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Statement of Beliefs

In one sentence: We believe in one God, His Son, and their Spirit.

The Nature of God and His Son

"Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist" 1 Corinthians 8:6 (ESV).

The Lord Jesus Christ is of God's nature, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" John 1:1-2 (ESV). When transliterated from the original Greek, John 1:1-2 reads as follows: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with the God and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with the God." Notice the distinction that shows up when "the" is inserted in the proper places. The definite article "the" is in the original Greek, but is left out in most English translations. Thus, the Word (or Christ) is "God". But he is not "the God".

Another reference to Jesus Christ being "God" is found in Hebrews 1:8-9, where God the Father refers to His Son as God ("O God"). Yet, God the Father is Christ's God ("God, your God").

"But of the Son he [God the Father] says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.'" Hebrews 1:8-9 (ESV)

One more reference to God the Father being Christ's God is found in Revelation 1:5-6, in which Christ has made us priests to "his God and Father."

"To him [Christ] who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father" Revelation 1:5-6 (ESV)

The Nature of the Holy Spirit

Refer to The Holy Spirit for our Biblical basis on this subject. Our belief on the nature of the Holy Spirit can be summarized by the following two individuals:

The Holy Spirit is described by M. C. Wilcox, editor of The Signs of the Times, in 1911:

"Question 187: What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and the ministering spirits (angels), or are they the same?

"Answer: The Holy Spirit is the mighty energy of the Godhead, the life and power of God flowing out from Him to all parts of the universe, and thus making a living connection between His throne and all creation. As is expressed by another: 'The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ.' It thus makes Christ everywhere present. To use a crude illustration, just as a telephone carries the voice of a man, and so makes that voice present miles away, so the Holy Spirit carries with it all the potency of Christ in making Him everywhere present with all His power, and revealing Him to those in harmony with His law. Thus the Spirit is personified in Christ and God, but never revealed as a separate person. Never are we told to pray to the Spirit; but to God for the Spirit. Never do we find in the Scriptures prayers to the Spirit, but for the Spirit." (Questions and Answers Gathered from the Question Corner Department of the Signs of the Times, pp. 181, 182)

Ellen G. White describes the Holy Spirit in this way:

"Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent." -Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, pp. 23, 24

The key phrase here is, "The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity". How are we to understand this phrase? If the Holy Spirit is a separate being other than the Father and Son, it makes no sense to say that the Holy Spirit is "divested of the personality of humanity," since at no time was the Holy Spirit ever human, and therefore it would be impossible for him to be "divested" (or stripped or rid) of humanity. The correct interpretation is then that the Holy Spirit is Christ Himself, divested of the personality of humanity. In this way, Christ can be present in all places.

Again, we are not to pray to the Spirit but rather pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18, Jude 20). We are not to worship the Spirit but rather worship in the Spirit (John 4:23-24). Moreover, our fellowship is with the Father and His Son (1John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 1:9). There is no reference of us having fellowship with the Spirit but rather to live and have participation in the Spirit (1 Peter 4:6; Philippians 2:1).

The Nature of the Incarnation

"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself" 1 Corinthians 5:18-19 (ESV, alternate reading). In the words of Ellen G. White,

"Jesus Christ 'counted it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God.' Because divinity alone could be efficacious in the restoration of man from the poisonous bruise of the serpent, God himself, in his only begotten Son, assumed human nature, and in the weakness of human nature sustained the character of God, vindicated his holy law in every particular, and accepted the sentence of wrath and death for the sons of men." (The Youth's Instructor, February 11, 1897)

Christ took the form of man, absent his divinity,

"At the time when he was most needed, Jesus, the Son of God, the world's Redeemer, laid aside his divinity, and came to earth in the garb of humanity." (Signs of the Times, March 18, 1897)

"The salvation of souls was the great object for which Christ sacrificed his royal robe and kingly crown, the glory of heaven, and the homage of angels, and laying aside his divinity, came to earth to labor and suffer with humanity upon him." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 21, 1907)

The divinity that Christ had while He was on this earth was the divinity of His Father dwelling in Him ("God was in Christ"). "So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise" John 5:19 (ESV).

Christ was not able to resist temptation through his own divinity, since that was laid aside. Rather, "He was able to resist the temptations of Satan through his dependence upon the divine power of his heavenly Father, as he was subject to his will, and obedient to all his commands" (The Youth's Instructor, August 23, 1894). "The entire dependence of the Son on the Father, was shown in the words 'The Son can do nothing of himself'" (The Upward Look, p. 341).

We can also have this divine power to resist temptation: "The life of Christ has shown what humanity can do by being partaker of the divine nature. All that Christ received from God we too may have." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 149)

Since Christ was absent his divinity, he died a complete death.

"Jesus said to Mary, 'Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.' When He closed His eyes in death upon the cross, the soul of Christ did not go at once to heaven, as many believe, or how could His words be true-'I am not yet ascended to my Father'? The spirit of Jesus slept in the tomb with His body, and did not wing its way to heaven, there to maintain a separate existence, and to look down upon the mourning disciples embalming the body from which it had taken flight. All that comprised the life and intelligence of Jesus remained with His body in the sepulcher; and when He came forth it was as a whole being; He did not have to summon His spirit from heaven." -Ellen G. White, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, pp. 1150, 1151.

Other perspectives
  • One God, One Lord, One Spirit.
  • (Vimeo) Made in His Image. We can only be like Christ, since he has shown us (and continues in heaven to show) how to submit. Christ is a "Father" that we can immitate. God said to His Son, Let us Make man in our image. The image of Father and Son is reflected in the husband and wife relationship. The marriage relationship was an example to the universe designed to answer questions about the relationship of the Father and Son. Our understanding of the submission of Christ to the Father directly affects our understanding of the submission of a wife to her husband.