I agree with the majority of the following catechisms and confessions:
I love how the Westminster Shorter Catechism begins:
I fully affirm the following creeds:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell. [See Calvin]
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.
- God:God is the one true, living, holy & infinitely perfect Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. Perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three persons: the Father (God), the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. These three are coequal, consubstantial, equally deserving of worship and obedience, and are one God. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
(Genesis 1:1, 26-27, 3:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 45:5-7; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; 1 Timothy 1:17; John 1:1,2, 4:24, 5:18, 10:30; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
- Jesus Christ:Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is coequal with the Father. He added humanity to His deity, becoming the God-man, emptying Himself in becoming a man without divesting Himself of any of His Divinity. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary. He lived without sin and offered Himself as the once for all perfect sacrifice for the sins (disobedience) of humanity by dying on a cross. Jesus Christ accomplished redemption for believing sinners through the shedding of His blood and His sacrificial, voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive death. He arose bodily in three days and ascended into heaven, at the Father’s right hand, where He presently mediates as our Advocate and High Priest, to demonstrate His power over sin and death. One day He will return to raise the dead, judge the world, make all things new, and gather His bride (the Church – the elect) to live with them for eternity.
(Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Luke 1:27, 31:35; John 1:1-5, 3:16, 10:15, 14:10-30; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:9-11, 2:30-31; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Philippians 2:5-8; Romans 1:3-4, 3:24-25, 5:8-10, 8:34; Ephesians 5:2; Matthew 1:22-23, 28:5-9; Luke 24:4-7 & 38-39; Hebrews 4:14-15, 7:25; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:1-2)
- Holy Spirit:The Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father (God) and the Son (Jesus Christ) as God. He is present everywhere and makes humanity aware of their sin and need for Jesus Christ. He gives spiritual life to the sinner who repents of his sin as he is enabled by the Holy Spirit to respond in faith to the divine provision of salvation. At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling them and empowering them to understand and live out the truths of the Bible. While the Holy Spirit is present in the believer from salvation onward, the process of maturing as a Christian involves turning more and more of “self” over to the control of the Holy Spirit, (the process of sanctification). He sanctifies, instructs, illuminates, guides, and equips believers for Christ-like living and service. The Holy Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 8:7-9; Galatians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 5:1 & 18, 1:13; Acts 1:8; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Galatians 5:25; 1 Corinthians 2:12; Titus 3:5)
- Man: Man is made in the image of God. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although God designed man to have fellowship with him, man became alienated from God through disobedience. Adam was created by God in His image, free of sin. Adam was tempted and committed the sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God. Because of Adam’s sin, man lost his innocence; inherited original sin; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and totally incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. As a result, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and choose to sin against God. Man is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through his own efforts. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
(Genesis 1:27, Psalm 8:3-6, Isaiah 53:6a, Romans 3:23, Colossians 1:21, Isaiah 59:1-2; Genesis 6:5; Romans 5:12, 3:23; Galatians 2:16; John 7:17; Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:1-19; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-12, 23; 5:12; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3)
- Salvation:Salvation is a gracious, unmerited, free gift from God to humanity. Humanity can never be good enough by trying harder, doing good deeds, or through self-improvement to make up for their sin (disobedience). It is only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness (accomplished only through the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross), that humanity can be saved from the penalty of sin. The moment a person receives Jesus Christ by faith alone and turns away from sin (disobedience) towards God, eternal life begins. Salvation consists of the remission of sins and imputation of Christ’s righteousness. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
(Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 5:4-5; John 1:29, 3:16,1:12, 14:6; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Titus 3:5, Galatians 3:26, Romans 5:1; Acts 4:12)
- Good Works:Humanity cannot receive God’s free gift of salvation by good works, (salvation is a free gift of grace through faith), yet those good works are still pleasing to God and show evidence of a true relationship with God. God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care and compassion for one another. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
(Matthew 5:16, 7:16-20; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16, 5:22-25; James 2:18,22)
- Bible:The sixty-six books of the Bible are the written revelation of God: God’s Word to all men. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is verbally inspired in every word by the Holy Spirit, inerrant in the original documents, and is the infallible and authoritative Word of God. It is the complete revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living.
(II Timothy 3:15-17, II Peter 1:20-21, II Timothy 1:13, Psalm 119:105,160, Psalm 12:6, Psalm 19:7-9; John 17:17; Romans 15:4; I Thessalonians 2:13; Proverbs 30:5; Revelation 22:18-19)
- Gifts of the Spirit:The Holy Spirit gives functions and ministries to all believers for the purpose of building up the body of Christ and bringing glory to God. These ministries are to be exercised in love for the edification of the saints. All believers are ministers of the gospel. The “power gifts,” (speaking in foreign tongues, interpretation of foreign tongues, prophecy, the working of sign miracles, and healing), in the first century church were temporary sign gifts and are not ordinarily carried out by individuals in the church today. These supernatural gifts were for the purpose of pointing to the person of Jesus Christ and authenticating the authority of the Apostles as revealers of divine Truth, and were not intended to be a normal/regular/ordinary characteristic in the lives of other believers. There are no more prophets or apostles. Jesus was the final Prophet and after Him, we have the Word of God in the Bible. God is sovereign and powerful and can work in any way He pleases, so rare manifestations of the “power gifts” that clearly glorify God are possible to be seen today, but would come supernaturally from the Hand of God, not from an individual claiming to have a “gift” of healing at will. The non-“power” gifts, such as pastor/elder, teacher, administration, evangelism, etc., are ministry roles in the church, which each believer is to participate in, utilizing their natural abilities and strengths. We are called to lovingly pitch in to minister to people, whether evangelizing the gospel in the world, or building up the Church and the saints.
(1 Corinthians 12:4-11,13:8-13; 18,21-15; Ephesians 4:7-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
- The Church:The Church is the body of which Christ is the head. All those redeemed by His blood and born of His Spirit are members of that body and are in mystical union and communion with Christ and fellow believers. The Church is universal and local, visible and invisible. The visible Church consists of all those professing faith in Christ. The invisible Church is composed of all those born of the Spirit. The purpose of the Church is to worship God, to edify the saints and to evangelize the world. The Head of the Church administers the affairs of His body through overseers chosen by Himself and selected by the people. A properly constituted local Church must include the ministry of God’s Word, the observance of the ordinances, the oversight by elders, and the exercise of discipline. The overseers of the Church are to be prayed for, obeyed, and honored.
(1 Corinthians 10:32; 12:12-13; Matthew 16:16-18; Colossians 1:18; John 10:27-30; Philippians 1:6).
- Ordinances of the Church:The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Baptists and many other evangelical congregations take the view called credobaptism: Baptism by immersion in water of the believer. In this view, baptism is a visible testimony to the work of regeneration and a mark of identification and union with Christ. It has no saving or cleansing power, but it is the answer of a good conscience before God; hence, it should be administered only to those who have, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, realized the forgiveness of sins and possess the assurance of acceptance with God. Historically Reformed churches who hold to Covenant Theology practice paedobaptism, which is baptizing infants and children of believers within the Church, usually by means of sprinkling, as Christ bringing them into the covenant community of believers. (I continue to study this subject.) The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the New Testament, in which, by the giving and receiving of bread and wine, according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, His death is proclaimed. Those who worthily partake in this remembrance of Him feed upon Him to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace, have their union and communion with Him confirmed, and testify and renew their thankfulness and commitment to God and their mutual love and fellowship each with the other as members of the same mystical body. The Scriptures direct that each one spiritually examine himself before partaking of the bread and the cup “until He comes.” Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances only and are not to be regarded as a means of salvation.
(Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32).
- The Lord’s Day:The first day of the week has been recognized by the Church as the Lord’s Day since apostolic times. We believe, therefore, that it ought to be observed by all believers, voluntarily and in love, as a day set apart as holy to the Lord for the corporate worship of God, remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord from the dead, and fellowship and mutual encouragement of the saints.
- Eternal Security:Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security.
(John 10:29, II Timothy 1:12, Hebrews 7:25; 10:10-14, I Peter 1:3-5)
- (I hold to an Amillennial view, but I realize that eschatology is a secondary issue, so I acknowledge that the most important elements are included, such as the bodily coming of Jesus, resurrection of the dead, judgment, and new heavens & earth.) Amillennialism sees Revelation 20 as a description of the reign of Christ with the saints throughout the entire present age. Some amillennialists emphasize the reign of Christ with the saints in heaven, while others teach that this reign is also connected with the church militant here on earth. Amillennialists tend to argue that the growth of Christ’s kingdom has few if any visible manifestations. The focus is more on the suffering that Christ has indicated the church will undergo. According to amillennialism, the present millennial age, which is characterized by suffering, will be followed by the second coming of Christ, (Jesus returning bodily to earth), the general resurrection, (raising the dead bodily), the last judgment, (where each saint will be required to give an account before the judgment seat of Christ regarding his works and conduct, and the unregenerate will be judged, condemned, and banished to eternal damnation in the lake of fire), and the new heavens and new earth, (which will be created as the final state in which the righteous shall dwell forever in the presence of God). No one but God the Father knows when it will happen. Believers should pray “maranatha” – come quickly, Lord Jesus; always have an answer for the hope they have; always spread the Gospel message with urgency; and always watch for the false teachers and antichrists that the Apostles John and Paul said would be present throughout the ages from Jesus’ resurrection.
(Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 2:16; John 3:16, I John 2:25; 5:11-13, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:15; John 14:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:12-18; James 5:7-8; Revelation 22:12,20) Here’s a good article on the eschatalogical views: reformedtheology.ca/endtimes.htmThe Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
As a Protestant of the Reformation, I affirm the Five Solas: (Click the link to learn more)
- Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
- Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
- Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.