“I BELIEVE GOD”
I enjoy reading and studying church history and the writings of other men. I strongly encourage young men with aspirations for the ministry to familiarize themselves with good commentaries, theological works, and written sermons. And I have an appreciation for the creeds and confessions of our forefathers. But my faith, my doctrine, and that which I teach and preach to others is not based upon those things. “I believe God.” I mean by that statement that everything I believe, every doctrine I preach is specifically, clearly, and emphatically taught in the plain statements of Holy Scripture. My doctrine is logical; but it is not based upon logic. My doctrine is well established in the history of God’s church; but it is not based upon history. My doctrine is based upon and rises from the plain statements of God’s Word.
I believe that God is absolutely sovereign in all things, because the Bible says, “Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psa. 115:3). “None can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:35). God declares, “I will do all my pleasure” (Isa. 46:10). God always does exactly what he wants to do with everyone, in every place, and at all times. He is sovereign in predestination, in creation, in providence, and in grace.
I believe that “Salvation is of the Lord”, because that is exactly what the Bible says (Jon. 29). “So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Salvation is God’s work alone in its planning, in its purchase, in its performance, in its preservation, in its perfection, and in its praise.
I believe in the total depravity of man, because God says the heart of man is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). I believe in unconditional election, because God says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). I believe in limited atonement, because God says, “For the transgressions of my people was he stricken” (Isa. 53:8). I believe in irresistible grace, because God says that Christ’s people shall be willing in the day of his power (Psa. 110:3). I believe in the perseverance of the saints, because the Lord God says, “They shall never perish” (John 10:28).
Let the Arminians, work-mongers, and will-worshippers of the world hoot and holler all they will, these things cannot be gainsayed. Those who denounce them denounce the Word of God. Those who despise them despise the God who reveals them, performs them, and attaches his glory to them (Eph. 1:3-14). My dogmatic insistence upon these glorious basic, fundamental truths is necessitated by this one thing - “I BELIEVE GOD!”
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor - Grace For Today Radio Message #565
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438