Statement of Faith Section 1: The Bible
I believe the Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). In faith I hold the Bible to be inerrant in the original writings, God-breathed, and the complete and final authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17). While still using the individual writing styles of the human authors, the Holy Spirit perfectly guided them to ensure they wrote precisely what He wanted written, without error or omission (2 Peter 1:21). How seriously do I take the Bible?
Subsection for Clarification: The Bible vs Tradition — Only the Bible is Authoritative
(1) It is Scripture that is said to be God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), and it is Scripture that has the repeated, “Thus saith the LORD...” In other words, it is the written Word that is repeatedly treated as God’s Word. Never is it said of any church tradition that it, too, is God-breathed and infallible.(2) It is to Scripture that Jesus and the apostles appeal time after time in support or defense of their actions and teachings (Matthew 12:3, 5; 19:4; 22:31; Mark 12:10). There are over 60 verses in which you find “it is written...” used by Jesus and the apostles to support their teachings.(3) It is to the Scriptures that the church is commended in order to combat the error that was bound to come (Acts 20:32). Likewise, it was the written Word that was seen in the Old Testament as the source of truth upon which to base one’s life (Joshua 1:8; Deuteronomy 17:18-19; Psalm 1; Psalm 19:7-11; 119; etc.). Jesus said that one of the reasons that the Sadducees were in error concerning the resurrection is that they did not know the Scriptures (Mark 12:24).(4) Infallibility is never stated as the possession of those who would become church leaders in succession of the apostles. In both the Old and New Testaments, it is seen that duly appointed religious leaders could cause the people of God to err (1 Samuel 2:27-36; Matthew 15:14; 23:1-7; John 7:48; Acts 20:30; Galatians 2:11-16). Both Testaments exhort people to study the Scriptures to determine what is true and what is false (Psalm 19; 119; Isaiah 8:20; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17). While Jesus taught respect toward religious leaders (Matthew 23:3), an admonition which the apostles followed, we have the apostles’ example of breaking from the authority of their religious leaders when it was in opposition to what Jesus had commanded (Acts 4:19).(5) Jesus equates the Scriptures with God’s Word (John 10:35). In contrast, when it comes to the religious traditions, He condemns some traditions because they contradict the written Word (Mark 7:1-13). Never does Jesus use religious tradition to support His actions or teachings. Before the writing of the New Testament, the Old Testament was the only inspired Scripture. However, there were literally hundreds of Jewish “traditions” recorded in the Talmud (a collection of commentary compiled by Jewish rabbis). Jesus and the apostles had both the Old Testament, and the Jewish tradition. Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus or any of the apostles appeal to the Jewish traditions. In contrast, Jesus and the apostles quote from or allude to the Old Testament hundreds of times. The Pharisees accused Jesus and the apostles of “breaking the traditions” (Matthew 15:2). Jesus responded with a rebuke: “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3). The manner in which Jesus and the apostles distinguished between the Scriptures and tradition is an example for the church. Jesus specifically rebukes treating the “commandments of men” as doctrines (Matthew 15:9).
(6) It is Scripture that has the promise that it will never fail, that it will all be fulfilled. Again, never is this promise given to the traditions of the church (Psalm 119:89,152; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; Luke 21:33).(7) It is the Scriptures that are the instrument of the Holy Spirit and His means for conquering Satan and changing lives (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17).
Section 2: God
I believe in one God, who is Creator of all (Deuteronomy 6:4; Colossians 1:16), who has revealed Himself in three distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14), yet who is one in being, essence, and glory (John 10:30). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), infinite (1 Timothy 1:17), and sovereign (Psalm 93:1). God is omniscient (Psalm 139:1-6), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-13), omnipotent (Revelation 19:6), and unchanging (Malachi 3:6). God is holy (Isaiah 6:3), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and righteous (Exodus 9:27). God is love (1 John 4:8), gracious (Ephesians 2:8), merciful (1 Peter 1:3), and good (Romans 8:28).
Section 3: Jesus Christ
I believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is God incarnate, God in human form, the expressed image of the Father, who, without ceasing to be God, became man in order that He might demonstrate who God is and provide the means of salvation for humanity (Matthew 1:21; John 1:18; Colossians 1:15).
I believe that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit therefore He did not inherent the sin of Adam (Romans 5:12); He was born of the virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27, 34); that He is truly fully God (John 20:28; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8), and it is equally clear that He is truly human (Romans 1:2–4; 1 John 4:2–3). Jesus claimed the divine name (John 8:58) and did things that only God can do (Mark 2:1–12; Luke 7:48–50). But Jesus also displayed the weaknesses and vulnerabilities common to humanity (Luke 19:41; John 19:28); that He lived a perfect, sinless life; that all His teachings are true (Isaiah 14, Matthew 1:23). I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for all humanity (1 John 2:2) as a substitutionary sacrifice (Isaiah 53:5-6). I hold that His death is sufficient to provide salvation for all who receive Him as Savior (John 1:12; Acts 16:31); that our justification is grounded in the shedding of His blood (Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:17); and that it is attested by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6; 1 Peter 1:3).
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven in His glorified body (Acts 1:9-10) and is now seated at the right hand of God as our High Priest and Advocate (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).
Section 4: The Holy Spirit
I believe in the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). He regenerates sinners (Titus 3:5) and indwells believers (Romans 8:9). He is the agent by whom Christ baptizes all believers into His body (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). He is the seal by whom the Father guarantees the salvation of believers unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14). He is the Divine Teacher who illumines believers’ hearts and minds as they study the Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).
I believe that the Holy Spirit is ultimately sovereign in the distribution of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). I believe that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, while by no means outside of the Spirit’s ability to empower, no longer function to the same degree they did in the early development of the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 2:20; 4:7-12).
Section 5: Angels and Demons
I believe in the reality and personality of angels. I believe that God created the angels to be His servants and messengers (Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 148:2; Hebrews 1:14).
I believe in the existence and personality of Satan and demons. Satan is a fallen angel who led a group of angels in rebellion against God (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-15). He is the great enemy of God and man, and the demons are his servants in evil. He and his demons will be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
Section 6: Humanity
I believe that humanity came into existence by direct creation of God and that humanity is uniquely made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). I believe that all humanity, because of Adam's fall, has inherited a sinful nature, that all human beings choose to sin (Romans 3:23), and that all sin is exceedingly offensive to God (Romans 6:23). Humanity is utterly unable to remedy this fallen state (Ephesians 2:1-5, 12).
Section 7: Salvation
I believe that salvation is a gift of God’s grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christ’s death fully accomplished justification through faith and redemption from sin. Christ died in our place (Romans 5:8-9) and bore our sins in His own body (1 Peter 2:24).
I believe salvation is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Good works and obedience are results of salvation, not requirements for salvation. Due to the greatness, sufficiency, and perfection of Christ’s sacrifice, all those who have truly received Christ as Savior are eternally secure in salvation, kept by God’s power, secured and sealed in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24). Just as salvation cannot be earned by good works, neither does it need good works to be maintained or sustained. Good works and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation (James 2).
Section 8: The Church
I believe that the Church, the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all believers of this present age (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27). I believe in the ordinances of believer’s water baptism by immersion as a testimony to Christ and identification with Him, and the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of Christ’s death and shed blood (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Through the church, believers are to be taught to obey the Lord and to testify concerning their faith in Christ as Savior and to honor Him by holy living. I believe in the Great Commission as the primary mission of the Church.
It is the obligation of all believers to witness, by word and life, to the truths of God’s Word. The Gospel of the grace of God is to be preached to all the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20).
Section 9: Things to Come
I believe in the blessed hope (Titus 2:13), the personal and imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His saints (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). I believe in the visible and bodily return of Christ to the earth with His saints to establish His promised millennial kingdom (Zechariah 14:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6). I believe in the physical resurrection of all men—the saints to everlasting joy and bliss on the New Earth, and the wicked to eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:46;John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13).
I believe that the souls of believers are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where they await their resurrection when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21;1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). I believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until their resurrection when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne of judgment and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15).
Section 10: Engage & Equip
My mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God who has revealed himself through Scripture and nature (Belgic Confession, Article 2, The Means by Which We Know God)
Section 11: A high view of both Scripture and science—because the words of the Bible and the facts of nature come from the same Source, from God himself, who chose to make himself known. (Belgic Confession, Article 2, The Means by Which We Know God). Therefore, Scripture and the record of nature MUST agree since God has given us these two ways by which we may know Him. To suggest that it is okay that these the two records given to us by God, can disagree with each other, would make God out to be a lier. Since God cannot lie, deceive or mislead His children which would be a contradiction of who He has revealed Himself to be (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 92:15; Malachi 3:6; Romans 3:4; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; James 1:17-18), I am forced to reasonably conclude that in such instances in which the record of nature appears to be in contradiction to the Word of God, it will always be as a result of an err on the part of man. An example in which there appears to be a contradiction in the minds of some people between these two records may be seen over the (non-salvation issue) of "Young Earth vs. Old Earth."
Section 12: Apologetics for the sake of evangelism—because history awaits completion of the commission Christ charged his followers to fulfill (Matthew 28:16-20).
Section 13: Constructive integration of God’s revelation (in Scripture and nature)—because truth will always be consistent, wherever it’s found. (Belgic Confession, Article 2,
The Means by Which We Know God)
Section 14: Commitment to application—because intellectual engagement should lead to effective evangelism, not merely to winning arguments.
Section 15: Ongoing development of a testable creation model—because the world needs a positive, growing case for faith in a caring Creator.
Section 16: Readiness to give reasons (1 Peter 3:15a)—because people have questions and doubts that deserve reasonable, well-researched responses.
Section 17: Communication of those reasons with gentleness, respect, and a clear conscience (1 Peter 3:15b)—because people observe attitude and demeanor as much as they listen to words.