The Doctrinal Statement of Neal Ray
“Therefore I will esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right...” Ps. 119:128
This doctrinal statement does not exhaust the extent of my faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that I believe.
I believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired of God. I believe the sixty-six books of Scripture to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God and sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. I believe that God has purposefully and supernaturally preserved His Word for all ages. I use the King James Version, believing it to be derived from those texts used and upheld by the early church to be the inherent and infallible words of God. ( Psalm 12:6-7; II Timothy 3:15-17; I Peter 1:23-25; II Peter 1:19-21)
I believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Genesis 1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:17-20; Galatians 4:6; I Timothy 1:17).
I believe in a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation, and reject the theories of evolution, theistic evolution, and progressive creationism (Genesis 1:1-27; Exodus 20:11).
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. This redemption was accomplished through His death on the cross, and was made sure to us by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God the Father ( Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 1:3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25; Romans 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Timothy 2:5; I Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; I Peter 1:19, 2:2; I John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6).
I believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person Who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption.
I believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. ( John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 17-18; 5:18; I John 2:20, 27)
I believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to sinful man by grace and received solely by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. All who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood.
I reject all theories, philosophies, and theologies that are inconsistent with the Bible. I reject the system of Calvinism, Arminianism, and Lordship Salvation.
I believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel, that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by faith and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner but his own voluntary rejection of the Gospel.
I conclude biblically that Christ died for all men and that salvation is appropriated by divine grace and individual choice through faith in Jesus Christ.
I understand all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are born again of the Holy Spirit, are children of God, and are eternally secure.
I believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh ( John 1:12; John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1; 8:38-39; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10 Titus 2:11-15; I Peter 1:4-5; 1:18-19).
I believe in a literal devil, who was the agent in the fall of man. He is presently the prince of this world, and he will be judged and shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire
( Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
I believe that the New Testament church is a local assembly of baptized believers who have voluntarily joined themselves together to carry out the Great Commission.
The Lord is doing His work in this world through local churches. The establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures
I believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control. Christ is the only head of the church
I recognize the ordinances of baptism by immersion in water and the Lord's Supper as a Scriptural means of testimony for local churches in this age ( Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11; Matthew. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 18:18; Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; I Corinthians 3:9,16; 5:4-7,13; I Peter 5:1-4; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. ( Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8, II Corinthians 5:20)
I believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: the home, the church, and the state.
Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and are governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and has balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other.
The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. ( Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 2:13-14)
Divorce and Remarriage
I believe that God intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies.
Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in a church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon of a church. ( Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; I Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
I believe in the “blessed hope,” which is the personal, premillenial, pretribulational, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which is known as the rapture of the New Testament saints.
I also believe in the personal, visible, premillenial, and glorious return of Christ to the earth with His saints at the end of the Great Tribulation. This phase of His coming is known as the revelation of Jesus Christ.
When He returns to earth with His saints, I believe that the Lord Jesus will establish His millenial kingdom and will reign for one thousand years. This is a literal reign upon the earth in fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic promises. ( Psalm 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45; Zechariah 14:4-11; Titus 2:13; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 14:3; Revelation 19:11-21, 2:1-6)
I believe in the bodily resurrection of all men – the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.
I believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell. I believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord.
I believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting, conscious punishment ( Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:41-46; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 20:11-15; Luke 23:43; Revelation 20:4-6; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23, 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17).