Statement of Doctrine
Is it important to know what you believe?
I Peter Chapter 3 verse 15 says it rather succinctly: We must always be ready to give an answer to every man as to why we believe what we believe. Contrary to what many may say, there is incredible logic in scripture. It is not man made logic but Holy Ghost logic!! I must be an ardent student of the scriptures. I must know why I believe what I believe. The Bible is the word of God. Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles said it best in Romans chapter 15 verse 13; F
or what aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Jesus obviously was a great example of why it is important to know what you believe. When the devil tempted in as recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 4, he was alble to use the word of god to counteract the twisted lies of the devil. The devil is a real devil and it is his mission to steal, kill and destroy. That being said, I must be prepared when he come around to do his work. While prayer is a weapon, knowing what the Bible says about him and truth, empowers me to be ready with the sword of the Spirit that Paul refers to in Ephesians 6:17.
Joshua is admonished by God in the book of Joshua chapter 1 and verse 8;
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. King James Version.
Therein lies one of the greatest impetus for being a diligent student of the word of God!!.
What is the purpose of sound doctrine for Christians?
The purpose of sound doctrine is to establish a solid, undeniable frame of reference for empirical biblical truth. There is false doctrine, doctrines of devils, and deceptive lies. Sound doctrine enables us to have a solid foundation and an illumined, discerning spiritual eye for Holy Spirit delivered truth. Not every thing we hear on TV and from some pulpits is sound doctrine. Especially in these perilous times. Many have justified doctrine, which is doctrine made up of logic and sensory perception alone. Sound doctrine is undeniable. It was delivered by witnesses who either experienced the truth, witnessed it or it was delivered to them by faithful witnesses.
2 Timothy chapter 3 verse 16 states:All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction [knowing what is sin so as to correct], for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect [competent], thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
We believe in one Triune God, meaning, a God eternally existing in three persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections. (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
And according to the early churches historic confessions that: We all believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that there is a single and simple spiritual being, whom we call God—eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty, completely wise, just and good, and the overflowing source of all good. (The Belgic Confession from the year 1560)
The Word of God
We believe the Holy Scripture of both the Old Testament and the New Testament to be the verbally inspired word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible, and God-breathed. (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12–13)
The Means by Which We Know God
First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe, since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures (great and small) are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God — his eternal power and his divinity — as the apostle Paul says all these things are enough to convict men and to leave them without excuse (Romans 1:20).
Second, he makes himself known to us more openly by his holy and divine Word, as much as we need in this life, for his glory and for the salvation of his own.
The Written Word of God
We confess that this Word of God was not sent nor delivered by the will of men, but that holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit, as Peter says. Afterwards our God — because of the special care he has for us and our salvation — commanded his servants, the prophets and apostles, to commit this revealed Word to writing (Article 2 and 3 of Belgic Confession).
The Sufficiency of Scripture
We believe that this Holy Scripture contains the will of God completely and that everything one must believe to be saved is sufficiently thought in it. For since the entire manner of service which God requires of us is described in it at great length, no one — even an apostle or an angel from heaven — as Paul says (Galatians 1:8) ought to teach other than what the Holy Scriptures have already taught us. For since it is forbidden to add to or subtract from the Word of God (Revelation 22:18; Proverbs 30:5–6) this plainly demonstrates that the teaching is perfect and complete in all respects.
Therefore, we must not consider human writing — no matter how holy their authors may have been — equal to the divine writings, nor may we put custom, nor the majority, nor age, nor the passage of time or person, nor councils, decrees, or official decisions above the truth of God, for the truth is above everything else (Article 7 Belgic Confession).
The Person and the Work of Jesus Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became fully man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1–2, 14; Luke 1:35). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3–5). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry as Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1–2). We believe Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1).
Again our ancient fathers spoke of the divinity of Christ. We believe that Jesus Christ, according to his divine nature, is the only Son of God — eternally begotten, not made nor created, for then he would be a creature.
He is one in essence with the Father — coeternal — the exact image of the person of the Father and the “reflection of his glory,”13 being in all things like him.
He is the Son of God not only from the time he assumed our nature but from all eternity, as the following testimonies teach us when they are taken together.
Moses says that God “created the world”;14 and John says that “all things were created by the Word,”15 which he calls God. The apostle says that “God made the world by his Son.”16 He also says that “God created all things by Jesus Christ.”17
And so it must follow that he who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ already existed when all things were created by him.
Therefore the prophet Micah says that his origin is “from ancient times, from eternity.”18 And the apostle says that he has “neither beginning of days nor end of life.”19
So then, he is the true eternal God, the Almighty, whom we invoke, worship, and serve.
13Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3 | 14 Gen. 1:1 | 15 John 1:3 | 16 Heb. 1:2 | 17 Col. 1:16 | 18 Mic. 5:2 | 19 Heb. 7:3 | (Belgic Confession)
The Person and the Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God and is one with the Godhead. That he is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; he is the Supernatural Agent in the regeneration of sinful man; that he baptizes believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption; that he is sent by Jesus Christ as comforter to all believers (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18). We believe that all the redeemed have the Holy Spirit resident in their lives and that also the Holy Spirit in Scripture and in present day has poured out his Spirit in such a way as to bring renewal, refreshing and the addition of power in the spiritual gifts and in the preaching of the Word to the lost. We believe that all the gifts mentioned in Scripture are present and available today, and that they are distributed as the Spirit so desires to build up the body and impact the lost world (Joel 2:28; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4, 17, 38-39; 8:14-17; I Corinthians 12)
The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that through Adam’s sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; man is totally depraved and of himself utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26–27; Romans 3:22–23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:12–13).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human effort. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 2:16, 3:8; I Peter 1:18-19; Romans 10:9-10).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is present to bring about the development of — through process — Christ’s character in each believer. Through repentance and yielding oneself to the Spirit of God, the believer is formed into an ever-increasing embracing of all things that God has for us (I Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; II Corinthians 3:18, 6:14-18; Romans 8:29; Hebrews 2:11).
We believe that the church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born again persons (Ephesians 1:22,23: 5:25-27; I Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2). We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament (Acts 14:27; 18:22; 20:17; I Timothy 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-11).
We believe in agreement with the Belgic Confession that, “our good God, mindful of our crudeness and weakness, has ordained sacraments for us to seal his promises in us, to pledge his good will and grace toward us, and also to nourish and sustain our faith…. For they are visible signs and seals of something internal and invisible, by means of which God works in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. So they are not empty and hollow signs to fool and deceive us, for their truth is Jesus Christ, without whom they would be nothing.”
Water Baptism: Following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new convert is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water as an act of obedience and as a testimony to the world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38). Again we confess with the ancient creeds that, “Having abolished circumcision which was done with blood, he established in its place the sacrament of baptism.”
The Lord’s Supper: We are called by the Word of God to remember the saving work of Christ on the cross, that his body was broken for us and that his blood was shed for us. In this Christ took our place, suffered the wrath of God for us and now also imputes his righteousness in us. When we take the elements of the cup, representing his blood and the bread, representing his body we are reminded of his past and present work on our behalf as well as in us. We are to partake of these elements with reverence, awe and joy. We are to examine ourselves and come to the table of the Lord with a clean conscience(Matthew 26:26-29; Acts 8:12, 36-38; 10:47-48; I Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-25).
We believe that Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after his death on the cross; that Christ was the first to be resurrected to eternal life and is now the first fruits of the coming resurrection of both the saved and the lost; that the saved will be resurrected to life with Christ in eternity and that the lost will be resurrected to eternal damnation (Luke 24:16, 36,39; John 2:19-21, 20:26-28; Acts 24:15; I Corinthians 15-42-44; Philippians 1:21-23, 3:21).
We believe that Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish his Kingdom. He will then establish a new heaven and a new earth from which he will reign forever (Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; II Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7, 21:1-3).