- Religion and Philosophy
Statement of Faith
Take a Moment to Ponder
When we hear or read the words “Statement of Faith” what first comes to mind? Each organized church has such a statement whereby those contemplating becoming a member would base their decision to do so or not according to what that church believes and teaches. In most cases some compromise is required.
Have you ever sat down to create a personal statement of faith? Have you considered if your statement of faith simply aligns with your organized church? Are there portions of your church’s statement of faith that you don’t agree with? If your church knew this, would you be considered a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” or removed from that body? Some churches won't accept you as a member unless you sign and agree to their statement of faith.
I've given some thought to some of the foundational teachings and practices of many churches and pondered what it is I personally believe about these things, based on Bible study. It's easy to tell others to test what they are taught, but we, too must do the same (1 Cor 14:32; 1 John 4:1). Taking a personal inventory of faith can be refreshing. Do you know where you stand and why? How much are you willing to compromise?
Your Personal Statement of Faith
Following are some questions to help you create your personal Statement of Faith.
- Do you believe God is a singular entity or is split into two or three persons?
- Is elohim limited to the Godhead or are angels, magistrates and “sons of the Most High” (all believers) included?
- Do you believe Jesus is God?
- Was Jesus begotten (to be the Son of God) before time or at the time of the Virgin birth?
- What was the purpose of Jesus (God) coming in the flesh?
- Do you believe the New Covenant makes the Old obsolete in regard to the Law of Moses? Does this include keeping the seventh day as the Sabbath and the Mosaic law of tithing 10% of one’s income?
- What does it mean to be saved?
- Can someone be saved that has not been water-baptized? Should it be in the name of Jesus or in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Do you believe in infant baptism?
- Do you believe salvation is available to everyone?
- Do you believe women are not to preach?
- Do you believe the soul/spirit is immortal (never dies)?
- Do you believe the offices and gifts of the Spirit are still active today? Will all speak with tongues as evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- Does a Christian have to be a member of an organized, earthly church? What is your view of the Church?
- Do Christians sin? If they do, are they truly saved?
- Do you believe in the rapture? Pre-Mid-or Post?
- Do Christians face the same judgment as non-Christians when it comes to the judgment seat?
My Personal Statement of Faith
- I believe God is the LORD. God is the Holy Spirit who overshadowed the Virgin Mary and begat God in visible, mortal flesh. God is omnipresent and His Spirit remained outside of and within the Son. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God; therefore, He is God.
- I believe the LORD God is the Creator of all things and is the head of elohim, which includes angels, magistrates and “sons of the Most High” (all believers).
- I believe Jesus is the LORD God who created all things; He is God with us, the Word made flesh.
- Because 'Jesus' was not said to have been created or begotten before His literal birth on earh, I believe He was as the Bible says ~ God (John 1:1). Jesus is the first-born of the Spirit (God - John 4:24), the new creation, and was the first-born from the dead because of the literal resurrection and ascension of His body to heaven.
- God came to us in the person of Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, that all who believe in Him are reconciled by adoption back into His family, which is elohim (1 Tim 3:16; Acts 20:28).
- I believe the Law of Moses was made obsolete, but was our “tutor” to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24), if needed. The Law of God (the 10 Commandments) is eternal. I do not believe the Sabbath is about what 'day', but rather the Sabbath rest in Christ's completed works (Heb 4:1-10). Tithing was never about money and is not a New Covenant commandment. Giving cheerfully, on the other hand, is encouraged and blessed by the LORD.
- Salvation is of the heart. Jesus said He would draw all men unto Himself, if He is lifted up from the earth (which He was - John 12:32). This drawing comes by His Spirit when the gospel is preached. Faith comes by hearing the Word (rhema) of Christ (Rom 10:17). We are saved by His grace through faith and religious works do not save (Eph 2:8-9). One must repent (realize s/he is a sinner in need of forgiveness), confess this truth to God and turn from sin by receiving the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. One must believe and confess publicly that Jesus Christ is LORD and believe that He died, was buried and rose from the dead (Rom 10:9; Mat 10:32/Luke 12:8).
- Water-baptism is not mandatory for salvation. It is an ordinance of public confession and repentance and is pleasing to God (Acts 19:4-6). The thief on the cross was not water-baptized; likewise, someone saved during a war in the desert by confession of faith and then killed will be with the LORD. Someone saved on his/her deathbed while connected to life-saving devices that cannot be baptized in water will be with the LORD. If a person is water-baptized, it should be in the name of the LORD Jesus Christ, based on ALL the examples of baptism in the Bible. I do not believe in infant baptism, for the child is not at an age of deciding to receive or reject the gospel. I believe that child is under the grace of God until such a time that decision is individually made (Mat 19:14).
- I believe salvation is available to everyone (Acts 10:34). As I stated earlier, Jesus said He would draw all men unto Himself, if He is lifted up from the earth. I believe what He said. I also believe the hearer can choose to reject His drawing, rejecting salvation (Gal 2:21).
- I believe females can preach. The words used in the Bible in reference to women being silent in the church and not exercising authority over the man are regarding the behavior of husbands and wives in the church and at home (study the original words for 'wife' and 'husband' and cross-reference passages that use the English words 'wife' and 'husband'). The Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh and there is no distinction in Christ. By the authority of the Spirit His children, whether male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free-man, speak.
- I believe the human soul/spirit is immortal and never dies (John 11:26). The flesh dies and returns to the dust. The soul/spirit dwells either in Paradise or Hades until the resurrections (Luke 16:23; Luke 23:43). There are two resurrections: one of believers at the beginning of the millennial reign; the second of unbelievers after the millennial reign (Rev 20:5). Believers will enter into eternal life (millennial reign and new heaven/new earth), while unbelievers will enter into eternal anathema (geenna, the lake of fire).
- I believe the offices and gifts of the Spirit are still active (1 Cor 13:10; 1 Cor 14:1). While the Bible canon is complete, the workings of the Spirit must be in alignment with the written Word. While the wicked seek signs (Mat 16:4), signs and wonders will follow them that believe (Mark 16:17). The Word clearly states that not all will speak with tongues (1 Cor 12:30).
- I believe that we are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb 10:25). I also believe where two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is in the midst of them (Mat 18:20). This can include an organized church or not. The Church, whose head is Christ is one made without hands (Mark 14:58).
- Christians will battle with the flesh as long as we are mortals (Gal 5:17). To have conviction of sin is to agree that the Law of Christ is good (Rom 7:16). We confess our sin to the LORD (1 John 1:9) and, if we’ve sinned against a brother we confess it to him/her (Luke 17:3; Jam 5:16). We are to repent of it by the power of the Holy Spirit. We will not arrive to sinless living in this life. It is by the blood of Christ and His Spirit in us that we are covered and made holy to the LORD (2 Cor 5:21).
- I believe there will be a rapture of the Church at the last trump, just as Paul said (1 Cor 15:52). Aligning this with Rev 16:15 I believe the Church will be here during the tribulation, and will be 'kept' (protected) during the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the wicked (as Israel was protected when God's wrath was poured out upon Egypt).
- Christians, when standing before the LORD, do not come into condemnation judgment, but are rewarded for the works the Holy Spirit accomplished through them (Rom 8:1; 1 Cor 3:14; Rev 11:18). Those who have rejected Christ’s gospel, which is salvation by faith, evident by a regenerated life, are judged according to their deeds and face anathema, the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:12-15).
One in Christ Jesus
You may agree with these statements; you may not. Perhaps you agree with some, but not all. It would be fascinating to read others’ statements of faith. It truly is difficult to attend an organized church that requires you to practice or believe in ways that contradict your personal convictions. The likelihood of one finding a body that is unified in doctrinal beliefs is minimal. I am comforted to know that 1 Cor 13:12 states we know and prophesy in part now, but then (when Christ returns) we shall know all things even as we are known. The Word says that when Jesus comes He will judge (avenge) the world (confusion) and the people with equity (evenness; uprightness). I look forward to that day!! I love the LORD and His people and I thank you for loving me, in spite of varying statements of faith…until He comes. Praise the LORD!!