This is the first part of a much larger assignment in my ST106 class, in which we were asked to write a “basic doctrinal statement” with the following criteria: The basic statement will be one (1) page, single spaced (about 500 words). It will summarize the student’s personal doctrinal convictions in non-technical (but biblically and theologically accurate) language similar to a church’s or ministry’s doctrinal statement. It will include parenthetical key Scripture references and will seek to reflect the orthodox, protestant, evangelical faith.
Bibliology: The bible is God’s holy word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, written by men, inerrant in its original manuscripts, and infallible in all it teaches. It takes the form of a story whose goal is to explain about God and his plan to glorify himself through the creation and redemption of humanity. (1 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:21; John 17:17; Heb 1:3-4)
Trinitarianism: God exists, in three persons, and in one essence. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-equal in nature but distinct in function. God has revealed himself, in a limited fashion, to humanity. The son, the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, was begotten, not made, from the Father in eternity past. In the incarnation, he took on flesh, became a man in every way excepting sin, was crucified, died, and buried. He was resurrected after his death and ascended into heaven. He will return and judge all. Through him all things were made, and in Him exist two complete, perfect, yet distinct natures, both God and Man. The Holy Spirit, proceeds from the father and the son and has spoken through the prophets. He is a personal being. He indwells, seals, gifts, and baptizes members of the universal Church. It is through him that the church has access to God, and by him that individual men are regenerated and given a new Spirit. (Gen 1:1; 17:1; Ex 20:3; Det 6:4; 1Kng 8:27; Is 45:14; Mal 3:6; Mat 1:21-23; 3:16-17; 28:19; Jhn 1:1, 6:27; 8:58; 10:30; Act 5:3-4; 1Cor 2:10; 6:19; 8:6; Eph 4:3-6; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3-4; 4:15; Jam 2:19; 1 Pet 2:1)
Angelology, Anthropology and Hamartiology: The first humans, Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, sinless, and with a free will. By the abuse of that free will, they sinned and corrupted the image of God in which they were made. They thus incurred the penalty of death, separation from the tree of life, as their nature became corrupted and sinful. All humans since, have a nature enslaved to sin, i.e. bent toward the self and not toward God. They possess a soul, mind, and will, all of which must be reformed by the divine work and will of God. Angels are created beings, and are not made in God’s image. Their primary functions are to worship, serve, and carry messages for God. Some number of angels, called demons, rebelled, following their leader, Satan. These angels currently rule the earth, and tempt and lead astray its inhabitants, but their end will be the lake of fire. (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7; 3:14-19; 5:3; Rom 1-3; 6-8; Heb 1:14)
Soteriology: God, in his love, elected to save some of humanity, though they did not deserve it. He did so by sending the son to beat death by dying on the cross and resurrecting three days later. In order to be resurrected, saved, one must faith in the completed work of Christ, nothing more is necessary. (Gen 3:15-16; 15:1-6; Eph 1-2; Gal 3:1-13; 1Cor 15; 2Cor 5:21)
Sanctification and Ecclesiology: The inescapable result of beginning faith is to continue life in faith, by the Spirit but with a new nature/heart. A Christian’s sinful flesh still tempts, but they are no longer enslaved to it, and await Christ’s return for the redemption of the flesh. The church exists in two forms: universal and local. The universal church membership is all people, throughout history who have believed in the messiah for salvation, and its head is Christ. The local church is a geographical gathering and submission to local elders. It contains both believers and unbelievers. These different groups within the local church will be sorted out at the return of Christ. (Gen 22; Mat 13; Jhn 20:31; Eph 2:10; 4:11-16; 1Tim3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9; 3:5)
Eschatology: The final destination of all people is one of two places: (1) the lake of fire or (2) the new earth. Those who had faith in the messiah will be resurrected on a literal physical earth for eternity. Those who did not will be cast into the lake of fire. Christ’s return will precede a 1,000-year reign on earth, at the end of which unbelievers will be sent to their final destination. (Gen 3:15; 22:5; Dan 10-11; 1Cor 15; Rev 19-22)