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CHRIST, AND HIM ALONE!Statement of FaithNO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME!

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Page16. - Revised 09/08/1999

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Statement of Faith

Some people want to know the basics of what I believe before they read what I have to say. That is reasonable. I have the same thought in mind when I check-out other sites. Alright. Besides, it is a good idea to every now and then step back and reflect on the basics of one's faith. Its a wonderful exercise, it gets you into the Scriptures, and you really end up getting blessed! Here it is!

On this Page: | The Bible | The Church | Civil Government | Baptism | Evangelism | Forgiveness of Sin | Heaven and Hell | Jesus Christ | Justification | Salvation |Assurance vs Loss of Salvation | Spiritual Gifts | The Priesthood | The Rapture | Tithing | The Trinity | Penance |

The BibleIT IS ENOUGH!

I believe that the Bible, or the Scriptures if you will, is the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men under His control and inspiration.

I believe that the Bible is infallible and inerrant.

I believe that the Bible is the single, absolute, final authority in matters of religion and faith (sic., Sola Scriptura).

I believe that traditions can enrich our understanding of the Bible, its times and its peoples. Any tradition, however, that contradicts the Bible must be rejected out-of-hand.

(Psalm 19:7-9; 1 Thess 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 22:18-19)

Civil Government

I believe that civil authority should be upheld at all times except in things clearly opposed to the Word of God.

(Hebrews 10:25)

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The Church

I believe that the Church of Christ (not to be confused with any particular denomination using that name) consist of all who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that is, of all who have been saved by grace, through faith in Christ.

I believe that Jesus Christ instituted His Church, not for Himself, but for us, and that Scripture encourages us to participate in Church gatherings where God is praised and the Gospel is preached.

I believe that the Church, also called in Scripture the 'body of Christ,' is both a physical and a spiritual organism. It is physical in that it is comprised of living, physical individuals; it is spiritual in that the unifying bond in Christ is of a spiritual nature.

I believe that the physical church can, and should exist as smaller sub-groups, often called denominations, that share the fundamentals of the Christian faith, while they can differ on issues that are minor, secondary, or of little importance otherwise, such as forms of worship, presence or absence of liturgy, and so forth.

I believe that the Church can include people from all sub-groups, including, but not limited to Baptists, Evangelicals, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Messianic Jews and others. However, mere membership in such a sub-group does not, de facto make one a Christian, nor assure one's salvation. Thus, all such groups can include both saved and unsaved persons.

I believe it is the proper function of the Church to worship God, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to discipline its local members in accordance with guidelines in Scripture.

(Matthew 18: 15-17; Hebrews 10:25; Acts 16:5; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:5-8; 1 Timothy 5:18-21; )

Baptism

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I believe that Baptism is one of the two 'sacraments' instituted by Jesus Christ, and urged by Him upon all believers.

I believe that Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ in which a person who has already been saved (born-again) makes a public declaration of that faith because that is the 'way of righteousness.'

I believe that the Biblical method of baptism is immersion, but that under certain conditions, other forms, such as pouring or sprinkling work just as well. Why? Because the power does not reside in the method, that's why! The power is derived from God first, and from the heart of a man or woman as they respond in obedience to God's Word.

I believe that the Bible offers two forms for baptism: first is baptism in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Second is baptism in the Name of Jesus. Since both are seen in Scripture, I think it not terribly important which form is used, and that those who make a big issue of it are just looking up their naval to find some unique or different way to distinguish themselves - a prideful gesture at best; a waste of time in any case. Somehow I don't think that God cares which word-formula is used; what He cares about is the heart. It has always been that way with God, hasn't it?!

(Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38; 19:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25, 12:13; Galatians 3:27)

Evangelism

I believe that it is incumbent upon all born again Christians to strive to introduce unbelievers to Jesus Christ.

I believe that it is incumbent upon all born again Christians to support missionaries as a local church function

(Daniel 12:3; James 5:20; Matthew 10:32-33; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

Forgiveness of Sin

I believe that God, and only God, can forgive sins.

I believe that Jesus Christ, who is God, can forgive sins.

I believe that Jesus Christ gave to all the apostles and some disciples, including several women, the power to declare that one's sins are forgiven on the basis of a repentance and confession of faith in Jesus Christ.

(Matthew 9:6, 16:18-19; Mark 2:7,10; Luke 5:21, 24; 11:1-4; Acts 1:1-14; 1John 1:9)

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Heaven and Hell

I believe that Heaven and Hell are literal places, and the only two destinations for all living men and women, and that both are places where the inhabitants are alive and conscious for eternity.

I believe that all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are destined for Heaven, while those who do not are destined for Hell.

(Matthew 3:2, 4:17; 5:10-12, 20-30, 45; 6:20; 7:21, 19:21; Mark 5:45-47; 11:25-26; 12:24-25; Luke 12:5; John 14:1-3; 2 Peter 2:4; Revelation 7:15-17)

Jesus Christ

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I believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God, who became flesh, lived, suffered and died on the cross, and resurrected as the one and only perfect atonement for our sins.

I believe that Jesus Christ is God-become-man, and that He was immaculately conceived by the Holy Spirit in the virgin, Mary, in accordance with Messianic prophecies.

I believe that Jesus Christ, after his bodily resurrection, now sits at the right hand of the Father, where, as a Priest of the order of Melchisedek, he intercedes for all who accept Him for who and what He is.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man; there is no other, be they Mary, the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops or priests, or any dead person, however holy their life may have been.

I believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord, Savior, Healer, Comforter, Hope of Glory, and our soon-coming King.

I believe that the return of Jesus Christ (i.e., His second coming) will be visible to all, in accordance with the Scriptures. (See Second Coming)

(Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Matthew 1:18-23; 26:2; 27:22-26, 28:1-6; 34-37; John 1:1-17; Hebrews 7:27, 9:26, 10:11-12, 12:24; 1 Timothy 2:5)

Justification

I believe that we are justified by grace alone, through faith alone in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and that this faith in Christ must be confessed, or spoken with the lips before others.

(Matthew 12:36-37; John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:27-28; Galatians 2:16, 3:2,5)

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Penance

I believe that penance, which, in the Christian world, is found only in the Roman Catholic tradition, involves both the performance of good works and the payment of money for the forgiveness of sin.

I believe that the Roman Catholic Church substituted the term and the concept of penance, a man-made concept, for the Biblical term and concept of repentance.

I believe that the doctrine of penance has no place in God's plan of salvation.

I believe that the doctrine of penance contradicts Scripture by denying the efficacy and sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I believe that good works flow from our salvation, and do not lead to our salvation. (James 2:14-17). (See also: Repentance | Justification | Salvation |)

Repentance

I believe that, upon sincere repentance, and acceptance of Jesus Christ, we are justified before God. (1 John 1:9)

Salvation

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I believe that salvation is a free gift from God, offered to all who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

I believe that salvation comes by grace, and not of any works we do.

I believe that salvation is the work of God, and of God alone. No man, no group, no church can offer or give salvation in return for works such as penance, participation in certain sacraments, use of sacramentals or holy objects (so-called), indulgences, the intercession of dead people, or any other manner or means.

I believe that once received, salvation can be lost by a deliberate action on the part of the individual. This is referred to as apostasy, or falling away from the true faith as described by Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:3). If such apostasy was not possible, Paul would not have cautioned against it.

(Acts 15:11; Ephesians 2:5, 8-9; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10: 26-27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; James 5: 19-20; Philipians 2:12)

IMPORTANT NOTE. The argument between 'once saved, always saved' (sic. The "security of the believer,") and that salvation can be lost is an old one, with many good arguments on both sides. For this reason I have added "Assurance vs Loss of Salvation" to clarify the argument.


Assurance vs Loss of Salvation

Some surfers have taken issue with me on my position that one's salvation can be lost. They tell me that once saved, you are always saved. They give me many scriptures to support that position, which is often called the "security of the believer." Their arguments are very good ones.

What they fail to recognize is that there exists an equally impressive collection of Scriptures that indicate just the opposite - that is, that one's salvation can be lost. The argument on this side is just as strong, too. How do we resolve this apparent discrepancy in Scripture?!

The answer, of course, is the we let Scripture itself supply the solution. If both positions are equally stated in Scripture, we can be sure of at least one thing: both statements, or positions, must be true. It would not be the first time that apparently opposite conditions in Scripture turned out to be true - once you consider the whole of Scripture. This is, I believe, the situation here.

Part of the answer lies in the issue of the saved person's responsibility. We must always keep in mind that our salvation did not happen automatically because of the sacrifice of Christ. Yes, He did die for all our sins. Yet that is no guarantee that all of our sins will be forgiven. Scripture proves that one must cooperate with the grace of God in the matter of forgiveness and salvation. While Jesus died to save everyone, it remains a fact that not everyone is saved, right?

So what makes the difference? Again the answer is in Scripture: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." "He that believeth on the Son hath life, and he that believeth not, hath not life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:18; 3:36; 6:40; 1 John 5:5, 10) " "God so loved the world that whosoever believeth on Him shall not die, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)" Many more scriptures attest to the fact that one must take the action of acceptance and belief in order to be saved. No one is saved against his will.

The next responsibility of the saved person, after acceptance and belief in Christ, is to abide in Christ (John 15: 4-7). We are also told that:

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1: 3-5)

Notice that it is God who's power keeps us (gives us assurance of salvation), while at the same time it is "through our faith." Again, we are told in Scripture to "lay hold of eternal life (by our faith)" and to "hold fast to our faith" (Hebrews 10:23) - warnings that would be pointless if we could do nothing that would result in loss of salvation.

Thus to I see in Scripture two seemingly opposing ideas, both of which are true. Your salvation is assured as long as you hold onto, practice, and don't abandon that faith which led to your salvation in the first place. No one who continues in that faith will ever be lost. On the other hand, if one loses that faith. . . no longer 'walks in' that faith . . . becomes an apostate . . . then one's assurance is gone.

Think about it. If both positions were not true, and if 'once saved, always saved' is the only right position, it becomes irrelevant what one does after the moment of salvation, right? You can sin to your heart's content and be comfortable knowing you are always saved and headed for Heaven.

Is it not true that the wages of sin is death, and that one who dies with unconfessed, unforgiven sin is destined for Hell? Can we make a case that saved Christians are incapable of further sin? Not at all. Yet they would have to be able to remain sinless after salvation to rightly claim that "once saved, always saved." They would have to deny the numerous Scriptural warnings to hold onto the faith, to abide in Christ, as prerequisites to entry to Heaven. And no one can make such a claim.

It was your own free choice, your own action, in cooperation with the grace of God, that resulted in your salvation. Your free will remains intact: God will never take that away. And in your free will, you are as free to reject Jesus Christ and salvation as you were to accept it in the first place.

This, then, is the path by which I arrived at the position that one's salvation can truly exists, and can later be truly lost. On the opposite side of the coin you have the person who rejects Jesus Christ and salvation for decades, only to accept it later. Free will is the key here. God won't force you to be saved; neither will He force you to remain saved. The power is His; the grace is His; the faith is His gift to you: by YOU must use that gift or lose it.

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Spiritual Gifts

I believe that the spiritual gifts described in 1 Corinthians Chapters 12 and 14 are as valid today as they ever were, and that there is no Scripture that indicates any such gift had a time-limit, or was rescinded for any reason.

I believe that God-given spiritual gifts can be, and often are simulated by Satan.

(1 Corinthians Chapters 12 and 14)

I believe that counterfeit spiritual gift abound, and are on the increase around the world. A prime example can be found in the "Toronto Blessing," of the Vineyard Fellowship, in which the most unscriptural, unseemly actions take place to the detriment of the Gospel.

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Second Coming of Christ

I believe that Jesus Christ will return, just as He promised, and that his coming will be visible to all the earth. (Matthew 16:28, 24:24-30, 25:31-32; Mark 13: 24-26; Luke 17:24)

I believe that, just before the Second Coming of Christ, the conditions in this world will become worse that ever before in history, in a period marked by a great increase in earthquakes, floods, pestilence, wars, famines, and an increase in the persecution of real Christians around the world.

I believe that, just before the Second Coming of Christ, there will be a proliferation of those who call themselves 'Christ' or 'another Christ' (alter Christos), some of whom will seem to be able to produce 'miracles' or 'great wonders,' and that we are warned ahead of time to not follow or believe them. (Matthew 24:4-5; Mark 13: 4-6; Luke 21: 7-8)

I believe that, just before the Second Coming of Christ, the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, if not completely, at least as much as needed to reestablish the holy of holies, and that the ancient Jewish rites of sacrifice will be resumed there. (Daniel 8:11-12, 31; 12:11)

I believe that the rebirth of the nation of Israel on May 15, 1948, marked the beginning of the generation that will see the Second coming of Christ. (Matthew 24: 32-34)

(Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:3-44; Mark 13:4-27; Luke 21:24-33; 1 Th 4:16-18, 5:1-10; Daniel 11:30-31)


Tithing

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I believe that tithing is the method ordained by God for the support and spread of the Gospel, and for provision of basic public human services.

I believe that tithing means giving ten percent (10%) of your income to God's work as performed in and by one's local church.

Should I tithe on my gross income, or on my net income? Good question. I find nothing in the Bible that distinguishes one from the other. I guess they didn't deduct payroll taxes back then. Today's situation is quite different. The typical worker pays up to 29% of his income in federal taxes, 5% to 8% in state taxes, a 5% meals tax, a 5% tax on most purchased items, another chunk in real estate and personal property taxes, and so forth. Thus, the typical individual pays approximately 50% of his income in taxes! That leaves 50% or less to live on. In this modern scenario, so different from the scenario in which the tithe was ordered by God, 10% of the gross income would place millions in poverty - and unable to pay their just debts. When I run this against Jesus' instructions to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's," I find much justification to tithe from one's net income.

I believe that we should tithe on our net income, not our gross income - unless your net income is sufficient to let you pay your just debts and still give the 10%. This has to do with good stewardship, and if you use unwise, foolish spending as an excuse to not pay the 10% tithe, better you should think again!

I know that some Christians believe they should tithe on their gross income. That is fine if they can do so without neglecting other God-ordained responsibilities such as providing for one's family and obeying the law, and not going into bankruptcy to place the burden on others. I also know that the Roman Catholic Church does not teach this Biblical principal, despite the fact that God commands us to tithe.(Leviticus 27:29-34; Deuteronomy 12:6, 14:22-23; Malachi 3:8-10)
QUESTION: Why does the Roman Catholic Church ignore God's command that we tithe? Your Answer?


I believe that, when God instituted the tithe, that the tithe was intended to support the church and the people, as a form of general tax. In God's economy, we were intended to keep ninety per cent (90%) of our gross income to provide shelter, food, clothing, and so forth. That is pretty much how it was in America until the early 1940's - most wage earners took home about 90% of their gross income, and our nation grew strong and mighty under that system.

In today's world, however, our gross income is diminished by federal taxes, state taxes, city taxes, medicare taxes, social security taxes, and most of our purchases have local, city, state and federal taxes attached. For the average person, their net, disposable income after taxes is around 50%! That's not usually a whole lot to live on. Thus do I conclude that tithing on the net income is acceptable to the Lord. If you think differently, you should follow your conscience.

(Malachi 3:10; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42)

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The Trinity

I believe that God exists as three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are co-existent, co-eternal and co-equal in power and essence.

(2 Corinthians 13:14; Genesis 1:26; 3:22; Isaiah 9:6; 11:1-5; Matthew 28:19)

The Priesthood

I believe that the sacrificing Priesthood was terminated at Calvary and replaced by the singular priesthood of Jesus Christ. This was graphically portrayed when the foot-thick curtain before the Holy of Holies was torn in two, top to bottom. This curtain separated man from an approach to the mercy seat of God for forgiveness of sins; only the high priest could pass that curtain to offer sacrifice for sins. Jesus has now offered the final, complete and perfect sacrifice that was foreshadowed by the old priestly sacrifices, thus making such priestly sacrifices of no effect. Thus is each born-again believer in Jesus Christ a priest to him/herself.

(Matthew 27:50-51; Mark 15:37-38; Luke 23:44-45; Hebrews 7:11-17; 10:5-8, 9; 1 Peter 2:5, 9)

The Rapture

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I believe that the rapture, while not mentioned by name in Scripture, refers to the time when Jesus Christ, at His Second Coming, translates all living born-again believers and takes them to Heaven.

I believe there are at least four points of view as to exactly when this even will occur, and that speculation on same is of minor importance to the Christian. Just take the first one that comes along!

(1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:14-16; 5:1-4, 23)

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