Pastor Dave’s Doctrinal Statement

As the primary teacher in the church, my knowledge of God’s word is examined under a much stronger light than the average church member’s as James 3:1 shows: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”  And everyone who steps foot in this church has a right to be concerned with what I believe and why.  It is my ardent prayer that everything I teach is strictly in-line with what God’s Word says, and that I would fulfill Paul’s warning to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  If you have any questions I would be delighted to discuss them with you ...bring your Bible.

Bibliology (God’s word):

I believe in the plenary-verbal inspiration of the word of God (2 Tim 3:16, Mat 5:18), that the original manuscripts were inerrant and infallible (John 10:35, John 17:17, Tit 1:2), that the canon is complete in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament (2 Pet 3:16), that as God’s word the Bible holds authority over our lives (Luk 24:25, Isa 66:2, 2 Tim 3:16-17), that it was given by divine revelation to be written by holy men of God (2 Pet 1:21, Act 1:16), and that it is totally sufficient for faith and practice (Rom 15:4, 1 Cor 10:11, 2 Tim 3:15-17).

Theology Proper (Trinity):

By faith I believe in the existence of God (Heb 11:6) and that we can know of Him by what He has revealed to us in nature (Psa 19:1-6), in scripture (2 Tim 3:16), in our hearts (Rom 1), and in the person of Christ Jesus (Joh 14:9).  I believe that God is one Triune God (Mat 28:19, Deu 6:4), eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13:14, Joh 15:26): co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Joh 1:1-3, Act 5:3-4, Joh 5:23).  I believe God is absolutely sovereign (Isa 14:24, Isa 45:7, Psalm 135:5-6), loving (1 Joh 4:8, 1 Joh 4:16), holy (Isa 6:3, 1 Pet 1:15-16), and merciful (Exu 34:6-7, Isa 55:7-9, Lam 3:22-23), and that there is no other God (Deu 4:35, Deu 32:39).  I agree with the Westminster Shorter Catechism when it says that God is spirit, and is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.  

God the Father:

I believe that the primary way that we know God the Father is through God the Son (Joh 1:18), that He can be called Father by all those who are in Christ (Eph 1:5, Rom 8:15-17), that the Son was submitted to the Father while on earth (Joh 5:19, Php 2:8), that the Father aims to glorify the Son above all else (Eph 1:19-23, Php 2:9), that the Father looks upon all those who do not believe the Son with wrath (Joh 3:36, Rev 21:7-8), and that the Father works out all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11).

Christology (Jesus Christ):

I believe that Jesus Christ has existed for all eternity as the second member of the Trinity (Mat 28:19, Rom 9:5), that He was sent to earth according to the purpose of God the Father and to do His will (Joh 4:34, Joh 6:38, Gal 4:4), that His coming was announced beforehand as testified in the scriptures (1 Pet 1:10-11, Isa 7:14-16) to the effect that He would be the savior of all who put their faith in Him (1 Joh 5:11-13, Joh 3:14-15, Luk 19:10).  I believe that while staying fully God (Heb 13:8), Jesus also became fully human (Heb 2:14-18) when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luk 1:26-35) through a virgin woman (Isa 7:14, Mat 1:18, Luk 1:34) who was otherwise an ordinary woman (Mat 12:46, Mat 13:55), and that He was sinless (Heb 4:15).  I believe that Christ became a substitutionary sacrifice (Gal 3:13, 1 Pet 3:18) when He took our sins upon Himself (1 Pet 2:24, 3:18) as He died on the cross (Mat 20:28, Php 2:8) so that through faith in Him we might be saved (Joh 6:47, Rom 10:9), that He rose again three days later (1 Cor 15:3-4), that He ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9), that He is now our High Priest (Heb 4:14) and makes intercession for us (Heb 7:25), and that He has imparted His righteousness to us (Rom 8:10, 1 Cor 1:30).  I believe that Christ is coming again (Act 1:11, Joh 14:3) to receive those who are His from the earth (Joh 14:3, 1 The 4:13-18), and as a conqueror who will establish His kingdom on earth (Rev 19:11-16, Act 15:14-16).

Pneumatology (Holy Spirit):

I believe that the Holy Spirit is fully God, the third person of the Trinity (Mat 28:19, 2 Cor 13:14), and coequal with God the Father and God the Son, and that He is equally associated with God, has divine attributes, and performs divine works. (1 Pet 1:2, 1 Cor 12:4-6, Tit 3:5, 2 Pet 1:20-21, Heb 10:15-17, Luk 1:35, Psa 139:7, 1 Joh 5:6 and Joh 14:6)  I believe He is a person with intellect (Rom 8:27), emotions (Eph 4:30, Rom 8:26), and will (Act 13:2-4).  I believe the Spirit works in the lives of individuals to restrain sin through conviction of sin, righteous­ness, and judgment (Jn 16:5-11) and through the sanctifying presence of those he has indwelt (1 Cor 7:14).  I believe the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit can take place today and is attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to Satan for the express purpose of denying Jesus Christ.  (Matt 12:31-32, Mk 3:28-9, Lk 12:10)  It can't be forgiven because such an individual can't be saved.  I believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place at conversion and ushers all new believers into a relationship with God and other believers (1 Cor 2:12, 1 Cor 12:13, Act 2, 8, 10, 19, Tit 3:5).  I believe the indwelling of the Holy Spirit happens at the moment of conversion as is the evidence and continuity of our relationship with Him (Rom 8:9-11, 1 Cor 2:12, 6:19, Gal 4:6).  This is evidenced by the fact that believers do not belong to God until they are indwelt and this indwelling is not suppose to cease but is a sign of our relationship with Him (Eph 1:13).  I do not believe that O.T. Saints were indwelt since they did not belong to Christ, but rather that they were filled, which explains why the Holy Spirit could be removed from them.  I believe the filling of the Holy Spirit is much like in the O.T., for purposes of control and empowerment.  Eph 5:18-20 connects the filling with building up the body,  Acts 4:8 & 31 with evangelism, and Acts 13:9 with miracles.  I believe it can be suppressed by sin (1 Thess5:19, Eph 4:30).  I believe that believers are given gifts by the Holy Spirit according to His will for the furtherance of Christ's work (1 Cor. 14:5, 26,Eph 4:11-16).  Some of them include teaching, preaching, faith, encouragement, service, prophecy, tongues, etc. (1 Cor. 12:4-11, Rom. 12:3-8, 1 Cor 12:28).  I believe that the sign gifts are not normative today.

Angelology (Angels):

I believe that angels are beings who were created higher than mankind (Psa 148:2-5, Heb 2:7,9, 2 Pet 2:11), that though possessing great power they are not to be worshipped (Col 2:18), that they were created to serve God (Psa 91:11, Mat 18:10, Mar 8:38), that they are sent forth to minister to those who will inherit salvation (Heb 1:14).  I believe that there are angels who have turned from God and sinned (2 Pet 2:4), that they masquerade as angels of light (2 Cor 11:14-15), that when a believer submits to God and resists them they will flee (Jam 4:7), that believers have been given authority over them (Mar 6:7, Mar 16:17), and that they are destined to eternal punishment in the lake of fire (2 Pet 2:4, Jud 6, Rev 20:10).  I believe the chief of these fallen angels is Satan (Rev 12:9), who is the god of this age (2 Cor 4:4), who works in the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2), who was judged at the cross (Joh 12:31, 16:11, Col 2:15), and even still seeks those he may devour (1 Pet 5:8).  

Anthropology (Mankind):

I believe that God created the first man, Adam, directly from ground and in His image (Gen 1:26, 27, 2:7, 1 Cor 15:39), that Adam was created perfect (Gen 1:31), that Adam sinned when He ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 3:1-24), that through Adam sin was passed on to all of his offspring and the world (Rom 5:12, Rom 8:20-22), that Adam (and all his descendents through him) (1 Cor 15:22) was cursed because of sin by God as a punishment for his disobedience (Gen 3:16-24) and that we all live under that curse still (Rom 8:18-25), that the presence of sin in all men’s hearts alienates them from God (Rom 3:10-18, Rom 8:6-8), and that man is tainted by sin in every aspect of his being and utterly unable to remedy his lost sinful condition (Mar 7:21-23, Psa 53:1-3).  I believe that the unsaved possess only one nature, the carnal life (Rom 8:6-8, Eph 2:1-3) and are under the jurisdiction of the devil (Acts 26:18, Eph 2:2).  I believe that every saved person possesses two natures, the habits of the old nature abiding in their flesh, which they are commanded to put off (Eph 4:22, Gal 5:16-18) (not to be confused with the carnal nature of unbelievers which is no longer part of a believer (2 Cor 5:17, Rom 6:6)), and the new nature which they have, and are now commanded to actively put on and walk in (Eph 4:22-24).

Soteriology (Salvation):

I believe that all humans have turned away from God and are sinful (Rom 3:10-11, Isa 53:6, Psa 53:1), that we all deserve death because of our sin (Gal 3:10, I The 1:7-10), and that this punishment for sin will be culminated in eternal torment in the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).  I believe that in His grace and love, God has provided a way of atonement in Jesus Christ (Rom 3:24, Rom 6:23), and that it is only in the person of Jesus Christ that salvation is found (Act 4:12, Joh 14:6).  I believe that this salvation is a free gift of God’s grace (Rom 6:23, Eph 2:8), that it is laid hold of solely through personal faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12, Act 16:31, Joh 1:12) (primarily his work of taking all of our sin upon Himself while He hung from the cross and suffered the wrath of God in our place - Heb 9:28, 1 Pet 3:18), that at the moment of placing faith in Christ one passes from being under judgment to being given eternal life (Joh 5:24), and I believe this faith is a gift of God and that apart from the working of the Holy Spirit, nobody would have the faith to place in Christ (Joh 1:13 Eph 2:8-9), and that salvation is not based on any work or merit of the believer themselves (Eph 2:8-9, Isa 64:6, Rom 4:4).  I believe that God has the right to choose whom He will have compassion on (Exo 33:19), that He has chosen before the creation of the world (Eph 1:3-4, Rev 13:8, Rev 17:8) His elect, or those he would save (Act 13:48, Rom 8:28-30), that only the elect will be saved (Mat 11:27, Joh 5:21, John 6:65), and that while God purposely saves some (Mat 22:14, Luk 10:22), He also purposely does not save others, but leaves them in their sins (Rom 1:24-28, 9:20-23).  I believe God issues a call for salvation to all people (Mat 11:28, Isa 55:1); however, only His elect will respond because of the influence of the Holy Spirit in drawing them to God (Act 16:14, Rom 8:28-30, Eph 2:8-9).  I believe those who have placed their faith in Christ and are saved become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), are washed clean of all past and future sins (Tit 3:5, Eph 1:7), are regenerated and given spiritual life (Titus 3:5, Eph 2:1), are free from the penalty of sin (Rev 20:15), are reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:18), are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9-11), are free from the power of sin (Rom 6:14), are adopted into God’s family through Christ (Eph 1:5), are given the hope of a new body completely free from sin (Php 3:20-21, 1 Joh 3:2), are given eternal life (Joh 3:15-16), and are assured a place with Christ in heaven (Joh 14:2).  I believe that Christians have a responsibility to obey God and live holy lives, since they have the Holy Spirit and God’s Word (2 Cor 7:1, 1 Joh 3:2-3, 2 Joh 9, 2 The 2:13-15).  However, God is the one who ultimately works in us to sanctify us and make us more like Him (Rom 8:29, Phi 2:12-13, 2 Tim 4:18, Phi 1:6, I The 5:23-24).  I believe that apostates are those who fully know and understand the gospel but do not have a genuine relationship with Christ and eventually reject Him (Heb. 6:4-8, 10:26-31), that anyone who does not have faith in Christ does not have eternal life (1 Joh 5:10-13), but that the God who saved you will also keep you from falling away from the faith (Php 1:6, Jud 24), that once someone from the elect is saved and sealed with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 1:22, Eph 1:13) God Himself will ensure that they remain His (Joh 10:28).  “You stick because you’re saved; you’re not saved because you stick.” -Anonymous

Ecclesiology (The Church):

I believe that the Church is a spiritual organism that was begun on the day of Pentecost with the arrival of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4, Acts 2:1-4), that every person who puts their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is part of the Church (1 Cor 12:12-13), that the Church has no geographical or denominational distinctions, that all believers of every age past, present, and future are members of the Church and will be united in heaven (Eph 1:22-23, Rev 7:9-10).  I believe that the Church is represented by local churches comprising of believers and unbelievers (Rev 2-3, Mat 13:24-30), that each has their own strengths and weaknesses according to the believers that comprise them (2 Cor 8:14-15, Eph 4:7), and that at the time of Christ’s return He will sort out those who are truly His and part of His Church (Mat 13:24-30).  I believe that while the primary purpose of believers is to act as ministers of reconciliation and to live for Christ alone (2 Cor 5:15,18-19), that the primary purpose of the church is the building up of the body of Christ (i.e. the Church) (Eph 4:12-16, Heb 10:24-25), and that this includes fellowship (Acts 2:42), worship (Eph 5:19-20), teaching and preaching (Col 3:16), discipline (Mat 18:17), care of those in need (Acts 11:29, 1 Tim 5:16), ordinances (baptism and communion), enablement of members to preach the gospel (Eph 4:12), and the public denouncement of false teachers (2 Joh 1:10).  I believe that the church is primarily and ultimately governed by the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 1:22-23), that locally, the church is to be governed by elders, who are spiritual leaders, and deacons, who take care of the day-to-day matters of the church (Acts 6:1-7, 1 Tim 5:17, Tit 1:5, Php1:1, 1 Tim 3:8).  I believe that since the church comprises both believers and unbelievers that every care should be taken to insure that only believers are able to become members and only those who are mature in their faith to hold a ruling office (1 Tim 3:6,9).  I believe that church discipline should be enacted when appropriate according to the guidelines recorded in Mat 18:15-17 and 1 Tim 5:19-21 with the goal being restoration, reconciliation, and to keep sin from spreading to others (Gal 6:1, Jam 5:19-20, 1 Tim 1:20, Heb 12:15).  I believe that there are true and false churches in the world (Rev 2:9) and that the marks of a true church are where the Word of God is purely preached and heard, where the gospel is accepted and understood, where the ordinances are administered, and where church discipline is able to be enacted.  I believe that the two ordinances that the church is to observe are baptism and communion.  I believe that baptism is only to be undergone by someone who is already a believer, as a testimony of his or her faith in Jesus Christ, and that it is a testimony not a means of enrollment in church membership (Mat 28:19, Acts 10:44-48.  I believe that communion is to be performed as a means of remembering our Lord Jesus Christ’s work on the cross, much like the Passover was held in remembrance of what God did for the Israelites in Egypt (Mat 26:17-29), that only believers who are walking worthy should partake of it (1 Cor 11:23-34), and that all believers who are walking worthy ought to be allowed to partake of it.  I believe that believers, as members of the Church and part of the body of Christ have the responsibility to represent Christ to the world in word and deed (Eph 5:8), that they should being living not for themselves but for Christ (2 Cor 5:15), that they should be working to carry out the Great Commission (Acts 1:8), that they should abstain from anything that may harm their testimony or bring reproach on Christ or the Church (1 Joh 2:15-17, 2 Cor 7:1, Eph 4:1), and that they should seek to constantly be acting on faith to the revealed word of God (Rom 14:23, 2 Tim 3:17).

Eschatology (End Times):

I believe that the church and Israel are not the same entity (Rom 11).  I believe in the bodily resurrection of all men: the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28, 29; Revelation 20:5-13; Hebrews 9:27; John 11:25, 26).  I believe that the church will be raptured prior to the seven year tribulation (Rev 4:1, 1 The 4:13-17, Dan 9:27, Mat 24:21), and that believers who die beforehand are in Christ’s presence (2 Cor 5:8, Mat 17:2-3).  I believe in the future bodily return of Christ to set up a literal, earthly kingdom for 1,000 years (Acts 1:11, Rev 19:11-20:4), that after the 1,000 years Satan will be loosed to once again deceive the nations and be conquered by Christ (Rev 20:7-10), and that after this will be the Great White Throne Judgment in which unbelievers will be sentenced to eternal torment in the lake of fire (Rev 20:1-15).  I believe that after this God will create a new heavens and a new earth and believers will be with God in paradise (Rev 21:1).