Friday, September 6, 2013

Statement of Faith

Formatting the blog so that I can have links on the side is on my to-do list. Until then, I figure I would make a blog post for the purpose of anyone curious about the faith doctrines that this author holds.

It's very convenient--I agree wholeheartedly with the statements of faith on the GotQuestions and Answers in Genesis websites. I will reproduce them below, and then add some thoughts of my own, to 'personalize' it.

AiG Statement of Faith

Section 1: Priorities

  • The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.
  • The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Section 2: Basics

  • The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches. Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science.
  • The final guide to the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself.
  • The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life, mankind, the earth, and the universe.
  • The various original life forms (kinds), including mankind, were made by direct creative acts of God. The living descendants of any of the original kinds (apart from man) may represent more than one species today, reflecting the genetic potential within the original kind. Only limited biological changes (including mutational deterioration) have occurred naturally within each kind since creation.
  • The great Flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide (global) in its extent and effect.
  • The special creation of Adam (the first man) and Eve (the first woman), and their subsequent fall into sin, is the basis for the necessity of salvation for mankind.
  • Death (both physical and spiritual) and bloodshed entered into this world subsequent to and as a direct consequence of man’s sin.

Section 3: Theology

  • The Godhead is triune: one God, three Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • All mankind are sinners, inherently from Adam and individually (by choice), and are therefore subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
  • Freedom from the penalty and power of sin is available to man only through the sacrificial death and shed blood of Jesus Christ and His complete and bodily resurrection from the dead.
  • The Holy Spirit enables the sinner to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
  • The Holy Spirit lives and works in each believer to produce the fruits of righteousness.
  • Salvation is a gift received by faith alone in Christ alone and expressed in the individual’s repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God.
  • All things necessary for our salvation are expressly set down in Scripture.
  • Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
  • Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father, and shall return in person to this earth as Judge of the living and the dead.
  • Satan is the personal spiritual adversary of both God and mankind.
  • Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God.
  • The only legitimate marriage sanctioned by God is the joining of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other, and has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s gender, or disagreement with one’s biological gender, is sinful and offensive to God.
  • It is the duty of Christians to attend a local Bible believing church, as portrayed in the New Testament.
  • All human life is sacred and begins at conception (defined as the moment of fertilization). The unborn child is a living human being, created in the image of God, and must be respected and protected both before and after birth. The abortion of an unborn child or the active taking of human life through euthanasia constitutes a violation of the sanctity of human life, and is a crime against God and man.

Section 4: General

The following are held by members of the Board of Answers in Genesis to be either consistent with Scripture or implied by Scripture:
  • Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ.
  • The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six [6] consecutive twenty-four [24] hour days of creation.
  • The Noachian Flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time.
  • The gap theory has no basis in Scripture.
  • The view, commonly used to evade the implications or the authority of biblical teaching, that knowledge and/or truth may be divided into secular and religious, is rejected.
  • By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.
Updated: December 12, 2012

GotQuestions Statement of Faith

Section 1: The Bible
We believe the Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Matthew 5:18;2 Timothy 3:16-17). In faith we hold the Bible to be inerrant in the original writings, God-breathed, and the complete and final authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17). While still using the individual writing styles of the human authors, the Holy Spirit perfectly guided them to ensure they wrote precisely what He wanted written, without error or omission (2 Peter 1:21).

Section 2: God
We believe in one God, who is Creator of all (Deuteronomy 6:4;Colossians 1:16), who has revealed Himself in three distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14), yet who is one in being, essence, and glory (John 10:30). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), infinite (1 Timothy 1:17), and sovereign (Psalm 93:1). God is omniscient (Psalm 139:1-6), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-13), omnipotent (Revelation 19:6), and unchanging (Malachi 3:6). God is holy (Isaiah 6:3), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and righteous (Exodus 9:27). God is love (1 John 4:8), gracious (Ephesians 2:8), merciful (1 Peter 1:3), and good (Romans 8:28).

Section 3: Jesus Christ
We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is God incarnate, God in human form, the expressed image of the Father, who, without ceasing to be God, became man in order that He might demonstrate who God is and provide the means of salvation for humanity (Matthew 1:21;John 1:18;Colossians 1:15).

We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary; that He is truly fully God and truly fully man; that He lived a perfect, sinless life; that all His teachings are true (Isaiah 14;Matthew 1:23). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for all humanity (1 John 2:2) as a substitutionary sacrifice (Isaiah 53:5-6). We hold that His death is sufficient to provide salvation for all who receive Him as Savior (John 1:12;Acts 16:31); that our justification is grounded in the shedding of His blood (Romans 5:9;Ephesians 1:17); and that it is attested by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6;1 Peter 1:3).

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven in His glorified body (Acts 1:9-10) and is now seated at the right hand of God as our High Priest and Advocate (Romans 8:34;Hebrews 7:25).

Section 4: The Holy Spirit
We believe in the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). He regenerates sinners (Titus 3:5) and indwells believers (Romans 8:9). He is the agent by whom Christ baptizes all believers into His body (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). He is the seal by whom the Father guarantees the salvation of believers unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14). He is the Divine Teacher who illumines believers’ hearts and minds as they study the Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is ultimately sovereign in the distribution of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). We believe that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, while by no means outside of the Spirit’s ability to empower, no longer function to the same degree they did in the early development of the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11;2 Corinthians 12:12;Ephesians 2:20;4:7-12).

Section 5: Angels and Demons
We believe in the reality and personality of angels. We believe that God created the angels to be His servants and messengers (Nehemiah 9:6;Psalm 148:2;Hebrews 1:14).

We believe in the existence and personality of Satan and demons. Satan is a fallen angel who led a group of angels in rebellion against God (Isaiah 14:12-17;Ezekiel 28:12-15). He is the great enemy of God and man, and the demons are his servants in evil. He and his demons will be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41;Revelation 20:10).

Section 6: Humanity
We believe that humanity came into existence by direct creation of God and that humanity is uniquely made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). We believe that all humanity, because of Adam's fall, has inherited a sinful nature, that all human beings choose to sin (Romans 3:23), and that all sin is exceedingly offensive to God (Romans 6:23). Humanity is utterly unable to remedy this fallen state (Ephesians 2:1-5,12).

Section 7: Salvation
We believe that salvation is a gift of God’s grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christ’s death fully accomplished justification through faith and redemption from sin. Christ died in our place (Romans 5:8-9) and bore our sins in His own body (1 Peter 2:24).

We believe salvation is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Good works and obedience are results of salvation, not requirements for salvation. Due to the greatness, sufficiency, and perfection of Christ’s sacrifice, all those who have truly received Christ as Savior are eternally secure in salvation, kept by God’s power, secured and sealed in Christ forever (John 6:37-40;10:27-30;Romans 8:1,38-39;Ephesians 1:13-14;1 Peter 1:5;Jude 24). Just as salvation cannot be earned by good works, neither does it need good works to be maintained or sustained. Good works and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation (James 2).

Section 8: The Church
We believe that the Church, the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all believers of this present age (1 Corinthians 12:12-14;2 Corinthians 11:2;Ephesians 1:22-23,5:25-27). We believe in the ordinances of believer’s water baptism by immersion as a testimony to Christ and identification with Him, and the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of Christ’s death and shed blood (Matthew 28:19-20;Acts 2:41-42,18:8;1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Through the church, believers are to be taught to obey the Lord and to testify concerning their faith in Christ as Savior and to honor Him by holy living. We believe in the Great Commission as the primary mission of the Church. It is the obligation of all believers to witness, by word and life, to the truths of God’s Word. The gospel of the grace of God is to be preached to all the world (Matthew 28:19-20;Acts 1:8;2 Corinthians 5:19-20).

Section 9: Things to Come
We believe in the blessed hope (Titus 2:13), the personal and imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His saints (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the visible and bodily return of Christ to the earth with His saints to establish His promised millennial kingdom (Zechariah 14:4-11;1 Thessalonians 1:10;Revelation 3:10,19:11-16,20:1-6). We believe in the physical resurrection of all men—the saints to everlasting joy and bliss on the New Earth, and the wicked to eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:46;John 5:28-29;Revelation 20:5-6,12-13).

We believe that the souls of believers are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where they await their resurrection when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43;2 Corinthians 5:8;Philippians 1:23,3:21;1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until their resurrection when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne judgment and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:41-46;Mark 9:43-48;Luke 16:19-26;2 Thessalonians 1:7-9;Revelation 20:11-15).

These statements are located at these links:

Additional Thoughts from me, for the purpose of clarity

I reject the following heresies:

Arianism, which supposes that the Son was created by the Father, rather than being eternally coequal. The Bible declares that the Son is God.

Pelagianism, which supposes that man can choose to be good by conscious effort and that he is not internally corrupted by a sin nature. The Bible declares that all men are sinners by nature, that none willingly seek after God and that no one can come to God unless God draws them.

Semi-Pelagianism, which supposes that though original sin prevents a man from coming to God on his own, that human effort can nevertheless cooperate with divine will to reach God. Semi-pelagianism still falls short of the Biblical truth by claiming that human will can initiate belief in God, whereas the Bible says that faith in God is a gift given to us by God's grace alone.

Gnosticism, which supposes that flesh is inherently evil and that thus Jesus could never be both God and Man, because that would mean that God united His pure nature with an evil nature. The Bible declares that matter is not inherently good or evil -- in Genesis 2, the universe of matter that God had created was declared "very good." Christ was fully human and fully divine without being tainted by sin.

Gnosticism further supposes that divine truth is attained through private personal revelation from God, bypassing the Holy Scriptures. The Bible declares that the Scriptures are sufficient to bring a person to the knowledge of salvation (1 Timothy 3:16-17).

Docetism, which, similar to Gnosticism, supposes that God is too pure to experience things such as suffering and thus claims that Jesus was not God incarnate, He only appeared to be human but was not. This would mean that Christ did not actually suffer for the sins of mankind and that He did not actually rise from the dead. The Bible declares that Christ's suffering and death on behalf of mankind is the means by which our sins are dealt with and by which we can be forgiven if we repent and place our faith in Him.

Tritheism, which denies the Trinity and supposes that there are three gods who exist as separate beings.

Monarchianism, which goes in the opposite direction and supposes that there is only one person, God the Father, and that the Holy Spirit is not a person but a force or presence of the Father.

There are two common subcategories of this heresy:
Adoptionism, which supposes that Jesus was merely a man who was tested by God and upon conclusion of his testing was granted supernatural powers by the Father.
Modalism, which supposes that God is only one person and manifested Himself in different ways throughout history. Supposedly He was the Father in the Old Testament, then revealed Himself as Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and after the Resurrection now interacts with us as the Holy Spirit. The Bible declares that all three persons of the Trinity are equally God and exist simultaneously, not at different moments. An alternative version of Modalism might suggest that God still acts as either the Father, Spirit or Son, but nevertheless only as one at a time, changing from one to the other as He sees fit. This is the error.
Similar to Modalism is Patripassionism, which states that God the Father was incarnated as a human and died on the Cross. The slight difference is that Modalism says that the Father became the Son. Each concept is Biblically false.
Monophysitism, which accepts that Jesus was God in a physical body, but denies that He had a human nature, only a divine nature. The Bible declares that Jesus had both a human and divine nature. Otherwise He could not have, as a man, died in the place of other men for their sins, and the sacrificial atonement on the Cross would have been impossible. Remember the kinsman-redeemer.

Nestorianism, which supposes that there is a distinction between Jesus' human and divine nature, and that they are not one single nature but two separate ones. Specifically, two separate persons. If this is true, then if the human person died on the Cross, then it would not have the power to save all sinners--that resides in the divine nature. And if the divine person died on the cross, then it would not have managed to save us according to the kinsman-redeemer concept. The Bible declares that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine, at the same time, and not with an internal division in His nature.

Apollinarianism, similar to Nestorianism and Gnosticism, says that Jesus' mind was fully divine. Apollinarianism doesn't deny the human nature and it doesn't separate it from the divine, but attempts to diminish its significance, making Jesus "more God than Man." The Bible declares that Jesus was fully God and fully Man, so even this attempt to rationalize the problem from a human perspective fails to honor the witness of the Scriptures.

Socinianism, which denies the existence of hell and supposes that the Cross was simply an example of self-sacrifice that God desires humanity to strive towards. The whole concept of substitutionary atonement is ignored, either because sinfulness of man is denied, or if it is accepted, then because eternal punishment for sin is denied. The Bible declares that sinners who do not repent will be punished eternally in hell, and that to escape punishment for our sins, we need to accept Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf so that we can be forgiven them.

Kenosis, which supposes that Jesus gave up some aspects of divinity while on earth, such as omniscience. The better thing to say would be that Jesus voluntarily chose not to exercise all of His divine powers at all times, not that He was less than fully divine. The Bible declares that He was fully divine and so the explanation for His demonstrated inability to know the future in a few cases must be due to a voluntary refusal to see the future at His whim. After all, He voluntarily chose to be born as a man and to die on the Cross.

Subordinationism, which supposes that the Son is inferior to the Father and the Spirit inferior to the Son, rather than accepting what the Bible teaches: that they are equal in power and divine attributes, but operate in an "economic trinity" voluntarily. The Bible teaches that the different personas of God have distinct roles, but are nevertheless equally God.

Donatism, which supposes that the effectiveness of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper (and one can expand this to consider prayer and repentance/salvation from the eyes of the individual) are based on the moral purity of the one performing the act. If the person's moral character is in dispute, the baptisms performed would be invalid. The Bible teaches that all people are sinners and so NO ONE is perfectly morally pure, and thus the concept that someone ought to be morally pure is a non-starter, because it's impossible. The power of prayer, faith, and any act of the Church does not come from the people performing them, but from God, whose power by which they are performed.


I also deny mysticist beliefs, such as that saying certain words can grant a person's wishes. Saying "Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus" in the hopes that you would "bring Him near" is foolish. First, because it's superstitious, but foremost, because it's a failure of understanding what the Bible says about Jesus. If you are saved, He is always near to you. It is not as if He sits up in space and waits for you to call Him so that He'll have a reason to come floating down to earth. No. Absolutely not. This activity is wrong in all its permutations. It includes the modern popular concepts of saying "I declare..." or "speaking to..." as if your words have divine power to alter the universe. They do not. Now, God does have the power to alter the universe in a way that includes your words. It's called prayer. When you talk to God personally and ask Him to help you with something--not when you rabble off a magic phrase that's supposed to make Him "jump" for you and perform the deed you desire Him to do. It doesn't work that way. God reserves the right to say "no" to you.

Other mysticist beliefs are more obvious, such as the "crossing oneself" that Roman Catholics do. I also came across something recently on the Spurgeon website that pointed out the mistaken belief that the actual physical blood of Christ washes away our sins. As the long article goes to show, (scroll down to the letter at the bottom for a shorter read) it's not the actual physical blood that cleanses us of sins. That's mysticism! When we say that the blood of Jesus takes away our sins, it's a figurative way of saying that His death made possible our forgiveness by substituting in our place. The value of the blood lies in its being shed in death. 

Final points:

Saints are people on earth and in heaven who have been saved. They are not an elite brand of super-holy believers that you can pray to for special blessings, as if God had too much on His hands to be bothered with listening to your prayers personally. If you have repented of your sin and put your faith in Christ and are now being sanctified, then you are a saint

Penal Substitutionary Atonement

Meat Doctrines: TULIP
Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints
There's so much more I could refer to, but I'd have to stop sometime. I think this makes a pretty complete statement of faith. I hope you agree with what you read.
~ Rak Chazak

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