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Beliefs

The following statements represent the basic tenets of the faith fundamental to being a follower of Jesus Christ, based on Holy Scripture. These are the central themes of God’s revelation of Himself to us through the Bible.

 

Therefore, I aim to accept and apply these beliefs to my life and earnestly desire to reflect them in my work. The corresponding verses reflect only a sampling of references from the Bible, to provide evidence of God’s view on these matters. 

These beliefs have been arranged in the acronym of D-O-C-T-R-I-N-E to help us more easily understand and articulate what it is to be a follower of Christ. Doctrine - a set of beliefs, instruction and sound biblical teaching - exists to serve our hearts as we learn to understand and delight in the Lord more fully.

 

Deity of Christ

  • Jesus is God, of equal stature and authority as God the Father and the Holy Spirit. In Christ, all the fullness of God lived in a human body (Matthew 28:18; John 1:14; Colossians 1:15, 2:9; Hebrews 1:3).
     

  • Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified and died on the cross, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is alive today and seated at the right hand of God, interceding for us until His return (Matthew 28:6; Mark 16:19; Luke 24:39, 51; John 20:17; Romans 8:34).
     

  • Jesus is the only possible atoning sacrifice for our sins and the only way to heaven, not one of many options (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Hebrews 9:12, I Timothy 2:5).

 

Original Sin

  • We have an active adversary, created as a perfect heavenly host who was exiled from heaven and condemned to eternal damnation when his own desire allowed pride to overtake him. He is known by many names: Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Devil, Prince of this World, Father of Lies, Serpent of Old, Tempter, Adversary, Accuser, and the Enemy (Colossians 1:16, Genesis 1:31, 3:1-15, Isaiah 14:12, Ezekiel 28:15-16, Zechariah 3:1-2, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:13, John 8:44, 10:10, II Corinthians 11:14, James 1:13-15, Rev. 12:10-12).
     

  • Humans are made in God’s image and likeness and were innocent of sin at Creation and endowed by God with freedom of choice, to accomplish a loving relationship. By free will man disobeyed God, fell out of relationship with Him and brought sin into the human race. There is a tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility that exists within the mystery of God (Genesis 1:27, 2:25, 3:1-24).
     

  • All humans since the Fall are born with a sin nature; therefore, every one of us falls short of God’s glory and cannot be in relationship with Him without the righteousness of Jesus being credited to us through faith in Him (Genesis 3, Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:12).
     

  • All humans are called into a love relationship with God by His initiating grace. Christ died for us while we were still sinners to reinstate us back into right relationship with the Father, but we have free will to choose to accept the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus, our Mediator (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 5:8, 2:11).

 

Canon and the Church

  • The 66 books of Scripture are God-breathed and divinely inspired and, therefore, inerrant and completely trustworthy. God in His sovereignty selected humans to write the scriptures and directed the canonization of the Bible (II Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12).  
     

  • The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself, His plan of redemption and divine direction to us for all time (I Corinthians 2:10).
     

  • Jesus is the head of the Church, made up of believers in Christ from every ethnicity, race and gender. All followers of Christ are part of the royal priesthood of believers and are ministers of reconciliation, commissioned to make disciples of all nations (Colossians 1:18, Matthew 28:19-20, I Peter 2:9, II Corinthians 5:18, Revelation 7:9).

 

Trinity

  • There is one God - God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit - often described as the Godhead or Trinity in theology. He is three equal and eternal Persons in one divine Being. The Trinity has distinct personal attributes and roles but without division of nature, essence, or being (Genesis 1:1-2, Mark 1:10-11, Luke 9:35).
     

  • The Godhead was present before the beginning of time. Therefore, Jesus existed with the Father and Holy Spirit before creation and is the Creator of the universe, begotten not created (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-5, Revelation 1:8, Psalm 33:6, 9, Hebrews 1:2, 9:11, 11:3).
     

  • This Triune God models for us how to live in relationship with Him and one another. The gospel of Jesus is based on this relationship and not rituals or man-made religion (Genesis 1:1-2 Mark 1:10-11).

 

Resurrection

  • Jesus led a sinless life, suffered and died a criminal’s death on the cross, was buried in the tomb, and on the third day rose again victorious over sin and death (Matthew 28:5-7, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:6, John 20;9, 14-31, I Corinthians 15:1-22).
     

  • Jesus, in flesh and bone, walked the earth for 40 days after His resurrection, ate food, performed miracles, and appeared to the apostles and more than 500 brothers and sisters before He ascended to heaven (Luke 24:13-53, John 20, 21:1, I Corinthians 15:3-8).
     

Incarnation

  • Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin as prophesied in the Old Testament and was, therefore, fully God and fully man. He took on our human nature, yet without sin, and never ceased being God (Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:35, Isaiah 7:14, John 1:1, 14).
     

Newness

  • Regeneration is the immediate rebirth that comes after our repentance and confession of faith in Jesus. We are born again by the Holy Spirit and are a new creation, passed from spiritual death to life and forever sealed by the Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:13-14; II Corinthians 1:22).
     

  • Salvation is a work of God’s initiating grace and in its broadest sense includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord (Ephesians 2:8, John 14:6, Matthew 7:13-14).
     

  • Justification ("just as if" you never sinned) comes through faith in Jesus as Savior, not works or religion. By grace alone you are saved through faith if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. No amount of good deeds can tip the scale in our favor, as our virtue is like filthy rags compared to God’s holiness. Likewise, no sin can outweigh God’s mercy. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is the good news of the Gospel (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 1:17, 3:28, 5:8, 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8, I John 1:9).
     

  • Sanctification is a result of salvation and is progressive in nature. Throughout our relationship with God, we are renewed in the knowledge of Him through scripture. We learn to be holy as God is holy, to imitate Him and become more like the person God created us to be. Although we will never reach sinless perfection while on earth, we aim to put on our new self every day, leaving our old ways behind, and to press on to take hold of Christ Jesus (John 17:17, Ephesians 4:24, Philippians 3:12-14, Colossians 3:10, I Thessalonians 5:23, II Thessalonians 2:13, I Peter 1:2).

 

End Times (Eschatology)

  • Those in Christ will be united with Him in the new heaven and earth where they will receive glorified bodies that are without blemish, as God designed in the Garden pre-Fall (Matthew 17:2, 24:35; Mark 9:2-3, Luke 9:29, John 14:1-3, II Corinthians 4:16, 5:1-7).
     

  • Jesus will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. This is often referred to as the Second Coming. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord (Revelation 19:11-13, Matthew 24:30-31, 36; Luke 17:28-32, 20:7-19).
     

  • No one can predict the time that Jesus will return. We are called to live expectant of His return, treating our life on earth as a temporary place that is not our eternal home (Matthew 24:29-31, 36-44, 25:13, Mark 13:32).

 

                                

I believe in the Nicene Creed (https://carm.org/nicene-creed) and my fellowship’s statement of faith (https://houstonsfirst.org/the-loop/about/beliefs). The writings on this site are my own independent thoughts and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of my church.