I was asked by a church I have applied at for a youth minister position to give them a statement of faith. So, I’ve decided to share that here for your enjoyment and discussion.
Personal Statement of Faith
As a preface, my general statement of belief is in line with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Baptist Faith and Message (BFM), although I differ slightly in some matters. As a result, I have felt compelled to both quote directly from the faith statement found at http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/basicbeliefs.asp as well as make my own statements. Any quotes from the BFM are in italics to aid in differentiating between the two.
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s written revelation of Himself to man. For the Christian, the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice and should act as a guiding rule especially when God appears to be silent. The Scriptures, though, are not the only manner in which God has revealed Himself. God can also be found, although incompletely, through what is known as General Revelation. God has revealed to humankind His existence through the created order, other people, and at times even through statements made by adherents of other religions. All truth belongs to God and is intended to point us to God, but the Bible is the culmination of this truth for it completes God’s general revelation by showing in a specific manner what god is to be worshiped and in what manner He desires this worship to be done.
There is one and only one living and true God, but He has chosen to reveal Himself in a Trinitarian manner. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is personally involved in the smallest details of His creation, although it is a mystery as to how He is able to do so and still hold people responsible for their sins.
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. As important as His death was, though, He also came to live and show us what God is like. We are to seek in all that we do to emulate the life of Jesus; to live as though Jesus were living our lives every day. We must also never forget the resurrection for, without it, death could not have been overcome and the final redemption of all of creation could not be fully realized.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Man is the special creation of God, in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the world. As a result, all of creation is in constant turmoil. Because humanity is responsible for the original fall of creation, he is therefore responsible to work toward a better physical world. Creation care has been a God-given responsibility from the time of the garden, and is no less important now that sin has entered the picture. Because of sin, man is in desperate need for God’s salvation, which can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who Christ died for. It is only found in Jesus and can only be obtained by those who “declare with [their] mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in [their] heart that God raised him from the dead” (Romans 10:9). God will see to the perseverance of His followers, although we are responsible to “work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), knowing that “it is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance” (Hebrews 4:4-6a).
The Church consists of those who have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. In a local context, a church exists for the edification of believers first and foremost. Evangelism is the mission of the invisible church (Christians), but is to be clearly seen in the actions and teaching of the local congregation.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell. The righteous will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. I do not make a specific stance regarding the order of events or timing of a “rapture” or any other such matter as I believe that they are a matter of conscience. I also have not done enough study on the topic to be able to, with conviction, say anything more specific.