My Doctrinal Statement

I believe the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible to be my infallible rule of faith and practice.  I understand my responsibility to make known the divine message of the Bible, and I present the following articles as a statement of those basic truths taught in the Bible which are common to Christian faith and practice.

The Bible:  the Word of God, the sixty-six Books of the Old and New Testaments, verbally inspired in all parts and wholly without error as originally given of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).

The One True God:  Who spoke all things into existence (Colossians 1:16; Isaiah 44:24), existing eternally as three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

The Lord Jesus Christ: His preexistence and diety (John1:1-3), incarnation by the virgin birth (John 1:14;Matthew 1:18-23), sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), substitutionary death (2 Corinthians 5:21), bodily resurrection (Luke 24:36-43), ascension into heaven and present ministry (Hebrews 4:14-16), and coming again (Acts 1:11).

The Holy Spirit: His personality (John 16:7-15), deity (Acts 5:3-4), and His work in each believer; baptism and indwelling at the moment of regeneration (1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9); and filling (Ephesians 5:18) to empower for Christian life and service (Ephesians 3:16; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:22-23).

Man: his direct creation in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28); his subsequent fall into sin resulting in spiritual death for all mankind (Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 5:12): and the necessity of the new birth for his salvation (John 3:3-5).

Salvation: a complete and eternal salvation by God’s grace alone, received as the gift of God through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work (Ephesians 2:8&9; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

The Church: one true church, the body and bride of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-32), composed of all true believers of the present age (1 Corinthians 12:12-13) and the organization of its members in local churches for worship, for edification of believers and for worldwide gospel witness; each local church being autonomous but cooperating in fellowship and work (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Christian Life: a life of righteousness, good works, and separation unto God from the evil ways of the world (Romans 12:1-2); manifested by speaking the truth (James 5:12); maintaining the sanctity of the home (Ephesians 5:22-6:4); settling differences between Christians in accordance with the Word of God (Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8); not engaging in carnal strife but showing a Christ-like attitude toward all men (Romans 12:17-21); exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); maintaining a life of prayer (Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6); and edifying the brethren by use of their spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:12).

Ordinances: the Christian should observe the ordinances of our Lord Jesus Christ which are:  (1) baptism of believers by immersion (Matthew 28:19) and (2) the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Satan: his existence and personality as the great adversary of God and His people (Revelation 12:1-10), his judgment (John 12:31) and final doom (Revelation 20:10).

The Second Coming of Christ: the personal, visible, and imminent return of Christ to remove His church from the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), before the Tribulation Period (1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 3:10), and afterward to descend with the Church to establish His millennial kingdom upon the earth (Revelation 19:11-20:6).

Future Life: the conscious existence of the dead (Philippians 1:21-23; Luke 16:19-21), the resurrection of the body (John 5:28-29), the judgment and reward of believers (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10), the judgment and condemnation of unbelievers (Revelation 20:11-15), the eternal life of the saved (John 3:16), and the eternal punishment of the lost (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:15).

Note: Historically the core of Bible believing doctrine, instruction, and practice is embodied in the statements above.

……the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

Some Trust in Chariots and Some in Horses

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!

Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity.

Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen (helped) shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.

For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.

As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.

Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.  For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.

Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.

And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem (Isaiah 31:1-9).

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7).

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

Making Your Calling and Election Sure

The subject of election or being chosen by God, often makes Christians uncomfortable.  The subject is usually ignored, fought over, or its the cause of much anxiety and lost sleep.  Those who are consumed by whether or not they are chosen, may not be viewing it from the right perspective.  

Making ones calling and election sure is not the end result of a theological debate.  It is the result of Christian growth and embracing the promises of God’s Word.  If a believer is neglecting his spiritual growth, he will not be able to make his calling and election sure.  It will be unsure.  II Peter chapter one deals with the  building blocks of spiritual growth which are the evidences of God’s sure calling.

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (strong desire).

[But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which 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)].

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

The preceding verse contains the building blocks for spiritual growth, spiritual maturity, and sanctification.  Saving faith is the foundation Christians build upon.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).  Faith is a firm persuasion or conviction brought about by hearing the word* (Romans 10:17)More faith and stronger faith, comes only from the hearing of God’s Word.  Only through the Bible can you and I add to our faith!  Faith does not come by experience.  Saving faith comes only from the Scriptures.

Add to your faith virtue.  Virtue is moral excellence.*  Moral excellence comes from obedience to God’s Word.  Salvation is threefold.  We are delivered from the penalty of sin.  We are being delivered from the power of sin and one day we will be delivered from the very presence of sin.  Virtue or moral excellence is experiencing deliverance from the power of sin.  Every Christian believer has this capability through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Zachariah 4:6, Romans 8:11) and the living Word of God (Psalm 119:11 , Hebrews 4:12).

Add to virtue knowledge.  True knowledge comes from the treasury of God’s Word.  Christ, speaking of Scripture said,………these are they which testify of me (John 5:39).  Do you really want to know Christ better?  You will find Him in the pages of Scripture (Luke 24:27).

Add to knowledge temperance.  Temperance follows knowledge which means that it is time to put into practice that which has been learned.  Temperance is self-control.*  Self-control comes from the Spirit filled life.   The Spirit filled life is the result of letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Ephesians 5:18&19, Colossians 3:16 ).

Add to temperance patience.  Patience is to abide under or endureFor this patience, believers are strengthened with all power (Colossians 1:11) in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16).*  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;        (Romans 5:3).  Patience is trusting the Lord (Proverbs 3:5&6) and learning to rest in His promises (Psalm 131:2).  Patience is waiting for Him (Isaiah 40:28-31).

Add to patience godliness.  Godliness is to be devout.  It is that piety and attitude which is well pleasing to Him.*  Godliness is living according to God’s will (Romans 12:1&2).  Godliness with contentment is great gain (I Timothy 6:6).

Add to godliness brotherly kindness.  Brotherly kindness is gentle consideration, goodness and love to those of like faith, the Christian brotherhood (I John 3:14 & 5:2).**

Add to brotherly kindness charity.   Charity is agape’ love.  In the NT this word is used to convey God’s will to His children concerning their attitude one to another and toward all men.*  Biblical love is being right in all our relationships.  Genuine love seeks the highest good for the object of its attention.  Biblical love is known by its actions           (I Corinthians 13).

For if these things (building blocks) be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things (faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity) is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten (begun to doubt) that he was purged from his old sins.

Assurance comes from God through His written Word by the Holy Spirit.  Neglecting God’s Word will make you doubt and forget.

Wherefore the rather, brethren (Peter is talking to Christians), give diligence to make your calling and election sure (are you unsure, are you doubting, have you forgotten?): for if ye do these things (add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance patience, to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness charity), ye shall never fall:

These building blocks are the evidence of God’s election or choice, because they are the result of Christ’s workmanship in us (Ephesians 2:10).

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of (don’t forget, don’t doubt) these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.  Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

II Peter 1:1-12

Note:   The Scriptures are meat, milk, bread and honey to the believer.  I believe that the doctrine or teaching of election is meat.  Therefore, I believe that the appreciation and comprehension of this teaching will grow and become a precious truth to the believer as he/she matures in the faith.

The view from the valley (our starting point) is limited by our lack of knowledge and maturity in and of the Lord.  As we begin the ascent and endure the climb, our view becomes clearer and more majestic as we near the summit (our journey’s end).  And so it is, with the meat of God’s Word. 

Why stand ye here in the valley debating with one another and wringing your hands?  Begin the ascent!

…and let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

 *W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – Copyright 1984, 1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN

**The Analytical Greek Lexicon – Sixth Printing December 1970 Zondervan Publishing House – Grand Rapids, Michigan