by Sean Nemecek
This is a summary of what I believe are the most important teachings of Scripture. It is not meant to represent all that I believe, nor is it something that I expect others to adopt. This is my personal confession of the teachings of Scripture.
I believe that creation displays God’s power and divine nature (what He is); yet God chooses to make known His character (who He is) and His eternal plan through revelation. This revelation was by given God progressively over thousands of years. Revelation is now complete in the sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible. At its most basic level the Bible narrates: 1) God’s creation; 2) Man’s sin; 3) Man’s salvation; and 4) God’s new creation. At the center of this biblical narrative is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as living revelation.[
Characteristics of Scripture
I believe that the Bible is God’s inspired revelation to man and as such it is truthful, understandable, authoritative, sufficient, and powerful. Since God is by nature truth, His Word is truthful. The truthfulness of Scripture implies that it is both infallible and inerrant in the original autographs. God intends His revelation to be understood and has made His Word clear so that even the simple can understand its message. The Bible is the final authority and is sufficient to communicate everything necessary for life and godliness. Finally, the Word of God carries the power of God, making it effective in all that it is designed to accomplish.[
I believe that while only the autographs of Scripture are inspired, God preserves His Word so that the texts we have are extremely reliable copies of the original. God, by His mighty power,[ works in and through His church to preserve Scripture. The church guards Scripture through pure preaching of the Word and translation that is faithful to the original languages. Therefore, we may have confidence in the Bible as we have it today.
Authorship of the Bible
I believe the Bible was written by men who were under the inspiration of God. He chose the authors and inspired each of them in such a way that they would record exactly (word for word) what He determined to communicate. The Word was not dictated but each author wrote in his own style what God had inspired him to write. The end result is that God is the ultimate author of the Bible, working in and through the human authors without violating their individuality. Therefore, the Bible is unique among the literature of the world in that it is both a completely human and a completely divine writing.
I believe in one God eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God; and yet there are not three gods. In each of the three persons the fullness of the deity dwells and yet the fullness of the deity is not divided. The Father is not the Son; the Son is not the Spirit; and the Spirit is not the Father. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son.[
The Living God
I believe in one perfect, eternal God before whom all things are present, all times and who actively works throughout history. He is personal, transcendent, gracious, just, loving, good, patient, righteous, and holy. He is self-existent, totally free, absolutely sovereign, all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfect in presence. He is Spirit and the only One worthy of worship.[
I believe that God sovereignly rules over all of creation to bring about His eternal plan established before the foundation of the world. God gives life, sustains life, and ends life according to the purpose of His will. God also works in and through humans, angels, and all creation to accomplish His divine purpose.[
Christology: Person and Work of Jesus
I believe Jesus exists from eternity past as the second person of the Trinity. He became truly human when he was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. Even though he is human, Jesus did not cease to be God; therefore he has both a divine nature and a human nature. These natures are inseparably joined in his one person, but they are without mixture or confusion. As God, Jesus possesses the fullness of deity and is of one essence with God the Father. Through his birth Jesus is truly human, having the limitations of humanity, and yet he is without sin.[
I believe that Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming are each part of his great work of salvation. Jesus is God incarnate, making him the only valid mediator between God and man. His miracles and teaching are part of his work as living revelation. By his life, death, and resurrection Jesus fulfilled the law and accomplished the work of atonement. Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father where he rules as head of the Church. Following his second coming, Jesus will judge the living and the dead.[
Pneumatology: Holy Spirit
I believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds forth from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He regenerates all sinners whom God has chosen to save, making them alive to God. He sanctifies and empowers all believers in Jesus Christ. I believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer as an abiding helper, teacher, comforter, and guide. He also gives spiritual gifts as he determines for the edification of the church, the work of the gospel, and the glory of God. All Christians are to be filled with the Spirit.[
I believe that mankind is God’s crowning work of creation. God made humanity to be the caretakers of His creation. As God’s steward mankind is both accountable to Him and dependent on Him for all things. All humans have equal standing before God.[
I believe that God created man in His own image. This means that man, like God, has the ability to think rationally, to feel emotion, to make moral choices, to be creative, and to relate to God and to other men. Man is created as a spiritual being with moral affection (goodness, kindness, love, a sense of justice, etc.).
I believe that man is unlike God in that man is a finite being with a physical body. Man was created with the ability to sin and therefore is subject to temptation. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, she and Adam chose to sin against God. This caused the image of God to be horribly disfigured in all men. Now the only hope of restoring God’s image in man is through the saving work of Jesus Christ.
Angelology: Angels, Satan, and Demons
I believe that God created a multitude of angels who are finite, spiritual beings. They were created to reside in heaven as God’s holy servants. They serve God through worship and obedience to His will. Angels have many forms and at times they have appeared as humans.
I believe that Satan is an angel who led a revolt against God. As a result, Satan was cast out of heaven and now roams the earth. He is totally opposed to God and man. He is powerful and he has the ability to deceptively appear as an angel of light. The angels that fell from heaven with Satan are called demons. They too are thoroughly evil, and they support Satan in his opposition toward God.Demons are powerful and have the ability to control or possess humans but not Christians. Satan and his demons are destined for judgment in the lake of fire.
The Fall: Sin and Its Results
I believe sin is any thought, attitude, or action that is contrary to the moral character of God or anything not done in faith toward God. Sin is not passive; rather, it is a violent turning from dependence on God to reliance on self. Sin began when Satan and his followers rebelled against God.Satan then tempted Eve who persuaded Adam and they both disobeyed God. Once Adam fell there was no possibility of turning back. He became a slave to sin. Through Adam, all mankind inherited a sinful nature. All have chosen sin and therefore affirm Adam’s action.
I believe that through Adam all of God’s physical creation was touched by the effects of sin. First, through sin, death entered the world. Death takes two forms: physical death (including sickness and pain) and spiritual death (separation from God). Second, the image of God in man was horribly disfigured. Sin infects every area of a person. Third, mankind became guilty and deserving of eternal punishment before God. Finally, the earth itself was cursed, making it more difficult for mankind to work the soil.
I believe man is dead in sin and has no hope of restoring his relationship with God. The only way to be saved from sin is through the grace of God as made possible through the life, death, resurrection, ascension, and glorification of Jesus Christ. God’s grace restores some men to relationship with Him, making it possible for them to not sin. When those God chooses to save are glorified they will no longer be able to sin.
I believe that fallen man can do nothing to save himself – therefore, salvation is all by the grace of God. The saving work of God is based entirely on the sacrifice of Jesus. However, this work began before the creation of the world. God chose some and predestined them to union with Jesus. Every aspect of salvation is an expression of this union. All whom God has chosen will be saved, and none of those not chosen by God will be saved.
All those who are chosen and predestined are called by the
Holy Spirit to repent of their sins and put faith in Jesus Christ. When the
Spirit calls for repentance and faith, He fills the individual, causing a
spiritual new birth, thus enabling the person to respond to the call in faith. This combination of calling and
regeneration brings about an effectual and irresistible response called
conversion. Conversion is repentance from sin and faith in Jesus. Everyone who
truly repents of his sin and believes in Jesus is justified by God. This
justification is a legal declaration and expression of forgiveness for sin. On
the basis of forgiveness, the individual is declared holy before God
(sanctified). Calling, regeneration, conversion, justification, and
sanctification happen so quickly that they can seem as one event in human
In salvation the believer is given the Holy Spirit, for assurance of salvation. This assurance is based on the Spirit’s testimony to the faithful Word of God. However, assurance is also something that is developed as the individual grows in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord through the Word and by the Spirit. This wisdom and knowledge transform the character and actions of the individual – a process called sanctification. Sanctification is a gradual increasing in holiness in all areas of personhood. Salvation is completed in glorification when faith is made sight and sanctification is complete. Salvation is: by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in the scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone.
I believe the Church is all people who are regenerated and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This assembly consists of people from all tongues, places, and times – from Pentecost onward. The Church is holy because it has been set apart by God for His glory. God established the Church through election before the foundation of the world. Jesus instituted the Church at the Last Supper and the Holy Spirit energized it at Pentecost. Jesus is the head and ruler of the Church.
The Local Church
The true Church is identified by faithful proclamation of God’s Word, spiritually gifted Service, unity in spirit, love for one another, and administration of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. All of these characteristics demonstrate the nature of the Church as a corporate witness to the world concerning the glory and grace of God in Jesus Christ. The Church is the people of God the body of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit.
I believe that the local church is a representation and expression of the whole (universal) Church. As the head of the Church, Christ through the Holy Spirit gifts some to be leaders of his people. Elders are gifted for the overseeing of the church through spiritual care, ministry of the word, and prayer. Deacons are gifted to minister to the material needs of God’s people and to free the elders for ministry of the Word. While elders and deacons lead the church through service, they must submit themselves to the whole congregation.
I believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and for the well-being of his fellow men. His conduct should be blameless before the world and he should be a faithful steward of his possessions. When he sins, he should be quick to confess and repent of his sin. He should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded two ordinances for the local church – baptism and the Lord’s Supper. I believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer into water and raising up in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of his death, and as a testimony of the church’s salvation through that death. I believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered in hopeful expectation of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eschatology: The Last Things
I believe in the personal, physical, visible, glorious, and imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth for His Church, to establish His kingdom, and to judge the nations. Jesus will return at the precise time predetermined by God the Father. I believe in physical resurrection of the body at the coming of Christ. Jesus will judge all mankind and the wicked will enter eternal judgment while the righteous enter into eternal life. The eternal life of the righteous will be joyous, worshipful life marked by the presence of God.