An Overview of My Doctrinal Beliefs:
1) The sixty-six books of the Protestant canon are together the inspired Word of God which have been definitively and finally revealed to man (2 Tim 3:16). The Scriptures are fully trustworthy and without error as they were originally written and are the final authority for all matters of Christian faith and practice. The Scriptures should be read, preached, and translated in the common vernacular of people throughout the world.
2) The Scriptures reveal the one true God who made heaven and earth (Neh 9:6; Psalm 146:6) and everything in them, who exists eternally as one God (Deut 6:4; Isa 45:5) in three personal beings, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Though the Father, Son, and Spirit possess distinct personalities, each are equally and fully of the divine nature (John 1:1) and ought, therefore, to be worshipped as Creator (Heb 1:6).
3) By his great power God created the world out of nothing and made man in his own image so that man could know and serve him. God’s eternal purpose in creation is to form a special people for himself who lovingly worship and serve him. In the Garden, the first man, Adam, rebelled against God. As humanity’s representative, Adam directly passes to all his descendants an inheritance of guilt for his first act of disobedience (Rom 5:12); and because human parents since Adam pass a corrupt nature to their children, every person is born in a state of active rebellion to God (Rom 3:10; Rom 8:8–9). God displayed his grace to Israel by choosing them as his people and revealing his Law to them, illustrating that his people need a new righteous nature (John 3:3-15), a final sin-offering (Heb 10:1–4), and a perfect King-Priest (Gal 3:24; Heb 10:11–14).
4) Every person is guilty before God for their own sins and for Adam’s first sin, and are in desperate need of rescue from divine judgment (Rom 3:23). Everyone, despite his or her best efforts to please God, is utterly undeserving of his grace. Yet before he made the world, God chose from eternity certain people upon whom he would show the greatness of his love by rescuing them from the eternal destruction of their sin. God did not choose them because of their own goodness, for all are are equally wicked before him (Rom 3:10–18). Instead, God set his love on them in order to display the incredible depth of his grace (Eph 1:4–6). God converts sinners by giving them new spiritual birth by Holy Spirit through the gospel (James 1:18), effecting in them an obedient response of repentance and faith in God’s promises of eternal life.
5) God’s saving grace to man is revealed in Jesus Christ, the perfect and final sacrifice for sin anticipated in the Old Testament and celebrated in the New Testament. To him alone everyone must turn in sincere repentance to be reconciled to God and to become part of his special people (Acts 4:12; 1 John 2:2). Jesus Christ is the second Person of the triune God, the eternal Word by whom and for whom the world was created (Col 1:16). As the Creator he laid aside the honor he deserved and humbled himself by taking on real human existence (Phil 2:5–8) to live a perfect life and to die sacrificially in the place of his people in order to satisfy the divine anger they deserved because of their sins. By his perfect obedience in life and in death, Jesus has become the new representative head of his special people—the sinless Second Adam who took upon himself the guilt of his people and clothes them with the righteousness of his obedience (Rom 5:12–19). God showed his acceptance of Christ’s obedient sacrifice by raising him again to permanent physical life (Acts 13:29-30). Jesus ascended back into heaven to be a perfect high priest for his people. God has appointed him the Judge of all things (Acts 10:41–42).
6) The fruit of true conversion among God’s people is joyful obedience to the lordship of Christ (Phil 2:12–13). A life-long pattern of perseverance in holiness and obedience to Christ is evidence of God’s sanctifying work (Col 1:22–23; Heb 3:6); it is a source of Christian assurance (Heb 10:32–36); and it is the ground upon which the believer’s claim to saving faith will be vindicated in the last day (Matt 12:36–37; Jas 2:14, 20).
7) Jesus came to Israel as their promised Messiah, and because of Israel rejected him, the message of God’s grace in Jesus is being proclaimed among all the nations of the earth—the people previously outside of God’s gracious work in the world (Rom 11:15; Eph 2:11–13). The church is the mystery of the Messiah’s saving grace being extended to the nations, a mystery which is now revealed in the present age (Col 1:26–27). The church is God’s new creation of Spirit-born people who enjoy fellowship which transcends all racial, political, and geographical barriers (Eph 2:11– 18; Col 3:9–11). God authenticated the church’s first proclaimation of the gospel by means of miraculous gifts of tongues, prophecies, and healings (Heb 2:1–4), and he sustains the ongoing operation of the church through non-miraculous gifts distributed to every believer by the Spirit (1 Cor 12:1–6). The mission of the church, as organized into independent local assemblies, is to make from all nations obedient disciples (Matt 28:19–20) who have turned from all forms of empty worship to serve the one true God (John 4:23; 1 Thess 1:9). Followers of Jesus become integral members of his body by engaging in the life of the church through corporate worship (Acts 13:1–2), mutual up-building in the Christian faith and in holiness (Heb 10:24–25), and the spread of the gospel to others. Those whom Christ adds to his church are citizens of his coming kingdom (Phil 3:20; Col 1:13).
8) In the last days, the ungodly will suffer seven years of divine judgment in the Tribulation and believers will experience overwhelming joy at the return of Christ who will resurrect their bodies to eternal life (1 Cor 15:51–53) and receive them into heaven (1 Thess 4:15–17) where they will stand before him (Jude 24). Christ will return to the earth with his holy people from both Israel and the church to establish his kingdom on earth for a thousand years in which he will rule in righteousness (Rev 20:4). Satan, an angel who God created who has fallen and has instigated creation’s rebellion, will be fully and finally consigned to eternal judgment with his demons and with unbelieving humanity following the Millennial kingdom (Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10). God will then usher his people of all ages into the joy of eternal worship and devotion to their Creator in the eternal state.
My full doctrinal statement is available upon request.