Michael Young has spent 30 years in ministry. Since 1987 he has created courses, written books, taught online, in pulpits, on broadcasts and at speaking engagements…even on a cruise ship! Michael is a fabulous storyteller. He will make you laugh while making you think. His engaging style of the message of God’s incredible grace has resonated with people from camps to conferences. He has loves to preach and teach his motto of “Think Biblically!"
My personal understanding for a systematic theology is orthodox conforming to the traditionally accepted thoughts and position for a Biblical foundation. After all, theology is to quote C.S. Lewis, “practical, especially now… If you do not listen to Theology that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones – bad, muddled, out-of-date ideas” I provide here are the compilation of the major tenets of my personal beliefs while not exhaustive they are the foundation upon which all else are built:
The Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God, the supreme rule for faith and practice, given to us as revelation and truth, authoritative and sufficient as our guide to faith and life, through the witness of the Holy Spirit working within our hearts. The Bible is God Breathed, that is from His Holy Spirit. He used men to reveal His Word. He empowered them to transpose His truth from Heaven to earth and protected the process to ensure every letter is exactly as He wanted us to receive. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament came from the very mouth of God and are without error in the originals. Scripture is therefore the unique and supreme guide for all it affirms, including both belief and behavior. The teachings of the Bible are sufficient for salvation and sanctification and for every aspect of living. While there are questions of meaning and application over which we may or may not agree, there is nothing for which we are responsible to God in terms of our salvation and sanctification that is not expressed in Scripture, either in precept or principle.
There is one God, infinitely perfect, without change, creator of all yet not created, distinct from His creation yet everywhere present, perfectly balanced in all His attributes, omniscient over all time, wholly sovereign. He alone is the sole object of worship. God exists eternally in three persons — Father, Son, Holy Spirit — equal in essence and divine perfection, all three uncreated, executing distinct but harmonious offices. God exists for His own purposes, and created all things for His good pleasure. God is transcendent and majestic, having spoken worlds into existence with a word; yet He is also immanent and personal, caring for His people in every detail of our lives. Through His divine decrees, God sovereignly superintends the course of history, acting to carry out His intent, conceived before the foundations of the earth. God is infinite and eternal, omniscient and omnipotent. God’s holiness makes Him wrathful toward sin, but He is also loving to His people. He binds Himself in covenant to us, and is ever faithful to His covenant promises. God is a just judge to all and merciful in saving many. There is but one true and living God: the Creator God; the God of the Bible; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus the Christ is God’s only Son, is the incarnate Word of God, fully God and fully man. In His humiliation, He gave up the prerogatives of heaven, came to earth through virgin birth, and lived a sinless life, though tempted as any man. Jesus performed miracles, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and even raised the dead. Though innocent of any guilt, He suffered and died on the cross, in perfect obedience to His Father’s will. In His exaltation, Jesus rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and will come again in power and glory to judge and rule over all. Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father, and as our High Priest intercedes for us with the Father as the sole mediator. He will return to earth, and ultimately every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and was given to the church at Pentecost. God the Spirit is sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, taking our hearts of stone and giving us hearts of flesh, that we might repent and trust in Christ for our salvation. He fully indwells every true believer as a guarantee of his inheritance, guides and empowers them, gifts them for ministry, interceding in accordance with the will of God, witnessing to Jesus. Thereby uniting us with Christ, empowering us for service and comforting us in our woundedness.
Adam and Eve were both created in the image of God, with all the dignity and freedom that He endowed. Adam from the dust of the ground and Eve from his side. They disobeyed God sinning and died a spiritually and physically. Therefore, all people are objects of wrath, sinners by nature and by choice. They are dead in their sins and incapable of pleasing God. Without the direct intervention of God, they will live separated from God, die in their sins, and receive the condemnation that their sin deserves. Because of this I am a sinner, fallen through Adam and sinful by nature, and undeserving of any good on my own merit. Through the Father’s merciful election, Jesus’ righteous life and vicarious atonement on the cross, and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, I have been born again as a new creation, saved by grace alone through faith alone. I have been justified, declared to have the righteousness of Christ, though I am a sinner. I have been adopted, accepted as a child of God, though I was an enemy of God. I am being sanctified, shaped more and more into the image of Christ. I will be glorified, given a new body and sinless existence, fitted for eternal life with Christ, my Lord and Savior.
The church is the Bride and Body of Christ, instituted by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do God’s work on earth: loving, worshipping, serving, and making disciples of every tribe and tongue. The church consists of all true disciples of Jesus Christ. All things exist under the supremacy of Christ, and therefore Christ and Christ alone is the head of the church. The local expression of the church is comprised of disciples gifted for the work of building up the body of Christ, living in unity, bound together by love. While different local expressions may have different emphases, all are commanded to make disciples, which includes both evangelism/outreach and teaching obedience to all that Jesus taught. It is the duty of the church to properly preach from the Word of God, to be committed to the reading of Scripture, to the exhortation to obedience, and teaching of the doctrinal truths of Scripture, as well as to all that is necessary for the edification of the body, including worship, singing, prayer, and service, all to the glory of God. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be valued and observed. They are visible signs representing spiritual truths; they do not accomplish salvation. Baptism is the washing of the believer, signifying that in conversion he has died to his old life and has been raised with Christ into a newness of life in which the power of sin is broken. The Lord’s Supper is the present proclamation of Christ’s atoning death, and looks forward to his return.
Salvation from sin and access to God is available only through the work of Christ on the cross, given by God’s grace, mercy, and love, received solely by faith in Jesus Christ. In conversion, the believer is drawn by God to Himself, repents and turns from his sins, is redeemed, declared wholly righteous, born again, made alive in Christ as a new creature, reconciled to God, becomes a child of God, and is filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit through whom he is empowered for a life of obedience. The cross is sufficient to cover the sins of all who believe.
God’s will for every believer is his sanctification. It is the necessary and certain fruit of salvation, yet not meritorious; it is God alone who saves. Through the work of the Spirit, saints are called and enabled to live lives of holiness, “in” but not “of” the world, fully dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ, persevering to the end. Disciples are declared to be sanctified through the work of Christ and are also called to become sanctified in the experiences of life. The disciple’s life will be characterized by a change of heart, among these are, the battle with sin, repentance, sexual purity, gracious speech, prayer, suffering, persecution, being different from the world, living for the glory of God. Growth toward holiness brings with it assurance of salvation and a desire to share the gospel with sinners.
Jesus will return — personally, visibly to all, suddenly — and all disciples living and dead will be bodily caught up to meet Him. At the final judgment, the unrepentant will be raised to the resurrection of judgment and permanent punishment in hell. Believers, while already having passed from darkness to light, will be raised to the resurrection of life, and will enjoy the everlasting, personal presence of God in His heavenly kingdom. God’s plan of creation, redemption, and glorification will be complete. This is the hope for which we long, which helps to motivate us now toward godly living, and which propels us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world.