Category Archives: Declarations of Faith

Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”
I have Holy Spirit power.
The die has been cast.
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals!

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity.
I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.
I now live by presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my mission clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I’ve preached up, prayed up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I must go until Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes.
And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colors will be clear.

-by Pastor Bob Moorehead

Declarations of Faith – Part 1

Declaration of Faith
Of Larry W. Brashear
Introduction:
Declaring one’s faith is one of the most well grounded Christian practices. Several factors have led to my choice to arrange this declaration. First, as I study the Bible, theology, and history, I have realized the value of having a confessional faith, and I have felt the need to express myself on the issues those studies addressed. Second, I have observed that an unsettling percentage of evangelical Christians in this country have a non-reflective faith; their beliefs come through preference, perception, tradition, and American culture, rather than the careful study of Scripture and deliberate catechetical training. I do not wish to be among that group. Third, this is a time and place where churches have as much danger from false and careless teaching on the inside as from the world’s attacks. New bad theology is introduced every day, and I want to know thoroughly what good theology is so that I can recognize the bad. Finally, the need for Southern Baptists to revise their own declaration of faith in 2000 has demonstrated to me that what confessions leave out or say ambiguously is as telling as what they declare outright. Thus I have set out to create an admittedly unwieldy, but fairly comprehensive statement of what I believe is the true teaching of God’s word.
Acknowledgement:
Many of the words in this declaration are not originally my own, but are drawn from Scripture, others’ confessions of faith, and the reflections of wise Christians of the past and present. But each statement expresses my own heartfelt confession of what I am convinced is the truth. In formulating these declarations, I have borrowed heavily from the Baptist Faith and Message and the Westminster Larger Catechism, and I have also quoted from Chalcedon, the Athansian Creed, and (disapprovingly) from the Council of Trent and the Rechenschaft. Some ideas and wording have their origin with individuals including Christopher Pope, Kurt Aland, Charles and T. J. Betts, Bruce Bickel, F. F. Bruce, John Calvin, D. A. Carson, Chrysostom, Mark Dever, R. M. Dudley, Jonathan Edwards, Millard Erickson, Phil Farrand, John S. and Paul D. Feinberg, Wayne Grudem, Hank Hanegraaff, Don Hustad, Stan Jantz, Martin Luther, Erwin Lutzer, John MacArthur, Adrian Rogers, D.L. Moody, Paige Patterson, Albert R. Mohler, Harold Willmington, Jerry Falwell, Ergun Caner, Glenn Conner, Gene Mimms, Walter Martin, Justin Martyr, Russ Moore, Ronald Nash, John Piper, Hugh Ross, Charles Spurgeon, Robert Stein, Jerry Sutton, Henry Thiessen, Jerry Vines, Daniel B. Wallace, Donald Whitney, Bruce Wilkinson, and Monte E. Wilson. This is not to endorse the entire theology of any one of these individuals, simply to give credit for how I’ve chosen to express my own beliefs.

General Agreements:
I am in complete agreement with the Baptist Faith and Message statement of 2000, as well as Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s “Abstract of Principles.”

I am a Southern Baptist by church membership and by conviction, finding the Southern Baptist Convention to consist of true, well-ordered churches, the vast majority of which have remained faithful to the Bible and its essential teachings, and have maintained adequate discernment and willingness in cooperating with churches of like faith and practice. Most importantly I am Southern Baptist because they believe what I believe, not because I believe what they believe!
With regard to Truth and Knowledge:
“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” III John 4

I DECLARE that in order for the church to remain healthy, God’s eternal truth must be taught by its ministers, understood by its members, and expressed in its worship; theological illiteracy is the death of a church.
I declare that controversy for the sake of truth is a divine command, and believers should not shrink from fighting for God’s truth.
I declare that truth is that which corresponds to reality, as God perceives it. Thus truth is objective, universal, and eternal.
I declare that all truth has God as its origin, and that truth never contradicts truth. Thus all “truths” are equally true, regardless of how God has revealed them.
I declare that it is the moral duty of every person to discover, adhere to, and proclaim truth.
I declare that truth about God is entirely unknowable, except in what He chooses to reveal Himself.
I declare that God has revealed some truth through the human conscience, His work in history, and the creation we observe through the physical and social sciences.
I declare therefore that all scholarly disciplines and discourses are worthwhile and beneficial to the extent that they pursue the discovery of truth, acknowledge and glorify God, and seek to apply that truth in ways that please Him.
I declare that God has granted mankind ability to know truth through the use of reason and the senses.
I declare that human ability to discover and know truth is limited, and that mankind’s fallen state severely limits the confidence mankind can have in its own reasonings, discoveries, and observations.
I declare that God has specially revealed to mankind through the Bible all He intends for us to know which cannot be discovered with reason or the senses.
I declare that apart from the revelation of the Bible, or Jesus Christ manifesting himself to one, man cannot discover knowledge sufficient for salvation or peace with God.
I declare that history consists of the actual events which take place in this universe and is the outworking of God’s plan for His creation.
I declare that a historical record is true to the extent that it accurately presents events which have occurred in history.
I declare that Christianity is a historical faith, meaning that its truth rests heavily on historical events, most prominent among which are the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and awaited return of Jesus Christ.

With regard to Apologetics:
“The servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to everyone, able to teach, putting up with ill treatment, meekly instructing those who oppose them, if perhaps God might give them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth.” II Timothy 2:24-25

I DECLARE that it is the duty of all Christians to be able to give a verbal defense of their faith, explaining why the gospel is worthy of belief. This is the heart of evangelism.
I declare that evangelism is not merely the relating of one’s personal spiritual history, but involves reflection and study on the doctrines of the Bible.
I declare that evangelism is self-defeating if it gives the impression that receiving Christ will make it more possible for one’s worldly ambitions to be fulfilled. Sin and forgiveness, with a view to God’s justice, mercy, and grace are indispensable to evangelism and apologetics.
I declare that effective apologetics must be presuppositional, demonstrating the superiority of the Biblical worldview and its presuppositions over competing worldviews.
I declare that there is abundant evidence for the existence of God, His identity as the God of the Bible, and the truth of His word, but that the unbelieving are blinded to that evidence until the Holy Spirit opens their eyes.
I declare that presenting the evidence for Christianity serves to demonstrate the sincerity, character, and rationality of believers, and is a vehicle by which the Spirit removes intellectual barriers with which the unbeliever masks rebellion against God.
I declare that apologetics does not in itself win anyone to Christ, but that the Spirit may work through it as a proclamation of God’s word and thereby regenerate the heart of the sinner.
I declare that Christian apologetics must reflect the loving character of God and cannot be done from an attitude of intellectual or cultural superiority, contempt, or coercion.
With regard to Theology:
“I had need to write to you urging that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all handed down to the saints.” Jude 3b
I DECLARE that one purpose of human language is to enable mankind to communicate with and about God. What is communicated about God is theology.
I declare that theological language is meaningful to the extent that the speaker uses it to communicate propositions about God; propositions are here defined as meaningful, objective statements which are expressible in words and are either true or false.
I declare that one’s theology is intricately connected with one’s entire worldview, and influences one’s life in every way.
I declare that it is each person’s moral obligation to strive to bring one’s theology into harmony with what is objectively true about God and His works.
I declare that the tools of reason are to be used to understand God’s revelation, but are not of themselves any authority for theology.
I declare that the final and sufficient authority for all theological endeavors is the Bible, correctly interpreted.
I declare that experience, prior interpretation, and the discoveries of the various disciplines of knowledge are of but secondary and tentative use, and are of no authority, in formulating theology.
I declare that the expression of theology should be contextualized to the extent necessary to communicate clearly its propositions for the building up of the church.
I declare that contextualization which alters or obscures those propositions in form or in content is counter-productive to the task of theology.
I declare that theological propositions should be organized, synthesized, and systematized so as to assist the believer in maintaining consistency and seeing the interrelation of various doctrines and the unity of the Bible.
I declare that theological systems should not be imposed on the Bible so as to skew its interpretation; the Bible should reign over the system, not vice-versa.

With regard to True and False Teaching:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are hungry wolves.” Matthew 7:15

I DECLARE that faithful teaching is instruction in doctrines sincerely discovered in the Bible by those who believingly and prayerfully search its contents. This does not in itself guarantee that the teacher’s doctrines are truly taught in the Bible.
I declare that truthful teachings are discovered through the proper study of the Bible, and are the goal of all faithful Christian teachers.
I declare that false teachers are those who propagate false doctrines out of disrespect for the Bible, lack of love for God, and/or malicious intent toward their followers.
I declare that the false teachers most threatening to pastors, students, and scholars today are those who call themselves evangelical but marginalize the biblical teaching about God, the Bible, and salvation.
I declare that the false teachers most threatening to lay Christians today are the Word-of Faith movement, which ascribes both to men and to Satan power and authority held only by God, and claims that God desires physical health and wealth for all His people. Chief among these are John Avanzini, Charles Capps, Morris and David Cerullo, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Joel Osteen, Paul Crouch, Creflo and Taffi Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, Marilyn Hickey, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Frederick K. C. Price, Oral and Richard Roberts, and R. W. Shambach.
I delcare that the false teachers most threatening to churches today are the fraudulent revivalists who preach a gospel of cryptic experiences, seek worship that bypasses the use of the mind, and often claim to have seen visions and revelations of the Lord.
I declare that Christians should seriously and severely denounce ministries which forsake the doctrine of the Trinity or the necessity of salvation through conscious faith in Christ, which mix the true faith with legalism, sensationalism, or speculation, or which shrink from a clear proclamation of Christ, especially such popular ministries as those of Bill Gothard, T. D. Jakes, Grant Jeffrey, Robert Schuller, and Gwen Shamblin.
I declare that heresy is teaching that directly opposes the clear teaching of the Bible on matters of essential importance to the integrity of Christianity; religious groups claiming the name of Christ but grounded upon heresies are rightly called cults.
I declare that the theological points which the Bible presents as essential are: the truthfulness of the Bible, the unique and infinite knowledge, power, and authority of one immutable, self-sufficient, transcendent, triune God, His moral righteousness, God as Father of His people alone and Creator of the universe, human moral responsibility, salvation by grace rather than by works, Jesus’ deity, incarnation, atonement, and resurrection, and the promise of His physical return.
I declare that those whom God has called to the full-time preaching and study of the Bible and theology, while not neglecting the essentials of the faith, should also press forward, endeavoring toward theological precision.
With regard to the Bible:
“Teach me, O Yahweh, the way of your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end.” Psalm 119:33

I DECLARE that the Bible, in its entirety and as originally composed, is the word of God written, and the only enduring special revelation given on earth.
I declare that in every detail, both the form and content of the Bible are inspired by God and essential to the message of the Bible.
I declare that the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Bible in such a way that God and the human author both chose each word freely, so that it is both a divine and a human composition.
I declare that to drive a wedge between the words and the meaning of the Bible is to attack its truth and undermine its authority.
I declare that all events which the Bible presents in its narrative passages are historical events.
I declare that the Bible, while written from a pre-scientific perspective, is truthful in all its assertions that have a bearing on the sciences.
I declare that God shaped the development of cultures and languages in such a way as best suited the writing of the Bible so as to communicate accurately His verbal, propositional revelation.
I declare that the assertions of the Bible are thus absolutely true regardless of the distances of time and culture.
I declare that any copy of the Bible is profitable and remains the inerrant, infallible word of God, to the extent that its translation communicates clearly and accurately the meaning intended by the words of the authors of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts at the time they were written.
I declare that the Bible is the only authoritative source for Christian faith and practice, and it is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions of any kind should be tried.
I declare that there is no realm of life, belief, or investigation over which the Bible does not have supreme authority.
I declare that the authority of the Bible derives solely from the fact that it has God as its author, and not from recognition by any church, individual judgment, experience, practicality, or conformity to extrabiblical beliefs or knowledge.
I declare that the authoritative meaning of the Bible is one only, and is to be discovered in the text itself.
I declare that the reader brings nothing to the authority, inspiration, or meaning of the Bible.
I declare that words and verses added to the Bible since the end of the first century are not canonical, regardless of church endorsement or inclusion in Bible versions, but are of human creation and are therefore not to be called Scripture.
I declare that it is highly important to study the available manuscripts of the Bible to discern what is the actual original reading of the text and what is human addition and omission. This is the discipline properly called textual criticism.
I declare that the so-called Critical Text reflects the original text of the New Testament more accurately than any present competing reconstruction.
I declare that the canon of the Bible consists by definition of all written material which is inspired by God.
I declare that books of the Bible received entry into the formal canon as they were recognized by Christian consensus to be inspired, and that the canon’s composition was not of the church’s making.
I declare that the inspired biblical canon is the 39 commonly received books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, each as they were originally composed.
I declare that the Apocrypha and Pseudipigrapha are merely human creations, often full of deceit and errors, and are not to be considered scriptural or semi-scriptural writings.
I declare that the canonical order of books is of little or no help in biblical interpretation, although their chronological order may be of great assistance, as well as it can be determined.
I declare that the words of the prophets and apostles who wrote the Bible are all equally inspired and true, and are on the same level of inspiration and truthfulness as the words spoken by Jesus Himself.
I declare that biblical revelation is progressive: while the quality of revelation never changed, the quantity increased, so that the fullest revelation came with the completion of the later parts of the New Testament.
I declare that the status of the Bible as the “living” Word of God does not imply that its meaning is somehow subjective, multiform, or in a state of change.
I declare that the Bible is completely inerrant, meaning that everything it asserts explicitly or implicitly, on any subject, is true in the sense intended by its authors.
I declare that the doctrine of biblical inerrancy is to be derived from God’s truthfulness and authorship of the Bible.
I declare that the believer’s confidence in the Spirit’s authorship of the Bible should derive from the internal conviction of the Holy Spirit Himself, rather than from human authority, tradition, intuition, personal appeal, or evidence.
I declare that the doctrine of the complete inerrancy of the Bible as originally written is absolutely essential to any theology which would call itself Christian, and that anything short of this is heresy and unbelief, and tends toward the destruction of faith.
I declare that the methods known as “higher criticism” fail as means of biblical scholarship wherever they neglect, deny, or run contrary to the implications of the truthfulness and divine authorship of the Bible.
I declare that perceived inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the words or meanings of the Bible are the reader’s misperceptions.
I declare that it is a worthwhile task to discover the resolutions of such apparent errors, but that some may be beyond present human discovery, and that in any case it is unnecessary to resolve these conflicts to be confident of the complete truthfulness of the Bible.
I declare that the Bible infallibly accomplishes all the purposes for which it was intended.
I declare that pseudonymity was never an accepted means for writing Scripture and therefore the inspired books were humanly composed by the stated authors during their lifetimes.
I declare, therefore, that Moses composed the Pentateuch; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Ezra, and Nehemiah the books bearing their names; Solomon composed Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs; he, Agur, and Lemuel the Proverbs; and the titled psalms were composed by the authors in their titles.
I declare further that Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon were composed by Paul and first sent to the churches or individuals for whom they are named; likewise, James and Jude were written by the half-brothers of Jesus, and 1 Peter, 2 Peter, the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation were written by the apostles Simon Peter and John the Beloved.
I declare that of those books not declaring authors, believers should allow for differences in judgment as to their authorship, but that evidence indicates beyond doubt that Matthew was written by the apostle Matthew, Mark by John Mark, and Luke and Acts by Luke, the companion of Paul.
With regard to Biblical Interpretation:
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, by accurately handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
I DECLARE that the Bible is sufficient for all religious and saving knowledge.
I declare that cultural and linguistic information is sometimes necessary for biblical understanding because of the distance between the present-day reader and the original audience.
I declare however that answering questions which require information not available to the original audience of the Bible is not necessary to obtain the meaning of the text.
I declare that the meaning of a biblical text is the message which the human author intended to convey through the words of the text; this is what it means to interpret the Bible “literally,” or according to its true and natural sense.
I declare that the meaning of a text is generally distinct from its subject matter; that it answers the question, “Why is this written?” rather than “What is written?”
I declare that there is generally only one meaning to a text, but that there may be numerous implications within that range of intended meaning.
I declare that the divine meaning and human meaning of a biblical text are one and the same, though God was certainly aware of the full range of implications and applications of the text.
I declare that the true meaning of the text, along with its implications, never goes against the grammar and syntax of the text, and must be understood within its literary context, and with recognition of evident idioms and figures of speech.
I declare that in order for texts to be correctly understood, they must be interpreted with proper regard for the analogy of faith, which is its doctrinal consistency with the whole Bible, and especially with knowledge of the previous revelation up to the time of the text’s composition.
I declare that a text has not been properly interpreted until the reader has a correct mental grasp of the author’s meaning and can articulate it as one or more timeless truths.
I declare that the ability to interpret the Bible properly is a matter of intelligence, knowledge, honesty, and effort, and does not depend on the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
I declare that the illumination of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary for a reader to accept and obey the Bible, or to see the truth and significance of the things of God, and that such illumination is only available to those whom the Spirit has regenerated.
I declare that, because all Scripture is given for instruction, there is nothing taught in the Bible which cannot be understood; what is said obscurely in one passage is said clearly in others.
I declare that all readers of the Bible are obligated to have an attitude of submission to the text, willing to make all their own beliefs and practices subject to its authority.
I declare that study of a text is not complete until the reader determines its proper application personally and corporately, and seeks to carry it out.
I declare that the study of a topic must recognize the progressive revelation of the Bible, and therefore give highest regard to the latest portions of the Bible addressing that topic.

With regard to God:
“Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh alone!” Deuteronomy 6:4

I DECLARE that there is one and only one God, who is one and only one Lord.
I declare that God exists, meaning that He is a real entity.
I declare that everyone has some knowledge of God, as the creation and their own consciences declare His existence and certain of His attributes, chief among which are His righteousness, power, and glory.
I declare that rational and experiential arguments to provide evidence for God’s existence do so only to those already willing to believe He exists, although they may provide reassurance for believers in times of doubt.
I declare that much about God, indeed the very things necessary to know Him personally and please Him, are revealed only through His special revelation.
I declare that whereas God’s special revelation of Himself came formerly through prophets and apostles, and ultimately through Jesus Christ, that the entirety of that revelation intended for us is the Bible.
I declare that God may use dreams or angelic visitations to protect His people or to prepare others to receive the gospel, but that He no longer specially reveals Himself apart from the Bible and its proclamation, whether through inspiration, prophecy, apostleship, visions, dreams, or angelic visitations.
I declare therefore that the surest and most detailed knowledge of God comes through the Bible, that knowledge derived from it is certain, and that beyond this, natural theology and human speculation or insight provide no sure foundation for knowledge of things divine.
I declare that God desires most to be known personally and relationally, but that doctrines about God are best formed by attention to His written Word rather than by personal experience.
I declare that understandings of God which rival the God revealed in the Bible are false gods, and their worship is to be condemned as idolatry. This includes the gods of classical Greek theism, Animism, Pantheism, Panentheism, Unitarianism, Islam, American Indian tribal religion, Freemasonry, Theosophy, Mormonism, and Process Theology.
I declare that God is a Trinity, meaning that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three eternally distinct persons, yet existing as one eternal being.
I declare that the Persons of the Trinity are eternally equal in all their attributes, each being autotheos, self-sufficient in divinity, and all of equal glory, majesty, and lordship.
I declare that, while being equal in their attributes, the Persons of the Trinity eternally function with the Son freely submitting Himself to the Father, and the Spirit to the Son.
I declare that neither God nor any of the three Persons of the Trinity are created, limited, or comprehensible.
I declare that the understanding of God as a Trinity is an essential part of the saving gospel and of the teaching of the church.
I declare that God is personal, having life, consciousness, self-awareness, knowledge, and desires; it is in this manner that He reveals Himself to be the Living God.
I declare that God has no body and therefore no biological gender, but that gender is ultimately a component of personhood, and that God reveals Himself to be a masculine person; thus in English He is properly addressed with masculine pronouns. This applies to each member of the Trinity.
I declare that both masculine and feminine comparisons and analogies may be used to describe various of God’s attributes, to the extent that they reflect the true biblical example and are not understood to diminish the masculinity of God’s personality.
I declare that it is God alone who has the authority to choose the offices or titles by which He is to be called.
I declare that the personal name by which God has revealed Himself is Yahveh, or Yahweh.
I declare that divine names of human invention, such as Jahbulon, are not other names for God but for false gods not to be worshiped.
I declare that the primary names by which God identifies His relationship to His people are Father, Lord, and King.
I declare that God is fatherly in His attitude toward all His creation, that only His chosen people can claim and address Him as their Father, and that God is Father in a most special way to God the Son, Jesus Christ.
With regard to God’s Attributes:
“Then Yawheh passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘Yahweh, Yahweh God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands; who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.'” Exodus 34:6-7a
I DECLARE that God’s attributes describe Him not metaphorically but as He really is, and are all essential to His status as God.
I declare that God never limits or changes His attributes.
I declare that Jesus Christ in His divine nature gave up none of His attributes in His Incarnation.
I declare that God is personal in His relationship to the universe, caring about and acting in consideration of it; this does not conflict with God’s infinity.
I declare that God’s glory, in one sense, is the honor and excellent reputation duly ascribed to God by His creation. In another sense, it is the brightness that surrounds God’s revelation of Himself. In yet another sense, the Bible speaks of God’s glory as His intrinsic awe-inspiring greatness and majesty.
I declare that God is perfect, meaning that He completely possesses all excellent qualities and lacks no part of any qualities that would be desirable for Him.
I declare that God is blessed, or happy, meaning that He delights fully in Himself and in all that reflects His character.
I declare that God is spirit, meaning that in His essence He is not made of any matter, has no parts, dimensions, or size, is unable to be perceived by the bodily senses; spirituality is more excellent than any other kind of existence.
I declare that God is invisible, meaning that His total essence cannot be seen by anyone, though in biblical times He took on visible forms to show Himself to selected people on a number of occasions.
I declare that God is infinite, not subject to the limitations of humanity or creation or to the change that characterizes created existence; this does not conflict with God’s personality. He is everlasting, without beginning or end.
I declare that God is a unity, not divided into parts; He is neither a collection of attributes, nor are those attributes added to Him. Each attribute describes God’s whole being.
I declare that God is immanent, meaning that God is continually active in His creation, with all things holding together in and dependent on Him; and meaning that God is knowable through His revelation.
I declare that God is transcendent, meaning that God is distinct and separate from His creation, and that nothing in all creation (including existence itself) may be called God or a part of God; and meaning that God cannot be comprehended by the human mind.
I declare that God’s transcendence of creation includes as many dimensions of time and space as exist, and that God is not dependent upon these dimensions to act upon or respond to His creation.
I declare that God is timeless, whose existence does not consist of moments coming one after another, yet that God sees all time equally vividly.
I declare that God fully understands created time, sees events in time, and acts in time as a way of relating to His creation.
I declare that God is omnipresent, meaning that God is present at every point of space with His whole being, yet God acts differently in different places.
I declare that God is present in a special way at different times and places to punish, sustain, bless, or listen to His creation.
I declare that God is omniscient, meaning that He has complete and infallible knowledge of all things actual and possible in the past, present, future, and timeless, in one simple and eternal act of knowing; therefore His attitude toward His creation and His people does not change from moment to moment.
I declare that God is omnipotent, meaning that God is able to do anything He pleases; nothing restrains or hinders God from accomplishing His will, and His power comes from no outside source or principle.
I declare that God is independent, meaning that God is fully satisfied in Himself, not needing His creation for anything; even though creation can glorify Him and bring Him joy, He is not dependent upon creation to be infinitely glorious and joyful.
I declare that God is not bound by or dependent on human cooperation for the carrying out of His work, or on human requests for the bestowing of His blessings.
I declare that God is free and sovereign, exercising complete rule over all His creation as He pleases, without hindrance or constraint and under no authority.
I declare that God acts in accordance with His will, which is that attribute whereby He approves and determines to bring about every action necessary for the accomplishment of His purposes and for the existence and activity of all creation.
I declare that God is immutable, meaning that He is unchanging in His being, attributes, purposes, and promises.
I declare that God acts and feels emotions, and that He acts and feels differently in response to different situations, yet God is not controlled or swayed by fallible and transient emotions, as humans are.
I declare that God is a God of peace and order, meaning that in His being and actions He is separate from all confusion and disorder, yet He is continually active in innumerable well-ordered, fully controlled, simultaneous actions; He always acts in accord with logic and with His wisdom, character, and attributes.
I declare that God is holy, meaning that He is set apart from His creation both ontologically (by virtue of His essential nature) and morally, separated from sin and devoted to seeking His own honor.
I declare that God is righteous, meaning that He always acts in accordance with what is morally right, and is Himself the final standard of what is right.
I declare that God is just, meaning that He requires righteousness of His moral creatures (humans and angels) and always punishes unrighteousness.
I declare that God is wrathful, meaning that He intensely hates all sin.
I declare that God is jealous, meaning that He continually seeks to protect His own honor and will not allow glory to be given to another.
I declare that God is genuine, meaning that He is the true God, and that He is as He presents Himself.
I declare that God is truthful, meaning that all His words, whether spoken or written, given directly or indirectly, are both true and are the final standard of truth.
I declare that God is faithful, meaning that He will always do just what He has said and will fulfill all He has promised.
I declare that God’s truthfulness and faithfulness do not require Him to accommodate Himself or His actions to false beliefs or expectations concerning Him and His promises; indeed they ensure that He will not.
I declare that God is good and benevolent, meaning that all that He does is worthy of approval.
I declare that God is merciful, His mercy being His goodness toward those in distress.
I declare that God is gracious, His grace being His goodness toward those who deserve only punishment.
I declare that God demonstrates common grace in His goodness to humanity in general by restraining sin and mitigating its destructive effects in society, by temporarily withholding judgment, by providing good and pleasurable things to all men, by inviting all to come to Him for salvation, and by providing them with opportunities to give Him glory.
I declare that God demonstrates a special grace to His chosen people by sending Christ to pay the price for their sins, by bringing them salvation through repentant faith, by justifying them on account of their faith and imputing to them Christ’s righteousness, by giving them the Holy Spirit for encouragement and instruction, and by promising them an inheritance as children of God.
I declare that God is patient, His patience being His goodness toward those who continue to sin over a period of time.
I declare that God is persistent, continuing to offer salvation and blessings to those who refuse them.
I declare that while God is infinite in His mercy, grace, patience, and persistence, He extends these when and to whom He pleases, and only for as long as He pleases.
I declare that God is loving, meaning that God eternally gives of Himself to others for their benefit.
I declare that the greatest love is that which the Persons of the Trinity have for one another.
I declare that God has true compassionate love for all His creation, and for all people, not taking pleasure in their punishment, and demonstrating that love through His plan of redemption.
I declare that God demonstrates love to His chosen people in a special, redemptive manner through the sacrifice of His own Son to pay for their sins.
I declare that God is beautiful, infinitely possessing all truly desirable qualities.

With regard to Creation and History:
“It is I who made the earth and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands, and I ordained all their host.” Isaiah 45:12

I declare that everything external to God has been created by Him–matter, energy, space, time, celestial beings, and realms beyond this universe.
I declare that God loves and values His creation, even beyond its benefit to humanity, and that its purpose is to glorify Him.
I declare that the purpose of the universe, and of each human life, is to glorify God, and that its creation was a totally free act of God.
I declare that the physical universe is real and subject to principles which God has established for it.
I declare that God created the physical universe out of nothing, and that such creative power belongs only to God Himself.
I declare that ascribing the creation of the universe to God is a prerequisite to pleasing Him.
I declare that the universe operates according to physical principles which were established by God at the creation and which have not changed since; these principles are in perfect harmony with God’s occasional and continual providential interventions in the course of history.
I declare that God, having created the dimensions, matter, and energy which are the universe, carefully formed them to fashion a place for the human creatures He would create.
I declare that God guided the formation of the Earth and developed it with constant attention to make it habitable for humans.
I declare that Genesis 1 describes the process whereby God prepared the Earth for mankind, and is written from the perspective of an observer on the surface of the Earth.
I declare that the “days” of Genesis 1 are of indeterminate length according to normal biblical usage of the word, and that the Bible contains numerous evidences that the “days” of Genesis 1 were long periods of time.
I declare that human observations reveal beyond any doubt that the Earth and its universe have existed for billions of years, and that therefore the “days” of Genesis 1 were long periods of time.
I declare that knowledge of the age of the universe is unnecessary to understanding the meaning of the creation account in Genesis.
I declare that the teaching that the universe developed on its own, apart from the special assistance of God, is offensive to biblical testimony and statistically absurd.
I declare that the gap theory, the teaching that the universe was created for Satan or that the emptiness of Genesis 1:2 was the result of judgment or catastrophe is not supported by the Bible and confuses the biblical teaching about Satan.
I declare that the teaching that God causes the universe to appear to be the same age by every conceivable means of measurement, when in fact it is much younger, is in conflict with God’s truthfulness.
I declare that disagreement over whether human observations of the age of the universe are flawed, or whether the authorial intent of Genesis 1 was to portray six twenty-four hour creation days, should not be disruptive to one’s relationship with God and fellowship and cooperation with other believers.
I declare that each kind (species or genus) of life which has existed on earth was separately created by God, and that evolution operates only within that very narrow range.
I declare that the teaching that humans descended from lower animals, or that one kind of life descended from another, is directly contradicted by both the Bible and scientific observation.
I declare that any anthropoid creatures which existed before the lifetime of Adam and Eve were of necessity unspiritual animals, regardless of their apparent intelligence and accomplishments.
I declare that the Genesis accounts of the garden of Eden, the Flood of Noah, and the Tower of Babel are accurate historical accounts.
I declare that after creating Eve, God initiated the seventh day, during which He has ceased His ex nihilo creative activity.
I declare that the seventh day continues, until the time God resumes His creative acts and establishes the new heavens and the new Earth, which He will some day inhabit with His people forever.
I declare that the entirety of God’s creation, before the fall of Adam, was very good and whole in every aspect.
I declare that the fall of Adam brought spiritual death to the human race, made human physical death a certainty, and resulted in the banishment of humans from Eden’s paradise to the harshness of the outside world.
I declare, moreover, that it is because of the fall that creation was bound to its own cycle of decay and death, though that cycle was begun long before the creation of Adam.
I declare that the Flood of Noah covered the entire inhabited world, destroying every human except for the eight members of Noah’s family.
I declare that the teaching that Noah’s Flood brought about the geological features, fossils, and fuel resources which suggest the Earth’s extreme age, is unsupported by the Bible and in profound contradiction to all observations of natural history.
I declare that all humans are descended, not only from Adam, but also from Noah and his three sons.
I declare that at Babel, God confused the universal language of mankind, leaving people only with their various tribal or national languages.
I declare that for a long time after the deaths of Noah and his sons, humanity existed without the true worship of God, but that God chose one heathen named Abram and covenanted with him to establish a people for Himself from all nations, and gave him circumcision as a sign of that covenant.
I declare that God’s covenant gave the Promised Land forever to Abram and his physical offspring.
I declare that the lives of Abram and his family were as the book of Genesis presents them.
I declare that the exodus from Egypt took place in the middle of the fifteenth century, B.C., and that the date of the exodus is clearly revealed in the Bible.
I declare that God gave Moses and the Israelites the Torah at Mount Sinai after their departure from Egypt, and that because of the Israelites’ rebellion, they wandered for thirty-eight years from that time to the death of Moses.
I declare that after the death of Moses, Joshua led the Israelites on a campaign against the Canaanites in the Promised Land, after which they inhabited the land as twelve tribes and were ruled for a time by judges.
I declare that the Israelites rebelled against God by demanding a king, and that God gave them Saul; God’s divine intent all along was to establish His covenant with David, who was Saul’s successor.
I declare that God’s glory dwelt with His people in the temple built by David’s son Solomon in Jerusalem.
I declare that following the reign of Solomon, the nation of Israel was split and both kingdoms fell into idolatry; because of their idolatry, God brought powerful nations against them and carried each nation into captivity in its own time.
I declare that God purged Judah of its idolatry through captivity in Babylon, but that He brought them out in accordance with the message of His prophets.
I declare that in the fullness of time, God fulfilled the Messianic hope proclaimed by His servants the prophets when He sent Jesus into the world.
I declare that Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection were together the central event of all history and of God’s redemptive plan.
I declare that following Jesus’ ascension, the New Testament church was established as the continuance of God’s chosen people, the true Israel.
I declare that the church operates under the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah, and that the sign of this covenant is circumcision not of the body but of the heart.
I declare that the church was scattered across all nations for the unhindered spread of the gospel.
I declare that the Protestant Reformation was an act of God to lead His true people out of a church which had become false.
I declare that from the time of Abram, God has preserved for Himself a people in all times, and will continue to do so until Christ’s return.
I declare that Christ’s first coming initiated the last days, and that God is moving history toward a time when He will execute judgment against His and His people’s enemies, bring all things under the visible reign of Christ, and repay all peoples for the deeds they have done in this life.

With regard to God’s Providence:
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?'” Daniel 4:35

I DECLARE that God’s providence is His continual involvement with all created things; it is not arbitrary or capricious, but governed by His holy and wise counsel.
I declare that God keeps all created things existing and maintains the properties with which He created them.
I declare that God cooperates with all created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do.
I declare that God directs all created things to fulfill His purposes; thus there are no “random” or “chance” events, and nothing is trivial or unimportant to God.
I declare that the Bible uses the term “God’s will” in two senses: (1) that which He commands and which pleases His love and righteousness, and (2) the eternal and inviolable plans of God whereby, before the creation of the world, He determined to bring about everything that happens.
I declare that God’s control over all things ought to give the believer great comfort, knowing that nothing can threaten him outside the power and knowledge of the One who loves and protects him.
I declare that it is God’s control over all things which allows the believer to put aside fear and worry and to be thankful to God for all things that happen.
I declare that God has endowed certain of His creatures with a degree of freedom and ability to choose to do what they will or desire.
I declare that God works through the properties and circumstances of these creatures so that their desires are in accordance with His purposes. Thus the free actions of God’s creatures are both fully caused by Him and fully caused by the creature as well.
I declare that human actions have real and eternally significant results, and that they affect the course of events.
I declare that human actions, including prayer, may be understood as means by which God brings about change in the world and the accomplishment of His purposes.
I declare that trusting in and relying on God does not excuse us from acting responsibly and working to bring about what He desires and commands.
I declare that God rightfully blames and judges moral creatures for the evil they do.
I declare that God is never to be blamed for evil and never takes pleasure in evil.
I declare, however, that God often uses evil for His glory and for the good of His creatures.
I declare that God brings difficulties and calamities upon His people in order to make evident to them their inherent helplessness and prompt them to call on God humbly for strength; to test their patience and faith and to train them in obedience, and to allow them the privilege of suffering for righteousness’ sake.
I declare that limiting God’s knowledge or placing evil outside God’s ability to restrain it, leads to a dangerously incorrect understanding of God and ought to be characterized and opposed as false doctrine.
I declare that limiting human responsibility and obligation, or denying the existence of evil, also leads to extreme error in both belief and practice, and is also to be opposed as false doctrine.
I declare that a systematic understanding of how God’s will interacts with human decisions is unnecessary for a proper relationship with God or for full fellowship and cooperation among believers, provided they acknowledge God as all-knowing and free to do all that He wishes, uphold human moral accountability, and ascribe the cause of their salvation wholly to God.
With regard to Miracles:
“He does great things that cannot be explained, and wondrous works without number.” Job 9:10
I declare that God usually works through His creation in accordance with the processes and principles by which it normally operates, which we often call “physical laws.”
I declare that God Himself is not subject to physical laws and may act in creation without regard for them whenever He so chooses.
I declare that God sometimes performs miracles, by which He evokes awe and wonder and testifies to Himself by acting in a way which is manifestly beyond the usual course of activities in creation.
I declare that God uses miracles to confirm His words, to bear witness to the coming of His kingdom, to help those who are in need, and to remove hindrances to people’s ministries, but ultimately to bring glory to Himself.
I declare that God’s miraculous activity, while primarily concentrated during a few eras of history, continues to operate today.
I declare that believers may make humble requests to God for miracles, but that God performs miracles on His own initiative and does not presently tie His miracle-working to the ministry of any particular person.
I declare that God will not honor with true miracles any minister who proclaims false doctrine or ministers for his or her own glory.
With regard to Angels:
“Or do you think that I cannot urge My Father, and He will give me at this moment more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53
I DECLARE that angels are personal, moral, spiritual beings without physical bodies, created by God to serve and glorify Him.
I declare that, while not having a body, angels are limited in space and time and can take on human (or other) visible form when relating to humans.
I declare that angels act as messengers, agents of judgment, and worshipers of God.
I declare that angels are assigned to protect God’s people, including little children, but that the Bible does not teach that each individual has a guardian angel.
I declare that the “angel of the Lord” spoken of in the Old and New Testaments refers only to an angel and not to an appearance of the Lord Himself.

With regard to Demons and the Occult:
“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to Yahweh.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12a

I DECLARE that demons are evil angels who sinned against God.
I declare that demons are subject to the same limitations as angels.
I declare demons are those, who fell with Satan, now continually working evil in the world.
I declare that demons may afflict unbelievers and control their bodies, which we often call possession.
I declare that demons may bring upon believers afflicting circumstances and temptations, within the permissive will of God, but that the Holy Spirit prevents believers from being controlled or directly afflicted by demons.
I declare that believers do not have the authority to “bind” Satan or his demons from their work.
I declare that spiritual warfare consists not in the believer’s participation in battles between demons and angels, nor in interpersonal conflict, but in resistance to temptation brought by demons, the sinful world system, and our own human nature.
I declare that spiritual warfare is fought not with declarations and incantations, nor with words addressed to demonic forces, but with prayer and knowledge of God’s word.
I declare that the believer’s protection in spiritual warfare is first of all salvation, then truth, righteousness, faith, and a solid grounding and preparation in the gospel.
I declare that the Bible does not support the existence of territorial or generational spirits, or demonic influence behind every sin, disaster, or physical or psychological malady.
I declare that simple role-playing or games of imagination and fantasy do not make one vulnerable to demonic influence.
I declare, however, that superstition and occultic practices in which one attempts to contact, communicate with, or be controlled by spirits or the dead, can make the unbeliever susceptible to demonization, and are sins which make the believer prone to discipline.
I declare that the apparent success of such occultic practices as mind-reading, witchcraft, Ouija boards, tarot card readings, seances, horoscopes, and omens owes itself to demonic power, not the power of God, and is among the most harshly condemned practices in the Bible. The popularity of such practices is a sign of a sick society ripe for God’s judgment and headed for earned destruction.
With regard to Satan:
“Be sober; be diligent. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8.
I DECLARE that the head of the demons is Satan, also called the serpent or the Devil, and that Satan is an actual, personal being.
I declare that Satan is a powerful celestial being and not to be mocked or taken lightly.
I declare that Satan was cast out of heaven when he rebelled, as described in Revelation 12.
I declare that the denunciation of the kings of Babylon and Tyre in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are not descriptions of Satan’s fall; and the name Lucifer is the result of both mistranslation and misinterpretation.
I declare that Satan was the originator of sin.
I declare that Satan opposes God’s plans, accuses believers, spiritually blinds unbelievers, and deceives the nations, yet is limited by God’s control and has limited power.
I declare that Satan has no legitimate authority over this universe or its people, and that God is not in any way subject to or hindered by Satan; “even the devil is God’s devil.”
I declare that in fact God uses Satan’s rebellion to accomplish His own purposes, and thus even temptation can affect a purifying work in the believer’s life, and failure may drive the believer to restoration.
I declare that the crucifixion was Satan’s defeat, not his victory.
I declare that the future of Satan and all demons is eternal punishment in hell, and it is for this purpose that hell was created.
I declare that in hell, Satan and the demons will be not tormentors, but in torment themselves.

With regard to Human Nature:
“What is man that You take thought of him,and the son of man that You care for him?Yet You have made him a little lower than God,and You crown him with glory and majesty!” Psalm 8:4-5

I DECLARE that mankind is the only moral, spiritual creature in the physical universe.
I declare nevertheless that humans are part of creation, and are not set against nature as if it were hostile to God or to themselves.
I declare that God created mankind in His own image, meaning not that we are reproductions of God, but that each person resembles and represents God as a caretaker of His creation and comprised of Body, Soul, and Spirit.
I declare that the essence of every human being retains God’s image, though it was marred by Adam’s fall.
I declare that Jesus, as the human par excellence and being fully divine, was the truest image of God.
I declare that the image of God is renewed upon our salvation and perfected in the resurrection, when we are finally conformed to the likeness of Christ.
I declare that humans have had essentially the same anatomy and abilities since creation.
I declare that each human is essentially one total being, whose elements of body and soul are indivisible and interrelated.
I declare that the human soul has no existence prior to conception.
I declare that human life begins at conception with both a body and a soul, which function as one unit until death.
I declare that the body is the whole material aspect of the person, corruptible and mortal apart from special transformation by God.
I declare that the soul is the non-material aspect of the person, created immortal and consisting of the intellect and the will.
I declare that the soul has no psychic ability, and no ability to know the future, affect the outside world without the means of the body, or create its own reality.
I declare that a man’s spirit is the same as his soul, but that when the two are contrasted in the Bible, the spirit is that particular aspect of the soul which enlivens the intellect and will, and relates spiritually with God.
I declare that at death, the soul is separated from the body, which remains on earth.
I declare that all the dead will be resurrected, the soul being rejoined to the body.
I declare that God has placed within each person a conscience, an inner sense of God’s moral law, which though fallible, limited, and marred by the fall, leaves all people without excuse as to their actions.
I declare it is the duty of believers to search the Bible to determine God’s moral law, rather than relying on their own consciences to inform them.
I declare that each person is accountable to God for his own beliefs and behavior, and cannot rest his status with God on the faith or deeds of others.
I declare that the physical and psychological/emotional disabilities suffered by mankind are God’s sovereign choice, and are not affliction by demons, nor are they necessarily present because of punishment by God or lack of faith on the part of the sufferer.
I declare that material blessing does not come by positive confession, hopeful thinking, authoritative pronouncements, or any creative power within man, but only by the grace of God.

With regard to Gender:
“And so God created man in His image; in the very image of God He created him. It was as male and female that He created them.” Genesis 1:27
I DECLARE that all people are created male or female as an essential aspect of personhood.
I declare that masculinity and femininity should not be resisted but fostered toward maturity.
I declare that, at the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for, and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships.
I declare that mature masculinity expresses itself not in the demand to be served, but in the strength to serve and to sacrifice for the good of others; it does not presume superiority but mobilizes the strengths of others.
I declare that mature masculinity does not have to initiate every action, but feels the responsibility to provide a general pattern of initiative; it recognizes that the call to leadership is a call to repentance and humility and risk-taking.
I declare that mature masculinity expresses its leadership in married romantic sexual relations by communicating an aura of strong and tender pursuit which is a mixture of initiation and response.
I declare that a husband should not assume the authority of Christ over his wife, but advocate it.
I declare that a husband should accept the burden of the final say in disagreements between husband and wife, but not presume to use it in every instance; in a well-ordered biblical marriage, this will seldom be required.
I declare that a husband should take the initiative in disciplining children when both parents are present and a family standard has been broken, although the wife is free to take that initiative if the husband is absent.
I declare that mature masculinity is sensitive to cultural expressions of masculinity and adapts to them (when no sin is involved) so as to act with maturity and dignity as a man.
I declare that, at the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive, and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships.
I declare that the greatest human fulfillment for both men and women comes in marriage and child-bearing, and that this should be considered a greater challenge, higher priority, and better use of life than more gainful employment, advancement, or peer approval.
I declare, however, that both men and women are complete persons without marriage, and that single believers should exploit their singleness to the full in devotion to God and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.
I declare that all those whom God has not gifted with the ability to live unmarried without undue temptation and distraction should seek to be married.
I declare that God who works all things in accordance with His will, also prepares an intended mate for each one who should be married.
I declare that seeking marriage partners is not so much a matter of searching for the divinely intended partner, but submitting to God’s timing and plan to bring the two of them together.
I declare, however, that the fostering of all Christian relationships should be effortful and characterized by mutual commitment to each other’s good.
I declare that those who are married should creatively, intelligently, and sincerely seek to learn and fulfill the biblical roles of husband and father, or of wife and mother.
I declare that there are no biblical grounds for divorce.

With regard to Sin:
“Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12

I DECLARE that any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature is sin; thus the fundamental nature of sin is lawlessness.
I declare that when Adam first sinned, he acted as representative of the human race, so that all Adam’s descendants are under condemnation from conception and inherit a nature in bondage to sin.
I declare that sin corrupts every aspect of human nature, making mankind totally lacking in spiritual good before God, and totally unable to do anything which is good in His sight.
I declare that sinful nature necessarily manifests itself in the voluntary commission of sinful acts, for which God rightly holds us responsible.
I declare that sin’s seriousness is beyond human ability to comprehend, but merits eternal punishment in hell.
I declare that the Bible indicates that, in terms of results, the degree of God’s displeasure, and the severity of judgment, some sins are worse than others, but that even the smallest sin makes us legally guilty before God and worthy of eternal punishment.
I declare that the consequences of sin include victimization, addiction, agitation and restlessness, guilt and sorrow, innumerable calamities and troubles, damage in relationships with humans and with God, environmental consequences, oppression, injustices, and social structures and systems which not only encourage but guarantee the propagation and continuation of sin.
I declare that it is because of sin that decay and death are presently integral parts of the created order.
I declare that the consequences of sin are not always visible to the sinner.
I declare that the repeated commission of sin quickly hardens the heart and makes the conscience insensitive to the sin’s severity.
I declare that secular means to relieve a person of sinful habits, attitudes, or addictions, nevertheless do not make the sinner righteous in the sight of God and are not true repentance.
I declare that believers are fully capable of even the most severe sins, but that Christian sin does not change one’s legal standing before God.
I declare that Christian sin disrupts fellowship with God, bringing about God’s fatherly displeasure and often severe discipline; God forgives the believer’s every sin, but He does not overlook a single one.
I declare that Christian sin sets back one’s progress in the Christian life and diminishes one’s eternal reward.
I declare that, regardless of any past experience of apparently sincere prayer or profession of faith, a long-term pattern of increasing disobedience to Christ should be taken as evidence to doubt that a person is really a believer at all.
I declare that the unpardonable sin involves the conscious, malicious, and willful rejection and slander of the testimony of the Holy Spirit regarding the grace of God in Christ, and attributing it to the power of Satan; those who commit this sin place themselves beyond God’s established means of bringing forgiveness through repentance and trusting Christ for salvation.
I declare that it is to restrain sin that God endued humans with a conscience and instituted human governments to punish sin and invoke shame.
I declare that the Spirit also restrains the sinfulness of unbelievers, for otherwise it would break out in a way which would make it impossible to maintain law and order, and they would destroy one another and their environment so as to bring about their own extinction.
I declare that the punishment for sin comes not primarily as a deterrent or a corrective, but as retribution which God’s justice righteously demands.

With regard to Christ’s Person:
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the uniquely begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

I DECLARE that the Spirit-anointed Messiah promised in the Old Testament is Jesus Christ, who is the Son of Man, Son of God, the Word, both Lord and Savior, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lion of Judah, the Good Shepherd, and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the long awaited answer to Isaacs question to Abraham.
I declare that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments testify to Jesus Christ, and that it is through their testimony, which is the testimony of God, that we know who Jesus is and what He has done.
I declare that Jesus is God the Son, who exists from eternity, and ever unchanging in His divine nature, possessing equal attributes and equal Lordship with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
I declare that the Son never took human form prior to His incarnation as Jesus. The Old Testament references to Melchizedek and the various angels, who are regularly designated angels of God or angels of Yahweh, are not Jesus Christ but created, undivine beings.
I declare that Christ, being divine, emptied Himself by taking on a human nature in His incarnation, though retaining His divine nature and full deity
I declare that Christ’s Incarnation was accomplished through the means of a virgin birth: that Christ was conceived of Mary’s substance in her womb by the Holy Spirit, and thereby became the Son of Man; He was named Jesus at the time of His birth and circumcision.
I declare that Mary, while obedient, was not sinless, but was her self in need of Christ’s redemption.
I declare that Mary, while a virgin when Jesus was born, was not eternally virginal, but afterward had the normal sexual relations with Joseph which God commands married couples to share.
I declare that Christ alone performs mediatorial and redemptive work, and that blessings and graces come through no one else, neither through Mary, nor through saints who have gone before.
I declare that because Jesus Christ is God eternally, and was so when conceived and borne by Mary, she is rightfully called the Mother of God, but that the title must be employed with caution, lest it be perceived to give her undue glory.
I declare that it is a form of idolatry to bestow on Mary honor, title, or attributes which in effect give her any status in the redemptive work of her Son or elevate her as a special object of veneration.
I declare that Christ in His incarnation had the two natures–divine and human, each with its own mind and will–”unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, and inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son.” Thus Jesus was one person, fully human, and fully divine. (See post: Analysis of Kenosis)
I declare that Jesus’ humanity was pure and complete, the pristine image of God, unaffected by the corruption and guilt resulting from Adam’s sin. His sinless nature results from His divine righteousness, and not from the way in which He came into the world.
I declare that Jesus was truly tempted in every way we are, both internally and externally, and that His decisions not to sin were made freely and voluntarily, just as our decisions. While His nature guaranteed that He would not sin, He had the moral capacity to choose good or evil, and always freely chose the good.
I declare that in His divine nature Christ remained, and remains, unchangeable, all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent, independent of His creation, and the eternally living God.
I declare that in His human nature Christ grew physically and spiritually, had to learn and gain wisdom, was often tired, hungry, and thirsty, was spatially and temporally located, suffered, and even died.
I declare that Christ had His two natures in such a way that what is properly said of one is sometimes said of the other in the Bible.
I declare that Christ acted, spoke, and resisted temptation by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
I declare that God recognized Jesus’ claims as to His person, nature, and mission by raising Him from the dead with the same physical body in which He died, and that He glorified and exalted Jesus when He ascended into heaven.
I declare that after Jesus died, He was buried, and on the third day God raised Him from the dead.
I declare that belief in the historical, bodily resurrection of Christ is absolutely necessary for salvation, as the Bible clearly teaches.
I declare that Christ was seen after the resurrection by several women, by His apostles and His half-brother James, and by over five hundred disciples.
I declare that Christ bodily ascended into heaven, where His body’s glorification was made complete.
I declare that the incarnation of Christ continues in heaven, where He is seated beside the Father.
With regard to Christ’s Work:
“Who ‘Himself bore our sins’ in His body on the treeso that after we died to the sins,we might come alive to righteousness,’by whose scourgings you were restored,’for you were like sheep going astray,but you have now been returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25
I DECLARE that Christ’s work consists in the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King.
I declare that as Prophet, Christ reveals God to us, speaks His words, and does His will, being Himself the revelation of God.
I declare that it was Christ who preached through Noah and the Old Testament prophets, and they foreshadowed Him in their words and actions.
I declare that Christ is alone qualified to mediate forever between God and man as High Priest.
I declare that Christ lived a life of complete righteousness and fulfillment of the law, learning obedience from the things He suffered, so that His righteousness might be imputed to us.
I declare that Christ did and said all that is ascribed to Him in the Bible, and many more things which are not recorded.
I declare that as High Priest, Christ offered Himself once for all time as the sacrifice for our sins, and that His sacrifice alone could take away sins.
I declare that Jesus Christ truly died, being crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the Jews.
I declare that Jesus was held to the cross not by our sins, nor by the Romans’ nails but by His love and obedience.
I declare that our sins neither caused Jesus’ death nor sent Him to the cross, but that He died for them of His own choosing; therefore guilt and blame for His death do not fall upon all humanity.
I declare that it is necessary that God in His justice punishes sin; Christ’s substitutionary death was the only way for the penalty to be paid for those God chose to forgive.
I declare that at Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, God poured upon Him all the wrath which was the due penalty for the sins of God’s chosen people; thus Jesus was the propitiation for all their sins, past, present, and future; no penalty remains for the sins for which Jesus died.
I declare that God poured out on Jesus precisely and only that wrath which was necessary to pay the full penalty for all the sins of His people.
I declare that Christ’s blood–that is, His death–effectively atoned for His people, and also redeemed (purchased) them from their bondage to sin, whereby they are slaves of Christ, and thus truly free.
I declare that Christ’s blood is not a force or power to be appropriated for the doing of miracles, but is what secured our salvation and its benefits.
I declare that belief in Christ’s substitutionary atonement is necessary for salvation.
I declare that when Christ died, His atoning work was finished, and He went to Paradise, which was and is in heaven, until His resurrection.
I declare that Christ did not descended into hell, rather Christ descended to Hades, gathering believers of old before ascending to Heaven.
I declare that Jesus Christ is the only Savior provided for any person; no other action or event in all history provided forgiveness for anyone.
I declare that Jesus Christ, in redeeming His people, redeemed the whole world through them as through a faithful remnant, just as He restored Israel through a remnant after their captivity.
I declare that Christ’s death demonstrated to all people the love, mercy, and justice of God, and the severity of sin; it also fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, giving yet one more proof that Jesus was the Messiah.
I declare that Christ’s death was a victory over Satan, not a defeat or temporary setback.
I declare that Christ, as priest, continues to intercede in heaven for believers.
I declare that Christ is the true King of the people of God, and that He is the Messianic ruler who sits eternally on David’s throne.
I declare that a time will come when all people will recognize Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.
I declare that, as co-heirs with Christ and members of His body, we who are believers are given prophetic, priestly, and kingly duties.
I declare that believers have a prophetic role in that we direct one another in the Bible and proclaim God’s word to the rest of the world; our access to God’s written revelation provides us with greater understanding than what was given to the prophets of old.
I declare that believers are a royal priesthood, sacrificing to God with praise and good works (though not to atone for sin), and offering our bodies as living sacrifices.
I declare that as priests, we have direct access in communication and fellowship with God, being also His temple (both collectively and as individuals), wherein He resides.
I declare that as priests we have the responsibility to bear one another’s burdens, pray for one another, disciple one another, instruct in the truth, and restore one another to fellowship.
I declare that our priesthood does not give us the right to interpret the Bible however we wish, but makes us especially accountable to God and to our fellow believers for the accuracy of our interpretations.
I declare that believers will reign with Christ when He returns to establish His physical kingdom on earth.

With regard to the Holy Spirit:
“Or do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” I Corinthians 6:19

I DECLARE that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity, with full divinity and Lordship, who was sent to us from the Father through the Son.
I declare that the Holy Spirit primarily works to show God’s active presence in the world.
I declare that the Holy Spirit is the author of all Scripture and was the agent of inspiration for the apostles and prophets.
I declare that the Holy Spirit is the ultimate source of human life, reason, artistic ability, strategy, wisdom, and other talents.
I declare that the Holy Spirit came upon certain people in the Old Testament, empowering them and sometimes controlling them against their will, and that Old Testament saints were dependent on the Spirit’s work in their lives for their holiness–but that He did not indwell them in the way He indwells believers today.
I declare that the Holy Spirit is at work among unbelievers, convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, witnessing to Christ, and providing some restraint of evil, thus preventing man from being as evil as he could be.
I declare that the Spirit empowered and exalted Christ during His earthly ministry.
I declare that after Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the believers at Pentecost.
I declare that Pentecost was a singular event in history, during which the apostles spoke the gospel miraculously so as to be understood by speakers of many languages. This marked the establishment of the New Testament church.
I declare that since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is forever with the church, gifting its members and empowering its activities, binding true believers together in unity, and through the Bible teaching it all things necessary to be known, so that there is no need for the church to seek further revelation.
I declare that the Holy Spirit works in the elect unbeliever’s life to bring him under the hearing of the gospel, and that it is by the Spirit that he is called and regenerated, and enabled to respond to God in repentant faith.
I declare that at the moment of regeneration, the Holy Spirit baptizes the believer, an invisible act without manifestation, setting him apart for God and sealing him for salvation.
I declare that, because the Holy Spirit is not a physical being, He is not spatially located in believers, but actively located in them, working redemptively within the deepest part of their beings to conform them into the image of Christ.
I declare that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by the fruits it inevitably produces in the believer’s life, is the guarantee of the believer’s eternal security.
I declare that the Holy Spirit produces as fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.
I declare that the filling of the Holy Spirit occurs when a believer is wholly submissive to God’s work in his life, and results not in loss of self-control, but in voluntary Christlike behavior.
I declare that the Holy Spirit assists in prayer, sometimes giving the believer the words to speak, and other times conveying to God the words which remain unspoken.
I declare that the saving work of the Holy Spirit does not operate in non-Christian religions or in any manner apart from the gospel of Christ.
With regard to Spiritual Gifts:
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually, just as He wills.” I Corinthians 12:11
I DECLARE that the Holy Spirit gifts each member of the church with a special ability to minister to other believers and carry out the church’s mission.
I declare that the Spirit’s gifts are distributed by His choice alone, and cannot be merited or learned, and that all are useless unless exercised in love, which is greater than all gifts.
I declare that for a time after Pentecost, the Spirit testified to the genuineness of His baptism and the legitimacy of the apostles’ ministries through miraculous signs. These gifts included prophecy, healing, miracles, speaking and interpreting in unlearned human languages, and the miraculous discernment of good and evil spirits.
I declare that by the completion of the New Testament, in accordance with the Bible’s identification of the apostles and prophets as the foundation of the church, these sign-gifts and the authority of the apostolic office were brought to an end, that foundation having already been laid.
I declare that today, all observed incidents of ecstatic speech, faith-healing, “Spirit-induced” spasmodic jerking and uncontrollable laughter, continued prophecy through visions and inspiration, the spontaneous production of precious metals in or on the body, and other so-called manifestations of the Spirit–both in pagan religions and within the visible church–are either the work of demonic forces, or are manufactured through altered states of consciousness, peer pressure, expectation, and psychological suggestibility.
I declare that the Holy Spirit gifts some members of the church to serve one another in word: with a special ability to teach the Bible and instruct in doctrine (teaching), to proclaim the gospel before unbelievers (evangelism), or to equip the church by revealing to them the meaning and proper application of God’s word (proclamation).
I declare that the Holy Spirit gifts some members of the church with special abilities to serve one another in deed: through humble assistance, leadership and administration, encouragement and extraordinary faith, generosity in giving, or extraordinary inclinations to show mercy and hospitality.
I declare that the Holy Spirit also grants special (though not superior) gifts to those whom He wishes to fulfill extraordinary roles. To some He grants the ability to live a celibate life, to some an acceptance and even desire for martyrdom; to some a devotion to missions far from home; others are enabled for voluntary poverty. Still others are given special talents in music and craftsmanship.
I declare that the gift of faith is not a force which one uses to provide for one’s self, nor a divine power which makes man like God in nature, but is a reliance on God’s gracious provision by which the one with faith keeps God’s commandments..
I declare that the Spirit’s gifts are to be used for the building up of the church and in service to others, not for one’s own benefit or glory.
I declare that the Spirit’s gifts and callings are given at His discretion and are irrevocable.

With regard to the Need for Salvation:
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean,and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;and all of us wither like a leaf,and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Isaiah 64:9

I DECLARE that God in His perfection and holiness cannot look upon sin, and does not have peaceful fellowship with anyone who does not have perfect righteousness.
I declare that righteousness consists in perfect obedience to the law.
I declare that when Adam and Eve transgressed the law of God, their sin brought corruption and condemnation on all their descendants, so that each man is conceived in bondage to sin, and under God’s curse; this is original sin.
I declare that no person perfectly obeys the law, and further, that no human act is righteous and acceptable in God’s sight, however charitable and well considered it may be in our eyes.
I declare that the guilt from which man must be saved is the condemnation of having transgressed the law of God, and not merely the emotion commonly called guilt.
I declare that the sinner bears guilt for deeds done against the law, whether of commission or omission, whether with or without knowledge, and whether through action or intent.
I declare that individuals also bear guilt for the sins of the society in which they live.
I declare that sin estranges the sinner not only from God, but also from the church, from his neighbors, from creation, and from his own conscience.
I declare that the sin nature has so corrupted man’s will that he does not even desire either to please God or seek salvation from Him.
I declare that, because no man is willing to approach the righteousness required for fellowship with God, he cannot take even one step toward his own salvation.
With regard to the Basis for Salvation:
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:4-5
I DECLARE that salvation is a free gift given by God to those with regenerate hearts, who then receive and accept it.
I declare that the Father, because of His love for the world, chose to redeem for Himself a people from every tribe, nation, and tongue.
I declare that God from eternity chose the individuals whom He would redeem, based only on His free, sovereign, and gracious will, without regard to any human acts or decisions, or anything intrinsic to anyone; for this reason the Bible refers to God’s people as elect.
I declare that the foreknowledge of God refers to His eternal, free choices; it is a causative term and not merely His knowing in advance who would choose Him.
I declare that those whom God elected He predestined to the completion of their salvation–to complete Christlikeness and eternal life.
I declare that since the salvation which God bestows on the elect glorifies His mercy, and the punishment of the wicked glorifies His justice, the existence and destination of each serves the highest possible good.
I declare that the unsaved sinner should not seek to determine if he is elect to establish a warrant for faith; rather, his response of faith is itself evidence of election.
I declare that God knew of evil and its consequences, including Adam’s fall, from eternity, and therefore must have permitted it for His own plan of redemption.
I declare that God accomplished the redemption of His people through Jesus’ death on the cross.
I declare that one’s own salvation is not assured by the faith of others, but that parents should saturate their children with the word of God, through which they may be brought to faith.
I declare that the Bible gives reason for us to be confident that those who die before developing a moral sense (and thus the capacity for deliberate acts of sin) are among God’s elect and are safe from their original sin by Jesus’ death on the cross.
I declare that speculation into God’s reasoning in election beyond what is revealed in the Bible is foolish and dangerous; one should not “pry into things God has chosen to conceal in Himself.”I declare that the great mystery is not why God does not save all regardless, but why God saves any at all.

Delcaration of Faith – Part 2

Delcaration of Faith
of Larry W. Brashear



With regard to Initial Salvation:
“Now after John had been handed over, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent and believe in the good news.'” Mark 1:14-15
I DECLARE that salvation consists in justification before God, a single exchange made on the cross, in which our sin is laid upon Christ, who paid its penalty, and His righteousness is imputed to us. By this exchange alone are sins pardoned and sinners accepted as righteous in God’s sight.
I declare that justification is an objective work of Christ that is wholly outside us and is itself neither experienced nor perceived by the convert. It has everything to do with Christ’s righteousness being imputed to believers, and nothing whatsoever to do with any righteousness infused into or wrought in the believer himself, and this understanding of justification is an essential element of saving faith.
I declare that because of the righteousness of God, the believer is freed from the curse which falls upon all who fail to do the righteous requirements of God’s law.
I declare that the believer’s imputed righteousness provides reconciliation between him and God, so that he is no longer under wrath, but has peace and fellowship with Him.
I declare that salvation comes wholly by God’s grace and is received through the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, and that no works of man can merit or aid it.
I declare that God invites all to repent and believe, and that it is the duty of everyone to repent and believe Him.
I declare that God invites all people to salvation through the proclamation of the gospel, and proposes mercy and grace to every man if he will ask for it in faith and repentance, though only those enabled by the Holy Spirit do ask.
I declare that God effectually calls His elect to salvation, ensuring by His providence that they come under the hearing of the word of God, which is the seed of regeneration.
I declare that through knowledge of God’s laws, and of their failure to do them, the Holy Spirit brings the elect under conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment, making them know that they are dead in their sins.
I declare that in His own time, the Holy Spirit regenerates, or quickens, the elect, so that he is born again, a new creation; thus the Spirit conquers the sinner for the glory of God.
I declare that the regenerate man is dead to sin and has a new heart now enabled, indeed inclined, to choose God.
I declare that the Spirit permanently indwells a man from the moment of regeneration, and that it is the Spirit to whom the good works of his life are to be ascribed.
I declare that the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence is the seal and guarantee of the regenerate man’s salvation.
I declare that the Holy Spirit’s indwelling is an anointing whereby a man knows that he is chosen by God and is enabled to believe all that God has revealed in the Bible.
I declare that the anointing of the Holy Spirit has to do with the development of holiness and understanding in the faith for all believers from the first moment of salvation, and is not connected with miraculous or ecstatic manifestations, nor is it bestowed upon only some believers.
I declare that when the Holy Spirit regenerates a man, he freely, naturally, and inevitably responds through the inseparable and saving graces of faith and repentance.
I declare that faith is a saving grace whereby a sinner flees to and unites himself with Jesus Christ alone for salvation, as He is presented in the word of God.
I declare that faith consists in agreement with God concerning sin and righteousness and judgment, and as such necessarily involves belief in the testimony of the word of God about Christ, most importantly, His deity, humanity, incarnation, righteousness, substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection; also necessary are belief in God’s existence and His role as Creator, only Savior, and righteous Judge, in the seriousness of one’s own sin, and in the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life.
I declare that faith necessarily involves a deliberate and conscious trust in Jesus Christ for the guidance and direction of one’s life.
I declare that faith necessarily involves repentance, that saving grace whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin and a recognition of the mercy of God in Christ, has grief and hatred for his sin and therefore turns from it to God as Lord, fully pursuing new obedience.
I declare that those who respond to God in faith and repentance, thereby partake of the body and blood of Christ–that is, His one-time sacrifice on the Cross–and receive complete forgiveness on the basis that the penalty for their sin has been fully paid.
I declare that upon salvation, the believer becomes a slave of God and a citizen of God’s Kingdom, and is set apart as holy (i.e., sanctified) for the good works which God has prepared for him to do, and for eternal life.
I declare that because all believers have been set apart as holy, they are properly called saints, which in Greek literally means, “holy ones.”
I declare that upon salvation, the believer is adopted as a son of God, becoming a co-heir with Christ, having the hope and promise of His inheritance, which is eternal life.
I declare that Christ bestows eternal life on all believers upon their salvation, and that it is a gift which cannot be renounced or taken away; otherwise it would not be eternal.
I declare that eternal life consists in the personal knowledge of God and His truth, and in unending fellowship with Him, both in this life and forever afterward.
I declare that upon salvation, all believers are united to Christ and are thus properly said to be in Christ.
I declare that the healing and abundant life associated with salvation are spiritual, consisting in the removal of sin and condemnation, and in the life which the Spirit gives, which frees one from being dead in sin.
I declare that believers before Christ’s incarnation were justified by grace through faith and partook of Christ’s sacrifice, just as now; only their faith did not necessarily entail knowledge of Jesus Christ, yet it consisted in the imputed righteousness of God and faith in His promise to provide salvation for His people.
I declare that those who die unborn or in infancy, or who by reason of handicap never attain to moral consciousness, are elected by the Father, redeemed by Christ, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and are justified by God’s grace in the same manner as all God’s people.
I declare that since Christ’s incarnation, no reasoning adult has ever been saved without conscious knowledge of and faith in Jesus Christ, or without true repentance.
With regard to Continuing Salvation:
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
I DECLARE that the Bible speaks of a sanctification which continues throughout the believer’s life, whereby the Holy Spirit moves him toward moral and spiritual maturity.
I declare that this sanctification is a moral and not a mystical or mental process, one of being made holy, with one’s actions becoming more and more reflective of the obedient character and mindset of Christ.
I declare that sanctification manifests itself not only in obedience but in that obedience being motivated by love for God.
I declare that sanctification only rarely manifests itself in a change of the basic personality or in release from troubling physical or psychological conditions.
I declare that obedience consists not in the following of human traditions and cultural norms but in following the instruction of God’s law.
I declare that legalism consists, firstly, in the attempt to merit or repay one’s salvation through obedience to the law.
I declare that legalism consists, secondly, in pressing human regulations and one’s personal convictions by the Spirit upon other believers: extending biblical norms beyond what God has revealed, infusing cultural norms with moral and spiritual significance, elevating traditions to normative status, and accepting fellow believers on the basis of similarity and human conformity.
I declare that legalism has as its primary results, shame, feelings of guilt, fear, denial, immaturity, conflict, pride, self-righteousness, lack of love, misunderstanding of the gospel, and spiritual and emotional slavery.
I declare that the Spirit accomplishes His work of sanctification through the purifying power of the Bible, using people, circumstances, and spiritual disciplines as the channels through which He brings the believer into the knowledge and application of God’s word.
I declare that the believer, while saved from the penalty of sin, nevertheless struggles with a sinful nature, which wars against the Spirit’s sanctifying work in his life.
I declare that the believer’s death to sin means freedom from bondage to its power; the believer now has a Spirit-indwelt new nature enabled and inclined to do good, but which exists alongside the sinful, or fleshly, fallen nature until death.
I declare that all believers are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation; they will persevere and continue to grow in grace, and can never lose or relinquish their forgiveness.
I declare that no believer is completely sanctified in this life, but continues to struggle with sin.
I declare that believers await the culmination of their salvation, the revelation and return of Jesus Christ, when they will be glorified.
I declare that believers’ glorification will consist in complete Christlikeness when they see Him as He is, and the refashioning of their bodies into incorruptible ones.
I declare that the glorified believer will be forever freed from death and from the presence and effects of sin.


With regard to the Christian Life:
“Religion pure and uncorrupted before God, even the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep one’s self unstained from the world.” James 1:27
I DECLARE that the purpose of the Christian life is to delight in glorifying God.
I declare that one who is not manifestly glad in God does not glorify God; he cannot make God look glorious if knowing and serving this God gives no gladness to his soul.
I declare that delight in the glory of God includes hatred for sin, despising the wicked, fear of displeasing God, hope in God’s promises, contentment in God’s fellowship, desire for the final revelation of God’s Son, exultation in the redemption He accomplished, grief and contrition for failures of love, gratitude for undeserved benefits, zeal for God’s purposes, and hunger for God’s righteousness.
I declare that it is the believer’s duty toward God that all his emotions respond properly to his reality and so reflect His glory.
I declare that the pattern of a believer’s life is one of positive righteousness and ethical accountability.
I declare that the believer may yet fall into sin, incur God’s judgment on himself, and feel the Spirit convicting him of the need for repentance; thus the believer is simultaneously sinner and saint.
I declare that the believer may be restored from sin to more joyful relations with God through confession and renewed repentance.
I declare that confession means not vocal proclamation of each specific instance of a sin, but sincerely expressed assent to what sin has been committed and what God’s view toward sin is.
I declare that a believer’s accountability to God increases in strictness on the basis of his doctrinal knowledge and influence on others.
I declare that it is the believer’s task to seek to glorify God by discovering and doing His will.
I declare that the believer is wise to seek not only God’s will generally, but most especially God’s will for his own individual life, as God is very particular about who does what work in His kingdom.
I declare that God chooses to conceal much of His will within Himself, but that He makes known that which is necessary for believers to obey Him.
I declare that God’s will is known not intuitively, but by careful, prayerful study of the Scriptures, and the discovery of its application to the believer’s individual life through the correct use of the mind and the guiding illumination of the Holy Spirit.
I declare that God’s will and God’s work cannot often be recognized by observation of visible results, human gratitude and affirmation, or the apparent opening and closing of avenues of opportunity. Most of God’s most obedient workers are almost entirely anonymous.
I declare that availability to God is not a matter of presumptuous initiative, but of waiting on God to show where that individual believer is best equipped to function in the carrying out of God’s work.
I declare that a believer’s separation from the world and accountability to the church require dissociation from organizations whose teachings are out of harmony with the message of Christ and the essential teachings of the Bible, as well as any organization which requires oaths of secrecy as to its teachings, beliefs, and practices.
I declare that the life of a believer is one of faith rather than sight.
I declare that a believer has given up all rights of self-determination and self-reliance in the course of his life, and is totally dependent on God for guidance and direction.
I declare that faith involves self-denial, a willingness to suffer all manner of things and to forego all manner of pleasures for the sake of God’s glory.
I declare that faith involves an assurance that God will fulfill His promise to provide for all the believer’s needs.
I declare that faith involves a recognition that every good thing in the believer’s life is a gracious and undeserved gift from God.
I declare that faith involves the recognition that God works through small things as well as large ones, and accomplishes great things through small tasks.
I declare that faith recognizes that God’s will is not necessarily the health, prosperity, and success of the believer, but rejoices with Him in the infirmities He uses to bring about His glory and conform us to the image of Christ.
I declare that the true believer may yet have doubts as to his salvation as a result of sin, affliction, lack of doctrinal knowledge, or simply the nature of fallen humans to doubt.
I declare that the believer’s doubts may be put away through observing the work of the Spirit indwelling him, who provides evidence of the believer’s calling, and through knowing that God is faithful to complete the work He has begun.


With regard to Christian Disciplines:
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little benefit, but godliness is beneficial for all things, because it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
I DECLARE that the biblically balanced Christian has a full head and a full heart, radiating both intellectual light and fervent heat.
I declare that Christian disciplines are not acts done to gain God’s favor and acceptance, but are channels through which the Spirit accomplishes sanctification.
I declare that Christian discipline is not burdensome, but frees the believer to understand and obey the Bible and to develop the character of Christ.
I declare that the discipline most directly indispensable to the believer’s internalization of God’s word is hearing, reading, and study of the Bible.
I declare that it is the obligation of the believer to study the whole Bible, with the aim of determining the author’s meaning and proper application of it to the reader’s life.
I declare that memorization of biblical passages greatly enhances one’s growth in the knowledge and application of the Bible.
I declare that Christian meditation consists only in the absorption of the Bible by the whole mind with the goal of understanding and application.
I declare that continual, deliberate learning characterizes the wise and obedient Christian.
I declare that education in all areas of knowledge is beneficial to the practice of life.
I declare that the ultimate purpose of education is to know God and His truth, and out of that knowledge to love God and follow Him.
I declare that believers should educate themselves using reliable sources of information and not sources based on popular or amateuristic ideas, especially with regard to the Bible and the physical and social sciences.
I declare that the discipline of service should be motivated by obedience, gratitude, gladness, humility, love, and most of all by the glory of God.
I declare that service in obedience to God involves not only occasional acts of heroism and great sacrifice, but more often the daily mundane, ordinary, and trivial work of God’s kingdom.
I declare that it is the duty of all believers to serve actively in church ministries in accordance with their spiritual gifts for the glory of God and the strengthening of the church.
I declare that God may call believers to acts of obedience for which they do not appear to be gifted, but that God will equip them adequately in His own time.
I declare that service often may involve no recognition and no visible indications of results; this is the work which will receive the greatest reward in heaven.
I declare that the time, money, talents, and possessions of the believer are owned by God and entrusted to the believer for responsible management for His glory.
I declare that believers should discipline their use of time through recognition of its shortness and uncertainty, and of their accountability to God for its use.
I declare that believers should give joyfully, regularly, systematically, and sacrificially of their money to support the work of God, especially giving to the ministries from which they themselves receive benefit and instruction.
I declare that a believer’s regular giving should be directed toward his home church.
I declare that believers should also be eager to give when presented with an opportunity to help their brothers and sisters in the faith when they have need.
I declare that believers should give generously not to their friends only, but even present gratuitous gifts to those who take away their goods.
I declare that the tithe is spoken of in the Bible only in the context of the Old Testament sacrificial system, and is unattested in the first centuries of the church.
I declare that the abrogation of the tithe is not so that believers might give less, but that they should demonstrate that all they have belongs to God.
I declare that the amount and frequency of giving is properly determined through the leadership of the Spirit and the believer’s proportional ability to give.
I declare that giving money does not guarantee a greater financial return from God such as a “hundredfold increase,” but that God promises to provide for the needs of the believer in all circumstances.
I declare that giving is itself a grace and blessing from God.
I declare that the believer should seek times of silence and solitude, so as to escape the cares of the world, better set one’s mind on God, and achieve more intimate worship and prayer.
I declare that the discipline of solitude should not shut out those under one’s spiritual care.
I declare that fasting is neither commanded nor expected of believers in the New Testament, nor is it required for successful Christian living or spiritual warfare.
I declare that upon the Spirit’s prompting, a believer may fast in accordance with the biblical example for occasional repentance or guidance.
I declare that fasting done out of obligation or habit, or done without prayer, is nothing more than a cessation from eating.
I declare that continual prayer is the joyful privilege and indispensable obligation of every believer.
I declare that God decrees and uses the prayers of righteous believers for the carrying out of His work.
I declare that in prayer believers should present requests to God for their needs in acknowledgement of their dependence on Him.
I declare that prayer glorifies God when the one praying has the heart and mind in the right mood for talking to God, is sincerely aware of his needs, asks only what God allows, rids himself of all boasting and self-opinionated ideas, and prays with real confidence of success, despite the necessary humbling.
I declare that believers ought to pray in the name of Christ in submission to the will of God.
I declare that believers should follow the example of Solomon, to request wisdom and understanding of God’s will, more than material blessings, and should not pray from selfish motives.
I declare that believers are to seek to expand and proclaim the glory of God by praying for the salvation of others and participating in evangelism.
I declare that the believer’s proclamation of the gospel is God’s appointed means for the conversion of sinners and the growth of the church.
I declare that the Great Commission of Christ was given to the church as the duty and privilege of every believer.
I declare that every believer is to seek constantly, aggressively, and persuasively to set the gospel before sinners by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ, with the recognition that prayer and the speaking of God’s word are the normal means by which God draws unbelievers.
I declare that fellowship is a discipline whereby the believer finds strength, refreshment, encouragement, instruction, and correction through spending time and sharing his life with other believers.
I declare that believers should live out their whole lives in worship of God, as a discipline to be learned and cultivated as an end in itself.
I declare that believers are to worship not only privately, but also corporately with other believers as a church.
I declare that active participation in the church is the obligation of every believer and is prerequisite to growth in the faith.


With regard to the Nature of the Church:
“But in case I am delayed, I am writing so that you might know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15
I DECLARE that God has preserved a people on earth from the time of Abraham, and collected that people into an assembly in the time of Moses, and made them a nation under the old covenant.
I declare that Christ instituted a new covenant, whose assembly consists of people from every tribe, nation, and tongue.
I declare that the church is the true people of God, the collection of believers in all times and places, united by their common faith.
I declare that the church consists visibly of churches, which are local bodies of believers associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel.
I declare that a church is a true New Testament church to the extent that it (1) centers its worship around the preaching of the whole word of God, (2) observes the two ordinances of Christ, (3) disciples and disciplines its members for growth in the faith, (4) orders its worship and ministry according to the Bible, and (5) recognizes Jesus Christ as the only true head of the church.
I declare that a church need not have visible historical continuity with other true churches to be a true church.
I declare that the church is the body of Christ, meaning that it is the primary means by which Christ’s work is accomplished in the world.
I declare that the members of the church are spiritually related as brothers and sisters in Christ, and as the children of God.
I declare that the New Testament church was instituted at Pentecost through the granting of the Holy Spirit, whose indwelling distinguishes the church from the Old Testament assembly.
I declare that the church saw its first growth at the preaching of Peter; thus it was upon Peter (whose name is “rock” in Greek) that Christ first built his church, which has all the apostles and prophets as its foundation and Christ as the cornerstone.
I declare that the purpose of the church is the glorification of God, and its mission is to worship Him as He desires to be worshiped.
I declare that to fulfill its purpose and mission, the church is sent out into the world to proclaim God’s glory to all people and nations, to set forth His law and His gospel aggressively and persuasively, and to disciple new believers to maturity as God adds them to the congregation.
I declare that each local church is an autonomous body, operating under the Lordship of Christ, and that no office or institution has legitimate authority over more than one local church.
I declare that a church should be led through strong pastoral authority, after Christ’s example of servant-hearted leadership and the biblical model of men gifted by God to be great among their people.
I declare that a church should operate under democratic processes, recognizing that each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord in the discovery of God’s will for the operation of the church.
I declare that a church should maximize the freedom of its members to do ministry by minimizing its use of regulatory committees, preferring accountability over authorization.
I declare that churches should maintain wise business practices in all things.
I declare that churches should not allow any buying or selling in the sanctuary or at the main entrance to the sanctuary, but should do so only in an out-of-the-way place designated for that purpose.
I declare that a church should not restrict or deprive a ministry for financial insufficiency, but should give more faithfully or else cooperate with other churches for the carrying out of that ministry.


With regard to the Offices of the Church:
“So as a fellow elder and as a witness of Christ’s sufferings who will share in the glory to be revealed, I urge the elders among you: shepherd the flock of God which is among you by overseeing it not out of necessity but voluntarily, in a godly way–not greedily, but willingly, nor as overlords of your charges. Instead, be patterns for the flock, and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.” 1 Peter 5:1-4
I DECLARE that Christ, as the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls, has given the church one office of spiritual authority, whose officers the Bible most commonly calls elders, but whom it also names shepherds (pastors) and overseers; of these terms, my denomination prefers the term “pastor.”
I declare that, according to the biblical example, a local church was designed to have at least one and sometimes several pastors; thus it is proper for multiple members of a modern “church staff”–including evangelists and missionaries–to have pastoral duties.
I declare that the main tasks of the pastor are to instruct his members in the whole word of God, and to oversee the well-being of the church and the carrying out of its mission.
I declare that the spiritual authority of a pastor carries with it no legitimate authority in the temporal realm, and does not diminish the individual church member’s accountability to believe and act according to God’s word.
I declare that for the pastor to act in a priestly or mediatorial fashion, or to claim the powers of absolution of sin and the determination of salvation or condemnation–which powers God reserves to Himself–is blasphemy and a denial of Christ’s finished work of atonement.
I declare that traveling ministers, such as evangelists, may have pastoral duties in their home churches, but that authority does not extend to other churches.
I declare that professional ministers are fully deserving of paid support by any church in which they minister, though the minister also has the right to refuse such support.
I declare that pastors who perform their duties well are especially worthy of double honor, and thus are owed a very generous salary from their local church, ideally twice the median income of the membership.
I declare that churches should hold their pastors to the highest standards of faith and conduct.
I declare that church members should lay no serious accusation against their pastor except on the account of multiple eye-witnesses, but that the pastor should suffer public rebuke if found guilty of the accusation.
I declare that for the proper functioning of the church, and in order to relieve the pastor of an abundance of temporal duties and allow him to focus on the ministry of the word of God, the Spirit led the apostles to institute the office of “ministry,” whose officers are commonly called deacons.
I declare that the deacon’s function does not exempt pastors from menial, “unspiritual” tasks, nor is the pastor exempted from the normal obligations of Christian life.
I declare that deacons have no spiritual authority, but are to manage the mundane and temporal matters involved in the carrying out of the church’s mission, and to care for the spiritual well-being of the congregation under the authority of the pastor.
I declare that ministers, both pastors and deacons, are ordinary people with personalities, interests, struggles, responsibilities, and temptations just as the laity.
I declare that no one should assume a ministry position of themselves, but that God calls specific individuals to their respective ministries, in accordance with His will for that person and that church at that time.
I declare that the call to a ministry can be recognized through the internal conviction of the Holy Spirit with regard to one’s qualifications for office, as well as one’s being equipped for that ministry and being brought to opportunity and a point of decision through God’s providence.
I declare that God will not call to ministry someone who is unqualified, and that He will equip whomever He calls.
I declare that the Bible restricts the office of pastor to men only, and to those who have experience in the faith.
I declare that to qualify as pastor, a candidate must be wise, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, meek, peaceable and not quick-tempered, marked by venerable seriousness, and free from the love of money; he must also have a reputation outside the church as a man of integrity, and be free from the use of addictive or judgment-inhibiting substances.
I declare that to qualify as pastor, a married candidate must be joined to and faithful to one wife throughout her lifetime, and his children must be believers who are dignified and under control.
I declare that a pastor who does not hold fast to the Bible as God’s word, disqualifies himself for his ministry.
I declare that deacons must be Spirit-filled, wise, of good reputation, dignified, honest, free from the love of money, and marked by a clear conscience; like pastors, they must be free from the use of addictive or judgment-inhibiting substances.
I declare that deacons must be monogamous throughout their lives and be responsible managers of their children and family.
I declare that deacons should undergo a period of testing before their position is secured; candidates who are beyond reproach should be approved as deacons.
I declare that women who serve as deacons should also be dignified and self-controlled, especially faithful, and free of all gossip.
I declare that a church which appoints or retains a pastor or deacon who is unqualified for the office shares guilt for the sin of the appointment.
I declare that the position of pastor or deacon is a privileged service of God and is not the right of the one holding the office.
I declare that ordination is the solemn and prayerful act of laying hands on new pastors or deacons, performed by the congregation of the church–by themselves or in their presence by their officers–in order to appoint them officially to their positions and express affirmation of their call from God.
I declare that ordination is the biblically appropriate means of appointing pastors and deacons.
I declare, therefore, that all the members of a church staff should be ordained either as pastors or as deacons, in accordance with the nature of their duties, including women when serving as deacons.

With regard to Preaching:
“He must hold fast the faithful word that is in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able to encourage with sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Titus 1:9
I DECLARE that God desires corporate worship to be centered on the expository preaching of the whole word of God.
I declare that all preaching should be expository preaching, which consists in proclaiming the meaning of a biblical text and communicating its specific applications to the lives of the congregation.
I declare that preaching is God’s appointed means for the awakening of the church and the preservation of the saints, and thus should be characterized by blood-earnestness.
I declare that the goal of preaching should be to glorify God by bringing about the congregation’s knowledge of Him and submission to His word.
I declare that preaching is grounded on the cross of Christ, which provides the ultimate solution to the needs of the congregation.
I declare that the preacher’s gift comes from the power of the Holy Spirit, and his authority is derived from the word of God which he exposits.
I declare, therefore, that a preacher’s authority rises and falls with his manifest allegiance to the text of the Bible.
I declare that good preaching must be not only based on the Bible, but saturated with it, and should not only be applicable, but should probe the needs and sins of the congregation.
I declare that it is not enough simply to speak the truth if it is spoken poorly, but that sermons should be presented with a delivery proven to connect well with the audience and provoke a response, abounding with vivid images, keen analogies, and appropriate behavior, but without melodrama and affectation.
I declare that good preaching aims to stir up holy affections–such emotions as hatred for sin, delight in God, hope in His promises, gratitude for His mercy, desire for holiness, and tender compassion, so as to transform the congregation’s behavior.
I declare that preaching establishes a model for the congregation as to how to interpret and apply the Scriptures.
I declare that gladness and gravity should be woven together in the life and preaching of a preacher in such a way as to sober the careless soul, sweeten the burdens of the saints, and create an atmosphere reflective of the love and holiness of God.
I declare that the preacher must be marked with a love for people, not taking precious realities lightly, nor loading people down with the burden of obedience without providing the strength of joy to help them carry it.
I declare that preachers should strive for practical, earnest, and glad-hearted holiness in every area of their lives.
I declare that preachers should live their lives in constant communion with God in prayer, mingled with fruitful study of the Bible in its original languages.
I declare that preachers should read good books written by those filled with the Bible and who are earnest about the truths they discuss.
I declare that preachers should direct their minds to the contemplation of death and its implications for life and ministry.
I declare that preachers should consider the biblical teaching that as teachers they will be judged with greater strictness.
I declare that preachers should follow Jesus’ example as a man kind, righteous, and joyful, but also a man of sorrows acquainted with grief.
I declare that preachers should strive with all their strength to know God and humble themselves under His mighty hand.
I declare that preachers should cultivate their own joy in the ministry of the word, so as not to strive against God and their hearers.
I declare that the preaching of the word of God is not limited to the office of pastor, but that the pastor should be the normal and usual preacher for his local congregation.

With regard to Corporate Worship:
“An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers.” John 4:23
I DECLARE that the local church gathering is the place established by God for corporate worship of Him.
I declare that corporate worship is the responsibility of local churches, and that while believers have the privilege of worshiping wherever and whenever they gather together, the special occasions of high emotion which characterize conferences, crusades, and retreats should not set the standard for typical worship in a local church.
I declare that a church should meet to worship God every Sunday in remembrance of Christ’s resurrection, as well as at other times during the week.
I declare that the purpose of worship is to glorify God in a manner that pleases Him.
I declare that worship wrongly focused or wrongly performed, displeases God and may bring His chastening.
I declare that worship and praise neither prepare for nor bring the presence of God; rather, the presence of God prompts worship and praise.
I declare that a church should worship and give glory to all three Persons of the Trinity, doing so in submission to the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I declare that worship should be in spirit and in truth; meaning, genuinely with the whole self and in full accord with God’s truth as revealed in Jesus.
I declare that worship cannot be done in spirit unless the worshiper is at that moment in loving relationship with God and with his neighbors.
I declare that worship cannot be done in spirit if it is focused on evangelism, Bible knowledge, political purposes, modern trends, or tradition; worship must be directed toward God and not toward people.
I declare that worship cannot be done in truth unless its form and content are in agreement.
I declare that the form and content of worship should be in conformity and agreement with all the message of the Bible.
I declare that worship should incorporate emotive, symbolic, and aesthetic aspects to underline and strengthen the meaning of its words, but that these should be the servants of theological truth, and not the masters.
I declare that the theological truth of the Bible precludes the use of icons and pictures of any of the three Persons of the Trinity in the context of worship.
I declare that the words used by a church in worship should be theological expressions–words of faith, and words about God.
I declare that the language used by a church in worship should reflect natural, reverent intimacy with God.
I declare that even the most cursory look at the psalms, hymns, and prayers of the Bible reveals that praise consists not in expressing how we feel about God, but in joyfully and solemnly declaring who He is and exactly what He has done to merit our worship.
I declare that the congregation should understand the meaning of the words said and sung in worship, as well as why they worship as they do.
I declare that a church should worship in unity, and that the entire range of a church’s membership should be welcome and intermingled in all its worship services.
I declare that churches which shun orderly worship, neglect reverence, hold back difficult theological concepts, refuse confrontation, value spectatorship over participation, pursue the contemporary trends of the world, or devalue time-tested ways of glorifying God, have their success at the expense of the souls of their congregation and are without true worship.
I declare that a church should express God’s truth in the context of its culture; that is, that the ideas communicated through the music, movement, architecture, clothing, and decoration in its worship should reflect, and certainly not contradict, the message of the Bible and the reverential spirit of worship.
I declare that a church may use products of the culture in which it is situated and consecrate them for use in worship–so long as they do not carry with them overtones of materialism, commercialism, emotionalism, rebellion, and other attitudes destructive to worship; and so long as the use of these products does not place the church’s worship in submission to the fast-changing trends of secular popular culture.
I declare, however, that churches should rather have a culture and style distinctly their own, not merely derived from the culture around them.
I declare that a church should encourage musicianship among its members for the production of good worship music, that the members should learn to read music, and that those whom God has gifted should be trained by the church in the arts of composition and performance for the glory of God.
I declare that church lyricists should be specially trained in the Bible and theology, so as to give substance, accuracy, and specificity to their compositions.
I declare that the holiness of a worship form is a matter not only of style, but also of the manner of presentation, the intent of the author, and the discipline and preparation given to its use.
I declare that the aesthetic aspects of worship should be orderly and effortful, and should strive to be in accord with objective standards of beauty.
I declare that the aesthetic aspects of worship should be designed to bring the worshiper into an attitude of worship and prepare him emotionally for the messages expressed in the service.
I declare that God’s aesthetic standard for worship is that the worshiper give his best.
I declare that worshipers should be free to express the genuine affections aroused through worship, provided that such expression builds up and unites the congregation and is in harmony with how God desires to be worshiped.
I declare that the worshipful participation of all the congregation is best achieved today through the careful and creative blending of historical and recent worship forms.
I declare that a church should follow biblical models for the order and elements of its worship, recognizing their theological significance, and rearranging and modifying its worship accordingly.


With regard to the Elements of Worship:
“Let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner.” 1 Corinthians 14:40
I DECLARE that, since the center of worship is the preaching of God’s word, the elements should either prepare for or be in response to the message of the sermon.
I declare that all that is employed in worship should be subject to the approval of the senior pastor for its biblical and theological content and for its appropriateness to the church and the occasion.
I declare that congregations should prepare for worship through the confession of sin to God and determination of repentance, and through the reconciliation of disrupted relationships, so that each one’s worship will be acceptable to God.
I declare that the public reading of Scripture is indispensable to true worship and should accompany every service.
I declare that in worship, members of a church may give testimonies to the work of Christ in their lives and ministries, to the glory of God and encouragement of the congregation.
I declare that worship should include prayers which are characterized by variety, specificity, and deliberation.
I declare that the Lord’s prayer, if used in any corporate setting, should be spoken or sung in a manner that is in keeping with its simplicity and humility.
I declare that a church should follow the biblical example of assenting to elements of worship through a spoken congregational “Amen.”
I declare that a brief time of fellowship during worship is important to the corporate spirit of worship.
I declare that churches should speak the essentials of their faith in worship, particularly their own adopted confession, that the congregation may affirm and rejoice in God’s truth.
I declare that the church should express its faith and its worship through singing.
I declare that the “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” of Scripture are the threefold division of the Book of Psalms, which interweave the thanksgiving, wisdom, instruction, and warning whereby the word of Christ may dwell in the hearts of the congregation; this should be the model for biblical singing in worship.
I declare that the most important of worship songs are those of praise addressed to God, and full of specific doctrine for the instruction of the congregation.
I declare that the Bible supports the use of musical instruments, free and joyful praise, and songs written by contemporary believers in the context of church worship.
I declare that the biblical use of applause is too easily misunderstood today to have a place in church worship, as it conveys praise of the performer, enjoyment of the music, or high emotion stirred up by an exciting performance; thanksgiving to God is better conveyed through other forms of worship.
I declare that believers should be given an appointed time to respond to the specific message of the sermon, and especially to commit themselves to that response at a place consecrated for that purpose; which we call the “altar.”
I declare that it is good for believers to respond to the sermon by taking oaths before God to renounce sins and do acts of righteousness.
I declare that unbelievers in attendance of a worship service should hear the message of salvation presented, and that those whom the Spirit leads should have an appointed time to make their conversion known to God and to the entire congregation during a time of invitation.
I declare that conversion and the believer’s response to the message should be called for distinctly, so that neither one obscures the importance of the other.
I declare that the members of the congregation should respond to the sermon also by the worshipful and joyful giving of material offerings to God for the payment of their ministers and the support and continuance of the church’s work.
I declare that as an act of worship, the giving of offerings to God is the privilege of believers only, though unbelievers may of their own accord support the work of the church outside of the worship service.
I declare that a church should open and close its worship with greetings and benedictions which commend to the congregation the grace, peace, love, and fellowship of God.

With regard to Ordinances:
“So we were buried together with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk around in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
I DECLARE that a church is well-ordered if its ministers serve as pastors and not as priests, and if it properly practices the ordinances of Christ.
I declare that the two ordinances which Christ has commanded His churches to practice are baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which is also called communion or the Eucharist.
I declare that the ordinances are not bare symbols, nor optional, but are vital acts of obedience through which the Holy Spirit accomplishes His work of sanctification, in that they are visible proclamations of God’s word.
I declare that the benefit of the ordinances comes not from the doing of them alone, nor from the one administering them, but from the faith and proper consideration of the one receiving them.
I declare that those who preside over the ordinances should be pastors or deacons, and should be members of the churches in which they administer those ordinances.
I declare that baptism is the Lord’s established means whereby a believer openly professes loyalty to Christ and enters into membership in the church.
I declare that the biblical mode of baptism is only by immersion in water, and that a single, complete immersion, performed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is sufficient for a genuine baptism.
I declare that any mode of baptizing other than immersion, or baptism in any name other than that of the entire Holy Trinity, is not baptism.
I declare that the proper subject of baptism is a believer, one who has testified of saving faith and repentance.
I declare that the believer receives no forgiveness or removal of sin through being baptized, the necessary work having been accomplished at Christ’s death and applied upon the beleiver’s response of faith.
I declare that baptism represents, first of all, the washing of purification from sin which the Spirit has already performed in the believer.
I declare that baptism is also a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and of the believer’s participation in them through his death to sin and new life in the Spirit.
I declare that upon proper baptism, believers should be accepted by their local church as having full membership, for as long as they continue to grow in grace and obedience, or until they transfer their membership to a different local church.
I declare that the Lord’s Supper is the most solemn remembrance of Christ’s atonement and the most intimate fellowship given to the church.
I declare that Christ commanded that the Lord’s Supper continue regularly in the church until His return.
I declare that the Lord’s supper consists in the entire congregation’s sharing of bread and of the fruit of the vine, to memorialize the death of Christ and the believer’s own partaking of Christ’s sacrifice when he was saved.
I declare that the Lord’s Supper also memorializes our future fellowship upon His return.
I declare that justifying grace is not dispensed in the taking of the Lord’s Supper, but that it strengthens one’s fellowship with God and with the church.
I declare that to practice the Lord’s Supper as a continuing sacrifice of Christ is to trample on the meaning of His atonement and to deny the clear teaching of the Bible.
I declare that the elements of the supper are only symbolic of Christ’s body and blood, and that Christ’s physical body is presently located only in heaven.
I declare that the use of elements other than bread and the fruit of the vine diminishes the symbolism of Christ’s body and blood.
I declare that the drink used in the original Lord’s Supper was ordinary diluted wine, whose content was much more similar to grape juice than to any wine produced today.
I declare that properly baptized believers in good standing with their local church are the proper recipients of the Lord’s Supper.
I declare that if a properly baptized believer is in good standing with a well-ordered church, he should not be restrained from reflectively taking the Lord’s Supper, whether at his home church or when visiting other churches.
I declare that for the sake of consistency, one should only take the Lord’s Supper in churches whose members would be welcome to take the Lord’s Supper in one’s home church.
I declare that if a properly baptized believer is in a state of personal sin, but not under disciplinary restriction by his church, he should not refrain from the Lord’s Supper, but instead approach it in an attitude of repentance and renewed intent to honor the sacrifice of Christ.
I declare that the Lord’s Supper should be observed only in the context of a gathering of the whole local church, and not with only one faction, class, family, or age group.
I declare, however, that for those who by chronic physical disability are unable to meet with the congregation, appointed representatives of the congregation may visit them for the taking of the elements, symbolizing the observance with the entire local church.
I declare that these representatives should be multiple and should not include pastors, so as not to convey a priestly or mediatorial act in distributing the elements.
I declare that foot-washing is not an ordinance to be continued by the church, but an act which Christ performed to illustrate a principle of humble service; it is that principle which believers should continually practice toward one another.
I declare that a church’s confirmation of one’s advancement of knowledge and obedience in the faith is not an ordinance, it being found nowhere in the Bible; nor is it a means of grace.
I declare that confessing one’s sins to a minister and doing penance serve no purpose toward the end of grace and forgiveness, as every believer is equally a priest, the minister has no authority to forgive sin, and works of righteousness never mitigate sin in any way.
I declare that the ordination of ministers is not an ordinance, it’s not being commanded by Christ; nor is it a means of grace.
I declare that, though a wedding is to be performed in the presence of the church, it is not an ordinance, it being neither commanded by Christ nor universal in its scope; nor is it a means of grace.
I declare that acts performed by a minister upon a person near death serve no purpose toward the end of grace and forgiveness, as the minister has no authority to forgive sin, and the practice is found nowhere in the Bible.


With regard to Outreach:
“So go make disciples of all the nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and by teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look, I am with you every day, even to the consummation of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
I DECLARE that all the members of a church should actively involve themselves in the ministry activities of their local church.
I declare that a church, in the carrying out of its outreach ministry, should not compromise its proclamation of the whole word of God for any reason.
I declare that the primary ministry of a church to the outside world should be the proclamation of the gospel to bring Him glory and bring new disciples–first of all in its own community, and also across the world.
I declare that churches should be the primary means of assistance for the needy of any society, including the widowed, the orphaned, the poor, the abused, the unborn, the aged, the sick, and the oppressed.
I declare that a church should be both responsible and generous in its benevolence to the needy.
I declare that a church should not seek to expand its membership by drawing members away from other true churches, nor depend upon unbelievers to enter its meeting place before it confronts them with the gospel.
I declare that a church should be eager to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and the teachings of the Bible.

With regard to Discipleship:
“He [Uzziah] continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought Yahweh, God prospered him.” 2 Chronicles 26:5
I DECLARE that the church is commissioned not to win souls, but to make disciples.
I declare that those who join a church are entrusted by God to its care for growth in the faith.
I declare that the church should disciple new believers through mentoring; experienced believers should devote time and effort to them for a relationship of nurturing and training.
I declare that members advanced in the faith should concentrate their discipleship on selected believers who show extraordinary potential, for greater opportunity of effective instruction, and maximum results for God’s kingdom.
I declare that mentors should commit to constant association with those they mentor, and to have concern for them as a personal guardian.
I declare that mentors should require of their charges unquestioning loyalty to Christ and resolution to grow in grace and knowledge.
I declare that mentors must by their lives provide good examples for those they mentor.
I declare that mentors should train their charges with the intent that they in time become mentors themselves.
I declare that church members should disciple one another through corporate Bible study in groups small in size, with an intent to refine their own methods of determining the true meaning and proper application of the Bible.
I declare that each of a church’s Bible study groups should have a leader whose role it is to set forth the example of how to study and interpret the Bible, and to give the meaning of a passage and suggest applications.
I declare that churches should instruct both children and adults in the doctrines of Christianity, as well as the history and workings of their church and the church at large.
I declare that churches should encourage one another through fellowship and time spent together.
I declare that church fellowship should involve the sharing of food and other acts of unselfish community.
I declare that church fellowship should increase in frequency and intimacy as the signs of Christ’s return come to fulfillment.

With regard to the Church’s Characteristics:
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
I DECLARE that Christ’s sacrifice has made the church holy, set apart for the glory of God, and that its holiness is evident by the lives of its members, the faithfulness of its message to the Bible, the love that it shows for God and one another, and the persecution it receives from the world.
I declare that the “catholicity” of the church is its being the only institution established by God for the proclamation of His glory and the only one entrusted with His truth.
I declare that the apostolicity of a church consists in its faithfulness to the teaching of the apostles as preserved in the New Testament.
I declare that a church has authority over the spiritual lives of its members, but no temporal authority.
I declare that a church has no authority to pronounce judgment on the world, but only on its own members.
I declare that the “keys to the Kingdom” and the power of binding and loosing are given to the church and have to do with judging matters on the basis of the Bible–not bestowing or revoking salvation, or controlling angelic and demonic forces.
I declare that the Bible commands churches to holds its members under discipline with regard to fidelity of doctrine, purity of life, and unity of fellowship.
I declare that church discipline is necessary to prevent the maligning of God by giving the name “Christian” to one who is corrupt, to prevent other believers from being corrupted, and to inspire shame and repentance in the sinner.
I declare that the biblical method of disciplinary action is restriction from the taking of the Lord’s Supper, or complete revocation of fellowship and membership, in full consideration of the possibility that the disciplined is not a true believer; but a church has no authority for temporal punishments.
I declare that church discipline should be carried out for the purification of a church and for the salvation or restoration of those it disciplines; it should therefore be temporary, and the repentant should be restored to full fellowship.

With regard to God’s Work Among Churches:
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s then you are the seed of Abraham, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:26-29
I DECLARE that the church at large is united by its common salvation through the sacrifice of Christ, and that its unity is a picture of the perfect unity within the Godhead.
I declare that the unity of the church is spiritual and Spirit-produced harmony, and not visible structure or enforceable conformity; since the death of the apostles, there remains no structure or office with authority over more than one local church.
I declare that the division of the visible church into denominations on the basis of their differing faiths and practices has promoted the growth of the church and the re-discovery of much biblical truth.
I declare that a local church should be united in its essential beliefs, in its worship and ministry, and in its attitude of humility toward one another.
I declare that members should consider one another of equal worth before God and standing as members of the church, regardless of nationality, descent, socio-economic class, gender, or condition before coming to Christ; nor should churches allow divisions based on experience with or affinity for particular personalities in Christian ministry.
I declare that a local church should have enough consensus on matters of doctrine that their differences will not hinder their ministering together and collective proclamation of God’s word.
I declare that because churches differ so greatly even on the most important matters of doctrine and church organization, not all churches can cooperate with one another, and that doing so would require a great deal of compromise in their faith.
I declare that churches should cooperate in ministry work which is too great for one church, so as to accomplish great things for God’s kingdom.
I declare that, for the cooperation to be done in order, churches should establish associations and conventions as advisory and administrative bodies for the eliciting, combining, and directing of resources for the carrying out of cooperative ministries.
I declare that such organizations should have no authority or political or monetary influence over one another, or over the churches.
I declare that the ministries for which churches ought to cooperate include missionary, educational, and benevolent endeavors, as well as any end which is itself justified, and in which the churches’ cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His word as revealed in the Bible.
I declare that churches’ cooperation with other churches, including involvement in associations and conventions, should be voluntary and dependent on other churches’ desire to accept their cooperation.
I declare the necessity for cooperation in an association or convention is unity and integrity in what the churches believe and practice; such organizations should be free to determine what their standards for faith and practice are, and make cooperation decisions based on them.
I declare that associations and conventions are wise to declare their standards for faith and practice in a written confessional document and maintain integrity with that confession throughout all the institutions and agencies of those associations or conventions.
I declare that decisions whether or not to cooperate in ministry with a church have no bearing on that church’s local autonomy, or on the consciences of that church’s members.
I declare that organizations, ministries, and events which deliberately seek to transcend denominational boundaries have an obligation to God to maintain doctrinal integrity within the essentials of the Christian faith, and should in all cases be accountable to a local church denominationally associated.

With regard to God’s Work Beyond the Church:
“And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:23
I DECLARE that God’s kingdom, which is the kingdom of heaven, includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King; particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ.
I declare that God’s kingdom will come in its fullness when all things are brought into visible subjection to Christ at His return.
I declare that the proliferation of the gospel among Gentiles was not a secondary idea, nor a plan prompted by Jewish rejection of the Messiah, but that the blessings given to Abraham and his descendants were always part of God’s plan to redeem a people from every tribe, nation, and tongue.
I declare that if the Jews would accept Jesus as their Messiah and worship Him according to the Old and New Testaments, God would work through them as He works through all His people.
I declare that the biological descendants of the Old Testament Israelites still have rightful ownership of the land which God gave them unconditionally and perpetually, but that those who have rejected the Messiah have forfeited their place in God’s kingdom.
I declare that believers who work together for the forming of a ministry should exercise that ministry under the direction and discipline of a local church or organized body of churches.
I declare that “parachurch” organizations which have their own worship and ministry, but exist apart from the direction and discipline of any confessional church, are outside God’s parameters for New Testament ministry and set a dangerous precedent for unaccountable teaching and activity in the name of Christ.
I declare that civil authorities have no authority over the conscience or over the faith and religious practice of the church; the state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends.
I declare that governments should in their legislative and judicial actions prefer no religious group over another, or impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind.
I declare that individuals within and under those governments should nevertheless have freedom to express and practice their religion in public and in private.
I declare that churches should not appeal to civil governments for the carrying out of their own work.
I declare that churches have no authority to levy taxes, wage war, or give physical enforcement to their policies.
I declare that governments which have usurped the work of the church should endeavor with the church to restore that responsibility to its rightful place.
I declare that governments should not impose taxes for the support of any form of religion or opposition to religion.
I declare that it is the duty of churches to declare themselves to be churches, and thus not organizations to be taxed, and to do so in accordance with appropriate procedures, but also to manage their property and employees in accordance with the tax laws of their government.

With regard to Last Things:
“Blessed is the one who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and heed the things that are written in it, for the time is near.” Revelation 1:3
I DECLARE that the believer has through the Bible great hope and confidence in the future and in the things that follow this life.
I declare that the Bible speaks of last things to encourage the believer both of the brevity of hardships and the short time in which to accomplish the work of God.
I declare that the Bible speaks of last things both to give the believer hope in God’s coming consummation of His kingdom, and warning of the account which he must give at the final judgment.
I declare that knowledge of last things allows the believer to face his own death and that of others without abject grief, hopelessness, or perception of injustice.
I declare that knowledge of last things assures the believer that righteousness, though often persecuted in this life, will finally be rewarded, and wickedness, though often profitable in this life, will finally be punished.
I declare that believers should live with constant joyful anticipation of Christ’s return and the consummation of God’s kingdom.


With regard to Death:
“O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting?” Hosea 13:14
I DECLARE that a person dies when the soul departs the body and goes to await the body’s resurrection.
I declare that except by special miracle of God, death is the end of earthly existence until the resurrection.
I declare that death has occurred when the body–of which the brain is a part–will no longer support the person’s consciousness.
I declare that the fear of death comes from dread of the perceived painfulness of the dying process, and from uncertainty about what awaits after death.
I declare that believers have no reason to fear death, having God to comfort them in their pain by assuring them of the certainty of the eternal bliss which comes from being with Him forever.
I declare that physical death has been inherent in the created order from the beginning, the death of one life-form being necessary for the life of another.
I declare that spiritual death is the loss of ability to be in relationship with God, death in one’s sins, which is the state of all humanity as a result of Adam’s sin.
I declare that Adam incurred spiritual death when he sinned, and was ensured of physical death when he was driven out of Eden and blocked from the tree of life.
I declare that physical death serves God’s purposes by encouraging procreation, motivating diligence in the doing of righteousness, restraining the commission and effects of sin, and providing the possibility of blood atonement.
I declare that death in itself has no sanctifying qualities, but that it removes the believer from the presence of temptation, sin, and distraction, and thus places the believer in full submission to the Holy Spirit for the completion of His sanctifying work; but complete Christlikeness awaits the return of Christ.
I declare that death is the enemy of the believer in the sense that it ends the opportunity to worship and serve God on earth, to proclaim the gospel, and to enjoy the bonds of family, and in that it separates the body and soul, rendering the person incomplete apart from resurrection.
I declare that death is the hope of the believer in the sense that it ends all sorrow, separates the believer finally from sin, and brings him into the presence of God forever.
I declare that Christ conquered through His resurrection any power of death to end the believer’s enjoyment of God, by becoming the firstfruits of our own future resurrection.

With regard to the Afterlife:
“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7
I DECLARE that if no life followed physical death, the whole of Christianity would be meaningless.
I declare that at death a person’s works are fixed, and his afterlife determined, so that prayers, baptisms, indulgences, and other acts for the dead are of no use.
I declare that there is no knowledge of the afterlife outside the Bible, and that all claims of visions or experiences in the afterlife are deceptions or delusions invented by Satan.
I declare that immediately upon death, the believer’s spirit is made present with God in heaven.
I declare that the “heaven” to which the believer’s spirit goes at death is a physical place apart from this universe, Paradise, and Abraham’s bosom, rather where Christ’s body is currently located and where the angels have their home.
I declare that the Bible uses the term “she’ol,” which in Greek is “hades” often to refer to the grave where the dead body lies.
I declare that the body at death is unconscious, unknowing, and unable to praise God.
I declare that “she’ol” or “hades” is also used to refer to the place of conscious torment which is the home of all the spirits of unbelievers who have died.
I declare that there are no such places as limbo, purgatory, or any other realm of departed spirits besides heaven and she’ol/hades.
I declare that the concept of purgatory, where it is said man is allowed the dignity to pay for some of his own sins, denies the finished atonement of Christ, the imputation of His righteousness, and justification by faith.

With regard to Signs of the End:
“They questioned Him saying, ‘Teacher, when therefore will these things be, and what will be the sign when they are about to happen?'” Luke 21:7
I DECLARE that the last days actually began in the time of the New Testament, and were evidenced by the appearance of antichrists, who denied the apostolic teaching of Christ’s incarnation and Sonship.
I declare that believers attentive to the times and the Bible will not be surprised at the coming of the end, for God has provided signs of its approach.
I declare, however, that the signs of the end will not indicate the exact time of the end, neither the day nor the hour of Christ’s coming.
I declare that the signs of which Christ spoke in His Olivet Discourse were not signs of the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple, but signs of His return.
I declare that claims that the end has come or that Christ has already returned, whether physically or spiritually, are false.
I declare that those who scoff at the promise of Christ’s return are foolish and carnal, and deliberately disregard God’s demonstration of His justice throughout history.
I declare that, while God’s people in every generation should be watchful for signs of the end, to relate present-day events with biblical symbols and figures of speech, without any warrant in the text itself, is unwise and an abuse of the Bible.
I declare that the proclamation by some end-times teachers that the United States is the modern-day equivalent of biblical Israel and thus the inheritor of its prophecies is foolishness.
I declare that the occurrence of wars, revolutions, natural disasters, and astronomical events are part of the progression of human history and will not cease but rather increase as the end nears.
I declare that among the more general signs of the end are an increase in knowledge, the proliferation of evil, and the proclamation of the gospel to all peoples.

With regard to the Tribulation:
“Now I ask you, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him…do not let anyone deceive you in any way; because it will not come until the rebellion comes first and the son of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 3
I DECLARE that the man of lawlessness, empowered by Satan, will receive authority and worship from the world.
I declare that the man of lawlessness will use his power to blaspheme God and persecute post-rapture believers.
I declare that this great persecution will lead to a great apostasy, as false believers associated with the church reveal themselves and betray true believers to death.
I declare that God will bring severe judgment on the world for its worship of the man of lawlessness, but that His judgment will not lead them to repentance.
I declare that the proclamation of God’s word will continue throughout the Tribulation.
I declare that as the Tribulation continues, the nations of the world will gather against Jerusalem and plunder and besiege it.
I declare that the proliferation of sin and persecution, the cries to God for justice, and the gathering of the nations are all part of God’s moving of history toward the final day of the Lord and the consummation of His kingdom.
I declare that much is said in the Bible concerning the details of the Tribulation which are difficult to discern and may not be recognized until the time of their occurrence; thus differing interpretations of the order of seals, trumpets, and bowls, or the identity of the two witnesses, or the nature of locusts and falling stars, should cause no division or disruption of fellowship within the body of Christ.

With regard to the Return of Christ:
“For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives….” Zechariah 14:2-4a
I DECLARE that the promise of Christ’s coming for the final day of the Lord is one of the clearest in all the Bible, and is that in which believers have their greatest hope.
I declare that Christ will physically and visibly return from heaven to earth with His angels, having the same body in which He ascended to heaven after His resurrection.
I declare that immediately upon Christ’s return, the bodies of all dead believers of all the ages–including those who have been beheaded by the man of sin–will be resurrected and reunited with their souls, which Christ brings with Him; this is the first resurrection.
I declare that the resurrected bodies will be transformed into glorified, Christlike, immortal, and incorruptible–yet still physical–bodies.
I declare that immediately following the resurrection, believers who are alive will be likewise transformed.
I declare that Christ’s presence will so draw believers that they will all be caught up to Him while He is yet in the clouds, and will be with Him forever.
I declare that the sight of Christ will complete the sanctification of believers, so that they will be like Him when they see Him as He is.
I declare that Christ will descend to the Mount of Olives and proceed to deliver Jerusalem from the nations which have besieged it.
I declare that Christ will then physically war against the nations, in judgment of their wickedness and in vindication of His people, in what the Bible calls the Battle of Armageddon.
I declare that Christ’s war with the nations is prophesied in the Old Testament as the final “day of the Lord.”
I declare that, although natural disasters, “cosmic events,” and the coming of the Lord to earth to battle His enemies were often spoken as figures of speech in Old Testament judgment passages, there is no reason to doubt their literal occurrence at the return of Christ.
I declare that Christ’s judgment will bring the full end of the government of the man of sin, who will be cast into hell.
I declare that God’s people, then fully sanctified and thus with a proper perception of the seriousness of sin and the righteousness of God’s justice, will rejoice at the wrath of God and have a renewed sense of His grace toward them.

With regard to the Millennium:
“‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares Yahweh,’when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch.And He will reign as king and act wiselyand do justice and righteousness in the land.In His days Judah will be saved,and Israel will dwell securely;and this is His name by which He will be called:Yahweh our righteousness.'” Jeremiah 23:5-6
I DECLARE that, there remains a future time of peace on this earth which will follow the return of Christ.
I declare that those who see the Millennium as only representative of the church age, err in that they cannot explain the first resurrection at its beginning, the temporary binding of Satan, the link between its establishment and the return of Christ, or their own characterization of the first centuries of the church as simultaneously fulfilling the Great Tribulation and the Millennium.
I declare that following the Battle of Armageddon, Satan will be restrained and his influence of temptation on humanity will end for a time.
I declare that Christ will establish a physical kingdom on this earth, one characterized by harmony, prosperity, and peace.
I declare that during Christ’s reign, the created order will be changed so that death and predation no longer characterize natural processes or the behavior of living things.
I declare that the righteous will reign with Christ and have special privileges in His kingdom.
I declare that the righteous will celebrate with festivals and sacrifices, though out of joy and not as atonements for sin.
I declare that the righteous, with their glorified bodies, will never die, and will neither marry nor have children in Christ’s kingdom.
I declare that the wicked, not having been glorified, will die and leave descendants, and therefore their number will increase.
I declare that Christ’s rule over His kingdom will be strict, and Satan’s temptation will be absent, so that the sinfulness of the wicked is held in check.
I declare that at the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released and stir up a final rebellion among the wicked, who will by then outnumber the righteous, but that God will extinguish them all.
I declare that the Millennium will close with the resurrection of the bodies of all the unrighteous dead, which their souls will inhabit for eternity; this is the second resurrection.
I declare that after the Millennium, God will refurbish the entire physical universe, to its original state.

With regard to the Last Judgment and Eternity:
“Blessed are those who wash their stately robes, so that they may have authority to eat from the tree of life and to enter through the gateways into the city.” Revelation 22:14
I DECLARE that God has appointed one time when every person who has ever lived, both the righteous and the wicked, will give an account of every word spoken and deed done during earthly life.
I declare that the last judgment will follow the second resurrection.
I declare that at the last judgment, all will genuinely acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ. All evil and rebellion will cease as every created being is subjected to the will of Christ to the glory of God the Father.
I declare that those whom God has appointed for eternal life and justified through Christ’s propitiation and the imputation of His righteousness, will receive rewards for the things done for God’s glory, and will enjoy those rewards throughout their eternity with God.
I declare that those who refused to give glory to God on earth will receive punishments for their sins, and will suffer those punishments throughout their eternity apart from God.
I declare that eternity as we will experience it, consists not in timelessness but in unending time.
I declare that hell is a physical place of conscious torment prepared to punish Satan and the demons forever, and is also the final destination of all who die without faith in Christ and repentance toward God.
I declare that hell’s punishments will be of a single degree of severity and not based on God’s measure of the seriousness of the unbelievers rejection of Him.
I declare that hell’s conscious punishments are eternal, and that those who deny this have not grasped the biblical teaching of the seriousness of sin and the justice of God’s wrath.
I declare that God will renovate a new heavens and a new earth, not subject to decay as this one is, with no sorrow, pain, or fear; this may rightly be called “heaven,” though distinct from the heaven which preceded our resurrection.
I declare that life in the new creation will be effortful and exciting, full of discovery, worship, and service to God, such as is beyond our imagination.
I declare that God will dwell forever with His people on the new earth, as with Adam in Eden.

With regard to Ethics:
“Take away from Me the noise of your songs;I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.But let justice roll down like waters,and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:23-24
I DECLARE that the single authority for discerning right and wrong is the Bible, correctly interpreted and wisely applied.
I declare that God’s law, His eternal principles of right and wrong, is the obligation of every person to follow, and that obedience to it is a matter of each one’s true choice.
I declare that the ability to love and do God’s law lies not within human nature, but in the special enabling of the Spirit through His sanctifying work in the regenerated believer.
I declare that God’s law convicts us of our helplessness in being unable to fulfill it, shows us our sin, and warns us of judgment.
I declare that God’s law serves to control through fear of punishment those who are otherwise unconcerned with just and right behavior.
I declare that God’s law teaches believers how they might please God and encourages them to obey it by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
I declare that the essentials of God’s law, and particularly the existence of objective standards of right and wrong, are present in the created order and the human conscience, so that all are without excuse.
I declare that the ethics of Christianity cannot be divorced from the theology upon which they are built.
I declare that the ethical implications of Christianity extend to every aspect of personal and social life.
I declare that ethics involves not just correct individual decisions, or the avoidance of vices and bad habits, but the development of positive virtues which define one’s character as one of integrity.
I declare that God’s universal principles never conflict in such a way as to force one to sin, as God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to endure, and Jesus faced every sort of temptation and yet never sinned.
I declare that where moral principles appear to conflict, a prayerful consideration of the biblically higher principle, and particularly of the obligation to self-sacrifice, will resolve the dilemma.
I declare that ethical living does not affect God’s love or acceptance of any person, but that He loves all, and accepts only perfect righteousness, which is found among men only by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.
I declare that God makes requirements of us because we are His people, not in order for us to become His people.
I declare that the goal of ethical living is to glorify God by making the will of Christ supreme in one’s own life and in human society.


With regard to Love:
“So become imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk around in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, as an offering and sacrifice to God, a pleasing fragrance.” Ephesians 5:1-2
I DECLARE that the heart of God’s law is expressed in the commandments to love God first of all with the whole self, and to love one’s neighbor as much as one’s very own self.
I declare that love for God first and for one’s neighbor as one’s self is the proper foundation of every friendship, family, and indeed every human relationship.
I declare that love for God entails not just rightly directed worship, but correct worship, proper reverence, and placing His glory as the permeating priority in our decisions.
I declare that love for God entails valuing that which God has declared good, which includes the natural world.
I declare that love for our neighbor entails respect and consideration for him as an equal created in the image of God, in treating our neighbor as we ourselves would be treated, and compassion and help in his infirmities, both physical and spiritual.
I declare that, while a believer should consider all people of equal worth in God’s sight, there are some for which a believer has special responsibility, namely, his immediate family, his fellow church members, other believers, and the needy who seek assistance from him.
I declare that love for one’s self is not commanded in the Bible, but is a weakness against which one must struggle in the process of sanctification and self-denial.
I declare, however, that we as believers should endeavor to keep ourselves healthy and pure upon consideration that we are created in God’s image and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
I declare that love may best be defined with reference to the behavior of God as demonstrated in the Bible.
I declare that love’s truest demonstration is self-sacrifice for the benefit of another, and that such self-denial should characterize all a believer’s relationships.
I declare that all the requirements of love, and thus of God’s law, are summarized in the Ten Commandments.



Declaration of Faith – Part 3

Delcaration of Faith
Of Larry W. Brashear

With regard to the First Commandment:
“I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods besides me.” Deuteronomy 5:6-7
I DECLARE that the heart of the first commandment is knowing and acknowledging Yahweh to be the only true God, and our God, believing in Him as He has revealed Himself.
I declare that the first commandment requires giving worship and glory to Yahweh alone.
I declare that Yahweh is due worship and glory because of the power, holiness, righteousness, and love which He has demonstrated by His wonderful acts.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we are atheists or agnostics, or if we believe in the existence of any god besides Yahweh.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we deny the deity or distinct personhood of any of the three Persons of the Trinity.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we hold all gods to be the same, or declare any person or creature to be a god.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we refuse to believe His words.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we live without regard for religion.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we live a religious life without a genuine love and devotion to God.
I declare that we worship and glorify God by acknowledging Him to be King of kings and Lord of lords, above all things that men worship, and the standard of truth, love, and beauty, both universally and in our own lives.
I declare that the first commandment requires giving all thanks and praise to God.
I declare that God is due all thanks and praise because all good things come from Him, and because nothing harmful comes upon us that He does not allow and use for a greater purpose.
I declare that we fail to give God His due thanks and praise if we ascribe the praise of any good we are, have, or can do to fortune, chance, idols, ourselves, or any other creature.
I declare that we fail to give God His due thanks and praise if we treat those things not visibly religious as if they are unrelated to God and His Lordship and goodness.
I declare that we especially fail to give God His due thanks and praise if we try to achieve salvation through our own merits, or claim to have done so.
I declare that we give God His due thanks and praise when we openly acknowledge before God and men how He has blessed us by all His acts, and proclaim His loving and just providence in every circumstance.
I declare that the first commandment requires approaching God with reverence and recognition of His Majesty.
I declare that God is due reverence because He is infinitely above us in power, wisdom, and purity, and we are as nothing before Him.
I declare that we fail to revere God if we promote heresy and false teaching about Him.
I declare that we fail to revere God if we worship Him casually or without the use of the mind.
I declare that we fail to revere God if we search boldly and curiously into those secrets about God which He has chosen not to reveal in the Bible.
I declare that we revere God when we approach worship and instruction with a reflection on all that makes Him glorious and worthy of praise, and have a fearful sense of our unworthiness to stand before Him.
I declare that the first commandment requires relying fully on God and giving absolute trust only to Him and His word.
I declare that God is due our trust because He is Himself the truth, and has promised to guide us and provide for us.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we appoint mere humans as lords over our faith and conscience, or when we are gullible to the teachings of men when they go against the words of God.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we live by self-reliance or are marked by pride and presumption.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we pray to, invoke, or give any veneration to Mary, saints, angels, or any other creatures.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we make compacts with demonic forces or consult with them, the dead, horoscopes, Ouijas, tarot cards, psychics, or any other tool of the occult, even for the purposes of entertainment.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we place our comfort, security, and standards for truth in the advancements of human knowledge and capabilities, and when we make those advancements without first considering their theological and ethical implications.
I declare that we rely on God when we find our assurance and salvation in Him alone, and trust in Him to provide us with the sustenance and guidance He would give us.
I declare that the first commandment requires having all our pleasure in God: thinking on Him, remembering Him, honoring, adoring, and thinking highly of Him, choosing and loving Him, and thoroughly delighting and rejoicing in Him.
I declare that we delight in God because He has created us, indeed all creation, for that purpose, and because He is the only source of true joy.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we hate, despise, mock, jest, or complain about God and His commandments.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we persist in ignorance, forgetfulness, misapprehensions, false opinions, or unworthy and wicked thoughts concerning God.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we are impatient or not content with His blessings, or if we charge God foolishly for the calamities He inflicts.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we pursue primarily our own happiness, leisure, stimulation, and entertainment, or if we love ourselves more than we love God’s commandments.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we take more delight or place more security in worldly pleasures than in God.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if an inordinate and immoderate setting of our mind, will, or affections even on good things overshadows our love for God.
I declare that we delight in God when we find joy in what He gives us, and in learning more about Him and His will, and when our obedience arises from a glad eagerness to endure even the greatest hardships to follow Him.
I declare that the first commandment requires carefully endeavoring in all things to please God, and to show ourselves approved by Him.
I declare that we seek to please God because He loved us first and it pleased Him to bring about our salvation for His glory, and because He has prepared in advance good works for us to do.
I declare that we fail to please God if we compromise our faithfulness to His word in order to please men.
I declare that we fail to please God if we withhold or neglect anything due Him.
I declare that we fail to please God if we express callousness, incorrigibleness, or rebellion at His blessings or His judgments.
I declare that we fail to please God if we seek to accomplish good ends by employing sinful means.
I declare that we fail to please God if we seek to resist His work in our lives.
I declare that we fail to please God if we seek only to receive His comfort without pressing forward to do His will.
I declare that we please God by walking with Him in obedience and submission of our whole self to Him, and by being quick to repent when we offend Him.


With regard to the Second Commandment:
“So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day Yahweh spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image of Me for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female…and that you do not lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which Yahweh your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.” Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 19
I DECLARE that the heart of the second commandment is worshiping God in the ways He would have us worship Him.
I declare that the second commandment requires learning, observing, and maintaining pure and entire all the religious worship that God has instituted in His word.
I declare that we worship in God’s way because worship is by definition directed toward God and His pleasure and glory, and not primarily to meet the needs, preferences, or sensitivities of believers or of the world.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we do not regularly gather with other believers for corporate worship.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we have contempt for the worship and ordinances which God has instituted.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if by neglect or refusal, we as believers do not observe the ordinance of baptism, or if we in good standing in our church do not observe the Lord’s supper.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we devise, advise, observe, or approve of forms of worship out of harmony with the biblical pattern, or unable clearly to communicate God’s truth.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship, and in fact commit sacrilege, if we worship in form only and not in spirit.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if our claimed services to God are performed in order to attain wealth, fame, power, or influence over others’ lives.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we approach God while in disharmony with our brothers.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we do not minister to our neighbors in their need.
I declare that we keep God’s way of worship through the proper administration and receiving of the ordinances, giving earnest praise, thanksgiving, and prayer in the name of Christ, and by reading, proclaiming, and listening attentively to the word of God with an endeavor to live out that word in love and service to God and others.
I declare that the second commandment requires opposing all false worship, especially the worldly practice of using idols and images.
I declare that we oppose false worship because it offends God and leads us to false perceptions of who He is and how to please Him.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we tolerate worship which is unbiblical or empty in either form or substance.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we persist in inadequate worship patterns in our adherence to tradition or our pursuit of novelty.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we maintain, spread, encourage, or tolerate superstitious beliefs or practices, even those which may appear harmless.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we use natural things for divination; that is, to assist in the ascertaining of His will or the future.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we engage in idolatry, in the worship or service of feigned deities, or in making any representation of feigned deities.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we worship or revere any image, or God in an image or through the use of an image.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we place in a church sanctuary, or use in worship, any representation of God, of all or any of the three Persons of the Trinity, in any kind of image or likeness whatsoever.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we entertain ourselves with that which glorifies false religions or the occult, presents them as harmless, or encourages involvement in pagan or occultic practices.
I declare that we oppose false worship by avoiding, detesting, denouncing, and removing false worship, promotion of false religion and the occult, and all icons and monuments of idolatry, in accordance with our place and calling.
I declare that the second commandment requires organizing the worshiping community according to God’s design for it.
I declare that we organize worship properly because a well-ordered church maintains the purity of worship and equips us to please God and delight in Him, and because God has taken care to show us the right way to order a church.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if our regular gathering for worship is not in association with or under the discipline of a local church.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we join societies with their own oaths and rituals, or which speak of access to God and heaven apart from the gospel.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we join any group which would not have its teachings and practices known to the church.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we engage only in corporate worship without worshiping and serving God in our daily lives.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we allow into membership in the worshiping community those who are not believers and thus cannot worship.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if our church’s leaders have too much or too little authority.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we share in the ordinances with churches who do not practice them according to Christ’s institution as taught in the Bible.
I declare that we organize worship properly by maintaining biblical church government and discipline, and by maintaining the integrity of the church’s worship and ministry.


With regard to the Third Commandment:
“You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” Exodus 20:6
I DECLARE that the heart of the third commandment is reverence for God’s holiness, so as not to bring reproach upon His name or His word.
I declare that the third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s name, titles, and attributes.
I declare that we hallow (commend the holiness of) God’s name because it embodies God’s infinite power, freedom, and authority, and because it is the name at which every knee will one day bow and give glory to God.
I declare that we fail to hallow God’s name when we speak God’s name or titles in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, reflexive, profane, superstitious, or coarse fashion.
I declare that we fail to hallow God’s name when we speak slanderously of God, or question His titles or attributes.
I declare that we fail to hallow God’s name when we call down curses lightly, vindictively, or profanely.
I declare that we fail to hallow God’s name when we refuse to speak it for superstitious reasons, or out of shame or embarrassment to claim God in the presence of the world.
I declare that we hallow God’s name when we speak it reverently, lovingly, and worshipfully, addressing Him and speaking of Him with expressed recognition of His holiness.
I declare that the third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of the Bible.
I declare that we honor the Bible because it is the only means by which God has revealed His identity and His salvation for all ages, and because it is full of the truth of God, being the only proper authority for our faith and practice.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we deny that it is God’s entire written word, or otherwise malign, scorn, mock, complain at, or in any way oppose its teachings, especially with regard to God’s truth, grace, and ways.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we misinterpret, misapply, or in any way pervert the Bible or any part of it.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if as people of influence we endorse preachers or Bible teachers without first confirming the truth of their doctrine and the consistency of their lifestyle.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we maintain false doctrines, or seek to formulate theology or discover truth about God without reference to the Bible as the sole authority.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we base our fellowship with other believers on curious and unprofitable theological and biblical questions about which the Bible has no teaching.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we engage in the false or careless translation of it, or translate what we think the Bible should say as opposed to what it actually says.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we contemptuously mistreat a faithful copy of the Bible.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we disobey its teachings or compromise its truth for the sake of close fellowship to unbelievers, and especially if we marry unbelievers.
I declare that we honor the Bible by demonstrating respect for all it contains, by publicly and privately submitting all our beliefs and practices to its teachings, and by proclaiming God’s word to others without compromise.
I declare that the third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of the ordinances and prayer.
I declare that we honor our worship because it is our privilege to commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection, and to have access to God through prayer.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we are ashamed of our religion and its practices, or recant from God’s truth under threat of persecution.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we are a shame to our religion by uncomfortable, unwise, and offensive living, or by backsliding from its teachings.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we profess religion in hypocrisy, for dishonest gain, or for sinister ends.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we seek to resolve disputes between believers by resorting to civil courts rather than through the channels of church discipline.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we neglect or mock baptism, or pretend baptism in play or in jest.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we observe the Lord’s supper without reflecting on the body and blood of Christ, and how His sacrifice demonstrated the seriousness of our sin and the abundance of God’s grace and mercy.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we neglect the baptism of our believing children, or prevent them from reflectively taking the Lord’s supper.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we use it to discriminate against those who are our brothers in Christ, and in harmony with God’s word.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we use its forms for our own entertainment or satisfaction rather than for the glory of God.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if our prayers are prayed in order to please men rather than God, or in order to bring glory to ourselves rather than to God.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if our prayers are only occasional, or in times of pressing need.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we pray primarily for blessing to satisfy our own desires.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we pray in order to exercise authority over God rather than to depend on the grace and mercy of God.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we tolerate preaching not of the Bible, or worship which is not in spirit and in truth.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we make the church sanctuary a place of merchandise .
I declare that we honor our worship by approaching all of it with the reverence, awe, and humility that is proper for one who is in the presence of God.
I declare that the third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of oaths taken in God’s name and vows made to the Lord.
I declare that we honor oaths and vows because by fulfilling or breaking them we communicate our true regard for God’s truth and holiness, and our willingness to imitate it.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we swear by any other name than that of God.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if the words we speak without them tend not to be true.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we take them without the intention of fulfillment.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we choose not to carry them out.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we commit perjury before a court of justice.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we fail to proclaim and live in accordance with doctrines we profess to believe.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we make promises which place us in conflict with our obligations to God and neighbor, or with previously taken oaths and vows.
I declare that we honor oaths and vows by making them only very gravely, with as much devotion to carrying them out as to proclaiming God’s integrity, and by fulfilling them promptly and according to their expressed intention at the time they were made.

With regard to the Fourth Commandment:
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of Yahweh your God” Deuteronomy 5:13-14a
I DECLARE that the heart of the fourth commandment is remembering God’s creation and His plan for human living.
I declare that the fourth commandment requires sanctifying to God and observing special times to worship and remember Him.
I declare that we keep days holy to God because He so commanded, and because He is worthy of full attention which requires the periodic cessation of ordinary daily activities.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we observe them out of habit or obligation, or without thought to what God has done.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we allow worldly values to intrude upon our holidays, or secularize the content of days devoted to remembrance of His work.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we join them with myths and legends, and dilute the truth of God with the fanciful stories of the world.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we celebrate days devoted to pagan or heretical memorials and practices.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we neglect our freedom in Christ and use them to cause divisions based on traditions and legalism.
I declare that we keep days holy to God by regularly celebrating God’s rest from creation, by setting aside days of thanksgiving and prayer to Him, for upholding the institutions and relationships He has ordained, by annually commemorating Christ’s incarnation and His death, and by worshiping Him every Sunday in celebration of His resurrection.
I declare that we also keep days holy to God by setting aside days or weeks privately to endeavor further in spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible reading, particularly in preparation for public holy days.
I declare that the fourth commandment requires the observance of a sabbath.
I declare that we observe the sabbath in order to refresh ourselves, to remember how God fully completed His creation, pronounced it good, and ceased from His creative activity, and to anticipate our entrance into God’s continuing seventh day of rest.
I declare that we fail to observe the sabbath if we work seven days a week, or if we take our day of rest without reflecting on its God-centered significance.
I declare that we fail to observe the sabbath if we so restrict our sabbath activities that we neglect or forbid work of mercy and necessity, and thereby do harm to our neighbor.
I declare that we fail to observe the sabbath if we confuse it with the day of worship which commemorates Jesus’ resurrection, so as not to remember God’s rest, and not to allow proper time for refreshment.
I declare that we observe the sabbath by setting aside weekly a day to rest from our labors, setting the time in accordance with the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and by periodically resting for longer periods (sabbaticals) for extended times of rest and devotion to God.
I declare that the fourth commandment does not require the observance of the rituals associated with the old covenant.
I declare that we are free from the old covenant because the priestly rituals were shadows fulfilled in Christ, and because God made special requirements for His people as a nation which He does not require of His people scattered over the face of the earth.
I declare that we fail to be free from the old covenant if we employ priests and mediators between ourselves and God.
I declare that we fail to be free from the old covenant if we make sacrifices or perform labors for the covering or atonement of sin.
I declare that we fail to be free from the old covenant if we regard ourselves as clean or unclean based on what goes into the body, rather than what comes from the heart.
I declare that we fail to be free from the old covenant if we maintain a legalistic approach to our religion.
I declare that we practice our freedom from the old covenant by seeing its fulfillment in Christ, our only High Priest, and finding our righteousness, forgiveness, and cleansing in Him alone.

With regard to the Fifth Commandment:
“Submit yourselves to every human institution of authority because of the Lord, whether to a king as being higher, or to praetors as having been sent through him for retribution on those who do wrong, but praise on those who do good.” 1 Peter 2:13-14
I DECLARE that the heart of the fifth commandment is the proper functioning of the institutions of human authority which God has established.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires maintaining the biblical pattern of the family.
I declare that we preserve the family because it was instituted by God as the foundation for human society, models the relationship of God to His people, and provides the framework for human intimacy, the channel of sexual expression, and the means of procreation for the human race.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as husbands do not act and speak lovingly to our wives.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as husbands do not treat our wives as equals in Christ.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as wives do not willingly submit ourselves to our husbands.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we allow in-laws and others outside to influence the operation of the family.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if our parenting responsibilities lead us to neglect the husband-wife relationship.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we seek to bear and raise children without both a father and a mother.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents are indifferent or casual with regard to the time and manner of the conceiving, bearing, and raising of our children.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents do not raise our children to be godly.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents do not provide the stern discipline, physical and otherwise, required to demonstrate our love and bring about obedience.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents leave our young children to be raised by others for the advantages of a second income.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents abuse our children physically, verbally, or sexually.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as children do not honor and obey our parents.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as children despise discipline and correction.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we forbid ministers to marry and provide a model family for their congregation.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we redefine it to be other than a husband, being male, and wife, being female, and their children by blood or adoption.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we initiate divorce.
I declare that we preserve the family by promoting, maintaining, and assisting families to be characterized by husbands who love their wives as Christ loved the church, providing for and protecting them, by wives who submit themselves to the servant leadership of their husbands and have the care of children and the home as their primary work, the two being parents who responsibly carry out their authority to raise children, and by children who are godly, self-controlled, and obedient.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires maintaining responsible relationships between employers and employees.
I declare that we maintain proper work relationships because we were created for work and productivity, because both employers and employees are our equals in the image of God, and because by the witness of our lives at work we adorn the word of God.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we tolerate the buying, selling, and owning of law-abiding people as involuntary slaves or as mere property.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we disturb or place pressure on the quality of our employees’ families.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we allow hatred or prejudice to affect our dealings with prospective or current employees and employers.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we provide faithful employees with compensation insufficient for their labor or less than what has been agreed upon.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we use our authority as employers to gain favors from employees which are unrelated to their properly assigned tasks.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we seek to control or pressure our employers through refusing to work or follow their instructions.
I declare that we maintain proper work relationships as employers by being responsible authority figures who treat employees professionally and equitably, and as employees by being responsible workers who glorify God by doing our tasks well and pleasing our employers.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires the operation of civil government as God’s agent to enforce law and order, to preserve the peace and freedom of its citizens, and to leave their consciences free before God.
I declare that we follow God’s pattern for government because it is His institution, and the authorities that exist have been placed there by God, and are accountable to Him for their actions.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we function without or outside of government, in a state of anarchy.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we deny that we as its leaders are not accountable to God for our leadership.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we hold our citizens under tyranny or oppression, or provide them no recourse when we abuse our authority.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we allow government’s decisions and appointments to be made by men who are without wisdom or respect for their country and the well-being of their people.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we fail to enforce law, order, and public morality and decency, so as to restrain the effects of evil.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we provide inadequate defense and protection to our citizens, or forbid them the ability to defend and protect themselves and their families.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we as civil leaders exercise authority over men’s consciences and usurp the responsibilities God has assigned to the church.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we as civil leaders tax or regulate the operations and teachings of the church.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we rebel against our civil leaders, or disobey laws which are in harmony with God’s law.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we obey civil laws which are in direct conflict with God’s law.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we as citizens do not give adequate attention to and participation in our government, as part of our responsibility to make the will of God supreme in human society.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we as citizens or as churches fail to abide by the tax laws of our government.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we do not respect them and pray for them as God’s servants.
I declare that we follow God’s pattern for government by establishing and participating in a representative government ruled by wise men selected by and accountable to the citizenry, who provide adequate enforcement and protection to the people and respect the freedoms of the church; and by giving proper respect and obedience to our own leaders in accordance with God’s law.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires that all those in positions of authority exercise it responsibly.
I declare that we lead responsibly because we must give account to God for the carrying out of our tasks and our treatment of the people under our charge.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we use our authority to seek our own glory, ease, profit, or pleasure.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we dishonor our position or lessen our appointed authority by unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behavior, or by bad judgment.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we delegate to our inferiors those tasks which we ought to do ourselves.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we dissuade, discourage, forbid, or punish the good and responsible works of our inferiors.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we advise, encourage, command, or reward unlawful or inappropriate works of our inferiors.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we command things which our inferiors are unable to perform.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we leave our inferiors to wrong, temptation, or danger through improper supervision or provision for their safety.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we correct our inferiors hastily, unduly, or in excess, or otherwise provoke them to wrath.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we usurp authority over those not under our legitimate charge.
I declare that we lead responsibly when we act professionally, morally, and loyally in the carrying out of our assigned tasks, and lovingly ensure that our inferiors carry out theirs diligently, productively, and safely.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires honoring those in authority over us, so as to be an honor to them and to their family, business, or government.
I declare that we honor our superiors because they are God’s servants working for our good, and because making their tasks difficult would be of no advantage to us.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we bring shame upon them through cursing, mocking, impudence, or scandalous words and actions.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we envy, have contempt for, or rebel against their persons or positions.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we neglect our duties, or disregard their lawful advice, commands, or corrections.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we seek to bypass the established channels of authority, or disregard the rank and nature of our superiors’ positions.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we complain at or despise their corrections.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we complain, revile, or rebel when persecuted or unlawfully treated by them.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we do not remember them in prayers and thanksgiving.
I declare that we honor our superiors by giving them all due reverence and respect in our hearts, words, and behavior, bearing with their weaknesses in a Christlike manner, imitating their virtues and graces, and giving willful obedience to their lawful commands.

With regard to the Sixth Commandment:
“Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man let his blood be shed, for it is in the image of God that He made man.” Genesis 9:5-6
I DECLARE that the heart of the sixth commandment is love, respect, and preservation of human life.
I declare that the sixth commandment requires respect for the lives of others.
I declare that we respect others’ lives because they are created in the image of God, and have been placed on earth to glorify God and carry out His work.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we treat them violently, or if we take or assist in the taking of any life, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defense.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we neglect or withdraw the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we discourage the seeking of professional care for medical and psychological illnesses, injuries, and adverse conditions.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we kill, or permit or condone the killing of, infants and the unborn.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we kill, or permit or condone the killing of, the aged, injured, sick, pained, or disabled.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we assist in a suicide or speed the end of a person’s life at their request.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we treat disrespectfully the bodies of the dead, knowing that God cares for those bodies enough to resurrect them.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we forbid our government the lawful use of the sword to avenge heinous crimes and assaults on the image of God, and to protect the lives of citizens through lethal force when necessary in law enforcement and lawful war.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we use unnecessary and excessive force in defense or in the enforcement of civil law.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we go to war unlawfully, inadequately, or half-heartedly, or for revenge, conquest, economic gain, or racial or ideological superiority.
I declare that war is initiated lawfully if and only if a proper and legitimate authority defends the well-being of its citizens by formally declaring the use of lethal force against a threat, when a clear objective is proportional to the cost and has a reasonable hope of success, and when reasonable attempts at negotiation and compromise have failed.
I declare that war is conducted lawfully if and only if it incapacitates and restrains the enemy without excessive torture, grants to known noncombatants immunity from direct attack, and affects civilians only in just proportion to the evil averted or the good attained, having as its aim the elimination of threats to the restoration of lasting peace.
I declare that we respect others’ lives when we protect and defend their lives against violence through careful studies and lawful endeavors, comforting and assisting the distressed, arranging for our own healthy organs and blood to be provided to those who need them, and properly disposing of the bodies of those who have died.
I declare that we respect others’ lives when we enlist to serve in medical professions, counseling services, law enforcement, and military service, and the anticipation and handling of natural disasters; in accordance with God’s calling for our lives.
I declare that the sixth commandment requires respect for one’s own body and life.
I declare that we respect our own selves because we are created in God’s image, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and God uses us in this life to minister to others.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we end or shorten our own lives.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we intake food and drink immoderately or unhealthily so as to damage our bodies and shorten our lives.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we deprive ourselves unhealthily of food and drink, except in the very occasional practice of fasting under the leadership of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of repentance or guidance.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we ingest poisons and harmful substances which provide no nutrition to the body.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we engage in unhealthy or unjustifiably dangerous labors and recreations.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we permanently deface ourselves with tattoos or adorn our bodies in ways that express rebellion, recklessness, or impulsive living, whereby we also dishonor Christ for whom we are ambassadors.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we waste the short time available through laziness and excessive leisure and useless endeavors.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we have excessive passions and distracting cares, or place ourselves under excessive stresses and pressures which are destructive to health and life.
I declare that we respect our body and life when we live productively and pursue an adequate level of health and overall wellness, having quietness of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, soberly using meat, drink, sleep, labor, and recreations.
I declare that the sixth commandment requires subduing the passions which lead to the unlawful taking of life.
I declare that we subdue murderous passions because evil deeds originate in the passions of the heart, and they are the very opposite of the love we are to have for our neighbors.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we harbor sinful anger, hatred, envy, or desires for revenge.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we take pleasure in the death of the guilty.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we despise or devalue people on the basis of gender, nationality, race, lawful profession, or difference of conscience on secondary or uncertain doctrinal issues.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we employ provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatever other actions tend to the harm of others.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we undervalue the worth, envy the gifts, or grieve at the advancement or prosperity of others.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we entertain thoughts, purposes, and temptations which tend to the unjust taking of life.
I declare that we subdue murderous passions when we fill our minds with charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness, peaceableness, mild and courteous speech and behavior, bear up patiently under the hand of God, and forgive injuries without resistance or revenge, returning good for evil and being ready for reconciliation.
I declare that the sixth commandment requires preserving a respect for life in our technological advancements.
I declare that we promote a technology of life because God has enabled us to invent tools and methods to preserve, prolong, and enhance life, or to render life empty, short, or destroyed, depending on the application of our knowledge.
I declare that we fail to promote a technology of life if we abandon the established means for human procreation through insemination by donors, cloning, or the creation of true artificial life.
I declare that we fail to promote a technology of life if we experiment on humans without their consent or with deception or risk out of proportion to the probable benefit.
I declare that we fail to promote a technology of life if we prolong the functioning of the body after death is known to have occurred; that is, when the body and brain no longer support the person’s consciousness.
I declare that we fail to promote a technology of life if we restrain the medical community from lawful research and application.
I declare that we promote a technology of life when we explore the mysteries of life, health, and death, and find new ways to preserve, prolong, and enhance life, with respect for God’s creation and for the lives of the subjects and objects of our research.


With regard to the Seventh Commandment:
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you abstain from sexual immorality.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3
I DECLARE that the heart of the seventh commandment is purity and self-control, especially with regard to God’s gift of sexuality.
I declare that the seventh commandment requires sexual purity in singlehood.
I declare that we remain pure as singles because this is God’s will for our lives, and the beginning of faithfulness to our future spouses.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we entertain unclean imaginations, fantasies, thoughts, and purposes.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we engage in or enjoy exposing our minds to crude or pornographic communications, whether in speech, song, print, pictures, plays, movies, or electronic media.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we provoke impure thoughts or test the control of others through couple-dancing or immodest apparel, or by wanton looks at one who is not ours.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we have sexual relations outside of marriage, or engage in any romantic affections disproportionate to the commitment of our relationship and the level of our self-restraint and moral judgment.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we engage in cohabitation or marriage-like relationships which are not officially and biblically marriages.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we are unfaithful in our commitments to relationships in dating, courtship, or engagement.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we delay marriage unduly, or neglect to marry if not gifted with the ability to remain celibate.
I declare that we remain pure as singles when we live in faithfulness, modesty, and decency, preserving chastity in body, mind, emotions, and behavior by keeping watch over the eyes and all the senses, keeping chaste company, and resisting temptations, submitting to God’s design and direction in approaching and preparing for marriage in accordance with the procedures of civil society.
I declare that the seventh commandment requires sexual purity in marriage.
I declare that we remain pure in marriage because we have vowed such faithfulness before God, and because it preserves the family intact for the raising of children and the orderly functioning of society.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we dispense or enter into unlawful marriages, practice polygamy or polyandry.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we advise, assist in, join in, or force remarriage when the previous marriage bonds have not been broken through adultery or death.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we commit adultery, or if we allow, tolerate, or engage in spouse-swapping or open marriage.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we regard married sex as impure, shameful, or undesirable.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we neglect the duty of frequent sexual relations with our spouse, except in the very occasional practice of abstaining under the leadership of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of prayer.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we engage in or demand sex out of ritual, obligation, or manipulation.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we initiate or allow divorce for any reason other than adultery, though a believing spouse is guiltless if deserted because of her faith.
I declare that we remain pure in marriage when we recognize and maintain marriage as the only proper and holy channel of sexual expression, designed for one man and one woman for a lifetime, and when we employ sex as a means of expressing love between husband and wife.
I declare that the seventh commandment requires keeping human sexuality in accordance with its natural, God-given design.
I declare that we promote natural sex because God has provided it as the most intimate and pleasurable expression of love and therefore a sacred act, and because sexual sins are highly addictive and associated with the absolute rejection of God.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we approve of, tolerate, entertain desires for or engage in any sexual activity with those who would in no case be proper candidates for marriage, including children, animals, and people of the same sex as ourselves.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we allow, promote, or pursue sexual activity between people immediately related to each other by blood or adoption.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we harass, abuse, or relate sexually to others without their consent, whether by communication, pressure, voyeurism, exhibitionism, rape, or by any other means.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we flee from or attempt to alter the masculinity or femininity of our bodies or personalities.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we treat it as a commodity to be bought, sold, and marketed through prostitution or erotic commercialism.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we deprive it of its pleasure and treat it only as a mechanistic means of procreation.
I declare that we promote sex as natural when we follow God’s pattern for sex according to Scripture, as a pleasurable expression of love between a man and a woman married and in agreement, and denounce the perversions of sex which devalue and desecrate sexuality.
I declare that the seventh commandment requires maintaining purity and self-control in all things.
I declare that we are self-controlled because we are accountable for our every action, and because it is a fruit of the Spirit and prerequisite to Christian ministry.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we live by impulse or instinct, being ruled by our emotions.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we engage in idleness, gluttony, or drunkenness.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we live unhygienically, rudely, or obnoxiously, without consideration to the reasonable sensitivities of others and the basic expectations of human civilization; this is not understood to give moral force to modes of high culture or etiquette.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we allow our exercise of freedoms to bring discredit to the gospel or cause a fellow believer to fall into sin.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we limit our exercise of freedoms to accommodate those who indulge in legalism, criticism, and intimidation.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we engage with unmarried members of the opposite sex in activities which hinder our ability or will to remain pure in our thoughts and actions.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we ingest substances which are addictive or which significantly hinder our judgment and ability to make responsible decisions, for any other than medical purposes.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we place our minds under the control of others through suggestibility or substances, for any other than medical and professional purposes.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we seek to worship God through emotion without the use of the mind.
I declare that we are self-controlled when we live our lives thoughtfully, rationally, considerately, and deliberately, preserving our discernment intact, exercising our freedom in Christ conscientiously, and remaining open to the true leadership of the Holy Spirit.

With regard to the Eighth Commandment:
“The one who steals must steal no longer; but instead he must labor; performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.” Ephesians 4:28
I DECLARE that the heart of the eighth commandment is recognizing and maintaining proper stewardship of all that God has entrusted to ourselves and others.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires having a society in which citizens are free to, and encouraged to exercise just and honest acquisition, stewardship, and investment of personal property.
I declare that we have a property-respecting society because the government is established by God for our good, and we are to render to the government only what is due it, and reserve for God what is God’s.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we allow material and moral corruption in our government and businesses.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we commit or allow bribery to officials and workers not to perform their assigned tasks.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we allow oppression, or confiscation and seizing of goods without just cause and due compensation.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we revoke or refuse to recognize individual ownership (which is actually stewardship for God) of property, such as large-scale or involuntary socialism or communism, or the distribution or redistribution of goods by the government.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we oppressively tax or regulate citizens or their businesses, so as to render them unable to conduct profitable and honest business.
I declare that we have a property-respecting society when we entrust law-abiding citizens with the legal right and equal opportunity to obtain and control their own property, and allow the free and just operation of businesses, taking for government use only that which is necessary to fulfill God’s task for the government.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires honesty in all our business and financial transactions.
I declare that we conduct honest business because our work is ultimately our service to God, and because the poor and disenfranchised have a special place in His heart.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we seek to obtain money by fraud, extortion, or unnecessary or inflated lawsuits.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we raise the prices of services or commodities out of proportion to necessity, or use false weights and measures.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we are unjust or unfaithful in contracts, advertisements, and other matters of trust.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we treat customers as avenues for material gain rather than as people with needs we meet through our goods and services, or use undue pressure or harassment in our salesmanship.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we charge excessive interest when lending, or any interest when lending to a family member or fellow believer.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we foreclose or evict anyone harshly or unjustly, or without consideration for their poverty and need.
I declare that we conduct honest business when we practice truth, faithfulness, justice, and servant-heartedness in our sales, contracts, and commerce, and give and lend freely according to our ability and others’ necessities.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires respecting the personal property of our neighbors’ persons and businesses.
I declare that we respect personal property because it is the livelihood of our neighbors and has been entrusted to them for glorifying God.
I declare that we fail to respect personal property if we steal property through theft, burglary, or robbery, or receive property which we know or suspect is stolen.
I declare that we fail to respect personal property if we pursue unlawful careers or dishonest gain.
I declare that we fail to respect personal property if we solicit money for false purposes, or use money given for God’s use, to enhance our own prosperity.
I declare that we fail to respect personal property if we move, remove, or unjustly contest markers and allocations of property, or trespass and invade others’ property.
I declare that we respect personal property when we render to everyone their due, taking only what we are given, maintain a lawful career and diligence in it, and restore goods we have unlawfully detained from their rightful owners.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires proper stewardship of our own property.
I declare that we are to be faithful stewards because all that we have is entrusted to us by God to be used in ways that glorify Him, and is not for our benefit only.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we are idle, wasteful, or irresponsible in the acquisition and use of our money and goods, defrauding ourselves of the use and comfort of what God has given us.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we live beyond our means or place ourselves in debt.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we use our money and goods to gamble in the lottery, sports events, unlikely outcomes, unworthy raffles, or unwise business investments.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we fail to invest money properly so that it gains value over time.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we spend money on anything that dishonors God.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we keep all our money for our own use without giving to those in need.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we neglect the giving of offerings to God for the operation and work of the church.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we make cruel, irresponsible, or wasteful use of the earth, its animals, and its resources, over which God has given us dominion.
I declare that we are faithful stewards when we take provident care and diligence to obtain, keep, use, and responsibly dispose of all that God has entrusted to us, giving offerings first to God, then paying all debts, and frugally using for ourselves what is necessary and convenient for our own sustenance and material sufficiency, and giving what is left for the benefit of those in need.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires maintaining proper attitudes toward worldly goods.
I declare that we rightly regard worldly goods because our true treasure is in heaven, and because God has promised to provide for our needs as we deny ourselves and give up all that is required for His kingdom.
I declare that we fail to regard worldly goods rightly if we inordinately prize our possessions, or wear ourselves out to become rich.
I declare that we fail to regard worldly goods rightly if we are weighed down with distrustful and distracting cares in getting, keeping, and using worldly goods.
I declare that we fail to regard worldly goods rightly if we pray for material blessings more than spiritual ones.
I declare that we fail to regard worldly goods rightly if we see either wealth or poverty as the indication of godliness, faith, or blessing.
I declare that we regard worldly goods rightly when we moderate our judgment, will, and emotions concerning our possessions, instead setting our minds on things above.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires respecting the person of our neighbor as well as his possessions.
I declare that we respect our neighbor because God has entrusted him with time, talents, gifts, and personality as well as with material things.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we maliciously belittle or demean the way God has made and blessed him, or ridicule his idiosyncrasies or infirmities before others.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we lead him to sin in the exercising of our own freedom.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we speak or act inconsiderately or offensively toward him.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we restrict his freedom through kidnapping, unlawful restraint or containment, or abandonment.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we cause him to wait unnecessarily through our own dalliance, slowness, lateness, or lack of diligence in our time commitments.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we invade his reasonable privacy.
I declare that we respect our neighbor by respecting his blessings, conscience, sensitivity, freedom, time, and privacy.

With regard to the Ninth Commandment:
“The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;You hate all who do iniquity.You destroy those who speak falsehood;Yahweh abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.” Psalms 5:5-6
I DECLARE that the heart of the ninth commandment is loving the truth and despising falsehood and error.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires speaking, preserving, and promoting truth between man and man.
I declare that we speak the truth because it is an aspect of God’s character which we are to emulate.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we break lawful promises, oaths, and vows, or betray confidences.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we speak lies and untruths, except when necessary in cases of war, law enforcement, and defense of others’ lives.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we conceal the truth or keep secret what ought to be revealed.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we spread rumors and reports presented as true without confirming them to be true, or receive them without complaint when we know them to be false.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we communicate tales, legends, and fictional illustrations as true, or speak of our own experience as though it were another’s, or vice-versa.
I declare that we speak the truth when we keeping our word and speaking the truth, and only the truth from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, setting our minds on whatever is true, honorable, loving, and reputable.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires shunning misleading and inconsistent communication.
I declare that we communicate faithfully because truth which misleads is not truth, and we are instructed to speak the truth in love for one another’s benefit.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we speak the truth maliciously or inappropriately.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we intentionally misconstrue others’ intentions, words, and actions, or deny or pervert the meaning of a text.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we corrupt our words with bias or exaggeration.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we equivocate or change the meaning of our words after they are spoken or written.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we speak true words while raising doubt through inconsistent nonverbal communication.
I declare that we communicate faithfully when we learn how most effectively to communicate truth, and do so lovingly without deceit or malice.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires respecting the importance of truth in the reputations of ourselves and others.
I declare that we respect reputation because our reputations commend the public reputation of God and set an example for others.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we think or speak too highly of ourselves and others, with flattery, fond admiration, self-love, or vainglorious boasting.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we think or speak too meanly of ourselves and others, with reviling, scornful contempt, self-pity, or false humility.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we receive evil reports regarding those of good reputation with undue suspicion or insufficient evidence.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we speak unnecessarily of others’ weaknesses or exaggerate their smaller faults.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we endeavor to impair someone’s deserved reputation through entrapment, slandering, back-biting, or raising or spreading false rumors.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we envy or grieve at the deserved credit of anyone, or rejoice in the infamy or disgrace of the innocent.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we lay ourselves open to public suspicion or accusation through the appearance of impropriety.
I declare that we respect reputation when we freely acknowledge our neighbor’s gifts and graces, receiving good reports readily and evil reports only when convinced of their truth; when we love, desire, rejoice in, and defend the good reputation of our neighbor; and when we keep ourselves above reproach and give no opportunity for accusation.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires maintaining truth and justice in the operation of law and discipline.
I declare that we maintain justice because God in His justice requires it of us, and has instituted authorities among men to preserve it on earth.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we are unduly silent in a just cause, or knowingly appear and plead for a false or unjust cause.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we hide, excuse, or extenuate our own sins when called to a free confession.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we hold our peace when witnessing a crime, or whenever iniquity calls for reproof from ourselves or complaint to authorities.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we encourage or commit perjury, file false statements, suborn false witnesses, or give false evidence.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we pass partial or unjust sentences, fail to give the truth a full hearing, or condemn the innocent.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we reward the wicked for the work of the righteous, or provide rash, harsh, partial, or inadequate censuring.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if, under the guise of forgiveness or compassion, or for any other reason, we acquit or pardon the guilty when their crimes have not received due and just punishment.
I declare that we maintain justice when we appear and stand for the truth, denounce injustice and falsehood, and execute justice in the enforcement of law and discipline.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires upholding and proclaiming God’s revealed truth.
I declare that we uphold God’s truth because He has revealed it and commissioned its proclamation to all people and nations so that they might be glad and give Him glory.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we teach doctrines which we do not believe, or which we know are contrary to the Bible.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if our biblical interpretations are inconsistent or contradict truth which God has clearly revealed.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we mingle biblical accounts, teachings, and remembrances with traditions, legends, and fairy tales.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we call evil good and good evil, reformulating our ethics without regard for the Bible.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we detract from or scoff at the teachings of the Bible.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we deny the gifts and graces of God.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we shrink from proclaiming God’s truth through evangelism and missions, whether for fear of persecution and rejection, or in the guise of respect and tolerance.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we are hearers of the word only, and not doers of it.
I declare that we uphold God’s truth when we proclaim the true teachings of the Bible to believers and unbelievers alike, making it the foundation for our beliefs and our behavior.


With regard to the Tenth Commandment:
“Let your disposition be without love of money, being satisfied with present things. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never ever leave you, nor will I ever abandon you.'” Hebrews 13:5
I DECLARE that the heart of the tenth commandment is delight in God’s will whereby He blesses us and our neighbors.
I declare that the tenth commandment requires a charitable frame of the whole self toward our neighbors.
I declare that we regard our neighbors charitably because God gives common grace to all, and alone knows what is best for them, and because any perceived injustices will be set right at the judgment.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we envying and grieving at their favor, success, or prosperity, or any grace which God bestows on them.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we have inordinate emotions and purposes toward their possessions.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we despair at the success of the wicked.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we take credit for the differences between them and ourselves.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we measure our success or prosperity by comparing it to theirs.
I declare that we regard our neighbors charitably when we ensure that our inward emotions and purposes concerning our neighbor tend to and further his goodness and prosperity.
I declare that the tenth commandment requires contentment with our own estate.
I declare that we are content because God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, and brings blessing or calamity upon us for our benefit and for His glory.
I declare that we fail to be content when we are jealous of or envy at others’ positions or abilities.
I declare that we fail to be content when we have undue concern for the security of our possessions.
I declare that we fail to be content when we despair at what we do not have.
I declare that we fail to be content when we pursue faith and godliness as means to material gain.
I declare that we are content when we receive and use God’s blessings willingly and gratefully, demonstrating our contentment through the generosity of our giving, and making our requests humbly, rejoicing in the hope of eternal life, in whose light the cares of the world fade away.





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