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WHAT DO I BELIEVE, ANYWAY?

Holding the Bible as the complete and only divine revelation, I strongly believe that God is eternally one and also eternally the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, the three being distinct but not separate. I hold that Christ is both the complete God and the perfect man. Without abandoning His divinity, He was conceived in the womb of a human virgin, lived a genuine human life on earth, and died a vicarious and all-inclusive death on the cross. After three days He resurrected bodily and has ascended to the heavens. He is now in glory, fully God but still fully man. I look to His imminent return with the kingdom of God, by which He will reign over the earth in the millennium and in eternity. I confess that the third of the Trinity, the Spirit, is equally God. All that the Father has and is, is expressed by the Son; and all that the Son has and is, is realized as the Spirit. I further believe that mankind is in need of God's salvation. Though we were absolutely unable to fulfill the heavy demands of God's righteousness, holiness, and glory, Christ fulfilled all the requirements through His death on the cross. Because of Christ's death, God has forgiven us of our sins, justified us by making Christ our righteousness and reconciled us to Himself. Based on Christ's redemption, God regenerates the redeemed with His Spirit to consummate His salvation, that they may become His children. Now possessing God's life and nature, the believers enjoy a daily salvation in His Body in this age and the eternal salvation in the coming age and in eternity. In eternity we will dwell with God in the New Jerusalem, the consummation of God's salvation of His elect.


The Bible is the Word of God, written under His inspiration word by word (2 Tim. 3:16), and is the complete and only written divine revelation of God to man (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18-19);


There is one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4b; Isa. 45:5a), who is triune—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Matt. 28:19), co-existing (Matt. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 13:14) and coinhering (John 14:10-11) in three persons, or hypostases, distinct but never separate, from eternity to eternity;


Christ, the only begotten Son of God (John 1:18; 3:16), even God Himself (John 1:1), became a genuine man through incarnation (John 1:14), having both the divine and human natures (Rom. 9:5; 1 Tim. 2:5), the two natures being combined in one person and being preserved distinctly without confusion or change and without forming a third nature;


Christ died for our sins and was raised bodily from the dead (1 Cor. 15:3-4; Acts 4:10; Rom. 8:34), has been exalted to the right hand of God as Lord of all (Acts 5:31; 10:36), and will return as the Bridegroom for His bride, the church (John 3:29; Rev. 19:7), and as the King of kings to rule over the nations (Rev. 11:15; 19:16);


Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Eph. 2:5, 8) and in His completed work, resulting in our justification before God (Rom. 3:24, 28; Gal. 2:16) and in our being born of God to be His children (John 1:12-13);


The church as the unique Body of Christ, the issue of the work of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23), is composed of all genuine believers in Christ (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12) and, according to the New Testament revelation, is manifested in time and space in local churches, each of which includes all the believers in a given city, regardless of where they meet or how they may otherwise identify themselves (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Thes. 1:1; Rev. 1:11);


and All the believers in Christ will participate in the divine blessings in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth for eternity (Rev. 21:1—22:5).


These seven items broadly represent what I hold as “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Although my beliefs on other, secondary items are also grounded in Scripture, I acknowledge that genuine believers have historically held to many differing interpretations on these matters and continue to do so today. Therefore I diligently practice to receive all those whom the Lord has received (Rom. 14:3; 15:7).

 

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