by: Scott deBeaubien
This is my Statement Of Faith compiled for my Theological Foundations class, Sept. – Dec. 2012, with Pastor Kevin Bryan instructing.
There are many good reasons to write out such a statement, not the least of which is the requirement for this course. What I will attempt to articulate are my reasons for belief, but also in a larger sense, the reasons why I believe anybody can believe and have faith in Jesus, the God of the Bible. The Bible itself is a unique book, being made up of 66 books written by various authors, all of whom considered to be under the “Influence” of the Holy Spirit.
When I came to believe in 1994/95, I was at that time suffering more than at any other time in my life. I was 34 years old when I came to the church, and I was undergoing a tragic circumstance in my life (Divorce) that I felt I had nowhere else to turn except to the Church. At the time, I had been clean and sober for 12 years, having gone through a Drug Rehabilitation program in 1982, with which I continued for 18 months, and then stayed in Alcoholics Anonymous for at least 5 years beyond that. Back then I was relieved of the compulsion to drink or use drugs, and I considered that a miracle in itself. But, I still had no idea who Jesus was. I had heard his name, and in fact had been to church a handful of times as a child, but none of it ever sunk in to my soul at the time.
What happened when I got sober was I realized I had to believe in something, because I was terrified of going back out on the streets to live life on my own again with all the drugs and all that “Temptation” out there. So, I said a prayer to “God.” It was the first and, up to that point in my life at least, most sincere prayer I ever prayed. I don’t remember ever really praying prior to that, and I can actually date my new life to that night laying on my bed, in the west wing of what was then the 2nd floor of the old South Bay Hospital, the Alcoholism Recovery Service (ARS). But that experience was nothing compared to the pain of Divorce.
I start back then because the basis of my statement is determined somewhat by the reality of my faith. When I came to the church in 1994, I was a broken man, my life had ended as far as I was concerned. I will not go into detail about what happened or why (a messy, ugly Divorce), but the brokenness in my life was key to my being receptive to the Gospel message that I heard. I didn’t hear it at first, I was too angry. But gradually, as the anger flowed out and my soul started to quiet, I began to hear the message of a gentle and humble servant King named Jesus. I started going to the church where I was attending a Divorce Recovery Program. I started hearing what the Pastors were saying. I was still in pain, but my pain was gradually replaced with a vivid rekindling of that same belief I found 12 years earlier when I chose to believe in “God.”
So, this time, I was alone in my apartment, and I knelt beside my couch, with tears again streaming down my face, and I said a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ. I gave the Lord my life again, but not just the “God” whom I chose to give my life to on Dec. 30, 1982. This time I gave my life to Jesus, and pledged to follow Him for the rest of my life. I knew no Theology at the time, and I knew really very little about the Bible, other than what I had read in a few books, key of which was More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell. Oddly enough, I had had that book on my shelf for many years, never even realizing what it was until one day after I had started attending Northshore Baptist Church (in Bothell, WA) I picked it up and glanced through it and started reading it. I was fascinated that I could have been literally that dumb that I nearly missed the most important thing in all of life!
What had I missed, growing up my entire life without Jesus? Without morals, without God? How had I missed something that was so crucial to who I am today that I literally almost fell out of my chair when I realized how stupid I had been! You must understand at this point that my parents did the best they could, but that they made a conscious decision not to raise my sister and I with any “Religion.” Quite the contrary, we were raised with Dr. Spock. My parents were wealthy, we lived in an affluent neighborhood, I had everything I wanted as a child, and I never knew hunger, disease, poverty, or any of the major issues that plague mankind. I was the consummate “Spoiled” child, over-indulged by my mother, and pampered, sheltered and hardly ready to deal with life’s real issues.
I did have one aspect of my life that brought me through all that, I was a swimmer, and I swam from the time of my earliest memories until I got to my first year in College and stormed out of Water Polo practice one day (because I was upset with the Coach) and never went back (I was 17 years old at that point). To this day, I don’t remember what I was upset about or why I really left and never went back. I just wanted to be “Free” or so I thought. It was a very stupid, arrogant and prideful thing to do. The drugs and partying that had been part of my life since getting into High School, now took over my life.
I started to live for three things: Women, drugs and partying (sex and drugs and “Rock and Roll” we used to say), not necessarily in that order. Ultimately, by the end of my first College career, where I consider that I “Drugged out” of University of California, Davis (with a “B” average, what I actually consider failure), I was just a mess. I was stealing money from the pizza place where I worked (to pay for my massive drug habit), so that when I got caught, my parents confronted me with the issue that I either go into Drug Rehab or go to jail. I chose Rehab, but only so that I could maybe get out again and go back to my drug use at some later time.
I was fortunate that I heard the some kind of message. I guess if you stay in a clean facility long enough, and your head clears up, you can hear the message that folks are trying to communicate to you: That you cannot drink again or use drugs if you are an addict. It was that simple. I gave my life to “God” then, and told Him I would live each day and try to learn my lessons, and then 12 years later, of course you already know, I met Jesus Christ. After I gave my life to Jesus, I realized some amazing things, but two things in particular: 1. I did want to follow Him for the rest of my life, and 2. That I no longer had any objection to anything in the Bible. I had never even read it, since growing up I somehow associated it with “Dumb people” or those who were easily misled.
The other key thing you must know about me in order to understand how this revelation is so totally amazing is the fact that by the time I got to Jesus’ feet when I was 34 years old, I had over 9 and nearly 10 years of College Education behind me! I was the proverbial “Student” of life, searching for answers in books (and in College courses) and for the real meaning of life (apparently). Since being saved, it’s amazing how many lost souls I see out there who are exactly like I was, and most of them don’t even know it!
All of us have a story of how we came to the Lord, some are filled with heartache and grief as is mine, and others are relatively quiet and simple, and contain a lot less drama. The Lord is in charge, and uses what He wants for His glory. No story is too tough, and none too simple. Each got exactly what they needed in order to be brought to the author and perfecter of our faith. Now that is a long ways to go around in order to tell you about my Statement Of Faith. But, I really do feel that without some background on a person, it is quite impossible to understand their reasons for belief, and in reality their reasons for anything they do.
A Statement Of Faith (a “Personal” Statement Of Faith) is about both aspects of a person, the truth of the Gospel played out in their lives, but also their faith that is rooted in their character, who they really are. That’s why I felt compelled to tell a little of my story and my background in order so you can understand why I believe what I believe. In some sense, as I have learned also, a Statement Of Faith should contain the barest truth required in order for faith in Jesus Christ. Those parts of the faith document then should be beyond argument, but as we have seen, much of Christianity has been subjected to Doctrinal disputes in the past and even in the present. There are those who hold steadfastly to their differences of opinion about Doctrines that in reality matter very little for salvation. The saving work of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary is the central issue in all of history, and has impact on all our lives, yet folks will engage in practices that border on what Jesus called “Straining out the gnats but swallowing the Camels!”
The Pastor at our last church (Wes Sthole, Living Tower Free Methodist Church, Aurora, CO) before we came to Hope Chapel was quite fond of saying “We should major on the majors.” He knew the Doctrines of the Free Methodist Church, but was not willing to engage in violent argument with anyone over any issue except those surrounding the centrality of the Gospel message itself. That Gospel being that Jesus came, he lived a sinless life, he was crucified by the Romans at the urging of the Jews and died on a cross for our sins; three days later, he rose again and is now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, interceding for us continually.
This “Essence of the Gospel” is beyond dispute for all Christians. To call yourself a Christian and not believe any of that is to be like a person standing in a garage and calling themself a Cadillac. The truly amazing thing as I said above is that as soon as I became a believer in Jesus Christ (a Christian) I believed all of that, and in fact no longer had any “Disbelief” for anything in the Bible. I knew that from the moment I believed. What is more, I knew that it would take until I got to Heaven to understand it – because even though I believed it, there are parts of the Bible that are very difficult to understand!
That is why we study. From that very first year as a Christian, I made a commitment to read my Bible every single day. I have since read through the entire Bible about 14 times (I believe this year makes 14 times all the way through) and I have read several different translations, and studied in Bible Study groups, and now taken College level courses at Hope Chapel through the Hope Chapel Ministries Institute (HCMI)! How very fortunate we are that we live at a time when communications and technology are such that we not only can read and study the Bible itself, but we can benefit from the nearly 2,000 years of Christians who came before us and wrote things down so that we could understand it – just like they did! From that point of view, we are always at the climax of history when we study what all those students of the Christian message who preceded us have written down for us to follow.
Statement Of Faith
With that long preamble, let me now launch into the main part of my Statement Of Faith. The Statement for this course is divided into the 7 parts as we have studied:
- Scripture, the Word of God Written
- The Trinity, One God as three Persons
- God’s Eternal Purpose and Election
- God’s Creation of the Universe and Man
- Man’s Sin and Fall From Fellowship with God
- Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God
- The Saving Work of Christ
So, now, each of these ideas merits a short discussion, and some Biblical support for it as well. It should be emphasized, that these ideas are not my own, but are generally regarded as “The Doctrines” of faith (part of the Doctrines anyhow) for Hope Chapel (and many Christians, i.e., all who consider themselves Calvinist’s), which is part of the Four Square Denomination. Some of my analysis on these issues will therefore follow from Hope Chapel’s Statement Of Faith, and some will be my own interpretation. I will attempt to make it clear which is which.
Scripture, the Word of God Written
The most often quoted passage of Scripture to support this idea is 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” I find that passage sufficient in itself in that it informs us that God, through the Holy Spirit, inspired the authors of the Bible to write what they wrote. The end result of that fact is that God wrote the entire Bible for us humans, so that we would know His plan for us, and that we would know Him. Consequently, no one can claim that God is capricious or that He doesn’t care about His creation. There is no disputing the fact of his written revelation to us so that we are without excuse (loosely after Romans 1).
It follows also that if God wrote the Bible for us, through the Holy Spirit and men, then we can also attest to the following: The original writings were inerrant, and infallible. We note there may have been some minor errors passed down to us due to copying or translation inaccuracies. However, what we have in Scripture is sufficient for us to know about God and His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, and it is also complete in that nothing else is required in order for us to receive salvation, other than our reading, understanding and believing what is there in the Bible.
The most compelling reason for me to believe in the entire Bible, as I said above, from almost the moment of my conversion, is the fact that Jesus taught that Scripture is God’s inspired Word to even the smallest detail. Jesus quoted scripture for teaching, quoted it in reference to Himself, used it for combating his enemy Satan, rebuked men who had little understanding of scriptures, and most of all used it to teach us about the Prophets having written about Him in the Old Testament (there are more references here than I could possibly list)! What I realized was that for me, since I was making a choice to believe in Jesus and all that He stands for, then I must also believe in the Bible and all that it stands for.
The Trinity, One God as Three Persons
Here we come to an idea that has what some claim is limited support in Scripture. There is, of course, one key place where we see that all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned, and that would be Matthew 28:19: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” This reference directly tells us there are at least these three “Aspects” of God. It is only by further study in books like John, and Romans that we come to understand that not only are these three people all distinct aspects of God, but in fact they are all the same God! Jesus tells us in John (17:21) “…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Elsewhere, Jesus tells us plainly in John 10:29-31 that “… I and the Father are one.”
The Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Old Testament as being the “Spirit of God” and various other names that refer to people who were “Filled” with the Holy Spirit for a time (e.g., Gideon, Samson, Saul, etc…). The work of the Holy Spirit is always through people, never working alone. The same is true of the Holy Spirit who comes to us as believers after Jesus since the time of Jesus’ resurrection. The Holy Spirit is called variously the “Helper” or the “Counselor” and comes to us (is sent to us, John 14:6) to aid us in understanding, in becoming believers, and to allow us to participate in the spreading of the truth of the Gospel. We believe that we are saved by the Holy Spirit entering into us and enabling us to be “Born again.” Prior to that conversion event, we were blinded to the truth of the Glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4) in that we could not understand the message of the Gospel (before conversion), it was nonsense to us.
Thus, there are three distinct persons of the Holy Trinity, each having a clearly identifiable set of characteristics and roles. God the Father is the all powerful, all knowing, all seeing God whose Word created the Universe and all that is in it. John, in his Gospel, tells us that Jesus Christ is that Word of God, and through Him all things were created and are now held together. The Holy Spirit is present at all times and acts as an aid to those people who are indwelt with His presence. Under the New Covenant those who become believers and have the Holy Spirit are said to be “Born again” and are now “In Christ.”
God’s Eternal Purpose and Election
The Bible tells us clearly that God created everything (Genesis, Chapter 1). To disbelieve that is to question the word of God, and begins the process of debate over the entire Bible, so Christians must never question that our all powerful God is capable of creating an entire Universe and setting up all the rules and principles by which it operates. To my way of thinking, God does not exist inside our Universe. He created it, and thus by definition, He is not part of it. But, let us not limit Him to be confined somewhere “Outside” our Universe, because clearly He can come into our Universe (e.g., appearances of God in the Old Testament, the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ, the activity of the Holy Spirit). Thus, if God does and can be shown to have had interaction with people in our Universe, then He has some purpose and reason for doing so.
When we read and study the Bible carefully, we find that the Lord God is purposeful in all that He does. God is not aloof, uncaring, but He is Holy, and righteous. Thus, if we read the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden carefully (Genesis 3), we find that God had to expel them from the Garden after their sin because to have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and then continue to eat from the Tree of Life would mean eternal, unending separation from God. He expelled them from the Garden – so they could die a physical death, and someday, through Jesus’ saving work on the Cross, be able to live with Him again in Heaven.
The purpose of God is set forth in the entire Bible then, and it can be found clearly that God set apart a people to be Holy, and gave them the Law (starting with Abraham in the book of Genesis, and continuing through the entire Old Testament). The Law itself did not, however, bring righteousness, due to the sinful nature of human beings. Galatians 4:4-5 says: “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” Therefore, God Himself paid the penalty for sin (all sin) so that the relationship between man and God could be restored to righteousness and holiness.
Another aspect of the fact that God is not part of our Universe is His Dominion over the Universe and all that is in it. Since He is all powerful, all knowing, and is the “Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 1:8), He knows all that has happened, is happening and will happen. This is obviously due to the fact that again, He created our Universe and therefore not only created space and all the “Stuff” in it, but He also must have created time as a part of our Universe. We can only speculate as to whether God, in His realm, in the Spiritual Realm, has any kind of “Time” or whether time is something that is only part of our Universe. Regardless, God can see the beginning and the end – in our Universe – and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28).
The passage in Romans above says that believers are “Called” according to God’s purposes. It is safe to assume then that God calls some, but not all humans to salvation. He uses people, places and circumstances to arrange our lives so that we will come to a saving knowledge of Him and desire to become born again and in turn follow His Son Jesus Christ. I outlined above in my introduction that through the various circumstances in my life this is true. As I look back, I can clearly see that He was leading and guiding, and at the lowest moment of my life, my Divorce, He was waiting there to welcome me into relationship with Jesus. In the world, if you talk about something good coming from something bad, they look at you as if you are crazy, but there is nothing wasted in God’s economy (that’s a bad paraphrase of the Romans 8:28 passage quoted above). As to why God saves some and not others, I will not personally speculate. I only know that God is Sovereign, He can do whatever pleases Him, and we must conclude that He has His reasons for doing whatever He does. We can only, as believers, rejoice that He chose us to be with Him in Heaven forever!
What should be reiterated is the fact that Jesus’ sacrifice and death on the Cross at Calvary was sufficient to save all mankind. He did not go obediently to his death for only some people, he gave his life a ransom for all men (1 Tim 2:6). His sacrifice in the end, however, only becomes efficient (as we like to say) for those who are the “Elect” and are saved ultimately by belief in him and his resurrection power (Heb 9:15). This “Election” saved us for God’s purposes, ultimately we believe that purpose to be to bring glory to Him (Heb 2:9-11, Rev. 4:11).
God’s Creation of the Universe and Man
We have already touched on the creation events described in Genesis 1. In light of the fact that God is sovereign and has purpose in all that He does, we conclude that He created Man for a specific purpose (ultimately to bring Him glory as has been attested to above). The Bible also gives us some good evidence for what our other purposes might be: Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26). So, from the beginning, He created man for some kind of dominion over the natural, physical world that He had created. The fact that we were created in God’s image is also significant. We were created with a definite form and function that was unique from the rest of creation, and we were to rule over, or have Stewardship over the rest of that creation (air and land and sea implies pretty much all the rest of whatever is there).
Man also shares some characteristics with parts of the creation in that we have DNA that encodes our genetic information, and we use sexual reproduction to create offspring. We consume food to keep us going, and we consume resources to organize our lives and make them better. Genesis 2 goes on to point out to us the unique roles that God gave the first man and woman, as well as the fact that woman was created from man and was made “For” him. The fact that the woman ate first from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden is significant, since what strikes us is that God holds the man responsible, because that is his role as head of the family unit, having authority over those in his charge.
The theme of unique roles is carried on in the New Testament, with various texts giving us a clearer idea of how those roles work, and how we are to relate to one another, as well as to our children, our government authorities and so on (Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, 1 Peter 3, etc…). When we live in mutual submission to one another, things will function best, because that’s the way God designed relationships. My own deep-seated belief is that God designed relationships – so that we would learn about ourselves (and about Him!). The husband and wife relationship is also unique in that God gave it to us as the first Institution, it is therefore the backbone of all human society (Genesis 2:21-23).
Man’s Sin and Fall From Fellowship with God
Genesis 3 tells us clearly that Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge, which God had explicitly told them not to eat from. This “First sin” unfortunately had repercussions for all humans who were to come after Adam and Eve. All their offspring were thus doomed by God’s judgement on this first sin of mankind, and he condemned us to die a physical death as He had warned Adam and Eve previously would happen.
Paul, in the book of Romans, describes for us how this “Fall” lead to the condemnation of the entire human race. He says in Romans 5:12: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—”. What this means is that the “Curse” that God placed on mankind after the Fall in Genesis 3, is somehow carried on to the entire race of humans. Whether we consider that a genetic “inherited” trait or not is somewhat irrelevant. The fact is that we will all tend to do our “Own thing” which is tantamount to desiring to live independently of God (rebellion) and as far as God is concerned, this is the basis of our sin “Nature.”
Paul, like David (Psalm 51:5), realizes that even from birth, we are sinful and deserving of punishment (eternal separation from God, or Spiritual death). The Lord is justified, since He is righteous, therefore in condemning us since we cannot be righteous. Paul goes on in Romans to explain how the Law was given in order to show us that no one is righteous (also Rom. 3:23)! He says: “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.” (Romans 5:20). What he is getting at here is that God gave us the Law to prove we are sinful, so that none of us could be “Self-justified” (or self-righteous). We would see our need of God’s salvation, and would gladly accept a savior if and when he came, in order to save us from our sin.
Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God
The judgement on the first sin, however, as well as the subsequent giving of the Law, did not bring about our salvation. In fact, they showed us only that we were desperately wicked and in need of a Savior. God’s judgement on Adam and Eve left the door open for God’s provision of a “Plan of Salvation” (His Son Jesus) which God begins to prophecy even in the midst of the pronouncement of judgement on the human race. God says: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15). God tells us indirectly in this verse that the offspring of the woman (she is the mother of all mankind in essence) will crush his (Satan’s) head. This prophetic utterance is supported later when God chooses Abraham and ultimately says that “…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:3b).
The fulfillment of the prophecy, and many other Old Testament Prophecies is in the God-man, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the prophesied “Son of God,” Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 9). I will also refer back to the passage in Galatians 4:4-5 as I quoted above, where it talks about the Savior coming in the fullness of time. I view that as meaning the pieces had to be in place, there had to be roads, ships and other communications systems for the Gospel to spread (the Roman Empire having conquered most of the “known” world at that time), and there had to be written language for preservation of the message and accurate transmission so that all humans who came after Jesus would have access to His saving work on the cross.
When it actually comes to the issue of declaring Jesus to be God, we rely first on the fact of Jesus’ own testimony about himself. In the book of John, we find the often quoted “I am” statements of our Lord. When we analyze those statements, we come to understand that not only was Jesus telling us that He is the “Bread of Life” and the “Good Shepherd” and so on, but that He in fact is the “I AM” of the Old Testament! He uses the title “I AM” in each of those instances to make the listener understand the claims he is making to be equivalent with God the Father, The Lord, Jehovah, Elohim. Unless we are schooled in Scripture and have an adequate understanding of these things, we can miss those references!
The book of John begins with John informing us, after most of a lifetime’s reflection on Jesus’ message, that Jesus is the Christ, the very Word of God. He declares to us (in John 1): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John’s message is specifically aimed at those who would doubt that Jesus is God. There is no denying it, however, as one reads through the Gospel of John and encounters the “I AM” statements as were described above. Peter’s confession of Jesus as “The Christ” (Matt 16:16) shows us that it is possible to see this even without the aid of the Holy Spirit. After all, even the demons know who Jesus is (Mark 1:34, Luke 4:33-36) and they are terrified!
Probably the most amazing thing for all of us regarding Jesus’ earthly ministry, and possibly the most important proof of all that He is the Son of God, is the fact that he taught with authority (Matt 7:29, Mark 1:22, 27, Luke 4:32, etc..). There are instances in the Gospels where Jesus’ authority is questioned (mainly by the Pharisees), he refutes them without needing to reveal anything more about himself, rather he is able to show up their hypocrisy with a simple question (Matt. 21:23-27, Mark 11:27-33, Luke 20:1-8). Authority is a central issue in Jesus’ ability to forgive sin as we shall read about next.
The Saving Work of Christ
Much has already been said of Christ’s saving work on the Cross at Calvary. The sacrifice was sufficient to pay the penalty for sin, as well it is efficient for the Elect (those who are saved) whom God chose before the creation of the world. As we began to read just above, Jesus must be the Son of God in order to have the authority to forgive sin, or to be a sacrifice that is sufficient for all sin. Jesus himself tells us that He has this authority (Matt. 9:6-8, Mark 2:9-11, Luke 5:23-25).
On the question of the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice, we have the following passage from John: “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:18). The question of The Father’s authority over Jesus is settled in this passage in John: “Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, ‘Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.'” (John 7:27-29).
The fact that Christ is the “Once for all” perfect sacrifice, that atones for the “Sins of the world” is given to us in the following: “The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” (Rom 6:10). The book of Hebrews elaborates on this: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 5:8-10). There are several other passages in Hebrews that are helpful in this understanding: Heb. 7:27, 9:12, 9:26, 10:1-3.
We also, in fact, have been made “Holy” by Christ’s saving work: “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Thus, God the Father, made a plan to save mankind. Even from the earliest writings in our Bible, we see that God’s plan was being crafted for our benefit (Genesis 3). God took a people and set them apart, those people became the Israelites. We follow their progress through the Old Testament and see first their inability to stay committed to God, in spite of His dedication to them, and secondly that they were being refined, purified so that the Savior, our redeemer Jesus Christ, could be born of a woman who comes from the Davidic line.
Jesus came, lived a sinless life, something nobody else but God could do (Rom 3:23), then He was crucified on a Roman cross, pierced for our transgressions as the Prophet Isaiah said (Isaiah 53). He was in fact so ordinary a man that people could not believe he was God. His authority was questioned by the religious leaders of his day, and they in fact became the ones who rejected him and had him crucified out of jealousy for their own power. But this in fact was God’s plan all along. The Old Testament predicted his coming, and that he would be a suffering servant. He laid his life down a ransom for men and their sins (Matt 20:28, Mark 10:45). He “Paid the price” (1 John 2:2). We are bought by his blood, we belong to him and we serve him out of love and devotion.
This Statement Of Faith can only be viewed in the context that it is a “Personal” declaration. Each and every human must settle the question of whether Jesus Christ is who He said He is: He declared Himself to be God, come in the flesh to save us from our sins. I believe Jesus is God. Further, I believe this document to be a true and accurate reflection of my reasons for believing, based on both scriptural evidence from the Old and New Testaments. Finally, I believe that God gave us the Bible in order to reveal Himself to us, so that we would have a permanent record of his work to save mankind from themselves and so that we could know Him and understand ourselves better.