God has revealed to all mankind that He exists through the works of His hands. Creation beckons humanity to acknowledge, by logic alone, that there is a god. But not just any god; a Master Creator possessing infinite wisdom and knowledge! Romans 1:18-20; Job; Psalm 19:1-6; Psalm 50:6; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:10
While general revelation alone does not lead someone to a saving knowledge in Jesus Christ. God most graciously provided man with His inherent Word: the Bible. The Word of God is man’s special revelation from God. It is our navigation chart to heaven. Without it, we cannot be saved from sin. Scripture informs us that it is by faith in Christ that we are saved. Faith is not just a whimsical, Hollywood, feel good distortion of direction. Instead, faith is trusting in the promises of the Bible as given by God. God gave us his word so that we might be redeemed for all eternity from sin and death. Psalm 19:7-14; Proverbs 29:18; John 1:1-14; 2 Timothy 3:15-16
There is only one true God and outside of Him no other gods exist. However, there is a plurality of persons to God as clearly revealed by scripture. These three distinct persons are God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son. Each person of the Trinity has distinct roles and functions while at the same time remaining equal and one. God is the I AM, Jesus Christ proclaimed Himself to be God and accepted worship, and the Holy Spirit is called God in scripture. Therefore God is triune in nature. The Trinity is not to be fully comprehended by our feeble minds but believed by faith in accordance with God’s word. Genesis 1:2; Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:1-13; John 8:58; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:30; Colossians 1:12-29; Revelation 2:8; Acts 5:3-5; 1Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 13:14
PERFECTIONS OF GOD
- Transcendent He is above His creation. Isaiah 57:15
- Immanent He is active in the affairs of His creation. Ephesians 4:6
- Eternal He has no beginning or end. John 1:8
- Infinite He is not limited to space. Psalm 147:5
- Immutable He does not change. Malachi 3:6
- Omniscient He is all-knowing. 1 John 3:20-21
- Omnipotent He is all-powerful. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
- Omnipresent He is all-present. Psalm 139
- Sovereign He governs His creation according to perfect wisdom and power. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
- Holy, He is in another realm distinct and separated from sin. Exodus 15:11
- Just He carries out requirements of His laws faithfully. John 5:30
- Righteous God always does what is right. John 17:25
- Love He is moved by His love to reach down to His creation. John 3:16
- Mercy He withholds wrath from those who deserve it. Jonah 4:2
- Grace God extends favor to those deserving His wrath. Romans 5:8
- Good God deals bountifully with His creation. Psalm 34:8
- Truth God cannot lie. John 14:6
Old Testament God and New Testament Christ are One
- Isaiah 45:22-23 | Philippians 2:10-11 Every knee will bow to Him
- Isaiah 42:8 | John 17:5 He deserves Glory
- Psalms 23:1 | John 10:11 He is our Shepherd
- Joel 3:12 | Revelation 19:11 He will Judge
- Psalm 27:1 | John 8:12 He is our Light
- Exodus 3:14 | John 8:58 He is Yahweh
IMPECCABILITY OF CHRIST
Jesus Christ was without sin on this earth. He was the spotless lamb of the Old Testament sent to mankind by God in the form of a man to pay the perfect sacrifice for man’s sin. He was tempted in His flesh but would not sin because His God nature could not sin. Leviticus 4:32; John 1:29; John 1:36; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:17; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 10:12; 1 John 2:1; 1 Peter 1:19; 1 Peter 3:18
BLOOD ATONEMENT OF CHRIST
Blood had to be shed for the remission of mankind’s wickedness. But not just any blood; it was the blood and death of our Spotless Lamb the Lord Jesus Christ which brings us peace with the Father. From creation to the Cross God gave us a picture of Jesus’ payment through the bloody sacrifice of animals. From the cross until our present day we have the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his ultimate physical payment of death on the cross. Christ entered once into the Holy of Holies and paid in full with his own blood for my wickedness. The Lord, in Hebrews, makes it unequivocally clear that it was Jesus’ physical blood sprinkled before God in heaven that has purchased us from Hell. Genesis 3:17-21; Genesis 22:1-14; Exodus 12:1-14; Leviticus 16:5-19; Mark 14:24; John 6:53-56; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 9; Revelation 1:5
MINISTRY OF CHRIST
Christ is presently waiting for the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant when He will literally, bodily rule the nations in the promised Kingdom to Israel for 1,000 years. Revelation 20:4-6
The Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity is one with and equal to the Father and Son. Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 John 5:6-7; Luke 1:35-37; Psalm 139: 7-10; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7
OLD TESTAMENT MINISTRY
He orders our steps and the events of our lives Proverbs 16:9; 3:5-6; Psalm 37:5, 23
He is grieved when the believer presumptuously sins against Him Ephesians 4:30
The Holy Spirit seals the believer at the moment of conversion as a son for all eternity when he is placed into the Kingdom of God. Romans 5-6; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19
It is not a charismatic gift, second blessing, or life now free from the battles with indwelling sin, but a description of a believer’s growth in progressive sanctification as he submits himself to the Spirit’s influence through the Word of God. This filling is demonstrated by a life characterized by spiritual fruit. John 15; Galatians 5; Colossians 3:12-15; Ephesians 5:18
The Spirit of God gave gifts to the church as a demonstration of His triumph over Satan, for the edification of the church, for the authentication of the Word of God, and as a sign to the unbelieving Jew that their generation was under Divine judgment and that the Gospel message was for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews. Ephesians 4; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14
Tongues were a temporary gift that ceased. This gift allowed believers to speak in a known language unknown them as a sign to unbelieving Jews that they were a generation under the judgment of God and that the message of the Gospel was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. 1 Corinthians 12-14; 14:21; Isaiah 28:9-19; progression of the Gospel message in the book of Acts
- The nature of man’s depravity makes illumination a necessity: Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-11; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6
- The spiritual nature of God’s Word makes illumination a necessity: 1 Corinthians 2:11-14
- For the unbeliever: It is the Spirit’s work of drawing an unbeliever to receive the gospel: John 16:8
- For the believer: It is the Spirit’s work of opening the eyes of the believer to understand the significance of spiritual truth for growth in sanctification: Psalm 119:18
- Angels have served in the past and will serve in the future as messengers for God.
- Angels presently have a ministry in heaven worshiping before the throne of God: Psalm 148:1-2; Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8
- He possesses a wealth of knowledge, power, and beauty beyond humanity: Ezekiel 28
- He is well practiced: Isaiah 14; 1 Peter 5:8
- He is well organized as a king of a mighty army: Ephesians 2:2; 6:11-12
- His quarry has a fallen body and mind: Romans 1-3
- He was created by God in perfection yet chose to rebel against God, he is on a leash, and his existence will ultimately bring glory to God: Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19
- All believers have been equipped through Christ to overcome him: Romans 6; Ephesians 1
- He deceives by means of lies that resemble the truth: 2 Corinthians 4:4
- He distracts by means of allurement, the world: money, pleasure, power, intrigue: Revelation 3:17
- He causes division in the body of Christ through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
- His defeat is already secured in the cross: Psalm 68:17-21; Colossians 2:13-15; Ephesians 4:7-8
- His defeat will be final: Revelation 20:10; Isaiah 14:13-14
- The origin of demons is the same as the angels since demons are fallen angels.
- Demons currently serve Satan to hinder the working of God on this earth.
- They have the ability only to oppress the believer but not posses
- They have the ability to possess the unbeliever. Gospels-Acts
- Christ alone has the power to cast demons out, for they are under His authority: Luke 8:26-35; 1 John 4:4; Matthew 17:21
- During the time of Christ’s earthly ministry and the apostolic age, Christ delegated authority to the apostles to cast out demons in His name. I do not believe that He has given us that kind of authority, but we can pray to God to have mercy upon someone who is possessed and ask Him to command them to leave that individual.
DIGNITY OF MAN
- Because man is a living soul, he will spend eternity either in the presence of God or damned to the literal Lake of Fire: Daniel 12:1-2; Revelation 12:10-15; Revelation 21:24-27
- The fall severely marred, but did not eliminate the image of God in man: Genesis 9:6
- While Scripture does not directly explain what it means to be made in the image of God, it means that we can to a degree exercise His moral attributes, we were given dominion over His creation which will be perfectly realized as we reign with Him in His physical kingdom, and we have the ability to make reasoned, moral decisions.
- God creates each soul through sovereign oversight and the natural laws of human procreation, and that a man becomes a living soul at the point of conception.
- Man before the fall
- God created the first man Adam in innocence. While he had never sinned, he was created with the ability to sin, and with a free will to make moral decisions: Genesis 2:16-17, 30
- God gave man responsibility to labor and reason as he exercised dominion in a perfect creation: Genesis 2:8
- God created man with a need for a help meet: Genesis 2:18
- Man after the fall
- When Adam fell he did so representing the entire human race. He exercised his free will and sinned against God in disobedience to His command. Romans 5:17
- All of creation was cursed as a result of the sin of Adam. Romans 8:18-23
- All men who are born of a human father are born spiritually dead with an utterly depraved sin nature: Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12
- Without strength: Romans 5
- Ungodly: Romans 5
- Sinners: Romans 5
- Condemned: Romans 5; John 3
- Under the wrath of God: Romans 1-2; Ephesians 2:3
- Blind: 2 Corinthians 4
- Enemies with God: Ephesians 2; Colossians 1:21
- Death in the Bible
- The Bible teaches that physical death is separation of the body from the soul and spirit: Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5:8
- The Bible teaches that spiritual death is separation of a man from God. Adam experienced spiritual death at the moment that he sinned. The same way, a man is born spiritually dead or separated from God. This does not have to be a permanent separation, for when a believer is born again, he is regenerated, receiving new life in Christ and a new position as a son based solely upon the work of Christ and the grace of God: Genesis 2:17; Isaiah 59:2; John 11:25
- The Bible teaches that eternal death is eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire, which is a literal eternal place of wrath upon the ungodly. This death is also spoken of as the second death: Daniel 12:1-2; Matthew 25; Luke 16; John 8:24; Revelation 20:14,15
- Sin’s effect on the believer
- When the believer sins, his fellowship with his Heavenly Father is broken: John 15; 1 John 1:6
- When a believer sins, he loses the joy of walking in communion with his Lord: Psalm 51:12
- When the believer persists in sin, it can cause him to question his salvation: 2 Peter 1: 9-10; 1 John 3:18-21
- When a believer sins, he hinders his prayer life: 1 John 3:22; 1 Peter 3:7
- When a believer sins, God will discipline him since the believer is His child: Hebrews 12:5-11
- God grants forgiveness and the restoration of the joy of a believer’s position in Christ when the believer repents of his sin and come to Him for forgiveness: 1 John 1:9
Fruit of the new birth
- Continued faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: 1 John 5:1-5
- Obedience to the Lord’s commands: 1 John 5:1-5
- Spiritual understanding: 1 Corinthians 2:10-16
- Love of the brethren: 1 John 5:1-5
- Divine chastening: Hebrews 12:5-11
- God’s desire and will is that all men be born again. 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9
- No man can or will come to the Father apart from the convicting work of the Spirit of God by means of the preached Word. John 6:44-46; John 16:7-11; Romans 10:14-17
- Many reject the clear call of God to salvation and that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16; Romans 10:16-21
- The believer’s election is a place of privilege and blessing, and is completely secured by the grace of God, and is based upon the foreknowledge of God. Romans 8:28-31; 1 Peter 1:2
- The local New Testament church should only be a body of scripturally baptized believers Acts 2:41-42
- God’s work, in this dispensation, is accomplished by means of autonomous local churches: Revelation 2:1-3:22
- Autonomy means that these local churches are to be self-governing, and independent of the authority of all denominations, schools, boards, fellowships, or camps: Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Timothy, Titus
- The local church’s decision making should be by congregational rule, and in reasonable harmony with the desires and directives of the pastor who oversees yet is not the lord over the congregation: Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 5:17-20; 1 Peter 5:1-5
The pastor and deacon are the two offices of the local church
- Baptism by immersion is the first of the two ordinances of the church. Baptism is a symbol of the believer’s identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ whereby he is buried with Him and raised again to walk in newness of life in Christ. Baptism is not a prerequisite for salvation, but it is a step of obedience after salvation. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 2, 8, 16; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12;
- The second ordinance of the church is the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. Any obedient believer who has carefully examined the way in which he is to partake of the Lord’s Supper may partake of the elements in remembrance of the sacrifice of the Lord as long as he is a member of the local church in good standing. The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is to have a time of sober and grateful remembrance. The elements of unleavened bread and grape juice are simply symbolic of the body and the blood of Christ, and do not mystically become His body and blood. The Lord’s Table neither strengthens nor weakens a believer’s position in Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:23-36
- Christ’s commission to the apostles was to win the lost, baptize converts, and make disciples, in order to establish reproducing local churches that would win the lost, baptize converts, make disciples, edify these disciples, practice the ordinances, meet for corporate worship, and maintain purity through discipline for the ultimate glory of God. Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 4:11-12; Ephesians 3:20
- Churches of like faith and practice should spend time in fellowship but not at the expense of autonomy. We should approach fellowship with other churches practically. We will associate with those with whom we most closely agree doctrinally and practically. In regards to sending missionaries, planting churches, or acts of relief, we should willingly unite with churches of like faith and practice. 2 Corinthians 8:10-11,18-19; Romans 15:25,26
- Each local church is under the spiritual authority of the pastor. This man has been placed in this position of leadership by God. He will answer alone to God for the way that he leads his flock. The head of every local church is the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:23
- The church should be separated from the state and the state should be separated from the church; however, as a Christian, I am also a citizen of a country, and I should be involved in my country as well as submit myself to the authority of my God-given leadership. I do believe that civil disobedience is Biblical when called by human government to disobey clear Biblical command. Daniel 3; 6; Acts 4; Romans 13
- Church discipline is Scriptural and should be carried out as Matthew 18:15-17 instructs concerning separation from those who are involved in unrepentant sin as laid out in 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, causing factions, or teaching doctrinal heresies.
I am an independent Baptist because I hold the biblical doctrinal positions that have historically been associated with Baptists.
- Worldwide missions is Biblical. The Gospel work begins at home and extends to the uttermost parts of the earth. Matthew 28:18-21; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8
- Missionaries ought to be sent out of the local church so that the missionary has financial support, prayer support, and accountability. Acts 13:1-4; Acts 14:21-28; Romans 15:22-32
- The goal of a missionary should be to reproduce himself by winning and disciplining nationals in order to plant autonomous local churches. The purpose of the missionary is not to pastor as many churches as possible, but it is to train nationals to go out and plant local churches as he has done. (This was the work of Paul, Timothy, and Titus)
- Missions is church planting through cross-cultural discipleship in a foreign nation. (This was the work of Paul, Timothy, and Titus)
- A missionary is an extension of his local church and other supporting churches. He will partner with many local churches in order to get to the field. Acts 13:1-4; Acts 14:21-28; Romans 15:22-32
- These churches act very much like a team in order to support financially, prayerfully, and practically. They also provide an accountability to the missionary. Romans 15:22-32
- Regarding the ministry of the local church:
- The ministry of the local church as threefold: evangelize the lost, baptize those who are born again, and disciple the obedient believer.
- The ministry of every believer though not confined to this one aspect is ultimately the same. In 2 Corinthians 4-5, we see that every believer is a new creature in Christ and that he is an ambassador for Christ.
- It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to draw, the responsibility of the unbeliever to respond in repentant faith, and the responsibility of the believer to faithfully sow the Word of God.
- God has given the pastor (head elder) the responsibility to feed the flock through the preaching of the whole counsel of God, and to function as the authority of the local church. It is the responsibility of the pastor to love, to lead, and to feed the flock of God.
- The local church does not exist as a place of recreation or entertainment, but as a place of worship to God through the preaching of the word, singing of the praises of God, prayer, unified fellowship of the brethren, and the observation of the ordinances.
THE FINAL JUDGMENT
- The lost will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment. At this final judgment, they will be cast into a literal Lake of Fire for all eternity. The purpose of this day is to determine the just degree of God’s eternal wrath that they will face in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:12-15
- The Tribulation
- Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24-25; Revelation 4-19
- The Day of the LORD is the time period of the Tribulation through the Kingdom.
- The seven-year Tribulation will be a time of horrible judgment upon this earth described in the book of Revelation.
- Out of the nation of Israel, God will send out 144,000 witnesses throughout the earth for the purpose of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. Many will be martyred for the cause of Christ, and many will place their faith in Christ.
- Second Coming of Christ
- Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-3
- Christ will come again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to fight a battle at the Valley of Megiddo in which He will destroy the armies of this world. He also will cast the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire for all eternity. He also will bind Satan and his demons for a thousand years in a bottomless pit.
- The Second Coming is preceded by signs of His coming.
- The saints will reign with Christ for a thousand years in a literal period of time called the Millennium, and that God will literally fulfill every promise that He has made to Israel.
- The following about the eternal state.
- The New Jerusalem will be in the heavens. Revelation 21:2
- The only people, who will be in the New Jerusalem beside God and the angels, are those whose names who have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Revelation 21:27