This is an old Doctrinal Statement which was posted on this site from 2001-2007. My theology, and even my thinking about how to do theology, has changed drastically since then so please do not take this Doctrinal Statement as a statement of what I actually believe.
Some of it I still do believe, but the rest of it…not so much.
Which parts are which? Ah, well, that is a good question, isn’t it? I am trying to figure that out myself, which I am doing in my series on Theology. Of course, what I have written there is not guaranteed to represent what I believe today…but that’s the fun of it.
So, for what it’s worth, here is what I used to believe. And make sure you skip to the bottom to see my “Simplified Doctrinal Statement.”
The Bible is the only inspired Word of God, without error in both it’s words and ideas, and the only rule for the Christian life, practice and doctrine. The 66 books of the Old and New Testament are the fully complete and authoritative revelation of God to man.
See Mt. 5:18; John 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21
There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons the Father, Son and Holy Spirit each of whom possess all attributes and characteristics of deity and personality.
See Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; Mt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Rev. 1:4-6
In light of current theological trends, we believe that God has a full and complete knowledge of all events, past, present and future, possible, impossible and probable. We also believe that while it is unsafe to overemphasize one attribute of God above another, if we had to pick “one defining characteristic” of God, it would not be the sovereignty of God, as some say, nor would it be love, as others say. Both must be taken together as a outworking of God’s holiness (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8).
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He is God incarnate, was born of a virgin, and lived without sin. On the cross, He died as a substitute for all the sins of all mankind and accomplished justification for all who believe in Him for eternal life. As proof that His sacrifice was acceptable to God, He rose from the dead on the third day, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. From heaven, He intercedes for all Christians as our Great High Priest. He will come again in the air to rapture His church, and then physically to the earth to receive His kingdom.
See Mt. 3:17; Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1, 14; Acts 1:10-11; Rom. 3:24-25; 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:23-28
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son into the world to apply to benefits of the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners and convicts them of their need of a Savior. At the moment a person believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life, the Holy Spirit regenerates, indwells, baptizes and seals them for the day of redemption.
The victorious Christian life is accomplished through the filling, or controlling of the Holy Spirit. This is accomplished by faith as we immerse ourselves in the Word of God. The signs of being filled are the fruit of the Spirit, singing, thanksgiving, and mutual submission. The signs and wonders that were accomplished by the early church were for the purpose of authenticating and verifying the message that Christ and the apostles were teaching. While God can and still does cause signs and miracles to accompany the spread of the Gospel, we no longer need them for verification purposes because we have the Word of
God as the guide for life and doctrine.
See John 3:5-8; 14:16-26; 16:5-15; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:11; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:18-21
The first human, Adam, was created in the image of God. Through disobedience he sinned, and was separated from a relationship with God. He died spiritually, and suffered the corruption of his body and nature, making him unable to please God. All individuals born since Adam suffer the same consequences. All men are sinful, lost and are in need of the saving grace of God. This grace cannot be merited by our own good works, and cannot be experienced by any person in the entire world apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ.
See Genesis 3:1-19; Rom. 3:10-20, 23; 8:12-21; Eph. 2:1-3; 8-9
God, out of love for the human race, sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, paid the full penalty for human sin when He died on the cross. Any person who believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life receives that gift which, as the words “eternal life” suggest, can never be lost. Once a person believes, they are safe and secure for all eternity.
However, a Christian can, through sin and disobedience, experience the discipline of God and lose his fellowship, joy, power, testimony, physical life and future reward. The relationship is eternal and secure; fellowship is conditional upon obedience
to the Word of God.
See John 3:16-18; 5:24; 6:47; 10:27-30; Rom. 3:21-25; 4:5; 8:38-39; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 Tim. 1:15-16; Titus 3:3-7; Rev. 22:17
All believers during the present age are members of the body of Christ, the church, and are united to Christ and to one another by the indwelling Spirit. The Word of God commands believers to gather together in local congregations, to devote themselves to fellowship, prayer, the teaching of the Word, and the observance of the two ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and the water baptism of believers. The goal of the church is the glorification of God though the edification of the body for the evangelization and discipleship of the world. Biblical church government is by a plurality of elders.
See Mt. 4:10; 28:19-20; Eph. 4:11-16; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Cor. 1:2; 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:11-16; 5:24-30; Col. 3:16; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 5:17-18; Heb. 10:23-25
The End Times
There will be a pretribulational rapture of all the dead and living Christians of this present church age. Following soon after the rapture will be the seven year tribulation period during which times God’s judgment will be poured out upon the earth. At the
end of this seven year period, Christ will return physically to the earth to judge those who have survived the tribulation and set up His kingdom which will last for 1000 years. At the end of the millennium, there will be a resurrection of all the unsaved dead, and they will be brought to the Great White Throne Judgment where they will be judged and condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire with Satan and his fallen angels. Following this, Christ will create a new heaven and a new earth which will last forever.
A Simplified Doctrinal Statement
I recently tried to simplify and summarize my doctrinal statement. It currently reads like this:
- Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human.
- Jesus was crucified on a cross, died, was buried, and rose again physically from the dead, and will return physically in the future to rule and reign over the earth with justice and righteousness.
- Eternal life is granted by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone.
- There will be a future physical resurrection for all who believe in Jesus for eternal life.
- The church is currently God’s primary means for accomplishing His mission in the world.
As of today, there is nothing on this more recent statement with which I disagree. This doesn’t mean that I disagree with the points from above that didn’t make it onto the list, only that I didn’t think they were crucial to include on a statement of my core beliefs.