God promises that He will preserve His Word, and He has providentially preserved His inerrant Word in the original languages. Therefore the Bible, faithfully translated from authentic manuscripts in the original languages, remains the inspired, infallible, inerrant and uniquely authoritative Word of God.
The Bible is completely accurate and authoritative in all matters on which it speaks, whether in fields such as history and science, or on spiritual matters. The Bible is the supreme authority for mankind. No word of any man or church may be given equal status with the Word of God, or placed in authority over the Word of God. The Word of God is the sole authority of this ministry.
The Scripture references given at the end of each section are key passages, but by no means exhaustive: Exodus 20:4-6; Deuteronomy 29:29; Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 119:89, 105 & 130; Isaiah 8:20; Isaiah 55:11; Isaiah 59:21; Matthew 4:4-10; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 15:3 & 6-9; Matthew 22:29-32; Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 1:3-4; Luke 16:29-31; Luke 24:27 & 44; John 5:39 & 46-47; John 6:45; John 10:35; John 17:3; John 20:31; Acts 15:15; Acts 17:11; Acts 28:25; Romans 11:36; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Corinthians 14:6, 26, 37 & 40; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 1:8-9; Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:2 & 13; 1 Timothy 3:15; 2 Timothy 3:14-16; Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 2:2-4; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Peter 3:16; 1 John 2:20 & 27; 1 John 4:1-6; 1 John 5:9 & 13; Revelation 1:1-3; Revelation 22:18-19.
The Triune God
There is one triune God, eternally existent in the persons of God the Father; God the Son, Jesus Christ; and God the Holy Spirit. These three are one in essence, but distinct in person and function.
Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3, 14 & 18; John 10:30; John 15:26; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 2:18; Colossians 1:15; Hebrew 1:2-3.
God the Son, Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, exists from all eternity, and came to earth as God manifest in the flesh by His birth to a virgin, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit. The incarnate Christ is both fully God and fully man.
Jesus Christ lived a sinless life. By His vicarious and atoning death He made full and final atonement for sin. He rose bodily from the dead. He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, reigning in power and glory, interceding with the Father on behalf of true believers in Christ, and preparing an eternal dwelling place for them.
Psalm 45:7; Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 61:1; Daniel 9:24; Matthew 1:18-21; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 28:18; Luke 1:27, 31 & 35; Luke 4:18; John 1:1-14; John 3:34-36; John 5:22 & 27; John 6:37 & 39; John 10:15-16; John 10:27-28; John 17:2; Acts 2:36; Acts 10:38; Romans 1:3-4; Romans 3:25-26; Romans 4:24-25; Romans 5:19; Romans 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:11 & 14; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 2:6-7; Colossians 1:19-20; Colossians 2:3 & 9; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8-9; Hebrews 2:14-17; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 5:4-5; Hebrews 7:22 & 26; Hebrews 9:12-15; Hebrews 10:14; Hebrews 12:24; 1 John 2:1; 1 John 5:20.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit exists from all eternity. He is the Author of all Scripture. He convicts men of sin. He regenerates those who are dead in trespasses and sins. It is by the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts that men believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. The Holy Spirit indwells each believer. He illuminates the believer’s spiritual understanding. He witnesses with believers’ spirits that they are the sons of God. He is the Comforter of the believer. And, God the Holy Spirit accomplishes the work of sanctification within each and every believer.
Genesis 1:2, Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30; Psalm 139:7-10; Daniel 5:11; Matthew 1:20; John 3:6; John 6:63; John 14:16-17; John 14:26-27; John 15:26; Acts 5:3-5; Romans 1:4; Romans 8:2; Romans 8:9-14; Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 2:11-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:2 & 11; 2 Peter 1:21.
Satan was created by God and given the most exalted position among God’s created beings. Through pride Satan fell into sin, seeking to exalt himself above God. He was cast down from his exalted position, and led with him a host of angels who likewise fell. In his fallen state Satan is still subject to God, but he is the chief enemy of God, manifesting unremitting hatred toward God, His Word, and the person and work of Christ. Satan is also the chief adversary of mankind, and continually seeks to afflict mankind and seduce men toward every kind of evil. He especially wages war against believers in Christ. Satan’s ultimate defeat was pronounced by God after he deceived our first parents into sin; it was secured at the cross by Christ, and will be consummated when Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity.
Genesis 3:1-15; Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-18; Zechariah 3:1-2; Matthew 4:1-10; Matthew 4:24; Matthew 12:26; Matthew 13:25-28 & 39; Matthew 25:41; Luke 11:18; Luke 22:3; John 8:44; John 12:31; John 13:27; John 16:11; John 17:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 6:15; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:11; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 9:11; Revelation 12:3-9; Revelation 20:1-3 & 7-10.
Creation and the Fall
The triune God created the universe out of nothing by His spoken word in six literal, continuous days. The Scriptures teach the recent creation of all things by the direct acts of God, not through processes involving millions or billions of years of struggle and death.
The original creation was perfect. Man was created in the image of God, without sin, but with a free will. Adam and Eve chose to heed the voice of Satan and disobey God’s commandment, thus plunging the universe into sin and chaos, and themselves and their descendants into physical and spiritual death, and enmity with God.
All of Adam’s descendants inherit a totally depraved nature. They are dead in trespasses and sins, are in bondage to the sin nature, and are under God’s curse. As the descendants of Adam, all human beings are sinners both by nature and by choice. Apart from God’s gracious intervention, they are destined for eternal separation from God in Hell. All human beings are in need of personal salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:1-3:24; Exodus 20:11; Job 33:4; Psalm 8:6-8; Psalm 33:5-6; Psalm 104:24; Proverbs 30:4; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Jeremiah 10:12; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 10:28; Luke 23:43; John 1:1-3; Acts 17:24; Romans 1:20; Romans 2:14-15; Romans 6:23; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 1:16; Colossians 3:10; Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 9:27; Hebrews 11:3.
The authentic Christian Gospel is God’s declaration that sinners who are under the curse of God through Adam’s fall are justified by the grace of God alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Justification is the once-for-all judicial act of God at the conversion of the sinner. In this act God graciously declares the sinner to be righteous- that is, not guilty before His judgment bar, where the standard is perfect holiness. Having been justified by faith, believers are saved from the wrath of God through Christ, who has made peace with God on their behalf.
In salvation, a great legal exchange takes place. The sins of the sinner are imputed to Jesus Christ, who has made full and final atonement for them. They are washed away by the blood of Christ, to be remembered against the sinner no more. At the same time, the perfect all-sufficient righteousness of Christ is imputed to the undeserving sinner. The believing sinner now possesses Christ’s righteousness, and need not – indeed cannot – add any saving or keeping righteousness of his own. To attempt to do so would be to deny the sufficiency of Christ.
Scripture declares that faith alone, in Christ alone, is and always has been the instrument of the believer’s justification. Old Testament believers placed their faith in the Redeemer who was to come, just as New Testament believers place their faith in the Redeemer who has come.
Saving faith is absolutely naked faith; it is empty-handed belief in the person and work of Christ to save sinners. This faith is itself the gift of God, and is not of works, so that no one can boast that he added one iota to the righteousness of Christ. This faith is given to the sinner by the gracious act of God the Holy Spirit.The believer’s salvation is therefore absolutely secure.
God through Christ offers salvation freely and legitimately to all men. He says, “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth” – “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die..?” – “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” – “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” – “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” – “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
Isaiah 45:21-22; Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Isaiah 55:1-6; Isaiah 61:10; Jeremiah 23:6; Ezekiel 33:11; Daniel 9:24-26; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 11:28; Mark 10:45; John 1:12; John 3:1-36; John 6:37; John6:44-45 & 65; John 10:28-29;Romans 10:13; John 3:18; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:22-28; Romans 4:1-8; Romans 5:1-20; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:28-39; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; 1 Corinthians 15:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Galatians 3:1-13; Ephesians 1:1-2:10; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 1:29; Philippians 2:6-9;Philippians 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 2 Timothy 2:19; Titus 3:5-11; Hebrews 10:10-39; Revelation 19:5-8; Revelation 22:17.
The Life of the Believer
The Scriptures know nothing of a “faith” in Christ that is a mere formula of words and not the result of the regenerating work of God. Genuine saving faith is God-given faith. It is impossible for the natural man to believe the Gospel. Belief does not originate in the sinful heart of man by his own will, but by the work of God.
Therefore, the one who truly believes on Christ is God’s workmanship from beginning to end. The believer has been created in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world, to do the good works which God prepared beforehand for him to do, after he has been justified by faith alone.
If a sinner has truly believed, exercising God-given faith in Christ and not a counterfeit, then the desire to live a changed life in obedience to God’s commands will follow as surely as day follows night. A changed life is the evidence of saving faith. Believers do not become perfect people, but they do now have the desire, ambition, and motivation to please God, which is brought about by the Holy Spirit who takes up residence within each believer at conversion. The changed life – the believer’s sanctification by the work of the Holy Spirit – does not justify the believer in the sight of God. The sanctification of the believer is the result, not the cause, of his salvation.
John 17:17-19; Romans 6:1-23; Romans 7:13-25; Romans 8:13-14; Romans. 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 3:16-19; Ephesians 4:15-16; Colossians 1:10-11; Colossians 1:28; Colossians 2:1-10; Colossians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 2:19; Titus 3:5; James 2:17-26; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 5:1-5.
The Body of Christ
All persons, from the Fall to the Last Day, who have trusted in God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ, are one body in Christ, and form His invisible church. God has ordained the local church for the proclamation of the Gospel in the world and the building up of the saints.
Jesus Christ has instituted the ordinance of baptism and the observance of the Lord’s Supper by believers as the regular practice of the church until He comes again. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper signify what Christ alone has done, and do not save or contribute to the salvation of anyone.
Matthew 26:26-28; Matthew 28:18-20; John 10:16; Acts 8:36-38; Acts 11:29-30; Romans 6:4; Romans 12:3-5; Romans 15:7-12; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Galatians 3:5-9; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 3:14-15; Ephesians 4:15-16; Ephesians 5:23-32; Colossians 1:13-18; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11-22; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 5:1-11; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 3:16-18; Revelation 7:9-10.
The Resurrection and the Return of Christ
At death, men’s bodies return to the earth and experience corruption, but their immortal souls return immediately to God who gave them. The souls of believers in Christ go immediately to be with the Lord in Heaven, awaiting the day when they will be reunited with their resurrected, glorified bodies. The souls of those who do not believe in Christ are immediately cast into Hell, where they remain in darkness and torment awaiting the Last Judgment.
Jesus Christ will return, visibly and bodily, to gather believers to Himself for eternity, and to judge all men. The Scriptures teach the bodily resurrection of all mankind, both the saved and the lost.
Christ the righteous Judge will consign the lost to the Lake of Fire, into which they will be cast bodily to be punished for eternity. Those who are saved will be raised bodily to eternal life, and the Lord will welcome them into eternal glory with Him in the New Heavens and New Earth.
Genesis 3:19; Job 19:25-27; Ecclesiastes 12:7 & 14; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 12:36; Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 9:42-48; Mark 13:35-37; Luke 16:19-31; Luke 12:35-40; Luke 16:23-24; Luke 23:42-43; John 5:22-30; Acts 1:9-11; Acts 3:20-21; Acts 13:36; Acts 17:31; Acts 24:15; Romans 8:17-25; Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 6:3; 1 Corinthians 15:12-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1-11; Philippians 1:23; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Hebrews 9:27-28; Hebrews 12:22-24; Jude 24-25; Revelation 20:10-22:21.
Reprinted with kind permission from Dr Paul Elliott of Teaching the Word Ministries
Original Link: http://www.teachingtheword.org/pages.asp?pageid=87878
I’ll be back to read the entire thing, but one thing I noted was the statement about the literal days of creation. I agree completely. And I agree with everything I’ve read here thus far.
The statements about the scriptures and the nature of God are excellent IMO.
Finally made it back here to finish up. I find this to be a very sound presentation of Biblical teachings and agree with it in its entirety.
You may find this interesting…or not. As a Christian, perhaps I have not thought of hell as much as I should. I spend much more time listening to Bible preachers discuss current events and how they might be leading us into the last days. There are days when my heart groans for heaven because of the evil on earth. As long as I’ve been a Christian, I’ve held the description of Hell in this Doctrinal Statement. How anyone can deny Hell and its nature is beyond me when Jesus is very clear on the subject. At the same time, the statement includes the immediacy of Hell. I’m sure there are many, but I don’t recall reading a clear statement like this for a while:
“The souls of those who do not believe in Christ are immediately cast into Hell, where they remain in darkness and torment awaiting the Last Judgment.
“Jesus Christ will return, visibly and bodily, to gather believers to Himself for eternity, and to judge all men. The Scriptures teach the bodily resurrection of all mankind, both the saved and the lost.
“Christ the righteous Judge will consign the lost to the Lake of Fire, into which they will be cast bodily to be punished for eternity.”
Thus, there is the immediacy of Hell and later the Judgment. How God plans to handle the details of this is something I’ve not thought of a lot. I read each of the Bible verses included in the statement. The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 along with Revelation 20:13 were helpful.
The thought of dying and waking up in such a place would be scary to me except that I believe this as quoted above:
“In salvation, a great legal exchange takes place. The sins of the sinner are imputed to Jesus Christ, who has made full and final atonement for them. They are washed away by the blood of Christ, to be remembered against the sinner no more. At the same time, the perfect all-sufficient righteousness of Christ is imputed to the undeserving sinner. The believing sinner now possesses Christ’s righteousness, and need not – indeed cannot – add any saving or keeping righteousness of his own. To attempt to do so would be to deny the sufficiency of Christ.”
Reading and researching this today makes me more aware of how important it is for me to ask God for wisdom in reaching lost souls whom I’m around on a daily basis.
The Narrowing Path said:
It’s so wonderful to hear from you again brother, and I am so glad you have found the contents of the Doctrinal Statement helpful. It is great to be reminded of the profound truths of God’s Word, and to be strengthened in our faith and knowledge of the Lord! May the Holy Spirit continue to grow us in grace and truth, and grant us the love and courage needed to share the truth with other.
God bless you Chris, and your precious family. Thank you for your continued prayers, support and encouragement. You are a gift to the Body of Christ.
In Christ’s service,
Lori Lindsley said:
Could you clarify for me. Are you Reformed? I believe I see some elements of TULIP in your SOF.
The Narrowing Path said:
Yes I think Reformed would be a fair description, although that term has been so misused of late I hesitate to use it! I probably sit somewhere between Reformed Baptist/Presbyterian and Confessional Anglican with a dash of Lutheran thrown in. In other words, I happily commune with the saints as I find them, scattered as they are.
Hope that answer helps, and that you find the blog useful!
In Christ’s service, Sherryn
Keith Harris said:
Hi, I’m new here so please be kind. The election of God, and predestination, seem to be a dirty word today in progressive Presbyterian reformed circles. I accept, and believe, the Biblical evidence on this but personally struggle with the issues involved. I noticed your response to TULIP question above. Do you have a more detailed paper – sermon – book on this that I could read.
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The Narrowing Path said:
Welcome and thanks for your gracious inquiry. I certainly understand your need and desire to grapple with this joyous and yet challenging and often contentious subject.
I will put up a new post today addressing this very question, with some attached resources which I hope you find helpful! Feel free to get back to me if you have any questions or would like more information.
In Christ’s service,
Lori Lindsley said:
Up to the left there is a link to Caryl Matriciana’s site. She has articles on Calvinism from a different perspective.
The Narrowing Path said:
I have now posted a selection of resources on the doctrine of election from a number of different perspectives. I hope they are helpful to you. I do not usually offer resources on what is often termed the ‘Arminian’ view as I do not hold to that view as biblical, but it is well worth acquainting yourself with the arguments for that view. It is one held by some of our brethren, as you can see from Lori’s suggestion to review Caryl’s writings on the subject.
Personally, I am not fond of these titles (e.g. Calvinism) as they seem unhelpful and divisive. For example, Luther and many others taught these two particular doctrines, even if with subtle differences. I listen to a lot of Confessional Lutheran preaching and can’t see much difference in the views, so I guess I could be labelled a Lutheran as well!!
It seems clear that election and predestination are clearly taught in the Scriptures. Therefore I believe it to be true. It seems then that the challenge for us as believers it to live in light of God’s unfathomable mercy and grace towards us.
Please let me know if you have any more questions. I really appreciate your comment and request for information.
Blessings to you in Christ Jesus, Sherryn
Keith Harris said:
Hi Sherryn, I do agree with you on the labels. My friends and colleagues constantly ask do I believe TULIP, or predestination or election. My usual answer is no, I believe in Jesus Christ by faith (a gift from God) through grace. I have read Calvin’s works and letters and find him a firm, sometimes hard man, but a compassionate man appealing to his king, in that culture, in a apologetic of grace. It seems to me that Calvin’s main point was salvation by grace over works, and displayed his works that come out of his sense of salvation by grace.
I tried to find the links but will continue to look.
I guess my point is that those who accept these doctrines without working through them in heart and mind might may miss the richness of God’s love and grace upon them, as I certainly do.
Thanks again for you interest and conversation. GB Keith
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S. Lee said:
You mentioned in your comments that you could be labeled Lutheran.
Are you Lutheran? Or what is your religious background?
Your Statement of Faith isn’t exhaustive.