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INTRODUCTION > Statement of Faith   


Personally, I am content with a person simply affirming faith in Jesus Christ, meaning that the individual is committed to following Christ and thereby pursuing the Christian perspective on all things.

But some believers would deny the sufficient of such a simple affirmation, and they would require an enlarged statement. Two expanded statements that espouse the essentials are the Old Roman Creed, also known as the Old Roman Symbol, and the Apostles’ Creed, which appeared later. Each is listed below, and I have no hesitation in affirming both.

The Old Roman Creed or Old Roman Symbol

I believe in God the Father Almighty; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; on the third day He rose again from the dead, ascended to heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead; and in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Modern Version of the Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.   I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.   He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.   I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Even with the personal affirmation, and the two ancient statements, many modern believers, in varying degrees, expect and/or even demand a more detailed statement of faith. But with added details, especially if the details are considered essential, comes multiple occasions for separation and division between believers, which is indeed the history of the Church.

Following is a more detailed statement of faith, but it is not an infallible statement.

GOD

God, who is Spirit, is the one and only living, eternal, self-existing God; He is holy, wise, true, immutable, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.  He is the absolute Sovereign over all creation, which He brought into existence out of nothing by His Word and which He sustains by His own power; and He works all things according to His own wise and righteous will and for His own glory.

(Gen.1:1; 21:33; Ex. 3:14; 15:11; Lev. 11:44-45; Num. 23:19; Deut. 6:4; 32:39; Ps. 33:11, 13-15; 42:2; 47:1-2, 5-9; 90:2; 93:1-2, 4-5; 96:10; 97:1; 99:1-5; 104:24; 135:6; 139:2-3, 7-12; 148:5-6; Prov. 16:4; 21:1; Isa. 6:3; 40:13; 44:6; 45:12; 46:9-10; 48:3; 52:7; 66:1; Jer. 23:23-24; 32:17; Dan. 4:34-35; Matt. 10:29; Jo. 4:24; 17:3; 21:17; Acts 15:18; Rom. 3:4; 8:28; 11:33, 36; 16:27; I Cor. 8:4, 6; Eph. 1:5, 9, 11; Col. 1:15-16; I Tim. 1:17; Heb. 1:3; 11:3; Jam. 1:17; Rev. 1:8, 11; 4:8, 11; 19:11)

God's essence (ousia) is shared by each of the subsistences (hypostasis), Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by which God exists and is known to man.  Each partakes of the same essence and inheres within the essence; and each, therefore, is properly called God.  Each possesses a unique quality that is distinct to each: the Father is unbegotten, the Son is begotten, and the Spirit proceeds.  God is a Trinity, a Tri-Unity. He is absoluteness Oneness in absoluteness Threeness.

(Gen. 1:1, 26; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 2:1-7; Isa. 44:6; Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; Mk. 12:35-37; Jo. 1:1-2, 14, 18; 10:30; 15:26; 17:5; 14:9-11; Rom. 9:5; I Cor. 8:4-6; II Cor. 13:14; Eph. 1:3-14; 4:4-6; Col. 1:15-16, 19; 2:9; II Thess. 2:13-14; I Tim. 1:1; 2:5; I Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:4-5)

BIBLE

The Bible is God's Revelation of Himself to man.  It was written by holy men of God who were inspired by the Holy Spirit; therefore, the content of the Bible is Truth, without any mixture of error, meaning that the Bible is definitive and authoritative in all that it affirms.  Scripture informs the belief and practice of the Church, though Church Councils and Creeds should be consulted and evaluated by the Scriptures.

(Num. 23:19; I Sam. 15:29; Ps. 19:7-11; 119:30, 89, 137-140, 142, 160; Dan. 10:21; Matt. 4:4; 5:17; Jo. 10:35; 14:26; 15:26; 17:17; Rom. 16:26; Gal. 1:6-9, 11-12; I Thess. 2:13; II Thess. 3:14; II Tim. 3:16; Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18; II Pet. 1:21; Rev. 1:3; 22:7, 14, 18-19)

Understanding and acceptance of the Truth of Scripture is based upon the inward convicting and illuminating work of the Spirit, without which the Scriptures cannot be known. With the Spirit’s assistance the best interpreter of Scripture is seen to be Scripture, and the proper approach is to interpret Scripture from the standpoint of unity not diversity.

(Job 32:8; Ps. 119:18-19, 26-27, 33-34, 73, 125, 144; Jo. 16:12-15; Acts 16:14; I Cor. 2:9-14; II Cor. 3:14-16; 4:6; Eph. 1:17-18; Heb. 10:32)

MAN

Man was created by God out of the dust of the earth and was made in the image and likeness of God, possessing true righteousness and knowledge.  Adam, as representative of the human race, sinned against God and brought sin upon himself and upon all mankind, with the result being immediate spiritual death for Adam and his descendants. Spiritual death is separation from God, guilt before God, corruption of all of man's nature, and an inability to do good. Man, therefore, is born with a sinful nature and commits sinful acts because of his nature, his nature being totally inclined to evil. Thus, man is in need of personal salvation, without which he is eternally lost.

(Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7; 3:1-19, 22-24; Ps. 51:5; Isa. 24:5-6; 53:6; Jer. 17:9; Matt. 15:19; Jo. 3:36; 5:40; 6:44; Rom. 3:23, 9-20; 5:12-19; 6:20-21, 23; 8:7-8; I Cor. 15:22; II Cor. 4:3-4; Gal. 3:10; 5:19-21; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19, 24; Col. 3:10; Tit. 3:3; I Jo. 1:8-10; 3:4; Rev. 20:11-14)

JESUS

Jesus, who is the Christ, existed from eternity, was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true Man, who as God assumed flesh and became a man (the God-Man).  He lived a sinless life, being holy and undefiled, and died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for man's sin, paying the necessary price that must be paid to effect man's salvation.

(Isa. 7:14; 9:6; 53:1-12; Matt. 1:18-25; Mk. 10:45; Lu. 1:26-37; 2:1-11; Jo. 1:1-2, 14, 18, 29; 8:46; 59:58; 10:30; 14:9, 19; 17:5; 20:28; Acts 2:36; 4:12; 13:38; 20:28; Rom. 3:24-26; 5:1-2, 6-11; 8:1; II Cor. 5:18-21; Gal. 3:13-14; 4:4-5; Eph. 1:7, 11; Col. 1:15-16, 19-22; 2:9; II Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 9:14; 10:12; I Pet. 1:18-20; 2:21-24; 3:18; I Jo. 2:1-2; 3:5)

Jesus was bodily raised from the grave, ascended into heaven, and all things have been placed under His feet; He is in His present work at the Father's right hand as High Priest, making intercession for His own.

(Matt. 28:1-8; Mk. 16:1-13; Lu. 24: 1-12; Jo. 20:1-10; Acts 1:9-11; 2; Phil. 1:22-23; I Cor. 15:1-28; Eph. 1:19-22; Phil. 2:9-11; I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 7:22-2:8; :12:2; 10:11-12, 19-21; I Pet. 3:18; I Jo. 2:1)

SALVATION

Salvation is all of grace; it is not contingent upon man's works, for man can do nothing to initiate or complete his salvation, which was determined by God in eternity before time.  It is the Spirit that convicts and converts the sinner, imparting spiritual life where there is death.  The proper response of man to God's salvation is repentance and faith, which man is enabled to give to God by the quickening work of the Spirit using the Word of God.

(Ps. 65:4; Jonah 2:9; Mk. 6:12; Lu. 13:3, 5; Jo. 3:18, 36; 5:24; 6:44; 14:19; 16:7-11, 13; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 13:48; 16:30-31; 17:30; 20:21; Rom. 1:16; 3:24; 5:15, 17, 20; 8:29-30; 9:11, 13, 16, 18-24; 10:17; I Cor. 1:4, 9, 21, 24, 26; 2:14; 7:18, 21; 15:22; II Cor. 3:6; 4:6; 7:10; Gal. 3:2; 4:6-7; Eph. 1:3-12; 2:4-9; 4:1; Phil. 1:29; 2:13; Col. 1:19-23; 3:12; I Thess. 1:4; 5:9; II Thess. 2:13-14; II Tim. 1:9-10; 2:25; Tit. 1:1-2; 3:4-7; Heb. 4:12; 11:6; I Pet. 1:2, 10, 18-21, 22-23; Rev. 13:8)

Salvation by God involves the redemption of the whole person, including, but not limited to: justification (salvation from the guilt and penalty of sin), sanctification (salvation from the habit and dominion of sin), and glorification (salvation from the presence of sin).

(Jo. 17:17; Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 1:17; 3:21-31; 4:1-25; 5:1; 8:28-34; 12:1-2; I Cor. 6:11; 15:50-57; II Cor. 3:18; 5:21; 7:1; Gal. 2:16; 3:7-9, 24; Eph. 1:7; 4:23-24; 5:25-27; Phil. 2:13; Col. 1:21-22; I Thess. 4:3-4; 5:9-10, 23-24; II Thess. 2:13-14; Heb. 10:12-14; 13:20-21; I Pet. 1:2)

It is impossible for one who has been born into the family of God to lose that position and become lost again.  Man does not keep himself; God keeps him.  Man's security is based upon the sufficiency of the Atonement, God's act of grace in saving, and God's power in keeping.  All true believers shall persevere to the end and will never fall away from the state of grace that they have in Christ.

(Jo. 6:37-40; 10:9, 27-29; 11:26; 17:2, 6, 9, 24; 19:30; Rom. 8:14-17, 23, 31-39; I Cor. 1:7-9; Gal. 4:6-7; Eph. 1:7, 13-14; 2:5; 4:30; Phil. 1:6; I Thess. 5:23-24; II Thess. 3:3; II Tim. 1:12; 4:18; Heb. 6:17-20; 12:2; I Pet.1:3-5; II Pet. 1:2-4, 10-11; I Jo. 3:1-3; 5:10-13, 20)

CHURCH

The local New Testament Church is a body of baptized believers, who are addressed as saints in the New Testament and are united under the Lordship of Christ, answerable to no other ecclesiastical body, and accountable only to Christ, who is the Head of the Church.  The Church exists for the purpose of worship, edification, missions, and fellowship.  The universal Church (the complete spiritual body of Christ) is composed of all those who have been or will be saved. The ordinances of the Church are two: baptism (baptism by immersion) and the Lord's Supper (both bread and wine). The two Scriptural officers of the Church are pastor (elder, bishop) and deacon.

(Jer. 9:23-24; Matt. 16:13-18; 28:18-19; Acts 2:36-42, 46-47; I Cor. 1:2; 12:12-14, 27; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 4:4-5; 5:23-27; Col. 1:18, 24; Heb. 10:24-25; 12:23; 13:15-16; Matt. 26:26-30; 28:19; Mk. 14:22-25; Lu. 22:17-20; Acts 2:36-38, 41; 8:35-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-7; I Cor. 11:17-34; Col. 2:11-12; Heb. 12:22-23; Acts 6:1-6; 14:23; 15:2, 22; 20:17, 28; I Cor. 9:13-14; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:11-12; Phil. 1:1; I Thess. 5:12-13; I Tim. 3:1-13; 5:17-20; II Tim. 2:2; Tit. 1:5-9; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24; I Pet. 5:1-4)

FUTURE

Jesus will return to this earth personally to rule for one thousand years. In connection with the Millennium there will be two resurrections, one before the Millennium and one after the Millennium.  And the resurrections will be resurrections to judgment, resulting in either eternal life or eternal death. Then Christ and those He has redeemed will enjoy unbroken and eternal fellowship in a new heaven and a new earth.

(Matt. 24:30-31; 26:64; Jo. 5:22, 28-29; 5:25-29; 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 3:21; 4:18-21; 17:31; I Cor. 15:50-57; II Cor. 5:10; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 3:4; I Thess. 4:13-18; II Thess. 1:7-9; II Tim. 4:8; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:27-28; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-16; 20:11-15; 21:1-4; 22:3-4)


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