Statement of Faith
The following Statement of Faith constitutes the theological commitments of Expository Parenting Ministries. Although we joyfully recognize and affirm other believers, churches, institutions, and ministries with differing doctrinal convictions, our commitment to the full testimony of Scripture necessitates that we unashamedly set forth what Scripture teaches concerning the following:
Concerning the Scriptures
The Bible (also referred to as the written Word of God or the Holy Scriptures), consisting of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, is inspired by God. As divine revelation, every word contained in Scripture is infallible and inerrant.
The Old Testament consists of the following books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs/Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
The New Testament consists of the following books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.
We affirm the doctrines historically known as Sola Scriptura and Tota Scriptura—that the Bible, solely and completely, is the authoritative rule for matters of saving faith, obedience, and comfort in the Christian life, and that all things needed for life and godliness are contained within the Bible, either expressly set forth or understood by logical deduction.
We deny any source of supposedly new revelation (either written or verbal) as an addition to the Bible, any source of supposed revelation claiming to be equal to that of the Bible, and any source of supposed revelation in contradiction with the Bible.
We affirm the perspicuity of Scripture—that revelation, by its very nature, is clearly propounded in the text such that its meaning is available to believers of all times through its public proclamation or private study, according to the grammatical-historical hermeneutic.
We deny all obfuscation of Scripture whether by claims contrary to its perspicuity or by means of interpretation contrary to the grammatical-historical hermeneutic.
There is only one true and living God, eternally existing in three distinct persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who are coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial. As the ultimate cause of all things, God is the creator and sustainer of the world (both the material and immaterial), exercising sovereign, providential control of His creation such that it operates exactly according to His eternal counsel and plan.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Trinitarianism—that God is one in essence and three in person, existing eternally in unity together. The Father is God, but the Father is not the Son nor the Spirit. The Son is God, but the Son is not the Father nor the Spirit. The Spirit is God, but the Spirit is not the Father nor the Son. The Father is truly God, possessing the fullness of deity, neither begotten nor proceeding. The Son is truly God, possessing the fullness of deity, eternally begotten of the Father. The Holy Spirit is truly God, possessing the fullness of deity, eternally proceeding from the Father and Son.
We deny any conception of God contrary to monotheistic Trinitarianism, including (but not limited to) Tritheism, Polytheism, Unitarianism, Sabellianism/Modalism, Partialism, and Eternal Functional Subordinationism.
We deny any conception of God that equates the one true God of Christianity with the false gods and idols of other world religions or systems of thought.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as divine determinism—that all events, both moral and non-moral, are predestined by God before time and governed meticulously by God in time, so as to occur by His intended means and for His intended ends.
We deny any conception of God’s sovereignty contrary to divine determinism, including (but not limited to) Fatalism, Chance, Open Theism, Molinism, Middle Knowledge, and Libertarianism.
We deny any conception of God’s sovereignty that portrays God as the efficient cause of sin or the proximate cause of sin, including (but not limited to), Hyper-Calvinism and Equal Ultimacy.
Concerning Jesus Christ
The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, took upon Himself human nature, being born of the virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, such that He consists of two whole, perfect, and distinct natures (divine and human), each with their own will, inseparably joined together in one person. Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to God’s Law, died a substitutionary death in the place of sinners, rose again on the third day, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He forever intercedes as truly God and truly man. As the only mediator between God and man, salvation is found in no one else.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as the Hypostatic Union—that Jesus Christ possesses two natures united in His one person, such that He is consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit according to His divinity and consubstantial with mankind according to His humanity, allowing for these two natures to be indivisible and inseparable, yet neither mixed nor diminished.
We deny any conception of Jesus Christ contrary to the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union, including (but not limited to) Ebionism, Adoptionism, Docetism, Arianism, Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, Patripassianism, and Eutychianism.
Concerning the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the second person of the Trinity, acts in accordance with God the Father and God the Son in the redemption of God’s people. The work of the Holy Spirit is primarily to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and coming judgment, regenerate the hearts of the elect, illuminate Scripture for the believer, and equip the Church with spiritual gifts for service and fulfillment of The Great Commission. In contrast with past dispensations, the Holy Spirit now permanently indwells New Covenant believers to strengthen them in faith and obedience to God’s Word.
The spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit that were fulfilled in the first century A.D. and cease to continue in operation today include: apostles, prophets, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, various kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
The spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit that continue to operate today include: evangelist, pastor-teacher, teaching, exhortation, service, helps, mercy, giving, leadership, and administration.
We deny any conception of the Holy Spirit that portrays Him contrary to His deity or personhood, including (but not limited to) Pneumatomachianism/Macedonianism and Socinianism.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Cessationism—that the sign/miraculous gifts and revelatory gifts given by the Holy Spirit served their purposes of communicating and authenticating the New Covenant ministry of Christ and the Apostles and thus ceased to continue in operation past the first century.
We deny any conception of spiritual gifts that portrays the sign/miraculous gifts or revelatory gifts as continuing to be given to believers by the Holy Spirit today, including (but not limited to) Charismaticism, Pentecostalism, and Continuationism.
God made the entire world out of nothing, in the space of six twenty-four hour days, for His own glory, and according to His wisdom. God made mankind in His image, in distinction from the rest of creation, beginning with one adult male, Adam, and then with one adult female, Eve.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Young Earth Creationism—that the world originated from specific acts of divine fiat, in the timespan of six, twenty-four hour, solar days.
We deny any conception of creation contrary to the literal interpretation of creation as found in the book of Genesis, including (but not limited to) Old-Earth Creationism and Theistic Evolution.
We deny any conception of creation that assigns to plants, animals, or the rest of the natural world a value, worth, or dignity equal to or greater than that of humans.
Although God created man very good, upright, and perfect, all of mankind became guilty, sinful, morally corrupt, and spiritually dead once Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Despite the fact that Satan tempted Eve to sin first, sin and death entered the world through Adam, who acted as the head of all humanity. Immediately after the Fall, all of creation was accursed by God.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Original Sin—that all of humanity became morally guilty and inclined toward evil on account of Adam’s first sin in the Garden of Eden, present in the life of every human from the time of his or her conception. The corrupting effects of Adam’s first sin are also manifested in the death and decay of the rest of creation.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Federal Headship—that the means by which all of mankind became guilty and sinful was through the first sin of Adam, who acted as the corporate representative for humanity, thereby imputing real moral guilt to each of his constituents.
We deny any conception of fallen man contrary to the doctrine of Federal Headship, including (but not limited to) Seminal Headship, Natural Headship, and Realistic Headship.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Total Depravity—that every human in his or her natural state is corrupt in every part of his or her being (including thoughts, intentions, desires, affections, speech, and deeds), enslaved to sin and Satan, spiritually dead, and hostile in mind to God. Because of this, the natural man is not in a state of neutrality, but is an active hater of God, incapable of pleasing God, unwilling to seek forgiveness, undesiring of righteousness, unable to repent of his sin, unfit to understand spiritual truth, and inadequate to remedy his lost condition.
We deny any conception of fallen man that ascribes to him the moral free will or innate ability to respond positively either to the demands of God’s Law via works of righteousness or to the demands of the Gospel via repentance and faith, including (but not limited to) Pelagianism and Arminianism.
For the purpose of manifesting His grace and mercy, God has chosen to redeem some of mankind through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acting in Trinitarian harmony, God the Father chose in eternity past whom to redeem, God the Son entered into creation to live a righteous life and die a substitutionary death in the place of those chosen, and God the Spirit regenerates and grants repentance and faith to those chosen. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ saves sinners from eternal punishment by bearing the wrath of God on their behalf and crediting to them His righteousness by grace alone and through faith alone such that they are free from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and ultimately the presence of sin.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Penal Substitutionary Atonement—that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was an undeserved, selfless act in the place of guilty sinners who had transgressed God’s Law, thereby satisfying the legal penalty on their behalf in this single act of substitution.
We deny any conception of salvation that denies the penal or substitutionary nature of the atonement in favor of alternative purposes, including (but not limited to) the Ransom-to-Satan Theory, Commercial Theory, Moral Influence Theory, Example Theory, Governmental Theory, Mystical Theory, and the Theory of Vicarious Repentance.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Sola Gratia—that salvation is by grace alone, as a free and undeserved gift from God through the work of Jesus Christ.
We deny any conception of salvation that portrays salvation as being contingent upon the merit of mankind (whether intrinsic or achieved).
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Sola Fide—that salvation is by faith alone, as the penitent sinner trusts in Jesus Christ for forgiveness, righteousness, and reconciliation with God.
We deny any conception of salvation that portrays good works in lieu of, or in addition to, faith as the instrument of salvation (whether past, present, or future).
We deny any conception of salvation that portrays repentance as subsequent to, rather than coincident with, saving faith.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Unconditional Election—that God the Father determined whom He would save, prior to the creation of the world, according to His choice alone.
We deny any conception of salvation that disregards God’s pretemporal election or bases God’s election on the foreseen faith of mankind.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Limited Atonement—that God the Son, acting as High Priest in accordance with the will of God the Father, expiated the guilt, propitiated the wrath, and forever intercedes in heaven only on behalf of those chosen and given to Him by God the Father. All those for whom Christ died either have been or will be granted repentance and faith, saved from their sins, and reconciled to God.
We deny any conception of salvation that portrays the work of Christ as an atonement on behalf of every single human, including (but not limited to) Arminianism and Universalism.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Irresistible Grace—that God the Spirit, acting in accordance with the will of God the Father and God the Son, grants regeneration (spiritual life and a new heart) to those chosen for salvation. All those the Spirit intends to regenerate cannot resist the granting of spiritual life, nor the new heart, but will instead immediately respond in repentance and faith.
We deny any conception of salvation that portrays regeneration as subsequent to, or coincident with, repentance and faith, rather than prior to repentance and faith.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Perseverance of the Saints—that those whom God the Father has chosen will come to faith in Jesus Christ and from that point on will never return to a state of unbelief, kept by the power of God throughout the remainder of their lives and on into eternity.
We deny any conception of salvation that portrays the ongoing faith of believers as contingent on their own will or effort, able to be lost (either temporarily or permanently).
Concerning the Church
The universal church consists of all true believers, existing from the day of Pentecost until the moment the Lord Jesus Christ returns at the Rapture, presently serving as God’s representative to the world, as a single spiritual organism in distinction from the nation of Israel.
A local church, as a subset of the universal church, consists of an autonomous body of true believers who regularly assemble together, under the leadership of a plurality of qualified elders, with the assistance of a group of qualified deacons, for corporate worship which normatively consists of sequential expository preaching, prayer, fellowship, edification in music, four-stage discipline, the Lord’s Supper, and baptism.
As head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinance of baptism as the outward sign of union with Him, administered through the one-time act of immersion in water, for the public testimony of those who profess repentance and faith. The Lord Jesus Christ also instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper as the outward sign commemorating His suffering and death, administered regularly during the assembly of the local church, for the comfort and conviction of those who profess repentance and faith.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Progressive Dispensationalism— that throughout redemptive history God chooses various people groups to serve as His representatives to the world, interacting with them according to various covenant obligations and promises, maintaining a distinction between ethnic Israel and the Church, upholding a literal fulfillment of the Abrahamic, Levitical, and Davidic covenants, and inaugurating Christ’s reign both now (spiritually, in the hearts of God’s people) and in the future (physically, in Jerusalem for one thousand years).
We deny any conception of God’s covenants that portrays salvation in two (or more) ways for different groups of people or disregards the necessity of the Old Testament Scriptures for the life and practice of New Covenant believers, including (but not limited to) Classical Dispensationalism, Hyper-Dispensationalism/Ultra-Dispensationalism, and New Covenant Theology.
We deny any conception of God’s covenants that equates the Church with the nation of Israel, depicts Christians as spiritual Jews, or conflates the Mosaic Covenant (the Law of Moses) with the New Covenant (the Law of Christ), including Covenantalism, Replacement Theology, Supersessionism, Reconstructionism, and Theonomy.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as the Memorial Celebration view of the Lord’s Supper—that the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (also known as Communion) is an act intended to remember the suffering and death of Christ for the spiritual strength, motivation, and hope of believers who participate in it.
We deny any conception of the Lord’s Supper that portrays Christ’s spiritual or physical presence in a way unique to this ordinance, including (but not limited to) Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, and Spiritual Presence.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Credobaptism—that the ordinance of baptism is an act intended to portray union with Christ in His suffering, death, and resurrection only for those with a credible profession of faith.
We deny any conception of baptism that portrays this ordinance as a means of saving grace, including (but not limited to) Sacramentalism and Baptismal Regeneration.
We deny any conception of the ordinances that portrays unbelievers or non-professing children of believers as their intended recipients, including (but not limited to) Paedobaptism and Paedocommunion.
Concerning the Family
God made the marriage relationship to consist of only one biologically-conceived male and one biologically-conceived female, committed to one another in lifelong monogamy unless separated by death, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse, or divorce from an adulterous spouse. The marriage relationship is established for the purposes of companionship, procreation, and intimacy.
The family unit normatively consists of a father who is the head of the family, a mother who is the helper to her husband, and children who are educated full-time in the home under the guidance of their parents.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Complementarianism—that men and women are created equal in value, worth, and dignity, but different in role and function, with strengths and weaknesses particularly suited to assist one another in marriage and child-rearing, with the husband serving in loving leadership as the provider and protector of his family and the wife serving in respectful submission as the homemaker for the family.
We deny any conception of the family contrary to Complementarianism, including (but not limited to) Egalitarianism and Feminism.
We deny any conception of the family that portrays procreation as a lifelong mandatory purpose of marriage including (but not limited to) Quiverfull and Natal Providentialism.
Concerning the Future
At the end of this age, the Lord Jesus Christ will appear visibly in the air to rapture His Church, resurrecting the bodies of saints who died in the Church Age first, followed by a catching up of saints who are alive. Next, He will inaugurate seven years of tribulation in which national Israel will again be the primary object of God’s redemptive focus and worldwide catastrophic judgment will occur. Once the seven years are complete, the Lord Jesus Christ will resurrect the bodies of Old Testament saints and Tribulation saints, return to the earth, and establish His kingdom in Jerusalem for one thousand literal years, during which time Satan will be bound. Once the thousand years is complete, Satan will be released and defeated in rebellion. The great white throne judgment will then commence, in which unbelievers will stand before God and subsequently be cast into the lake of fire (along with Satan, the non-elect angels, death, and Hades) forever. God will then create a new heavens and new earth in which He will live among His people forever.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Futuristic Premillennialism—that Jesus Christ will return at the end of the Tribulation period to establish a physical, earthly, kingly reign in the city of Jerusalem for one thousand literal years, in fulfillment of the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants.
We deny any conception of the future contrary to a thousand year reign of Christ inaugurated at His second coming including (but not limited to) Preterism, Partial Preterism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism.
We affirm the doctrine historically known as Pretribulationism—that all believers in Christ during the Church Age will be caught up in the air together with the Lord and kept from experiencing God’s cataclysmic wrath upon the earth.
We deny any conception of the tribulation period that portrays Church Age believers as being subject to God’s cataclysmic wrath, including Midtribulationism and Posttribulationism.
We deny any conception of the eternal state that depicts unbelievers as exempt from everlasting, conscious torment in the lake of fire, including (but not limited to) Conditionalism, Annihilationism, Soul Sleep, and Universal Reconciliation.