The Basis of my Worldview is What I Believe as a Christian

    Here I will define what a Christian is supposed to believe, and why I have the beliefs that I do.


What Scripture/God Teaches Us

    Some of the words found in the Gospels (the biographies of Jesus; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the letters of the Apostles and disciples of Jesus (Peter, James, John, Paul and others) contain things which are so clear that anyone who wishes to call themselves a Christian, must either accept, believe and live according to them, or admit that they should no longer call themselves a Christian!


What It Means To Be a Christian

Being a Christian is more than identifying yourself with a particular religion or affirming a certain value system. Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible (see section below on The Scriptures) says about God, mankind, and salvation. Consider the following truths found in Scripture:

1) God is the Sovereign Creator of Everything
Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him. The New Testament reveals that Jesus Himself created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

2) God is Holy
God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13). God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

3) Mankind is Sinful
According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: "There is no man who does not sin" (1 Kings 8:46; Romans 3:23). That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. (Romans 3:10-12).

4) Sin Demands a Penalty
God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death (Ezekiel 18:4, "the soul who sins shall die") — That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences.

5) Jesus is Lord and Savior
The New Testament reveals it was by and through and for Jesus that everything was created (Colossians 1:16). Therefore He owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship. Romans 10:9-10 says, If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice and Christ’s perfect life satisfied the demands of God’s holiness (2 Corinthians 5:21), thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26).

6) The Character of Saving Faith
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Luke 13:3,5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and pursue Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) and obedience to Him (1 John 2:3). It is not enough to merely believe certain facts are true about Christ. Even the devil and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10); but never with an attitude of thinking it might ‘help you get to heaven’ or feeling as if you ‘have to do so’ rather than only wanting to.


Beliefs All True Christians Accept:

    As I mentioned above, there are some statements in the Bible that are so clear, no one who wishes to call themselves a Christian (a follower of Jesus, the Christ; i.e., the Messiah) can (honestly) deny. What it means to be a Christian is found in New Testament passages such as these: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas [(Simon) Peter; see Luke 24:34], then to the twelve [Disciples; "eleven" in Luke 24:33. But Paul included Judas’s replacement Matthias (see Acts 1:21-26) here]. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive [at the time Paul wrote this], ... ." (1 Corinthians 15:3-6; cf. Acts 1:3 as well) And: "Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:12-14). Christians must, therefore, believe in the physical death, burial and resurrection of Jesus; and that there was ample evidence for this, since "more than 500" brethren saw His resurrected body at the same time; not to mention all the other living appearances after His death as recorded in the Gospels! So, belief in the Resurrection of Jesus is required!

    And for Christians today, this includes a belief in the written testimonies of Matthew and John, two of Jesus’ original twelve disciples, and other Believers, such as Mark, Luke and the Apostle Paul; without which, there would be no solid basis for our Christian beliefs! So, we must also believe in the truth of the testimonies recorded in the New Testament; for which there is an abundant supply of manuscripts, translations and early quotes and allusions, showing that its words are not the result of an editorial process at some point much later in history! (And by extension, Christians also believe that the words of the Hebrew Scriptures are from God, those of eye witnesses or what was revealed to various prophets of Israel by the Holy Spirit, since Jesus and the Apostles told us they were.)

A list from clear passages in Scripture of what a Christian must believe would include (in no particular order) the following; each of these items will be expanded upon with Scripture references in titled sections (such as, "The Scriptures") further below:

• The death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus (as noted above).
• Jesus’ virgin birth and completely sinless nature.
• Jesus’ deity (that He was God incarnate; both fully human and fully God).
• The Triune Nature of God; existing eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (much more on this below).
• That all human beings (excluding the human nature of Jesus) are sinful and in need of the salvation provided only by the atoning work of Christ (John 14:6); there is nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God in order to live with Him forever.
• That Believers are justified before God by faith alone! (Justification should never be confused with a Believer's progressive sanctification. See Justification below.)
• That the Church, the Body of Christ, comprised of all true Believers in Him, was instituted to proclaim the good news of God’s salvation in Christ to everyone (Matthew 28:19-20), and to encourage each other (1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11 ff) to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior" (2 Peter 3:18) and to learn as much as we can about God (for example, Can you list all of His attributes recorded in Scripture?) with a view towards worshiping Him and bringing Him glory in all we do; both of which Believers will continue to do beyond our lives here on earth!
• That Jesus Christ will return to earth again as its Judge, at which time Believers will begin a continual fellowship with God, eternally; whereas unbelievers, remaining in a conscious state, will be separated from Him and all that is good, forever.

There are certainly other ways of expressing these beliefs and likely others which could or even should be added to this list (I’d be happy to discuss that with you; see link at very end of this page), but if you do not believe in one of the statements above, to the point of outright denying it; not only having a problem understanding the words and seeking further clarification, but flat out denying that these beliefs were revealed to us in Scripture, then I would caution you to examine the Scriptures referenced here and pray for understanding from the Holy Spirit.

For those who blatantly refuse to accept the authority of Scripture (often being blinded by their sinful nature and highly unlikely to even want to call themselves Christians; though some still do), the word Moralist or a similar term would be more appropriate.

However, for those who, for example, deny the deity of Christ and believe He is a created being or believe that Scripture allows for what we call ‘universal salvation’ (that God will eventually bring everyone into fellowship with Him in heaven), those are heretical beliefs opposed to the clear Word of God. There are also many calling themselves Christians who deny that Scripture has revealed the Triune Nature of God to us (again, not simply someone having a problem understanding this revelation, but completely denying the words of Scripture which teach this; such as stating the words "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" in Matthew 28:19 were never part of the autographs). That is heresy as well, because God shows us in Scripture that He was able to exercise His attribute of love before creating anything! Love is one of God’s inherent attributes, because there is more than one center of consciousness within His being (see footnote 5 on the word persons under the section God below): The Father’s love for the Son existed before Creation, for example, see John 5:20a in light of John 17:5 (for the "Father love[d] the Son" who was "in [His] presence" ... "before the world existed").


Note: Although most of what you see below are beliefs which ALL Christians should affirm, some of the following will touch upon topics for which there are still diverse views within the Body of Christ; and not required for salvation: The exact meaning of every single word in the very first section of Genesis for example (though holding a view different than that which was clearly taught by Jesus and Paul in references to Genesis 1, could easily lead to a denial of one or more unequivocal statements necessary for true Christian belief) or a phrase here or there concerning the human condition and the atoning work of Christ in regards to the Election of Believers (much more will be said about these in the full section on Salvation much further below):


The Scriptures

The 66 self-attesting books of Scripture (also known as The Bible[1]) are God’s written revelation to man. These words were given to us by the Holy Spirit and constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

The Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek autographs, infallible, and God-breathed. A literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture (grammar, history and CONTEXT all being very important; not a wooden literalness ignorant of the use of figures of speech, poetry, metaphors, parables, etc. nor of the idioms in use when written) should always be employed, which would affirm the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal (though not exactly 24-hour) days[2] (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17).

That the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

God spoke in His written Word using a process of dual authorship: The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Peter 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16).

Although there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20). It is the responsibility of Believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that the proper use of Scripture[3] is binding on all generations of Believers.[4] Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of all men; never do men stand in judgment of it.


There is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing (Isaiah 43:12-13 "I am God. Even from eternity I am He", Romans 16:26 "eternal God") in three Persons [5] — Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14) — each equally deserving worship and obedience.

God is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36).

God the Father
God the Father, the first Person of the Triunity[6], orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6).

His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Triunity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to Believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He lessen or dilute the accountability of His moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).

God the Son
Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Triunity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial (of the same essence), and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).

God the Father created according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).

In the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind.

In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Triunity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9). Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9).

The Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

In the incarnation, the Second Person of the Triunity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-8).

Jesus Christ accomplished the redemption of Believers through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross. His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24).

On the basis of the efficacy of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).

A Christian’s justification is made sure by Jesus’ literal, physical resurrection from the dead. He ascended to (and is now at) the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as the Believer’s Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).

In the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all Believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the One through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23):

As the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Head of His Body the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming universal King, who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31-33), He is the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31).

God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third divine Person of the Triunity, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the Divine Will with relation to all mankind. Believers recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7).

The work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost, when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming Believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).

The Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all Believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).

The Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2 Peter 1:19-21). Every Believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).

The Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up Believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

In that respect, God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today, and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of Believers (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).


Human Beings

Adam and Eve were directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness[7] free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9), and although all of humanity (except for the human nature of Jesus) since the Fall of Adam are sinners, they still retain to some degree the other aspects with which Adam and Eve were created.

God’s intention in the creation of humans was that they should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live their lives in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for humanity in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).

In Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, humanity is hopelessly lost. Our salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8).

Because all future men and women were "in Adam," (1 Corinthians 15:22a) a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all humans in all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).


Physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Revelation 6:9-11). The soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8), and there is a separation of soul and body (Philippians 1:21-24).

Scripture also teaches the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14) to live forever with the Lord (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting separation from God (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15).



Holy Angels
Angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are 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).

Fallen Angels
Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).

Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:13-14; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 12:9-10); the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20); and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).


Possible Differences in Your Christian Beliefs

    The following sections may contain beliefs which those whom I would still consider true Christian Believers might disagree with; such as, Election by the Sovereign choice of God alone; i.e., Arminianism vs Calvinism. HOWEVER, most of what follows; especially the statements on Salvation (some aspects of which were already mentioned at the beginning as those which must be believed), are still to be considered essential; not optional. Other beliefs where there will be differences include: a) the modes and exact meaning of the ordinances instituted by Christ for His Church (baptism and communion), b) the exact meaning of various parts of Scripture pertaining to the end of the world and various events leading up to and following it and c) the exact nature and extent of various gifts of the Spirit.
    But perhaps after examining the Scripture references below, some may change their views on one or more of these topics:



Salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the Believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the Believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Such a conformity is climaxed in the Believer’s glorification at Christ’s second coming (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3). [Also see: Sanctification below.]

Election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).

Sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).

The unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative on their own part nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2).

Election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign, but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; 2 Timothy 1:9).

Justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

Every Believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the Believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).

However, there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the Believer is brought closer to the standing the Believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the Believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23).

In this respect, every saved person is involved in a daily conflict — the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh — but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the Believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).

All the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24).

It is the privilege of Believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living (Romans 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).

Separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and the Scriptures clearly indicate that in "the last days," apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to Believers, and because God is so worthy of total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate an adoring love to God, and so as not to bring reproach upon their Lord and Savior. Scripture also teaches that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of them by God (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).

So, Believers should be separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness that reflects the teaching of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).


The Church

All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).

The formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

The church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again Believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:32).

The establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).

The one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors and pastor-teachers; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5). These leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:7, 17).

The importance of discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2), mutual accountability of all Believers to each other (Matthew 18:5-14), as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16).

Local churches should be autonomous, that is, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). It is, however, scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church though, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

The purpose of the Church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances* (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42).

Scripture teaches the calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 22:12).

Scripture teaches the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:7-12), and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

There were two kinds of gifts given the early church: 1) Miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12); and 2) Ministering gifts, given to equip Believers for edifying one another.

When the New Testament revelation was complete, Scripture became the sole test of the authenticity of a man’s message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature were no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even Believers (1 Corinthians 13:13-14:12; Revelation 13:13-14). The only gifts in operation today are those nonrevelatory equipping gifts given for the edification of the Church (Romans 12:6-8).

No one possesses the gift of healing today, but God most certainly does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1-6; John 5:7-9; 2 Corinthians 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:14-15).

* Two ordinances have been committed to the local church; baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42):

  1) Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a Believer showing forth his or her faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41-42).

  2) The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). We also teach that, whereas the elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, participation in the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, who is present in a unique way (through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit), fellowshipping with His people (1 Corinthians 10:16).


Last Things

Physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Revelation 6:9-11). The soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8), and there is a separation of soul and body (Philippians 1:21-24). For the redeemed, such separation will continue until the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), which initiates the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6), when their souls and bodies will be reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Scripture teaches the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15).

The souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

The Rapture of the Church
Scripture teaches the personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to receive the Church, which is His Body, unto Himself at the rapture, before the seven-year tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward Believers according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The Tribulation Period
Immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15-31; 25:31-46).

The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign
Scripture teaches that, after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10-11; 2:29-30) and establish His Messianic Kingdom for 1,000 years on the earth (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-22; Revelation 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Daniel 7:17-27; Revelation 20:1-7).

The Kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 8:1-17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11:1-26), but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-32; Romans 11:25-29).

This time of the Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:17-25; Ezekiel 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Revelation 20:7).

The Judgment of the Lost
Following the release of Satan after the 1,000-year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10), whereupon Christ, who is the Judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne Judgment.

This resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (John 5:28-29), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15).

After the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15; 21:1-27; 22:1-21). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21-22). The Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).



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1[Return to Text]   The common Christian Bible is comprised of both the Hebrew Scriptures (divided into 39 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi ) and what Christians refer to as the New Testament (comprised of these 27 books and letters: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude and The Revelation of Jesus Christ ). Resources on the canonicity of Scripture. Be sure to RIGHT-CLICK and SAVE the following to your PC: PDF file containing slides for the following lecture: Why These 66 Books? by Nathan Busenitz. A discussion at G3 (Gospel, grace, and glory) Missions Conference by Michael Kruger & James White On the Biblical Canon.

2[Return to Text]   No one can know for sure what the rotational speed of the earth was shortly after God created it; though we do know now, that tidal effects of the moon have caused the spinning motion of the earth to slow down, so the lengths of light and darkness in our historical past were somewhat shorter than they are today! Yet it was not God’s purpose to provide Moses with a scientifically detailed account of Creation. However, any straight-forward historical interpretation of Genesis 1, clearly does not allow for its days to mean very long periods of time (such as the millions of years some want to insert between them). As we point out in our Introduction to Genesis under Day 4: Do the items under days Three and Four appear out of order to you? Vegetation created before the sun? We can’t help but believe God did so explicitly, in order to show us that the "days" in these verses could not be long periods of time, since it’s obvious that the plants growing on the earth (and all life that depends upon them) could never exist very long without sunlight! (This thought and similar ones found in Scripture, should lead us to conclude that someone other than the men who penned its books, was behind it all.) Though some have disagreed with this interpretation of Genesis 1 (which in itself is certainly not something Christian belief must depend upon), I’d recommend studying the works of various Hebrew scholars (who actually believe in God’s existence and creative acts); e.g., Dr. William Barrick, and all the evidence for taking Genesis 1 as narrative; not figurative speech. Sadly, a number of scholars, though admitting Genesis 1 cannot be anything but narrative, say they still do NOT accept what it says! One (more in the future) resource on this: Lecture 4, The Creation Record - Is It Poetry? (of the 2013 MacDonald Lectures) and Lecture 2, The Historicity Of Adam (keep in mind this was given in 2013).

3[Return to Text]   By those we call pastors, preachers, teachers or ministers of the Word (including elders or even a husband in relation to his wife and children or a mother in relation to her children) whenever they accurately proclaim the Commandments given to the Church (the Body of Christ) or any of the general principles for living your life in Christ to those whom they have been given the responsibility for guiding and watching over by God. There are many passages in Scripture concerning the seriousness and responsibility teachers must have when teaching from or discussing the Word of God. See for example: God judges those who speak for Him (James 3:1; 1 Corinthians 4:4) and one must be "sober-minded" when doing so (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

4[Return to Text]   For example, the qualifications for those who serve in leadership roles of the Church does not change; nor has the Lord’s commandment to preach the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19). The societies we happen to live in are ever changing, but not the Word of God (Isaiah 40:8).

5[Return to Text]   It is important to understand how words and phrases such as person, personal distinction, spirit, divine, etc. are used in these statements: When we use terms such as these, we must always remember they are of human origin and therefore limited and fallible! Just as the early church did when writing about God’s existence, we use these words in order to maintain truth and cut off error. They were chosen not because they are accurate in every respect, but because we have no better words to use.

  For example, the only persons we can be physically familiar with are ourselves and other humans, and can never literally know their thoughts nor even everything about ourselves! So the word person falls far short when it comes to describing and understanding the personal distinctions used of God in Scripture; a being who is completely unique in the whole Universe (and beyond it) and impossible to be fully compared to any other.

  Therefore, we can only attempt to preserve the actuality of God’s existence in this inadequate way, and should never forget that it is the reality itself and not the words which count. [These notes are based upon a few paragraphs by Herman Bavinck in his work Our Reasonable Faith (Eerdmans, ©1956; Baker, 1977 Edition), page 158. Quote available upon request.]

6[Return to Text]   Though we understand the word Trinity has been used by many Christians to refer to the triune nature of God, we prefer to explicitly state that this is also a unity to be sure no one thinks we are only describing three of something; or worse, that it might be three human-like persons, rather than what Scripture emphasizes about God, which is the unity of His three persons (being unlike anything or anyone else in the whole Universe), in contrast to any belief in the existence of some kind of god (or gods) other than the יהוה (YHWH or YHVH) of Israel, "THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY" (Exodus 6:3; Isaiah 44:6-8; Revelation 4:8). Nevertheless, as stated above, God also exists in three Persons.

7[Return to Text]   The terms image and likeness do not mean that humans beings are of the same divine nature as God. What God did was to create mankind in a way they could both intellectually understand God’s words (including communicating and rationally discussing His revelation with each other) and also experience as His representatives on earth all the ways in which they were made like God: The fact that we, as humans, have mental, moral, spiritual and relational aspects, which allow us to partially share in and understand some of God’s attributes, such as, communicating in abstract thought, knowing what it means to love (with no expectation of reward), showing mercy and compassion towards others, etc.




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Revised: October 24, 2020 (2020.10.24) and October 25, 2020 (2020.10.25).
Updated: November 1, 2020 (2020.11.01).

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