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Overview of the Main Doctrinal Studies
I. Bibliology. (The Doctrine of the Bible)
A. Canonicity. I believe the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament compose the complete written revelation of God to man (Rev. 22:18-19).
B. Inspiration. I believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible.
1. By plenary, I mean that literally every word of Scripture was God-breathed. (Mat. 4:4, II Tim. 3:16)
2. By verbal, I mean that the original autographs contained exactly the words (Mat. 5:17-19, I Cor. 2:13) which God decreed to constitute His Word, the Holy Scriptures (II Tim. 3:15), and that God used men, moved by the Holy Spirit, to write down His Word (II Pet. 1:20-21).
C. Inerrancy. I believe that the Bible is inerrant (Psa. 19:7-8). By this I mean that the original autographs were completely free from any error, contradiction, or human corruption.
D. Infallibility. I believe that the Bible is infallible (Psa. 119:105). By this I mean that the Bible is our supreme authority in every aspect of life, and can be trusted completely.
E. Preservation. I believe God has preserved His word (Deut. 4:2; Psa. 12:6-7, 119:140; Pro. 30:5-6; Matt. 4:4, Rev. 22:18-19).
II. Theology Proper. (The Doctrine of God)
A. The Godhead. I believe in one God, eternally extant in three persons:
1. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Mat. 28:19-20, II Cor.13:14, I John 5:7).
2. These three co-eternal and co-equal persons are united in essence and substance, particular in person and function, thus forming the Godhead (Rom. 1:20), the Holy Trinity.
B. God the Father. I believe that God the Father is the first person of the Trinity and the source of all that God is and does. From Him the Son is eternally generated (Pro.8:22, Mat. 3:17), with the Holy Spirit proceeding from both the Father and the Son (John 16:7). He is the designer of creation, the speaker of revelation, the author of redemption, and the sovereign of history.
C. God the Son. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, eternally begotten of the Father (John 1:18, 3:16), Very God of Very God (John 8:58). He was conceived by the Virgin Mary through a miracle of the Holy Spirit (Isa. 7:14, Mat. 1:23). He lives forever as perfect God and perfect man: two distinct natures inseparably united in one person.
D. God the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, proceeds from both the Father and the Son, and is equal in deity (Acts 5:3-4). He is the giver of all life, active in the creating and ordering of the universe (Gen. 1:2); He is the agent of inspiration (II Tim. 3:16, II Pet. 1:21) and the new birth (John 3:5).
III. Christology. (The Doctrine of Christ)
A. I believe that Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1).
B. I believe in His virgin birth (Mat. 1:23, His sinless life (impeccability, John 8:46, 15:10, I Pet. 2:22), and the offering of Himself in accordance with the will of the Father (Mat. 26:39, 42) and His shed blood (Heb. 9:12-14) as the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2).
C. I believe that He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and on the third day arose (I Cor. 15:1-4) in the same body that He was buried in (John 20:27), only now glorified.
D. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven forty days later (Acts 1:3), and is now seated at the right hand of the Father (Col. 3:1, Heb. 1:3), interceding for all believers (Heb. 7:25).
IV. Pneumatology. (The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit)
A. I believe in the Personality of the Holy Spirit.
1. He performs the duties which only a person can do, such as teaching (John 14:26, 16:13-15; I John 2:27), speaking (Gal. 4:6), convicting and reproving (John 16:8), and ministering to the saints in regeneration (John 3:6) and filling (Eph. 5:18).
2. He has titles that only a person could have, such as the Comforter (John 14:16-17, 26, 16:7) and is referred to as "He" (I Cor 12:11).
B. I believe in the absolute Deity of the Holy Spirit.
1. He is called God (Acts 5:3-4).
2. He is mentioned with the Father and Son as God (Matt. 28:19-20, II Cor. 13:14).
3. He accomplishes the works of God (Luke 12:11-12, I Cor. 2:8-11, II Peter 1:21).
C. I believe He has a specific ministry in the lives of believers today.
1. He restrains sin and Satan (II The. 2:7); and He indwells and sanctifies all believers of this age (I Cor. 12:13, Eph. 4:30).
2. He is the agent of the new birth (John 3:6, Titus 3:5)
3. He baptizes believers in to Christ at the moment of salvation (I Cor. 12:13, Gal. 3:27).
4. He gifts believers for service (I Cor. 12:4-11, Rom. 12:3-8). The sign gifts of tongue, prophecy and healing ceased to be operative with the end of the apostolic age (I Cor. 13:8-10, cf. II Cor. 12:12).
V. Angelology. (The Doctrine of Angels)
A. Angels are created beings (Heb. 2:5-8, cf. Rom. 8:38-39).
B. They have many duties, including ministering to the saints (Heb. 1:14), messengers of God (Luke 1:18-19, 26-38), and accomplishing the works of God (Acts 12:7-11)
C. One-third of the angels fell in rebellion with Satan (Rev. 12:4) and are now demons, some of whom are incarcerated (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 6), while others are doing Satan's bidding (Mark 5:9, 15, Luke 8:30, I Tim. 4:1).
D. Satan was created as angel, but rebelled against God and became the Devil (Isa. 14:12-15, Eze. 28:12-15, Luke 10:18).
VI. Anthropology. (The Doctrine of Man)
A. I believe that Adam was the first man, a direct creation of God and made in His image (Gen. 1:26-27).
1. I believe the creation account, as stated in Genesis chapters one and two, is to be understood literally, not allegorically or figuratively. God created everything that was made in six literal, 24 hour days (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31, Exo. 20:11).
2. I believe that any other view of creation, including day-age theories and evolution/natural selection, is blatant heresy and those propagating such false views must be opposed (Heb. 11:3, Jude 3).
B. I believe that Adam fell through willful disobedience, bringing sin and the resultant condemnation into the world (Gen. 3:6).
1. As a result of Adam's fall, all people are conceived in sin, making them sinners (Rom. 5:12-14).
2. Further, all are sinners by choice (Rom. 3:23).
3. Therefore, I believe in the total depravity of man, and that man is incapable of performing any work, rite or sacrifice that can change his standing before God (Rom. 3:10-11).
C. I believe that because of man's inherited sinful nature and his own willful acts of sin he is justly condemned to eternal punishment and condemnation in a literal, burning Hell (John 3:18-19, Rom. 3:19), which was originally prepared for the Devil and his angels (Mat. 25:41).
VII. Harmartiology. (The Doctrine of Sin)
A. I believe that sin entered the world through Satan's sin of pride (Isaiah 14:12-15), which led to one-third of the angels (Rev. 12:3) rebelling with him.
B. Sin entered into the human race via the seduction of Eve by Satan (Gen. 3:1-6; II Cor. 11:3) and the consequent sin of Adam (Gen. 3:6) resulting in the separation of fallen man from the Holy God (Gen. 3:8).
C. The results of this sin caused death to fall upon all men (Rom. 5:12), both physical and spiritual.
D. Because of this, all people are born sinners, and are also sinners by choice (Rom. 3:9-23; Eph. 2:2-3), lost, having no hope and without God (Eph. 2:12).
VIII. Soteriology. (The Doctrine of Salvation)
A. I believe that salvation is wholly of grace (Eph. 2:8-9), paid for by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 1:14, 20) by means of His voluntary sacrifice and vicarious atonement (Rom. 3:24-26).
B. I believe that salvation is available to all (II Pet. 3:9), and that nothing prevents the salvation of anyone but his own depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel (John 3:17-18).
C. I believe in justification by faith, and by faith only (Rom. 5:1). Justification is the judicial act where God declares those who believe to be righteous through the merits of Christ's blood (Rom. 3:24).
D. I believe that repentance and faith are the necessary prerequisites to salvation, both wrought by the convicting and life-giving power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:1, II Tim. 2:25).
E. I believe that once a person is saved, he possesses eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9). A saved person can never lose his salvation (John 10:28-29, Rom. 8:35-39).
F. I believe that the teaching that a saved person can lose his salvation is a denial of the gospel of grace (Gal. 1:6-9) and demonstrates a misunderstanding of the doctrine of justification by faith alone (Gal. 3:11).
IX. Ecclesiology. (The Doctrine of the Church)
A. I believe that the primary use of the word church in the Bible is that of a local body of saved, baptized members gathered together for evangelism, edification, fellowship and worship (Acts 2:37-41).
B. I believe that the local church is autonomous, independent and free from any control from any outside source, with Christ being the Head (Col. 1:18).
C. I believe that another use of the word Church in the Bible refers to the company of all the redeemed of this dispensation. This is an organism, not an organization, (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23-27).
D. I believe that the church has two, and only two, offices.
1. Pastor, also known as Bishop or Elder (Acts 20:17, 28, I Tim. 3:1-7).
2. Deacon (I Tim. 3:8-13).
E. I believe that there are two, and only two, ordinances administered by the church.
1. Baptism, which is by immersion (Matt. 3:16, Acts 8:36-39) and is an emblem of our identification with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:4-5). It must only be administered after the subject has been born again (Acts 2:41, 8:36-37, 16:30-33), and is necessary for church membership (Acts 2:41).
2. The Lord's Supper, which is strictly a memorial (I Cor. 11:24-25) of the Lord Jesus Christ's broken body and shed blood until He returns. It should only be taken by baptized believers of like faith and order in the local church (Mat. 26:26-29, I Cor. 11:23-29).
X. Eschatology. (The Doctrine of Last Things)
A. I believe that when a saved person dies, the immaterial part (soul/spirit) of that person goes instantly in the presence of God (II Cor. 5:8)
B. I believe that the unsaved will be raised up at the conclusion of the millennium to be judged at the white throne judgment and sent to spend eternity in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15), prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41).
C. I believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ in the clouds for His Church, known as the Pretribulational Rapture (I Thes. 4:13-18, II Thes. 2:1-2).
D. I believe in the Premillennial return of Jesus Christ to earth (Rev. 19:11-20:6) and His literal, one thousand year, millennial reign on Earth, seated on the throne of David (I Sam. 7:14-16, Luke 1:31-33, Acts 15:16).