This I Believe:

I believe that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God; written by His men as the Holy Spirit moved them; that He inspired the original manuscripts in both verbal and plenary perfection; and that He has preserved His Word for all eternity.  I believe that the Bible is the best and only infallible source for knowledge and understanding of God and all things spiritual.

I believe that there is one and only one God, sovereign and almighty in the universe, transcending time and space, eternal, omnipresent, all-knowing, and all-wise.  His name is Jehovah/Yahweh, which very name sums up the nature and character of His being.  God exists in what the Bible calls “The Godhead” and what we call the Trinity:  Three Persons comprising one Being.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all identified in Scripture as being God, and are all associated with such acts of God as creation and redemption.  The triune nature of God is indicated in His name Elohim, which is plural while referring to the one true God.

I believe that God the Father is Spirit, and that we must worship Him in spirit and in truth.  He made us in His image, and the plan of the universe is His, with some details known to Him alone.  Though He is everywhere present, He is also described as inhabiting a throne in Heaven.

I believe that God the Son took the form of a man that He might redeem fallen mankind.  Fully God and fully man through the miracle of the virgin birth, He has taken the name Jesus Christ—“The Savior, the Anointed Prince/Messiah”.  Though He had no sin of His own, He out of a heart of love took our sins and bore the penalty for them on the cross at Calvary.  Three days after His death, He arose from the dead by His own power, and took on a glorified body which He maintains today.  He ascended from Earth back to Heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father’s throne.

I believe that God the Holy Spirit has empowered men to know God and to serve Him throughout the ages, and that now He indwells all those that come to God in faith.  He is described as the Comforter, the Helper, the paraklete—the One Who walks alongside us, supporting and strengthening us.  He convicts men of sin, calls them to repentance, regenerates those who will believe, and empowers them to service.  He is Spirit and, like the wind, cannot be seen, though His effects are recognized.

I believe that in addition to God, there are inferior beings dwelling in a spiritual realm of which we are only somewhat aware; and that these beings include both good (angelic) and bad (demonic) creatures.  All were created by God for His good pleasure, but some fell and are in rebellion as they follow their leader, formerly the archangel Lucifer—now called Satan.  The Bible clearly teaches the power of angelic beings as they interact with mankind, and prophesies that Satan and his followers will end in the Lake of Fire, and the Church will one day judge the angels.

I believe that God created the Heavens, earth, all forms of plant and animal life, and man, in 6 literal 24-hour days.  Though He made all things good and very good, man chose to disobey; and his fallen, sinful nature has passed down to every child of a human father.  Thus all are sinners by nature; in turn, we become sinners by choice.  The penalty for sin is death.

I believe that God, knowing what man would do, planned before creation to redeem him by His own substitutionary death.  He made His plan known in part by revealing sin (issuing the commandments) and giving a picture or type of propitiation (the sacrifices).  He also made it known through the prophets that one day He would send a Messiah Who would destroy the works of Satan and deliver those who would accept Him.  The faith of those who believed He imputed as righteousness.  Since Christ came and the New Testament has been given, He requires that our faith be placed in the person of Jesus Christ and the finished work of redemption.  God in His grace predestined that some would obtain salvation by grace through faith; though Christ’s atonement is sufficient for all men and is offered to all, many will reject the offer and will die in their sins.

I believe that God has made Heaven to be the dwelling place of the redeemed, and currently Hades—later the Lake of Fire—to be the eternal abode of the wicked.

I believe that God in His grace chose to show favor to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the Jews) and that He made certain promises to them as a nation which will all be fulfilled.  He has presently set the Jews aside because of their rebellion, and is dealing with the Chu4rch—the Bride of Christ—to show His love and mercy and to place an example before the nation of Israel.

I believe that Jesus Christ will return in clouds to gather His church to Himself; and that after a time of judgment and great tribulation on Earth, He will return to Earth itself to establish a 1,000-year kingdom on Earth.  At the Judgment Seat of Christ, the believers will be judged according to what they have done for Christ and shall be rewarded (or lose rewards);at the Great White Throne Judgment the lost will be judged according to their sinful works and rejection of Christ, and will be condemned to the Lake of Fire.

 

This original and simplified statement of faith was prepared by me for Central Baptist Church as they considered my licensure to the Gospel ministry.  Scripture references have been omitted in order to make the statement more readily accessible to the casually interested reader.–RDBowker

 

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