Joshua's his own words


Over this past year I have begun for really firm up what I believe, as such I have formed my personal doctrine… Doctrine in the sense of the word that what I believe is formed from scripture. Sola Scriptura… This is the lens by which I read and live out God’s word! This of course is still a work in progress and as such I will change and edit the phrasing of what I believe! But as I press into God’s teaching found in the Bible I have formed what you will find below. You are welcome to question, poke, or push me on some of these statements. I have tried hard to root these statements on Gods Word, and not the teachings of man. I will also candidly say that I find it hard to live these out day to day. But These form my belief system, and I press in on the process of knowing Jesus more and more!
Joshua ( 9-01-07)

The short answer is that I am first a Christian, second Evangelical, third Missional, and fourth Semi-Reformed. The more lengthy answer is included below. 

First, I am a Christian which distinguishes me from other world religions and cults. Therefore, I adhere to both the Apostles and Nicene Creeds. 

Second, I am Evangelical and in agreement with the doctrinal statement of the National Association of Evangelicals: 
• I believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

• I believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 
• I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His  ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. 
• I believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. 
• I believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life. 
• I believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. 
• I believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Third, I am Missional: 
• I believe that my local church and life must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine (Jude 3). 
• I believe that my local church and life must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which they minister (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). 
• I believe that our mission as Christians is to bring people into church or community of believers also known as “The Way” so that they can be trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries. 

Fourth, I am semi Reformed: 
• I believe that God created the heavens, the earth. 
• I believe that God created man and woman in a state of sinless perfection with particular dignity as His image bearers on the earth. 
• I believe that our first parents (Adam and Eve) sinned against God and that everyone since is a sinner by nature and choice. Sin has totally affected all of creation including marring human image and likeness so that all of our being is stained by sin (e.g. reasoning, desires, and emotions). 
• I believe that because all people have sinned and separated themselves from the Holy God that he is obligated to save no one from the just deserved punishments of hell. For we deserve his hellish judgment for our sin. I also believe that God in His unparalleled love and mercy has chosen to save some people who choose to believe in him for salvation. This gift is both free, and available for all people whom call on Jesus as savior and believe in him and his earthy life, ministry, and death. And that he was sent as savior of the world. 
• I believe that the salvation of the elect was predestined by God in eternity past, but yet Jesus was the predestine elect to come and save those who believe in him. (Eph 1)
• I believe that the salvation is accomplished by the sinless life, substitutionary, atoning death, and literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in place of His people for their sins. 
• I believe that the salvation, by God's grace alone, shows forth in the ongoing repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that leads to good works. 
• I believe that God's saving grace is resistible, unless God so directly elects and that God does soften even the hardest heart and save the worst of sinners according to His perfect will. But that some will resist the gift of eternal life, and that in such they will parish in the lake of fire in their last and final death, being wholly condemned to hell. 
• I believe that the gospel should be passionately and urgently proclaimed to all people so that all who believe may be saved through the preaching of God's Word by the power of God's Spirit.

• I believe that true Christians born again of God's Spirit will be kept by God throughout their life, as evidenced by personal transformation that includes an ever-growing love of God the Father through God the Son by God the Spirit, love of brothers and sisters in the church, and love of lost neighbors in the culture. 
• I believe that God is Lord over all of life and that there is nothing in life that is to be separated from God. 
• I believe that the worship of God is the end for which people were created and that abiding joy is only to be found by delighting in God through all of life, including hardship and death which is gain. 

What do I not believe? (for I feel it is good to both clarify what I do and do not associate myself with.

* I am not a liberal who embraces culture without discernment and compromise the distinctives of the gospel, but rather Christians who believe the truths of the Bible are eternal and therefore fitting for every time, place, and people. 
* I  am not a fundamentalist who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry. 
* I am not an isolationist and seek to partner with like-minded Christians from various churches, denominations and organizations in planting church-planting churches. 
* I am not a hyper-Calvinist who get mired down in secondary matters, but rather pray, evangelize, and do good works because we believe that the sovereign plan of God is accomplish his work through us, His people.

* I am not an eschatological Theonomist or Classic Dispensationalist (e.g. Scofield) and believe that divisive and dogmatic certainty surrounding particular details of Jesus Second Coming are unprofitable speculation, because the timing and exact details of His return are unclear to us. 
* I am not an egalitarian and do believe that men should head their homes and male elders should lead their churches with masculine love like Jesus Christ. 
* I am not an Open Theist and believe in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God in all things. 
* I am not a religious relativist and do believe that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ alone. 
* I am not an nationalist seeking to simply improve one nation but instead ambassadors of the King of Kings commissioned to proclaim and demonstrate the coming of His kingdom to all nations of the earth. 
* I am not a moralists seeking to help people live good lives, but instead evangelists laboring that people would become new creations in Christ. 
* I am not an relativist and do gladly embrace Scripture as our highest authority above such things as culture, experience, philosophy, and other forms of revelation. 
* I am not a Universalist and do believe that many people will spend eternity in the torments of hell as the Bible teaches. 
* I am not a naturalist and do believe that Satan and demons are real enemies at work in this world and subject to God. 
* I am not a rationalist and do believe that not everything can be known but that God calls us to live by faith with mystery and partial knowledge regarding many things. 
* I am not a evangelical feminist and do believe that God reveals Himself as a Father and is to be honored by the names He reveals to us without apology. 
* I am not embarrassed by the bloody death of Jesus Christ and do believe He died as a substitute for the sins of His people in selfless love. 
* I am not ashamed and do proclaim a loving gospel of grace which sounds like foolishness and offensiveness to the unrepentant while also saving multitudes with ears to hear good news. 
* I am not a polemicist who believes that it is my task to combat every false teaching but I am rather passionate about preserving the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and presenting it in a relevant way to the culture I encounter.

I reserve the right and welcome dialogue in the possible adjustment of the phrasing or statement of some of the believes that I have just put forth. I will press in on God word (the Bible) and seek to know the heart of the One True Living God, his Son Jesus Christ. I will use only the Holy Scripture as the divining rod to find the only truth and pure spiritual doctrine.
May God Receive all the Glory, Amen

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