Doctrinal: What I believe regarding:
I believe that the Bible is’s Word in its entirety and is infallible and inerrant. We can trust it in everything that it says.
I believe in one God,of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I believe thatis true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.
The Holy Spirit
I believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, and indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.
I believe that the triunity of God is a doctrine taught in Scripture. There are many verses that can be cited, but perhaps two of the clearest passages are Isaiah 48:16 “…And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit Have sent Me.” where we see the three persons of the trinity in view. Also Matthew 28:19 where Jesus commanded us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. There is only one God who exists in three persons.
I believe that God desires all men to be saved (I Tim 2:4) and that Jesus’ work on the cross is the means by which man can be saved (John 3:14-19). God has called all men to repent (Acts 17:30) and that all who believe in Him will have eternal life (John 3:16). God has predestined us to be conformed into the image of His Son (Eph 1:3-6) not to eternal life. Everyone has a free will to choose Jesus as savior or to reject Him. God does not predestine some to heaven and some to hell. Those that enter into hell will do so because they rejected Jesus as their savior (John 3:18, 19).
Perseverance of the Saints
I believe that all who trust in and believe upon Jesus for their salvation are saved. God will not lose any who are in Him.
Heaven and Hell
I believe that Heaven and Hell are real places that a person will go to after this life. It is determined once for man to die and after this the judgment (Hebrew 9:27). All those forgiven by the work of Jesus on the Cross will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. All others will be eternally separated in Hell.
I believe that Jesus Christ will judge believers at the Bema seat of Christ (for our good works – but not salvation). All those not covered with the blood of Christ will appear before Him at the Great White Throne after the millennium for judgment and their part in the Lake of Fire.
Truth About Angels (Good And Evil)
I believe that God created all angels good but(Lucifer) took a third of the angels with him when he fell. He and they are now referred to as or demons. Angels do the biding of God in this world whereas the demons serve Satan.
I believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
Sin in its most basic sense is rebellion against God. The Bible refers to three types (sin, trespasses and iniquity). We generally refer to all three as “sin”. The Bible declares that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Jesus died to erase our debt of sin.
There is only one name under heaven by which we must be saved: the Lord Jesus Christ. There is salvation in no other except the Lord Jesus. Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me. In order to inherit eternal life, we must receive what Jesus did for us on the cross. We can not save ourselves through good works. It is by faith and not of works, Paul tells us, so that no one should boast.
The Church is comprised of all who are trusting in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The building is not the “church” but the body of Christ is regardless of denomination. All true believers are “the Church”.
I believe that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and are called according to His purpose. I have passed from death into life when I put my trust in God. Since He is the one who saved me, He is also the one who assures me of eternal life.
I believe that once we put our trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit then begins to work within us in order to conform us more into the image of Jesus Christ. It is a lifelong process and will only be completed once we are with the Lord. However, hopefully, as I draw near to God in this life, I am looking more like Him a little more every day.
I believe that the Lord’s Supper and Water Baptism are ordinances to be observed by the Church during this present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means to salvation.
I believe that God has revealed His plan or will to man progressively through time in what is referred to as dispensations. We are currently in the dispensation of the Church.
I believe that Jesus Christ will raise bodies of those in Him when he returns and then we who are alive and remain will be caught up with Him and will receive our new bodies in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.
I believe that the gifts are still in practice today. Quite often, the gifts are teaching, mercy, hospitality, etc. I do believe that the gift of tongues and prophecy are something that the Holy Spirit is doing. However, there has been a lot of abuse of those gifts (or sometimes so called “gifts”). Paul was clear that the Holy Spirit gives out gifts to all and speaking in tongues is not the greatest of all the gifts.
I believe that the Bible in its totality teaches a pretribulationfollowed by Jesus returning before the beginning of the millennium. The millennium is a literal 1000 year period in which Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem. We will be there assisting as judges in some capacity.
What I Believe About the Charismatic Movement
I see the charismatic movement characterized primarily by their emphasis on speaking in tongues. I believe that speaking in tongues is biblical, though I myself do not have this gift. What I believe is in general unbiblical about the charismatic movement is their overemphasis on speaking in tongues. Paul, however, makes it extremely clear in I Corinthians 12-14 that speaking in tongues is not the greatest of the gifts and that when exercised they are to be done so in order. Paul says that there are many gifts (I Cor 12:8-11) and that “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” (12:11) The charismatic movement has, in general, and unfortunately, elevated speaking in tongues to a level that Paul never ascribed to it. In fact, Paul in vs 30 of the same chapter asks rhetorical question of whether everyone has all of the gifts and of course, the answer is no. In chapter 13 he eloquently states that even if I speak with the tongues of men and angels it is worthless if there is no love. Lastly, in chapter 14 he goes on to say that tongues is not the greatest of gifts but if it is used, then there must be interpretation and everything must be done in order.
In general, I believe that if church members wish to use this gift, a Sunday morning type environment is not the place to do so and I would discourage such practices. However, I would encourage them in meetings that are called together for such a purpose at a stated time and place.
My Theological Orientation On: Dispensational, Covenant, Arminian, Reformed, Liberation, Keswick, Fundamentalism, Experiential, or other.
My theological orientation is conclusively dispensational as I firmly believe that the Bible, taken as a whole, and interpreted literally, shows that God’s dealings with man have been progressive in revelation. Furthermore, the dispensational view maintains the important distinction between the promises God made to Israel and to the Church. The Church has not replaced Israel nor is God finished with Israel. We are currently in the Church age and upon the rapture of the church, God’s timetable with Israel will continue (Dan 9:24-27).
Calvinism / Arminianism: I do not believe that 5 points Calvinism can be defended from Scripture. God has given each and every person an ability to choose life and death (Deut 30:19). We can also choose to receive the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus on behalf of our sins. Nevertheless, I believe that God is completely omnipotent, omniscient and sovereign over all. Thus, I reject the tenants of open theism.
I am a “fundamentalist” in as much as I believe the following:
- Inerrancy of the Scriptures
- The virgin birth and the deity of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14)
- The doctrine of substitutionary atonement through God’s grace and human faith (Hebrews 9)
- The bodily resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 28)
- The authenticity of Christ’s miracles (or, alternatively, his pre-millennial second coming)
My Major Theological Tenets
I believe that the Bible is God’s Word and that it is completely inerrant and infallible. I can trust my entire life upon it. Furthermore, the people, places, events and miracles described in it were completely real and historical. I believe in a young earth created approximately 6000-10000 years ago. I believe in a literal Adam and Eve that were tempted by Satan who was in the form of a snake that talked to Eve. I believe that Noah was a real person and that God flooded the entire planet. I believe that there was a real tower of Babel where God came down and confused the languages of the world. I also believe that Jonah was swallowed by a fish and that Jesus performed numerous miracles such as feeding the 5000, walking on water, healing the sick and raising the dead to life. He also died for our sins and then rose again three days later.
Not only do I believe the above things, but I am fully convinced through my own studies in language, history and archeology, that the above points are reasonable and defensible. I believe that we ought to let the Bible shape our world view rather than letting the world shape our view of the Bible, which, sadly, many professing Christians are doing.
Based on the trustworthiness of the Bible and its many fulfilled prophecies, I also believe that it speaks accurately of things to come. I am a decidedly pretribulation rapture, premillennial believer. I believe that the cross is where God poured out His wrath on my sin and therefore I will not go through the Great Tribulation since that is where God pours out His wrath on a Christ rejecting world. Of course, that is not to say that we will not experience tribulation and trials in this life. The Christians in most countries around the world are experiencing some form of tribulation which often costs them their lives. Thus, just as Jesus said, we will experience tribulation but its source is ultimately from the enemy whereas the source of the tribulation of the 7-year period known as the Great Tribulation comes from God and from the Lamb and as a result, believers in Jesus Christ will be taken out before that period begins. We will return with Jesus our King (Rev 19) to witness Him tread upon the rulers of this world (Is 63) and save the remnant of the Jewish believers. Jesus will then judge the nations (Matthew 25) which coincides with the beginning of the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth known as the millennium.
What I Believe To Be the Role of Women in Ministry
In I Timothy 2:12 Paul states that he does not allow women to teach or have authority over a man. I understand that to mean that a church should never have a woman as the head pastor. Even though my church does not have women ushers or have women to pray with other women after the service, both I believe that those are positions that women should actually be occupying. I also believe that women may serve in almost any capacity in the church so long as they are not the head decision makers. Some areas where I believe that women may serve are: prayer ministry, greeters, ushers, children’s ministry, music and others.
My Biblical Understanding of Marriage and Divorce
Marriage is a relationship between a man and a women where vows have been said before God and before man. When the Pharisees came to Jesus in Mark 10 to ask Him about divorce, He said: what God has joined together, let not man separate (Mark 10:9). Thus, marriage is a relationship that is ratified and sealed by God and it is intended to last a lifetime.
God hates divorce. Malachi 2:16 says: “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” Obviously, God does not want us to divorce. It causes pain for both sides and especially if there are children involved. Nevertheless, Jesus said that Moses permitted it because of the hardness of man’s heart. He also stated that the sexual immorality is grounds for divorce.
In my counseling sessions, I have always encouraged people to remain married and to avoid divorce at all costs since it “covers one’s garments with violence”. If the person is divorced, I encourage reconciliation.
What I Believe To Be the Nature of a Genuine Conversion Experience
A genuine conversion experience is where a person has fully understood his/her need for a savior – that is to say, that the person understands that their sin has separated them from God and that their best efforts can never atone for their sin at which point they ask Jesus to save from their sins based on his atoning work on the cross and that He did not remain dead, but was raised to life.
My Conversion to Jesus Christ
I received Jesus as my savior around the age of 4-5 thanks to the prayers and diligence of my parents. I remember going for walks as a boy and talking with Jesus – knowing in my heart that He had died for my sins and that I had eternal life thanks to Him.
My Relationship with Jesus
I love the Lord with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I love walking with Him in this life and can hardly wait to see His face in the next. However, the more that I understand His holiness and glory the more I find myself expressing the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 6) “Woe am I – I am undone for my eyes have seen the Lord”. Nevertheless, I also know that God demonstrated His love toward me in that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me. So, based on the fact that God loves me and willingly died for me, I boldly go to His throne of Grace not because I deserve to but because He loves me – what a great God we serve.