What I Believe

A couple of years ago, our young fellowship decided to recognize elders.  During this process, I was asked to write my “doctrinal statement.”  I had never attempted this before.  I found it to be a worthwhile exercise.  There have been a few changes since then, but only minor ones.  I consider it to be a work in progress, as am I.  I welcome your input and comments, but am not interested in arguing.  Have you ever tried to write down what you believe?  I recommend it highly.

 

I have attempted to avoid “churchese” in this statement.  My aim is to keep it simple and in normal language anyone would understand.

  • I believe in the God of the Bible, who is the Creator of the universe. I believe he created all that is in 6 literal days. I believe he is intricately involved in all that has happened from then until now, and will continue to be.
  • I believe God is absolutely holy and perfect, eternal, all knowing, all powerful, the source of all that is good, and everywhere at once.
  • I believe in Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, and is God himself.
  • I believe Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, but existed as God before.
  • I believe these three personalities all share the same attributes, are totally united, and yet perform different functions, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I believe the essence of God is found in the unity of these 3 persons in their relationships to each other.  This unity is part of what is meant when scripture says “God is love”  Not just something about God, but WHO the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ARE.
  • I believe Jesus was born of a virgin, in Bethlehem as the Prophets foretold in the Old Testament.
  • I believe Jesus is a real man, who lived a perfect and sinless life.
  • I believe Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried for the sin of mankind.
  • I believe that Jesus literally and physically rose from the dead under his own power on the 3rd day as he said he would do, and that he has made this same resurrection power available to all who believe in him so they can live in victory over sin, this is the resurrected life.
  • I believe salvation of the sinner’s soul is by the grace of God alone through faith in Jesus Christ, and not of works. I believe good works are an evidence of salvation, but not a requirement for salvation.
  • I believe Jesus ascended to heaven and is seated at God’s right hand because his work is done. He intercedes as an advocate to God the Father on the behalf of all who believe. I believe he is now the King of Heaven and Earth.
  • I believe that Jesus will return to rule on earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I believe he is the judge of all men, living and dead, and will perform this judgement in his own good time. This time will be the perfect and complete fulfillment of prophecy.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, sometimes called the Holy Ghost, sometimes called the Comforter. He convicts men of sin. He speaks what he hears from scripture. He gifts the members of the church with what is needed. Some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors or teachers.
  • I believe Jesus will build his church and that the gates of hell will not stand against it.
  • I believe that fellowship between saints is the result of their fellowship with God, and that they will be known in the world for their love for one another.
  • I believe sin can only be forgiven by God, and that He forgives all who repent and ask for it in faith. I believe that salvation of the sinner’s soul can be found in none other than Jesus Christ.
  • I believe that God has chosen in advance who will be saved.
  • I believe that God holds mankind responsible to put his faith in God and has given us a free will to make this choice.
  • I believe that all will be resurrected bodily. Some to eternal damnation, and others to live with God.
  • I believe the 66 books of the Bible are God’s own words to mankind.
  • I believe they were without error in their original texts and that we can trust several current translations to learn that original meaning. I believe the best way to find this meaning is not to depend upon one translation, but to compare several reliable ones prayerfully and ask God for wisdom.
  • I believe the truth in the Bible is Spiritually discerned in the heart of the believer by the work of the Holy Spirit, because no man has known the mind of God, but we have been given the mind of Christ.
  • I believe that every person is born a slave to sin, and that even believers struggle with this tendency to sin until our physical bodies die.
  • I believe we are to be holy and righteous, but I also believe that a person could keep the whole Law of Moses and still fall short of holiness and righteousness. I believe that we are to love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and that we are to love one another as Christ loved us. This would sum up the Perfect Law of Liberty, or the Royal Law, which is part of the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood shed for our sin.
  • I believe in a literal thousand-year reign on earth by Jesus, which is still to come in the future.
  • I believe that in the last days before Jesus returns to reign on earth, it will be like it was at the time of Noah, and that it will be a very evil time. I believe at the end of this time Jesus will come in the clouds, and that those who have put their faith in Him will meet him in the air (first the dead in Christ, followed by those who are alive) as he returns to judge the world and rule. I do not believe this calling away will be secret, but that every eye will see the return of our Lord. While no man knows the hour or day, we will be able to recognize the time approaching.
  • I try to avoid reading scripture through other people’s frameworks of understanding. (Calvinism, Arminianism, Dispensationalism, Covenentalism, etc.) I find that often these belief systems have a grain of truth, and some misunderstandings as well. I believe the proof of a person’s genuine faith is seen more in their life than in how well they have diagrammed God and the world around them. All of my above beliefs are held in an open hand before Christ, and if He chooses to correct me, his will be done. The final authority in my life and thinking is God’s Word, not any man’s creed, and my own included.

Just my thoughts,

Craig

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Responses

  1. May I copy and paste this on one of my future posts, with credit to you?

    • Sure

      • Danny,
        Sorry if my first answer seemed short, I was at work when I got it and replied quickly. I have no problem at all with anyone re-using content from my site as long as they refer back. Actually, the quote on top of my site came from another blogger!! When I asked him he said “if my bullets for your gun, then go ahead and shoot!” I feel the same way. Appreciate you asking though.

  2. Hey Neighbor,
    Enjoyed reading this……. It touched on something that I’ve always been conflicted about. You mentioned a belief that God has chosen in advance who will be saved. This has always been a point to ponder for me. It’s sort of a circular subject. I believe that God is omniscient. I also believe that we have free will to choose Him. In a belief that assumes that he has chosen in advance who will be saved and who won’t, it begs the question, “Why would He choose that some not be saved?”. I’m suggesting this based on my understanding of what 1 Timothy 2:1-7 is stating. Does he not want all to be saved? Where does free will come into play if He has chosen in advance? I become so conflicted here because I do believe that God is omniscient. Therefore, He knows how we will choose long before we are even conceived. Then I start wandering in circles……if He chose in advance, why create people who are destined for hell? Round and round I go…….. I know that it is up to us whether we choose Truth, sooooooooooo…………. Do you see my struggle? At the end of the day, it’s not really important to me. Because I believe that we have free will and we choose whether or not to follow, the quandary is really irrelevant to me, but still……………. I do give it thought from time to time.
    MO

    • Would love to talk to you about this if you want. Have the same struggle but i believe i have found a frame of reference on this topic that is helpful. Hope you are recovering well.

      • Every day is a little better. I think I’ve contracted a cold now though….. 😦
        I would love to have that chat some time. Like I said, it’s something that I ponder, but not important in the grand scheme to me. It just perplexes me….. 🙂
        MO


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