Statement of Faith
God has an amazing story for each of us to hear. It is a story that illustrates immense love and a powerful redemptive plan, which is to be shared with each man, woman, and child. I believe the clearest example of God’s vast love and plan is seen in (John 3:16) and (1 John 3:16).
These verses undoubtedly show God’s love and plan of salvation for mankind as they point to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A person is justified by faith, which is trust in the biblical Jesus Christ. Once we trust, we will soon come to repentance from self-lordship and agree to follow Jesus Christ.
Once we do, He will help us follow Him. Jesus Christ said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” (Luke 9:23-25).
My beliefs primarily align with the Baptist Faith & Message of 2000. My statement of faith is more specifically detailed below:
There is one true God that exists in three persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who are equal. God created the world out of nothing and by His sustaining power, He holds all creation together. (Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:16-17).
The coming of Jesus Christ was prophesied hundreds of years before He was born in the flesh to walk on the Earth. In fact, the Old Testament contains over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled through His birth, life, death, and resurrection. He was miraculously born of the Virgin Mary and became flesh and blood without ceasing to be God. He is sinless and confirmed His divinity through various miracles, teachings, how He lived His life, and through His resurrection and ascension to Heaven. As a perfect sacrifice offered to mankind, He died on a cross and paid the required penalty for our sins. Three days later after His crucifixion, He rose from the dead illustrating His victory over sin, death, and Satan. After appearing to His disciples and others, He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God serving as our Mediator. (Matthew 1:20-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-16; 29-34; Mark 10:45; Mark 16-19; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22).
Although the Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son, His role is unique and different. He is referred to throughout the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. He convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. He helps to make people aware of their need for salvation through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells in a person once one has authentically trusted in Jesus Christ as their only Savior and Lord. He empowers all those who believe in Jesus Christ. He guides the believer of Christ into all of God’s truth. He supplies believers with various spiritual gifts that are to be used to unashamedly bring glory to God, help build up the church, and help others. He helps believers in their weaknesses and intercedes for them. His presence in our lives is evidence that we are sealed, anointed, and established in Christ. (Genesis 1:1-2; Job 33:4; Isaiah 11:2; John 14:17; John 16:7-8; 13; Romans 8:26-27; Romans 12:6-13; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
(2 Timothy 3:16-17) states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God’s word is living and active and can discern the thoughts and intentions of one’s heart. Believers must study, meditate, and abide in the word of God. Knowing and keeping the commandments of the Bible is one way of showing one’s authentic trust and love for Jesus Christ. (John 14:21; Colossians 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12)
Salvation is offered as a free gift from God only through Jesus Christ. It is given at the moment one chooses authentically, by faith, to place their trust in Jesus Christ as one’s only Lord and Savior. When one accepts salvation from Christ one is baptized with the Holy Spirit and receives Him as a deposit and seal from God. Salvation is an experience facilitated by gaining knowledge about God, which enables one to believe and ultimately place one’s trust in Jesus Christ, His Son. By the Holy Spirit, one is made aware of one’s need for salvation. The Bible teaches in (Romans 10:9), that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. This act and belief (trust) must be genuine, not based on just emotions, but on a cognitive understanding, as truly believing that Jesus Christ is the Lord means agreeing with His teachings in the narrative gospels and coming to repentance. At the time of one’s salvation, one might not fully understand all there is to God and the scriptures, however, one must understand the essentials of being a sinner, being separated from God by sin, and requiring reconciliation to God through the perfect sacrifice and atonement for one’s sins found in Jesus Christ. All of mankind has sinned, are dead in their sins, and stand condemned before God without Christ. However, because of the grace of God and the death of Jesus on the cross all who place their trust in Jesus are saved from eternal damnation and have everlasting life. Those trusting in Jesus must repent of self-lordship (which encompasses all sin), pick up their cross, and agree to follow Jesus Christ as Lord. He will help us follow. (Matthew 3:11; John 3:16; 10:28-29; 14:6; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:9; 10:13; Acts 2:38; Acts 4:12; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-10).
Water Baptism is an outward demonstration of an internal change that comes about because of salvation in Christ. It does not save a believer but is a public display that signifies that a believer has died with Christ and has risen with Him to become a new creation in Christ. Since Jesus modeled this very act and commands all believers to be baptized it is a special element of one’s walk with Christ. (Mathew 28:18-20; John 3:5; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).
The Lord’s Supper, also known as Communion, is a very special time for believers to remember the sacrifice Jesus made on behalf of all mankind. It is a time that especially calls to mind that Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected according to God’s amazing plan to redeem humanity. Jesus established this holy ordinance on the very night in which He was betrayed. While sharing Passover with His disciples Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, broke the bread, and handed it to His disciples. He then instructed them to eat the bread, which stood as a representation of his body. Next, He took a cup of wine, gave thanks to God, and then offered it to His disciples while saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28). While using the wine as a representation of His blood, Jesus also proclaimed that we are to do this in remembrance of Him. All are to examine themselves and know that the outward act alone is not the critical component of this sacred experience. (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34).
Prayer is only to God and is an intimate and sweet time of communication with God. It can be done anywhere and was modeled by Jesus while He walked on this earth. It is a powerful experience that every believer in Christ is called to participate in. We are instructed to pray without ceasing, make our requests known to God, have the right motives for our prayers, and trust that God faithfully hears and answers prayers that are within His will. (Jeremiah 33:3; Psalms 34:17; Matthew 6:9-13; Mark 11:24; Luke 18:1; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:61; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:13-18).
The church, also known as the Bride of Christ, is the collective body of believers on earth. It is made up of believers who have different gifts, talents, and unique purposes all according to God’s will. The body is empowered by the Holy Spirit to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The church is also mandated to teach others to observe all that Jesus has commanded in scripture, to encourage one another, and not forsake the fellowship with other believers in Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4: 1-16; Hebrews 10:25; Revelation 19:7-9).
Satan, who also is called the Devil, Beelzebul, the ancient serpent, the tempter, father of lies, and other names, is a created fallen angel who once held high rank when he once stood in the glory of God. Satan rebels and rejects God’s sovereignty. His pride corrupted him, and his desire to be worshipped created a cosmic battle that ended with him and a third of other angels, who chose to follow him, being cast out of Heaven. The angels that followed after Satan are known as demons. They are enemies of God. Satan, along with vast amounts of demons, do have a supernatural ability to wreak havoc on mankind and are evil. However, they are subject to God and do not have the attributes of God such as being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. It is important to know that Satan and the demons were defeated at the Cross of Calvary and have a limited time on this earth to stir darkness in the hearts of humanity. Although the spiritual forces of wickedness are capable of bringing great torment, all Christ-followers by the grace of God, are able to resist, rebuke, and overcome these foes. (Deuteronomy 32:17; Ezekiel 28; Mathew 10:1; Mark 3:22; John 8:44; Acts 8:4-8; 16:16-18; Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 10:20; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:27; 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Revelation 12:7-9; 20:1-3).
One day Christ will return, every knee will bow, and He will judge all people. Those who have received salvation will be united with God. However, those who have not received salvation will be cast into Hell, eternally separated from God’s presence.(Matthew 24:30; John 5:25; 5:28-29; 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10; 2 Peter 3:10).
I invite and encourage readers to read for themselves the various themes, concepts, and stories found throughout the Bible. All things must be tested, studied, pondered, and ultimately line up with the very truth of God’s word and not mankind’s interpretations. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)