The Berean Patriot Statement of Faith

Berean Patriot Statement of Faith and CreedThis page is a work in progress, (last updated on 01-15-22) and I intend to add a full “confession of faith” at some point.  For starters though, here’s my “creed”, written in the style of the church creeds throughout history, especially the Nicene Creed.

 

The Berean Patriot Creed:

  • I believe in One God, the LORD[1]How to Pronounce God’s name (יהוה/YHWH/the Tetragrammaton) Almighty, who alone is God [2]Isaiah 45:5, Isaiah 45:10
    • He exists in three persons: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; these three are truly One[3]1 John 5:7 eternal God with the same essence; not created, generated, or begotten [4]Psalm 90:2
  • I believe the Father is truly God, [5]Ephesians 4:6
    • maker of all things visible and invisible, [6]Hebrews 1:2, in context “God” in verse 1 is the Father; see verse 5
    • He sent the Word into the world to save it .[7]1 John 4:14, plus John 10:36, John 3:17
  • I believe the Word is truly God[8]John 1:1 and our Lord Jesus,[9]Acts 2:36
    • through whom all things were made, whether visible or invisible, [10]Colossians 1:16, John 1:3
    • He became the Son of God through the incarnation, begotten by the Father through the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary [11]Luke 1:35
    • He was crucified for our sake. [12]Matthew 28:5
    • He suffered, died, and was buried, [13]1 Corinthians 15:3
    • The third day He rose again. [14]1 Corinthians 15:3
    • He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. [15]Acts 1:9; Hebrews 12:2
    • He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, [16]Acts 1:11, Matthew 25:31-32, Revelation 20:11-13
    • And His kingdom will never end. [17]Luke 1:33
  • I believe the Holy Spirit is truly God, [18]Acts 5:3-4 (Lied to the Holy Spirit = lied to God)
    • He is worshiped and glorified with the Father and the Son. [19]Revelation 22:9 (see previous point; the Holy Spirit is God, and therefore should be worshiped)
  • And I believe in:
    • The final authority of scripture [20]2 Timothy 3:16-17
    • The forgiveness of sins through faith [21]Ephesians 2:8-9
    • The resurrection of the body [22]1 Corinthians 15:12-55
    • And life without end on the New Earth which is to come. [23]Revelation 21:1-4
  • Amen

Note: much of this was taken or modified from the Nicene Creed.  The foundation of my faith – and thus this creed – leads from complete doubt of everything to the the basic starting point that the Bible must be true.

Click here to read the philosophical/logical proofs that lead from complete doubt to ''the Bible must be true''; OR continue reading

The following is where my faith started; the foundation that led me to God, and frankly trapped me there when I wanted to fall away in my teen years.  I had foundations that I couldn’t deny, and thus I couldn’t be intellectually honest and not be a Christian.  Here are those proofs in a condensed/concentrated form, and there’s a lot more detail I haven’t included for space reasons.

 

Undeniable foundations: from complete doubt to the Bible must be true

Anyone can doubt the Bible and almost everything else I believe. However, to deny the following foundations is tricky. That’s because if you deny them, you will simultaneously affirm them by the very act of denying them.

You can doubt that God exists. You can doubt that everything exists including the physical world. You can doubt everything you see because the senses can be tricked. You can doubt that the senses even exist. In fact you can doubt that everything exists…

…except one thing.

You yourself.

You cannot doubt that you yourself exist.

To quote René Descartes’ original Latin phrasing: “dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum” which is translated “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am“). If you doubt that you yourself exist, you have affirmed your own existence, for you must first exist in order to doubt your own existence.

You might ask “is that true?” and perhaps you doubt that truth exists. But if you say “truth doesn’t exist“, then I can respond “Is that true?” If you reply “yes, truth doesn’t exist“, you have affirmed the existence of truth by denying its existence, in effect saying “it’s true that truth doesn’t exist.”

You cannot deny the existence of truth, for to deny the existence of truth is to affirm that truth exists.

If you say “Truth might exist, but we can’t know it.”, then again I reply: “Is that true?“, for you would claim that it is true that you can’t know truth.

Being logical, these statements didn’t come from your own mind. You didn’t think them up. They came from something outside of yourself, therefore, something outside of yourself must exist. Since you have read these statements, it’s reasonable to affirm that at least the sense of sight exists, however imperfect it is. If the sense of sight exists, then it’s reasonable to think the other senses do also. Thus it must be affirmed that the senses exist, though they can be fooled.

If you disagree, then realize you must’ve used your senses to read my statement before you could disagree with it. You would be using your senses to deny the existence of the senses, which is a contradiction. Again, you cannot deny the existence of the senses without affirming that they do exist using those same senses.

 

But what of God?

A fundamental law of physics – which we can confirm using our senses – is that that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. However, then we must ask this: “where did all the matter and energy in our world come from?” for it must have come from somewhere.

Some might say the universe has always existed, but that again violates the laws of physics.  If the universe were eternal, the stars would’ve burnt out an eternity ago, their energy defused across the universe or condensed into a black hole.

The only satisfactory answer is that a Being must exist that can break the laws of physics and create matter from nothing. For if the law of physics which states that matter can’t be created was never broken, then how could physical matter exist? For the universe to exist, someone or something must have broken this fundamental law of physics. A being of such power and ability would be able to do anything because this Being wouldn’t be bound by the laws of physics.

Therefore, a being of such power could rightfully be called “God”.

Now, merely knowing that a Being like that must exist tells us nothing about that Being. Nothing whatsoever. So if we wish to know about this being – this God – we must look elsewhere.

So where could we find such knowledge?

Men are bound by the law of physics, which means we’re bound by time.  We can only guess at what will happen minutes from now, much less days, years, or centuries.  Again these limitations are caused by the laws of physics. (And I’d love to explain why according to General Relativity, but there isn’t space/time.) Therefore, if a being could accurately predict the future, it’s reasonable to assume that this being wasn’t bound by the laws of physics, and therefore deserves the title of “God”.

 

At last we come to the Bible

The Bible contains many prophecies which were made well in advance of their fulfillment. Many of these prophecies have their fulfillment recorded in history, not just the Bible. That is, we can use history to substantiate many Biblical prophecies, which prove that either (a) the men who wrote them could break the laws of physics, (not likely) or (b) these predictions were given to them by a Being who could break the laws of physics (God).

For a stunning example of the precision of the Bible’s prophecies, I recommend you read my article on revelation, or look at a word document entitled “Biblical Prophecies Fulfilled” which I created many years ago to teach a youth group these things.

Since the Bible so accurately and so commonly predicts the future, it’s reasonable to think that the One behind its writing is a Being who can break the laws of Physics. Aka “God”. This does a reasonable job of proving that the Bible is true, and was written by God Himself.

Now that we’ve established the Bible is true, we’ll look at the doctrines.

 

Statement of Basic Christian Doctrines

These are the essential truths of the Christian faith according to my (imperfect) understanding.

 

Authority of the Scriptures

Outside of scripture, where would we get our knowledge of God? If you deny that God inspired the Bible, then where could you get any information about Him? If we know that God inspired the Bible based on the evidence of fulfilled prophecy, then we must accept it as the final, ultimate authority on everything that pertains to God and the faith, because He inspired it.

As it is written:

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

The canon of scripture consists of 66 books; 39 of the Old Testament and 27 of the New Testament. While there is no disagreement on the New Testament canon, some denominations include other books in the Old Testament. Please see my article The Bible: 66 books vs 73 and Why (the “Apocrypha” Explained) under the heading “How did the Jews arrive at their Canon?” for an explanation of how God Himself chose the Old Testament canon through the final prophets of the Old Testament.

(Note: please also see my article What’s the Best Bible Translation? And More Importantly, Why? for a deep study of which translation is best to use.)

 

Monotheism/Trinity

There is only one God. There will only ever be one God. As it is written: (Both of the following are partial verse quotations for brevity)

Isaiah 45:5“I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.

Isaiah 43:10 Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

Yet while God is One, there is plurality in God as well. As it is written:

1 John 5:7 For there are three that testify in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

(Note: some don’t believe that the red highlighted portion belongs in the Bible; I have an article which provides powerful evidence that it does.)

Thus, One God exists in three distinct persons, who together are one God. Just as a triangle can have three distinct sides and yet form only one shape, so also God has three distinct persons and yet is only one God. Those three persons have been revealed to us in the Bible as the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.

It should be noted that the Word is also called “Jesus” and “God the Son”, among other titles such as “Christ” and the “Son of God”.

It’s important that all three are equally God. No member of the Trinity relies on another member of the Trinity as the “source” for His Deity.

To be clear:

  • The Father is God in-and-of Himself;  His Deity is in no way dependent on the Word or the Holy Spirit.
  • The Word is God in-and-of Himself;  His Deity is in no way dependent on the Father or the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit is God in-and-of Himself;  His Deity is in no way dependent on the Father or the Word.

All three are God, yet they are one God.

How this is possible? Again, consider a triangle which has three sides, yet it’s only one shape. It is three, but one. (and of course, all analogies are flawed, but that’s the least flawed one I know of.)

 

The Name of God/the Trinity

God has revealed his name:

Exodus 3:13-15 (LSB)

13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am about to come to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ And they will say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”

14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

15 And God furthermore said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name from generation to generation.

(Note: “Yahweh” is a guess at the proper pronunciation, since ancient Hebrew didn’t include vowels and the original pronunciation was lost. You can read my article on a more probable pronunciation here.)

The name of God is represented in the Old Testament with four consonants (because ancient Hebrew didn’t have vowels). Transliterated into English, these consonants are “YHWH”.  These four letters are called the Tetragrammaton, and are usually translated “lord” in all caps as: “LORD”.

The Tetragrammaton (YHWY) is the name of the Trinity.

Next we’ll examine the Father, the Word and Holy Spirit in more detail

 

The Father

The first person of the Trinity is called God the Father. He is the maker of all things: (though He made them through the Son)

Hebrews 1:1-2

1 God, having spoken to the fathers long ago in many parts and many ways by the prophets,

2 spoke to us in these last days by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the ages;

We can only speculate about the relationship in/among Trinity in eternity past, and we have only one clear clue: that the Father sent the Word (the Son) into the world. As it is written:

John 10:36

36why do you say of He who the Father made holy and sent into the world; ‘you blaspheme’ because I said I’m the Son of God?”

This is thin evidence to draw any conclusions from. Fortunately, the relationship in/among the Trinity is clearer after the incarnation. From the incarnation onward, the Word submitted Himself to the Father: (See also Philippians 2:8, which we’ll look at in a minute.)

1 Corinthians 11:3

And I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of woman, and God is the head of Christ.

Further, this submission will continue forever.

1 cor 15:27-28

For He [the Father] put all things in subjection under His [Jesus’] feet. But when He said “He did – and does – put all things in subjection”, it’s obvious that the One who put all things in subjection to Him is the exception.

And when all things have been made subject to Him, then even the Son Himself will be made subject to the One who made all things subject to Him, so that God might be all in all.

Thus the Bible declares:

Ephesians 4:4-6

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling,

5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

(Notice the Spirit is included in verse 4. Contextually speaking “over all” could include the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t necessarily have to, but it certainly leaves the door open. That’s significant because the Spirit obviously was never incarnated, and thus this could potentially indicate that authority/submission within the Trinity existed in eternity past. It is by no means certain, but it leaves the door open.)

 

The Word (Jesus/the Son)

The Word – also commonly called the Son and/or Jesus – is the second person of the Trinity, and He is God.

John 1:1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Not only is He God, but He also is our Lord:

Acts 2:36

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Please note that “Christ” is a transliteration, not a translation. It’s the Greek word “χριστός” (christos), with the “os” ending indicating the word’s function in a sentence. (See my article A Few Fun Things About Biblical (Koine) Greek for more on how this works in Greek) Drop the ‘os’ ending and you have “christ”. However, the word christos literally means “anointed”. So the “our Lord Jesus Christ” is more accurately translated “our Lord Jesus the Anointed”, or “our Anointed Lord Jesus”.

God the Father made everything through Him: (also see Hebrews 1:1-2 above)

John 1:3

All things came into existence through Him; and apart from Him, not even one thing that came into existence has come into existence.

Colossians 1:15-16

15 He who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,

16 because all things in the heavens and on the earth were created in Him, the visible and the invisible; whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things were created through Him and for Him.

 

The incarnation

The Word came down from heaven, becoming a man. As it is written:

John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh and encamped among us, and we gazed at His glory; glory as the only unique One from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Philippians 2:5-8

5 Have this understanding in you which was also in Jesus the Anointed:

6 Who, being in the form of God, didn’t consider being equal with God something to be grasped,

7 but emptied Himself; taking the form of a slave and being born in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient even to death, and even death on a cross.

Importantly, Jesus was still God while He was a man. As it is written:

Matthew 1:23

23 “Behold! The virgin will carry a child in her womb and will bear a son. And they will call His name Immanuel;” which is translated: “God with us”.

Thus, Jesus was fully God and fully man. The Word (Jesus) is called the “Son of God” very often in the Bible. However, He wasn’t always the “Son of God”, as it is written:

Luke 1:34-35

34 And Mary said to the angel: “How will this be, since I don’t know a man intimately?”

35 And answering, the angel told her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. For this reason, the holy child which is born will be called the Son of God.

The Father “begot” (fathered) Jesus through the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary, and “for this reason” the Word became known as the “Son of God”. It’s an important doctrinal point that the Word (Jesus) became “the Son” because of the incarnation. Before the incarnation, He wasn’t the Son.

Again, the Son wasn’t always the Son; He became the Son through the incarnation.

This is clearly stated in Luke 1:35, as you just read.

(This is important because one historical position on the Word is that He was always the Son. This position is called “Eternal Sonship”, and appears to be explicitly rejected by scripture.)

Despite having become man through the incarnation, the Word – Jesus – lived a sinless life. As it is written:

Hebrews 4:14-15

14 Therefore, having a great high priest who was – and is – passing through the heavens (Jesus, the Son of God) we should hold fast to the confession.

15 For we don’t have a high priest who isn’t able to sympathize with our weaknesses. But having been tempted in all things the same way we are, He’s without sin.

 

Death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and return

Mankind has a problem with sin, which we’ll cover in more detail lower down. The Word became the Son (Jesus) to die on a cross for our sake to solve our problem with sin. After death, Jesus was buried and then raised again from the dead; and there were many witnesses to this.

As it is written:

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received; that the Anointed died for our sins according to the scriptures,

4 and that He was buried, and that He was – and is – raised on the third day according to the scriptures,

5 and that He was seen by Cephas, and then the twelve.

6 Afterwards, He was seen by more than five hundred brothers at once; of whom many remain, but some were put to sleep.

After this He ascended bodily into heaven. Yes, bodily; Jesus didn’t lose His body when He ascended into heaven. This is explicitly stated in scripture:

Acts 1:9

9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.

11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

Bodies in heaven? How does that work? I don’t know and I’m comfortable with that because 1 Corinthians 15 teaches it clearly. We’ll touch more on this later later.  (Spoiler: we won’t be disembodied spirits in heaven, we’ll have bodies and live on the New Earth: see Revelation 21:1-4)

After His ascension, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God the Father.  As it is written:

Hebrews 12:2

2 looking away from everything else except the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus, who in exchange for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and He sat down – and is seated – at the right hand of the throne of God.

To be seated at the right hand was a mark of both honor and authority in the 1st century. It meant that you were second only to the lord/master/king/governor etc. in both honor and authority. Thus, that is Jesus’ position to this day.

Further, He will come again, just as it is written:

Acts 1:9-11

9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.

11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

But while the first coming wasn’t to judge the world but to save it, (John 3:17) the second coming won’t be the same. Rather, He will come in glory for judgement of both the living and the dead. As it is written:

Revelation 19:11-16

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.

13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.

15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Revelation 20:11-13

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.

12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.

And His kingdom will never end, as it is written:

Luke 1:32-33

32 “He will be great, and will be called “Son of the Most High”. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

33 “And he will reign over the house of Jacob through the ages, and His kingdom will not end.

Amen to that promise.

 

The Holy Spirit

The third person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. He is truly God.

Acts 5:3-4

3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?

4 “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

A lie to the Holy Spirit is a lie to God, thus the Holy Spirit is God. As such, He should be worshiped together with the Father and the Son. The Scripture is also clear that both Jesus and the Father sent the Spirit to us. As it is written:

John 15:26

26When the Advocate whom I will send to you from the Father comes – the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father – He will testify about Me.

Galatians 4:6

6 And because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out “Abba, Father!”

Thus, the Father sent the Word into the world, and the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts. The word translated “Advocate” above in John 15:26 bears a closer look, so I will quote from a few lexicons:

HELPS Word Studies:

3875 paráklētos (from 3844 /pará, “from close-beside” and 2564 /kaléō, “make a call”) – properly, a legal advocate who makes the right judgment-call because close enough to the situation. 3875 /paráklētos (“advocate, advisor-helper”) is the regular term in NT times of an attorney (lawyer) – i.e. someone giving evidence that stands up in court.

Thayer’s:

1. “one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant; an advocate”

2. universally, one who pleads another’s cause with one, an intercessor:

3. in the widest sense, a helper, succorer, aider, assistant;

That’s what the Spirit does, and thank God for it. 🙂

 

Note: This article is still a work in progress, with much more to add.  No guarantee when I’ll get around to it though.  For now, I recommend these articles for my position on various issues:

Footnotes[+]

5 Comments

  1. Uyiosa January 5, 2022
  2. Layman January 6, 2022
    • Berean Patriot (admin) January 6, 2022
  3. Layman January 6, 2022
    • Berean Patriot (admin) January 6, 2022

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