By Tim Challies:
I get the books. I read the articles. I see the news. Christianity seems ready to move on. And I realize anew: I am an old-fashioned kind of Christian.
I believe in the Bible. I believe that it is clear, complete, sufficient, true, and without error. It is God’s revelation to humanity and demands my full attention and full obedience. I do not expect God to speak to me apart from it. I read, He speaks, I obey. Or I try anyways.
I believe in the God of the Bible. I believe in a God who is one, yet three. I believe in a God who is loving, holy, just, kind and good. I believe in a God who has foreordained everything that has come to pass or will come to pass.
I believe that God, from nothing, made the world and everything in it in six days. Not six ages or six phases or six million years, mind you, but six days. 144 hours. That’s what he said, so that’s what he did. And it was good.
I believe in sin. I believe that Eve conversed with a talking serpent and that her act of rebellion and the sin of her husband was as simple as taking a bite of an especially meaningful piece of fruit. This is not metaphor or fable, but just what happened. Because of that sin, I believe you and I are both objects of God’s wrath. When Adam fell, we fell. And it was not good.
I believe that in my natural human state I am sinful. I delight in evil. I hate what is good. I am thoroughly, utterly depraved. Sin pervades every area of my life and turns me against my Creator.
I believe in justice and in judgment, that the holy and just God must demand satisfaction for any and all sinful deeds. I believe in hell—a literal, tormentuous hell, a place of justice where the sinner faces the terrible wrath of God for all eternity.
I believe in Jesus. Born of a virgin, the perfect, Holy Son of God, who lived a perfect and blameless life. He died, literally, was buried, literally, and rose, literally.
I believe in penal substitutionary atonement. Jesus died on the cross in place of his people. He faced God’s wrath in place of his people. Through this act, my sin was imputed to him and his righteousness was imputed to me. This was the greatest act of grace and kindness the world has ever known or ever will know.
I believe in the gospel, the message of the good news of Jesus’ perfect life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection. The gospel assures me that salvation comes by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. God freely offers this gospel to all who will believe and obey.
I believe there is no salvation outside of Jesus. God will not waive the requirements of righteousness at the final judgment. Not for anyone and not for everyone. Not for those who have never heard of him. Justice must be satisfied.
I believe that man’s chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. My purpose is as simple and as joyful as living to bring honor and glory to God.
I believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who gives the desire and the ability to put sin to death and to come alive to righteousness.
I believe in the church, the gospel made visible in the community of the elect. The church is the total number of God’s people living when they are where they are. It is the church’s honor and responsibility to take the good news to all the world.
I believe in families that honor God. I believe in families founded upon the marriage of one man to one woman, an institution created by God and for God. A husband is to joyfully, sacrificially lead his wife while his wife joyfully and willing submits to her husband’s leadership. Together, through this complementarity, they provide a portrait of the love of God for his people.
I believe in perseverance; that God, by his grace, will never let go of those he has saved.
I believe in heaven—a literal, beautiful, physical heaven that is far better than we can imagine. Heaven is the community of the redeemed together with God and is a place of no pain, no sorrow. I long for this place. I hope I see it soon.
I believe in glorification; that in the near future God will return and will bring with him a new heaven and a new earth. Those who have been saved will live together forever, new body and perfected spirit united, in the presence of God. My heart aches for this day, for on this day I will believe perfectly and fully. And so will you.