Statement of Faith
There is one God: the self-existent,
eternal, triune Godhead consisting of three distinct and equal
persons who share the same divine nature. The Father, the Son and
the Holy Spirit are the one God.
All things are created by God and for
God created man in His own image,
thereby making man a living spirit with a soul that comprises all
aspects of personhood.
Being created in the image of God
necessitates manís freewill. The very nature of freewill infers the
possibility for disobedience and rebellion.
Certain other angelic beings, though
not wholly created in Godís image, were also granted freewill. Some
of these angelic beings and Adam, the first man, employed their
freewill defiantly. While the angelic beings rebelled against Godís
authority man willingly disobeyed His commandment. By these acts
the theretofore conceptual possibility of sin and its consequences
Adamís single act of disobedience
changed his nature from that of pure innocence to that of conscious
disobedience. He had sentenced himself and his descendants to the
bondage of sin; subject to suffering the consequences of sin;
subject to the penalty of death; and estranged from his once
personal fellowship with God. Thus, as the responsible agent of
sin, man is also the responsible agent for the misery it breeds.
In it all God remains righteous, even
showing mercy to those whom He created in His own image.
Ultimately, manís failure highlights Godís great love for His
creation. In His omniscience, which infers foreknowledge, God knew
man would disobey. And God knew the great price He Himself would
have to pay. He knew the only cure for this severed relationship
would require a great personal sacrifice on His part.
No effort on manís part, no degree of
goodness no matter how pious and spiritual it may be, can bridge
this great gulf. Sinful man cannot have, nor does he truly desire
to have, honest fellowship with the righteous God. Nor can God have
intimate fellowship with man in his unredeemed sinful state.
Therefore, out of love for those whom
He created in His own image, the Creator entered intimately into His
creation to experience it in the person of Jesus Christ, the second
person of the Godhead who, being born of a human mother by
miraculous intervention, simultaneously possesses two natures, that
of God and of man. Thus, God became a man and dwelt among us,
subjecting himself to the laws and limitations of the physical
universe, and to the moral and ethical trials man faces.
However, unlike his fellow man, Jesus
remained righteous in the eyes of God. Not having a human father,
Jesus was free from the bondage of sin that had passed down from
Adam. As a result he became the only man to live a sin free life
and as such the only man not exiled from Godís fellowship.
Nor was Jesus subject to the death
penalty. Nevertheless, out of love for his fellow man, though not
being himself subject to death, Jesus offered himself as a
sacrifice, a propitiation for manís sin. In so doing he voluntarily
took upon himself the punishment for the sins of the world.
By resurrecting to life three days
later, he forever conquered sin and death, and opened the door for
man to once again enter Godís presence and restore the lost
fellowship. It is for this reason that Jesus claimed to be the way,
the truth, and the life. No man, he said, comes to the Father but
through him. All who try to access the Father but through Jesus are
robbers, thieves attempting to possess that which is not theirs.
In His mercy and love God offers
salvation as a free gift, through the work of Jesus Christ, to every
man and woman. Godís forgiveness and the gift of eternal life are
extended to all who simply confess that Jesus is the Christ, the son
of God, the savior of the world.
Upon accepting this gift man is born
anew by the Spirit of God and reinstated to fellowship with God.
Although man retains his sinful nature until death, the Holy Spirit,
nevertheless, quickens manís spirit with new life and a new nature
that empowers man to overcome the sinful nature within.
Obedience to Godís Word results in
continued spiritual growth and thus spiritual health. Although it
battle with many failures for every believer, as the
spirit of this new nature grows stronger the old sinful nature
simultaneously grows weaker; thereby empowering and advancing the
believerís pursuit of personal righteousness and obedience.
The believerís hope for this world is
the soon return of Jesus Christ; at which time he will resurrect the
righteous, purge the
world of evil and establish his kingdom on earth.
At the end of Christís reign upon the
earth, God will establish a new heaven and a new earth in which sin
and evil will never again materialize.
It is the task of every Christian to
glorify God, to share this gospel with fellow sinners and to encourage spiritual
growth in fellow believers.
Desmond Allen, PhD, MDiv