UnitedWithChrist

MY CREED

I am a historical, non-charismatic, Reformed, confessional, amillennial Baptist who affirms the core teachings of evangelical Christianity (including the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation), and denies modern attempts to obscure the purpose and design of mankind. I am a credobaptist, and hold the Reformed view of the Lord's Supper.

Historical - Historical implies that I'm not part of the nutty cultic conspiracy-theory mentality movement that seeks to divorce itself from historical Christianity, claiming that they have the "true faith' and others are simply following Roman Catholicism or the Pope. It also implies that I believe it is important to study church history. I realize that Christians of the past held to errors, and that current evangelical Christianity has problems itself. However, my reaction is not to separate from the evangelical Church and associate with fringe groups who claim to be the "true church". Been there, done that, bought the T shirt. This is the sort of behavior found in various cults and other fringe groups, and is commonplace among anti-Trinitarians, those who deny the deity of Jesus, Sabbathkeepers, and those that deny the canon of Scripture as used by the evangelical church.

Non-charismatic- I reject the teachings of the Word of Faith/Pentecostal/charismatic community within the Church regarding health, wealth, and prosperity, and accentuation of personal revelation over Scripture. Many of this community denies that God uses various types of suffering to conform the believer to the image of God. Additionally, this community largely accepts individuals who claim to be apostles and prophets. I do not believe there are apostles and prophets today in the sense of the apostolic offices, because the apostolic office required being appointed by Christ, after being a personal witness to the resurrected Christ, and requires manifestation of this office through signs and wonders, which validated their ministries as apostles and prophets. Additionally, this community tends to deemphasize doctrine and promote personal revelation. Finally, this community tends to teach that healing on demand is an entitlement under the atonement of Christ. I affirm that God heals according to his sovereign will, and the people of God should make their requests for healing known to God. Believers can be confident that God hears their prayers and the outcome of their prayer reflects his sovereign will for their lives. However, healing in this lifetime is not a guarantee, and the faithful rely on God's sovereignty and provision until the ultimate healing, the resurrection of our bodies.

Reformed - I believe in the doctrines of grace including radical corruption of mankind at the Fall, unconditional election to salvation, actual redemption of the elect, effectual calling of the elect, and preservation of the elect by the Holy Spirit. Some call these doctrines "Calvinism" but they are simply biblical teaching.

Confessional- I believe that confessions, creeds and catechisms are useful to the Church, especially the 1689 London Baptist Confession. Confessions are useful summaries of God's word by learned men of God from the past, and deserve our respect, while still realizing they are not infallible. A good confession can provide a seeker or new believer a good synopsis of the Christian faith, until they can develop their own fuller understanding of Christianity. They provide the kindling of God's word for the spark of God's Spirit to ignite. I am not part of the modern, hyper-emotional, brainless, prideful, signs and wonders seeking, anti-confessional movement within evangelical Christianity. I am strongly opposed to the "New Methods" view, propagated by revivalists like Charles Finney, that seek to discredit the teachings of older men of God, instead promoting methods leading to manipulation of goats into a shallow, meaningless confession of faith without a true heart change. The essence of their approach lives today in the modern megachurch movement. While claiming great numbers, one must question the depth of their faith and conversion.

Amillennial - I am amillennial, therefore I do not believe in dispensational premillennialism. I believe the Millennium mentioned in Revelation 20 is the current church age, where Christ and his saints rule from heaven. His rule has been inaugurated, but awaits the fullest consummation at his return. I believe death and sin are defeated at the resurrection upon Jesus' return, and will not continue to exist. I believe that the Church is true Israel, comprised of Jews and Gentiles united in Christ. I believe that a great, successful evangelism of Jewish people, who are mostly spiritually blinded at this time, will occur prior to the return of Jesus Christ. I believe Abraham and his spiritual descendants are true Israel, united in Christ, and will inherit the entire creation. I believe dispensationalists fail to employ hermeneutics consistently, and as a result, don't understand or believe that Jesus Christ, the Church and the New Covenant are the fulfillment of the types of Moses, ancient Israel, and the Mosaic Covenant. I believe God is faithful to all his unconditional promises, but dispensationalists misunderstand how these promises are fulfilled. I believe that prominent dispensationalist teachers employ slander to discredit covenant theology with charges of "spiritualizing" and "allegorizing", as well as anti-Semitism. They are hypocrites because they employ typology and recognize symbolism when it does not conflict with their dispensational doctrine. I do not think this is godly behavior.

Baptist - I affirm that baptism is for believers only, and don't believe it is appropriate to baptize children. I don't believe in a two-tier Church membership system that paedobaptism is based upon. Additionally, I don't think pouring or sprinkling are appropriate modes of baptism due to the language of burial used in Romans 6. I take the Reformed view of the Lord's Supper, and do not hold to the "memorial" view. I believe Jesus is present in a more fuller manifestation during communion, fellowshipping with His people through the mediation of the Holy Spirit when the Lord's Supper is being observed. However, I do not think the elements of communion contain the physical body and blood of the LORD. I object to the memorial view, though, as I believe that it makes the LORD's Supper a casual matter that becomes more ritual than a spiritual experience where Jesus fellowships with those united with him.

Core teachings of evangelical Christianity - I affirm the core teachings of evangelical Christianity including the full deity and full humanity of Jesus, monotheism (one God), the Trinity doctrine, justification by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone to the glory of God alone, the inspiration and sole authority of Scripture as the rule of faith, the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross, original sin, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection, the eternal reward of the righteous and the eternal punishment of the wicked.

Five Solas - I affirm the teachings of the Reformation, including Scripture Alone (not Scripture and church tradition), Faith Alone (not faith and works including sacraments), Grace Alone (not grace and merit), Christ alone (not Christ and the intercession of Mary and the saints), and Glory of God alone (not human boasting).

Purpose and design of mankind - Man was created in the image of God, to represent God as stewards of the creation. "Image of God" includes, among other things, exercising dominion over creation, in a manner that reflects God's holiness. Man was created to live a God-centered life, but due to Adam's rebellion, fell into sin in the Garden. As a result, his soul is filled with vanity, futility as he lives a life independent of God. This creates the need for reconciliation through union with Christ, as man's created purpose is defined by God his Creator. The believer, upon humble faith and repentance wrought by a heart of flesh given by God through regeneration, is joined with Christ. Through union with Christ, he is brought into the fellowship of the Triune God, and begins to produce spiritual fruit. He is progressively transformed into the image of Christ throughout his life. Additionally, he experiences the true joy that God means for him to experience, because he is following his designed purpose.

Individually, man's purpose is to reflect the image of God, but he cannot reflect the image of Christ in isolation. He must also reflect the image of Christ in a communal sense within the communities he belongs to, such as his marriage, family, church and society. The collective, communal sense reflects God like the three Persons within the Triune God reflect everlasting community. This is why corporate worship, fellowship, and accountability is essential.

This describes my position on some key areas. It is basically my creed. Some points reflect essential, core Christian doctrine, and a few points reflect my strong convictions which, in humility, I admit that I may be wrong. God hasn't convicted me of another position on these matters yet, though.

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Birthday
March 14
Gender
male
Marital Status
not married
Spiritual Status
Christian
When saved
4/22/85
Country Flag/Nationality
USA
Country (Location)
United States
Favorite Bible Verse
Romans 6:1-14
About
I enjoy studying salvation issues such as union with Christ and identity in Christ.

Signature

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Salvation is the work of the Triune God, who is the author and finisher of the salvation of the elect . The Father elected certain individuals from the foundation of the world to give as a possession to his Son. The Son redeemed his possession on the Cross, paying the penalty for their sin and suffering the effects of the Curse in their stead. The Holy Spirit applies this redemption in due time.


The Triune God works in absolute unity. The Father does not elect individuals who will not be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The Son does not redeem those who will not be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not regenerate those the Father has not elected from the foundation of the world, and so on. Salvation is the coherent, coordinated, complete work of the Triune God. It is not a half-baked work where some are redeemed but not regenerated, as free-willers claim in their universal atonement position.

Regeneration is the same term as being born-again, or born from above. It is a spiritual resurrection. It is a spiritual circumcision. In due time, God the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect sinner, giving him a new heart of flesh to replace his cold, stony dead heart, and this heart of flesh produces spiritual life, faith, repentance, and confession.

The believer is united with Christ through faith when he is regenerated. As a result of this union, the believer is one with Christ in a legal and vital sense. He is one with Christ in a legal sense, which means that Jesus' righteousness, sonship, and inheritance is now shared with the believer. Legally, he is accounted as righteous before God, even though he sometimes fails in his walk of faith. Additionally, he is one with Christ in a vital, life-giving sense, meaning that Jesus' eternal life and resurrection power is shared with the believer through a spiritual union mediated by the Holy Spirit, and God begins to transform him through the power of the indwelling Christ.

Free-willers teach that the fallen man, in Adam, can produce faith and repentance from the recesses of his cold, stony, dead heart, and does not require regeneration in order to do this. They claim that man causes his own regeneration as a result of his free-will decision, rather than receiving regeneration from God. This false view is called decisional regeneration. Spiritually dead men do not have the spiritual resources to produce faith and repentance.

In essence, the free-willer claims that he caused his own spiritual birth. Their view is incoherent and gives occasion for man to boast about his salvation. The focus is upon man and his alleged libertarian free will under this system.

Christianity teaches that the unsaved are under the bondage of sin and Satan, and cannot respond to God, nor does he want to. See John 6, 8, Ephesians 2:1-10, 1 Corinthians 1:26ff, and I John 3 for some of the many Scriptures which teach a biblical view of man's natural condition. He is totally helpless, and worse than that, he doesn't even desire help. He loves his sin more until God begins to draw him.

The freewiller's view of man's salvation fails to give God his proper glory, and does not provide the elect with the full assurance that God intends for them to experience. This biblical assurance is grounded in the teachings of election, predestination, and preservation, and all of these doctrines have been compromised under the free willer system.

Martin Luther refuted free-willer claims in his most important book, On the Bondage of the Will, written in response to the Roman Catholic Erasmus and similar claims regarding free will.

In the final analysis, free-willers hold a man-centered view of salvation, while Reformed people hold a God-centered view of salvation. Free-willers continually focus on the power of their decisions and moral ability, but Reformed people focus on the power of the Sovereign LORD and his grace which frees sinners in bondage to their sin, enabling their faith and repentance response through regeneration.
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