of Jeffrey M. Owens
believe the Bible is the inspired (God breathed) Word of God. The completed
canon of scripture consists of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and
the twenty-seven books of the New Testament (2 Tim.3:16). God the Holy Spirit
moved holy men of God to write the very words of God, yet miraculously allowed
them to write within their individual personalities and writing styles (2 Peter
1:21). I believe in the verbal inspiration, meaning each word is inspired by
God and the plenary inspiration, meaning the entire Bible is inspired (Matt.
4:1-11; 1Cor. 2:13; 2 Pet. 3:16). Inspiration applies only to the original
manuscripts of Godís Word, which are no longer in existence today. However, God
promised to preserve His Word and has done exactly that through the many ancient
copies and careful translations into different languages (Mt. 5:17-18; Jn.
I believe the Bible
is true, inerrant and infallible in all areas including historical and
Because the Bible is Godís Word to mankind, it is therefore absolute truth,
meaning it is completely trustworthy (Jn. 14:6; 17:17). As a result of this
trustworthiness, we as followers of Christ should make the Bible our
authoritative standard for faith and practice. I believe the Bible is to be
correctly interpreted in the normal, consistent, and literal method, including
looking at the historical and grammatical context. Today, we have the completed
cannon of Scripture and is not to be added to or removed from without severe
consequences (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Rev. 22:18,19).
believe there is one God who eternally exist in three persons, God the Father,
God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
(Deut. 6:4; Mt.
28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). Each one of the persons of the godhead has specific and
distinct work to perform, yet all are co-equal in essence, in deity, in power
and in glory. God is self-existent and exists eternally, meaning He was
uncreated, therefore had no beginning and will not have any end (Ex. 3:14; Ps.
90:2; Jn. 8:58). God alone is the source and sustainer of all creation (Col.
1:16, 17). I believe God in His infinite power created heaven and earth by the
words of His mouth in six literal days (Gen. 1; Ps. 148:5; Heb. 1:2; 11:3).
God by nature is spirit (Jn. 4:24). God is infinite, meaning there are no
limits that can contain Him, and is sovereign
(Job 42:2; Ps.
115:3; 135:6), meaning he is the supreme ruler over everything. We can see the
greatness of our God by His omnipotence (Gen. 18:14; Mt. 19:26), omniscience
(Ps. 139:2; Mt. 6:8; 10:29, 30), omnipresence (Ps. 139:7-11; Jer. 23:24), and
immutability (1 Sam. 15:29; Mal. 3:6; Rom. 1:23;Jms. 1:17). We are also able to
see the character of God and His desire to have a relationship with man through
His holiness, righteousness, justice, goodness, love, mercy, grace, and truth.
God, whose attributes are beyond measure, is worthy of all our praise, worship
and obedience because He truly is the great God.
I believe Jesus Christ is the God-man, containing both a fully divine and a
fully human nature. He is undiminished deity and perfect humanity united
together in one person forever. Jesus Christ has eternally been the son of God
(even before His incarnation) and voluntarily submits Himself to God the Father.
(Jn. 1:1; 17:1-6) Christ possess all the attributes of God therefore is worthy
of our honor and worship because he is God (Phil. 2:9-11). Jesus Christ, even
though He is fully God, did not see His deity as something to take advantage of
but willingly gave up the glory of heaven to become a man. Not only did Christ
willingly become a human but he showed amazing love and suffered and died on the
cross for the salvation of his own creation. In becoming a man Jesus Christ
voluntarily gave up independent use of some of His divine attributes (Phil.
Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born
of a virgin mother (Lk. 1:34-35). I believe Jesus Christ had a literal human
body (1 Jn. 1:1). He lived a sinless life (Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 2:21-22),
literally died on the cross as a perfect substitute for the sins of the entire
human race (Jn. 19:31-37; Heb. 10:10; Is. 53:4-6), was buried and after three
days rose bodily from the grave. By His resurrection from the grave, Christ was
able to proclaim victory over the power of sin and death. He ascended bodily to
heaven and is presently glorified and sitting at the right hand of the Father
(Acts 1:9-11). Christ is presently interceding on our behalf as our High Priest
(Heb. 7:25, 9:24). He is also preparing a place in heaven for all true
believers (Jn. 14:2-3). He has promised to return imminently (at any moment) to
rapture His church and take them to be together with Him in heaven (1 Thess.
believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the godhead and is co-equal with
God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is a person possessing the
attributes of intellect (Rom. 8:27, 1 Cor. 2:11), emotion (Eph. 4:30) and will
(Heb. 2:4). The Holy Spirit was active in the creation of the world (Gen.
1:2). He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (Jn. 16:8-11).
In relation to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit guided men as they wrote the
scriptures (2 Pet. 1:21). The Holy Spirit also possesses the ministry of
illuminating the Scriptures to believers (1 Cor. 2:8-14). In relation to
believers, the Holy Spirit baptizes them into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13),
He regenerates (Titus 3:5), He indwells (1 Cor. 6:19), He gives assurance of
salvation (Rom. 8:16), He seals (Eph. 1:13), He guides (Rom. 8:14), He
intercedes (Rom. 8:26), He teaches (1 Cor. 2:13), He empowers believers for
service by giving spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:11), and He is involved in the
process of progressive sanctification of each believer (2 Cor. 3:18).
Angels are spirit beings created by God before the foundation of the world (Col.
1:16; Job 38:4-7). They were created by God in holiness and as personal beings
with intellect, emotion, and will. Angels were created for the purpose of
worshipping and performing the work of God. They are also the ministers of God
to the needs of saved men (Heb. 1:14).
The angel Lucifer, who was filled with pride because of his beauty, chose to sin
against God by making himself ďlike the Most High.Ē (Is. 14:12-20; Ezek.
28:11-19) Demons are angels, who because their pride, followed Satan into
rebellion against God. Satan and all who follow him will be removed from Godís
presence in heaven (Mt. 25:41). Today Satan rules over the demonic powers who
oppose the work of God on earth (Eph. 6:10-12). During the Millennial reign of
Christ on earth, Satan will be bound and thrown into and locked in the
bottomless pit, then he will be released for a short time before being thrown
into the lake of fire for all eternity (Rev. 20:1-10).
God created Adam, the first man, from the dust of the ground on the sixth day of
creation. God breathed into him the breath of life and he became a living
soul. God then created Eve, the first woman, from the rib of Adam and made her
a helper and companion for Adam (Gen. 2:7-25). God created mankind in His own
image with intellect, emotions, and will, making him unique from the rest of the
creation (Gen. 1:26-27). Man was originally created perfect without sin and was
given the free will to choose between right and wrong. Adam and Eve choose to
sin against God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, from
which they were commanded not to eat (Gen. 2:17). The result of their sin was
physical and spiritual death and broken fellowship with God. Adam, being the
head of the race, passed on the sin nature to every human being who is therefore
a depraved sinner by nature and also by choice (Rom. 5:12). Man by himself is
incapable, apart from God, of fixing his sin problem and is therefore destined
for eternal punishment. However, God provided a way of restored fellowship and
escape from a destiny of eternal punishment through the shed blood of His son
Jesus Christ. This salvation is a free gift available to all who will accept
Man is by nature and choice a sinner and therefore is separated from fellowship
with God as result of his sin
(Jer. 17:9; Rom.
3:23). The just punishment for sin and rebellion against God is eternal
punishment in hell. Man is incapable of saving himself from this punishment
because the payment for sin is death through the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22).
Therefore God in his mercy and grace has provided a way of salvation for the
entire human race. Salvation is Godís solution for mankind to be delivered from
the power and the punishment for sin. This wonderful salvation is provided
through Jesus Christ who willingly humbled himself by coming to earth, he then
lived a perfect life, died on the cross to shed his blood, was buried and rose
again on the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Through the Gospel, Jesus met the
demands of God for the cleansing of the sins of the world.
Salvation is a free gift available to any person who will receive this gift (Jn.
3:16; 5:24). It cannot be earned by the works of righteousness, but is a result
of the mercy of God (Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5) and paid for by the shed blood of
Jesus Christ. Salvation is received by grace through personal faith in Jesus
Christ as the redeemer from sin. Because salvation is the work of God, He has
promised to never release His children back to the bondage of sin, therefore
they are eternally secure in the hand of God (Jn. 10:27-29). This also means
that salvation is only necessary one time and we become part of the family of
God for the rest of eternity (Heb.9:11-15; 10:10-12). This one time event of
salvation must not be confused with the progressive work of sanctification in
our lives (2 Cor. 3:18). When a person receives the gift of salvation he is
made a new creature, meaning there will be a change in his life through the
sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18; 5:17).
As believers we are sanctified, or called out from the world, and separated unto
God. There are three aspects of sanctification in a Christianís life. First,
is positional sanctification which is enjoyed by every believer. Positional
sanctification refers to a believerís position as a member of the family of God
(1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11). It is accomplished through justification by faith in the
shed blood of Jesus Christ. The second aspect of sanctification is progressive
sanctification which is a continual lifelong process of becoming more like
Christ (2 Cor. 3:16; 1 Pet. 1:16). As Christians, we should strive to please
the Lord by the way we live in obedience to Him (Rom. 6:12-14). The final
aspect of sanctification is ultimate sanctification which we will experience
when we reach heaven. At this point in time we will be set apart to God for all
(Eph. 5:26-27; Jude
church is the organism here on earth through which God is working in the world
today. Jesus Christ is the head of the body of Christ, which is the church
(Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22). The church can be looked at from two aspects, the local
church and the universal church. The universal church consists of all true
believers in Jesus Christ from Pentecost, the beginning of the church, through
the present. The church is sometimes referred to as the Bride of Christ with
reference to future events. Christ has promised to return to receive the Church
The second perspective of the church is the local church which consists of a
group of baptized believes who are organized together for worship, teaching,
preaching, fellowship, and service. In the New Testament when the church is
referred to it is most commonly referring to the local church. The local church
is to be organized, autonomous, self-governed, self-perpetuating, and self
supporting (Mal. 3:10) and receives its authority and direction from the Word of
God and the Holy Spirit.
believe the Word of God gives two offices of the leadership in the local church,
the office of pastor and the office of deacon. The pastor is to be the
spiritual leader of the church and is responsible for guiding the church under
the direction of God and the Word of God. God in His Word also gives specific
qualifications which a pastor must meet (1Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9). In the
Scripture the pastor is also referred to as elder, bishop, shepherd, preacher,
and teacher, each of these names has significance pertaining to his duties and
responsibilities (Tit. 1:5-7; Acts 20:17,28; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Phil 1:1). The
different names for a pastor are not referring to separate offices of the
church, which would result in a hierarchical structure of leadership, but rather
all these names refer only to the pastor who is responsible to God not another
man. The second office in the church is the office of deacon whose
qualifications are also given to us in the Bible (1 Tim. 3:8-13). The deacons
are men of God who are appointed to a ministry of service to the congregation
and pastors (Acts 6:1-3).
believe the Bible teaches two ordinances which the local church is commanded to
observe, baptism and the Lordís supper. Biblical baptism is by immersion and is
a believerís outward identification with Christ, not a requirement for salvation
(Acts 2:41; 8:37-39; Rom. 6:4-5). The Lordís supper is to be a reminder to the
Church of the sacrifice which Christ made to purchase our redemption (Mk.
14:22-25; 1 Cor. 11:23-34).
believe in the pretribulational and imminent rapture of the church, at which
time all believers from the church age, both dead and alive, will meet Christ in
the air (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 5:1-9). Following the rapture will
be a seven year period known as the tribulation, during which Christ will pour
out His judgment against the wickedness of the world
(Rev. 6:17). At the
end of the seven year tribulation Christ will return to earth and establish His
millennial (1,000 year) reign on earth. During this 1,000 years Satan will be
bound and thrown into the bottomless pit. Satan will then be released for a
short time at the end of the millennium and will deceive many in the world.
Satan will suffer his final defeated in battle against Christ during the battle
of Gog and Magog. Following this defeat Satan will be cast into the lake of
fire for all eternity (Rev. 19-20:10). All who choose to be followers of Satan
will be judged at the Great White Throne and will be thrown into the lake of
fire for eternal punishment (Rev. 20:11-15). All Christians will be judged at
the Bema Seat, following the rapture, and will spend all eternity in the
presence of God (Rev. 21:1-3).
As Christians we have been called out from the darkness of the world and called
to be separated unto God. We are new creatures in Christ, being dead to sin and
alive unto righteousness through Christ (Rom. 6:1-14; Eph. 4:24). As believers
in Christ we are children of light and are not to have fellowship with darkness
(Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 6:14-18). As well as separating from worldliness, the
Bible commands separation from those who are teaching false doctrine (Rom.
16:17) and believers living in unrepentant sin (1 Cor. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:6). We
are not to compromise our stand for truth by adopting the ways of the world,
which are not pleasing to the Lord. Refusing to compromise a strong stand for
truth will result in a strong testimony for the Lord (Phil. 2:14).
believe the Bible instructs the church, as well as the individual believers, to
separate from the ways of the world. As the bride of Christ, the Church should
desire and strive for purity and holiness in preparation for Christ presenting
us to Himself (Eph. 5:26-27). Maintaining purity means the Church must separate
from worldliness and false teachings that are not in agreement with the Word of
God (Rom. 16:17). The church and its members are also commanded by God not to
have fellowship with believers who are living in unrepented sin (1 Cor. 5:11; 2
Thess. 3:6). In fact, purity in the Church is so important to God that He has
provided for a way to purify the church of outright and unrepentant sin through