The Bible – both OT and NT – is the inspired Word of God and is the complete revelation of His will for mankind.
One true God – Eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is true God and true man – the second Person of the Trinity. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross for the sins of every individual, was buried, and rose from the dead — providing forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who respond in faith to the gospel message. Salvation is available to all. He ascended into Heaven where He is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
The Holy Spirit is God – the third Person of the Trinity. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, convict people of sin and their need for Christ, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, teach, and empower the believer for holy living and service.
Fall of Man
Man was created in the image of God and was in perfect fellowship with God, but fell into sin, and is therefore spiritually dead and separated from God and condemned for all eternity to the lake of fire — unless the sinner comes to faith in Christ.
It’s only through the shed blood of Christ, through His death and resurrection, through faith in Him, that a sinner is made alive spiritually (born of the Spirit – regeneration) and reconciled to God. Through faith in Christ we receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
This is a work of God’s grace apart from works of any kind on our part. It’s God’s grace working in harmony with our faith — which the Holy Spirit enables. True saving faith involves turning from sin and self-will (repentance) to become a follower of Christ in recognition of who He is as Lord and King. Christ the “Savior” cannot be separated from Christ the “Lord.”
God chose and called a people out of the world for Himself. It’s the corporate people of God who are “the elect” — namely, the Church in Christ. The only individual that God chose was Jesus (Luke 9:35). God chose His Son as the Corporate Head of His people — the Church. Individually, through faith in Him, we become members of God’s corporate people. Our election is, therefore, in the Elect Christ. We become members of the Elect Church upon faith in the Elect Christ.
The elect are not predetermined individuals who have been marked out by God for salvation. It’s the universal, corporate people of God who are the elect. Together, as one, we are the elect of God, not as individuals. It’s the people of the Christian faith, as one people in Christ, who are the elect (just as the ethnic, nation of Israel of the Old Testament was the elect people of God). The Mormons are not the elect people of God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are not the elect people of God. The Muslims are not the elect people of God. The Hindus are not the elect people of God. The Buddhists are not the elect people of God. It’s Christians of the Christian faith – as one people in Christ – who are the elect people of God. We are the elect because we are the called out people from among mankind through His Elect Son, Jesus (Luke 9:35). Individually, He chose to save anyone who would come to Him through faith in Christ. Those who do, become a part of the Elect Church — the corporate body of Christ.
Therefore, the term “elect,” does not refer to individuals who have been “chosen to believe” in Christ, nor is it a means by which we come to faith in Christ, but is a term of identification (in Christ) as God’s corporate people. It’s the called out group of believers in Christ who are identified as “the elect.” As individual believers, we are the elect only as we are identified with the the entire body of Christ. Individually, we are not the elect, but the co-elect as members of the Elect Church.
Our salvation is eternally secure. Salvation cannot be lost or forfeited. True saving faith will endure because of the nature of who we are in Christ and the union that we have with Him. Furthermore, faith is characterized by faithfulness, by a sincere devotion to Christ throughout a believer’s life. This is the fruit of faith or the fruit of salvation. However, this does not mean that we cannot fall into sin, but it can never be a permanent situation. We may lose a few battles, but because we are new creations in Christ and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we will win the war. The Holy Spirit is always working to lead us into harmony with His will, to produce within us a stronger and more settled devotion to Christ. Greater is our union with Christ and greater is the power of the Holy Spirit within us, than the enticing presence of sin. The Christian life is a growing process, and we all learn and grow at different speeds and at different levels. The fruit that we bear in our lives will differ from believer to believer (Matt 13:23) — but fruit there will be.
The miracle gifts ceased with the Apostles, the completion of the New Testament Scriptures, and the full establishment of the Church. However, God still works miracles today — particularly through prayer.
(Formerly an Amillennialist, but now a Preterist)
As I have continued my study of eschatology, I’ve come to see Preterism as the most consistent and honest viewpoint on prophecy. If one sets aside all preconceived notions about end time prophecy, comparing scripture with scripture (NT and OT), one’s conclusions must land on the side of Preterism. Otherwise, what you have to are multitudes of conflict from passage to passage, inconsistencies that are difficult to make sense of. The preterist position does not have these same conflicts, but demonstrates a harmony throughout.
I have always fought against Preterism, because I didn’t want to accept what it teaches. But once I set aside all of my previous learning and preconceived ideas, and allowed God’s Word to mean what it says, I could no longer deny what I was seeing.
To be clear, I’m a partial preterist, not a full preterist. I don’t believe all prophecy has been fulfilled. But almost.
I have already written a full commentary on Revelation from an amillennial viewpoint, but I will soon begin (as of 10-17-2018) an update on that commentary. Amillennialism and Preterism have a lot in common, so my update will not be such a great task.
I’ve also written a full commentary on the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21 & 17). I will soon be updating that too. However, since the amillennial interpretation is nearly identical to the preterist position, the changes will be minimal.
Israel and the Church
Israel has its fulfillment and continuation in Christ and His Church — as a spiritual nation. There is no separate plan for ethnic, national Israel. God’s plan for Israel has already been completed in Christ and His Church.
Kingdom of Christ
The Church is the Kingdom of Christ, and is both now and has its ultimate fulfillment in the Eternal Kingdom of Revelation 21 and 22. Christ sits upon His throne now and reigns over His people now. Believers reign with Christ now as His ambassadors in the world, spreading the truth of Christ with the authority that He’s given us as His representatives.