Doctrinal Statement (12/12/12)

Doctrinal Statement

Bibliology

  • I believe the Bible is a Special Revelation from God (Hebrews 1:1; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume One  43)
  • I believe the words of Scripture were “inspired,” meaning “breathed out by God” (II Timothy 3:16-17; Packer 7-21).
  • I believe God supernaturally used men to write the words which God desired them to write through the superintending work of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21; I Corinthians 2:13).
  • I believe that every prophecy of Scripture must, and will be fulfilled, for Jesus Himself declared this truth (Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17; John 10:35).
  • I believe that not all of the events of Jesus’ life were included in the four gospels, but enough evidence has been revealed and is available to communicate the Gospel message of Jesus Christ (John 21:25; I Corinthians 15:1-4; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume One  61).
  • I believe in the important doctrine of inerrancy for the “original manuscripts”- they are without error (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume One  94; Ryrie 90).
  • I believe in the verbal plenary inspiration doctrine – every word is from God (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Ryrie 97-98).
  • I believe that the Bible is infallible and holds the ultimate, “divine authority” in truth (Psalm 12:6; Psalm 33:4; John 17:17; Geisler 494-495; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume One  91; Ryrie 94).
  • I believe that the 66 books in the protestant canon are Scripture – God’s Word (John 10:35; Galatians 1:20; II Timothy 3:14-15; II Peter 3:15-16; Geisler 514; Ryrie 119-124)
  • I do not believe that the apocrypha, the book of Mormon, the Qur’an, or anything other than “Scripture” is the inspired, Word of God (Galatians 1:8-9; Geisler 537; Ryrie 121-122)
  • I believe in the doctrine of illumination – “Divine enlightening” of the believer  (Psalm 119:18, 34, 130; Ephesians 1:17-18; I Corinthians 2:12-14; II Timothy 2:7; 1 John 2:27; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume One  57)
  • I believe that the normal, literal, consistent interpretation of Scripture is necessary for understanding Scriptural truths (II Peter 3:15-16; Geisler 178; Ryrie 126)
  • I do not believe that there is a single “translation” of the Bible that is more inspired than another or that is “specially inspired.” I commonly use the KJV, NKJV, ESV, HCSB, NASB, and NET. However, I believe that certain translations should only be used as a personal paraphrase or commentary, rather than for exegetical pulpit preaching [i.e. The Message] (II Timothy 3:16; Davids; Panosian 73)

Theology Proper

  • I believe in the one and only true God Who has revealed Himself to His creation; there is no other God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; Romans 1:19-20)
  • I believe there are three persons in the Trinity, but of one “essence,” and only one God. The Father, as well as the Son and Holy Spirit, are recognized as God both in unity and individuality (Genesis 1:2; Genesis 18:12; Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1; John 6:27; John 20:31; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 8:9; Titus 2:13; I John 5:20; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume One  275)
  • I believe God is eternal, with no beginning or end (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2, 4; Isaiah 9:6; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:17; Titus 1:2; Grudem 168-170)
  • I believe God is the Creator of the universe, which was pronounced “good” from the beginning (Genesis 1-2; Isaiah 43:15; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2; Revelation 4:11)
  • I believe God is omnipresent (I Kings 8:27; Psalm 139:7-10; Jeremiah 23:23-24; Acts 7:48; Grudem 173-176)
  • I believe God is sovereign and all-powerful (Genesis 17:1; Job 9:12; Psalm 29:10; Psalm 83:18; Romans 1:16; Romans 9:19; I Corinthians 6:14; Revelation 1:8)
  • I believe God is omniscient (I Samuel 2:3; Psalm 147:4-5; Acts 15:18; 1 John 3:20)
  • I believe God is perfect in righteousness (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 11:7; Psalm 19:9; Psalm 48:10; Psalm 119:137; Romans 3:24-26; II Corinthians 9:9; I John 2:29; Grudem 323)
  • I believe God is pure and holy (Leviticus 11:44; Joshua 24:19; John 17:11; I Peter 1:15; I John 1:5; Revelation 4:8)
  • I believe the Father has authority over Jesus and the Holy Spirit, He is the source; the three Persons are also in perfect and loving union (John 17:21; Romans 8:3; I Corinthians 11:3, 6:19, 15:24; Galatians 4:6; Philippians 2:7)
  • I not only believe that God is a God of love, but also that He sets the standard for genuine, authentic, Biblical love (Psalm 146:8; Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16-17; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:4; Hebrews 12:6; I John 3:1; I John 4:8-9, 16-17, 19)
  • I believe that God is immanently and personally involved with His creation (Job 12:10; John 17:3; Acts 17:28; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 4:13)
  • I believe that while God has revealed Himself, He will never be fully comprehended in all of His ways (Job 37:23; Psalm 139:6; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Ecclesiastes 8:17; Isaiah 45:15; Romans 11:33-36; I Corinthians 2:16)
  • I believe that God is the One who provides salvation, and secures the believer forever through the sanctifying preservation of the Holy Spirit (Genesis 15:6; John 10:27-29; Romans 4:16; Romans 5:15, 21; I Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 3:7)

Angelology

Angels

  • I believe that all angels, “innumerable” in number, are spirit beings, created by God – originally created no later than the sixth day of creation (Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 12:22; Grudem 401)
  • I believe that there are different delineations of angels, namely cherubim and seraphim – though, it is possible that all three are individually, distinctive, heavenly beings altogether (Genesis 3:24; Psalm 18:10; Isaiah 6:2-7; Ezekiel 10; Grudem 298)
  • I believe that all angels are “equipped with moral judgment and high intelligence, but without a physical body” – though sometimes they have taken on a bodily form or are made visible to humans (Matthew 28:5; Luke 24:39; Hebrews 1:14; Grudem 397, 1235)
  • I believe that angels are very powerful beings, at times summoned by God for action (Psalm 103:20; Matthew 28:2; II Peter 2:11; Revelation 12:7-8)
  • I believe that angels do not necessarily possess a gender, nor are they “given in marriage” – though when taking on a bodily form or appearance, what the Bible reveals does resemble masculinity (Daniel 9:21-27; Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25; Acts 1:10; Revelation 12:7-9)
  • I believe that the elect angels (angels who did not rebel with Satan) are perfect beings, submissive to God’s service through obedience and worship (Matthew 2:13, 2:19-20, 4:11, 13:39, 25:31; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 22:43; I Timothy 5:21; Revelation 7:11)

Satan and Demons

  • I believe that some of the angels rebelled from God, thus followed the lead of Satan; these fallen angels are called demons and are “confirmed in their evil, rebellious state,” contrary to the elect angels in confirmed holiness (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-15; John 8:44; Ryrie 145, 163-5)
  • I believe that Satan acts in opposition to God and His people (Genesis 3:1-6; Matthew 4:1-11; II Corinthians 11:14-15; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10)
  • I believe that while Satan is powerful, God is more powerful than Satan, and ultimately Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity (Genesis 3:15; Job 2:1-6; Revelation 20:10)
  • I believe that demons who dwell throughout the earth work in opposition to God and His people, deceiving, oppressing, and sometimes possessing men and women to fight against God – However, God is still more powerful (Matthew 4:24; Mark 5:3-4; Luke 13:11; James 3:15; Revelation 16:14)
  • I believe that demons, though some are already confined in a place called “tartarus,” will end up in the same destination as Satan – the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41; Jude 6; II Peter 2:4; Revelation 20:10)

Anthropology

  • I believe that God created the first man and woman “good,” free from sin, prior to mankind’s decision to act in disobedience to God (Genesis 1:31, 2:7; Ecclesiastes 7:29
  • I believe that God is the one who forms life at the moment of conception and is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; Job 33:4; Psalm 139:13-16; I Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9)
  • I believe that man is composed of a body, soul, and spirit, also commonly known as the immaterial versus material (Matthew 10:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume Two 11)
  • I believe that true satisfaction and meaning of life is found in a joyful pursuit of obedience to God, worshipping Him alone (Ecclesiastes 12:13; Isaiah 43:7; I Corinthians 10:31)

Hamartiology

  • I believe that sin is a “transgression of the law of God” and is displayed as an action contrary to God’s character and standard (I John 3:4; Enns 310)
  • I believe that sin entered into the world through Adam’s sin – while being a test of obedience to God, this action was done so with the responsibility being placed on Adam (Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 3:23, 5:12)
  • I believe that a human sinful nature has been passed down to all generations (I Kings 8:46; Psalm 14:1-3, 51:5; Romans 5:12, 19)
  • I believe that the eternal punishment for sin is God’s holy wrath, for that is the well-deserved justice (Matthew 16:27; John 3:18, 31, 36; Romans 6:23)
  • I believe that man is “totally depraved” in that an unsaved person can commit moral choices, but they cannot come to repentance without the work of God’s interceding[1] (Isaiah 1:5-6, 64:6-7; Matthew 19:25-26; Romans 1:28, 3:11; I Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1, 2:8-9, 4:17-19; Breshears and Driscoll 156-157; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume Two 63-67)

Christology

  • I believe Jesus Christ to be one of the three Persons of the Godhead Trinity, equal with the Father and Holy Spirit, yet subordinate in certain roles and submission (John 1:1; John 6:38; John 10:31; John 20: 28; Colossians 2:9)
  • I believe Jesus has existed eternally (John 1:15; John 3:31; John 8:58; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 22:13)
  • I believe Jesus created all things and in him all things are held together (Genesis 1:1, 28; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:3)
  • I believe Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection were prophesied in the Old Testament and perfectly fulfilled in the New Testament (Genesis 3:15; Genesis 22:18; Psalm 69:21; Psalm 110:1; Psalm 132:11; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53:1-12; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 11:12; Zechariah 13:7; Malachi 3:1)
  • I believe that Jesus, though eternally God, became flesh by being born of an earthly mother named Mary who was a virgin (Luke 1:34-35; John 1:14, 17; Romans 8:3; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:7-8; I John 4:2; Breshears and Driscoll 221-228)
  • I believe Jesus has been eternally sinless before, during, and after His life on earth and will remain impeccable[2] (John 18:38; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26-27; I Peter 1:19; I Peter 2:22; I John 3:5; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume Two  149)
  • I believe that Jesus did not lose His divine attributes during His life on earth, but chose when to use them and when to endure His circumstances without supernaturally imposing His attributes’ abilities (Matthew 4:2; Matthew 8:26-27; Matthew 11:27; Matthew 18:20; Matthew 26:39; Luke 4:39; Luke 5:22; Luke 9:47; John 11:41-44; John 16:15; Ephesians 3:8; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:16-17; Colossians 2:9-10; Hebrews 1:10-12)
  • I believe that through the substitutionary death of Jesus, the believer receives Christ’s righteousness, and has a restored relationship with God (Matthew 20:28; Romans 3:23-26; Romans 10:9-10; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:26; 1 John 2:2; Enns 232)
  • I believe that Jesus was raised back to life, through the power of God, three days after His crucifixion and likewise giving life to those who believe in Him (Romans 6:5; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Colossians 2:12; Colossians 3:1)
  • I believe that Jesus is currently interceding for believers at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 12:2; I John 2:1)
  • I believe that Jesus will return as King, ruling on the promised Davidic throne for His earthly Kingdom reign (Isaiah 9:7; Ezekiel 37:24-25; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 2:29-36)

Soteriology

  • I believe that before the foundations of the world, eternity past, God elected certain individuals to redeem and reconcile to Himself (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:1-5; II Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:1-2; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume Three 5)
  • I believe that God’s foundational purposes in electing and redeeming fallen man are to glorify His own Name, exhibit His love, and declare His holiness (Romans 9:22-23; Ephesians 1:6, 12; I Peter 2:9; Aquinas pt. 1, q. 23, art. 5)
  • I believe that God’s basis for choosing His elect in eternity past rested upon His own grace, love, sovereignty, and omniscience – not according to foreknowledge of events or personal responses, but foreknowledge of determining to provide grace towards the elect (Romans 8:29-30, 11:2; Ephesians 1:3-12; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume Three 22-23; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament 715-716)
  • I believe that God’s provision for salvation, through the atoning work of Christ on the cross, is available for every individual – the “whole world”[3] – and is received or personally appropriated by faith (I Timothy 2:3-4, 4:10; Hebrews 2:9; II Peter 2;1; I John 2:1-2; Erickson 841-852)
  • I believe that Christians are justified by faith alone (Genesis 15:6; Romans 3:20-22, 3:26, 3:28, 4:5, 5:1, 8:30-34, 10:4, 10:10; Galatians 2:16, 3:24)
  • I believe in the eternal security of the believer in Christ, finding assurance in being justified and by the sealing of the Holy Spirit (John 10:27-29; Romans 4:5, 8:1, 8:38-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 1:6)

Pneumatology

  • I believe that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity, equally God in essence, distinct in personhood (Matthew 3:16, 28:19; Luke 3:22; I Corinthians 2:11)
  • I believe that the Holy Spirit, while invisible, is a person, possessing intellect, emotion, and will (John 5:39; Romans 8:27; I Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 4:30)
  • I believe that the Holy Spirit supernaturally teaches believers (John 14:16, 14:26; I Corinthians 2:10-13)
  • I believe that the Holy Spirit is greatly involved in salvation – regeneration, sanctification, and sealing (Ezekiel 36:27; John 3:3-8; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; II Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 3:5)
  • I believe that the Holy Spirit worked in the process of superintending men to write the Holy Scriptures (II Samuel 23:2-3; Mark 12:36; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21; Enns 258)
  • I believe in the doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, occurring at the moment of salvation, places each new convert into the Body of Christ (Acts 1:5, 11:15; Romans 6:3,5; I Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27-28; Ryrie 417-421)
  • I believe that the Holy Spirit permanently indwells Christians (John 14:16; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:13)

Ecclesiology

  • I believe that the Church is a New Testament entity, formed of believing Jews and Gentiles, beginning at Pentecost in Acts chapter two and prophesied in Matthew sixteen[4] – it was a mystery until the present dispensation/age (Matthew 16:18; Acts 1:5, 2:4; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 3:6)
  • I believe that the purpose of the church is to gather together to worship God and to be better equipped for making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8, 2:42-47; Breshears and Driscoll 307)
  • I believe that local churches are smaller assemblies which are composed of believers also included in the universal Church, otherwise known as the Body of Christ (Acts 2:36-41; Romans 16:5; I Corinthians 16:19; Ephesians 5:25)
  • I believe that God has equipped local churches with two leadership positions: Pastors and Deacons, both reserved for men who meet the spiritual qualifications (Ephesians 4:11; Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9)
  • I believe that the church consists of having a plurality of leadership but a congregational ruling for final authority (Matthew 18:15-20; I Corinthians 5:4-5, 5:13; James 5:14; Grudem 933-935)
  • I believe that local churches are instructed to remember Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection by observing the two ordinances: Baptism[5] and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 2:46-47, 8:38; I Corinthians 10:16-21, 11:29-30)
  • I believe that all Christians should be faithful members of local churches to edify their local body of believers, to be accountable to one another, and to meet the needs of fellow believers (Ephesians 4:12; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 5; James 2:14-18, 5:16; 1 John 3:16-18)

Eschatology

  • I believe that Scripture teaches a pre-tribulational rapture of the church (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:51-58; Ryrie 537-538)
  • I believe that Scripture also informs of a seven-year tribulation period, otherwise known as the seventieth week of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:21; John 16:33; Revelation 6-19)
  • I believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth right after the promised Second Coming, establish His kingdom, and reign on the Davidic throne for a one-thousand year period immediately prior to the New Heavens and the New Earth – eternity future (Isaiah 11:4, 65:20; Matthew 23:39; Revelation 19:15, 20:2-7)
  • I believe that judgment of the saved will occur at the Judgment Seat of Christ, rewarding their good works[6] (I Corinthians 3:12-15, 9:24-27; I John 2:28)
  • I believe that the unsaved will be judged at the Great White Throne and will face an eternal, conscious, separation from God, tormented in a literal place called hell – originally prepared for the devil and the fallen angels (Matthew 25:41; John 5:29; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:10-16)
  • I believe that Christ will deliver the earthly throne after the Millennium to the Father while believers will enjoy eternity in the New Heavens and New Earth, forever worshiping God in their glorified bodies (I Corinthians 15:24, 15:35-54; II Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:1-5; McCune, Systematic Theology: Volume Three 433-436)

 

 

Works Cited

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica. trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province.

Benzinger Bros. Edition, 1947. Web. 12 Dec. 1012. www.ccel.org.

Breshears, Gerry and Mark Driscoll. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton:

Cross, 2010. Print.

Davids, Peter H. “Three Recent Bible Translations: A New Testament Perspective.”

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 46.3 (2003). Web. 9 Apr. 2012.

Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago: Moody, 1989. Print.

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998. Print.

Geisler, Norman. Systematic Theology: Volume 1. Grand Rapids: Bethany House, 2002.

Print.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000. Print.

McCune, Rolland. A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity: Volume One. Detroit:

Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2009. Print.

McCune, Rolland. A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity: Volume Two. Detroit:

Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2009. Print.

McCune, Rolland. A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity: Volume Three. Detroit:

Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2009. Print.

Packer, J.I. “Hermeneutics and Biblical Authority.” Themelios 1.1 (1975): 3-12. Print.

Panosian, Edward. What is the Inspired Word of God. Greenville: BJU Press, 1979. Print.

Ryrie, Charles C. Basic Theology. Chicago: Moody, 1999. Print.

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley

and Gerhard Friedrich. electronic ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-.


[1] It should be noted, however, that man is fully responsible for his lack of repentance. The human responsibility of repenting exists, does occur in all who respond to the Gospel by faith, and is needed for salvation. Still, repentance should still be viewed as something that the Holy Spirit must be involved with in order to provide salvation, which is regeneration (John 3:3, 16:8-11; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Overall, repentance is a responsive action of faith that the Holy Spirit has made possible.

[2] I would further specify that it is my opinion that Christ has always been impeccable (including His earthly ministry) due to His omnipotence and Deity.

[3] This means that I believe Jesus died for both elect and non-elect individuals. Election took place in eternity past, however Christ’s atonement was made at an appointed time in human history.

[4] I believe that Israel is distinct as an entity due to the Old Testament promises, such as the unconditional covenants, yet to be fulfilled with Israel. The Church, Jews and Gentiles included, participate in present spiritual blessings found in Jesus Christ.

[5] I believe that churches should only baptize professing believers, and done so by immersion (credobaptism).

[6] Though it should be reminded that I believe good works are not what reconciles man to God, for that is only through Jesus Christ, our Intercessor. On the other hand, God has made it clear that Christians will be rewarded for their good deeds committed while in fellowship with God.

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