We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Statement of Faith


I have received comments stating that one is unable to ascertain what I believe because I do not have a statement of faith - a doctrinal statement - posted on my blog.  Some blog templates have a way of making a separate tab for posting items such as this, but this one only allows me to post articles (my profile is too limited).  So I am posting this as an article to be found under the label “About me.”   I hope I cover everything, and that  it is adequate for those wondering about my beliefs.  Herewith is my statement of faith (Bible passages cited are not all-inclusive):

The Bible is the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original autographs, and of final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  It is to be interpreted by way of the literal, historical, grammatical method.  Experiences are to be judged in light of Scripture; Scripture is not to be judged in light of personal experience.  (Isa. 4:8; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12)

There is one God, eternally existent.  (Deut. 6:4, 32:39; Ps. 86:10; Isa. 37:16,20; Isa. 43:10b-11; Isa. 44:6, 8; Isa. 45:5, 21, 22; Isa. 46:9; Jer. 10:10)

God is existent in three persons, commonly known as the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen. 1:1, 26-27; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)

The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God.  (Isa. 9:6-7; Matt. 1:23; Mk. 2:5-7; John 1:1-3,14; John 8:58; John 10:30-33; John 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Col. 2:9; Php. 2:6-8; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 1:8-10)

The Holy Spirit is fully God (Acts 5:3,4; 2 Cor. 3:17-18; Isa. 6:8, 9 cf Acts 28:25, 26; Exod. 17:2 cf Heb. 3:7-9; Jer. 31:33 cf Heb. 10:15-17; 1 Cor. 3:16 cf 1 Cor. 6:19)

The earth was created in six literal, 24-hour solar days, with man being created in the image of God on the sixth day.  All teachings of evolutionary cosmologies are impossible to harmonize with Scripture.  Evolution is a philosophy and religion developed to eliminate God.  (Gen. 1-2; Exod. 20:8-11; Mk. 10:6-9; Col. 2:8)

Man was created directly by God in His image for fellowship and communion with Himself.  Man was created without sin and his purpose is to glorify God.  The first man, Adam, sinned voluntarily and now all mankind is under condemnation of not only physical death, but also spiritual death (which is separation from God) until they repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ.  (Gen.1:26-28; Gen. 2:7; Gen. 3:1-4; Ps. 14:3; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12-14; Rom. 10:9-10)

The earth’s geological and fossil evidence is readily explained by the world-wide flood survived by Noah and his family.  All mankind is created equal in the image of God, and the human spirit is unique among all living beings for the express purpose of communion with the Creator.  The human race is descended directly from Adam through Noah; cultural variations among the distinct nations of people groups have resulted from God’s dispersion of humanity from Babel and his purposeful confusion of human language.  (Gen 7-11)

Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin, and is without sin.  He died by crucifixion and His sacrifice is substitutionary and representative.  He rose bodily from the dead and ascended to His Father’s right hand, where He now ministers as our Great High Priest.  He will come to rapture His Church and subsequently return to reign over the earth.  (Matt. 1:18-25; Matt. 27-28; Mk. 15:20-16:20; Lk. 1:27-28; Lk 23:33-24:52; John 1:14; John 19:17-20:31; Acts 1:3-10; Heb. 1:3; Heb. 7:22-28: 1 Thes. 4:13-17; Rev. 19-20)

Redemption is wholly by the blood of Christ, and salvation from the eternal result of sin is possible only when we repent and personally place our faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement on our behalf.  Salvation is by grace, through faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ, and not by any works that we can do.  (John 3:16-18; Rom. 5:18-19; Rom. 8:1-4; Rom. 10:9-10; Gal. 2:15-16; Eph. 2:8-9)

The Holy Spirit indwells the believer and regenerates him, and empowers him to live a godly life.  (John 16:5-16; Acts 2:38-39; Rom. 8:9-11; 1 Cor. 2:12; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:19; Gal. 5:16; 2 Tim. 1:7)

The Church began with the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and is composed of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The indwelling Spirit unites Jesus to the believers and believers to each other.  The Church’s calling, hope, and destiny are heavenly, and it’s chief functions are to glorify God and witness for Christ until His return, but making disciples and edifying the believers.  (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:36-47; Eph. 2:19-22)

The Church is called upon to exercise judgement and discipline among its members, to include excommunication.  (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:11-12)

Christ is the Giver of gifts, such as evangelists, pastors, and teachers, and these people are responsible to Him for their service.  Gifts are given for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.  The gift of tongues are real languages miraculously given and not learned by the speaker, and are a sign to unbelievers.  (Acts 2:4-11; 1 Cor. 14:22; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)

There are two Christian ordinances - baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Lord’s Table, Communion).  Baptism by immersion signifies that the believer, having died with Christ, is buried with Him in baptism and also is risen with Christ to walk in newness of life.  Baptism doe NOT regenerate, nor is it required for salvation, nor should it be done for infants.  Baptism follows a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and is a symbol of that faith.  (Acts 8:26-39; Rom. 6:3-11; Col. 2:11-12)  The Lord’s Supper is a memorial, instituted by the Lord Himself, exclusively for His own.  (Matt. 26;17-30; Mk. 14:12-15; Lk.22:14-20, 24:13-32; 1 Cor. 10:15-22; 1 Cor. 11:17-34)

The personal, imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ to translate His Church will follow a 7-year Tribulation, and will inaugurate Christ’s reign over the earth.  (Rev. 19:11-14; Rev. 20:20)

There will be a resurrection of the saved and of the lost.  Of the save unto eternal life, and of the lost unto eternal and conscious judgement.  (Rev. 20)

13 comments:

Joe said...

"...explained by the world-wide flood survived by Noah..."

Have you ever noticed that every paleontological dig ever done there is evidence that the fossils were under water? That's almost always the explanation of how those dinosaur bones got there. Yet paleontologists claim there was no world wide flood.

Is there no consistency requirement for science?

I love your statement of faith.

Ray Johnson said...

Hi Glenn I have a question. This part of your faith statement (below) reads as if you saved yourself. Were you the first cause of your salvation or was God?

Redemption is wholly by the blood of Christ, and salvation from the eternal result of sin is possible only when we repent and personally place our faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement on our behalf. Salvation is by grace, through faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ, and not by any works that we can do. (John 3:16-18; Rom. 5:18-19; Rom. 8:1-4; Rom. 10:9-10; Gal. 2:15-16; Eph. 2:8-9)

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Ray,
A person accepting a gift does not give the gift to himself.

If a person is drowning and someone throws him a life preserver, taking what was thrown does not make the person taking it responsible for saving himself.

Show me from Scripture where a person is saved without repentance (which is not a work) or by placing their faith in Christ (faith is not a work, and faith is contrasted with works throughout Scripture).

That's a problem with Calvinism, as well as Lutheranism (I attended a Lutheran church for 8 years, and my wife was raised in the LCMS) - they claim that exercising one's faith is a work.

Ray Johnson said...

Glenn thanks for the answer. I will comment and you can then stop if you want and we have no issues. Yes Christians do accept the gift of salvation but only after God causes them to be born again so they can believe. He give us the faith we use to believe. It all happens simultaneously. You cannot be a born again unbeliever and you cannot be a believer who is not born again. Right? I agree everyone that is born again reacts the same way They repent and trust in what now they are able to understand is real Jesus. None of them knew he was real until God caused them to know it. Do you believe that everyone knows Heaven and hell are real and they willingly knowingly choose hell? If only some have the ability to believe where does it (faith) come from?

Your drowning analogy doesn't work because the person drowning knows he is drowning and wants to be saved. The Bible says we are dead at the bottom of the ocean not treading water to stay afloat looking to be saved. There are no Bible verses to make you think you were treading water when you were unregenerate. There are lots that say we were dead, blind, deaf, hostile, unable, can't understand, unwilling etc etc etc. It is wrong to teach this as the truth because it is nothing more than a man made doctrine. Why not just say Whoever believes will be saved? Instead you dance around the issue and cause confusion. The Gospel is a hideous thing to the unbeliever and you, me or the unbeliever can never make it attractive to them Only God can do that. Now please think of your drowning analogy as you read these verses. It does not fit at all

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
When Peter wrote this and it was read in Church absolutely no one would have come up with your drowning analogy or anything else that is man centered. The ones who believed would have rejoiced in the kindness of God and the ones who didn't would have ignored it and no one would have attempted to water it down to keep them around.

Look it is great that you take the time to blog and put the Word out there but you are leaving yourself open to attacks that you can't defend and that does more harm than good. It's ok if people don't like you because of Jesus. They hated him first. I hope you will listen to some of the No Compromise Radio shows. Please let me know what you think

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Ray,
I'm not going to bother with your comment except to point out the total illogic of saying one must be regenerated and be born again so they can the become a Christian and be regenerated and born again. Can't find that in Scripture.

By the way, God is the first cause of salvation. God provided the way of salvation through His Son. That salvation is acquired by faith in His Son.

I'm about to post my article on Calvinism. I have to go out shortly and if I don't get it done this morning, I promise it will be posted this afternoon. I will not be accepting comments on it, but you can see where I stand.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Ray,
You decided to use this article to comment on calvinism and discuss that topic. This post is not about Calvinism and your comment will not be posted.

I am not debating your Calvinistic beliefs and twisting of Scripture. Period.

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn, I want to first thank you for this blog, it has been such a wealth of knowledge and information for me. The Lord opened my eyes 13 years ago and I was saved in a non-denominational(leaning towards word of faith type church). The Lord has since opened my eyes again and now I feel as though I am starting back off at square one. I do have a question for you about the Calvinist debate. I find myself leaning towards some aspects of that interpretation but then I read all the reasons you give in refute of it and your statement of faith, and now I am confused again! I was just reading in 1 Peter 2:8 which says "A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they disobey the message - which is what they were destined for." To me that sounds as though God ordained some to fall and be lost, am I not interpreting that correctly?

Thank you for your help with this! God Bless you,
Courtney

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Courtney,

Notice the passage does NOT say they were "PREdestined" for their fall. God sees the future and knows who has destined themselves by refusing the Gospel.

God did ordain some to fall and some to be saved, but he ordained that by making the way of salvation available to all; those who refuse it are then ordained to be lost, while those who accept it are ordained to be saved.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response to my question and that does clear some things up for me. But it also leaves me with another question...when you say "God sees the future and knows who has destined themselves by refusing the Gospel" does that mean that God is not fully in control of everything? I listened to a message about predestination and the pastor said something similar to that about God seeing the future and knowing who would choose Him and he was refuting that idea. Saying that is the same thing as a newscaster who watches the clips before hand....that newscaster doesn't really control the future, he has just seen it and then (in the Lord's case) has chosen who's eyes to open based on knowing their favorable reaction to Him. Please know that I am not trying to be argumentative, just hoping to figure things out in my own head. Thank you again for allowing me to pick your brain, I really value your understanding of the Word and passion for the Truth which is so greatly lacking these days.

God bless,
Courtney

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Courtney,
God created time and is outside of time. He sees the end at the same time as the beginning, so there is no surprises for God. To compare God to a newscaster is a horrid analogy. The newscaster does not see the event before hand - the event he sees clips of has already happened! From God’s perspective the events have not happened yet but He sees them as if they have happened because he is at the end of time at the same time he is at the beginning of time. It’s a difficult concept, but think of time as linear (as it is to us) and then draw a circle around that line - the circle would be analogous to God in that it is at both ends of the line at the same time.

God is fully in control of everything. But he allows us to live as we do, making the choices we make, etc. Somehow Calvinists decide that if man is allowed free will then that somehow limits God’s sovereignty. But God in His sovereignty GAVE the free will to man. God does not FORCE people to love Him - that would not be love. God can intervene in any of the world’s affairs to direct it to His outcome. The Holy Spirit guides Christians in their walk, but will not force them. When Christian are sinning, God may bring discipline upon them to bring them to repentance. God has given all mankind the knowledge of Himself and says if man will seek Him, he will find Him.

God knows from the beginning who will or will not choose to follow Him without forcing them to follow Him. Calvinists say that is incorrect and believe that in order for God to KNOW who will choose to follow Him, then He must predestine them to do so. This limits God’s omniscience.

As noted on my post about Calvinism, if man does not truly have the free will to choose God or to not choose God, then all the passages in the Bible which offer man that choice are nothing but lies.
I have read Calvinists who claim that God determined who our parents will be, what our eye color will be, what defects we will have, and eve what we are saying or writing at this very moment. This would mean we are nothing but pre-programmed robots, and that God would necessarily be the author of sin.
God from the beginning provide the way of Salvation through faith in Christ. From the beginning, He predestined by His foreknowledge (Romans 8:29) that the elect would be those who would choose to accept salvation by faith. God foreknew who would be the elect - he did not fore-ordain who would be the elect except that he fore-ordained that anyone choosing salvation by their faith would be the elect. The offer is for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for that! That is a wonderful explanation. I was really struggling with some of the core beliefs of Calvinism but when I was reading Scripture, it seemed to line up because of my own flawed interpretation. Your answer helped me tremendously. I am really so thankful for your blog and so many others like it because I believe the Lord used them to open my eyes to the error of so much of the teaching that is out there. Thanks again!
God Bless,
Courtney

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Courtney,
You are quite welcome - I'm glad I could help.

Have a blessed day!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

An individual who wants to debate Calvinism continues to post anonymously, assuming I will not notice and post it.

Anyway, he has charged the statement with being "man-centered." This is the usual attack by Calvinists because I say man has the choice to accept God's gift of salvation. This is NOT man-centered. God is the author of the salvation. The focus of our faith is Christ. There is no concern at all with self, no worship of self, no claim that man is the author of salvation or that man saves himself. That is foolishness, and it is foolishness for Calvinists to keep insisting this.

Accepting a gift is not self-centered. There is nothing of value in anything I do for God. Placing my faith in Christ for salvation is not a work - it is obeying God.

I also do not post comments - especially from anonymous posters - which are directed to people in my comment string in an attempt to sway them to go to someone else's blog or to get them to even contact the person. If you post on my blog attempting to get another person to go to you or your blogs, I will not post your comment. I don't know who you are and you may be a cult member seeking followers.