“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

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Patriot Sheepdog's Statement of Faith

(The following Statement of Faith is Biblically sound, very orthodox, and yet fair enough to allow differences of opinion on debatable issues yet still retain orthodoxy.)

I hear a lot of discussion about essentials and non-essentials of Christianity.
Non-essentials would include topics such as the speaking in tongues, millennium, the rapture in relation to the great tribulation, woman's role in the church, etc.  These are issues that should be debated over, but not divided over, and in my opinion, these do not exclude one from being a Christian.
Essentials of Christianity refer to the basic elements that make up and characterize the true Christian faith, and which, of course, separate it from other beliefs. Here are the essentials of my faith, with a deeper look at my statement of faith below:

  • First, I believe in the existence of a triune God or one God in three distinct persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This God is self-existent, eternal, unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, righteous, loving and just. God created the universe from nothing and He rules over His creation sovereignly, including both human and angelic beings (the natural and the supernatural).
  • Next I affirm the authority of Holy Scripture (66 books, excluding the Apocrypha), which is another way of saying that the Bible is God’s inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word. Despite having 40 writers, there is only one author who gave these writers the words they wrote.  It’s the ultimate source for knowledge about God, the future of mankind as well as the definitive guide for our daily lives.
  • I also hold that man is a physical and spiritual being (having a soul) who is created in God’s image. But because of his sin or transgression, man has lost his fellowship with God. The extent of sin is so great that its effects continue to this very day in the form of cruelty, suffering, lust, greed, and death.
  • By God’s grace, Jesus Christ, Who is fully God and fully man, was sent to save us from our bondage to sin and to be our sacrifice and only chance of restoring communion with God.  Jesus now, is the one who is our advocate of justification to God, The Father. I believe that Christ was born of a virgin, died for our sins, physically rose from the dead three days after his death, and will one day return to judge the world and deliver His people. Acceptance of this free gift of grace and justification, through faith alone in Christ alone, is the only means by which mankind can escape eternal damnation, judgment and separation from God.
  • Finally, I recognize the church as God’s ordained institution, headed by Christ. The church is comprised of all true Christians, and is organized for worship, for fellowship, for edification, for spiritual growth and support, and for evangelizing the world.  That is why I reject religion and denominational affiliation, as it was with the first, true Christian church (Acts 2:41-47).  Actually, I believe religion and Christianity are polar opposites, in that religion represents mans' attempts to reach God through good deeds, a checklist of rules and belief that man could ever merit God, and Christianity represents God's attempts to reach man through his totally free gift of love, grace, justification, salvation and mercy.  And as with all things man-driven, greed of money and power seeps in, because ALL MEN are born with a sinful nature; corruption is inevitable.  In fact, it was the "leadership of the religious" who crucified Jesus.  Can you show a bigger example of opposites?  Jesus said, "Follow Me...," NOT "Follow My followers."

Take a closer look at my statement of faith below 
(with biblical citations/explanation links):

The Holy Bible (66 books, excluding the Apocrypha)

(Sola Scriptura)
The Bible is the Word of God, and that its original manuscripts are free from errors and contradictions. The books of the Bible were written by men and women(40) who were inspired by God for the content of their writings. It is the one and only infallible, authoritative, and trustworthy rule for faith and life. 
(2 Peter 1:212 Timothy 3:16). I reject the Roman Catholic Apocrypha as inspired scripture and part of the canon of scripture. The Bible is eternal (Matthew 24:35) and pure (Proverbs 30:5-6Psalms 12:6). *The Bible is to be taken as literally as possible except where obviously figurative. 

*For example: Genesis is literal, in that Adam and Eve were actual people (Genesis 2:4-25), whereas, the communion elements aren't actually the body and blood of Christ, rather a symbol thereof for our remembrance(Matthew 26:26-29).

Creation and Evolution
God created the universe (physical and spiritual) and all that is in it by his creative effort. God brought the universe into existence by the exertion of His will. Within Christianity there is room for the interpretation of the six creation days (Genesis 1:1-31) to be literal seven 24 hour periods but also longer periods. Nevertheless, Adam and Eve were real people, created by God just as the Bible says. I do not affirm macro evolution (the formation of life on earth from a single cell that evolved via natural selection over millions of years into the species all over the earth) or theistic evolution (that God guided macro evolution to bring humanity into existence). I deny them both. However, micro evolution, the modification of existing species with existing genetic information that allows species to adapt to environments, is within the realm of Christian orthodoxy. However, we did not evolve from other species into our present condition. God did not guide evolution of species by which humanity, the animal kingdom, or the plant kingdom was developed. The General theory of evolution is unscriptural and counter-factual.

God is the only Supreme Being with no gods created before or after Him in all of existence, in all places and in all time (Isaiah 43:10Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 44:81 Timothy 1:17). He has always been God and was, never anything else (Psalm 90:2). He is Holy (Revelation 4:8), Eternal (Isaiah 57:15), 
Omnipotent (Jeremiah 32:17Jeremiah 32:27), Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7), Omniscient (1 John 3:20). 
He is Love (1 John 4:81 John 4:16); Light (1 John 1:5); Spirit (John 4:24); Truth (Psalm 117:2); Creator (Isaiah 40:12,22,26). He is to be worshiped (Genesis 24:26Exodus 4:312 Chronicles 29:28;
1 Corinthians 14:25Revelation 7:11). He is to be served (Matthew 4:101 Corinthians 6:19;
1 Thessalonians 1:9Hebrews 9:14). He is to be proclaimed (Matthew 28:19Acts 1:8)
He is to be loved (Matthew 22:37Deuteronomy 6:5).

The Trinity
There is only one God, in whom are three eternal, distinct, simultaneous persons of God: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. All three are the one God, coeternal and coequal, yet there is only one God, not three gods, and not one person who took three modes, offices, or forms. 
(1 John 5:7Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 44:8Isaiah 45:5; Genesis 1:26-27Genesis 3:22; Matthew 3:13-17;
Matthew 28:19Luke 9:351 John 2:22). 

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Word (God) who became a man (John 1:1-3,14). He added human nature to His divine nature. He is both human and divine, and, therefore, has two natures. Yet, He is one person, not two. He is not part God and part man. He is presently a man, one person, with two natures where one nature is wholly God and the other wholly man. While He was on earth, he was 100% God and 100% man 
(Micah 5:2Philippians 2:5-11Colossians 2:91 Timothy 3:16Hebrews 1:5-13John 1:1-3, 14). 
Jesus will eternally remain as a man and God, and intercedes for us to God the Father eternally, as a high priest after the order of Melchezedek (Genesis 14:17-24Hebrews 6:20Hebrews 7:25).

Jesus' Virgin Birth
Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 7:14Matthew 1:18) and born of the virgin Mary, (Luke 1:42). Mary ceased to be a virgin after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:25).

Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus Christ rose from the dead in the same body He died in after being in the grave for three days. He was raised in a glorified, physical body (still retaining his crucifixion wounds: John 20:24-29). 
He ascended bodily into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and rules heaven and earth. 
(John 2:191 Corinthians 15:1-58; Luke 24:39). Likewise, we Christians will be raised bodily from the dead and spend eternity with God.

Substitutionary Atonement
God the Father so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Word 
(John 1:1,14), became man, bore our sins in His body on the cross (John 20:251 Peter 2:24Philippians 2:8), and died in our place, suffering the consequences of breaking the Law
(1 John 3:4), which is physical death (Romans 6:23) and spiritual death (Isaiah 59:2), that was due to us
(Isaiah 53:4-6). Although Jesus Christ suffered the consequences of breaking the Law, it is important to note that he did not break the Law, He fulfilled it.  Jesus Christ never sinned. If He had broken the Law (sinned), He would not have been an acceptable to take the punishment of sin in our place because he would have owed that debt himself.  Jesus Christ was 100% God and 100% man, yet He did not sin.  However, He became sin on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21). His sacrifice was a legal substitution for us (1 John 2:2John 19:301 Peter 2:24). It was legal since sin is breaking God's Law (1 John 3:4) and substitutionary since Christ took our punishment (Isaiah 53:4-6) and tasted death for everyone
(Hebrews 2:9Acts 2:31Ephesians 4:8-10). As a result, God's justice was satisfied, Christian believers are justified and released from eternal punishment of our sin (1 Peter 3:18-20Matthew 1:21;
Matthew 25:46; Romans 5:1-211 John 2:2), and their debt has been cancelled by the substitutionary atonement by Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:14).

Divine Election/Calling
God elects/calls people to salvation (2 Thessalonians 2:13Ephesians 1:4-5Romans 9:16John 6:44).

Free Will
Free will is the ability of a conscious being to be able to make choices that are not coerced.  All people possess free will and exercise it according to the conditions revealed about it per the scriptures 
(1 Corinthians 2:14Romans 6:14-20).  Free will choices require the ability to be aware of a choice to be made.  Free will does not necessitate the option of choosing between good and bad; otherwise, God would not be free since he cannot choose to sin.  God gave us free will because he wants our choice of Him to come from us, not divine coercion. He loves us, and in return He wants a genuine (not forced) love from us, but the choice is ours.

Man's Condition
Man is fallen, corrupt, and wicked by nature and because of the sin of the first man, Adam 
(Romans 5:12-21Jeremiah 17:9Psalm 51:5). Man believes in God by God's grace only through faith (John 6:28-29John 15:5Philippians 1:29). Man is unable to come close to God through his own efforts (John 6:44Romans 3:10-12), nor is he born again of his own will (John 1:13), nor can he understand the spiritual things of God on his own (1 Corinthians 2:14Romans 8:7), nor can he earn salvation by his attempt at good works (Ephesians 2:8-9Romans 4:1-6Romans 11:6), nor once saved does he maintain his salvation by his works (Galatians 2:21Galatians 3:1-3). Eternal punishment in hell and separation from the blessed presence of God are the consequences of the unregenerate person's sinfulness who has not trusted in the redemptive sacrificial work of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:1-3Romans 6:23).

Eternal Judgment
All who are not justified by faith in Christ and the blood of Christ will face eternal, conscious, and agonizing judgment away from the presence of God. (Matthew 8:12Luke 16:19-31;
Revelation 20:14-15Revelation 21:8)

Justification by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Jesus Christ Alone 

(Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus)
Justification is being declared legally righteous by God, through, because of our faith, in spite of our sin. This justification is received by faith alone without any ceremony(i.e. baptism) (Romans 4:1-6), in the work of Christ fulfilling the Law in his earthly ministry (Colossians 2:141 Timothy 1:15Mark 2:17;Luke 19:10Matthew 20:28John 18:37John 10:10), and his removing of sin by his sacrifice. Justification is a gift from God (Romans 3:24Ephesians 2:8-9) and is received apart from the works of the Law or any other good works on our part (Romans 3:28Galatians 2:21).  Good works are a result of our salvation and faith, not in pursuit and maintenance thereof (James 2:14-26).

Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner for his/her sin 
(Romans 3:23Romans 6:23). Salvation is obtained by grace alone, through faith alone, in the work of Christ alone, by His death on the cross in our place, (John 3:16-18) and not by good works on our part (Titus 3:5-7Romans 3:20Ephesians 2:8-9Galatians 2:21).
We are called for salvation by God (2 Thessalonians 2:13).  

Eternal Security
(John 10:27-28). The question is NOT "Can I lose my salvation?" Rather the question is, "Can God lose one of His children (a Christian)?" Christ has done all that is needed for our salvation and he says that those who have eternal life will never perish (John 10:28Romans 6:10Galatians 2:21). Eternal security does not mean that we have a license to sin (Romans 6:1-2Romans 5:21Romans 3:8;Romans 6:151 John 2:4-6) and those who say it is a license to sin, do not understand eternal security and how God's ability to regenerate the sinner and turn his heart to repentance (2 Timothy 2:25). I oppose the position that a person can lose their salvation, short of renouncing Christ, which would include receiving the mark of the beast as in Revelation 13:16-18, and Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit as in 
Mark 3:20-30I also oppose the position that a person's security before God is maintained through his good works since this would be works of righteousness which we have done.  Rather I believe we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone and NOT by our works. 
(Romans 11:6Titus 3:5-7Ephesians 2:8-9)

Regeneration is the work of God that occurs with our faith through the Holy Spirit
(Titus 3:5-7Ezekiel 36:26John 3:5). This regeneration means the person is made a new creation
(2 Corinthians 5:17) and is then able to resist his sin and seek to increase in sanctification before the Lord. Those thus regenerated do not seek to abide in sin, though they do fall into it occasionally because of their sinful nature, but they are able to war against it and resist it (James 4:7Ephesians 6:10-20), and repent of their sin before the Lord as the prompting of the the Holy Spirit convicts them
(John 16:3John 16:8Ezra 9:61 John 1:9).

Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire, and increases our ability to repent from sin - by God's grace, (1 Thessalonians 4:7;
Ephesians 2:101 Timothy 4:41 Peter 3:152 Timothy 2:25). This process continues all of the Christian's life and is the result of salvation, not a cause of it, nor a contributing factor to it. Furthermore, the effort of sanctification does not maintain the believer's salvation, but is achieved when the Christian walks closely to God through prayer, reading the Bible, and fellowship with other Christians.

Baptism is an important act of obedience for a Christian and signifies a person's public discipleship and identification with Christ; an outward expression of an inward identity. Baptism is not necessary for salvation. Again, it is an outward manifestation of an inward reality of trust in the sacrifice for Christ, of conversion, and of public discipleship and identification with Jesus Christ; It is a public testimony of your identification as a follower of Jesus Christ. The act of water baptism does not save anyone. We are made right before God by grace alone, through faith alone, not by faith AND baptism (Romans 3:28-30;Romans 4:3Romans 4:5Romans 5:1; Romans 11:6Galatians 2:16Galatians 2:21; Titus 3:5-7;Philippians 3:9; Acts 10:44-48).

Christian Living

(Soli Deo Gloria)
Where possible, Christians are to live in peace with love towards all men, suffering wrongs, false accusations, and misrepresentations with charity(Romans 12:9-211 Corinthians 13:1-13). However, Christians are free to defend themselves (Luke 22:36Exodus 22:2-3) and promote the truth of Christianity by correcting false teachings and refuting error (2 Timothy 2:251 Peter 3:15). They are free to use the political system and its laws in order to promote a more Godly and moral society. (Proverbs 14:34) Christians are to live in the world as examples of Godliness and reflections of Jesus Christ, and are not to participate in the sinful passions of the world. (Psalms 1:1-6Matthew 5:1-7:29)

Kingdom Work/Spiritual Gifts
Part of being a Christian means to participate in expanding the Kingdom of God. Every Christian is to work for this end according to the gifts given him or her by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1-31;
Matthew 28:16-20Romans 12:1-21). Not all are pastors, or evangelists, or teachers, but each Christian is expected to do his or her part to promote the gospel whether it be by prayer and/or tithing, and/or teaching, and/or bearing and training children, and/or evangelism, teaching, tongues, interpretation thereof, prophecy, etc.

Evangelism means that we must teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, in every nation 
(Matthew 28:16-20). Also, we are to refute false doctrines, false religions, and whatever else might contradict the word of God but we are to do this without insult (1 Peter 3:15) if per chance God would grant them repentance (2 Timothy 2:25).

Homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, trans-genderism, lying, bearing false witness, adultery, wife-swapping, pornography, fornication, coveting, abortion, same-sex marriage, etc., are all sinful practices, against scriptural revelation, and are contrary to proper living and are not acceptable to the me as normal or approved behaviors. (Proverbs 6:16-19Leviticus 18:22-23
Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-28Deuteronomy 18:121 Corinthians 6:9-10) Still, I do not hate or persecute those who practice these things but pray for their deliverance and salvation and expose their sins in love and call them to repentance. (Jude 1:23Ephesians 4:151 Timothy 5:20)

Marriage is a gift and commandment from God, not an invention of man (Genesis 1:28Proverbs 18:22).  Marriage is between one man and one woman, under God. A Godly marriage is the highest, divinely sanctioned relationship on earth. 
(Genesis 2:22-24Proverbs 18:22Matthew 19:4-6Ephesians 5:22-32)

The True Christian Church
God calls Christians to fellowship together in His church, where the Word of God is preached, where baptism and the Lord's Supper (communion) are administered, where believers are discipled and disciplined, and where believers serve to build up one another (Matthew 16:18). The gathering of Christians, locally in church, is NOT to be viewed as an end result, but rather a "huddle," seeing evangelism as the "game."  The True Christian church consists of all true believers wherever they might be, throughout the world.  That is why I reject religion and denominational affiliation that is elevated (in any way) above the Word of God.  There were not denominations with the first, true Christian church (Acts 2:41-47).  "Religion," it seems, is an overly-used word and is often misused, much as describing the American form of government as a democracy, when it is actually a representative, constitutional republic (there is a huge difference between these two). 
Actually, I believe religion and Christianity are polar opposites, in that religion represents mans' attempts to reach God through good deeds through a checklist of rules (despite good intentions), and Christianity represents God's attempts to reach man, where ever he is, through His totally free gift of love, grace, justification, salvation and mercy.  As with all things man-driven, greed of money and power seeps in, because ALL MEN are born with a sinful nature (Isaiah 17:9Psalms 51:5); corruption is inevitable.  In fact, it was "religious leadership" who crucified Jesus (John 11:45-57).  Can you show a bigger example of opposites?  Those who align with you usually are not the same who kill you.  
Jesus said, "Follow Me...," NOT "Follow My followers." (Mark 8:34-38)

Church Officers
God calls qualified Christians to be ordained and to serve Jesus Christ in special leadership capacities, i.e. Elders, Deacons, Ministers of the Word, and Evangelists (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). Women are not to be pastors nor elders and are not to hold positions of authority in the Christian Church where that authority is exercised over men (this does not refer to womens' role in government, nor does this include women preaching). (1 Timothy 3:21 Timothy 2:11-15; 1 Timothy 3:11-13Titus 1:5-9).
The office(s) of pastor and elder is limited to qualified men only who are called by God, recognized by the body, and who meet the biblical standard of eldership (Titus 1:5-9). 

Any doctrine that deviates from the historical, orthodox, and biblical position of the Christian Church. There are heresies that are damnable (denying the deity of Christ, denying Christ's physical resurrection, denying justification by grace through faith, etc.). There are heresies that are not damnable. There are also teachings within Christianity that are debatable whereas differences of opinion are not heresy (eating or not eating meat, worship on Saturday or Sunday, the Sabbath etc.) 
(1 Peter 2:1Romans 14:1-12Matthew 7:15Matthew 24:24). 

The Spiritual Realm
There is a spiritual realm of angels and demons. Angels serve God and carry out his will. Demons serve Satan and are fallen angels (2 Peter 2:4Jude 1:6Ephesians 6:10-20) who war against God, and who will ultimately face eternal punishment (Matthew 25:412 Peter 2:4). Since at the point of Salvation, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, Christians cannot be demon possessed.  Although because of our sinful nature, Christians are susceptible to sin and temptation, we are able to fight and resist the Devil and achieve victory over Satan and his demons through the Holy Spirit (James 4:7). Satan and the demons were created by God, therefore they are weaker and subservient to God's will.

The Rapture
The event where those who have died in Christ and those Christians who are then alive will be physically caught up to the clouds and meet the Lord in the air. We will then forever be with the Lord 
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). I consider pre-tribulation rapture and mid-tribulation rapture to be within the reasonable scope of Christian orthodoxy.

The Second Coming
Jesus Christ will bodily and visibly return from heaven to earth with great glory and majesty. 
(2 Peter 3:10Hebrews 9:28John 14:3Revelation 1:7Matthew 24:44Revelation 19:11-16)

The Millennium
A period of 1000 years (literal or figurative) after the Great Tribulation, which Jesus Christ will rule Heaven and Earth.  It is interesting that the millennium - the 1,000 year reign of Christ - is mentioned in only one place in Scripture and yet tends to be the defining point in end-times beliefs. There are pre-millennialists who believe Christ returns before the millennium begins. Included in this is the popular but recent belief of dispensationalism. Then there are amillennialists who do not believe there is a specific 1,000 year reign. Finally, the post-millennialists, who believe the millennium began at the resurrection of Christ. Pre-millennialists take the millennium as a literal 1,000 year period. Amillennialists and post-millennialists take it as a figurative number.  My position is that amillennialism, premillennialism, and post millennialism are within the scope of Christian orthodoxy. I reject full preterism, the teaching that Jesus returned in 70 A.D., but affirm that partial preterism is within orthodoxy. 
(Revelation 20:1-15Revelation 21:1-27)




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