1. God is the one and only self-existent, Supreme Being (Ex. 3:14). He is the first cause of everything else.
2. God has revealed Himself through the Bible (the written Word of God); through Jesus Christ (the Word made flesh who dwelt among us); and by His creation (Rom. 1:19-20).
3. God’s Word, the Bible is the only source of absolute truth (John 17:17).
All theories, beliefs, doctrines, and teachings must be evaluated based on whether or not they agree with the Bible. Anything that disagrees with the Bible must be rejected as false.
The Bible does not address every possible issue. If the Bible is silent on a specific topic, then the absolute truth cannot be known. In these cases, one must use their understanding of Biblical principles to guide them. Research, history, genuine science, logic, the testimony of others, etc. may be helpful as long as they do not contradict the Word of God.
Doctrinal Statement of Faith
While I believe the Core Beliefs stated above are Biblical and true, they must be accepted by faith as the foundation of Biblical Theology. To say you believe the Bible because it is the Word of God, and you know it is the Word of God because the Bible says so, would be circular reasoning. That would prove nothing to an unbeliever.
Once you believe the Bible is the Word of the self-existent God who created the universe and all that is in it, then the following doctrine can be derived from it.
1. The Bible
The Bible is God’s written revelation to man. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments were given through Godly men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are the verbally (in every word) and plenary (in every part) inspired Word of God, and inerrant in the original writings. God’s Word is absolute truth, and the final authority in faith and life
- “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” 2 Tim. 3:16 (ISV)
- For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Pet. 1:21 (ESV)
- “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” John 17:17 (KJV)
God is the one and only self-existent, Supreme Being (Ex. 3:14; Deut. 6:4). He is the first cause of everything else. He is an infinite Spirit being (John 4:24), and is Eternal (Isaiah 57:15), Holy (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8), Omnipotent (Jer. 32:17, 27), Omnipresent (Psalm 137:12), and Omniscient (1 John 3:20), etc.
3. The Trinity
The one God eternally exists in three distinct aspects – the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. All three are co-equal in essence, power and glory, yet they are One Being. People were created in the image of God. Every person has a mind, a body, and a soul which together comprise the person. Similarly, God has a mind (the Father), a body (Jesus the Son), and a Soul (the Holy Spirit) which together comprise the totality of His being.
- When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mat 3:16-17 (NKJV)
- “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (NKJV)
- “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” John 15:26 (NKJV)
- “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .” Mat. 28:19 (NKJV)
- God the Father:
The first “person” and head of the Trinity. God the Father sits on the throne of Heaven (Rev. 4:10-11; 5:13) and is the mind of God. Jesus prayed to the Father, and taught men to direct their prayers to God the Father in Heaven (Mt. 6:6, 9; Lk. 11:2). Jesus came to do the will of the Father who sent Him (Jn. 6:38).
- God the Son:
The second “person” of the Trinity is the Revelation of God. Just as a person can only express or act on their thoughts through their words or actions, so God the Father reveals Himself to the world through Jesus Christ, who is the living Word of God.
The Son of God is the eternal Word of God (Jn. 1:1-3), who was made flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus the Christ (Jn. 1:14). Jesus was born of a virgin having been conceived by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 7:14; Lk. 1:26-35; Mt. 1:18-25).
Jesus is fully God and fully man, and lived a perfect, sinless life. Jesus Christ is the sinless Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29) by shedding His blood and dying as our substitute on the cross. Jesus paid for all of the sins of all mankind so that anyone who believes and trusts in Him can have eternal life (Jn. 3:16), rather than eternal death in hell.
Death could not hold the sinless Son of God; He was resurrected. On the 3rd day after His crucifixion, Jesus rose bodily from the dead to live forever more (John 2:19; Luke 24:39; Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 15). Jesus now makes intercession to the Father on behalf of those who have been saved by faith in Him [Christ] (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). The Father has committed all judgment to the Son (Jn. 5:22).
” . . . His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross . . .”
Col. 1:13-20 (NASB)
“For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21 (NKJV)
- God the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is the soul of God; the third “person” of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the Presence of God that fills the universe, but is not contained by it. The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of people to convict them of sin and draws them to faith in Jesus Christ through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God that gives spiritual life to those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:5-8). The Holy Spirit restrains the evil one (2 Thes. 2:7-8); and He convicts the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment (Jn. 16:8).
When a person truly believes and trusts in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit:
– Indwells them (Rom. 8:9-11)
– Seals them (Eph. 1:13-14)
– Helps them pray by interceding for them (Rom 8:26-27)
– Helps them understand and remember the Word of God (1 Cor. 2:10-14)
– “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (NKJV)
– “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26 (NKJV)
– “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13a (NKJV)
God created the universe (including the earth, stars and all other heavenly objects) and life (including plants, animals, and two people) in six literal 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago (Genesis 1-2). God designed all life forms to reproduce after their own kinds. The species alive today descended from the original created kinds by losing genetic information while adapting to different environments. God created everything very good originally, but man’s sin resulted in the curse and death, so we now live in a fallen world. The “geologic record” (including millions of fossils buried in vast layers of sedimentary rock all over the world) resulted primarily from erosion, sedimentation, and other catastrophic processes during a literal global flood that occurred in the days of Noah (Genesis 6 – 8).
- “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1
- “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.” Exo. 20:11a (NKJV)
- “. . . by Him who lives forever and ever, Who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, . . .” Rev. 10:6 (ESV)
- “You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.” Neh. 9:6 (NKJV)
- “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the LORD, and there is none else.” Isa. 45:18 (NASB)
- “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm . . .” Jer. 27:5 (KJV)
- “. . . We . . . preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,” Acts 14:15 (NKJV)
- “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.” 2 Pet. 3:5-6 (NIV)
Man was created in the image of God on the sixth day of creation, and was given authority (dominion) over all other life on earth (Gen 1:26-28). God gave man a free will. God gave man the power to choose his thoughts, actions, and feelings. Man has the freedom to choose good or evil, right or wrong, to love or hate, to obey or disobey. But with freedom comes responsibility. God holds people responsible to love and obey, and to choose the good.
Adam, the first man, sinned by choosing to disobey God. Adam immediately died spiritually (spiritual separation from God) and began to die physically. As a result, all human beings are born dead spiritually with a sinful nature. People are now sinners by birth and by choice, with desperately wicked hearts, inclined to evil. Our sin has earned eternal separation from God in hell. Faith in Jesus Christ for the free gift of salvation is our only hope of salvation. (Gen. 2:17; Gen. 3; Ps. 58:3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 1:20; 3:9-23; 5:12; 6:23; 1 Jn. 1:8).
6. Spirit Beings
God created a vast number (unnumbered in the Bible, but at least millions) of sinless spirit beings. One of these, though created holy by God, sinned through pride, and rebelled against his creator. (Col. 1:16; Heb. 12:22)
- Holy Angels
The holy angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they were created to serve God and to worship Him. (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9)
- Satan and Demons
One of the highest angels God created was Lucifer, a covering cherub. This angel became proud and envious. He wants to take God’s place, so he led a rebellion against his creator. He thereby became Satan, the open and declared enemy of God and man. The angels who fell by following Satan in his rebellion are now Demons. They fight with Satan in his war against God and mankind. (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel. 28:12-17; Matthew 4:1-11; 25:41; Revelation 12:1-17).
Satan is also the Devil, the Serpent, the Dragon, the father of lies (John 8:44), the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2), the god of this age (2 Cor. 4: 4), and the ruler of all the powers of darkness (Eph. 6:12). His temptation of Eve resulted in Adam’s sin and the fall of the human race (Genesis 3:1-15). He is destined to eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
Ever since the sin of Adam, all people have been born spiritually dead with a sinful nature. No one is righteous (Rom 3:10); all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). By our sin, all people have earned the penalty of eternal death (Rom. 6:23a). No amount of good works we do can compensate or pay for our sin.
God is holy and righteous, so He must punish our sin. But God is love, so He does not want to punish us. So God Himself became a man (Jesus) and paid the penalty of death to pay for our sins by dying on the Cross. Jesus had no sin of His own, so He was able to be our substitute. When Jesus died on the Cross, He paid for all of the sins of all mankind, so all could be saved. (2 Cor. 5:21; John 1:12; John 3:1-21; John 5:24; Rom. 5:6-9; Eph. 1:7)
Salvation is now available to all as a free gift, received by faith in the finished work and shed blood of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God (Rom. 6:23b; Eph 2:8.9; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). The most important decision a person makes in life is whether or not they place their faith in Jesus and trust Him as their Savior. There is no second chance after physical death. “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” Heb. 9:27 (ESV).
8. Eternal Security
When someone genuinely trusts Jesus as their personal savior, they are born spiritually (John 3:3-8) and sealed by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13). They become a “new creature” in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
Some may profess faith, but later turn back from God. These people are like seeds planted on stony ground that withers away because it has no root (Mat. 13:5-6, 20-21; Mark 4:5-6, 16-17; Luke 8:6, 13). They were never really saved. Genuine believers will remain faithful (1 John 2:19).
All those who are truly born again by faith in Jesus are kept by the power of God the Father for and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Their salvation is secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; John 10:27-30; John 17:1-24; Romans 8:38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-9; 1 Pet. 1:3-5)
9. Return of Christ
I believe in the personal, bodily, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial, and imminent return of Jesus Christ to rapture His church (John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18). The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant readiness and should motivate the believer to godly living and faithful service (Matt. 24:44; Rom. 12:1-2; Titus 2:11-13).
Christ will come in power at the end of the tribulation to defeat the Antichrist and his armies, and to establish the millennial kingdom (Rev. 19:11 – 20:10).