I Believe…

In the following paragraphs I will briefly state what I believe concerning the doctrines: Bibliology, Theology Proper, Christology, and Anthropology.  Although I will provide many Scripture references I will not provide any exegesis of those text.  This is more of a confession than it is a Biblical Theology or Exegesis article.  There is certainly a place for that.  And I have done that on a number of occasions on this site. However, I thought since I have not stated elsewhere that I would provide a confession concerning these three doctrines.  I hope it informs and blesses you as it has me to learn these things and be sanctified by them.

Bibliology: I believe that the written Bible is the “Word of God”. What I mean by saying “Word of God” is that I believe that the Bible contains the very decrees (Gen. 1:3) and addresses (Gen 2:16-17) from God and completely unadulterated. I believe God has revealed Himself in two different forms, special revelation and general revelation. Special revelation is God’s Word. It is special revelation in that not everyone has been given this revelation, this would be things such God directly speaking to someone (Gen. 3:9-19; 4:9; 12:1-3), prophecy (II Sam. 7:8-17; Is.1:2-3), dreams (Gen. 37, 40; Daniel 2); visions (Revelation 1), and written word (II Tim. 3:16). General revelation is revelation from God that has been revealed to all men (Rom. 1:18-20).   I believe that all scripture is God-breathed (II Tim. 3:16). Every word, every jot and tiddle, is exactly what God wanted us to read. They are the very words of God. I believe the original scriptures are without error in any part. I also believe that the copies we have today are an accurate representation of the originals. Because God cannot lie (Heb. 6:18) and the Bible is God’s Word it is with out error (Num. 23:19; Ps. 12:6; 119:89, 96; Pro. 30:5; Matt. 24:53; John 17:17). I believe that the Bible is authoritative because it is truth (John 17:17) and because they are the words of everyone’s Creator (II Tim. 3:16). They bear authority on everyone. I believe that most of the scriptures are simple to understand for all mankind to read. However there are some difficult passages in the scriptures. But none of the passages are impossible to understand and the Bible claims that it can be understood none the less (II Pet. 3:15-16; Duet. 6:6-7; Ps. 119:130). The Bible does make it clear the capability to understand has more to do with moral and spiritual than to do with intellectual capability(I Cor. 2:14; cf. 1:18-3:4; II Cor. 3:14-16). In short I believe the Bible can be understood by everyone who reads it and is seeking to follow it and for God’s enabling (paraphrase from Wayne Grudem on page 108). I believe the Bible is sufficient for the reader in each of his/her period of “redemptive history” to fully obey, trust, and for salvation (II Tim. 3:15-16; Ps. 119:1; Duet. 29:29; Rev. 22:18-19).

Theology Proper: I believe the existence of God has been revealed to all men (Rom. 1: 19-20). He has both revealed himself generally to all and especially to an elect remnant. However, man is a sinner so only God can enable man to accept this truth. I believe that God has both attributes that we can share with him to a smaller degree and some in which we cannot share. These are known in the theological society as “communicable” and “incommunicable”. I will describe these attributes now. I believe that God does not need anything outside of Himself (Acts 17:24-25; Job 41:11; Ps. 50:10-12; Ex. 3:14). This attribute of God is known as the aseity of God. I believe that God is eternal with no beginning and no end. God existed when there was no time, as well as God exist outside of time (Ex. 3:14; Ps. 90:2; Job 36:26; Rev. 1:8, 4:8). I believe that God is not made up of component or parts (i.e. God is not 90% Love and 10% wrath). However, we do see different attributes of God exhibited at different times. God is all His attributes without space or compartmentalized (I John 1:5, 4:8; Ex. 34:6-7). I believe that God is spirit. He is not to be thought of as flesh and blood, material, energy, or just thought (John 4:24). God should not be seen with proportions or amount whether it is limited or limitless. All of God is present everywhere (i.e. I am not sitting on God’s foot right now). This is hard to understand but we must understand Him in this way of spirit (Ps. 139:7-10; I Kings 8:27). I believe God is immutable. God does not change from moment to moment. He does not change whether it be his being, perfections, purposes, and promises (Ps. 102:25-27; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17). I believe that God is omnipresent. That means God is present everywhere. Essentially there is nowhere you can go that God will not be present (Ps. 139:7-10). I believe that God is omniscient. There is nothing that God does not know (Job 37:16; I John 3:20; Heb. 4:13). There is nothing that catches God by surprise. He knows all things and all possibilities past, present, and future at all times and outside of time. I believe that God is omnipotent. There is nothing that God cannot do in all His perfect will (Ps. 115:3; Prov. 21:1; Dan. 4:35). Questions such as, “can God make a rock so big that even He cannot move it” are foolish questions because they are not logical ones. It is like saying, “can God make round triangles, or exist and not exist at the same time”. Question such as these need no response. It is clear from scripture there is nothing God cannot do according to His holy will (Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17, 27; II Cor. 6:18; Rev. 1:8; Lk. 1:37; Matt. 19:26). However God cannot do some things. God cannot do anything that would deny His nature, being, or will. God cannot lie (Heb. 6:18). He cannot deny Himself (Tim. 2:13). He cannot be tempted nor be tempted (James 1:13). I believe that God is good. That means that He is the standard of what good is, all He does is good and all that is good comes from him(James 1:17; Lk. 18:19; Ps. 100:5; Ps. 106:1; Ps. 107:1; Ps. 34:8). Good is what God approves. I believe that God is love. He is again is the standard of what love is and all love comes from Him (I John 4:8, 10, 12). All claimed love must be measured by the standard of what God deems is love. I believe that God is mercy. “God’s mercy means God’s goodness toward those in misery and distress” (Wayne Grudem page 200). God throughout scripture is constantly showing people mercy (Ex. 34:6; II Sam. 24:14; Matt. 9:27; II Cor. 1:3). God has the right to choose whom He may show mercy to (Rom. 9:15, Ex. 33:19). He is not obligated to show mercy to any man. I believe God is holy. God is wholly other than us. He is set apart from us. He is to be regarded as holy (Is. 6:3; Ex. 26:33; Ps. 24:3; Lev. 19:2). He is separated from sin and set apart to seeking out his purposes and glory. I believe that God is righteous and that He is that standard by which all will be judged. All of God’s ways are justice (Duet. 32:4). No man can judge God or condemn Him (Job 40:2-12; Job 38:12; Rev 15:3-4). I believe that God is wrath and He is wrathful against all that is not righteous (Ex. 32:9-10; Deut. 9:7-8) God’s wrath is a severe and great hatred towards sin. I believe all mankind is born under the wrath of God (Eph. 2:1-3). I believe that God has a revealed will for man and a secret will that has not been revealed (Deut. 29:29). God also has a necessary will and a free will though they never contradict each other (Ex. 3:14; Rom 11:26). Things such continuing to exist God necessarily wills however things such as creating God chose to do so in His free will. God has chosen all that has happened, is happening, and will happen all according to His sovereign will(James 4:15; Gen. 50:20; I Cor. 4:19; Acts 2:22-23,4:28,21:14; Rom 1:10). I believe that God created all things that exist before there was time (John 1:3; Acts 4:24, 17:24; Col. 1:16). All things were created by God and are sustained by God (Col. 1:16). No thing visible or invisible existed eternally with God nor can anything exist apart from God now or ever(Col. 1:16; Ps. 148:2-5) In short, God created all thing visible or invisible out of nothing, no thing co-existed with God or before God in eternity past. I believe that there is one God in three distinct persons. God is one essence that all persons share fully. All persons of the Godhead are fully God. The Old Testament clearly states that God is one (Deut. 6:4-5, Ex. 15:11; Isa. 45:5-6).   The Bible also teaches three distinct persons in this one God. In John he speaks of two distinct persons that are both fully God (John 1:1). He states that the Word (the Son) was (past tense) in the beginning. He also tells us that this Word was with God. This shows distinctions between the two. John finishes with telling us that the Word is God. Throughout Jesus ministry the Father and Son converse through prayer and vocally (Mk. 1:11; John 17). In the end of Jesus’ ministry He introduces the disciples to a third person in the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, who is the Helper (John 15:26). In this verse there is the Son that goes to the Father and the Father then sends the Holy Spirit or “Helper”. In Acts we have the Holy Spirit referred to as God (Acts 5:3, 4). Also when speaking of God it is not uncommon to find all three persons spoken of (Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 12:4-6; II Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; I Pet. 1:2). So we can say God is three persons, each person is fully God, and there is one God.

Christology: I believe that God the son existed prior to His incarnation and prior to creation. Indeed, God the Son is eternal (John 1:1; 17:24). All things exist because God the Son created them (Col 1:16). God the Son possesses all the attributes of Deity (Col. 2:9). I believe that God the Son took on flesh and became man in everyway(Lk. 2:7, 2:40; Heb 5:8-9; John 12:27; 13:21, I John 4:2-3; Rom 5, I Cor. 15:20-24). I believe in the incarnation. That God the Son came in the flesh. His name is Jesus. He was born of the virgin Mary (Lk. 2:28-38). I believe that Jesus was and is fully God (Col 2:9). He possessed and possesses all the attributes of God in His person. Jesus is given divine titles (Is. 9:6). He is referred to as God (John 20:28; I John 5:20). I believe in what is called the Hypostatic Union. That in Jesus there are two natures not mixed or changed in any way. He is both fully man (Mark 2:10) and fully God (Col 2:9). I believe that Jesus is one person with two natures. He is the God-man. I do not believe that God the Son emptied Himself of all or any of His divine attributes to become man. I do believe Phil. 2:6-8 is talking about God the Son emptying Himself of all the glory He had in heaven and humbled Himself to take the form of a servant. I believe that Jesus never sinned. He was without guilt and sin and found perfect before God as a perfect offering to atone for the sins of His people/sheep(Heb. 4:15, 7:26; I Cor. 5:21). I believe in the impeccability of Christ. That is to say not only did Jesus not sin but He could not have sinned. Jesus was man which meant that he was susceptible to temptation. However, Jesus was also God and God cannot sin. It is true that God cannot be tempted either (James 1:13). But being tempted does not effect both natures in Jesus. Jesus sinning would effect both Natures thus making God defiled, with sin, and without blemish. All of which God cannot be. I believe that Jesus Christ died, was buried and on the third day rose from the dead in a resurrected physical body that he will have forever(Matt. 28:1-20; Mk. 16-1-8; Lk. 24:1-53; John 20:1-21:25). I believe there were many witnesses of this and that this is an actual historical event that happened (I Cor. 15:4-23). I believe that Jesus Christ has three offices, prophet, priest, and king (Heb.1:1-2, 5:1-10; Acts 2:22-36). All these offices were given to man, he failed so Christ the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) came to restore these things back to man.

Anthropology: I believe that man was created in the Image of God., both male and female (Gen. 1:27). This image was tainted at the fall but is still existent in all men (Gen. 9:6). I believe that man is composed of material and immaterial parts. I have not decided whether man is composed of body, soul, and spirit or body and soul/spirit. I do however reject “monism”. I do see it clearly taught in scripture that a person continues to live on outside the body once it is dead(Gen. 35:18; Ps. 31:5; Lk. 23:43,46; Acts 7:59; Phil. 1:23-24; II Cor. 5:8; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 6:9; 20:4). I believe that all man have been, are, and will be conceived in guilt and sin (excluding Jesus). All of mankind is born under the wrath of God (Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 5:12-21; Ps. 51:3). I believe that God created man, male and female both in His image (Gen. 1:27) but each having different roles. Just as the Head of Christ is the Father, so also man is the head of his wife (I Cor. 11:3). This is not a result of the fall (Gen. 3:16) but it was this way from the beginning. Man is the firstborn (Gen. 2:21-22) of the two, man was given the responsibility to name the animals of the garden and then His wife (Gen. 2:19, 23, 3:20). God gave Adam the command of not eating the tree (Gen. 2:16-17). God approached man first when Adam and Eve sinned (Gen. 3:9-12).   After redemption families are instructed to continue to follow the mold of man leading the family (I Cor. 11:3).

Closing Thanks

This is my doctrinal position concerning the doctrines of Bibliology, Theology Proper, Christology, and Anthropology. Much contribution should go to both Wayne Grudem’s book “Systematic Theology”, John Frame’s “An Introduction to Systematic Theology” and lectures and notes from Dr. Weber’s class in Systematic Theology I. Blessings!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s