What I Believe

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Statement of Faith

Baptist Covenant Theology — I subscribe to this understanding of the Covenant promises. You may read about this in the link at the very end of this page in my “Expanded Statement of Faith.” There I give just a brief overview, with links and book suggestions for further reading. I plan to write more extensively about this in the near future. 

 

God — There is one true God and exists as a trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are one in essence, co-eternal, co-equal, and do all things in perfect unity. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present. He is the creator and ruler of the universe. As Sovereign God, He is moving all things according to a grand plan for His people and for the world.

In the Trinity of God, there is a shared will and a shared authority, for the Three are one in essence. Therefore, I believe the idea of ESS (Eternal Subordination of the Son) is a serious error. I believe it’s a false understanding of the Trinity. The authority that was “given” to Jesus (Matt 28:18), was given to Him in His humanity, but something He shared with the Father and Holy Spirit throughout eternity. Further, this authority could not have been given to Jesus in His humanity if He didn’t have it in eternity. Does that not seem obvious? That alone invalidates ESS. It simply makes no sense. Again, in the Trinity of God, there is a shared will and a shared authority, for the Three are one in essence. Nothing could be given to the Son in eternity when God has existed throughout eternity as a Trinity, and with all authority as God.

 

The Bible — The Holy Scriptures consist of both Old and New Testaments. They are the inspired word of God, written by men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pe 1:20-21). They are without error in the original manuscripts. The NT was given specifically to His people in Christ under the New Covenant, which provides revelation about the Christain faith and instruction for living our lives as followers of Christ. The NT is the fulfillment of the OT, and provides light and interpretation for the OT. 

 

Spiritual Condition of Humanity — God created humanity in His image. Adam and Eve were without sin and in perfect fellowship with God. However, they disobeyed God. When they sinned – being tempted by Satan – fellowship was broken and became spiritually dead and separated from God (Eph 2:1-5). This sin was passed along to the rest of humanity (Ro 5:12-21). We are sinners by nature and by choice. Fellowship with God can only be restored through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead, providing forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

 

God the Son [our salvation] — The Lord Jesus Christ left His throne in Glory and entered the human race via the virgin Mary. Fully man, fully God. He came to provide redemption for His people. He created the human race knowing that He would one day become one of us, and that He would have to suffer and die on the cross for our sins. That’s a kind of love that we can’t comprehend. He lived a sinless life, performed miracles to confirm that He was sent from God, perfectly fulfilling the will of His Father. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead, and then ascended back into Heaven, where He sits on His throne next to His Father. It was the Righteous for the unrighteous, paying the price for our sins that we owe, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. It’s only through Christ and the shedding of His blood that we can have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. This is obtained through faith in Him – apart from works – by receiving Him as our Lord and Savior.

 

God the Holy Spirit — The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ (Jn 16:14). He convicts the world of sin. Regenerates (new birth) the believing sinner. In Him we are baptized into the body of Christ (His Church), in union with Christ (1 Cor 12:13). He indwells, teaches, guides, and empowers us to grow in our relationship with God in the life of faithfulness that we’re called to.

 

The Church — The Church consists of all regenerated believers in Christ (throughout history), of which He is Head. The Church is universal, but manifested and carried out in the form of local assemblies.

Non-dispensational. The Church is the New Israel of the New Covenant in Christ. Ethnic, national Israel has it’s total fulfillment in Christ and His Church as a spiritual nation, as a spiritual people. The true, redemptive offspring of Abraham are spiritual offspring (Ro 9:6-8; Ro 4:16-18), which are all who are in Christ. Jesus fulfilled all the covenant promises to Israel (Gal 3:16,19,28-29). He is, thus, True Israel Himself and we are spiritual Israel in Him as a corporate body. God’s plan for the nation of Israel is now complete in Christ and His Church.

 

Atonement & Election — Christ died for His Church (Eph 5:23,25; Acts 20:28), for His sheep (Jn 10:11). This is known as  particular redemption (limited atonement). Election is both corporate and individual, and is unconditional. God has chosen the corporate Body of Christ (the Church), with all its individual members in view. To speak of one is to speak of the other, for we are all united as one people, and each member foreknown and chosen by God before the world began (Eph 1:4). Thus, election is best understood as the predetermined choosing of God of particular individuals who come into the world as the elect of God, “predestined for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Eph 1:5). At some point, God intervenes in our lives and draws us to Christ (Jn 6:44) via regeneration (to make alive, born again) and the gospel message — granting the gift of faith (Eph 2:8). This drawing always results in salvation (Jn 6:45). While this drawing to Christ is irresistible, it’s as natural as sheep hearing and following the voice of their shepherd. This is all according to Sovereign grace and the Sovereign will of God.

 

Eternal Security — We are eternally secure in Christ. We have died with Christ and have been raised to new life in Him (Eph 2:5-6; Col 3:1-3). We have entered into His death and resurrection. Therefore, if Jesus is “never going to die again” (Ro 6:9), then neither can we ever die again. True faith in Christ is an enduring faith. The fruit of faith is faith-fulness. The fruit of salvation is a life of obedience to God. True faith follows whom it professes.

 

Eschatology (Prophecy) — Jesus will return bodily with “great power and glory” to judge the world (Mark 13:26; Rev 1:7; 19:11-16) and to receive His own via the resurrection. At that time both saved and unsaved will be resurrected — “those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment” (Jn 5:28-29). The “rapture” of the saved who are alive at the time of Christ’s return, occurs at the time of the resurrection; they are not separate events. The unsaved will go into everlasting punishment (Matt 25:46; Rev 20:11-15), and the saved will be ushered into the eternal kingdom of the “new heaven and new earth” (Rev 21:1-2). There is no earthly millennial kingdom between the return of Christ and our eternal state. The Kingdom of Christ is spiritual (Col 1:13), which is His Church. Thus, His kingdom is now and He reigns over His kingdom now. The Kingdom of Christ continues eternally. 

 

Gifts of the Spirit (Situational Cessationist) — In general, I believe the miracle gifts ceased with the completion of the NT Scriptures. However, there are times and places where Christianity is outlawed and where Bibles are scarce. We see this in many countries today. I believe those situations are much like what we had in the early years of the Church. I believe in such situations, God may, and I believe does, use those gifts as He sees fit, according to the need. This is why I refer to my position as “situational” cessationism.

A full explanation of my position can be found in my “Expanded Statement of Faith” (below) and in my series on the gifts of the Spirit, beginning with “Foundational Truths:”  Gifts Series – [Foundational Truths]

 

Expanded Statement of Faith  — You may read about this here.

 

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