On occasion I have been asked “What exactly do you believe?” Well, for those of you interested I have chosen to include a brief (relative term) statement of faith. Obviously it is not exhaustive, but it should be more than enough to give you an idea as to where I stand. I give you permission to hold me accountable to these statements. If any post should run contrary to what I have professed to believe I would hope that in genuine brotherly (or sisterly) love you would call me on it. Please enjoy.
1. The Inspired Scriptures
The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God. It is the fundamental revelation from God to man, which contains the whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, obedience, faith and life. All scripture is living and powerful and derives its authority from God its author, who is truth itself. Therefore, the Bible is all sufficient and superior to human conscience and reason and is the final authority for Christian faith and conduct.
Matt 5:18, John 17:17, 2 Tim 3:15-17, Heb 1:1-2, Heb 4:12, 2 Peter 1:20-21
2. The One True God
The Lord our God is the one true God and has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent, self-revealed “I AM”. By His very nature He is in every way infinite in being, perfection, power, knowledge, truth, goodness, and love. Through Him all things were created, and His essence cannot be fully comprehended by any but Himself. In this divine and infinite being there are three persons, the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit. All are one in substance, power, and eternity; each having the whole divine essence, yet this essence being undivided. Each member of the one true triune God is equally deserving of our worship and obedience.
Gen 1:1, Exod 3:13-14, Deut 6:4, Psalm 50:10-12, Psalm 90:2, Is 45:5-7, Is 48:12-13, Matt 28:19, John 1:1-3, Acts 17:24-25, 1 Cor 8:4, 2 Cor 13:14, Col 2:9, Rev 1:8
3. The Fall of the Human Race
Man was directly and immediately created by God, for His glory, in His image and likeness. The first man, Adam, was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God. Although God created Adam upright and perfect and revealed to him His will, which secured life while he kept it, Adam wilfully chose to disobey God’s Word. The result of Adam’s sin was the loss of his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. Since all men are in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men for all ages. Therefore, all men are sinners by nature and by choice, warranting the judgment their sin rightly deserves.
Gen 1:26-27, Gen 2:7, Gen 3:1-19, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Jer 17:9, John 3:36, Rom 3:10-18, Rom 3:23, Rom 5:12-19, Rom 6:23, 1 Cor 2:14, Eph 2:1-3, Titus 1:15, 1 John 1:8
4. The Salvation of the Human Race.
Knowing that man was incapable of meeting the penalty resulting from his transgressions, God willingly took upon Himself the responsibility of satisfying all the requirements His justice and holiness would demand. God’s plan was accomplished whereby in the fullness of time God the Father sent His incarnate Son Jesus into the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ, who added to His divine nature the nature of a man, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. He bore the wrath of a most holy God in punishing our sin upon Christ. When God’s holiness and righteousness was satisfied He declared it finished. Consequently every repentant sinner who responds by faith and receives Him as Savior and Lord is justified on the basis of Jesus Christ’s shed blood. The Holy Spirit baptizes each believing person into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation and empowers them to follow and serve Him. God graciously makes this faith available so that His elect can act in response to the Word of God, and be saved. The gift of salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works.
John 1:12, John 3:14-18, John 6:37-40, Rom 10:8-10, 1 Cor 12:13, 2 Cor 5:21, Eph 1:3-10, Eph 2:8-10, Heb 12:2, Titus 3:4-7, 1 Peter 1:18-19
5. A New Creation in Christ
Those who are united to Christ by grace through faith according to scripture effectively become a new creation, instantaneously being sanctified unto God by justification and declared to be holy. The Believer is regenerated, having their old sin nature removed and a new heart and spirit created in them through virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection. In addition to addressing the Believer’s eternal position and standing, provision was made for their present state and the mortification of the flesh which battles against the Spirit. The believer is progressively brought closer to the likeness of Christ and lives a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
Ezek 36:25-27, John 3:5-6, John 17:17, Rom 6:1-22, 1 Cor 6:11, 1 Cor 10:13, 2 Cor 3:18, 2 Cor 5:17, Gal 5:19-24, Col 3:5-10, 1 Thes 4:3-5, 2 Thes 2:13, 2 Tim 2:20-23, Heb 10:10, Heb 13:12, 1 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 1:2-10
6. The Work & Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has many functions, roles, and activities. In the world He predominantly works in the hearts of all people everywhere convicting them of sin and righteousness and judgement. After baptizing the believer into the body of Christ He continues His ministry by helping, comforting, guiding, revealing the truth, and producing fruit in the believers life. In addition, and for the common good, the Holy Spirit gives gifts to believers in order that we may function as the body of Christ on earth. All of these gifts, both great and small, are given by the Spirit so that we may be His ambassadors to the world, showing forth His grace and glorifying Him. The gifts of the Holy Spirt are His and are apportioned as He wills.
John 14:16, John 16:7-15, Acts 1:8, 1 Cor 2:12-16, 1 Cor 12:1-31, Gal 5:22-23
7. The Local Church
All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately engrafted by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the Universal Church, the bride of Christ of which Christ is the head. Although the Church is a unique spiritual organism in which all Believers are united, it manifests its practical expression in the formation and continuation of local assemblies. Christ is the one supreme authority for the local assembly and all leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship in the church are appointed through Him. There are biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly to whom He has given His authority in directing the church. The officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications. The purpose of the church is to glorify God by building itself up in the faith, by the instruction of the Word, by fellowship, by keeping ordinances, and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world. The local church is also the vehicle through which Christ equips His saints for the work of the ministry through discipleship, discipline, and mutual accountability.
Acts 2:41-42, Acts 20:28, 1 Cor 12:12-2, 1 Cor 14:33, Eph 1:22-23,Eph. 2:11–3:6, Eph 4:4-16, Eph 5:23-32, Col 1:18, Heb 10:24-25, Heb 13:7, Heb 13:17, 1 Tim 3:1-13, 1 Tim 5: 2 Tim 2:2, 2 Tim 2:15, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Peter 5:1-5
8. The Blessed Hope
The Bible clearly shows that the Believer has an assured hope and need not fear nor mourn death as the world does. Though the bodies of the redeemed after death return to dust, and undergo corruption, their souls, which neither die nor sleep, immediately passes into the presence of God. The souls of the righteous will remain in paradise waiting for the full redemption of their bodies, whereupon their soul and body will be reunited and glorified forever. In contrast, upon death the souls of the wicked are cast into hell where they remain reserved to the great Day of Judgment.
Ecc 12:7, Dan 12:2, John 5:28-29, Rom 8:10-11, 1 Cor 15:35-52, 2 Cor 5:8, Phil 1:23, 1 Thes 4:13-18, Jude 6-7