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Faithlife Corporation

Pastor Steve’s Basic Theology References

Notes & Transcripts

SCRIPTURE AND REVELATION

  1. In “general revelation” all men can know of God's existence, power and deity. (Psalms 19:1; Romans 1:20)
  2. General revelation is enough to make a man conscious of his sin, but not enough to lead him to salvation. (Romans 1:20-25; John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
  3. Special revelation is thus necessary. God must reveal Himself. (1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Galatians 1:11,12; II Peter 1:20-21)
  4. God’s clearest revelation of Himself is in His Word.  Though Jeremiah is the fullest revelation, and though He reveals Himself through miracles and history, His Word is needed to interpret and objectify His revelation.  (Exodus 13:15-18; Matthew 12:17)
  5. God’s Word and revelation are propositional. (Colossians 1:26; Exodus 20:1; Ephesians 3:4,5; Deuteronomy 18:18; Matthew 4:4; Romans 3:1,2)
  6. Scripture is recorded propositional truth without error. (Exodus 17:14; Exodus 20:1; Exodus 34:27; Jeremiah 25:13; Jeremiah 30:1,2; Romans 3:1,2; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1:20,21; Psalms 12:6; Luke 24:25; John 10:35; Acts 24:14)
  7. Scripture is the highest authority since it is God’s written Word. (Matthew 4:1-11; Psalm 119:9; II Timothy 3:16,17)
  8. Scripture is composed of all sixty-six books commonly recognized by the reformers.
  9. These books were Scripture from the moment they were written and came to be recognized as such among the church by the direction of the Holy Spirit.

God

  1. God is independent of His creation. His existence needs no support outside of Himself. (Isaiah 44:24; John 5:26; Acts 17:25; Romans 11:34,35)
  2. God is pure Spirit. He has no physical parts. (John 4:24; I Timothy 6:15,16; Exodus 20:4)
  3. God is unchanging in His nature, character and purposes.  Changes in the attitude of God toward His people are due to changes in His people. (Numbers 23:9; Psalms 33:11; Psalms 102:27; Hebrews 6:17; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17)
  4. God is eternal. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 90:2; Psalms 102:27)
  5. God is omnipresent.  He is not limited by space. (Psalms 139:7-10; Jeremiah 23:23,24)
  6. God is omniscient.  (Isaiah 46:10; Hebrews 14:13)
  7. God is omnipotent.  (Genesis 18:14: Isaiah 14:27; Isaiah 43:13; Jeremiah 32:17; Daniel 4:35; Mark 10:27)
  8. God is holy; totally separate from any sin or imperfection. (Leviticus 11:44; Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8)
  9. God is loving. (Psalms 63:3; Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4,5; 1 John 4:8-10)
  10. God is wise. He applies knowledge perfectly. (Psalms 147:5; Jeremiah 10:7; Romans 11:33; Colossians 2:3)
  11. God is gracious and merciful. He gives what is not deserved and withholds punishment that is due. (Nehemiah 9:17; Romans 9:16; Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 2:4,5; Titus 3:5)
  12. God is good. (Lamentations 3:25; Acts 14:17)
  13. God is patient.  He is slow to anger and holds His judgment for a long time.  Numbers 14:18; Romans 2:4; Romans 9:22; II Peter 3:9)
  14. God is righteous; morally correct in all His ways. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 36:6; Psalms 89:14; II Peter 1:1)
  15. God is just. His judgments and penalties are impartial and equitable.  (Psalms 36:6; Psalms 72:2; Psalms 98:9; Acts 17:31; Romans 3:24,25)
  16. God is truthful.  We can count on His word. (Numbers 23:19; Psalms 33:4; John 17:17; Titus 1:1,2)
  17. God is faithful. He is steadfast and reliable. (Deuteronomy 7:9; Deuteronomy 32:4; Lamentations 3:22,23; I Corinthians 10:13; I Thessalonians 5:23,24; Hebrews 10:23; 1 John 1:9) .
  18. God is Trinity. Three persons in one essence with all three persons equal.  (John 1:1-2; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; I Peter 1:1,2; John 10:30-33; Acts 5:3,4; Philippians 1:19)

God's Work

  1. Scripture clearly states that before the creation of the world God chose or elected certain people to be saved. Many are divided as to whether this decision is based on God's foreknowledge (electing those He knew would receive Him), or purely out of God's sovereign will.  Scripture seems at places to affirm both of these seemingly contradictory views. I believe that both are true; in some mysterious way we freely choose God and yet God has sovereignly chosen us before time. (Joshua 24:14-15; Ezekiel 33:11; John 3:16; Acts 7:51; Romans 8:29; I Timothy 2:3,4; John 6:37; John 15:16; Acts 13:48; Romans 9:10-16; Ephesians 1:4-6; Ephesians 4:11)
  2. All things are created by God.  Neither man nor nature creates anything independently, but at times God uses them as agents.  (Genesis 1:1; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 44:24; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:11)
  3. All that is created by God is also sustained, governed and preserved by His providence.  All of life is directed by His redemptive purposes.  This includes nature, history, and man.  (Job 5:10; Psalm 65:9-10; Psalm 147:8-9; Haggai 2:17; Acts 14:17; Psalm 22:28; Daniel 2:21; Acts 17:24-28; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 19:21; Genesis 45:8; Genesis 50:20; Job 14:5; Matthew 10:29-31; Acts 4:27-28; Romans 8:28)

Man

  1. Man was created in God’s image.  This includes the moral attributes of God (in finite measure), a spiritual nature, a will, and dominion over the rest of nature.  (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:8; Psalm 8:3-6; Ecclesiastes 7:29; James 3:9-10; Genesis 2:7; Matthew 10:28)
  2. Thus man has not evolved by random chance or by natural selection, but was created.  (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 9:6; see also “God’s Work: creation and providence” above.)
  3. Men and women were created equal, but with differing roles.  They are co-regent over creation, but God chose to place man in a position of authority over woman in the home and in the pastorate.  [This does not exclude women from teaching or leading in other positions.]  (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3:26-29; I Corinthians 11:9-12;  Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; I Timothy 2:11-13; [Acts 18:26; Romans 16:3])
  4. Man is made in two parts; body and spirit.  [Language suggesting otherwise is due to the use of soul to refer to entirety of man, in place of spirit at other times, and used poetically with spirit and body at others.]  Genesis 2:7; Matthew 10:28; II Corinthians 7:1; [Luke 1:46-47; I Thessalonians 5:23])

Man in the State of Sin

  1. All men are tainted by sin from birth due to Adam’s decision.  (Genesis 2:16-17; Job 14:4; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3; Romans 5:12, 18-19)
  2. All men ratify Adam’s decision to sin by doing so themselves.  (1 Kings 8:46; Proverbs 20:9; 1 John 1:8; Romans 3:23)
  3. Sin produces spiritual and physical death, alienates man from God, and produces all manner of evil results.  (Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 6:23; Romans 7:14-15; Romans 8:7-8; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 4:17-19; Revelation 21:8)
  4. Thus man is spiritually dead in sin, and enslaved to sin.  This is depravity.  (Romans 7:14-23; Ephesians 2:1-3)

The Person of Christ

  1. Jesus Christ was not created but existed with God from eternity. (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; John 1:1-3; John 8:56-58; John 17:4,5; Revelation 22:12,13)
  2. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38)
  3. Jesus was born without sin and lived without sin. (Isaiah 53:9; Luke 1:35, John 8:49; Acts 3:14; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26-28; I Peter 1:18, 19; I Peter 2:22, 23; 1 John 3:4, 5)
  4. Jesus was fully human, fully divine and a unified person.
            1. Jesus was human (Matthew 4:1, 2; Luke 2:52; Luke 24:39; John 1:14; John 19:34; Romans 1:2,3; Hebrews 2:14-18; Hebrews 4:15)
            2. Jesus is God.  His deity is manifested in His divine titles, divine attributes, and divine actions or prerogatives.
                      1. Divine titles: Mighty God, Lord, Son of God. (Isaiah 9:6; Mark 1:2,3; Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32; Matthew 26:63-65)
                      2. Divine attributes: Pre-existence, omnipresence, omnipotence, aseity (self-sufficiency).  (John 1:1, Matthew 28:20; Matthew 28:18; John 5:26).
                      3. Divine actions or prerogatives: creator sustainer, forgiver of sins, object of worship and prayer, final Judge. (John 1:3; Colossians 1:17; Mark 2:5-7 Acts 7:59; Matthew 28:16,17; Matthew 25:31,32)
            3. Jesus was a unified person. (1 Timothy 3:16; I Corinthians 2:8; John 6:62)

The Work of Christ

  1. Christ Jesus was perfectly obedient to God.  In this He fulfilled the law which Adam was unable to do. 
    (John 6:38; John 14:30,31; Romans 5:18,19; Philippians 2:8)
  2. Being a perfect man and also God, Christ was a perfect and more than sufficient sacrifice for our sin. (He 9:14; I Peter 1:18,19; Ephesians 5:2)
  3. His death atoned for our sins. He was our substitute, taking the penalty of death that we deserved.  (Isaiah 53:4,5; Galatians 3:13; He 9:14; I Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2)
  4. His payment for our sin has ransomed, "redeemed and purchased us for God and from sin and judgment. He has reconciled us to God. (Isaiah 53:4,5; Mark 10:45; Romans 5:10; II Corinthians 5:18,19; Galatians 3:13; Colossians 1:19,20; I Timothy 2:5,6; Revelation 5:9)
  5. Christ rose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven. Thus He demonstrated His victory over sin and death, and the truth of His teaching.    (Luke 24:36-39; John 20:19; Luke 24:50,51; Acts 1:1,2; Acts 1:9-11; I Corinthians 15:3-6; I Corinthians 15:17-20; Ephesians 1:19-21)

The Offices of Christ

  1. Jesus is a prophet. He declares God's word through his life, teaching and the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 18:15ff, Acts 3:22,23; Luke 13:33; Luke 19:43,44; John 8:26-28; John 12:49,50; John 14:10; John 5:15; John 17:8; John 17:20; John 14:26; John 16:12-15)
  2. Jesus is our high priest and mediator before God. (Zechariah 6:12,13; Hebrews 5:1-10; Hebrews 7:24-28; Hebrews 9:11-15; Hebrews 9:24-28)
  3. Christ is king over a spiritual kingdom and Lord of His people. (Matthew 28:18; Psalms 2:6-12; Zechariah 9:9; John 18:36,37; Ephesians 1:19-23; Galatians 1:2; Ephesians 1:2)

The Holy Spirit

  1. The Holy Spirit is God and is equal to God. This is seen in the interchangeability of "God" and 'Spirit" in some places.  It is also seen in the divine attributes of the Spirit, His divine works, and His association with the Father and Son in equality. (Acts 5:3,4; I Corinthians 2:10,11; Hebrews 9:14; Psalms 104:30; II Peter 1:21; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; I Corinthians 12:4-6)
  2. The Holy Spirit is a person not a thing.  He teaches, guides and speaks.  (John 16:13,14; John 14:26; John 15:26; Acts 15:28: 1 Corinthians 12:11; John 16:8)
  3. The Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament in creation, prophecy, giving scripture, conveying skills, and guiding. (Genesis 1:12; Ezekiel 2:2; II Peter 1:21; Exodus 31:3-5; Nehemiah 9:20; Isaiah 32:15-20; Isaiah 44:3-5)
  4. The Spirit worked in Jesus' life in guiding, empowering and exorcising demons. (Luke 4:1,2; Luke 4:14; Matthew 12:28)
  5. The Spirit works now in the conviction of sin, regeneration, empowering, teaching, intercession, indwelling, sanctifying, bearing fruit, and giving gifts. (John 14:16,17: Romans 8:11ff, John 16:8; John 3:5,6; Acts 1:8; John 14:26; Romans 8:26,27; Galatians 5:22,23; Romans 12:6-8; I Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:11; I Peter 4:11)
  6. The gifts of the Spirit given in Scripture are representative and not exhaustive. This is why no two lists are the same.  (Romans 12:6-8; I Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:11; I Peter 4:11)
  7. Speaking in tongues is not a sign of a "second blessing” that all believers need.  Instead it is a gift less desirable than those gifts which edify the whole body. (1 Corinthians 12:27-31; I Corinthians 14:1-19---Especially vs. 19)
  8. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a second blessing, but an alternate term for the receiving or being filled with the Holy Spirit which occurs at regeneration, and is renewed at times in the life of the believer. [note: the different synonyms used for the same event convince me that these words are synonymous. In the first pair of passages concerning the event at Cornelius’ house: came on, poured out, received, baptized with; in the passage from Acts 19: receive, baptism, came on; in the final pair of passages concerning the prophecy of the Spirit’s Baptism and it’s fulfillment at Pentecost; baptized, filled with, pour out]
    (Acts 10:44-47 & Acts 11:15,16; Acts 19:1-6; Acts 1:5 & Acts 2:4ff.)
  9. Though tongues are neither a sign of a second blessing or a higher gift, there is no scriptural basis on which to denigrate its use in its proper place, or to assume its cessation. The verse which refers to the ceasing of tongues when "perfection comes" in context clearly refers to the second coming of Christ when we shall be in glory, seeing Christ face to face.  (1 Corinthians 13:8-12)

Salvation

  1. God calls all men and desires that they respond to the gospel. (Isaiah 45:22; Revelation 22:17; Matthew 11:28; Joshua 24:15)
  2. God seems to choose who will respond, since man is spiritually dead and therefore cannot respond to a spiritual call unless God regenerates him. (John 1:12,13; Acts 16:14; Romans 11:28,29; Ephesians 2:4,5; Tit 3:5; Romans 9:10ff)
  3. Since according to the above we see that God makes a real offer of salvation to all men, and yet men need to be regenerate in order to accept a spiritual call, the response to God's call and regeneration must be logically and temporally concomitant."
  4. All must be regenerate to be saved. (John 3:5-7; Tit 3:5; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:5)
  5. The required response to God’s call is repentance and faith. These two make up conversion; turning away from sin and turning toward God. (2 Chronicles 7:14; Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 55:6,7; Luke 24:47,48; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:17; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:8,9; Acts 26:20)
  6. Justification is God's forensic act of freely pardoning all our sins on the basis of faith alone in Christ and His atonement for our sins. (Romans 3:28; Romans 5:1; I Corinthians 15:17; Isaiah 53:11; Acts 13:39; Romans 3:20; Romans 3:23,24; Romans 2:28; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8,9)
  7. Those who have been justified are adopted as heirs in Christ. (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:4,5; John 15:14,15; Romans 8:16,17)
  8. Sanctification is the continuous process of growing in obedience and conformity to Christ, accomplished through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. (Luke 9:23; Ephesians 5:18; Philippians 3:12; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8,9)
  9. Those who are truly saved persevere to the end when they will be glorified.  (John 6:37-39; John 10:26-29; Romans 8:30-39; Philippians 1:6; II Timothy 1:12; II Timothy 4:18; Jude 24

The Church

  1. The church is the body of Christ, God's building and the bride of Christ. Christ is the head of His church the unity of believers in a universal church, and the source of holiness in the church. (Romans 12:4,5; I Corinthians 3:9; I Corinthians 3:16,17; I Corinthians 12:12,13; Galatians 4:26; Galatians 6:16; Ephesians 2:14-16; Ephesians 2:19,20; Ephesians 4:15,16; Ephesians 5:23; I Timothy 3:14,15; I Peter 2:4,5; Revelation 21:2; Ephesians 4:4-6)
  2. Because each believer has the leading of the Holy Spirit and since Christ is our only King, and since power tends to corrupt, I believe in a congregational form of government. (Matthew 18:17; Acts 6:3-5; II Corinthians 2:6,7; II Corinthians 8:19)
  3. The mission of the church is to carryon the work of Christ and to continue the mandate given to man at creation. Individuals are to participate based upon their gifts. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16; John 20:21,22; Romans 12:6-8; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 4:11-13; Tit 3:14; I Peter 4:9-11; 1 John 3:16-18)
  4. Baptism is a sign of the new covenant. It symbolizes our participation in the death and resurrection of our Lord. As such it is best done by adult believers, since infants and most children are not able to be sure they sufficiently understand the work of Christ, and the claims of the gospel upon their life. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-5; Ephesians 4:4-6)
  5. The Lord's Supper is the remembering and a visible proclaiming of Jesus' death for us. The spiritual benefit is not in the elements, but in the recalling of the work of our Lord. (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark14:22-24; Luke 22:19; II Corinthians 11:24-25)

Individual Eschatology

  1. Death is the result of sin.  (Genesis 2:16,17; Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23)
  2. Physical death is not cessation of life or annihilation, but the separation of body and soul. (Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 9:27,28)
  3. The ultimate victory over death is secure because of the work of Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57; II Timothy 1:9,10; He 2:14,15; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 21:3,4)
  4. Souls go to a partial fulfillment of their eternal destiny, either hell or glory, immediately after death.  ( Luke 16:22-23; Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:21-24)

General Eschatology

  1. Christ will come again.  (Luke 21:25,27; Acts 1:10,11; I Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 3:20)
  2. The dead will be raised, and believers will receive new bodies.  (Job 19:25-27; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15; I Corinthians 15:51,52)
  3. Christ will return after the tribulation. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4,8; Matthew 24:21ff.; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 7:14)
  4. Christ will return after a spiritual millennium which is now occurring. This millennium will end in the great tribulation and Christ's return. (Revelation 20:1-6; Matthew 12:27-29; Matthew 24:3,21,29,30; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; John 5:28,29; Matthew 25:31,32)
  5. The judgment and bodily resurrection will take place after Christ's return. (John 6:39,40; I Thessalonians 4:16,17; Matthew 25:31,32; I Corinthians 4:5) (Job 19:25-27; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15)
  6. The righteous will live with Christ forever in a new earth. (Daniel 12:3; Romans 8:19-21; I Peter 1:3,4; John 3:16; Revelation 21:1,4; Revelation 22:3-5)
  7. The wicked will be thrown eternally into hell. (Matthew 13:49,50; Matthew 18:8,9; Matthew 25:41; Luke 16:22-26; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 20:10; Revelation 20:15)
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