a village to help the single parent raise their child in the ways of the Lord. We believe in laboring with and helping parents train up their children in the way and teachings of Christ as stated in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” We trust that training families to pray, study God’s word, and worship God together will increase inter-generational fellowship and create a bond that lasts a lifetime.

 

What we trust to be true: Statement of Faith

 

We strongly believe there must be a proper doctrinal balance between knowing and adhering to the integrity of God’s word and the importance of the Holy Spirit’s influence and fruit in a believer’s life.

 

 

We believe in the following:

 

  • To ascribe to all the fundamental doctrines of the evangelical Protestant church and “The Apostles’ Creed” as embodying all the fundamental doctrines of orthodox evangelical Christianity to include but not limited to diligent study of God’s Word, regular fellowship, and participation in adult baptism by full immersion and the observance of communion.

 

  • To follow scripture in the laying on of hands for the sending out of pastors and missionaries, and in conjunction with the anointing of oil by the elders for the healing of the sick.

 

  • We trust in the inerrancy of Scripture. That the original manuscripts which comprise The Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the inspired, infallible Word of God for our rule of faith and practice.

 

  • God is one Supreme Being responsible for all creation. God is personal yet sovereign, triune in three equally functioning dimensions as The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

  • The Father, is both a biblical term of endearment and authority ascribed to the grand architect and creator of the physical universe and beyond into all the spirit realms. He is infinite, personal, a Spirit perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love; He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; He hears and answers prayer; and He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

 

  • Jesus Christ is God and fully human, He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, provided for the atonement of our sins by His death on the Cross, was bodily resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit, ascended back to the right hand of God the Father, and makes intercession for those who place their faith in Him. Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit on the believers in Jerusalem, enabling them to fulfill His command to preach the Gospel to the entire world, an obligation shared by all believers today.

 

  • The Holy Spirit was sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower in ministry all who believe in Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide.

 

  • There is a baptism of the Holy Spirit giving power for service, either at the time of or subsequent to regeneration, which is a separate work from the indwelling Spirit for salvation.

 

  • The Holy Spirit is still present and active in the world today.

 

  • To practice and teach the scriptural exercise of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Bible, the greatest gift being God’s love.

 

  • People are naturally sinful thus separated from God because of sin, but salvation, redemption, and forgiveness of sin is freely offered to all by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • If and when a person repents of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, trusting Him to save, that person is born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God, destined for Heaven.

 

  • Hell is a real place set up for Satan and his angels. It is the final stop for all who God Judges as being in rebellion against Him and who have rejected Jesus Christ and the salvation offered by His sacrifice.

 

  • Water baptism is for a consenting person who understands that baptism is a conscious, outward expression of an inward change, and that baptism by full immersion in water is the next step in the Christian walk.

 

  • We trust in God’s divine prerogative. That is to say we are neither Calvinists nor Arminian. We respectfully acknowledge that there are many scriptures to support both views, however since the scriptures are God breathed they cannot be contradictive. It is for this reason that we believe God being supremely sovereign can choose when to enforce His will on earth or in a person’s life (as is the case with prophecy and judgment). However we also believe He can choose to allow and observe man’s free will being exercised. He can even choose to allow circumstances to occur outside of His own immediate will to teach man responsibility and the realities consequence. In all this we trust God is just yet merciful. This is a mystery that is His alone and we respect it as being is His divine prerogative. He alone is the glorious creator of the universe and judge of all sentient, self-conscious beings be they human or angelic.

 

  • There will be a rapture of the Church. We hold the position that when this will happen is ultimately up to God the Father. At Fuel Life, we earnestly hope for a pre-tribulation rapture of the church before the seven-year tribulation period as described in Revelation, chapters 6 through 18. We respectfully appreciate all 3 views held in this matter acknowledging that all hold some biblical veracity. In the final analysis it can be said that the rapture WILL happen. We believe it is just not clear as to exactly when. It is important to us that whichever belief a person may hold, it should not be a point of contention or division. Nor should this affect our walk of faith. Holding either one of the three interpretations as the “right one” does not make a person anymore lost or saved, as such we at Fuel Life see the wisdom in having an attitude of “Hope for pre-trib but be prepared for a post-trib rapture.”

 

  • We strongly believe in the literal 1,000-year reign of Christ on the earth as described in Revelation chapter 20, And that the second coming of Jesus Christ with His saints to rule on the earth will be personal, pre-millennial, and visible.

 

  • We believe after Jesus Christ elders are the next authority in the church just as the apostles were in the book of acts.

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  • Elders must be able to function as pastors and or teachers but do not have to be in that function to be an elder.

 

  • The teaching pastor is an elder and is responsible for shepherding the people and oversees teachings, staff, and leadership. He is accountable to God the other elders, and the deacons.

 

  • An associate pastor does not necessarily have to be and elder.

 

  • Elders must fit and abide by the descriptions given in scripture.

 

  • An elder is qualified by demonstrating faithfulness, maturity, and gifting.

 

  • Elders are appointed by the teaching pastor to care for the spiritual needs of the congregation, as are deacons to help the elders care for the material needs of the church.