Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What We Believe at COT and A1M
...statement of belief and faith

This article and the statement of belief and faith have been updated.

My dear friends and colaborers in the Lord, Dr. Lance Quinn, Pastor/Teacher, The Bible Church of Little Rock, Dr. John MacArthur, Pastor/Teacher of Grace Community Church, and Pastor Russ Kennedy, Pastor for Preaching and Worship of Clearcreek Chapel, along with their respective elderships have assembled excellent statements of belief and faith from which I have adopted portions as a plumbline of doctrinal canon for my ministry in word and song at AudienceONE Ministries and this blog, CampOnThis (COT). I have also included as a preamble to this statement of belief and faith, the Doctrines of Grace (TULIP) and The Five Solas of the Reformation that define the character of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ below as well. Though these statements below are not meant to be exhaustive on every point of doctrine, they sum up the great themes of Christianity for this ministry (I also subscribe to the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith and The Heidelberg Catechism listed here under the "Devotionals and..." category on this blog).

Some might be asking, "Why post this statement of belief and faith?" It is so important to know where we stand in essential matters of The Faith today. Especially, with "every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:13-15) receiving equal weight of truth and tolerance under the guise of evangelical postmodernism--it is good to review what we hold as essential doctrine for life and ministry. Paul encouraged Titus to "instruct in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict" (Titus 1:9). Those words almost seem archaic and acerbic considering the spiritual climate in evangelicalism and our culture today... don't they? But we are to "speak the truth in love..." (Eph. 4:15) and "test all things; cling to what is good" (1 Thess. 5:21). As faithful Bereans (Acts 17:9-11) we have no option but to "contend for the faith" (Jude 3) and "guard the trust" (1 Tim. 6:20).

At the outset, I must qualify one thing: these following articles of faith are not meant to represent any one particular denomination; but only to represent orthodox, historical, biblical Christianity. May your hearts be encouraged and strengthened in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as you ponder the following truth constraints.

His Unworthy Servant in His Unfailing Love,
2 Cor. 4:1-7


1. Total Depravity (or “Inability” – Man cannot save himself)
The Scriptures clearly teach that the effects of sin have extended to all parts of our being, rendering us incapable of spiritual understanding and love towards God. Despite the heading of this first article, it does not indicate that all people are as wicked as they could possibly be in all areas of belief and practice. However, sin has so fully and deeply affected our lives that, spiritually speaking, we are in a totally hopeless condition, unable to do anything to get ourselves out of this fallen state.

Our natural spiritual incapacity prevents us from being able to respond by our own strength to the call of the gospel message, yet this does not remove our guilt. We choose to follow the natural inclinations of our depraved hearts because when left to ourselves that is all we want to do.

Scripture references: Ephesians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 1:30; John 15:25; Luke 19:14; John 5:40; Isaiah 5:20; Titus 1:15; Deuteronomy 32:18; Hebrews 2:1; John 12:39; John 6:44+65; John 3:18.

2. Unconditional Election (God is no respecter of man nor influenced by man.)
God has shown us in his Word that from eternity past he has elected some sinners to be saved from the condemnation that is justly deserved by all, purely on account of his gracious mercy and love, not because of any foreseen merits in those sinners. Because of the fact of total depravity, salvation must originate with God, and we read in the Bible that it is God's sovereign will alone that has determined the recipients of that salvation.

This doctrine does not render God unjust, for all are guilty and all deserve to suffer God's judgement. Rather, it emphasizes the grace of God by the fact that he has chosen some for salvation.

Scripture references: Psalm 65:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:4,5,9,11; Romans 11:5; Romans 9:15,23; Psalm 103:11; 1 Peter 1:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Jonah 2:9.

3. Limited Atonement (or Particular Redemption)
Put simply, Christ died only to save the elect, securing with absolute certainty their salvation. This is not to teach that there is anything lacking in the power of God, perhaps suggesting that he is not able to save all men. Rather, God's Word indicates that it was the Father's intention that his Son was to suffer and die only for his chosen people, atoning for their sins alone. Christ's atonement was limited only in extent, not in power, according to the sovereign will of God.

In the Bible we read that the Lord's servant (Jesus) would see the results of his work (his atoning sacrifice) and "be satisfied" (Isaiah 53:11). But also, Jesus stated plainly that there are many who are heading for eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13). We can only reconcile these two statements if we understand that Christ died only for a limited number of people - for God's elect.

Scripture references: Acts 20:28; John 3:14+15; Galatians 1:4+5; Revelation 13:8; John 6:38+39; John 17:9,10+24; John 10:11; 1 Peter 2:21; Romans 5:8-10; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 8:33+34; Luke 1:68; Revelation 5:9; Isaiah 53:11.

4. Irresistible Grace (All whom the Father draws, will come to Christ)
When the gospel is preached, an invitation is issued by the Lord to all people to come to him for salvation. However, as the first article clearly states, the natural state of all people renders them incapable of responding to this invitation, except to reject it. So when God calls an elect sinner to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus, he does so by sending his Holy Spirit to work a great change in that sinner's heart, enabling them to see their sin and their need of a Saviour and leading them to put their faith in Christ alone for salvation. The Lord, by his Spirit, irresistibly draws his elect to himself, raising them to spiritual life and making them willing to trust in Jesus.

Scripture references: Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37; Matthew 23:37; John 5:40; Ephesians 1:12,19; Ezekiel 11:19+20; Psalm 110:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

5. Perseverance of the Saints (or Preserved in Christ for Eternity)
Once God has saved elect sinners, he continues to keep and preserve them by his power and grace and will never let them go. Thus, they persevere to the end and can never be lost. If God did not do this, we would inevitably turn back again to the world, because of the sin that is around us and within us. Thus God enables his children to continue in faith and obedience throughout their earthly lives, then to pass into God's presence forever.

This doctrine is not to be taken as a license to go on sinning, as if the believer is free to act in any way he chooses now that he is eternally secure in Christ Jesus. The true believer will show signs of a growing desire for holiness and an increasing loathing of sin. The one who attempts to use the grace of God as an excuse for sinful living is in all probability not a true believer, for where there is spiritual life, the fruit of the Spirit will become evident.

Scripture references: 1 Peter 1:5; James 4:6; Philippians 1:6+19; John 6:39; John 10:28+29; Romans 8:38+39; Romans 8:8; Galatians 5:13-26.


Sola Scriptura
Bible is the sole written divine revelation and alone can bind the conscience of believers absolutely.

Sola Fide
Justification is by faith alone. The full righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith (comprised of His active and passive obedience) is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are remitted.

Solus Christus
Christ is Prophet, Priest and King; the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed.

Sola Gratia
Our salvation rests solely on the work of God’s grace for us and in us.

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone belongs the glory.

"In the essentials, unity; in the nonessentials, liberty;
and in all things, charity."
Article I

We believe that Almighty God has revealed all that is necessary for life and faith in the sixty-six books of the Holy Scripture, which are the Word of God. All Scripture was given by inspiration by God; that is, it is God-breathed as holy men of old wrote, being borne along by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original writings and are the final arbiter in all disputes. Its authority is derived from its Author and not from the opinions of men. (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35;16:12 13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3: 15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 1:1-3; 22:6,18-19)

We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

We believe that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed.

We believe the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17).

We believe that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

We believe that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Peter 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16).

We believe that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.

Article II

We believe in the one true and living God, eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our God exists to glorify and enjoy Himself forever. He is infinite in being and perfection, a spirit invisible, personal, omnipresent, eternal, dependent on none, unchanging, truthful, trustworthy, almighty, sovereign, omniscient, righteous, holy, good, loving, merciful, long-suffering, and gracious. (Exodus 3:13-14; 34:4-7; Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 1 Kings 8:27; Nehemiah 9:32-33; Job 22:2-3; Psalm 5:4-8; 90:1-2; 95:1-7; 115:1-7; 119:65-68; 145:17-20; Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 6:1-3; 40:10-31; 46:9-13; Jeremiah 10:10; 23:23-24; Daniel 4:34-35; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 28:16-20; John 1:1-18; 4:21-24; 14:1-11; 15:26-27; Acts 7:2-50; 20:28; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 4:4-7; Hebrews 4:12-13; 11:6; Revelation 4:8; 5:11-14)*

Article III

We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).

Article IV

We believe that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world, conceived of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, unchangeably sinless, both God and man, born under the Law, to live a perfect life of righteousness on behalf of His people. (Psalm 2:1-12; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-8; 42:1-4; 52:13-53:12; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-33; 1:26-56; John 1:1-18; 17:1-12; Acts 3:22-23; 17:29-31; Romans 3:21-26; 8:1-4, 28-30; Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:15-23; 1 Timothy 2:1-6; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:14-18; 9:11-14; 1 Peter 1:17-20)

We believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).

We believe that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9).

We believe that the eternal Son of God came into this world as purposed by God and prophesied in the Scriptures to fulfill the plan of salvation for a lost world. John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

We believe that, in the incarnation, the second Person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-8).

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24).

We believe that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).

We believe that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

We believe in the bodily ascension of Christ to the right hand of the throne of God, and that He has become Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body. John 20:17; Acts 1:9; Ephesians 1:22, 23.

We believe that Jesus Christ is now intercessor and advocate for all those who are saved and that He will return for His Bride, the Church, at the rapture. Hebrews 7:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Article V

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2 Peter 1:19-21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).

We believe that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Article VI

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God but that through willful sin, he became dead in trespasses and sin and subjected himself and creation to the authority of Satan.

We believe that Adam fell from his original righteousness into sin and brought upon himself and all his offspring physical and spiritual death, depravity, condemnation, and the state of being sinners. (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-24; 6:5-7; Psalm 14:1-3; 51:1-5; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Romans 3:9-20; 5:12-21; 6:15-23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-49; Titus 1:15-16; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 2:14-18)

We believe that this total depravity in man has been transmitted to every child born of man. (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 6:6; Romans 3:10-19; Ephesians 2:1-3.)

We believe that it is utterly beyond the power of fallen man to love God, to keep His laws, to understand the Gospel, to repent of sin, or to trust in Christ. (Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:3-5; 8:43 Romans 3:9-19; Colossians 1:21-23; Ephesians 2:1-3; Titus 1:15-16).

Article VII

We believe that salvation is wrought by God alone and is free to every one without human merit or attainment. It is by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9.

We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). Regeneration precedes faith (1 Cor. 12:3; Titus 3:5-7) and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24). In regeneration, the sinner is quickened unto repentance, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, and responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Such a conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).

We believe that to every believer has been committed the ministry of reconciliation and that no one can be saved without hearing and accepting the gospel. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 10:14, 15.

We believe that the atoning work of Christ is the only basis for our redemption and that entrance into the Kingdom of God is by the new birth alone. John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17.

We believe that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6).

It is affirmed that the righteousness which is the ground of Justification, being the merit of a work, undertaken and accomplished by Christ on behalf of His people, may become theirs by being imputed to them, or reckoned to their account.
Three cases of imputation biblically we affirm: namely, 1. that of the guilt of Adam's first sin to his posterity, 2. that of the guilt of our sins to Christ as our substitute, and 3. that of His righteousness to us as the immediate ground of our Justification. Justification, then, is more than a declaration; it is, by imputation, where the believer in Jesus Christ, by faith, is clothed with the perfect righteousness of Christ - His active and passive obedience (2 Cor. 5:21; Matt. 3:15-16; 5:13-20; Roms. 3:21ff; Phil. 3:8). Our sins imputed to Christ (Roms. 5:12-17; Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24); His righteousness imputed to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

This righteousness, being the merit of a work, and not a mere quality of character, may become ours by being imputed to us, but cannot be communicated by being infused; and must ever continue to belong primarily and, in one important respect, exclusively to Him by whom alone that work was accomplished. That righteousness is called in Scripture: "the righteousness of God," "the righteousness of Christ," the "righteousness of One," "the obedience of One," the "free gift unto justification of life," "the righteousness which is of," or "by," or "through, faith," "the righteousness of God without the law," and "the righteousness which God imputes without works." His righteousness, considered as the entire merit of His whole Mediatorial work (Matt. 3:15-16; 5:13-20; 2 Cor. 5:21), is not only the meritorious cause, but also the immediate ground, of our Justification; and for this end, that righteousness is by which alone we can be justified, why it is said to be the righteousness of God, or the merit of Christ, and how it becomes ours, so as to be available for our Justification.

We believe that salvation is eternally secured to all believers, and that this assurance is their portion from the very day of their trust in Christ. John 3:16; 10:28, 29; Hebrews 10:22; Romans 8:28-39.

We believe that this salvation will be fully realized when Christ comes back to take us to Himself - this is the Christian's blessed hope. John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-13.

Article VIII

We believe that it is incumbent upon every believer, by God's transforming grace (Titus 2:12), to walk worthy of His calling - to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (1 Thessalonians 2:12; Romans 8:4, 5).

We believe that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).

We believe that, out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior.

We also believe that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).

We believe that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness that reflects the teaching of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).

We believe that Christian character and fruit is produced solely by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:6, 7; 4:22-24; Galatians 5:16-23.

Article IX

We believe that the true Church, which is the Body of Christ, is composed of all believers of this dispensation who are united to the risen Lord by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4-6; 5:23-32.

We believe that baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper are gospel ordinances belonging only to regenerated believers. The ordinances have no saving merit for they are emblems and types of spiritual realities, not the realities themselves. Baptism is a responsibility of each believer to declare one’s allegiance to Christ. (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:18-20; Acts 2:14-41; 8:12-40; 16:25-40; 18:7-8; Romans 6:1-4; 1 Corinthians 10:14-17; 11:26) The Lord’s Table is an expression of our communion with Christ and with one another. (Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 10:14-21; 11:17-34; Hebrews 9:11-28)

We believe that the local church is under the authority of Christ alone who rules through His Word and is governed by a plurality of men called elders who shepherd the church. The communion of saints, however, requires recognition of and fellowship with other churches. (Matthew 20:24-28; Acts 20: 17,28; Ephesians 4:12-14; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

We believe that we are to assemble ourselves together for worship, praise, prayer, encourage and ministry. Hebrews 10:24, 25.

Article X

*We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall come again to raise the dead, both the righteous and the unrighteous. The righteous shall enjoy everlasting life with God, and the wicked shall endure everlasting, conscious punishment away from the presence of God’s glory. (Genesis 3:17-19; Job 19:25-27; Ecclesiastes 12:1-8; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:1-4; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Luke 16:19-31; 23:32-43; Acts 24:14-16; Romans 9:19-26; 1 Corinthians 15:35-56; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 1:21-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Hebrews 12:22-24; Jude 3-7; Revelation 22:12-21)

*A pre-mil/pre/trib view has represented my belief in the past;
but currently, I am still studying this area of theology.
As affirmed by most, eschatology is not primary doctrine, but secondary.
Regenerate men may disagree on the order of events concerning our Lord's return
and be within the purview of orthodoxy.
But all regenerate men must agree that
Christ is coming again for His church.

Article XI

We believe that at death every believer passes into the presence of Christ and there awaits the resurrection, after which he will be judged by Christ for his works. 1 Corinthians 3:9-13; 15:51-54; 2 Corinthians 5:8, 10; Romans 14:10.

We believe that the unsaved will remain under condemnation, and in misery, until the judgment of the Great White Throne where they will be united with their body to be cast into the eternal lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15.

We believe that Satan and the fallen angels also will be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever. Revelation 20:10.

*the above statement of beliefs were compiled by Steve Camp portions of which came from the doctrinal statements of The Bible Church of Little Rock; Grace Community Church; and Clearcreek Chapel


cyd said...

AMEN and AMEN!!!

Thank you, Steve.

Ephesians 1:16

pilgrim said...

Well a couple of quibbles, but nothing major-
I'm not pre-mil--so I'd disagree with those parts, but that's nothing major in terms of the gospel--that's still there, so is the nature of God, and the deity of Christ.
I may have added a short statement about why Jesus could take on sin. And that's because He lived a sinless life & fulfilled the Law.

I'm also wondering if thios statement reflects a limited atonement or not--it may. Or is it being vague on purpose?

Again these are not esentials.
Overall I have no trouble with the statement--just a few small points.
And if you're convinced on pre-mil then why wouldn't it be there?

Now would my quibbles deny me from being part of either group?

ambiance-five said...

I believe much the same except..

We believe that at death every believer passes into the presence of Christ and there awaits the resurrection, after which he will be judged by Christ for his works. 1 Corinthians 3:9-13; 15:51-54; 2 Corinthians 5:8, 10; Romans 14:10.

Even our works are manifest through Christ which brings about rest and perfect works.

Hebrews 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

David said...

I am glad pilgrim is a quicker typist than I am. I found myself a little taken a back by the millenial view statement, as I have not found that view the norm among reformed beleivers. If I were going to make a millenial statement, I would take a more generic tact, not specifying a position. The Westminster Confession of Faith, chapters 32, 33 can offer some helpful examples. The dispensational premil view is recent comparitively and I do struggle calling it a historic orthodox position, but that is my own personal feeling.

Bhedr said...

Looks good to me.
Sound and Solid!

Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm not pre-mil either. I was going to say more about it but then I saw your amendment.
(And the blogosphere breathes a sigh of relief.)

Sparks said...
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Sparks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David said...

The addendum was a wise move, in my opinion. As you stated, our millenial view is a secondary doctrine, not a primary or saving doctrine. I have seen too many caught up in the millenial wars forgetting that our Lord urges us to be ready with all urgency, regardless of our belief in when He may or may not return. To me the question is not when, but are we ready?

Rose~ said...

great point David.

It does me good to see these truths emphasized on your blog ... especially these two points:

We believe that Christ voluntarily became sin for us; and that by His death, as the sinless Lamb of God, He bore the righteous judgment of a Holy God and tasted death for every man. Hebrews 10:5-14; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18.

"We believe that salvation is wrought by God alone and is free to every one without human merit or attainment. It is by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9."

I think those answer pilgrim's question.

Bless you Steve.

Breuss Wane said...

Since I believe good statements of faith take into account the contemporary context in which they appear...... :-)

I'm disappointed the statement has no mention of

1. Christ's imputed righteousness to the sinner as the sole basis of the sinner's right standing before God.

2. Regeneration preceding faith.

Both of these points are not only fundamental to a Reformed understanding of salvation, but a necessary polemic against current ills in evangelicalism.

just my two cents.

pilgrim said...

Breuss's first point echoes one of my concerns-just more focused.

Why Jesus is able to offer Himself as a sacrifice is important, especially to avoid certain errors one can find in the Church at large and in the Word Faith movement.

But again I do see the gosple in the statement--and that's the main thing.

pilgrim said...

Breuss's first point echoes one of my concerns-just more focused.

Why Jesus is able to offer Himself as a sacrifice is important, especially to avoid certain errors one can find in the Church at large and in the Word Faith movement.

But again I do see the gosple in the statement--and that's the main thing.

ambiance-five said...

Also I don't know about this-

We believe that this total depravity in man has been transmitted to every child born of man. Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 6:6; Romans 3:10-19; Ephesians 2:1-3.

We know John was spirit filled from the womb-
Luke 1:13  But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

We also know some prophets were santified from the womb-
Jeremiah 1:5  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations

but yes.. most men are transgressors from the womb

Paul said...

Can someone tell me what "... and tasted death for every man." means? Is this opposed to limited atonement?

SJ Camp said...

Chad, I noticed that too. I have added two sections that reflect our beliefs that regeneration precedes faith; and the imputed righteousness of Christ for salvation.

This statement of beliefs is not completely exhaustive but is a good concise one for this ministry.

Thank you for being a faithful Berean to me.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Do you have a catechism to go along with this statement of faith?

SJ Camp said...

I like the The Heidelberg Catechism and is why I feature it on this blog. With the exception of padeobaptism - it is very good - more pastoral rather than polemical.


SJ Camp said...

"Tasted death for every man" is a quote from Hebrews 2:9. This is the doctrine of substitution and is found theologically in what is called, Federal Headship (which I believe and subscribe).

"Tasted" here means to drink to the dregs; not to sip. In context, Christ drank death fully for every man He came to save; for all who are granted saving faith to believe unto salvation, not for all people ever born everywhere.

If Christ drank death and God's wrath (v. 17) as a propitiation for every single individual ever born, then all would be saved--none would be lost. The nature of the atonement is only efficacious for the elect of God (1 John 2:1-2; Roms. 5:1-2; John 6:35-44) and what is meant by that phrase.

The Arminian view is that Christ died for every single individual in the world and now divinely waits to see who will choose Him and who will reject Him. That He is knocking on the door of your heart waiting for you to let Him in. This is errant doctrine. Imagine the sovereign God of the universe unable to redeem until man in his free will decides to accept such redemption? A man mentioned to me last week after a worship concert, he said, "God will not impose Himself against the will of man and cannot save unless man in his free will accepts Him." That is a skewed view of atonement and salvation, but sadly common among evangelicals.

I am so grateful to the Lord that He is an imposing God who invaded my life when I was dead in trespass and sin (Eph. 2:1-9). All people are "dead men walking" until Christ regenerates them through the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-7).

Until we are born again, we are all just walking corpses (Roms. 3:10-18). Praise be to God that Christ drank death fully on the cross so that we need not fear death... ever (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 15:54-55). As Paul says, "Death where is thy victory; grave where is thy sting?" Amen?

2 Cor. 4:5-7

Rose~ said...

Shucks, the statement of faith you posted is better and more simply biblical than your comments that are peppered with TULIP (and that comes from a person who is not Arminiam). But it is understood that TULIP is very important to you. BTW, don't forget, TULIP and Arminian are not the only two choices.
still: Bless you Steve

Shawn L said...


First of all please forgive me for these questions, but they are what I am thinking of. I hope that you can give any insight you might have.

I agree that imputed righteousness of Christ needs to be in there and critical to all evangelicals, but wondering about regeneration preceding faith in a statement of faith for evangelicals? (I do personally affirm the 1689 LBCF)

That confused me as this ministry you would think would include various people from various areas who affirm the statement. I guess it depends on what the statement of faith is designed for in a particular ministry.

I do believe that regeneration does precede faith as well (though in a very short timeframe from our perspective looks like the same time), but don't you want this to be a ministry that includes all types of Christians.

Those believers who think they are "only mostly dead" when they come to Christ and those who know they were on the spiritually dead on the floor with no hope before they came to Christ.

Should a statement of faith only include items which all regenerated believers all affirm to be involved? Our church believes that, but then has a seperate document for our focus and mission and distinctives. I'm asking because I truly am wondering and don't know if my church is going the right direction with this? This is how I have approached things and bible studies with friends as well. Terms like Calvinist or whatever don't seem to help people but divide. The best thing is to just focus on the scripture and declare it why it is.

I want to involve as many different variety of people in my ministry and if they are not aware of certain aspects of salvation in the bible I would rather explore it with them and learn the bible together.

At my church our statement of faith has that so it doesn't include all of the calvinistic tendencies of our elders and most of the congregation because we have people in the congregation who are not calvinistic. I think it is that way on purpose and more evangelical in including others. My pastor is enthralled with the scriptures and that is what we grow from.

Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.

Paul said...

Thanks Steve,

I am in full agreement with the fact Doctrines of Grace. I appreciate your clarification. "In context, Christ drank death fully for every man He came to save; for all who are granted saving faith to believe unto salvation, not for all people ever born everywhere."

Jeremy Weaver said...

I remember the first time I read this post. I read through it in about 30 seconds. Now it takes every bit of 45 seconds.

SJ Camp said...

To Shawn Lynes:

Thank you for your comments.

Briefly, I minister in many and varied denominations yearly. I appreciate the body of Christ as a whole and also appreciate the distinctives and idiosyncrasies that make up those same denominations. To quote: "In the essentials unity; in the nonessentials liberty and in all things charity."

On the issue of regeneration preceding faith, it goes to the premise that "salvation is of the Lord." It is all of grace. If regeneration doesn't precede faith, then faith is necessary to produce it and implies that unregenerate man can somehow exercise saving faith in his deadened state. That would be impossible.

Paul says it well, "No man may confess Jesus Christ as Lord without the Spirit of God in him" -1 Cor. 12:3. God must first regenerate us in order for us to confess Him unto salvation.

In an age of easy-believism and Finneyesque invitationalism, this is an important distinction to be made.

I appreciate and acknowledge others as my brothers and sisters in the Lord who do not hold to this position--even though they are wrong :-).

Col. 3:16-17

littlegal_66 said...

My goodness, Campi, this whole discussion has prompted me to inquire:

When are you going to help organize a Nashville-area church which would reflect all of these tenets to the letter?

Wow! How great would that be--to worship with a community of believers in a church that mirrors all of the precepts you've stated--without any deviations whatsoever? I don't think that's out of the realm of possibility.....

Just let me know when the first service will be held, and I'll be in the congregation. : )

David said...

I am just impressed that in an industry such as yours, that anyone would want to have a statement of faith for their ministry. It seems that the overriding concern among most artists revolves around number of albums sold as opposed to numbers of lives changed. It is so easy, even as a pastor, to talk the talk, it is so much harder to walk the walk.

Littlegal, there are some good churches in the Nashville area that fall into or right close to what is discussed here.

littlegal_66 said...

david-could you email a partial list to me privately?

(Sorry, Steve, if this is too OT--I beg your forbearance in this case).

Brian said...

The whole arminianism vs calvinism debate isn't as clear cut as some would like it to be. The more you study the Scripture the more that will become evident. I don't consider myself in either camp and I don't like being called an arminian or a calvinist.

In addition, there are godly men on both sides that are preaching the gospel and advancing Christ's kingdom (which is what it is all about--preaching Christ).


Unchained Slave said...

Thank you. It is imperative that every ministry has a Statement of Faith that is Biblically grounded…

Each of us, as individuals, are ministers of the gospel, so each should have a Statement of Faith. Not just adopt one’s church’s. Being Berean, study and adopt a ‘Statement’ as an individual.

I believe an ‘Individual’ should have a ‘statement of faith’. The preferred format is written, with Biblical references. This allows individuals to remind themselves of where they stand, so they do not fall prey to the plethora of ‘kind of Biblical’ doctrines abounding today. Put it in writing, remaining teachable, to ‘cement’ one’s own beliefs. It makes a much stronger stand for the gospel. “For the Bible tells me so” is a much better ‘argument’ than “It is what the ‘church’ teaches”.

Being mindful of Count Zinzendorf’s quote, “In essential beliefs — we have unity; In non-essential beliefs — we have liberty; In all our beliefs — we show charity (love).”

[It is not a bad idea to add to a ‘Statement of Faith’ a ‘Statement of World View’]

Just a suggestion and my two cents,
In Christ,

Breuss Wane said...

If it takes every bit of 45 seconds, how long should a catechism based on Steve's statement of faith take?


Bhedr said...

Faith is the response of the electric shock paddles used by rescue workers. The quickening power is in the hand of the rescuer and at which point he choses to stop engadging..well? It is all up to him. Essentially regeneration and faith occur at the same time as one cannot exist apart from the other. Both are a gift from God as a beating heart is not in our power either; but comes back to life from flatlining as a result of the work of God. This may be too simplistic for some so please forgive me:-) Weak? Maybe. Ok it is weak but I hope you see a point in it.

Hey Steve,
I am pre-mil but I am a wishy one; however having examined it it does seem to make the most sense! I think anyway!?! How about a post on eschatology and some of your thoughts; then others can *share* theirs as well and we might all learn something. Twould be an awesome post.

SJ Camp said...

A Statement of World-View:

That is a very probing idea! I really like it!! Surely it would have been beneficial for our ECB friends to provide a Word-View Statement of Faith wouldn't it?

Politics aside: here is my world-view statement: "Think Biblically." I know its a bit short--but it says it, doesn't it?

I will expound on a later post.

A good thought here unchainded slave...

2Tal said...

For those who have found scriptures to make Christ appear to be only a half high priest in his intercession (i.e. we do the rest) I would challenge you to listen to James White cover these scriptures when going over Jack Grahm's characature of Calvinism as flirtation in blasphemy and arrogant elitism. When reading the entirety of these passages Arminianism is blown out of the water.

DOGpreacher said...

Thanks steve, although I must say, your statement of faith held no surprises for me. I have been reading your blog faithfully for a couple of months+ and I don't think there is one part of your 'statement'(except...maybe... views on the millenium) that one wouldn't have already gleaned from your Posts and comments.

Yes, regeneration preceding (and being causal to) faith is important!

I do not call myself a calvinist (because although we would agree on much, there are some serious issues I would not agree with him on either), but when it comes to the soteriological 5-point response to the remonstrants...you betcha!

To the idea that regeneration/faith is simultaneous, I have to look at the Lazarus 'type' and go with regeneration first.


.."Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". If faith comes by hearing (and scripture says it does), and we know that a dead man hears nothing, there must be life first SO one CAN hear. Is it but a nano-second that lies between...who knows ?

BTW...John Piper, MacArthur, Sproul, Begg, D.J. Kennedy would not align doctrinally either, but I like listening/reading all of them.

Jeremy Weaver said...


SJ Camp said...

Yes... :-) - sorry.

There are so many things to consider once you start down this path--and no one statement quite says it all or the biblical way you desire. So nips and tucks are appropriate. But for my purposes and for this ministry - it has officially stopped growing.


Bhedr said...

BTW, guys I would be more than happy to admit that regeneration precedes faith and at one time I believed it did. My analogy was weak as none can explain this mystery. verses like:

I would..ye would not!


Many are *called* few chosen!

and also the disciples who seemed to understand that regeneration precede faith asked Jesus, "Lord, increase our faith..."

He didn't answer but said, "If you had faith the grain of a musturd seed..."
bouncing the ball back in their court.

yet Jesus told Pilot, 'You would have nothing were it not given to you from above'

Therefore I concede it all to God; yet I am restrained by Scripture. I believe its just like trying to solve the mystery of DNA. We may never know the nomenclature of everything so I just decided to yeild to what Scripture says and just accept that they both seem to happen at the same time. But thats ok really cause I fully understand why you guys reach this conclusion and I love all of you.

SJ Camp said...

The issue of regeneration preceding faith is a simple one: We must be quickened by the Spirit of God in order to confess Christ as Lord (1 Cor. 12:3; Titus 3:6-7).

If we are truly dead in trespass and sin, then we cannot of our own volition exercise faith to believe apart from His granting it to us.

BTW: "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ." Most say, "the word of God" - but that is not accurate. The Word is not what produces faith so that we hear the gospel; faith is the gift of God that enables us to hear the word of Christ.

Like you said, it is all of God and that is really the point here. Salvation is of the Lord - from beginning to end - He is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2)

El Sledgbo

littlegal_66 said...

Jeremy-were you thinking you had just entered the Twilight Zone....(again)?

For what it's worth, (probably only a mite, & besides, Chad & unchained slave already donated two cents each) I think the COT/a1m statement is spot-on and pretty consistent with my own personal beliefs in matters of the Faith.

I am so grateful to be able to confer with all of you here at the "Camp Institute for Advanced
Reformed Studies."

Jeremy--I bet you were the laid-back guy in high school who sat in the back of the class making cute wisecracks. And Chad, maybe you were the scholarly student who sat up front, but who would jump at the chance to engage the class clown with your own witty retorts. (Just a guess--I could be wrong). : )

Romans 5:9

Shawn L said...

Steve & Brian,

Other verses to consider with regeneration.

James 1:18
Ezek 36:26-27
John 1:12-13
John 3:1-10
John 6:44, 45, 63-65
Eph 2:1-5
Acts 16:14

Also thought this interesting.....


Bhedr said...

Sledge and Shawn,

Thanks good stuff and I agree as it may seem strange to some that I do. I know this may seem Hypocritical but Please understand I do not believe that faith precedes regeneration it's just my belief that they occur at the same moment, but I will concede that faith is a response of the quickening spark plug of God as He's got the keys to the ignition. I just feel a need to be careful as some portions of Scripture indicate that our faith glorifies God and there are some puzzling passages.

I guess there is a lot said in "My Spirit will not always strive with man."

A.W Pink had a lot right but If I took him in every matter then I would not take prayer seriously. I just disagree with Him there in the matter of prayer. I think he limits the power of prayer. In reality I believe prayer is a crucial key as Moses' intercession in some form Changed something in God's mind. And I don't think God was just speaking Hyperbole there. The book of Daniel gives me cause to see that there sleeps something there that we know not of.

Take care

Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm just being sarcastic.
Are you saying I'm not smart? I thought I was pretty clever!
Actually I did sit in the back of the class, but I didn't talk much. I just sat back there because I didn't want to be Chad.

littlegal_66 said...

You wrote: "Are you saying I'm not smart?"

Quite the contrary, clever & capable comedic comrade. (I would have typed "comedic brother," but then, that would have messed up that alliteration thing I had going on.
[A linguistic technique that, as a caped crusader, Chad might appreciate]).

How well I know that intelligence and cleverness are the catalysts for real humor (which you consistently exhibit here at the Campi-ground). ; )

P.S. Dittos, Sledge.

And BTW, doxo, keep this up, & you're going to get me in trouble with the teacher--aren't our last posts the equivalent of passing notes in class? :-) I'm gonna behave, now, because I'm getting way OT, and I don't want a big fat "zero" for my contribution to this thread.

DOGpreacher said...


On the "faith cometh by hearing..." verse, I was not talking about 'hearing the word' being causal to faith other than as an ordained means by which the graced recipient of faith is first cognizant of having received it. This shows, I believe, that regeneration precedes faith.

As far as the actual wording of that verse, I think your statement "...but that is not acurate" is open to debate.

2316/Strongs = Theos = God
5547/Strongs = Christos = Christ

But...therse is also the 'Word' to consider. Is it the rhema, or the logos, and if logos, is it Christ?
Sometimes, logos = Christ.

I am curious as to why this was an issue for you, seeing that if it was "by the word of Christ", ...Christ is God!

I submit this interpretation (?)...

"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the 'Word'(Christ) of God".

Graced Alive,

DOGpreacher said...


You have not read a lot of Pink if you think he did not take prayer seriously...or then again maybe you read one of those biographies that 'some one' wrote, and ended up writing a different one later, after he (the writer) grew (and did his homework) and came to much
different conclusions.

Jeremy Weaver said...

The Spirit goes forth in the preaching of the Gospel and by the Spirit that goes forth in that preaching we are regenerated which in turn produces faith so that we can believe.

Rose~ said...

I still have that Peter Gabriel song going through my head.

Also - your post got a lot longer and went from being something that encouraged me to something that is painful. Sorry to say that, but its true. I will be sure to comment again when I have something postive to say and hopefully the post will not change that time.

littlegal_66 said...


I'm hoping that you are referring to the discussion on regeneration, rather than my feeble attempts late in the thread to lighten the mood just a bit. I apologize if it were my posts that were painful--if so, please let me know, and I pledge to delete them promptly.

P.S. Thanks for your comments to my "My Button-Down Mind" blog.

littlegal_66 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
littlegal_66 said...


On second thought, I hope that it's not the regeneration issue that pained you. That was really a poor choice of words on my part. Actually, I feel badly that anything in the thread bothered you at all. But then, no one agrees with everything they read, anyway. Hang in there.


DOGpreacher said...

Thumbs up Doxo!

A very concise, but spot on summary.

Alive & hearing,
The DOGpreacher

J. Wendell said...

How can man be so wise about God's mind whose wisdom is above ours?

Here's a better question to ponder: how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

Just a pinheaded ponderer,
brother John

Bhedr said...


10,000 LEGION. If that is the number Christ said could rescue him then that is the amount that can dance on the head of a pin:-)


I said>A.W Pink had a lot right but If I took him in every matter then I would not take prayer seriously.< I did not say he didn't take it seriously. He may have been a great man of prayer however my concern is that his conclusions found in The Soveriegnty of God on pages 165-178 give me concern that this powerful tool given to us by God will be undersold.
Remember Job's three friends were not rebuked for speaking untruths about Job but for not speaking about Him(YHVH Himself) correctly. I guess in one sense we all have the tendancey to think we all have it figured out.
Brother I really appreciate your boldness and pray you will always keep your edge but that God will reveal some things to you. In one sense though brother I have not much room to talk as I am learning everyday.

DOGpreacher said...

Respectfully, Pink's chapter concerning the "sovereignty of God in prayer" is one of the finest pieces ever written concerning the 'nature' of prayer. Granted, Pink was not a Spurgeon, nor a Barnhouse. These were wordsmiths who make our hearts soar when we read them. Pink's writings on the 'nature' of prayer, was in the context of the sovereignty of God, and he nailed it. Plain and simple, IF your (or anybodys) prayer CHANGES things, God IS NOT sovereign. Prayer is a blessed means which God has ordained to bring about His sovereign decrees. It is much the same as preaching in that regard.

Let's face it, it is human pride that recoils at the FACT that our prayers do not send God scrambling for plan B...C...D...etc.

When our prayers are "...thy will be done, Lord" they will be answered (that' what scripture say's), and, in just the manner PLAN A was decreed.

Let's be grateful that he allows us to participate in all of this by moving us to pray, thus glorifying Him.

Bhedr said...

"Do not fear Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words." Daniel 10:12
I understand your heart but
Brother its not that I am proud, I just am inhibited by what Scripture says on prayer and find it to contradict what Pink says. Ye have not because Ye ask not. Utilize this amazing tool that God Himself encourages you to explore. I don't pretend to understand it.

Sola Scriptura

Jeremy Weaver said...

Let's go catch a Vols game one weekend. I still like them even though they are apostate!
BTW, I'm buying.

DOGpreacher said...

respectfully Bhedr,

Their are different manners of speech in the Bible (especially where God is speaking), only to be rightfully interpreted by proper use of Hermeneutics.

Example:(1)God says He is spirit.
(2)God says He has arms/legs.

Which is true? both...IF ONE of these statements is in a different form (manner) of speech.

Letterism = Forcing a literal
interpretation on a
text where it should
not be used (and THAT
dictated by the

The verse (Daniel 10:12) you gave actually is proof of what A.W. Pink was saying. God tells him that from 'the moment' he set himself (did he set himself, or did God set him?) to understand / humble himself...THEN did God hear him. When God turns our hearts towards Him, and SETS us to understand, and HUMBLES us...THEN He hears our words (for they are then in HIS WILL).

This passage shows that God comes because of Daniels words (prayer), yes, and this validates what Pink wrote. God ordained the means (Daniel's prayer) by which He would 'come', and then turned Daniel's heart to Himself for understanding/humility to bring about the prayer.

Daniels prayer didn't change God's plan / intentions. Daniels prayer was the fore-ordained means by which God would do what He was going to do already. This is another GRACE that God allows us...to be a part of His plan...NOT in any way to reconstruct it.

Bhedr said...


Thank you for your good comments and profound truths. It may seem strange to you that I do not deny what you say, only I leave it as a mystery as I don't wish to contend with Scripture. I am inhibited by what the Word of God says. This matter of prayer is used very little. God presses men to pray. He also marvels when He is sought after. I just don't understand it all. At one time I thought I did though. Who can know the mind of God? We have to be careful. That is all I am saying. Prayer is near and dear to the Heart of God.

CanTheseBonesLive said...

Dear Steve,
I haven't thought about you in years. But I was looking for good chrisian music and could not think of anyone I really wanted to listen to. Your name popped into my mind so I decided to do a search. I found some of your old music that I remember listening to and was reminded of how thr Lord used you in thought provoking and challenging the issues of my heart. The sad part of it is this generation of music and musicians do not challenge the heart to bring about change. Worship does not become a place to meet with god as our hearts become open to Him, but instead a feel good for me place. I am what is considered charismatic and a minister of the gospel. we teach classes focusing at present, what I call the gift of repentance, overcomming offense, and freedom from un-godly sin patterns. Which is anything apart from God's unfailing love displayed in and through us. I believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and His conviction of our sin. I also understand we can resist the spirit of grace bent on rebellion and disobedience. Even when we are unfaithful He remains faithful. We need musicians that will not cater to the masses, but sing strong messages that challenge the heart of this nation once again. Have you looked at the alarming numbers of patsors and leaders falling into moral failure?
The condition of the church has seemed migrate from "Living in Laodicea" to "Asleep in Bed with Thyatira".