This statement of faith contains the essential biblical doctrines that guide the ministry of Veritas Lake Martin Christian School. The primary doctrines below define the perspective from which all classes will be taught and are one of the tools that will be used in the hiring of faculty and administration. We understand there are many other theological, social, and worldviews that are not emphasized within the scope of this statement and bring forth disagreement among brethren; VLM recognizes that Christians are at liberty to reach different conclusions regarding them. The school’s recognition that Christians disagree on these topics, however, should not be interpreted to mean that the school believes that there is no right answer to questions about these issues. VLM teachers will model respectful dialogue and encourage students to follow the example of the Bereans who “ . . . received the word with great eagerness, and examined the Scriptures daily to see whether if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11, NIV). Students will also be encouraged to follow up on any questions they have regarding classroom discussions with their parents and pastor.
A. ABOUT GOD
God’s sovereignty controls all that occurs in His world and in His church. His plans and purposes always prevail; nothing can thwart them. We believe that God exists eternally and that He manifests Himself in three persons...God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; I Peter 2:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Psalm 90:2; Genesis 1:1, 26, 27, 3:22)
B. INERRANCY OF SCRIPTURE
God's written Word, the Bible, is free from error and is completely trustworthy. It is His truth and is the final authority in all matters. We believe that the Bible is our supreme authority, and it is sufficient as our only rule of faith and practice. The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit and it is truth without any mixture of error. (I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 22:19; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 119:105, 160; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
C. GOD’S CREATION OF THE WORLD, MANKIND, AND MARRIAGE
God spoke and it came into existence. Humanity did not evolve from lower life forms but was created by God. Mankind was created with dignity in that he was made in God's image and was created in humility; our purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. (Genesis 1; Psalm 33:6; John 1:3;
God purposefully created both male and female, and He created each gender to be distinct from the other, though equal in their reflection of His image. Rejection of one’s original anatomical sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
God established holy marriage between one man and one woman to reflect the relationship of Christ with His Church and to be the basic unit of human society. We believe that the word “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in an exclusive union, as determined in the Scriptures. For this reason, it is only in a marriage between one man and one woman that God sanctions sexual relationships.
D. FALL OF MANKIND
Everyone is broken and falls short of the glory of God due to our sinful nature. All mankind participated in Adam's fall from his original sinless state and are thus totally depraved and lost in sin. We cannot save ourselves from this depraved state. Salvation only comes through the grace of God through Jesus Christ. God loves us while we are yet sinners and even before we recognize or acknowledge God’s love for us. This is known as God’s Prevenient Grace. Genesis 2:17; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:12; Romans 5:18-21; 1 Corinthians 15:22)
E. JESUS, SAVIOR OF SINNERS
Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God and the only Savior of the world. (Colossians 1:15) Fully God and fully man (John 1:1; John 1:14; Colossians 2:9), He was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life. He alone secured our salvation by His substitutionary atonement on the cross and by His righteous life imputed to us. Jesus rose bodily from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will come again in power and glory.
There comes a moment when we are made aware of our brokenness and need for grace beyond our own means. We acknowledge our sinfulness and seek forgiveness through the Justifying Grace of Jesus Christ. We believe that forgiveness of sin, salvation, and new life is made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the cross. (Romans 5:9) This salvation is by grace, through faith, and by the appropriation of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; John 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:2)
F. JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE
Sinners are justified by faith alone and do not deserve nor can they earn, salvation. Justification is granted only by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:27-28; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 3:36)
G. EMPOWERING HOLY SPIRIT
Every true believer in Jesus Christ is in-dwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit, who enables believers to live a godly life and to perform good works through sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is the power of the Holy Spirit allowing us to become more and more like our savior Jesus Christ day by day. (John 14:26; John 16:7-8; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 1:17-20)
The Holy Spirit changes us by renewing and strengthening us to do the work of the Lord through “Fruits and Gifts.”
Fruits: Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16). What sort of fruit? Paul asserts that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22).
Gifts: Paul also writes that the Spirit bestows spiritual gifts on believers. In 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 he lists nine, which vary from one person to another: the utterance of wisdom, the utterance of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, the discernment of spirits, various kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.
These fruits and gifts are not of our own achievement. They and others are the outgrowths of the Spirit's work in us, by grace, through our faith in Jesus Christ. And they are not given for personal gain. Through these fruits and gifts, the Holy Spirit empowers us for ministry in the world.
H. BODY OF CHRIST
All believers are spiritually united in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, and every believer is a member of the body of Christ. We believe all Christians (regardless of denomination) who place their faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by confessing their sin and repentance of their sin are members of Christ’s Church. (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 4:16)
I. FINAL JUDGMENT AND RESURRECTION
There will be a day of judgment and all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for every word and deed. (Matthew 12:36; Acts 17:31; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10) At the second coming of Christ, the saved and the lost will be bodily resurrected and judged. The saved will be resurrected to eternal life, and the lost will be resurrected to eternal condemnation. (Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 1:7; Matthew 16:27; Colossians 3:4)