Joshua...the servant of the LORD...
Joshua D. Edwards
Joshua Edwards is an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ who is dedicated the to the communication of sound doctrine as set forth in the pages of God's word. He desires to have all men to be saved by believing the gospel of the grace of God, and thereafter to come unto the knowledge of the truth by establishment in sound doctrine.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
My Brief Testimony of Salvation in Christ
My story is one of grace. It might not be the kind of story that sells books or summons tears, but it is my account of grace as I have found it in Christ Jesus my Lord. No matter what others esteem it to be, I value it. I am grateful for it, and therefore I am compelled by the grace of Christ to repeat it that He might be glorified for the work He has wrought. This is my feeble attempt to put into words that which I know truly exceeds the capacity of human vocabulary to convey. How exactly does a mortal describe the transforming power of the spiritual reality that is God's grace when such a man is confined to the tangible expressions of a human pen? That is more than I know, but with whatever ability I have to do so, I now try to recount it for you.
I was fortunate enough to be born into a family where Christianity was known and loved. The Bible was an object of reverence in our house, a book that was unlike any other; one that was to be honored and trusted implicitly. My parents were Christian servants, heavily involved in ministry work for the vast majority of my life. They continue to be so to this day. Growing up in this environment provided me a lot of advantages as it related to opportunity to know truth. I could not have asked for a more favorable scenario in which to come to know the Lord, and while the social underpinnings of my life contributed greatly to my exposure to the gospel, in a lot of ways, it was also the greatest barrier that kept me from Christ early on.
I say this because I am a PK. For those not familiar with the initialing, that is, Preacher's Kid. I was raised in church. I went all the time; four times in a week minimum, not including revivals, special meetings, mission conferences, Summer VBS programs, Bible Study groups, all of it. I know church. I know the so-called "ministry"; and along those lines I also know what is to be self-righteous and lost. You see, I was never "in the gutter" as some say. I was no fornicator, no murder nor any such thing deemed as reprobate by most men. No, as it turned out, I was something far worse and didn't know. I was a religious and self-righteous sinner who trusted in my own goodness for merit with God, and I rested upon my religious pedigree as a consolation for my ever-dying soul. What a state! What blindness! What a porous hope to rest in! Nevertheless, there I lived.
I can recall from an early age the troubling pangs that came upon my conscience when exposed to the gospel in truth. It was offensive. It told me I was not good. It told me that my credits were not sufficient for acceptance with God no matter my own opinion. It told me that I was in need of something that was outside of myself, something that my religious upbringing could not supply, something that could only be found in Christ and in Him crucified for my sins. Needless to say, this does not sit well with a natural man. As long as I had some hope, albeit false hope, that I was good enough on my own, the gospel remained an idle tale. I know this first hand because, in that state, I resisted it. I did not want to have to admit that I was a sinner in need. I was content with talking and hearing of Christ, but the notion that I needed His cross-work to be accepted was another matter. In that condition, I remained lost for a good while by choice.
There came a day, however, in which Holy Spirit persuaded me that I was indeed in such a state as the gospel declared me to be: spiritually bankrupt, every perishing and altogether without hope of ever seeing God’s heaven or tasting of the sweetness of eternal life in Christ. I was lost and knew it, and for the very first time became willing to look to Christ as the solution. Through the tender mercies and firm persuasions of the Spirit of God, I was wooed by the nail-pierced Savior into His loving embrace and by grace drawn into the full safety provided in His atonement. In Christ alone I trusted as my only and all-sufficient Savior, depending completely on His work of reconciliation as found in His death, burial and resurrection in my stead. In accordance with His promise, He saved me for eternity that day; not by works of righteousness that I had done, but according to His mercy. New life in Christ was mine, and I was made the beneficiary of all the spiritual riches His blood bought on Calvary’s tree.
The spiritual transaction that took place that day has never ceased to be effectual for me. The Spirit that brought forth resurrection life out of my sin & death so many years ago has likewise supplied the source of life and peace in daily experience. He produces any and all fruit that my life bears for the glory of the Savior, and I would be dishonest to claim stake in any credit to the contrary. I’m not perfect by any means, nor do I count myself to be in any area! However, to whatever measure the Spirit has successfully lead me toward the image of God’s Son, I owe it to God’s grace and will forever sing His praises for that which He has done in me.
2 Timothy 3:10
I believe the Bible. The Bible itself is the basis upon which my faith rests. The content below is simply my attempt to summarize a few of the major categories of doctrine that I believe. The information below is not intended to be exhaustive concerning everything that I believe, but is meant to provide a few key points for site visitors to consider.
I believe that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” and that God has preserved His word (and the words therein) such that His words are available to us today (2 Tim. 3:16; Ps. 12:6; Prov. 30:5; Mt. 24:35). I believe that the scriptures were penned by “holy men of God” under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21), thus exempting the inspired writings from natural human error and any imposition of personal opinion that would stray from God’s absolute truth. I believe and recognize the 66 books of the Old and New Testament as found in the Authorized Version (AV), otherwise known as the King James Version (KJV), to be the complete and final word of God for English speakers and readers. I believe and maintain that the AV is without error and is the final authority for all matters of faith and practice. Therefore, I also believe that the Bible, the KJV, is the word of God and as such is both “truth” in totality, and “the word of truth” in particular (Jn. 17:17; 2 Cor. 6:7; Eph. 1:13; 2 Tim. 2:15; Jas. 1:18). To be properly understood, I believe, first and foremost, that the Bible must be read with a mind that has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 2:15). Additionally, I believe that the Bible is to be taken literally as we give heed to the context, audience and dispensational setting of each passage. The word of God must be rightly divided and applied in light of the Apostle’s Paul’s teaching to the body of Christ today in order for us to “profit” from it according to God the Father’s design for us (1 Tim. 4:15; 2 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 3:16).
I believe in one God, eternally existing in three co-equal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; Mt. 28:19; Eph. 4:4-6; Col. 2:9; 1 Jn. 5:7).
I believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour days and that He “rested” from His work on the seventh day, as recorded in the scripture. I reject the Darwinian evolutionary theory and all other related variant views along with any other unscriptural theories of origin (Gen. 1-2; Jn. 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-18).
I believe that Jesus Christ is a member of the Godhead and eternally co-equal with both the Father and Holy Spirit (I Jn. 5:7). He is the eternal Word of God by whom all things were created and for whom all things consist (Col. 1:16-17). As God, He had no beginning, always has been, is now and always and forever shall be God. I believe that “the Word was made flesh” via supernatural conception of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, born prior to any physical relations between Mary and any man (Mt. 1:18; Lk. 1:35; Jn. 1:1, 14). I believe He was God manifest in flesh while on earth, lived a sinless life as a man, laid down His life, shed His blood and died for our sins on the cross of Calvary, was buried in a borrowed tomb, resurrected bodily the third day, ascended back to the Father, sat down on the right hand of God and is alive forever more (Mk. 16:19-20; Lk. 24:50-51; Acts 1:9; I Cor. 15:1-4). He is the Messiah and King of Israel who will literally sit upon David’s throne in the land of Israel, and He is the Head of the church, the Body of Christ (Mt. 1:17; 16:16; Col. 1:18; I Tim. 3:16).
I believe that the Holy Spirit is a member of the God head and eternally co-equal with both the Father and Son (1 Jn. 5:7). It is He that regenerates, indwells, baptizes, and seals all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior (Rom. 8:9, 11; 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19; 12:13; Eph. 1:13; Tit. 3:5). He personally carries out these transactions the moment that the sinner depends fully upon Christ’s finished cross-work as his all-sufficient propitiation in the sight of God (Eph. 1:13). I believe that the Holy Spirit’s primary ministry in and to believers today is to enlighten and teach us the word of God, and thereby to empower those who believe as He effectually works in us to quicken our mortal bodies with the mind and life of Christ (Rom. 8:11, 26; 1 Cor. 2:9-16; 1 Thess. 4:9). I believe that the spiritual, sign gifts (such as prophecy, tongues and divers miracles), while serving a legitimate and specific purpose in Israel’s kingdom program and fulfilling a ministry of provocation at the beginning of the present dispensation of the grace of God toward us Gentiles, have since ceased and have no further role or significance today (I Cor. 13:8-13).
I believe that salvation is the free gift of God purchased by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary when He died, was buried and rose again the third day. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone without and apart from works of any kind at any time. Everyone who believes the gospel is instantly and permanently justified unto eternal life by "the faith of Christ" (Rom. 3:22; Gal. 2:16; Phl. 3:9).