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Extended Compilation of Doctrinal Statements

by Christopher Warrington


Divinum Mysterium

I BELIEVE the infinitude of God inherently contains attributes our finite minds cannot comprehend (Is 55:8-9). This is the Divine Mystery. As Christians, we struggle with difficult issues, growing in our knowledge (2Pt 3:16-18), while living in assurance that Scripture states everything God desires us to know (Dt 29:29) if we do not allow our bias to get in the way (1Co 1:18, 2Pt 3:17). The following are my current understandings and beliefs in regards to central theological doctrines.

The Doctrine of Bibliology

I BELIEVE that the very spoken Words of God written down are not the sole means of communication by God (Lk 1:1–3, Jn 14:26); but that God has also communicated to His Church through the Canon of Scripture (2Ti 3:16, 2Pe 1:20). I BELIEVE all 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament are the total books which belong in the Bible.

In its full Canon, I BELIEVE the entire Bible is completely authoritative (Jn 14:26, 1Co 14:37) as being the very words of God (2Ti 3:16; 2Pe 1:20-21). This is what the Bible claims for itself (Dt 18:18-20, Mt 1:22), which we are convinced of as we read the Bible (Jn 10:27, 1Co 2:13). Thus, I BELIEVE that Scripture is self-attesting and, though useful, the Bible does not require outside evidence to prove it’s authority. 

I BELIEVE that we can be assured of nearly 99% of what the original manuscripts stated. I BELIEVE that the Cannon contains no error, within its original manuscripts, that is contrary to any fact (Ps 12:6; Pr 30:5; Nu 23:19); and that no false ideas of the author’s day are found within the Biblical truths (Lev 11:44, Titus 1:2; Heb 6:18). 

I BELIEVE in the Clarity of Scripture in that it is written so that God’s Word could be understood by people of all ages (Gal 1:2; Php. 1:1), education backgrounds (Mt 12:3, 21:42, 22:29) and ethnic heritages (Ro 15:4; 1Co 1:2), who truly seek God with pure motives (1Co 1:18, 2:13-16). 

I BELIEVE that the proper way of interpreting Scripture is with a group of believers thus preventing false teachers (Ac 20:29, 1Ti 4:1, 6:3). I BELIEVE that interpretation should also be done in humble prayer for guidance (Ps 119:18, 1Co 2:14) as well as by looking at the larger context of the Bible to test whether the interpretation agrees with the rest of Scripture.

Because Scripture is the very Word of God given to us in written form, I BELIEVE that the role of Scripture in Theology is to be a verifiable source to study from and interpret God’s truths. I BELIEVE that we are to meditate on these truths “day and night” (Jos 1:8, Ps 1:1-2, 119:97) in order that we may teach others what God has for us to learn (Lk 6:40, 2Ti 3:16). 

I BELIEVE that the translation we use to study God’s Word should be as close to the original meaning as our language allows. I BELIEVE that every word is important and thus the translator should translate no less and no more than what the original manuscript contained (Mt 5:18, Rev 22:18). I choose to study primarily from either the New American Standard Bible or the English Standard Version.

I BELIEVE that Scripture is necessary for our spiritual lives (Dt 8:3, Lk 4:4): from understanding the message of Salvation through the Gospels (Ro 10:13-17, Jn 3:18) to maintaining Spiritual growth (Mt 4:4, 1Pe 2:2) and for understanding certain parts of God’s Will (Dt 29:29, 1Jn 5:3). The Bible is not necessary though for knowing that God exists as we can see evidence of that through nature (Ps 19:1, Ac 14:16-17, Ro 1:19-21).

I BELIEVE that the Bible is sufficient for guidance (Ro 8:9-16; Gal 5:16-25) in every aspect of our lives and that there is no modern knowledge which should ever be placed above or on par with the Word of God. I BELIEVE that since Scripture is completely sufficient, we are not to add anything to it, nor take anything from it thus limiting the revelation that God has given to us (Pr 30:5-6, Rev 22:18-19). I BELIEVE that the Bible is sufficient in knowing everything about sin and what to stay away from (Ps 119:1), everything about God’s commands and what He desires for us to do (Ps 119:44-45, 165), and everything about God that He wishes for us to know (Dt 29:29).

The Doctrine of God

I BELIEVE that by inherent understanding (Ro 1:21, 1Pe 1:8), external observation (Ac 14:17, Ro 1:20) and written revelation (Ge 1:1, Jn 1:1) we can be assured of the existence of God. 

I BELIEVE that though we can not fully understand His infinite characteristics (Ps 145:3, Isa 55:9, Ro 11:33), we can understand aspects of His character without any doubt (Mt 11:27, Jn 1:18, Ro 1:19).

I BELIEVE that though God is unchangeable in His core being (Mal 3:6, 2Ti 2:13, Jas 1:17), He can change the way He feels and acts depending on the situation (Jnh 3:10).

I BELIEVE that though anthropomorphized in scripture (Isa 54:5, 61:10; Lev 26:12), God is spiritual (1Ki 8:27, Jn 4:24) and invisible (Jn 1:18, 1Ti 1:17).

I BELIEVE that God always acts through every attribute fully and perfectly in every situation (Ps 18:30, Mt 5:48). 

I BELIEVE that He is unified through His characteristics in that He is peaceful (Ex 34:6-7, Jn 14:27, Ro 15:33) while at the same time righteous (Isa 45:19, Ro 3:25-26), and wrathful (Dt 9:7-8, Ro 1:18) as He is a jealous God (Ex 20:5, Jos 24:19, Isa 48:11), desiring His revealed (Dt 29:29, Mt 7:21, Eph 5:17) and secret Will (1Co 4:19, Eph 1:11, 1Pe 3:17) to be done.

I BELIEVE that God is eternal (Ps 90:1-2, Job 36:26) and omnipresent (Ps 139:7-10, Jer 23:23-24, Col 1:17). 

I BELIEVE that God is wise (Job 12:13, Ro 16:27), knowledgeable (Mt 6:8, 1Jn 3:20), and holy (Ps 71:22, 1Pe 1:16) which makes all that He says truthful (Nu 23:19, Titus 1:2) and all that He does good (Ps 100:5, Jas 1:17). 

I BELIEVE that God is faithful to His word (La 3:22-23, Heb 6:18) as He is loving (Jn 3:16; 1Jn 4:8,16), merciful (Ps 103:8, 2Co 1:3), gracious (Ex 33:19, 1Co 15:10, 1Pe 5:10), and patient (Ex 34:6, Ro 2:4).

I BELIEVE that God is independent from all things (Ac 17:24-25, Ro 11 :35-36) yet is omnipotent (Jer 32:27, Mt 19:26, Eph 3:20) and sovereign over all things (Jer 32:17, Eph 1:11) and so acts freely according to His pleasures (Ps 115:3, Pr 21:1). 

I BELIEVE God is filled with blessedness (Ge 1:31, Pr 8:30-31, ITi 6:15) and beauty (Ps 27:4, Ps 73:25) and radiates glory (Ps 104:1-2, Lk 2:9) to which all creation responds in worship (Rev 4:8,11).

I BELIEVE that God is a triune God in that He is a single God (Dt 6:4, Eph 4:4-6) who has eternally existed (Ge 1:26-27, Jn 1:1) as three persons (Mt 28:19, 2Co 13:14); Father (1Jn 2:1), Son (Jn 10:30) and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19, Jn 1:32-33) yet as one God (Dt 6:4–5; Ro 3:30) and no other (Isa 45:5-6, Jn 5:44).

I BELIEVE in the Holy Spirit of God who gives evidence of the blessings of God the Father (Isa 44:3, Joel 2:28-29). I BELIEVE that the Spirit of God was sent as a helper for the Church by the Father (Jn 14:16, 26) and the Son (Jn 16:7) and that through the Spirit the Church is unified (2Co 13:14, Eph 4:3).

I BELIEVE that He indwells believers (1Co 6:19) and manifests Himself in a Godlike Atmosphere (Isa 11:2, Ac 9:31, 2Ti 1:7). He strengthens to do service (Dt 34:9, Ac 10:38). He purifies (1Co 6:11), renews (Titus 3:5), gives gifts (1Co 12:11, Heb 2:4), reveals (Eph 3:5), guides and directs (Ac 8:29, Gal 5:16), provides assurance (Ro 8:16), gives words of speech (Lk 12:12. 1Co 2:4), teaches (Jn 14:26), intercedes on our behalf (Ro 8:27), and illuminates the believer’s understanding of the Scripture (Ps 119:18, 1Co 2:12).

I BELIEVE in His power to give life freely as a gift from God (Jn 6:63, 2Co 3:6). He convicts the world of its sin (Jn 16:8) and when the gift of life is accepted, the new believer is born of the Holy Spirit (Jn 1:13, 3:5) and is made anew (Jn 3:6-7, Eph 4:23), thereby becoming a child of God (Jn 1:12, Ro 8:16).

The Doctrine of Creation

I BELIEVE that God created the universe out of nothing (Gen 1:1, Jn 1:3) in order to show His glory (Ps 19:1-2, Isa 43:7) and that in its original state it was “very good” (Gen 1:31).

I BELIEVE in the providence of God in that He is presently active in preserving the universe (Col 1:17, Heb 1:3) as well as acting within creation directing their distinctive properties toward His Will (Eph 1:11). I BELIEVE that He is in divine control of all events (Prov. 16:33) as well as the inanimate creation (Ps 135:7, Job 37:6–13), animals (Ps 104:27–29, Mt 6:26), the work of nations (Job 12:23, Ac 17:26) as well as all aspects of our lives (Ps 139:16, Php 4:19). And as such, I BELIEVE that we should trust in His care (Mt 10:29-31, Ps 121:1-ff).

I BELIEVE that, even though God is in control of all aspects of creation, He allows evil to happen for His good (Ge 50:20, Ro 8:28) and we should never blame Him for the acts of evil (Job 1:22, Jas 1:13–14).

The Doctrine of Prayer

I BELIEVE in the power of prayer in that it can change the way God acts (Lk 11:9-10, Jas 4:2) and brings about forgiveness of sins (1Jn 1:9).

In order that our prayers are not hindered, I BELIEVE in the forgiveness of those who have sinned against us (Mt 6:14-15, Mk 11:25), the maintenance of the marriage relationship (1Pt 3:7), as well as the confession of our sins through prayer (Mt 6:12, 1Jn 1:9).

I BELIEVE in prayer to God the Father (Mt 6:9; Jn 16:23), God the Son (Ac 1:24, Ac 7:59) or God the Spirit who is with us even now (Ro 8:16, Jn 14:16, 26). And when we pray, we should pray according to God’s will (Mt. 6:10, 1Jn 5:14–15) with confidence (Heb 10:22) trusting in Jesus as our mediator (Jn 14:6, 1Ti 2:5). 

I BELIEVE in praying in the Spirit (Eph 6:18, Jude 20) by the power of Jesus Christ (Jn 15:16, 16:23-24) and with faith (Mk 11:24, Heb 11:1), obedience (1Pe 3:12, 1Jn 3:21–22) and humility (Lk 18:11–12 , Jas 4:10). 

I BELIEVE we should pray earnestly (Da 9:19, Heb 5:7) with thanksgiving (Php 4:6, Col 4:2) and without ceasing (Lk 18:1–8, 1 Th 5:17) while waiting on the Lord (Ps 27:14, 130:5–6) trusting that He knows our needs before we even ask (Mt 6:8).

I BELIEVE in both private (Mt. 6:6, Lk 5:16) and communal prayers (Mt. 6:11–13, 18:19–20) but that prayer should not be in the public as to gain glory for oneself (Lk 14:11, 18:9-14). 

I BELIEVE that this type of prayer is acceptable and pleasing to God (1Th 5:18). But, if prayer goes unanswered it may be because we are not praying as we ought to (Ro 8:26) in God’s will (Jas 4:3) asking in faith (Jas 1:6-8). And, if prayer remains unanswered we are to trust God to care for us according to His promises found through Scripture (Ro 8:28, 1Pe 5:7).

I BELIEVE when we pray according to God’s will and through the power of Jesus, I BELIEVE miraculous things can occur (Jn 11:38-44, Ac 9:36-42).

The Doctrine of Miracles

I BELIEVE that miracles are actions performed by human beings (Ex 4:2-8, 1Co 12:10) by the power of the Spirit (Jn 3:2, Ro 15:19) for the express purpose of affirming the message of the Gospel (Heb 2:4), authenticating the messenger who preaches the Good News (Ac 8:6-8) as well as to declare that the Kingdom of God has come (Mt 12:28, Lk 9:1-2).

I BELIEVE that we are waging war against the spiritual realm (Eph 6:10-12) and that miracles are our weapons to defend the faith (2Co 10:3-4). I BELIEVE that even today we are to ask God for miracles as the early church did (Ac 4:29-30) and as we are instructed by James to do (Jas 5:14). And I BELIEVE that we are to be on guard for false teachers (2 Co 11:13, 2Pe 2:1-3) who do miraculous things not by the power of the Spirit (2Th 2:9-10, Rev 13:11-14) and take courage that God shall over come their evil (Ac 16:18, 1Jn 4:4).

The Doctrine of Angelolgy

I BELIEVE in the existence of angelic beings who, like humans, are intelligent (Ge 3:1-5; Ep 3:10), created beings (Ps 148:2-5; Co 1:16), morally perfect at their creation (Ezk 28:15), with emotions (Job 38:7; Lk 15:10) and a will (Is 14:12-15; 2 Ti 2:26). Unlike humans, they have no form (Mt 28:3-4), existing as spiritual beings (Lk 8:30, Co 1:16) and can change form to appear as human (Ge 18:2, Mk 16:5) or to have wings (Is 6:2, Ezk 11:22). They do not marry (Mt 22:28-30), they live forever (Lk 20:36) and have great power (Ps 103:20, 2 Pt 2:11). They number in enormous multitudes (Da 7:10; Re 5:11) and they create fear and awe when they appear to humans (Da 8:17, Lk 1:11-12, Re 22:8).

I BELIEVE there are three types of angelic beings: Seraphim (Is 6:2); Cherubim, who both proclaim and protect God’s presence and character (Ge 3:24, Heb 9:5); and the demonic (Ezk 28:15). The first two types are considered Holy Angels elected by God (1 Ti 5:21) and remain morally good and holy (Mk 8:38). They have great diversity based on function; organized by rank and power (Jud 9, Re 19:14), to which some have power greater than that of Satan (Re 20:1-3). They were created to worship God (Ps 148:2, Re 4:6-11) and to serve God (Ps 103:20) delivering his messages (Ge 16:9; Lk 2:9-10). They assist God with His judgment by being messengers of divine judgment (Ge 19:13; Re 8:1-11:15), executers of that judgment on the wicked (Ge 19:1; 2 Ki 19:35), and in the future will assist with the final judgments of God (Re 7:1; 16:1-21) .

I BELIEVE they observe the human race (1 Co 4:9) and are interested in our salvation (1 Pt 1:12). They serve human believers by being messengers of divine revelation (Acts 7:53; Ga 3:19), giving guidance (Mt 2:13-14), protecting and delivering believers from evil (Ps 91:11; Acts 12:5-10), providing for their needs (Ge 21:17-20), encouraging them (Da 10:12; Lk 22:43) answering their prayers (Da 10:12; Ac 12:1-17) and finally ministering to them upon their death (Lk 16:22).

I BELIEVE that demons are fallen angelic beings who were found to have evil within them (Jud 6; Lk 8:2, 11:24). They interfere with the human race by promoting false religions (1 Ti 4:1) and possessing unbelievers (Ac 16:16-18, Mk 5:1-13). I BELIEVE that believers are in a spiritual war with these fallen angels (Ep 6:10-11), but we should have no fear of being possessed by them for greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world (1 Jn 4:4).

I BELIEVE in a great adversary who goes by many names some of which are the devil (Jn 8:44), Belial (2 Co 6:15) and Satan (Mt 4:10). He once was an angelic being created by God to be holy and perfect (Ezk 28:12-15). He fell due to his pride and desire to be exalted higher than his created position (Is 14:13) and is now inherently and completely evil (Jn 17:15, 2 Th 3:3). He rules over and controls demons (Mt 12:24, Re 9:10-11) and has temporary and limited power over this world (Jn 12:31) and the air above it (Ep 2:2).

I BELIEVE Satan works to oppose (Mt 4:10), slander (Jn 8:44), accuse (Re 12:10), deceive (Ge 3:1-6; Re 12:9) and create destruction among humans (Re 9:11). To blind unbelievers to the gospel and cause them to oppose it (2 Co 4:3-4, Mt 13:19) and lead them to carry out his evil will and plans (2 Ti 2:26; 1 Jn 3:8). And he desires to afflict believers by promoting dissension among them (2 Co 2:10-11), tempting them to sin (1 Ti 3:7), persecuting them (Re 2:10), distorting their devotion to God (2 Co 11:3), opposing their ministry (1 Th 2:18) and finally to accuse them before God (Job 1-2; Re 12:10). The final work of Satan will be to miraculously empower the antichrist and the false prophet during the time of the tribulation (Re 13:2), to unleash his demons to torment the human race (Re 9:10-11) and pour out his wrath on Israel (Re 12:17).

But, we can have hope because his ultimate and guaranteed destruction has already started with Christ’s work on the Cross (Co 1:20). He will be permanently cast out of heaven (Re 12:7-10), will gather his legions together for battle (Re 16:14-16) but will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years (Re 20:1-3). After that time he will try a last rebellion against God (Re 20:7-9) to which he will have his final defeat and, along with all his forces, will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for all eternity (Re 20:8-10).

The Doctrine of Anthropology

I BELIEVE in the historical account of Genesis which records that the human race originated by the intentional and purposeful creation act of God (Gen. 1:26, 2:7, 21-22) when He created both male and female in His image (Gen. 1:26-27, 5:1). Though both male and female display different characteristics of God and are unable to display the full image of God (IOG) alone (Gen. 2:18), both sexes shared in the IOG which they passed down to all generations of humankind (Gen. 5:1-3) thus making us all equal inheritors of the IOG endowed with value and worth (Gen. 9:6; Jas. 3:9).

I BELIEVE that a human being is made up of both the material (body) and the immaterial (soul/spirit) (Mt. 10:28, 2 Co. 4:16, 5:1). I BELIEVE that Scripture describes our current existence on earth as a time when the material and immaterial are unified as one and that upon death the material will be shed (2 Co. 2:5-8) and the immaterial will either go into Hades (Jn. 3:16), or if it is covered by the redemptive work of Christ on the cross (1 Co. 15:22), it will have an intermediate existence in heaven (Lk. 23:43, 1 Th. 4:13–17) until the 2nd coming of Christ when the immaterial will be unified again with a resurrected and purified body (1 Co. 15:44, 48, 54; Php. 3:21).

I BELIEVE that the immaterial, the human soul, is created by God sinless and flawless at the time of the person’s conception. This seems to be most consistent with the Genesis account of God breathing the breath of life into Adam (Gen. 2:7), the continued accounts of God breathing life into humanity (Ec. 12:7, Is. 42:5, Heb. 12:9) and the fact that God is a holy God who does not tempt anyone (Jas. 1:13).

I BELIEVE that it is the human soul through which we reflect the likeness of God and thus we are set apart from the rest of creation (Gen. 1:25-27). Since we reflect the IOG we are structurally different from creation in that we can reason and communicate in an abstract manner (Gen. 2:20, Prov. 15:22), as well as make moral choices (Gen. 2:16-17, Ro. 7:14-25). We are also functionally different in that we were setup to be God’s representatives on earth to rule and care for His creation (Gen. 1:26, Ps. 8:5-6). We are relationally different in that we are able to have free and responsible relationships with each other (Ro. 13:8-10) and with God (Mk. 12:30), thus reflecting the unity of the Trinity (Jn. 17:21-22). And finally, we are teleologically different in that we were created to glorify God by allowing the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit to make us more Christ-like in our actions (2 Co. 3:18, Ga. 5:22, 27).

The Doctrine of Hamartiology

I BELIEVE that it is within the body that we reflect our fallen nature; and that it is through the union of the soul with the fallen body (Ps. 139:13-15), passed on through the male (Ro. 5:12, 1 Co. 15:21-22), that the soul becomes corrupt and depraved (Ecc. 7:20-29 Ro. 3:9-23). This means that universally, meaning all humans (Ro. 3:23), every aspect of human nature; heart (Ro. 1:21), mind (Eph. 2:3), soul (1 Tim. 4:2), will (2 Tim. 2:25-26) and desires (Ro. 6:13, 13:14) are corrupted by the fallen and sinful nature of our flesh (Ro. 13:14). This best explains the differentiation of “fleshly” desires (Ro. 13:14) from the desires of our soul (1 Pt. 2:11, Jas. 4:1, Ga. 5:17). This also explains how after being saved we continue to sin (Ro. 7:15-20). This means that we are in a constant battle within ourselves, whether unconsciously as unbelievers (1 Jn. 1:8-10) or consciously as believers (Ro. 7:14-25). And by our own strength, we are unable to continually turn away from our sinful desires and turn toward God (Jn. 6:44) to earn merit for God’s favor (Jn. 3:16). This also means that unless we recognize our fallenness and thus are covered by the redemptive work of Christ (Jn. 5:39-40), the actions of our soul are tainted by the evil of our flesh. 

I BELIEVE that sin started in the Garden of Eden by the act of Adam and Eve disobeying God’s command to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3). It was the act of responding to the temptation to have knowledge like God (Gen. 3:6), and not responding to the will of God (Gen. 2:17), that brought sin into the world. I BELIEVE that, by this act of disobedience, there was a sinful corruption of the entire human race (Ro. 5:12) which, for humankind alone (Ro. 5:12b), brought on both physical death (Ro. 5:12), as physical death was already a part of the rest of creation (Gen. 2:15), and spiritual death (Gen. 2:17). This sinful corruption also began humankind’s conscious knowledge of sin and resulting shame (Gen. 3:7), which changed our intimate relationship with God (Gen. 2:1-ff) to alienation and death apart from Him (Gen. 3:23-24, Jn. 3:16).

I BELIEVE that ultimately sin is a matter of the heart (Mt. 15:19) which is in contrast to God’s attributes (2 Sam. 12:13, Lk. 15:21) and revealed will (Dt. 29:29, Ro. 2:14-16). This is acted out both through ones actions (2 Tim. 3:2-5) and passivity (Jas. 4:17) as well as through their thoughts (Mt. 5:27-28), motivations (Mt. 6:1-5), or consciously or inadvertently causing someone else to sin (Ro. 14:14, 20). This innate nature of sin within humans may be understood as inattention (Jas. 1:22-25), rebellion (Is. 1:2, Heb. 10:26-27), transgression (Dt. 17:2), deception (Mt. 13:5-6), missing the mark (Lev. 4:22-23) or wandering astray (Lev. 4:3) and/or perversion of God’s plan (Mt. 25:14-30).

The Doctrine of Christology

I BELIEVE in Jesus the Christ, eternal (Jn. 1:1; 8:58) and pre-existent before His voluntary incarnation (Jn. 6:46, 62). He is the second person of the Trinity (Mt. 28:19), sharing glory (Jn. 17:5) as well as being one essence with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Jn. 5:17; 10:30; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:6). In His incarnation He was fully human (Jn. 1:1-18; 1 Tim. 2:5; 3:16; Phil. 2:7) and fully divine, though He gave up the exercise of His divine attributes (Mt. 20:28; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:7) while on the earth. These two natures, the human and divine, while fully independent, are fully joined without mixture, change, division or separation (Jn. 17:5; Phil. 2:5-11).

He came to this earth through the power of the Holy Spirit being conceived in the virgin Mary (Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-35). He grew into every respect of humanity, except that of sinning. Though His humanity was able to be tempted (Mt. 4:1, Heb. 4:15), He lived a life without sin (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15, 7:26; 1 Jn. 3:5). He took on the role of a servant and was obedient to the will of God the Father (Mt. 26:39; Jn. 8:28-29; Phil. 2:5-8), thus He willingly submitted Himself to death (Mt. 27:50; Mk. 15:37; Lk. 23:46; Jn. 10:17, 19:30; 1 Cor. 15:3) by crucifixion (Jn. 19:17-18). He was then wrapped in a linen shroud and laid in a tomb (Mt. 27:57-61; Mk. 15:42-47; Lk. 23:50-56; Jn. 19:38-42; 1 Cor. 15:4). On the third day, He rose from the dead (Mt. 28:5-6; Mk. 16:5-6; Lk. 24:4-7; Jn. 20:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:4) in a glorified body (Jn. 20:19; 1 Cor. 15:42-44) and appeared to many people (1 Cor. 15:1-8). After a period of forty days, He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:3-9) where He took His exalted seat at the right hand of the Father, full of honor and glory (Acts 7:55-56; Phil. 2:9-10). We currently await His return when He will establish His Kingdom on earth and where He will oversee the judgment of the wicked (Acts 1:10-11; Mt. 25:31-36; Rev. 20:1-15).

I BELIEVE that the work of Jesus is as three offices. The first office is that of prophet. As prophet, Jesus reveals divine truth and the nature of God the Father (Mt. 21:11) and proclaims both judgment (Mt. 11:20-24) and good news (Mt. 13:44). He fulfilled this office before His incarnation (Jn. 1:9; 1 Pet. 1:10-11), during His incarnation (Jn. 14:9, Heb. 1:1-3) and after His ascension, acting through His Church, until His return (Mt. 28:20; Jn. 16:13-15). The second office is that of Exalted King. As Exalted King, Jesus can currently control the natural universe (Col. 1:17) as well as rule over all of creation (Ps. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:8; Mt. 19:28). He is the head of the Church (Col. 1:18) and one day will return to fully establish His kingdom on earth (Phil. 2:9-11). The third office is that of High Priest. As the High Priest, Jesus helps reconcile humanity to God the Father (2 Cor. 5:18) through His sacrifice on the cross (1 Jn. 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:10) and His intercession for our sanctification (Heb. 7:25; 9:24) and for when we continue to sin (Heb 7:25; 1 Jn. 1:8-9; 2:1; 1 Cor. 1:30).

I BELIEVE that this final office of High Priest is where He performed His atoning work for humanity; this is the basis for God’s gracious work in Jesus Christ. I BELIEVE that it is because of human depravity that Jesus Christ suffered and died to atone for the sins of the human race (Rom. 3:23). Through our depravity we were condemned to spiritual death (Rom. 6:23) and we were/are incapable and unwilling to turn to God by our own ability (1 Cor. 2:14). Because of the grace and love of God the Father, Jesus Christ voluntarily died to provide a solution for our salvation (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8). This voluntary sacrifice was vicarious and substitutionary because He who had no sin, took the place of all guilty humans and bore our punishment instead (Is. 53:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13). This was a penal atonement satisfying God the Father’s justice and wrath (Lev. 16:15-16; 1 Cor. 5:7; Eph. 5:2) on all that accept the gift of salvation (Jn 3:16).

I BELIEVE the results of the atonement are: 1 - propitiation, or a covering over of human sinfulness to satisfy God’s wrath (1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10), 2 - redemption, or the ransom price being paid (Mk. 10:45; Rom. 3:24-25), 3 - reconciliation, or a bridge over the gap separating sinful humans from a holy God (Rom. 5:10; 2 Cor. 5:18-19), and 4 - justification, or a state of declared righteousness before God based on Christ’s righteousness. I BELIEVE that the intent of the atonement was to be universal (1 Tim. 4:10; 1 Jn. 2:2) though the extent is only as far as to those that exercise faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16; Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9), not to those that walk away from the faith (1 Ti 4:1).

The Doctrine of Pneumatology

I BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit (HS) is a separate and individual being of the Trinity. Though there are many angelic type beings (Mk. 8:38, Lk. 7:21) there is only one HS (1 Cor. 12:13). He is not merely a force or the strength of God, but is a separate entity with power to do good work (Lk. 4:14; 1 Cor. 2:4). Though the HS does not have physical form (Lk. 1:35, Jn. 3:8) nor gender, Scripture states that he performs actions and has attributes similar to that of a person. Some of these attributes include a will (1 Cor. 12:11; Acts 16:6-11), intelligence (1 Cor. 2:10-11; Rom. 8:27) and emotions (Eph. 4:30; Rom. 15:30); and actions include teaching (Jn. 14:26), witnessing (Jn. 15:26), sending others/commanding or directing (Acts 13:4), guiding one’s steps (Rom. 8:14), leading one’s actions (Gal. 5:18), convicting (Jn. 16:7-8), restraining (Gen. 6:3), and interceding for believers (Rom. 8:27). Actions can also be taken against the HS; actions like being obeyed (Acts 10:19-21), lied to (Acts 5:3), grieved (Eph. 4:30) and blasphemed (Mt. 12:31).

I BELIEVE that the HS is divine in nature and essence and is of equal portion to the Trinity along with God the Father and Jesus Christ (Mt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). The Bible makes it apparent that the HS is divine as he is associated with God the Father (Is. 6:1-13; Acts 28:25; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 10:15-17), is the same as the Father (1 Co 2:10-11) and the same as Jesus (2 Co 3:17). He is divine in his interactions with the human race as these interactions are described as interacting with God (Acts 5:3-4; Mt. 12:31-32). He is also seen as being set apart as sacred through his ‘holiness’ (Ps. 51:11; Is. 63:10).

I BELIEVE that the primary work of the HS is to be the continued presence of God on earth and through the Church (Jn. 15:26). He was present at the time of creation (Gen. 1:2; Dt. 32:10-11; Is. 63:7-14) and is continually working through creation by giving and preserving life (Job. 33:4, 14-15, Ps. 104:30). He is present through the salvific work of God in that he restrains evil (Gen. 6:3; 20:6; Rom. 13:1-4; 2 Thess. 2:7), convicts of sin (Jn. 16:8-11), regenerates the hardened heart (Rom. 3:10-12), so that we can hear and respond to the gospel (Jn. 1:13; 3:3; Tit. 3:5; 1 Pet 1:23) and come to faith (Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 1:9; Gal. 1:15). And finally, he is active in the baptism (1 Cor. 12:13) and assurance of a believer’s ultimate redemption (Eph. 1:13-14).

I BELIEVE that after the redemption of a person, the HS is active in that believer’s live to help bring about their sanctification (Rom. 15:16; 2 Thess. 2:13). He assists in their sanctification in a few different ways. Firstly, he gives empowerment over sin (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Thess. 5:19; Eph. 5:18) and empowerment for service (Num. 27:18; Mt. 12:28; Acts 1:2, 8; 1 Cor. 3:4; Phil. 1:19) by stimulating love (Col. 1:8), giving inner spiritual power (Eph. 3:16) and delegating spiritual gifts to be used to serve the Church body (1 Cor. 2:12; 1 Cor. 12:11). Secondly, he provides guidance (Mt. 4:1; Acts 8:29; Acts 16:6-7; Rom. 8:14) and promotes unity and fellowship among believers (Eph. 4:3, Phil. 2:1-2; Col. 2:5). As he guides, he also illuminates the scriptures (Eph. 1:17-19), which he inspired the authors of Scripture to write (Num. 24:2; 2 Pet. 2:21), and reveals its meaning to present day believers (1 Cor. 2:12; Jn. 14:16-17; 16:12, 1 Jn. 2:20, 27) by speaking to their souls (1 Cor. 2:12). Thirdly, he helps transform believers by prompting worship of God (Jn. 4:23). Lastly, he remains with believers as a helper and comforter (Jn. 14:16; Acts 13:52; Rom. 14:16) by producing joy (Acts 9:31; 1 Thess. 1:6), convincing them of their status as adopted children of God (Gal. 4:5-6), and giving them inner spiritual strength (Eph. 3:16).

The Doctrine of Soteriology

Common Grace

I BELIEVE that “common grace is the grace of God by which He gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation.” I BELIEVE that God bestows this grace physically (Ps 145:9, 15-16; Mt 5:44-45)1, intellectually (Jn 1:9; Ro 1:21), morally (Ro 1:32; Lk 6:33), creatively, societally (Ge 5:4; Ro 13:1), and religiously (Lk 4:40; 1Tm 2:4) for the purpose of redemption of those that will be saved (2Pt 3:9-10), and to demonstrate His goodness and mercy (Lk 6:35; Ps 145:9), and His justice and glory (Ro 2:5; 3:19).


I BELIEVE that the Bible states that there is a divine order to the nature of salvation (Ro 8:29-30): a pre-state, a beginning state, a continuing state and a future state. It is by this divinely appointed order that people2 are elected to come to a saving knowledge of Christ (pre-state) and into relationship with the Father (the beginning state), are sanctified by the Spirit (the continuing state) and await their final glorification and union with Christ (the future state). I BELIEVE that we can see these and further details throughout scripture (see following).

As of the writing of this statement, I have yet to fully reconcile my understanding and belief on the doctrine of predestination, election and reprobation. I currently feel that there is a battle going on between my mind and my spirit on this issue; and I have yet to figure out which side each is taking. I cannot yet reconcile how a person is without excuse for refusing God (Jn 5:39-40; Ro 1:20), yet is unable to fully comprehend the spiritual world unless God regenerates them (1Co 2:14). If they are without capacity to understand, then how are they without excuse? Yet, I cannot ignore the overwhelming evidence that states that God has predestined an chosen those who are saved (Eph 1:4-6; Ro 8:28-30; 2Ti 2:10; Ro 9:18-24). So, as of this moment, I BELIEVE that God has the divine right, as creator and God, to elect whomever He wills to be saved (Ro 9:18-24) and that He did predestine some to be saved before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4-6) and hardened the hearts of others against Him (Ro 11:7; 1Pe 2:8) - this is also known as reprobation.

I BELIEVE that for the lost to be saved they must hear the salvation call in two distinct ways: both physically (“gospel”) and spiritually (“effective”). These can happen at different times, or at the same time; but, they must have heard the the effective call by which God calls people to him (1Co 1:9, 1Th 2:12) and they must hear the gospel call from the mouth of men (Ac 16:14; Ro 10:14). Once a person has heard that all have sinned (Ro 3:23), that the penalty for that sin is death (Ro 6:23), and that Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for sin (Ro 5:8); they should be told that Jesus invites them into a saving relationship (Mt 11:28, Re 3:20) and that, when they accept that invitation, the forgiveness of their sins is secured (Jn 3:16; 6:37; Ac 3:19).

I BELIEVE that upon hearing these calls, regeneration occurs within the person. I BELIEVE that the mysterious work of regeneration (Jn 3:8) is done completely by the work of God (Ezk 36:26-27; 1Pe 1:3) in which He causes a new spiritual life to be born in the person (Jn 3:5, Col 2:13) so that they are able to understand spiritual things (1 Co 2:14) and conversion is able to take place. I BELIEVE that conversion is the result of regeneration and is a willful response to the “effective” and “gospel” calls. I BELIEVE that conversion requires a sincere repentance by the person (Ac 3:19; Ro 2:4) and a placing of their trust in Christ (Jn 3:16; Heb 7:25) which results in saving faith (Is 55:6-7; Ac 20:21). I BELIEVE that upon conversion two distinctive, yet powerful acts occur simultaneously: the person is justified (Ro 4:16) and adopted (Jn 1:12; Ga 3:25-26) into the family of God.

I BELIEVE that justification is the act by which God (Ro 8:33-34) legally declares the sins, of the person, forgiven (Ro 4:6-8, 8:1), Christ’s righteousness is imputed upon them3 (1 Co 1:30; Php 3:9) and He declares them righteous in His sight (Is 61:10; Ro 3:21-22). I BELIEVE that justification is given entirely by the grace of God (Ro 3:23-24), not by any merit found within them (Ep 2:8-9). I BELIEVE that justification is given by and through their faith in Christ alone (Ro 4:5, 5:1; Ga 2:16) and that, in the context of James 2, works is the result of true faith, not the other way around.

I BELIEVE that adoption is the act by which a person is considered a member of God’s family (Ro 8:14-17; Ga 4:4-7) and I BELIEVE that there are present and future (Ro 8:23) benefits to their adoption. I BELIEVE these benefits include the following: they relate to God as their loving Father (Mt 6:32, Ga 4:7), they are guided and disciplined as children (Heb 12:5-6), they relate to other believers as family (1Tm 5:1-2), they imitate and honor the Heavenly Father (Mt 5:16; Eph 5:1; Php 2:14-15), they share in Jesus’ sufferings and glory (Ro 8:16-17) and they are led by the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:14).

I BELIEVE in the continuing state of salvation, namely that of being filled with the Holy Spirit, sanctified by the Holy Spirit and the perseverance of the saints. I BELIEVE that the terms “baptized by the Spirit” and “filled with the Spirit” are synonymous with one another. I BELIEVE that the day of Pentecost was a unique point in history which marked the transition between the old and new covenant works of the Spirit (Joe 2:28-29; Ac 1:8) and that all new believers are given a “manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” of the Church (1Co 12:7,11). As the Bible mentions times that Jesus was filled with the Spirit, I do not believe that being filled with the Spirit is a necessary stage in salvation, but is an outpouring of being righteous and blessed by God (Lk 4:1).

I BELIEVE that, whereas justification was a one-time act of God in which a person is declared perfectly righteous, sanctification begins at regeneration (Titus 3:5; 1Jn 3:9) and is a continuous act (Pr 20:9; Php 3:13-14 ) in which a person cooperates with God (Php 2:13; 2Pe 1:5), in their present life (Mt 5:48; 2Co 7:1; 1Jn3:6), to increase in holiness (2 Co 3:18; Co 3:10). And where as justification effects the spiritual, sanctification effects the whole person: the physical (Ro 6:12), intellectual (Ro 12:2), emotional (Eph 4:31), the will (Php 2:13), and the spirit (2 Co 7:1).

I BELIEVE in the perseverance of the saints in which all those who are truly saved will be kept by the power of God (Jn 10:27-29, Php 1:6, 1Pe 1:3-5) so as to persevere as Christians (Col 1:22-23; Heb 3:14; 1Jn 2:19) until the end of their lives (Mt. 10:22; Jn 6:38-40). I BELIEVE that those that keep their trust in Christ (Heb 6:12, Jn 3:16), have evidence of regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (1Jn 3:14,17, 4:13) and can see a long-term pattern of growth of holiness in their lives (2Pe 1:5-7,10). I BELIEVE these people have the guarantee and assurance of eternal life (Eph 1:13-14).

I BELIEVE that death is the final consequence of a fallen human state that people face in this world (1Co 15:26, 54-55). It is not a punishment (Ro 8:1) but is a means toward increasing our sanctification (Ro 8:28, Php 1:20) and union with Christ (Ro 8:17; 1 Pe 2:21, 4:13). We should not fear death (2Co 5:8; Php 1:22-23; Ro 8:38-39) and though saddened (Ac 20:37-38; Jn 11:35), we should not be overcome with sorrow at the death of fellow believers (1Th 4:13; Ps 116:15). The death of unbelievers should serve as a reminder for the immediate need for salvation (Ro 9:1-3, Jn 3:18). I BELIEVE that when a believer dies they are immediately in the presence of God (Mt 25:46; Lk 23:43; 2Co 5:8) and when a non-believer dies, they immediately go to eternal punishment (Mt 25:46; Re 14:11) and await the final judgement (Jn 5:28-29; Re 20:15). Do to these immediate states of the dead, I BELIEVE that prayer for the dead is unnecessary.

I BELIEVE in the future state of salvation, namely the glorification of the saints, where, upon Christ’s return (1Co 15:22-23; 1Th 4:14-17 ), all the bodies of believers who have died will be raised first (Da 12:2; Jn 5:28-29; 1Th 4:14-17 ); and then, with the bodies of those who remain alive (1Th 4:14-17 ), all bodies of believers will be changed at the same time (1Th 4:14-17 ) into perfect resurrection bodies like that of Jesus’ (Php 3:20-21) and will be united, each body, with its soul (Job 19:25-26; 1Co 15:37-44 [38,44]). I BELIEVE that our glorified bodies will be imperishable (1 Co 15:42), glorious (1 Co 15:41; Mt 13:14; Da 12:3; Ex 34:34), powerful (1 Co 15:43) and spiritual (1 Co 15:44). And I BELIEVE that the entirety of Creation will be renewed as well (Ro 8:19-23).

Finally, I BELIEVE in the union between believers and Christ, which is seen during Christ’s life and work on Earth (Ga 2:20; Eph 2:6) and in our lives now (Col 2:12; 1Jn 5:11; Eph 1:3). I BELIEVE that every state of salvation listed above is because of our union with Christ: we are called (1Co 7:22), regenerated (Eph 1:3, 2:10), justified and adopted (Ro 8:1), sanctified (Ro 15:17; 1Th 3:8) and kept (Jn 10:27-29), and we die (1Th 4:16) and are glorified (1Co 15:22) through Christ. I BELIEVE that Christ is in us (Ga 2:20; Co 1:27), we are in Christ (1Co 1:9; Ro 8:9), and we are like Christ (1Co 11:1; 2Co 3:18). I BELIEVE that all Christians are together one body in Christ (1Co 10:17, 12:12, 27).

The Doctrine of Ecclesiology

I BELIEVE that the Church is the visible (1Co 1:2; Php 1-2) and invisible (1Ti 2:19; 1Sa 16:7); a community of all true believers, local (Ro 16:5; 1Co 1:2) and universal for all time (1Co 12:28). I BELIEVE that individual visible groups are true manifestations of the Church if they are marked by the attempt to function as a church and have pure preaching of the Word and the right administration of the sacraments. I BELIEVE that the purpose of the Church is to provide a balance of giving glory to God (Col 3:16), providing means of growth for believers (Eph 4:11-13) and performing ministry to the World through evangelism and mercy (Mt 28:18-20; Lk 6:35-36).

I BELIEVE that the individual manifestations of the Church can vary in degrees of purity (Php 1:3-11; Ga 1:6-9) to which we should strive to increase. I BELIEVE that the Bible teaches that the Church should be unified as one body in Christ (1Co 1:2; Eph 4:3-6) and that its members are commanded to live in unity amongst each other (1Co 1:10; Ro 16:17-18). I BELIEVE that there have been many reasons for separation within the church, of these are doctrinal reasons and matters of conscience (2Co 6:14).

I BELIEVE that the Church has been given power and authority by God in the areas of spiritual matters, state and earthly affairs and internal church discipline. In the matter of spiritual power; I BELIEVE the Church has been given weapons to fight against the devil’s schemes (2Co 10:3-4; Eph 6:10-18) and tools to proclaim salvation throughout the world (Ro 2:15-16; Mt 28:19-20; Ac 1:8). In the matter of power between Church and State; I BELIEVE that God has appointed the earthly rulers (Ro 13:1) and has given them the right to bear the sword of God to do His will (Ro 13:2-7). I BELIEVE that Jesus taught us to obey those in authority over us and pay taxes when taxes are due (Mt 22:21). But as Jesus did not use force to compel people to believe (Lk 9:54-55; Jn 18:3), neither should we use the earthly authorities to force belief onto others. Though we are not to use force to bring others to salvation; I do believe the Church is to be a light in this world to do good and bring glory to the Heavenly Father (Mt 5:14-16).

In the matter of Church discipline; I BELIEVE that the Church has been given power in order to: restore and reconcile a believer who is going astray (Heb 12:6; Ga 6:1; 2Ti 4:2), keep sin from spreading (Heb 12:15; 1Co 5:6-7; 1Ti 5:20), and to protect the purity of the Church - thus honoring Christ (2Pe 3:14; 1Co 5:1-2). I BELIEVE that any sin, which is public or has the ability to hinder the work of the Spirit, should be cause for Church discipline. These sins could include divisiveness (Ro 16:17; Titus 3:10); incest (1Co 5:1), laziness (2Th 3:6-10), disobedience (2Th 3:14-16), blasphemy (1Tm 1:20) and the teaching of heretical doctrine (2Jn 10-11). I BELIEVE that the Church should follow the proper order to carry out discipline (Mt 18:15-18) except in times when the sin is already made public, in which case the sin should be dealt with publicly, and in cases of church leadership (1Tm 5:19-21). I BELIEVE that as soon as a genuine repentance has occurred, reconciliation should happen as quickly as is healthy (2Co 2:7-8; Ga 6:1).

I BELIEVE that that there are many “offices” within the church government. I BELIEVE that the office of “apostle” was last held by Paul (1Co 15:5-9) and did not continue.There are three main forms of church government: Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Congregational. In each of these types of government is the use of and elder, pastor (Ac 20:28; 1Pe 5:2-4), bishop and/or overseer (1Tim 3:1-2; Titus 1:5-7). I do not believe that there is one right way, or biblical way, for governing the church, but there is a right way for choosing its leaders. I BELIEVE that the leaders of the Church should meet the qualifications given by Paul (1Tim 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-9), they should be affirmed and chosen by the congregation (Ac 6:3; 2Co 8:19) and installed publicly (1Tim 3:10; Ac 6:6, 13:3). I do not believe that parachurch organizations should need to follow these guidelines as they are a means of support to the church; not an organization trying to act like a church.

I BELIEVE that God created both man and woman with equal importance and value (Gen 1:27; Ga 3:28) but different in nature. I BELIEVE that, through the apostle Paul, God declared that some positions within the Church are meant to be filled by men only (1Tim 2:11; 3:1-2; Titus 1:5-6). I also believe that it is God’s ultimate goal to have His glory declared among the nations and that He will use whomever He chooses; meaning that both men and women can teach (Ac 18:26; Titus 2:3-5) and prophesy (Ac 2:17-18; 1Co 12:7) in His power. I BELIEVE that God has given manifestations of the Spirit to everyone, male and female, as He sees fit and as is for the common good of the Church (1 Co 12:7; 1Pe 4:10).

I BELIEVE that there is a “means of grace” by which God bestows further blessings upon His church through discipline (2Co 7:10; 1Tim 5:20), various ordinances (see below), spiritual gifts (see below), and methods to increase sanctification (see below). In the matter of ordinances, I BELIEVE that God has given us baptism (Mt 28:19; Col 2:112) and the Lord’s Supper (1Co 10:16-17, 21; Jn 6:55-56). I BELIEVE that baptism is to be a symbol of the union that we have with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Ro 6:3-4; Col 2:12) and should be an outward expression of the inward life change (Ac 10:44-48; Ga 3:27). I BELIEVE that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus (Mt 26:26-29) and serves as a symbol to remind us of His death (1Co 11:25-26) as well as to act as spiritual nourishment (Jn 6:53-57) and a way for believers to show their unity (1Co 10:17). I BELIEVE that the act of partaking of the Lord’s Supper should bring to the mind of the believer: 1) their affirmation of faith, 2) their participation in and the benefits of His death (Ro 6:3-4), and that Christ loves them. Because of the nature of the Lord’s supper, I BELIEVE that only those who have put their trust in Christ for the salvation of their sins, should partake in the Lord’s Supper.

In the matter of spiritual gifts; I BELIEVE that spiritual gifts are abilities that are given by the Holy Spirit to empower believers for ministry (1 Cor 1:7; 13:10; 14:12) and edification of the Church (1Co 14:5). I BELIEVE there are many spiritual gifts (1Co 7:7, 12:8-28; Eph 4:11; Ro 12:6-8; 1Pe 4:11), but these lists are not meant to be all encompassing. I BELIEVE that the gifts may vary in strength among believers (Ro 12:6; 1Co 12:11, 14:18) and may not be permanent in nature (1Co 13:8-13). When seeking out spiritual gifts, a believer should ask God (1Co 14:13), have the right motives (1Co 14:1), and seek opportunities to try the gift and be content using the gifts which they are given (Lk 19:16-23). And I BELIEVE that all of the gifts needed at this period in history are present (1 Cor 1:7).

In the matter of methods to increase sanctification; I BELIEVE that God has given us prayer (Ac 4:24, 31; Eph 6:18), meditation (Ps 1:2; Mt 4:4), worship (Jn 4:23-24; Jas 4:8), fellowship (Ac 2:42, 46-47; Jn 15:12), evangelism (Ac 2:4, 14-36, 4:8, 31) and self-control (Ga 5:23; Titus 1:8). I BELIEVE that worship is a direct expression of our ultimate purpose in life, that is to “glorify God” (Is 43:6-7, 48:11b; Eph 1:12), for He alone is worthy of worship (Re 22:8-9). I BELIEVE we are to enter genuine worship by the Holy Spirit (Jn 4:23-24) and with an attitude of reverence (Mt 14:33; Heb 12:28-29). I BELIEVE that when there is genuine worship, we delight in God (Ps 16:11, 73:25; Lk 24:52-53) and He in us (Zec 3:17; Is 62:1-5), we draw near to God (Heb 10:19-22, 12:18-24) and He with us (Jas 4:8, Ps 22:3), God ministers to us (1Co 14:26; Heb 4:16) and the Lord’s enemies flee (2Ch 20:22; 1Co 14:25).

The Doctrine of Eschatology

I BELIEVE in the sudden (Ac 1:11, 1Th 5:2), personal (Jn 14:3), visible (Re 1:7), bodily return of Christ (1Th 4:16) of when in time we do not know (Mt 24:44, 50; Lk 12:40) but, for which we should eagerly await (Re 22:20, Titus 2:11-13). I BELIEVE that it is possible that all signs, which were predicted to occur before the Lord’s return, may have already occurred and therefore the second coming of Christ may be imminent. I BELIEVE in a pretribulationalrapture (Re 3:10) of the redeemed and the premillennial reign of Christ on earth (1Th 4:16-17). I BELIEVE that during the age of the tribulation, after the fullness of the redeemed has occurred, all of Israel will be saved (Ro 11:12, 25-26).

I BELIEVE in the final judgement, which will occur after the millennium reign of Christ and Satan’s rebellion (Re 20:7-15; Ac 17:30-31). I BELIEVE that the redeemed will play a part in the judgement (1Co 6:2-3;Mt 19:28); and during the final judgement, the justice of God will be felt (Ro 3:19; Re 19:1-2) and Jesus will be the judge (2Tim 4:1; Ac 10:42) over believers (Ro 14:10, 12; Rev 11:18), unbelievers (Ro 2:5-7; Lk 12:47-48) and angels (2Pe 2:4, 1Co 6:3). I BELIEVE that the final judgement should: satisfy our inward sense of the need for justice (Col 3:22,25; Re 20:12), enable us to forgive freely (Ro 12:19; 1Pe 2:22-23), and provide a motive for righteous living (Mt 6:20) and evangelism (Eze 33:11; 2Pe 3:9). After the final judgement, I BELIEVE that the wicked will be cast into hell, which will be a place of eternal conscious punishment (Lk 16:22-24; Re 14:9-11). And I BELIEVE that the redeemed will live eternally (Re 21:24-26, 22:2) with God in heaven, which will be a physical place (Jn 14:2-3, 2Pe 3:10-13) of great beauty, abundance and joy (Re 21:2-7); where we will enjoy unhindered fellowship with God (Re 21:23, 22:3-4; Ps 16:11). And I BELIEVE this should encourage us to continue in sanctification, storing up treasures in heaven rather than on earth (2Pe 3:11-13, Mt 6:19-21).

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