My name is Derek Cozine and I am a reformed baptist pastor in North Dakota who holds to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. For a more concise statement of faith, you can click below. I love God and I cherish the ability to be able to work for Him in His Church every day. This website is meant to be a place to share my sermons, God-glorifying resources, and edifying blog posts to aid others in glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.

Call to Ministry

In August 2010 I participated in an internship at Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. I went into this program to strengthen my faith before I went off to college to become a secondary education English teacher. While I was at Elevation Church I was mentored by my boss, Paul Cunningham. He taught me of the importance of theology and doctrine, living a life of worship towards God. Through his guidance and support, I discovered how little I was equipped growing up because of my choices. This was of course, my fault. Growing up I chose to rely on sermons, pastors and my parents for my sources of God. I came to find over the course of my internship, that was also a common practice of many children and teenagers.

Throughout the course of this internship my love for theology, doctrine and studying God’s Word flamed a newfound passion in my heart. Paul Cunningham had me prayerfully read through the New Testament and ponder intently on what I had read. When I got to John Chapter 21, its words profoundly impacted me. It was as if God was talking directly to me.
“Derek, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Then Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again, Jesus said, “Derek, do you love me?”
I answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
It was then that I knew there was no turning back for me. Though I know this passage was meant for Peter, I believe there was application available for me. I saw my past and how I chose to only look to certain influences in my life for God and godliness. I saw how I denied Jesus in my life choices and how I was falling short in obeying God. I knew I needed to care for the next generation, to feed and teach them just like I needed when I was their age.
Looking back on that moment, the passion that had been developing in me turned into a mission. I thought about all the children and teenagers that were going into faith the same way I did, with little guidance because of their environment or through their own choices and my heart ached. I could empathize with them, and I felt this strong call to help them understand Scripture, give them ways to apply it to their daily lives and help them to grow more intimately closer with God through Jesus and His Word. I know in my heart that Jesus is telling me to feed his sheep and I plan to do my best to fulfill this calling. This is why I am called to youth ministry, and I truly believe it is a lifelong calling.
After I completed my internship through Elevation Church, I switched my major and began to attend at Grace University in Omaha Nebraska, near where I grew up. Upon transferring to Liberty University, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Religion: Biblical and Theological Studies. My degrees were specifically chosen by me to reach out to youth through the bible with proper literacy context, grammatical context, and historical context in order to give them timeless application for contemporary daily life. I have furthered this goal by continuing my pastoral education by pursuing a Master of Divinity in Theology through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. I have three semesters left.

Philosophy of Ministry

As a man who has been called by God to be a servant leader to a congregation that desires to be biblically led in discipleship, I will minister to them using the Word of God and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am committing my life to the eternal souls of those under my care. It is my hope that it will promote spiritual and emotional growth in our youth. It is my calling to be a shepherd of a congregation’s youth and their families. It is my responsibility to care for them as eternal beings who are living an accountable life here in Earth. Through this belief and calling, I will help those who need or request my shepherding and fellowship. I will share Jesus, the one and only God, our true salvation.
1. Train students of the youth ministry towards thoughtful, knowledgeable and wise biblical discipleship (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
2. Help students establish and promote genuine fellowship within the congregation, across all ages (1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 10:25).
3. Promote a God-honoring climate and location for people to learn about and grow with God (Gal. 6:2; Rom. 12:3-13; 1 Cor. 12:25-27).
4. Engage students in outreach and service using their gifts and talents (1 Pet. 4:10; Rom. 12:6-8; Col. 3:23-25)
1. We will grow to be a community that accepts a diverse crowd, becoming a ministry that seeks the lost and disciples the saved (Matt. 28:18-20).
2. To identify individuals within the Body of Christ to grow and cultivate Christian leaders for missions and ministries within the congregation, training them to fulfill a placement within the Church (Eph. 2:10; 1 Tim. 4:7-8; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
3. To help students identify and use their gifts to serve God in the world (Matt. 5:14-16; Matt. 28:18-20)
1. Teaching God’s Word in its context to willing individuals in the youth ministry for their daily life with Christ (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Matt. 5:14-16).
2. Instructing students to share the Scriptures to the best of their ability in society and in private for evangelism and apologetics (1 Pet. 3:15-16; 2 Tim. 4:2).
3. Being constantly in prayer for one another and for the world, looking to God and His promises (Jm. 5:13-20; 1 Thess. 5:17; Matt. 28:20).
4. Guide students to have a desire to serve and place them in a ministry that fits their gifts and skills (Eph. 2:10; Eph. 4:12; 1 Pet. 4:10-11; Rom. 12:6-8).
5. Promote community life in our church’s youth ministry as a welcoming entity in the Church (Heb. 10:24-25; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Matt. 18:20; 1 Cor. 12:25-27).

1. Reaching the Lost: We are not called to sit comfortably in our congregation, but to reach out to those who are without God through prayer, biblical evangelism and apologetics (Matt. 9:37-38; Matt. 28:16-20; Mark 16:15).
2. Bearing Godly Fruit: We are called to biblical discipleship that produces godly fruit in our lives and noticeable growth by men (John 15:1-17; Matt. 7:15-20; Rom. 6:22; 1 Cor. 11:1).
3. Cherishing the Word: We are committed to the teachings of Jesus, the Word of God, through his canonized Scriptures given to us by human authors and fully inspired by God, both the Old Testament and the New Testament (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16; Matt. 4:4).
4. Welcoming Fellowship: We will be an open-door Youth Ministry, inviting those who are age-appropriate in our community and our church to come to God (Matt. 5:14; Matt 24:14; Heb. 10:24-25; Rom. 15:7;).
5. Godly Discipleship: Through teaching, fellowship, and discussion we will grow together and individually in our faith for God out of gratitude toward who He is and for all He has done for us (Eph. 5:1; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6).

Statement of Faith

I believe the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments, are the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men under God's guidance and authority, inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts and it is our sole and final authority in faith and life. I believe the apocrypha, pseudepigraphal books, and other written works of the human authors of the canonical books to be extrabiblical works. Therefore, these extrabiblical works are not considered to be placed equal to, or greater than the 66 books included in the inspired Word of God.

I believe there is only one true and living God, eternally existing and manifesting Himself in three persons revealed in the scriptures as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three are distinctive from each other, but equal, yet are still one in essence.

I believe in God the Father, perfect and holy, infinite in his wisdom and measureless in his power. He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves us from sin and death through his grace all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

I believe in the eternal Jesus Christ, God's only Son, who was born a human to Mary, a virgin. Jesus was fully God and fully man. He led a sinless life and atoned for the sins of those who followed him in genuine faith through his grace by his death on the cross. I also believe in his physical resurrection, His physical ascension into heaven, and then His physical and spiritual presence as the high priestly intercession for His people. His personal, visible, premillennial return to the world will happen according to His promises and he will judge all men according to their faith and fruit, or lack thereof.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine person of God who convicts the world of sin; that He brings new life to those who are spiritually dead; that He baptizes (or places) all believers into the one true Church, which is the Body of Christ. He indwells them individually and as a whole, permanently sealing them until the day of redemption. He gives believers of Christ spiritual gifts for the sharing of the Gospel and glorifying God. He is our guide and counselor.

I believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, in innocence and without sin. But with Adam's sin, the human race fell into imperfection and sin. We inherited Adam’s sinful nature, becoming spiritually dead and alienated from God in His holiness and perfection. We ourselves are incapable of remedying our lost and depraved condition, because of this.

Because of the nature of man, I believe that salvation is the gift of God's grace. It cannot be gained by merits or works, but is freely given upon all that put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. All who trust the Savior of the Cross are forgiven of their sins and born into the family of God by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ our sinful human nature is reconciled with God and we are able to approach God with confidence, peace and assurance.

I believe that all the ones that are genuinely saved, those in whom God has accomplished His transforming work of Grace through justification of faith, are kept by His power and are, thus, secure in Christ forever. It is their privilege to rejoice in this security of their salvation.

However, this assurance is not the occasion for sin, for God in holiness cannot tolerate persistent sin in His children, and in His love He corrects them. True faith in Christ is expressed by a fruitful, God-pleasing life.
Derek Cozine’s Statement of beliefs

I believe that humanity was created with a nature of sexuality. Sex and relations with the opposite sex are natural and can be godly within the safe boundaries of marriage. God designed sexual relations to be between a man and a woman, within the covenant of marriage. This marriage is to be a biblical covenant between the man, wife and God. Any sexual action or lust outside of the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman is sin (i.e. Adultery, Homosexuality, premarital sexual relations, polygamy, etc.).

I believe that the true Church, called in scripture the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism into which every person who has trusted Jesus Christ for salvation in this present age has been baptized by the Holy Spirit. The scripture also teaches the establishment and continuance of local congregations as groups of redeemed individuals that are to join together for worship, instruction, fellowship and service in their daily walk with each other and God.

I believe in observing the ordinances of the Lord's Supper, which is a memorable, symbolic representation of our Savior's suffering and death. Any believer that desires a repentant life and follows Christ should be able to partake in this communion as a part of the Body of Christ.

I believe that baptism is biblically shown and described by full immersion, to be administered following sometime after an individual’s confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is a symbol of their path of spiritual regeneration and sanctification done by God’s work in our life. It is a fruitful reward and proclamation of an individual’s justification, but it is not their way to attain salvation. This symbol of baptism shows that when we are immersed in the waters, we are symbolically joined in Christ’s death, and when we are raised from the water, we are symbolically raised in Christ resurrection, demonstrated in the new life He gives us. Furthermore, the symbolism of baptism proclaims our hope for resurrection, because of His resurrection.

I believe in the personal, imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for the rapture of His Church, and His subsequent premillennial return to earth to establish His 1000-year Kingdom, and inevitably, eternity.

I believe that at death the souls of those who have trusted Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss to worship Him until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the Church. When soul and body are reunited, we will worship Him forever with a glorified physical body and eternal soul.

I believe that the souls of unbelievers are in conscious misery after death, awaiting the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennial kingdom. When soul and body are reunited, they shall be cast into the lake of fire as a part of their judgement, not to be annihilated, but to be separated from God forever in conscious and most likely physical punishment as glimpsed by Scripture.