Those who are part of Teleioteti adhere to the statement of beliefs published by the Gospel Coalition (accessible here). Though we allow disagreements on relatively unessential issues, our approach to theology is generally Reformed in the strain of Complementarianism. What follows is a summary of our foundational beliefs and then an exposition of each statement.
We believe in Yahweh, the triune god of the Christian Bible.
We believe in a clear, inerrant, and sufficient revelation from God, the Holy Bible.
We believe that men and women were together created in the image of God and created distinct as such.
We believe in the Fall and human depravity.
We believe that God has accomplished redemption through His covenants. Redemption reached its climax in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, and his subsequent life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
We believe in Jesus’s bodily resurrection and ascension.
We believe in the essential role of the local church.
We believe in the need for faith and sanctification.
We believe in coming glory, Christ’s return and the new creation.
We believe in Yahweh, the triune God of the Christian Bible:
We believe in the God of the Bible, Yahweh, who is simultaneously one yet three, the Trinity. He has revealed Himself as the one God of Abraham and his descendants and as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is fully God, without imperfection and possessing the fullness of God’s Character. Yet they are also distinct in their relationship to the other persons (the Father is not the Son, nor is the Son the Spirit, or the Spirit the Father). They act according to their distinct personhood (e.g., the Father sends the Son) but are fully unified in purpose and in the actions they take.
Yahweh is distinct from His creation: all things have their existence through Him and depend on Him for their being. He is holy and perfect, the standard of all that we might call good or true. God knows all things, is never absent from His creation, is fully in control of the past, present, and future. He is directing all creation towards His preordained purposes, ultimately to demonstrate His glory through the redemption of people to be His inheritance in a recreated heavens and earth. God chose this people before the creation of the universe solely on the basis of His mercy without regard for any actions he foresaw they would take or any worth—or lack thereof—in them. He abounds in love, mercy, and compassion yet is not reluctant to express the fullness of His divine justice.
We believe in a clear, inerrant, and sufficient revelation from God, the Holy Bible:1
We believe that Yahweh has revealed Himself clearly and without error in the books of Old and New Testaments of the Christian Scriptures (the Bible, 66 books according to the Protestant reckoning). The Scriptures were given by God to be useful for the building up of His church and expansion of His Kingdom. They are authored by men under the direction of the Holy Spirit, resulting in books that bear the unique stylistic markings of their human authors without ever recording the errors of their finite judgment or failing in their purpose because of authorial mistake: the Scriptures are thus diverse in form, but united in their purpose and united as Divine communication.
The Scriptures are sufficient to show everyone what is necessary for salvation, to reveal who God is so that He might be known, and to equip the Christian for every work that God would have them perform. Scripture is clear in that it has sufficient breadth of content to act as its own interpretive key and that it was written to communicate and succeeds in doing so. However, clarity does not negate the necessity of laborious study over difficult passages. The Bible was originally written in the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic languages and we have confidence that God has guided the copying and transmission of the original documents so that the original language texts we have today are sufficient copies of the original documents to maintain their purpose as a clear and sufficient authority for the Christian life. The task of translation is admirable and we can trust that through God’s providence and the Holy Spirit at work in His people, He has made a way through the work of translators for those who are unfamiliar with the original languages to hear His voice, the words of Scripture.2
We believe that men and women were together created in the image of God and created distinct as such:3
We believe that when God created the universe, He made humanity, men and women together, as His image bearers. Men and women thus reflect God in the unique design of their being fitting them appropriately for the task He has entrusted to them, the task of ruling His creation as His representatives. God created human beings as male and female: two distinct sexes fitted with complementary aptitudes and physical structures enabling them to work together in marriage and community to fulfill His created purpose of ruling the creation and multiplying. They were from their creation equipped with distinct roles within God’s purpose for humanity. These roles are expressed in different yet related manners in marriage and in singleness. Men and women are thus distinct, yet consider by God to be equally valuable and equally heirs of God’s salvific grace—inheritors of His great promises.
We believe that God created originally two human beings, a male (Adam) and female (Eve), through whom all following generations of humanity proceeded. Adam was uniquely entrusted with the task of stewarding all creation and ruling over it with Eve as his helper, specially fitted for him so that only together they could complete the task God entrusted to them. In their marriage, as a married monogamous heterosexual couple living in a relationship of headship and submission ordained by God, they serve as an example for all following marriages.
We believe in the Fall and human depravity:4
Shortly after their creation, a tempter—later identified as the created being Satan—deceived Eve into transgressing God’s command; she proceeded to lead Adam in this same transgression. The result of this fall was a curse on the Devil, Eve with all women, and Adam with all men. Satan and those who are identified with him would continually be pitted in warfare against the descendants of Eve. Eve was cursed with severe pain in childbirth and a sinful desire to usurp her husband’s leadership. The creation itself was cursed to repel and make difficult the task God had entrusted to Adam.
We believe that this original fall resulted in the cursing of all creation, its subjection to futility, whereby death and calamity were introduced into an otherwise peaceful creation.5 Humankind became, through Adam’s transgression, guilty from birth and corrupt at the core of their being. They are twisted in opposition towards and consumed with hatred for God. This has led every human being since the Fall to set themselves in opposition to God and His purposes.
We believe that God has accomplished redemption through His covenants. Redemption reached its climax in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, and His subsequent life, death, resurrection, and ascension:
We believe, however, that the fall was not the final act of God’s purpose in the world: even the curse itself contained the anticipation of God’s acts to redeem His creation. God, in His great mercy, chose not to obliterate creation in His wrath, but moved towards it by promising that through the woman would come an offspring—a Son—who would crush the Serpent and end the warfare between Satan and humanity. To bring forth this Son and His climactic victory, God chose Abraham from all the nations to be His chosen conduit of saving grace. Through Abraham, God created a nation, Israel, whom He delivered from slavery in Egypt and brought into covenant with Himself.
This covenant, made at Sinai, set Israel apart from all nations as a distinct theocratic nation with the mission of representing God to the nations and being the channel of His saving purposes. Israel failed in this mission, descending into apostasy, finally resulting in their exile. Yet this was part of God’s good plan: to end this exile, God the Father sent forth His one and only Son, Jesus the Christ—the second person of the Trinity. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary by a miralce of the Holy Spirit as a baby in Bethlehem of Judea. He is truly man, possessing a physical body, able to feel hunger, temptation, and pain. And He is truly God, possessing the fullness of Deity clothed in mortal flesh. Jesus lived a perfect life under the law of the Old Covenant and thus earned for His people the blessings of God’s covenants. By faith, His righteousness is imputed (or credited) to the Christian making them right in the eyes of God.
Jesus was sinless in every way, yet He died on a Roman cross. He did not die for any transgression of His own but for the sins of the many. On that cross, Jesus bore upon His battered body the fullness of the wrath of God against human transgression on behalf of the people for whom He was sent—His sheep. Through His suffering and His death, He defeated death, redeemed His people from slavery to sin, and delivered them from the wrath of God their sin deserved. The blood shed on the cross was blood shed to establish a new covenant between God and a people drawn from all the nations of the earth. This New Covenant supersedes and abolishes the Old Covenant and establishes a new people and new (spiritual) kingdom on earth.
We believe in Jesus’s bodily resurrection and ascension:
We believe that three days after His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples and the apostles, along with many other witnesses. In His resurrection Jesus possessed a new glorified—yet nevertheless physical—body. Jesus’s bodily resurrection is a pattern for our future bodily resurrection. Through His resurrection Jesus finished the work initiated in His death, putting an end to the reign of death and sin and showing that the sins of the many were truly paid for. Thereafter, Jesus ascended to His Father in heaven in the sight of His apostles and sat down at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus now possesses all authority in heaven and on earth and is the head of a spiritual kingdom manifest on the earth through His Church.
We believe in the essential role of the local church:
We believe that the local church, as an expression of this universal Church, is the chosen conduit for God’s redemptive activities on earth. This being the case, participation in the local church is essential for true saving faith. Furthermore, the mission of the Gospel expressed in the great commission is for individuals as they partake in the daily life of God’s people. That is, it is not the responsibility of each individual to fulfill this commission but to use the gifts the Spirit has apportioned to them in order that the local church might be built up and successful in its mission of preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and His kingdom to the world.
We believe in the need for faith and sanctification:
We believe that to receive the benefits of Christs life death and resurrection, to be “justified” (declared righteous in God’s sight and acquitted of guilt) a human needs to confess Jesus Christ as Lord (submitting to His rule) and believe in the truth of what God did through Him. By trusting in God for His saving work and turning away from sin, by repenting, anyone who believes will receive the fullness of salvation manifest at first in justification, being worked out throughout their life in sanctification, and reaching its end in glorification.
Justification is by faith alone. Saving faith in Jesus Christ alone is sufficient to deliver one from the wrath of God and bring him or her into God’s positive favour. Even this faith is a gift from God, wrought by the Holy Spirit as He changes a sinful heart and draws one to Jesus. This act of drawing is the merciful gift of regeneration bestowed upon God’s elect in the fulfillment of His promises. Though justification is by faith alone, true saving faith will manifest in good works performed in obedience to God as He has revealed himself in Scripture.
Sanctification, this producing of good works and putting off sin, is a work performed by the Holy Spirit in coordination with human effort: believers are called to work out their faith in light of the Holy Spirit’s work to give them the ability and desire to do so. This work of sanctification is not a solo effort but requires the input of other Christians and each Christian is obligated to help others Christians as they attempt to faithfully follow Jesus every day. Thus, discipleship is necessary for the Christian life.
God will ensure by His omnipotent power that those who have expressed such saving faith will endure in it throughout the trials of life to receive in the final day a glorious inheritance, the enjoyment of God Himself for all eternity.
We believe in coming glory, Christ’s return and the new creation:
We believe that it is to the new creation, where we will enjoy God for all eternity, that a Christian must set their hope. At the end of the present age, Jesus Christ will return on the clouds as in His ascension, only this time visible to the entire earth. He will come to reward those who have persevered and died in the faith and to bring final judgment upon those who have persisted in their rebellion against Him.
The hope for a Christian lays not in an escape from the physical world, but in the re-creation of the heavens and the earth when Christ returns. God will then remove the stain of the curse and come to dwell on earth with His people forevermore. Jesus has promised that He will return quickly. His return is, therefore, the next expected event in this old creation, and thus Christians are obligated to live in light of His return and joyfully anticipate it. And so with John we say, Amen, come Lord Jesus!
2 Translations possess the clarity and inerrancy of the original texts in as much as they accurately convey the fullness and limitations of the meaning of each text as understood in the full Biblical context. By the very nature of the task, translations are restrictive of meaning. Translations apply the Biblical text to a specific culture, and are therefore prone to human error. Therefore, the Church is in need of faithful students of the languages who will continue to revise our translations in light of the original texts and the changes in modern languages.