When I retired from the military I decided to transfer my Presbytery membership to Grace Presbytery, which includes Salado. In order to transfer to this Presbytery, I was required, as are all transferring ministers, to write a short statement of faith that would be presented to them. They would then vote on my membership if I showed a good understanding of reformed theology.
This statement covers: God,
Jesus, Sin, Redemption, the Bible, the Sacraments, and the Church. Jean Teal had a copy of this statement. It was presented to the committee that first interviewed me for the Stated Supply position here in Salado. She thought it would be a good idea to publish it in this newsletter. I agree with her. With this statement you will have my thoughts on these key theological issues. It was and still represents, where I stand theologically. So here it is …..
“I trust in one triune God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Lord of all and Head of theChurch. I believe God created the heavens and earth and all that is in them. I believe in the sovereignty of God, that God reigns in my life and in the world, and that God reigns with justice and mercy. I believe salvation by grace through faith: and that such a faith commitment enables us to do good works, not to earn salvation, but as an expression of gratitude. I believe God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit has given us the power and dominion to be responsible stewards of all creation and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I believe God sent Jesus into the world to dwell among us. He was begotten not made and grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God. I believe Jesus engaged in a ministry of preaching, teaching, healing, and praying for and with all those who would listen and learn. God calls us to the same kind of ministry.
Since we are all sinners that rebel against God we try to put ourselves above all else. I believe God, out love for his fallen creation, sent his only Son, Jesus. to save us from our sin and corrup-tion. Jesus, both fully human and fully God, suffered for the sins of the world to save sinners in all times and places. He lay down his sinless life for a sinful hu-manity. Through Jesus' death and resur-rection, God triumphed over sin. It is God's action and God's forgiveness which sets us free. Jesus came to save all those who confess Him as their Lord and Savior.
By God's Spirit we've been given God's Written Word to proclaim. The Bible is God's divinely authoritive and inspired Word. The Bible is our "rule of faith and life" for all we believe and do as a Church. Through the Bible, we learn of the nature of the God we wor-ship. It tells us of God's acts of love and justice for all people. When scripture speaks in one voice, I yield to the author-ity of the Bible over and against any other sources. When Scripture is silent on an issue or when there is more than one voice, I must allow' for diversity. Through the work of the Holy Spirit and the confessions of the Church, we must interpret the Scripture wisely.
I believe The Sacraments unite us with Jesus Christ and make us members of God's Church. Baptism affirms that we are not our own, but the Lord's. Through the grace of God we are called into the family of God. Baptism is our response to that call to faith. It is an outward visi-ble sign that acknowledges our intention to live as God's people. Communion is the Lord's feast. In communion we en-counter Jesus spiritually in the breaking of the bread and drinking of the wine. Communion is more than just a memo-rial ceremony. Jesus is present, as He promised, sustaining and strengthening us by the power of the Holy Spirit
I believe in God's sovereignty and that God's reign will be brought about through the activity of God in God's own time. This final act of God's love will be through God's grace as God's gift and not on human achievement. I do not need to know the specifics of heaven or the end time, since they are beyond human com-prehension. I know that our future rests in God's loving hands and I am confident in God's finial victory.
The Church's calling is to make visible God's love and declare the Good News that in Jesus Christ the future is secure. The reformed church must be a reform-ing church, constantly reforming itself and the world. The Church universal consists of all people in every nation, who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”