I am writing this series to inform people what I believe to be absolute truth. It is my hope that through these postings that I will be able to give a better idea of my beliefs and be able to offer encouragement to others who are seeking out Christ, or to provide at least some perspective on why I hold so strong to my faith. To Christians and Non-Christians alike, I ask that you please read in the months ahead with an open mind. I realize their might be some differences in opinion or specific doctrine that I dwell on, but ask that we can carry on this discussion in a respectful manner. My intent here is not to save you – only God can open your eyes and ears to the truth. My goal is just to inform you the best I know how, about the grace that God can provide in your life.
I wanted to start by showing part of the church’s constitution that I attend, as its Statement of Faith aligns perfectly with mine. I’ve replaced “We” with “I” to make it a bit more personal. This might seem a bit mundane, but I feel it is important that I showcase this, as I will use it as a foundation for the rest of my posts and will be something that I reference back to continually on various topics.
I believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament. The Bible is the very Word of God without any mixture of error and is therefore our only authority in all matters of faith and conduct (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21; Matthew 5:17-18)
The True God
I believe that one true, eternal God exists as a triunity of three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; equal in every divine perfection, but executing distinct but harmonious offices (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14).
I believe in God the Father who is, perfect in holiness, boundless in love, infinite in wisdom, and measureless in power. I believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayers, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ, His Son (Isaiah 6:3; 1 John 3:6; Psalm 147:5; Revelation 19:6; John 3:16).
I believe in Jesus Christ, God the Son, preexistent with the Father, begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; sinless in His nature and life; infallible in His teaching; making atonement for the sins of the world by His substitutionary death on the cross. I believe in His bodily resurrection, His ascension into Heaven, His perpetual intercession for His people, and His literal pre-millennial, pre-tribulational return (John 1:1, 14; Matthew 1:18-25; I Peter 2:22; Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
I believe in the deity and the personality of the Holy Spirit. He is the agent of the New Birth, who at the time of salvation permanently indwells and seals the new believer (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13, 14) and baptizes (places) him into the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13). He further ministers to the believer teaching (I John 2:27), interceding (Romans 8:16), guiding (Romans 8:14), filling (Acts 4:31), and imparting spiritual gifts (I Peter 4:10; I Corinthians 1:11).
I believe that the gifts of healing, tongues, and other revelatory gifts served a unique purpose in the apostolic church and are not in operation today (Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 2:4, Acts 5:12).
I believe the Genesis account of creation. I believe that man came by direct creation of God, not by evolution, and that the days of creation were literal twenty-four hour periods (Genesis 1; Genesis 2:7; Colossians 1:16, 17).
I believe God created innumerable, sinless spiritual beings known as angels. They serve as God’s ministering messengers, advancing the cause of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 26:53; Psalm 148:2-5; Hebrews 1:14).
I believe that a number of these holy angels were led away into sin when they followed Satan in his rebellion against God (Matthew 12:24; II Peter 2:4; Jude 6).
I believe in the personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, the originator of all the powers of darkness, and he is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Matthew 4:1-3; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10).
I believe that man was created in the image of God; that he sinned and thereby incurred not only the physical death, but also that spiritual death which is separation from God. I believe that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and, in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought and deed by choice (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:1-6; I Timothy 2:14; Romans 5:12).
I believe that eternal life is offered by God as a free gift to man and that man can in no way contribute to this gift through good deeds or religious sacraments (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Romans 5:12).
Eternal life can only be received as a repentant person exercises saving faith in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross and in His resurrection from the dead (Romans 10:9; I Corinthians 15:14; John 1:12).
I further maintain that the new birth is the instantaneous impartation of life and not a process, and that all those who are truly born again can never lose their salvation; they are eternally secure (John 10:27-29; I Peter 1:5; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 8:35-39; Ephesians 1:13-14).
I believe that a Christian’s life should be characterized by a progressive growth in Christ-like character and conduct (Titus 2:11-14; Philippians 3:10-17; Ephesians 2:10; I Thessalonians 4:3).
This progressive maturity results from a partnership between the triune God and the dedicated, disciplined Christian (John 15:1-4; II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 6:11-19; I Timothy 4:7).
I further maintain that each believer is individually responsible before God to reach his own convictions, beliefs and practices (II Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:13-23).
I also believe that full maturity will not be complete until the glorification of the Christian at the rapture of the church (I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Philippians 3:20-21, I John 3:2).
I believe that the universal church is a New Testament institution, a spiritual organism, composed of all regenerated people from Pentecost to the Rapture, with Christ as its head (Acts 2:1-4; I Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; I Thessalonians 4:14-17).
I believe the local church is a congregation of immersed believers, having two offices: elder and deacon; and two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The local church is sovereign in polity and is banded together for edification, worship, and worldwide evangelism (Acts 2:40-42; Acts 6:3-4; Philippians 1:1; II Corinthians 8:19).
I believe in the priesthood of the believer (I Peter 2:9, I Timothy 2:5) and the responsibility of every believer to be equipped and ministering to others according to their spiritual gifts, for the edification of others and the maturing of the body (I Corinthians 12:7, Ephesians 4:12-16).
I believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water. This immersion is a solemn and beautiful emblem showing identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior through whom we died to sin and rose to a new life. I believe that baptism is to be formed under the authority of a New Testament church and that it is a prerequisite to the privilege of church membership (Acts 8:36, 38-39; Romans 6:3-5).
I believe that the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of His death until He comes and should be preceded always by solemn self examination (I Corinthians 11:23-28; Matthew 8:18, 20; Acts 2:41-42).
I believe in obedience to the biblical commands to separate ourselves unto God from worldliness, ecclesiastical apostasy, and religious compromise (II Corinthians 6:14-17; II John 7-11; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; Romans 16:17).
I further maintain that the church should remain separated from the state. The church should not seek to rule the state nor should the state rule the church (Matthew 22:21).
I believe in the imminent, pre-millennial return of Christ for His Church. At that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of tribulation (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21; Revelation 3:10).
I believe that the great tribulation, which follows the rapture of the church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the literal, millennial kingdom (Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9:6, 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 20:14, 6)).
I believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead; the saved to eternal life and blessedness in Heaven, and the unsaved to eternal conscious suffering and woe in Hell (John 5:29).
These kind of beliefs make up the framework of my faith. If any of this comes across as confusing, I ask that you stay with me in the weeks and months ahead. Adhering to these beliefs is not something that came easily in my life. To give a bit of background, before I was saved in 2006 I had a very misconstrued view of Christianity. Being raised up in Catholicism, I didn’t have a full understanding of the importance of Jesus’s death on the cross. My faith is now based on a system where there are no works I could have done to have received salivation and the promised gift of entrance into heaven. I live my life everyday with the attitude that I can do nothing without Christ, which is in deep contrast to the typical American dream of “Believe in Yourself”.
I will provide a much more in-depth look into these areas of my faith in future postings.