Friday, February 24, 2006

Doctrinal Statement for Humanity, Sin, and Salvation

The Assignment: "Utilizing no outside resources other than your own convictions backed by the Biblical text, formulate a Doctrinal Statement for the Doctrines of Humanity, Sin, and Salvation. Each statement must be supported by one or more Biblical reference. Do not consult any other Doctrinal Statement, confession, or theological resource (e.g. books, pamphlets, articles, sermons, etc). The Bible is to be your only resource."

This assignment was given as part of a Theology course (THEO 2231) at Southeastern Bible College, Spring 2006. My response was what follows…

Doctrinal Statement of the Doctrines of Humanity, Sin, and Salvation
By KC Armstrong

I. Doctrine of Humanity
In the beginning, when God created the Heavens and the Earth, He also created man (Gen 1:27). God formed man out of the dust of the ground and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen 2:7). Man was not created as an act of natural means or by any accident that transpired over time but was created in the image of God and is the only part of God’s creation that bears His image (Gen 1:27). As a result of being Created directly by God, not by a chance process, and bearing the image of God, man is granted an individual sense of identity and is not to be viewed as a machine (insignificant and easily dispensable), simply an another animal species (for man is higher than all other species), or as a pawn in the universe (as God is intricately involved in the details of man’s life) (Gen 1:27-28; Ex 20:13; Ps 139:3-15; Eph 2:10). God, IN His wisdom, decided that it was “not good for the man to be alone” (Gen 2:18), therefore He made a suitable helper for the man. Woman was formed by God out of the rib of the man and the two were given dominion over the earth, to subdue it, and to rule over it (Gen 1:28). Thus, God’s ordination of and blessing upon the union of marriage was declared good when exercised under the authority of God between one man and one woman committed for life (Gen 2:24). Scripture address the varying parts of the man (heart, soul, mind, body) however one is not to be stressed over the other. As sin affects the entire being and salvation accomplishes redemption of the entire being, it is to be understood that the constitutional nature of man has varying parts but one whole. Therefore, all parts are moving in one direction at all times whether in word, or deed, or thought (Gen 34:8; Lev 26:15; Deut 6:5; 1 Sam 1:15; 1 Kin 8:48; Mat 10:28; Mat 22:37)

II. Doctrine of Sin
As a result of Adam’s sin, a sin nature has been transferred from every descendant from him to include all men and therefore all men after Adam were created with a nature inclined towards sin and as a further result there is no man who is without sin (Gen 8:21; 1 Kin 8:46; Ps 130:3; Pr 20:9; Eccl 7:20; Rom 3:23; Rom 5:12-17). In man’s sinful state, the totality of his being is corrupt and therefore he engages in deeds that are hostile towards God and is considered to be an enemy of God (Rom 5:8; Eph 2:3; Col 1:21). As a result of his being total depraved, man is enslaved to his own sinful desires and unable to free himself from such desires, he will deny responsibility for his own sin, he will deceive himself of the existence of his own sin, he will find himself unable to sense the presence of sin in his life, he will become increasingly concerned about his own needs, and will never be satisfied by the sin that he wants (Gen 3:12; Jer 17:9; Ex 7:3; Zec 7:12; Rom 6:17; Heb 11:25; Jam 1:15 1 Joh 1:8; ).

The result of man’s sin affects his relationships with other humans by causing competition among them, being overly concerned with his own desires and thus unable to see things from the perspective of his fellow man, he will reject authority in his life – especially the authority of God, and sin will produce actions that are only sought for his own satisfaction with no regards for others (Ex 32:31; 1 Sam 15:23, Mat 18:6; Ph 2:3-5; Jam 4:1-2; 17)

The results of sin are also evident in man’s relationship with God. Sin results in divine disfavor, guilt before a holy God as we have transgressed His law, accountable for punishment, and justifiably able to receive the penalty of death; physically, spiritually, and eternally (Gen Deut 4:25; 9:27; Josh 23:16; Ps 78:59; Rom 3:23; 6:23; Eph 2:1, 5; Col 2:13; 2 Pet 2:14; 1 Joh 5:16).

III. Doctrine of Salvation
As a result of man’s sinful nature and his inability to free himself from the bondage of sin, and God in His justice must punish sin, man is in need of salvation. (Rom 3:23). Before the foundations of the world were established, God chose some to be conformed to the likeness of Christ and to those alone He has rendered it certain that they will experience His salvation (Ps 139:3, 13-15; Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:4; Col 3:12; 1 Pet 1:1-2). Salvation from beginning to end is an act of God’s grace, that is, man presents no quality that is worthy of redemption and it is only through the grace of God that man may experience salvation, not by man’s works. Not all men will be saved, and it will be only those whom He has chosen, but no chosen man will deny the effectual calling of God (Joh 6:44; Eph 2:8; 1 Pet 1:3).

Salvation is instantaneous and a process at the same time. In its initial state, the unbelieving, sinful man has his sin revealed to him, causing him to repent of his sin, to acknowledge Christ as Lord, and to place his faith in Christ, not trusting in his own works, but he does not do so as a result of his own mind, but only in response to the grace of God. This is regeneration and, at this time, the man is then adopted, or placed, directly into the family of God and his salvation is eternally secure at this moment as he receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come (Is 55:1; Ez 11:19-20; Jer 24:7; Dan 9:18; Joh 1:13; 3:3-21; 6:44; Eph 2:4-8; Col 1:22; 2 Tim 1:9-10; Tit 3:5-7; Heb 1:3; 1 Pet 1:2-3, 23; 1 John 3:2). As a result of this regeneration, the man is now a new creation, with a new nature, and is therefore justified, or declared not guilty before the Father because of the work of Christ on the cross (Ps 103:8-12; 118:14; Is 1:18; 53:3-7; 2 Cor 5:17, Tit 3:5). Sanctification is the next step in salvation and is the period of time where the new believer is in a continual relationship with Christ and is being conformed to His image (Rom 6:19-22; 8:28-30; 1 Pet 1:2-3). All true believers, those whom God has chosen, will persevere in their faith until the end times and beyond. None have the capacity to fall away and Christ can not deny Himself by casting them off. Therefore, salvation is eternally secure (Joh 17:6, 9-10, Eph 1:13-14; Col 1:13-14; 1 Th 4:13-17; 2 Tim 2:11-13; Heb 6:4-6; 1 Pet 1:3-5). There will be a time for all those who have been chosen that they will be brought up into Heaven to take up eternal residence with Christ. At this point, they will receive glorified bodies that are no longer tainted with a sinful nature and will have the opportunity to worship Christ fully for all of eternity. (John 6:44; 1 Cor 15; Col 2:12; 1 Th 4:13-17; Rev 11:12)

As man is totally depraved while in his sin nature, that is, unable to remove himself from his position, God as an act of His grace provided the means for His wrath to be satisfied and for his justice to be given (Rom 1:18; 2 Cor 5:21). This means is not through the work of men but by the death of Christ on the cross (Eph 2:8-9). His death was sacrificial in that He was without sin and therefore the only candidate capable of presenting Himself as a spotless lamb in line with the Old Testament system of sacrifices (Ex 29:36; Lev 1:3, 3:1, 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 9:6-15, 10:5-18). In His death, He became the propitiation and substitution for sin in that, He first fulfilled the whole law and then He became sin for man so that the wrath of God could be poured out upon Him and satisfied by such pouring out although He Himself knew no sin (Is 53:5-6, 12; Mat 27:46; Joh 1:29; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13; 4:3-4; 1 Pet 2:24). In His death, He accomplished the ministry of reconciliation in that He has now provided a link between God the Father and sinful man. Without this reconciliation all men would remain alienated from God unable to approach Him by their own means (Ex 33:20-23; Lev 16:17; Mat 27:51; Rom 3:23-25, 5:11; 2 Cor 5:18-19; Col 1:20; 1 Tim 6:16; Heb 10:14).

For a Better Formulated Doctrinal Statement See "Baptist Faith & Message, 2000" Here


It was the Java said...


It was the Java said...