Theological Statement

Nature of Revelation
               God initiated communication to us by disclosing Himself in various ways – by way of Creation, by His written word, and in His Son, Jesus Christ.  His speaking to us is a gift of His grace and we listen to Him by faith.  He is God and we are His creatures.  God has given us His divine revelation so we may know Him and it is a privilege to commune with our Creator and Most High God, as He reveals His magnificence, wonder, perfections, and will to us.

God determines the nature and content of His revelation.  Nothing outside of God limits His revelation.  Both the writers and readers of Scripture are under His guidance and care and He inspires the writers using each of their individual personalities, styles, and cultures to communicate His Story.  Readers are then guided by God to understand what they read is true.

God has climaxed His revelation in the person of Jesus Christ.  He is both the source and content of our salvation, being the only way to God and the example of perfect humanity, being the last Adam.

God uses Scripture as the primary means in which to reveal Himself.  Scripture is where God gives us access to His great acts in history and His plan of redemption for humanity, especially in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

By His Holy Spirit, God makes possible the communication of His revelation.  The Holy Spirit first inspired the writers of Scripture and then He illumines what is written to His readers.  The Holy Spirit removes the blindness of sin in order for us to understand what we read and then make application to our lives.

God has revealed Himself to us through His Creation.  His visible and invisible qualities can be clearly seen in nature.  There is evidence in nature of a Designer.  All of the earth’s weather patterns, life cycles and detailed and organized systems of plants, animals and humans are yet further evidence of His revelation to us.  God’s image that we bear and His providence throughout history is also a form of His revelation.

The truth of Scripture is powerful, distinguishing truth from error, discerning true and false teachings.  Being God-breathed, Scripture is without error, demonstrating its authority in all matters of faith, life, and Godliness.  Although each book in the Bible is unique, there is an underlying foundation that is consistent in the nature and purpose of God.  Its teachings can be understood by all readers who are seeking God and who are willing in obedience to follow what they read. Understanding God’s revelation takes time, obedience, and spiritual growth toward maturity.

God

There is but one true and living God.  He is the God of Creation, Sustainer of all life, and Redeemer of mankind to Himself.  God is both immanent (near to us) and transcendent (unknown to us).  Even though we can know God, there are still mysteries known only to Him, and He knows infinitely more than He has revealed to us.

God is triune in His eternal existence and that He is complete and all-sufficient within Himself, entirely independent from any created being.  God consists of one nature and three persons:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each being co-equal and co-eternal, fulfilling their purpose completely, indwelling one another, none having neither superiority nor inferiority in their being.  The Father is unbegotten, the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son, and He is a community of sacrificial, self-giving love.

God is eternal, sovereign and good.  He has always been and always will be, without beginning or end, uncreated and infinite.  Even though He is outside of time, He works in time for both His glory and our benefit.  He is supreme in authority over all of creation; creation and humanity exist and continues at His will, our lives being in His hands.  God is most abundant in love, grace, mercy, longsuffering, faithfulness, compassion, and justice.

I believe God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise and all-present.  He can do anything that does not go against His nature or His laws and He creates, sustains, rules, provides, reveals, redeems, judges and recreates.   God exhaustively knows the past, present and future and He applies His knowledge in the events of history to bring about His revelation of Himself and humanity’s redemption, all to His glory and our benefit.  God is everywhere in Spirit, convicting humanity of sin and bringing them to salvation.

I believe God suffers and that He is moved by our obedience and disobedience in an unknown mysterious way.  He does not suffer with passions that lead to sin and He voluntarily participates in the pain and suffering of His creation.  God’s emotions and passions do not limit or control Him and He suffers from a position of strength and much of His suffering is redemptive.

            I believe God the Father planned salvation, the Son provided salvation and the Holy Spirit applies salvation.  God chooses whom He will save in cooperation with the freedom He has given us to either choose Him or reject Him.  The entire plan of salvation was administered by Him and He appointed and sent the Son and Holy Spirit.  God accepts, justifies, forgives and adopts us as His children upon our repentance toward and request of forgiveness from Him.  God hears and answers the prayers of His children and receives our worship of Him with gladness.

            God has been working throughout history to redeem humankind to Himself, culminating with His Son, Jesus Christ, the promised Jewish Messiah.  Through Christ’s perfect humanity, His substitutionary death on the Cross, burial and resurrection, man’s sin is atoned for and all who receive Christ and His forgiveness are promised everlasting life in fellowship with God.  This redemption in Christ is to repair humanity’s broken relationship with God since Adam and Eve’s first sin and those who are redeemed are born again, given new natures, and are now indwelt by the Holy Spirit for new life in the Kingdom of God, being adopted as His children into His family.

God will judge evil in the last days, making all things new and right.  The new heaven and new earth will be a place of everlasting fellowship for the righteous with God, where humanity and creation will live in peace, harmony and tranquility.  God’s reign will last forever and He has reserved Hell as a place of everlasting punishment for the wicked and disobedient, a place absent of His presence.

Jesus Christ

I believe Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of our triune God, eternally begotten of the Father.  He is God, being Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of all that exists.  Christ entered time, space and history by means of the Holy Spirit, who planted a seed in Mary’s womb, born of a virgin, grew in perfect humanity into adulthood, and then began a three year ministry of calling people to Himself so they may enter the Kingdom of God.

Christ is the promised Jewish Messiah from Old Testament Hebrew Scripture.  He was prophesied as early as the fall of man, including his birth, life, suffering, death, and resurrection, to bring salvation and freedom to His people.

Christ became the sacrificial substitute on the Cross, paying for our sins and satisfying God’s wrath toward us and sin.  He died, was buried and on the third day rose from the dead, appeared to over five hundred witnesses, ascended to Heaven and is now seated at the right of hand of God the Father.

Christ is fully God and fully man, having laid aside His heavenly and eternal glory in order to live and minister in perfection among humanity.  He is our example in perfect humanity, the last Adam, to demonstrate what we should be like.  Even though He was tempted, as we are, He chose not to use His divinity to rescue Himself, but relied on prayer with the Father, knowing God’s Word, and being in fellowship with God’s people to overcome temptation.

Christ is compassionate, as He cared for and healed the deaf, blind, lame, poor, and outcasts of society to demonstrate His great love and power.  Christ is truthful and everything He ever said is true, and we can rely on His teachings and promises.  Christ is holy and He desires His followers to be holy.  He is just, rewarding and vindicating the righteous and punishing and subduing the wicked in the last days.

I believe Christ loves us and desires us to love Him.  He is humble, teaching us in both His word and His example to serve one another selflessly in humility.  He is faithful, meaning He will always be there for those He has saved, redeemed, and sanctified and He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Christ is gracious, merciful and powerful.  Salvation is His gift of grace to us, not punishing us as we deserve.  Christ is also angry at sin and those that sin, causing Him great anger toward those who promote evil & wickedness.

Christ is nurturing, calling little children to Himself, caring deeply for his friends and followers.  He is perfect, having lived a sinless human life in obedience to God as Adam should have lived his, demonstrating humanity in perfection the way God intended.  He is also determined, pursuing His calling to the Cross and overcoming great temptation along the way.  Praise be to Jesus Christ, our Savior & Lord, that we may know Him and worship Him!

I believe Christ was sent by God the Father to initiate the Kingdom of God, healing many people of sickness, disease and sin, and casting out demons.  By this He showed God’s power over sin and sickness and His power over evil.  Christ taught how to approach God in repentance and faith, often using parables so that those who were seeking Him would understand, while those whose hearts were hardened against Him would not.

Christ taught of the rewards of following Him and how all who give up family, jobs, friends, lifestyle, wealth, and position, and even their very lives, would receive everlasting blessing in God’s Kingdom.  He taught people to love one another, including their enemies.

Christ came to fulfill the law and the prophets, being the promised and long-awaited Jewish Messiah.  Christ rebuked the religious leaders for oppressing the people with their legalism and He delivered a message of freedom and hope; freedom from the bondage of sin and hope in the future coming Kingdom in its fullness.

Christ suffered greatly both on the way to and while hanging on the Cross.  He suffered great agony in Gethsemane about His impending mission about to be fulfilled.  He suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers who scourged Him.  He suffered greatly on the Cross – physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally – as God’s wrath was poured out upon Him for the sins of the world.  Although He was innocent of any crime, Christ suffered at the hands of the Roman government.  And through it all, God worked in and despite of such evil to bring hope to the world.

The Cross has become the symbol and reality of life, whereas previously it stood for crime, sin, and death; the entire stigma of the Cross is now gone with the resurrection.  Christ conquered death and Hell on the Cross, feeling the equivalent of eternal Hell in our place.  Because of this work, we, who receive Christ as Savior and Lord, no longer have to fear death.  Christ satisfied God’s wrath against sin, taking our place of punishment upon Himself so that we would now be able to enter into a right relationship with the Father, being restored as humans and given purpose, freedom, and hope.

Christ ascended to Heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, being given all power in Heaven and on Earth, now mediating between us and the Father; He intercedes on our behalf.

The Holy Spirit

I believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity of God, advocating and helping believers and convicting the world of sin, bringing people to God.  The Holy Spirit indwells believers, guiding them into all truth, and convicting unbelievers of their sin and their need for God.  The Holy Spirit illumines scripture for believers, removing the blindness of sin; so that we can believe what we’re reading is true and then be obedient to what we read.

Creation

           God in His infinite and eternal being, essence, and supreme intelligence created out of nothing heaven, earth, the universe, and everything in them, the visible and invisible.  He completed His creation in six literal twenty-four hour days.  He created out of His good pleasure and creativity to express and extend forth His glory and goodness in new relationships with created beings and all that He created was good. 

          God created all that exists as an expression of His nature, consisting of the highest wisdom, goodness, creativity, and love.

          God created humans to bear His image and likeness, unlike any other created being, for the intended purpose of walking in an obedient, loving, and fruitful relationship with Him, the Earth being their home with which God has purposed them to cultivate, populate, and steward.

Angels

     God created heavenly beings, called angels, before He created the cosmos, to perpetually worship and adore Him and for them to proclaim His glory forever.  They are ministering spirits, protectors, escorts, warriors, and messengers for God.

     God created a place of everlasting punishment called Hell for angels who rebelled against Him.  Lucifer, the greatest of angels, led this rebellion against God with other angels, now referred to as demons and they were cast out of Heaven, allowed to roam the spiritual realm of darkness until the final judgment where they will be cast into Hell forever.

Humanity

     Adam and Eve were historical persons that God created as the first man and woman and our human genealogy begins with them.  They were created by God as His crowning act of creation.

     Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, to carry His image to the rest of creation, being “fruitful” and increasing in number.  They were placed in the Garden of Eden by God with the instruction to care for and tend the garden and all of the animals, and to govern and populate the earth, so all may know Him and enjoy His presence and experience His fullness.  They were fully enabled for their task.

     Adam and Eve were created perfectly without blemish, corruption, or sin and they were “good” in all conceivable ways as God intended, being made in His image, their will in perfect alignment with God’s will.  They were given the freedom to obey or disobey God.  Adam and Eve were created to live in fellowship with God and in mutually helpful relationships with each other.  They were to honor and worship their creator in whatsoever activity they engaged in, both in work and in rest.

     Adam and Eve were given all of creation for their use and enjoyment and God provided them and the animals with green plants to eat.  Their only prohibition was not to eat of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”.  They lived with all the animals in peace.  God’s creation and humanity were purposed for shalom.

Sin

     I believe sin and evil is a result of Adam and Eve’s first disobedience against God.  It is through the seed of Adam that humankind is innately sinful, or at odds with God.  We are born with this sinful nature and its purpose is disobedience.  Sin operates from the human heart and includes disobedience, idolatry, blasphemy, murder, deceitfulness, lust and pride, to name a few.  God’s intended fellowship with humanity has been broken by Adam’s disobedience and we are no longer in a perfect relationship with our Creator.  Because of that first sin, God cursed the ground, and in so doing, caused man to work harder than he was intended to.  We must work hard today by the sweat of our brow in order to make a living and provide for our needs.

     Adam and Eve willingly gave up their earthly “under throne” in God’s Kingdom and Satan has now taken over as ruler and sits in the place where Adam and Eve used to, where he is ruling with the spirit of darkness and sin, corrupting and perverting all that God made good.  Sin is the cause for nature’s disharmony, including destructive weather patterns and carnivorous animals.  This season of evil is a mystery that we cannot fully explain, but yet God allows.

Salvation

     Being born in sin, the only way we can overcome sin is by receiving God’s gifts of forgiveness and salvation, which comes only through His Son, Jesus Christ, by way of His death on the Cross and His Resurrection from the dead.  Because of Christ, sin and death have lost their power over creation.

     In order to be restored in a right relationship with God our response should be one of repentance and faith.  Once forgiven and brought into God’s Kingdom, we are then to seek Christ-likeness in our humanity as we strive for holiness and righteousness as believers in Christ.  We are to commit, as best we can and know how, our very lives to Him in response to His love and redemption of our human lives and souls, even to death if necessary.

The Church

     God has appointed the Church as His agent in the world to communicate His revelation to future generations, telling of His Creation and redemption.  As His followers, we are to share His great story with others.

     I believe the church is God’s representation on earth of His goodness and mercy.  It is through the church that God reaches the unsaved.  The church is for believers who have been saved into God’s Kingdom.  It is where believers grow and are strengthened in their faith.  It is where God is to be adored, worshipped, respected, feared, revered and loved.  I believe God should be seen as glorious and beautiful, blessed and majestic, holy and wonderful, loving and kind, just and merciful and He is to be recognized for whom He is – our Mighty God!

Our Future Hope

     Christ and His work produce the signs of the coming final Kingdom that we eagerly await for His second coming as Judge of the world.  The new heaven and new earth will be God’s restored and renewed Kingdom – a place of justice and shalom.  As believers we should strive for righteousness as the days draw near.

     God will reveal His power and judgment in the last days.  He will reward and vindicate the righteous and punish and subdue the wicked, bringing into existence a new heaven and new earth, restoring and making new all things.

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