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If you have ever set out to define a statement of faith, you will know what I found out when trying to set mine down, it is a hard task. I have decided to state my beliefs as clearly and in as plainly as I can. I know that I have probably missed something, but I wanted to try to explain what I believe.

I believe that the Bible was written by men, but that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit and is inerrant in the original manuscripts. I also believe that God has preserved His word so that we can know what it says and what it means today. However, I do not believe that we have the original inerrant manuscripts today. By that I mean that you may find minor discrepancies in some translations. Yet as I said, I believe that we have God's word preserved for us to understand.

2 Tim. 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

I believe in the Trinity, one God, in three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), who has existed eternally. I believe that time is a creation of God, and that He exists outside of time, having no beginning and no end.

I believe that God created man just as he is and that we were created in the image of God, meaning that we too are triune beings. Having a body, a soul and a spirit.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

I believe that creation took six literal days, about 10,000 years ago.

Genesis 2:1-2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. [2] By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the God-head, and as such He has existed forever. I believe that He is the Creator. That He came to earth as a human being, setting aside many of His divine attributes to become a human being. I believe that He was born without a human father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, born to a virgin.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

I believe that He lived a sinless life, died on the cross taking the full wrath of the Father for our sins and that His work of salvation was finished on the cross. I believe that He opened the way to the Father through His death. I believe that He was resurrected on the third day, in a glorified yet physical body. I believe that upon His return to heaven and the Father, He sat down at the right hand of the Father and that He took the Old Testament Saints to be with the Father when He ascended to heaven.

I believe that when a believer dies today, that they go to be immediately with Christ Jesus. I reject the doctrine of soul sleep.

I believe that Jesus will return for His Saints and rapture those still alive when He returns and bodily resurrect those who have died, reuniting their spirits with a glorified physical body. I believe that after a seven year tribulation when God the Father pours out His wrath on those living on the earth, Jesus will return with His resurrected and raptured Saints and reign on this earth for 1,000 years.

After that 1,000 year reign, I believe that all human beings who have died will be resurrected and judged according firs as to whether their names are in the Lamb's book of life and then as to their works as recorded in God's books. If their name is not in the Lamb's book of life, I believe they will be cast into Hell, which will then be cast into the burning lake of fire.

Those whose names are in the Lamb's book of life will inhabit a new heaven and a new earth, renovated by fire. Jesus will dwell on this new earth with us for all eternity.

I believe that a believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and is enabled to live a holy life. I reject the doctrine of eternal security, meaning that once you are saved nothing can bring you back under God's judgment. I believe that we must continue in the faith that saves us and follow Jesus Christ. That if we do continue to follow Him, He will enable us to persevere, but that we never lose our free will to reject Him and go back to being unbelievers. We are as secure as we choose to be.

E-Mail Ralph

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