Belief Statements

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Being a writer and editor of “Christian Fiction”, I’ve included my statements of faith regarding God, Christ, and Scripture. Having graduated with a Biblical Studies minor from Biola University, my belief statements are rather thorough, so I shall preface them with a summary:

SUMMARY:

I believe all Scripture was spoken by God, through the Holy Spirit, to chosen men, who in turn recorded what had originated from God.  Scripture, at the same time, speaks with the authority of God and reflects the historical context of the human authors.  We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the primary source of wisdom and understanding to equip men of God for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

I believe there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Trinity) – each of whom possess equally all the attributes of deity.  In the beginning, out of emptiness and darkness, God created the world and everything in it, giving the first and primary illustration of His power, wisdom, and goodness.  Through this power, wisdom, and goodness, God is operating in and through history to bring His creation back to Himself. (Genesis 1:1-2; Matt. 3:16-17; Colossians 1:15-23)

I believe Jesus Christ was fully God who took on human flesh when his mother, Mary (who was a virgin) became pregnant through the Holy Spirit.  He lived a life without sin and voluntarily paid the price of the sins of all people, which was death.  He died a brutal death on the cross, satisfying divine justice and giving salvation to all who trust in Him alone.  He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died.  After rising from the dead, He spent a short amount of time back on the earth before ascending to heaven, to sit at the right hand of God.  From His position next to the Father, Jesus lives to intercede for those who have come to God through Him.  He will come again to earth personally and visibly, to bring to completion God’s process of bringing His people back to Himself. (Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 24:2; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Heb 4:14-16; Rev. 19 & 20)

I believe the Holy Spirit is part of the triune nature of God who works to enlighten the mind of sinners to their need of a Savior.  In the process of salvation, He permanently indwells every believer and guides us into all truth.  He instructs, teaches, comforts, encourages, and intercedes for us.  Every believer is given unique gifts, through the Spirit, for the purpose of building up the body of believers.  He develops within us characteristics that imitate Christ, which enable us to live a life that will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature but bring glory to God. (John 16:5-15; Rom. 8:1-17; I Cor. 12; Gal. 5:16-26; Eph 1:13-14).

Salvation: I believe the central story in Scripture is God’s desire to bring us back to Him.  Man separated himself from God by resisting God and choosing to go his own selfish way.  This choice took place at the beginning of human history with Adam and Eve.  All individuals have since suffered the consequences of this choice, which ultimately is death, and need God’s saving grace.  Salvation is a free gift of God’s grace through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is not the result of human works.  Salvation comes through the process of faith, repentance, confession of Christ as Lord and Savior, and baptism.  The saving work God begins in us, He will continue until Christ returns, at which time we will be made complete. (Gen. 3; John 1:12-13; Acts 2:38; Rom. 3:23-26, 5:12-21, 6:3-34, & 10:9-15; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:6).

IN-DEPTH BELIEF STATEMENTS:

God

God exists. He has from the beginning (Gen.1:1) and always will (John 1:1; 2 Thess, 2:13; 1 Tim. 1:17) as an eternal (Psalm 102:12), and perfect Being. He is the ultimate Creator of all things (2 Cor. 5:18; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:15), including creating and commanding the angels (Psalm 103:20) and has given everything life (1 Tim. 6:13).

There is only one God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5) and He consists of three persons (Gen. 11:7; Isa. 6:8): The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Gen 1:26; 2 Cor. 13:14). These three are completely equal parts making up God (Phil. 3:3) but not identical. All parts of God’s character are perfect within the three.

When referring to His character, God is love (2 Cor. 13:11; 1 John 4:8) and loves us (2 Thess. 2:16; 1 John 4:11). He is light (1 John 1:5; James 1:17). He is peace (2 Cor. 13:11; Phil 4:7,9; Col. 3:15; 1 Thess. 5:23) and spirit (John 4:24). He is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). He consists of grace and is gracious to all (2 Cor. 8:1, 6:1, 1:12). He is merciful and delights in mercy (Micah 7:18). He is glory and glorious (2 Cor. 4:6), yet we are unable to fully see His glory. He is both faithful (2 Cor. 1:18; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 4:19) and righteous (Eph. 4:24; Phil. 3:9); a Holy God (1 Pet. 1:15, 16) but also jealous (Ex. 34:14), particularly of our worship, love, devotion, etc., which is rightfully His. He is slow to anger (Psalm 145:8, 103:8) yet still possesses it (Nahum 1:6; Micah 7:18). He has wrath and controls it (Hosea 5:10; Rom. 9:22). God cannot be tempted, nor does He tempt (James 1:13). He is full of compassion and is the essence and true definition of “good” (Psalm 145:5,8)

He is immortal (1 Tim. 1:17) and a living God (1 Tim. 3:15, 4:10, 6:17). He is the King of the earth (Psalm 47:7) and, not only does he have the power to accomplish anything, He has power over everything (2 Cor. 1:9, 4:6, 6:7, 13:4). He is the judge of all (2 Tim. 4:1,8) and knows all (2 Cor. 12:2-3, 11:11).

He allows us to know Him (Gal. 4:9; 1 John. 4:20), while He remains impossible for us to fully know (Psalm 139:17-18, 145:3, 147:5; Isa. 55:8-9). One reason is because He keeps secrets (Deut. 29:29). God is not a man (Num. 23:19) yet He is personal (Gal. 4:9; 2 Cor. 1:4, 4:6; 2 Tim. 2:14). He dwells among us (John 14:23) and offers Salvation and eternal life to all men (Titus 1:2, 2:11), but He will destroy the wicked who reject Him (Psalm 101:5, 8). With salvation He is in us (Phil. 4”6) and works in us (Phil. 2:13). He loves us and provides for us (Phil. 4:9). One way is by giving us scripture, which is God inspired (Isa. 45:23; 2 Tim. 3:16). Every word of His is pure (Prov. 30:5) and His Word is truth (John 17:17) This confirms that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He rewards those who seek Him (Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 11:6).

God alone is wise (1 Tim. 1:17), yet shall give us wisdom should we ask (James 1:5). We can be sure of this because He says He will and His word is true. He keeps His promises (Num. 23:18; 2 Peter 3:9) and is incapable of, and will never lie (Num. 23:19; Titus 1:2). God is the one and only, all-powerful, eternal, good, true, personal, triune and perfect ruler over everything.

Christ

I believe:

That Jesus Christ was fully God.  He claimed that the angels of God were  “his angels,” and that God’s Kingdom was His Kingdom (Mt. 13:41).  He claimed the authority to forgive sins (Mk. 2:5) and the role of divine Judge (Mt. 25:31-46).  He claimed authority over the Law, even the Sabbath (Mk. 2:27-28) and a unique unified pre-existent relationship with the Father and (Jn. 3:16; 5:58; 10:30-33; 14:7-9,23; 17.).  He claimed to be the Son of God (Jn. 19:7; Mt. 26:63ff.) allowed his disciples to attribute deity to Him (Jn. 20:28; Mt. 16:16), and the power over life and death (Jn. 5:21; 11:25).  His miracles demonstrated His divine authority over creation. Jesus is described as the eternal preexistent Logos (Jn. 1:1).  His resurrection was the ultimate witness to His deity.  Other references which ascribe deity to Jesus are; (Heb. 1:1-4,8; Col. 1:15-20, 2:9; Phil. 2:5-11; Titus 2:13).  It is necessary that Jesus be God if we are to have; true knowledge of God, sufficient redemption and salvation (because an infinite God died in our place), knowledge of true complete fellowship with God (because He took the initiative and came to us), and worship of Jesus.

Jesus was also fully man.  He had a physical human body (Lk. 2:52; 1 Jn. 1:1-4).  He experienced hunger ( Mt. 4:2), thirst (Jn. 19:28), fatigue (Jn. 4:6), suffering and death (Jn. 19:28-34).  He exhibited of the human emotions of love (Mk. 10:21; Jn.11:3, 13:23), compassion (Matt. 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, 20:34), sorrow (Mt. 26:37; Jn. 15:11, 17:13; Heb. 12:2), anger and grief (Mk. 3:5), indignation (Mk.10:14), wonder (Lk. 7:9), disbelief (Mk. 6:6), and anguish (Mk. 14:32-34, 15:34).  Jesus was at times limited in His intellectual abilities (Mk. 9:21, 13:32).  It is necessary for Jesus to be fully human in order that; His death be real and therefore a true sacrifice for sin, He can truly sympathize with us and intercede for us, He can be an example for us, we can see what human nature was intended to be like.

The human and divine natures of Jesus were distinct yet fully unified.  The mystery of the incarnation is best described as the Son taking on human nature and flesh (Jn. 1).  His deity was in no way diminished in the incarnation and Jesus’ human nature has no independent existence apart from the eternal Logos.

Jesus was without a sin nature (Jn. 8:46, 1 Pete. 2:21-22; Heb 4:15) and was therefore a absolute sacrifice, was born of a virgin (Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38), was killed for our transgressions as a substitutionary atonement, was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to reign with the Father and will return again (1 Cor. 5:24; Rev. 19:11).

Jesus came to restore the right relationship between God and man.  This restoration profoundly effects man’s relationship with society and the environment as well.  To fulfill this great task Jesus took on the roles of Prophet, Priest and King.  As Prophet He represented God before man in being the direct revelation of God (Heb 1:1-3; Col 2:9).  As Priest He represented God before men as mediator, intercessor and sacrifice (Heb. 7; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Jn. 2:2; Heb. 9:23-26).  And as King in re-establishing His reign over all creation (Col. 2:15; Eph. 1:20ff; 1 Cor 15:45-59).

Scripture

I believe:

That the Scriptures are from and inspired by God. They are from His mouth (Isa. 45:23, 2 Tim 3:16) and I believe that every Word of His is pure (Prov. 30:5). His Word is truth (John 17:17).

All Scripture is to equip the man of God for every good work by its teachings (2 Tim. 3:16-17). It is instruction for man on how to live so as to glorify God. Because it is from God’s mouth the Law of the Lord (The Scriptures) is perfect and trustworthy (Ps. 19:6), therefore when trying to obey them, man knows it is the right course of action, and knows it is the right one to take.

The Bible is God’s Law and here with us forever. Earth will not pass away until Scripture is fulfilled (Matt 5:18) so that means that the Word of God is alive and will never pass away (Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:23) until all prophecies from the Old and New Testaments have been fulfilled.. The Word of God is living and powerful (Heb. 4:12) and cannot be broken (John 10:35). Scripture holds prophecies from holy men of God (2 Pet. 1:20-21). The power of God is made known through the knowledge of the Scriptures (Matt 22:29) and scripture is necessary for survival in one’s spiritual life (Matt. 4:4). It is sustenance, almost like real food but for our souls (1 Peter 2:2).

The Word of God is sufficient enough to instruct man in the ways of salvation and through his walk with the Lord in his faith (2 Tim. 3:15-17). To walk in the law of the Lord means that one is “blameless” (Ps. 119:1), but since none can be blameless and are sure to fall into various trails (James 1:2) it is all for the sake of teaching (James 1:3). Because man cannot be fully blameless, Christ’s death is an atonement, but man strives to achieve blamelessness by following God’s instructions in the Scriptures. The Word of the Lord has all the instruction that one needs in it and man is not to add to or take away from it (Deut 4:2, 12:32, Prov. 30:5). The Law (of God) was the tutor to bring man to Christ before the faith (Gal. 3:24) but is now just basic instructions for those who believe in Christ.

Scripture came through the revelation of Jesus Christ and was not taught to or by man (Gal. 1:12). The message of salvation comes through general revelation (which is through the creation of God) but Scripture comes from special revelation, which is specific information given to man by God from His own words, which turns into the Word of God and is written in the Scriptures. By this, God has revealed Himself to man through His Word.

The Word of God is also Jesus (John 1:1) and He has authority over it (Mk. 2:27). Jesus came to give man a way to knowing God, and because Jesus is the Word, the Word that is left here for man (the Bible) is, also, a way to knowing God. It is for basic instruction before leaving earth as to how to live for and know Him personally.

Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35), and is infallible. This means the prophecies of Scripture will all be fulfilled because the Bible says the earth shall not pass away until they are, and Scripture cannot lie. Anyone who delights himself in the Law of God will be strong and immoveable in his faith (Neh. 9:3).

In conclusion, the Scriptures are inspired from God and are, not only here to equip the man of God for every good work, but also to instruct man in the ways of salvation. God’s Law (the Bible or The Scripture) is here forever and cannot be broken. It will not pass away until all in it is fulfilled. Anyone who delights in the Law of God will be strong in his or her faith. Jesus is also the Word of God (Jn. 1:1) and both He and the Word connect us to God.

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