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
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
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
"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
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.
God, One Lord, One Spirit.
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.