About Made Holy

Made Holy is a bunch of thoughts about the work of Christ.

Right now, the hope is that I will post some reflections daily, but I hope to also create a repository of Bible studies and sermon notes.

Please feel free to email me at

doulosray@gmail.com

Who I Am

I am Ray Bromley. I am co-pastor of Northwest Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. I am also a professor at Phoenix College.

What I Believe

1. The Scriptures

I believe that the Bible is the only infallible, inerrant, authoritative written word of God. I believe it is without error in the original manuscripts and written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct and is the only standard by which all creeds and opinions should be tested. Ibelieve that the inspired Bible consists of the 39 Old Testament books written before or during the time of the prophet Malachi and the 27 New Testament books established at the Synod of Hippo.

(2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Hebrews 4:12; John 20:31; Psalm 119:89; Psalm 19:7; James 1:21; Psalm 12:6; Psalm 18:30; John 10:35; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:32-32)

2. God

I believe that there is one living and true God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all. He possesses all knowledge of things that were, things that are, things that will be, and things that could have been. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience that springs from faith. God eternally exists in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – equal and complete in every divine perfection, executing distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.

(Genesis 1:1, 25, 26; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19,20; Ephesians 4:5,6,  2Corinthians 13:14, Isaiah 46:9-10)

3. God the Father

I believe that God the Father, the First Person of the Trinity, orders and arranges all things according to His own purpose and grace. He is the Creator of all things. As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption. As Creator, He should rightly be recognized as Father by all men, but He is the spiritual Father only to believers. He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass. He continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events. In His sovereignty, He is neither the author nor approver of sin, nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures. He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own. He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. He adopts as His own all those who come to Him and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own.

(Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:5-6; Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:3-4; Acts 17:26-29, Ephesians 3:14-15, 1 Corinthians 8:5-6, Psalm 36:7, Psalm 66:5; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 1:11; 1 Chronicles 29:11; Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47; 1 Peter 1:17; Ephesians 1:4-6; John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9)

4. Jesus Christ

I believe that the historical person known as Jesus Christ, Yeshua, is God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. God the Father created all things according to His own will, through and for His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation. Jesus Christ is Deity, possessing all divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father. He is fully human. He was born of a virgin and He lived a sinless life. He performed miracles. He atoned fully for sin through His death and shed blood. He was resurrected bodily. He ascended to Heaven and is now at the right hand of the Father. At a time in the future, He will personally and visibly return in power and glory to this earth.

(John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2; John 1:1-2; John 10:30-33; 14:9-10; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7; Matthew 1:23; Hebrews 4:15; John 2:11; Luke 1:1-4; Romans 3:23-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Colossians 1:14; 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 10:19; Matthew 28:6, Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 4:18; 8:1; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:10)

5. The Holy Spirit

I believe that God the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, is a divine Person, eternally possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect, emotions, will, eternality, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and truthfulness. In all the divine attributes, He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son. He came from the Father, as promised by Christ, and brings glory to the Father and the Son. His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ, applying the work of Christ to believers, transforming believers into the image of Christ in holiness. He distributes, in all times and ages, spiritual gifts to every believer according to His sovereign good pleasure for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. He indwells, sanctifies, instructs, and empowers believers for service to God. He is the Comforter, the Spirit of Adoption, the Seal of our Salvation and the Guarantor of our inheritance in Christ.

I believe that the Holy Spirit continues to work in the body of Christ through substantially the same kinds of gifts that He gave evidence of in the New Testament, altough the forms and manifestations of those gifts may differ according to time, place, and practice.

(1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Hebrews 9:14; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:13-14; Romans 15:13; John 16:13; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17; John 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:14; John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22; Acts 5:3; Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:14-17)

6. Man

I believe that man was created by God in His own image but that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God. As a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice. All are therefore under condemnation. Every person is utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God on his own.

(Genesis. 1:26; 5:2; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:11; Romans 3:9-18; Romans 5:10-12; Ephesians 2:1-2; 1 John 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Revelation 19:2-3, 20; Revelation 20:10, 14-15; Revelation 21:8; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14)

7. Salvation and Regeneration

I believe that salvation of sinful man from death is a sovereign and sole (monergistic) act of God and is entirely by His grace, on the basis of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and the merit of His shed blood. Salvation can in no way be earned by human merit or works. By the power of the Holy Spirit, through the instrumentality of the word of God (the “good news” of Jesus Christ), sinful persons become new creatures, being brought to repentance (forsaking of sin) and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. They are thus delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life .

(John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19; John 3:14; John 5:24; John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:2; Romans 10:17; John 7:37-38; John 8:12; John 10:26; Romans 9:22; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; I John 1:9; John 3:16; John 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1)

8. Justification

I believe that Jesus Christ secures full justification for all persons who repent of sin and trust in Him. This justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness. Justification is bestowed without consideration of any works of righteousness which a person has done or will do, but solely by God’s grace, through faith in Christ, by the complete and effective work of Christ on the cross. Christ’s perfect righteousness is freely imputed to all who repent and believe, bringing us into a state of peace and favor with God and securing every other blessing needful for time and eternity.

(Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:21-26; 8:34; 10:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9)

9. Sanctification

I believe that every person who trusts fully in Christ is sanctified (set apart) for God by justification, is declared perfectly innocent (holy), and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is one of standing with God, and is not dependent upon the believer’s present walk or condition. However, every person who has trusted Christ and who is made a new creature will show outward signs of repentance, including righteous attitudes and conduct. Such “good works” will be experienced to the extent that a believer submits to the word of God. Through obedience to the word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to exhibit increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, living in ways that are increasingly consistent with his sanctified standing and growing more like Jesus Christ.

(Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10; John 17:17, 19; Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23)

10. The Church

I believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. I believe that each local church, consisting of an assembly of believers in Jesus Christ associated for worship, work and fellowship, represents but one unique and distinct part of that universal church. I believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the task of proclaiming the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to the world, and of encouraging other members of the local church to love and good works. However, each local church must hold its distinctiveness in humility, for no local church stands apart from the entire Body of Christ.

(Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:24-25; Romans 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-20)

11. The Ordinances

I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

A. Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water in the name of the triune God. It sets forth, in a beautiful and solemn way, our faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior, and our death to sin and resurrection to new life. This is done as a symbol and as testimony of the spiritual regeneration that the believer has experienced, and in itself does not produce salvation or regeneration.

B. The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death and our continual fellowship with Him. I believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ .

(Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32)

12. Resurrection and Judgment

I believe that God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world by Jesus Christ. On the day of His choosing, the Lord himself will descend from heaven. The dead in Christ will rise and those in Christ who are left alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Both the Christian and the non-Christian will be resurrected from the dead. The Christian will be resurrected to everlasting blessedness and joy in heaven and the non-Christian will be resurrected to everlasting conscious punishment in hell.

(John 5:24-29; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Revelation 20:11-15; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Revelation 11:17-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)

 

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I believe we are saved by grace through FAITH – Ephesians 2:8-10. 

My view of salvation can thus be summarized in five “doctrines of grace” as follows:

F – Fallen Man -mankind is utterly affected by the Fall of Adam and Eve. The heart of every human is incapable of fully loving God and the things of God. The mind of every person is corrupted and unable to understand the things of God. The will of every person is in bondage to sin and prone to evil self-indulgence. Every person thus deserves God’s wrath. No human being is capable of helping or assisting in his or her own salvation. Each person is dead in sins and trespasses, which means he or she needs a savior. – Romans 3:10-12, Ephesians 2:1-3

A – Autonomous God – God is autonomous (in control), which means He has complete authority over salvation. Logically, He must be the only one who has a choice in salvation because if His actions and choices were forced upon Him by what a person did or if He was limited by the decision of a person, God would cease to be autonomous and sovereign. More importantly, Scripture never presents God as being restricted by His creatures or obligated to them by what they do. God chooses (“elects”) whom He will save entirely on His own. He does it without being obligated to save anyone and without regard to their works, virtue or foreseen future actions.- John 6:37,44; Ephesians 1:3-6; Ephesians 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:9

I – Individual Redemption -Jesus died to save particular individual men and women and purchase their salvation. His death on the cross did more than just make salvation possible for a group of hypothetical sinners who might one day believe in Him. He did more than just make it possible for all people to be offered salvation (universal potential salvation). Christ’s death, as the purchase of a New Covenant between Man and God, bought the complete salvation of God’s chosen (“elect”) persons, in a redemption (payment for sin) obtained through repentance and faith. Since His sacrifice was the full atonement of those persons whom God had already chosen to save, it paid for their sins and also secured their repentance and faith necessary for salvation. – John 10:11, 14-16, Ephesians 1:7-10

T – Transforming Grace – God is generally gracious to all people, and offers His mercy to all people, but fallen humans ultimately always reject God’s promises of mercy. However, God applies a saving (transforming) grace to people of His choosing. God’s grace, when it is given to a person for the purpose of his or her salvation, is fully effective in changing the heart, mind and desires of the recipient. God changes that person’s heart, mind, and will, so that the spiritually dead sinner is made spiritually alive, is given a new heart inclined towards God, a mind capable of understanding the truth of the gospel, and a will that is no longer in slavery to sin, but one that is bent towards repentance and saving faith in Christ. – John 3:3-9, Ephesians 1:13-14

H – Holding Power- God has the power to keep those who are His. The power to preserve them and retain them in the faith, and to ultimately save them and present them to His Son in glory, is God’s alone. A person who is chosen by God for salvation has no power to either preserve himself in his salvation or to fall away from it entirely. God uses means, such as prayer, Scripture reading, and fellowship, to keep His chosen ones (“the elect”) from complete renunciation of their faith or forfeiture of His gracious gift of salvation to them. God preserves them and retains them in the faith, ultimately saving them through all struggles with circumstances, sin, and doubt. – Romans 8:26-39, John 10:27-29

In short, where salvation is concerned, we provide the sin, God brings everything else.

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I believe in the five essential and sufficient elements of the Christian faith which were called the five “solas” (Latin for “alones”) of the Reformation.

Salvation is…

…in Christ Alone

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, ESV)

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Luke 10:22, ESV)

“there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, ESV)…by Grace Alone

…even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved…(Ephesians 2:5, ESV)

…by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9, ESV)

…He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7, ESV)

…through Faith Alone

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1, ESV)

…in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Galatians 3:26, ESV)

…through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2, ESV)

…for God’s Glory Alone

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.” (John 13:31-32, ESV)
…He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:5-6, ESV)

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!” (Revelation 19:1, ESV)

…as revealed in Scripture Alone

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”
(John 5:39, ESV)

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27, ESV)

…you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, ESV)

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One Response to About Made Holy

  1. Suzay Grenis

    Wow I’m coming back to read some more of these posts. I enjoyed what I read very much! I see and agree with the deep appreciatIon for Paul and …well I’m a fish that got away from (anti christ legalist Paul rejectors). I like how you don’t mess with the Word of God to make it say something each word taken separately, and words in context do not say. Ah… refreshing.

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