Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What I Believe

This is a pretty thorough summary of what I believe. I tried to have proof-texts for everything, some shorter texts are quoted. For the others, clicking on the links takes you to the texts in English Standard Version on - to save time if you want to look up a verse.

I believe in the eternality, (Ps. 90:1-2)

tri-unity, (Matt. 28:19-20)

omnipotence, (Gen. 17:1)

omnipresence, (Jer. 23:24)

omniscience (Ps. 50:11, Acts 1:24)

sovereignty (Job 42:2,Prov. 16:33, Rom. 9:10-29)

and God-centeredness (Ps. 23:3, Isa. 48:11)

of God. (Ps. 46:10)

I believe that Jesus Christ is God's eternally begotten Son, and is One with God.
(John 1:1-3,18; John 10:30)

I believe God created the universe by the word of His power, in six literal days, (Genesis 1, Hebrews 11:3) and that man is created in God's image to glorify Him, (
Isa. 43:7) but fell into sin. (Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned - Rom. 5:12)

I believe in the total depravity/sinfulness of mankind since the fall. I believe that every person, excepting Jesus Christ, is born in sin

("Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. - Ps. 51:5 )

I believe that the root of sin is preferring other things to God. because of the hardness and blindness of our hearts to His glory, and so failing to glorify Him as He deserves. (Rom 1:18-23, 3:23)

I believe that since the fall, all people born are spiritually dead, and are powerless to do anything good until they are born again. T
hat unbelievers can do nothing to please God, even in what may appear to be good deeds.

("For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”- Rom. 14:13)
("Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Rom. 8:8)

and that man by himself cannot even choose to believe in Christ, until God gives new birth to his spirit and gives life to his dead soul. (Eph. 2:1-3)

I believe that before God created the world, He chose whom He would save, (Eph. 1:3-12) not based on their personal merit, but based wholly upon His free and sovereign grace.

(For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. - Rom. 9:15-16)
…that God elected some to salvation and others to destruction, in order to display both the glory of His mercy and the glory of His righteous wrath. (Rom 9:18-24)

I believe that God has not merely provided a way of salvation and left it up to mankind to choose to be saved, but that He has provided a way of salvation in His Son Jesus Christ, and provides for His elect all that is required of them to be saved – new birth/new heart, repentance of sin and faith in Jesus. (Eph. 2:1-9, Ezek. 11:19)

I am saved, not because I chose to believe in God, but because He chose me and enabled me to believe in Him by giving me new birth.
("But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." - John 1:12-13 ESV, Acts 13:48, Rom 8:28-30, James 1:18, I Cor. 1:27-30)

I believe in the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, and that His finished work of dying on a cross bearing God’s wrath for our sins and being raised for our justification is all-sufficient to save those who trust it wholly. (Rom 3:21-26, Rom. 4:5, 23-25, 2 Cor. 5:21)

I believe that hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary for people's salvation, ("For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”- Rom. 1:16-17)

I believe that faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ is the only way to God, and not any other religious practice, no matter how sincere its followers may be. (John 14:6)

I believe that a person must be born again in order to believe the gospel, and that this is a work of God - specifically the Holy Spirit - that precedes and enables faith. (John 1:13, 3:1-8)
I believe that God saves people by opening their heart to the message of the gospel
(Acts 16:13-14, I Thess. 1:4-5, 2 Thess. 2:13-14)
and drawing them by a kind and sovereign grace to believe. Without this, no one would be saved. Those who do not believe when they hear the gospel, do so because they are blinded by Satan. (2 Cor. 4:3-6)

I believe that born-again children of God will persevere in faith to the end. (Col. 1:23)

(Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. – 1 Cor. 15:1-2)

and that believers sin, but do not continue in a lifestyle of sin. (I John 1:8-9, 1 John 3:4-10)
I believe that God will not lose those whom He has sovereignly saved. (John 10:27-30) and that this truth is not a license to live in un-checked sin because we “will still be saved,” Such an attitude comes from one yet unsaved, because "once saved, always saved" also means "once believing always believing". (1 John 2:24-25) T
hose who are saved will be kept by God, not just in a mere state of security, but kept in His grace that will work to sanctify their lives, enabling them to keep on believing to the end.

I believe that being a child of God does not make one exempt from trials, sickness, poverty etc., but that God uses these things in the lives of His children to discipline/train them and make them more like Christ. (Heb 12:5-11, Rom. 8:28)

I believe that baptism is, spiritually, the event in which believers are “put into” the body of Christ, (2 Cor. 12:13) represented outwardly by an event in which believers are physically "put into" water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19-20, Acts 8:36-38)

I believe that women should not be pastors or leaders of the church. (I Cor. 14:3-4) That women are called to teach other women, esp. older to younger (Titus 2:3-5) but not men. (2 Tim. 2:12)
I believe a woman's calling is to be centered on the home.

I believe in the existence of Satan and demons, who continually work to keep unbelievers from believing and tempt believers to sin. (Luke 8:12) but that they do not hinder God’s sovereign design. (2 Cor. 4:3-6.)

I believe in the existence of angels. (Heb. 1:13-14)

I believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to this earth long ago, will come again and take his people to be with Him forever. (1 Thes.1:9-10, 1 Thes. 4:14-18)

I believe that the final destiny of unrepentant sinners is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire along with the devil and his own (Matt. 25:41),

and that the final destiny of believers is eternal dwelling with God in the new heavens and new earth. (Php. 3:20, Heb. 11:16, 2 Pet. 3:13, Rev. 21)

I hope this is edifying to my readers. Thanks to anyone who took the time to read through it.

All Scripture is from the English Standard Version.

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