The 4 Articles of Faith / View PDF Tract / The Older The Bolder – Marshall Almarode
- Source of Truth
- Identity of God
- How We Are Saved
- The Christian Life
Articles of Faith are, by design, a summary of a belief system. They should be wide enough to include all those who are like-minded and are thereby in unity. They should be narrow enough to exclude all those who disagree.
There are four foundations or basics of the biblical faith that we must agree on to be included in the faith.
- What We Do Believe as Truth (The Wideness)
- Our Source of Truth – The Bible
We believe that the Bible was written by authors inspired by God through His Holy Spirit and the original was inspired with no errors. This is why we call the Bible “The Word of God.” As such, we try to use the most accurate translations from the original languages. This is where we go to find truth in all matters of doctrine and faith — above all human authority. From our Source of Truth, the Bible, we learn the next three articles of our faith.
- Who is God – The correct identity of God by definition
We believe that in the whole universe there only exists one God. He alone is the Designer, Creator, and Sustainer of everything that exists, from the earth to the entire universe. God is infinite, perfect, righteous, and all-knowing. His nature is triune — three perfect and eternal persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are one in essence – meaning that the Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and they are the same God. All other Jesuses are false by definition. This definition rejects multiple Gods and thereby rejects the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost as being three separate Gods who are only one merely in purpose.
- How are we saved – How we get to Heaven – Method of Salvation
The Bible states that all men are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. If we have ever broken any of God’s Commandments, we are law-breakers, sinning before a Holy God. Therefore we all deserve the penalty of death, and eternal punishment in the fires of Hell. We are told in the Bible that it is by grace through faith that we are saved from Hell. Grace means “free gift” or “unmerited favor.” That grace is only given freely to those who truly believe in the real Jesus as described and defined in the Bible. Salvation is all about Jesus being God, coming in reality in human form, born of a virgin, living a sinless life and dying on the cross being innocent and falsely charged. His willful, innocent death was a sacrifice for those who believe in Him who paid the penalty for all our sins, fully satisfying the demand of God’s perfect justice. Jesus was tortured to death, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day fulfilling prophesy as a payment or ransom for all our sins and a validation of who He was (Immanuel which means “God with us”) and what He was doing – His mission in life; dying in our place so we could have eternal life. There is nothing we can do to become worthy of or to add to this all-sufficient gift. Jesus established Himself as the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved. We receive this most valuable gift only through faith and trust in Jesus as our God and Savior.
- Living The Christian Life
When a person believes and trusts in the real Jesus for salvation, God changes his or her life. Old things pass away, and they turn (repent) from self-reliance to trusting in the work of Jesus alone for salvation and Christian living, giving God all the credit and glory. We have chosen to believe His promise that all our sins, past and future, are paid in full. As such, our lives are changed, and others should be able to see those changes. God has a new purpose for our lives. We now have a need to share the true gospel with others in order that they may hear the truth about God and be saved. We believe strongly in evangelism and are called evangelicals. Now we believe in doing good works because we are saved, not to earn our salvation. As we inspect a person’s works (fruit), if there is no change and we can see no fruit, we have to wonder if the person is really a Christian. In other words, if a person is a true Christian, it should be evident by the way he or she talks and lives. We believe our lives now involve loving God and telling others of the good news that God has provided salvation to those who believe in the God of the Bible. We believe that there is still a struggle between doing what is godly and doing what is not godly. We believe that Satan and his demons still want to influence and control us. Even though we have been adopted as children of God, and have eternal life, we still must resist temptation. Living the Christian life does not mean that we will live perfect, sinless lives without temptation, but when we do sin (and it should be much less) we have the one who speaks to the Father in our behalf – Jesus Christ. Because we believe in the existence of the great counterfeiter of prophecy and miracles — Satan — we take seriously God’s command to test all things according to Scripture.
- What We Believe as False (The Narrowness)
The previous four Articles of Faith defined and summarized what we believe as truth. We reject any ideas that oppose what we believe. Thus, our last article of faith covers what we believe as being false. False teachings are those that oppose the truth. The following is a short summary of what we must reject and oppose because we believe they are false doctrine.
- Source of Truth
The Bible is our source of truth, therefore we reject all other sources of truth, such as the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, the words of the Modern-Day Prophet and his apostles when they speak in conference, personal testimonies, the council of Trent, Vatican Council II, Papal Bulls, The Watchtower and Awake magazines and their organization, the Koran, and the words of Ellen G. White and L. Ron Hubbard, just to name a few.
- The Godhead
We oppose the false teaching that there exists more than one true God anywhere in the universe. By definition, if there exists only one God, there cannot be any other in existence. We reject the false teaching that the Father has a body of flesh, because Jesus clearly stated that He is a Spirit. We reject the false teaching that the bread actually turns into the real, physical body of Jesus when blessed by a Roman Catholic Priest. We reject the idea that Jesus came to the American continent and picked out twelve more apostles. We reject any other mediator such as Mary, the Pope, the saints, the priest or pastor, Ellen G. White, Joseph Smith, the Modern-day Prophet, any man-made organization such as The Roman Catholic Church, the Watchtower or the Mormon Church. Prayers should be directed to God only. We reject any other definition of Jesus other than what the Bible describes – such as just a very nice man, just a prophet, not born of a virgin, not dying on the cross, not resurrecting from the dead or not dying for ALL of our sins. We believe these qualities describing Jesus are unbiblical and are false, therefore defining false Jesuses or false Christs.
- Method of Salvation
Only by relying and trusting in the real Jesus of the Bible for salvation are we truly given salvation for free and are saved. All other methods always involve our personal works or worthiness. We reject our own works for salvation. We believe no one can earn or be worthy of salvation. We reject the teaching that we must work and become perfect, that we must cease all sinning to be worthy of salvation. We reject adding our works to the works of Jesus to be saved or qualify for God’s grace. No one gets to heaven on merit of any of their personal worthiness because all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s perfection and are never worthy. Man doesn’t have a part in the works of salvation so he can’t do his part.