I. Revelation – I believe nothing more can be learned about God beyond that which He has chosen to reveal. Therefore it is necessary for God to reveal himself to us if we are to know anything about God.
A. General Revelation – General revelation is the knowledge of God’s existence, character, and moral law, which comes through creation to all humanity. General revelation reveals God to the extent that man will be held without excuse, but not enough to bring saving faith (Rom. 1:19-21).
1. Nature – God’s handiwork displayed throughout creation (Ps. 19:1-6).
2. Divine Providence – God’s direct influence of history (Dan 2:21-22; Matt. 5:45; Acts 14:15-17).
3. Human Conscience – The inner sense of God’s existence and His laws that He has placed inside each person (Rom. 1:32; 2:14-15).
B. Special Revelation – Special revelation is how God revealed Himself to mankind through inspired Scripture.
1. The Prophets – Received direct words from God in order to communicate them to the people in the Old Testament (2 Pet 1:20-21).
2. Jesus Christ – Is God and was sent to declare the Father (John 1:18; 5:36-37; 6:63; 14:10).
3. Scripture – I believe the Bible is the written Word of God which includes the inspired words of the prophets, Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Scripture is the only source of special revelation that God has given us for today. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
II. Inspiration – I believe that the words of Scripture are inspired (theopneustos: God-breathed) by God (2 Tim 3:16). I believe that the human authors of the Bible were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the Word of God without error in their own language and literary style (2 Pet. 1:20-21; 3:16 cf. Acts 1:16; Ps 69; 109).
III. Authority – I believe that the Bible constitutes our only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matt. 5:18; 24:35; John 16:12-13; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet 1:19-21 1 John 5:9). With the completion of (the book of) Revelation, “we have in written form the final [inerrant and infallible] record of everything that God wants us to know about the life, death and resurrection of Christ, and its meaning for the lives of believers for all time” (Grudem, p. 64).
A. Inerrancy – I believe that the original autographs of Scripture are without error (Ps. 12:6; 119:89, 96; John 17:17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
B. Infallibility – I believe that everything found within Scripture is true. The Bible accurately records events as they happened (science and history) and future events as they will happen.
IV. Sufficiency – I believe that Scripture presents everything that God intended His people to know at each stage of redemptive history. I believe that the Bible is sufficient for us to know about God, salvation and to be “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:15-17).
V. Canonicity – Canonization is the process whereby the 66 books of the Bible (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament) were recognized to be divinely inspired by early church leaders. I do not believe that the church has the power or authority to constitute a literary work (such as the Apocrypha) as Scripture. The early church fathers recognized divine inspiration using (at least) the following five tests:
A. Apostolic Authorship – For New Testament books, was the author an Apostle or directly influenced by an Apostle (Mark, Luke, Acts)?
B. Believers Acceptance / Testimony – Was the book universally recognized by the Jews and/or by the Christian church as being God’s Word?
C. Consistency / Agreement with Scripture – Does the book agree doctrinally with the teachings of previously revealed Scripture?
D. Divine Confirmation – Did God, through the work of Jesus, the Word, the Apostles, or signs and wonders, confirm the message of the book (Heb 2:3)?
E. Edification – Is the book useful for the building up of believers (Eph. 4:16)?
VI. Interpretation – “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself…(LBCF: 1-9)” I believe in applying a literal, grammatical-historical interpretation (hermeneutic) of Scripture. I believe that whereas there may be many applications to a passage of Scripture, there is only one true interpretation. (1 Pet. 1:20)
VII. Illumination – I believe that the Holy Spirit supernaturally enables believers to understand the Scriptures. I believe that unbelievers can only possess a superficial knowledge of Scripture due to their dead spiritual condition (John 16:13,14; Rom.1:18-19, 21b-23; 1 Cor. 2:10-12; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 John 2:20;27). “…our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.” (LBCF: 1-5)